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It is so simple to know yourself || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2014)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
4 min
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Listener: Before knowing others know yourself. If you know yourself, you will love the world. I also agree with this but then a question arises in my mind. ‘How can we know ourselves? What can be done to know ourselves? What should I do to know about myself?’ These are the questions which remain unclear in my mind.

Speaker: It’s actually so simple that you might be missing it. You are saying that yes I understand that it is important to know myself, that the world can be known only if I first understand the knower, and the knower is me. But you are asking for a method or path. You are asking that how to know myself. Alright, knowing myself is important, but how to know myself? The ‘how’ is where you are stuck. ‘The how’ is so obvious that you are missing it.

What do you mean by ‘myself’? When you say, ‘myself’, you mean this, that you are doing all the time. All this is the self, the actions that you are doing physically. You just rose and asked the question. Who did this? The self. And now you might be thinking. So, who is the thinker? The self. Everything that is happening, or seems to be happening, is the work of the self. So, how to know the self? Watch what is happening! Just watch what is happening! What is happening? You are asking, you are listening, you are walking, you are occupying a particular seat, you are thinking and the thoughts are of thousand colors. This is the self. Observe this and you have known the self. There is no other method and there is not a method at all, because it is so simple that it can’t even be called a method.

What we are actually saying is that just be a little conscious. Just keep your eyes open. If you go somewhere routinely and you find that the moment you reach that place, you become a little scared, see that this is happening. Alright! ‘The moment I reach this place my heart starts beating a little faster’. You meet a particular person, and this has been happening for a long while, you find that you cannot say what you want to say. Observe that this is happening. Yes?

Observation of the self and the observation of the world, will go hand in hand. The more clearly you can look at yourself, the more is the clarity that you get in looking at the world.

It is a very obvious thing that somebody who does not understand himself, can make no sense of the world either. Is that not true? I do not know what is here(pointing towards self, inwards), how can I know what is there(pointing outwards)? But our entire education has been telling us that look there and look there(pointing outwards), but never look here(pointing towards self,inwards). How can you know what is there(pointing at the outside world), if you do not know what is here(pointing at self)? Because here is the one who looks.

Listeners(everyone): There

Speaker: How can you ever know that(pointing outside), without knowing this(pointing at self)? But your entire education has been about knowing that(the outside world). History, geography, sciences, technology. At no point have you been told that the most important thing is to look here(one’s own mind). That is something that we have not been really told and that is where the whole mankind is stuck. We are not looking intelligently at how the mind functions we are obsessed with collecting knowledge. And we are paying no attention to the collector of the knowledge. The knower is unknown, and it’s a very amusing situation, the knower is unknown. Now what can be known if the knower is unknown. Yes?

Knowing the knower is so easy. Keep your eyes open and just see what is going on in your own universe, and it will be apparent. Alright?

Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

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