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Your mind has been lying to you || Acharya Prashant, On Vedanta (2021)

Author Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant

5 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): The mind has been continuously lying to you. What has it been telling? It's been telling you that there exists no reality outside of itself; that it's not possible to 'be' without being the mind. That's what the mind has been telling you in its own selfish interest. 'If I am not there, you are not there.' The mind tells you, 'If I am not there, you will not exist.'

But when the mind is brought to a standstill, something has been proven, rather something has been disproven. What is it? The lie that the mind has been peddling since centuries has been called out. The mind has said, 'If I am not there, you cannot be there at all.' But here, the mind was stopped for a while, and in that moment you did not merely exist, you existed more authentically than ever.

Now, you cannot resume your usual relationship with the mind. Now, you will be able to look at the mind with distrust. You'll be skeptical of everything that the mind says because if one thing—one central thing—that the mind has said can be false, then it's possible that everything that the mind has been telling you is probably false. The central thing mind has been saying is: 'You are me, I am you; the two of us are inalienable. If you drop me, you drop dead.'

The mind reads out a law to you. Now, a thousand occurrences that confirm the law are not sufficient to conclusively establish the law, and that is the thing with any law ever read out. But a single instance in which that law stands violated is enough to disprove that law. And they are disproving to you in an empirical way, not in a vicarious way.

In your own experience, you find it very clearly that something extraordinary happened. What is something extraordinary? Your usual ways just stopped. The mind had always been telling you that if you want to understand words, then you have to keep thinking on them.

One lie after the other is being called out. The mind has constantly been telling you that if you bow down, that if you prostrate, if you sit as a student in front of someone, you will lose out and you will be exploited and you will be shown down, right? That's the usual teaching of the mind. —'No! No! Never ever bow your head; never ever take someone as an authority.'

The mind has been shown to be a big liar; the mind does not like that. Even to dislike something, first of all, the mind has to ‘be’, so it can 'dislike' to its deep contentment. Later on, you can—if you want to, if you choose to—go back to your usual thing. But even if you go back to your usual thing, you'll find yourself weaker in defending your usual self. You will find that your conviction has cracked a little bit. It keeps on becoming progressively more and more difficult for you to go back to being what you have always been.

A day comes when you say, 'I don't want to go back at all. What’s the point? Even if I go back, I find myself painfully incapable of reverting to my old life, my old self. I don't belong to the outsides anymore. Now, I have come and I have come. I have not come to go back.' But that takes time; that takes a lot of grace and a lot of resolution from the student's side.

Unfortunately, it's a rare happening. And because it spans over a long period of time, therefore, the number of dropouts is large. The possibility of falling by the wayside is significant. It does not happen just like this—you can't snap your fingers and say, 'I belong.' No.

This house of the ego has to be brought down brick by brick. Dynamiting it down is just a fantasy—won't happen. It's a cheap fantasy, no? 'Come on, let's do it in one go, why go through the painful process of bearing the way, day after day, month after month?' No. You have to be your own mother; you'll have to carry yourself in the womb for a long time, and then you'll have to bear your own birth. No one is born in a moment.

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