From the gross to the subtle || On Advaita Vedanta (2019)

Acharya Prashant
8 min readApr 27, 2024

क्रियानाशाद्भवेच्छिन्तानाशोऽस्माद्वासनाक्षयः । वासनाप्रक्षयो मोक्षः सा जीवन्मुक्तिरिष्यते ॥

kriyānāśādbhavecchintānāśo’smādvāsanākṣayaḥ vāsanāprakṣayo mokṣaḥ sā jīvanmuktiriṣyate

The destruction of action leads to that of thought; thence results the dwindling of innate impulse (to act). The obliteration of innate impulse is liberation; it is held to be freedom in life.

~ Adhyatma Upanishad, Verse 12

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Questioner (Q): I am aware that I have innate impulses like anger, greed, fright, fear, and attachments. Kindly help me understand what is this process of dwindling of innate impulses, as mentioned in this verse.

Acharya Prashant (AP): It is the path, the method that proceeds from the gross and goes towards the subtle. This method is for those who cannot begin from the subtle-most.

There is the path of realization. The path of realization says, begin from your center, begin from your heart, Ātman ; let that guide and dictate your mind; let that which comes from your Heart shape your thoughts, and then let your mind dictate your actions; let your thoughts seamlessly transform into your actions. The flow is from the center, radially outwards. You start from the Heart, you go to the mind, and then…