The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Acharya Prashant (AP): Whenever something is addressed to the ego, whenever a word is delivered to the ego, it is delivered with the intention to take the ego to the Truth. Remember, it is the intention to take the ego to the Truth. Whatsoever is being told to the ego, is being told so that the ego moves towards the Truth, which means, and you have to get the distinction right, that what is being told to the ego is not really the Truth.
First of all, the Truth cannot be told. Secondly, the ego is in no position to receive the Truth. So, the entire effort is to bring the ego to a point where it can disappear into the Truth. This has to be very clearly understood. So, these words are addressed to the disciple’s ego. These words are in the form of medicine. They are a tool. They are a method. And a method has to be seen just as a method, no more, no less.
Now, look at the state of the disciple’s ego. Surely, the disciple has tried out on his own, followed many paths before he came to the Upanishadic sage. And as is common, it is a belief with most seekers that if they have a lot of knowledge, or if they have been performing austerities, or if they have been making presents to the various gods and goddesses, it would help them advance in their spiritual journey.
So, here is the disciple sitting in front of the sage, and the disciple is full of his concepts. We are re-creating the scene. The disciple is full of his concepts, and that is why he is a disciple. Had he not been full of this and that, why would he need to be a disciple in the first place? And what is the disciple full of? Knowledge and the desire to have more knowledge.
You cannot blame him for this, because this is all that he knows. He thinks that the knowledge that he has so far is insufficient, and so he has come to the sage to acquire even more knowledge. And obviously, the Guru, the sage, can read the mind of the disciple. It’s not difficult. Why is it not difficult? Because the disciple’s mind works on set patterns, and those are very well-known ancient patterns of Prakriti (nature.)
Once you go some distance into your own mind, you discover your patterns and you find that somewhere your patterns represent the patterns of…