How does the wise one perceive the world?

Acharya Prashant
6 min readFeb 5, 2020

Without any support and eager for the attainment of freedom, the fools only keep up the world!

The wise cut at the very root of this world, which is the source of all misery.

~ Ashtavakra Gita (Chapter 18, Verse 38)

Acharya Prashant: What is this world? The world that you perceive around yourself is very little of a fact. You perceive it. And that’s what mostly it is — a perception, a perception raised by the perceiver.

It would be a fallacy to think that if you are looking at the green here, or the blue up there, the tree, the building, the motorcar, then you are just seeing ‘the green’ or ‘the blue’ or ‘the tree’, or ‘the motorcar’.

We do not see things, we see meanings.

We see meanings.

And why do we see meanings?

Because we sense a certain meaninglessness about ourselves.

We want to fill it up.

We do not like the meaninglessness, so we want to fill up the meaninglessness with meanings coming from the entire world.

Now, the world as such has no meaning whatsoever. The grass is just ‘grass’, the sky is just ‘the sky’, but we imbue it, load it, superimpose on it a meaning. That meaning is not an inherent property of the object itself. That meaning, as we said, is superimposed on the object by us, the perceiver. But if we admit that, then the object will cease to have any attraction for us, any sense for us, any importance for us.

Because to admit that the object has no meaning, is to admit that the object is useless for us — useless not in the physical sense, but in the psychological sense. If object has no meaning, then how will it fill up our meaninglessness? So it becomes useless.

So it becomes critical for us to keep assuming that a meaning vests in the object itself.

It is a self-hatched conspiracy against the self.

Now the world, as such being meaningless, can be a cause of neither pleasure nor pain. But a lot of suffering is created by us when we load objects with meanings. The world is not the cause of misery, our perception of the world is. What we think of the world is the cause of our…

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