How to live peacefully?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readMar 25, 2020

O pure intelligence! Do not disturb your mind by affirming and negating things. Silencing them, abide happily in your own Self, which is an embodiment of the bliss absolute.

~ Ashtavakra Geeta (15.19)

First of all, it has to be understood, who is talking and to whom. If you have eyes sharp enough, you will see an apparent contradiction of Ashtavakra’s words. And to resolve that contradiction, you will have to go deeper than the contradiction.

Ashtavakra says, “O pure intelligence!”, who is been addressed? Pure intelligence. And the next thing he says, “do not disturb your mind.” Why would pure intelligence anyway disturb himself, herself or his mind? So, there is something awkward somewhere. And this has not been understood by a large number of seekers traditionally. On one hand, they call themselves as nothing but the pure atman or pure Brahma. On the other hand, they say that we are on the journey of self-improvement and refinement. What is this difference? There is something, somewhere that we are not easily seeing. “Do not disturb your mind by affirming and negating things.” The part after ‘by’ is secondary. Whatever is said after this has lesser value than what has been said up to this point. So, Ashtavakra is saying, you are two. On one hand, you are pure intelligence and he addresses you as pure intelligence, so probably, he knows that pure intelligence is your real name. A fellow like Ashtavakra is not going to give you pseudo name, pet name, misleading name. And then he is warning do not disturb your mind which means that man is a strange creature.

The one whose nature is pure intelligence is not only fully capable of but actually insistent on disturbing her mind. This is bizarre. This is man, this is woman. You are someone who is pure intelligence but is most of the times seen as behaving otherwise. You might be pure intelligence but you are seen behaving in rather awkward and foolish, actually stupid ways.

“Silencing them, abide happily in your own Self, which is an embodiment of the bliss absolute”.

Things are anyway silent. In pure intelligence, there is no noise. Some have called pure intelligence as music, others have called it silence. What is certain is that in intelligence, there is no noise. What is noise? Unwanted, chaotic, sensory…