IIT Kharagpur: Mistaken identity and blurred consciousness

Acharya Prashant
10 min readMay 31, 2022

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): You talked about consciousness, and you also said how we should not associate ourselves with our identities like daughter, student, or friend. But I was born as a daughter, and my parents took care of me; then I was a friend, a sister, and a student. So, in all this chaos, how do we identify who we really are? What exactly is consciousness?

Acharya Prashant (AP): That which is making you ask this question right now, that which is hearing and would respond very soon, that without which this world itself doesn’t exist — that is consciousness.

These identities that we are born with or start assuming later on through the course of life, are shallow things. Sometimes we need to carry them just to make practical life a little smooth and a little efficient. It makes sense to carry your ID card if you are to enter an examination hall, right? You cannot say there, “I am nobody and I don’t have an identity.” If you want to cast your vote, you need your Voter ID proof and such things. You cannot say, “I do not exist, I am none of my identities. What is India? I am not an Indian, I am not a human being.” If you say all those things, probably you would be existentially right but you won’t be able to cast…