Is doership related to body-identification?

Acharya Prashant
10 min readMar 27, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): How is doership related to body-identification?

Acharya Prashant (AP): It’s very important. These are fundamentals. If you can appreciate them, you will never be misled.

When you are identified with the body, you are identified with the bundle of crying needs. Remember, the body has its needs; consciousness, too, has its needs. But the needs of the body are diverse and unending. Even in the last moment of your life, you still require to breathe, right? It might be your last moment, but you still need air. The needs of the body continue till death. And these needs are not at all deep, shallow but very-very widespread needs; I want this, I want this; little things, little but endless.

Much in contrast, are the needs of the consciousness. Consciousness has just one need actually — Liberation. And it’s a very deep need. You could take the need of body as the entire x-y plane. What’s the area of the x-y plane? Infinite. But the x-y plane has neither height nor depth. It has no existence in the z-domain. It’s just a flat plane, right? Flat and infinite. That’s how the needs of the body are.

Anybody here who has a count of the number of clothes he has used so far in his life? That’s how numerous our basic demands are. Every time you inhale, do you know the number of molecules you take in? How much is one mole? 6.023 *10²³. Ten to the power 23, let’s keep counting the number of zeroes. With each breath, this is the number of those little things that you need, with each breath. The entire x-y plane is littered with your unending needs.

And what’s the need of consciousness? It’s not the plane, it’s the z-axis. It has no area at all. It just has an ambition. Want to reach, reach, reach and reach there or want to go deep, deep, and deeper than anything. There is an infinity in the plane and there is an infinity in the axis.

It shows that when you choose to serve the needs of consciousness rather than the needs of the body, you find that the needs of consciousness can come to an end. Even though the axis is infinite, but that infinity is somehow attainable. It’s a strange thing we are coming to, please see. That…