Observation is security against hurt

Acharya Prashant
7 min readMay 26

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

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, If we see things and move quickly, are we not observing them?

Acharya Prashant (AP): See, it’s like this when you’re not observant and you look at something, you go back into your own world or into the thousand other worlds that you have, and then with a jerk, you come back to that thing that you are observing. So, you have not observed the whole movement of the thing, right?

You observed the thing when it was there then you went away and when you came back then the thing was here, already here. Now, your total period of observation is confined to that interval and this interval (Indicating hand here and there). That is a total period for which you observe. But how much has the thing moved in that interval from there till here? The thing will appear to have a lot of pace. It is not that the thing had pace, it is just that you had removed your eyes from the thing.

If you are driving and you’re not observant, you are not looking at the truck coming at you and you suddenly wake up when the truck is about to hit you how do you feel? Is that moving fast or slow? The truck is moving so fast for you that you now can’t even swerve and save yourself.

Why do accidents happen? Accidents happen because the thing is now moving so fast for you that you cannot avoid the collision. Had the thing been slow you would have avoided the collision, obviously. Now is the thing really moving too fast? No, the thing is not really moving that fast. It is just that, you were not observant enough.

Now, in spite of the thing not moving so fast, there is a collision. And when there is a collision, you say that the thing was moving too fast for me. It wasn’t moving too fast. Your eyes are not on that thing. You noticed it after it was too late. So, it appears to be moving too fast.

We returned after a game of cricket. All coaches tell the batsman to keep his eyes firmly on the ball. Even if you don’t intend to play the ball, even if you intend to leave it, yet keep your eyes on the ball. You must watch the ball, cross you. In fact, if you look at good batsmen they watch the ball even till the moment it goes to the keeper. They…

Acharya Prashant