On Advaita Vedanta: The doubt is the disease

Acharya Prashant
10 min readApr 10, 2022

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

तपसा प्राप्यते सत्त्वं सत्त्वात्संप्राप्यते मनः ।
मनसा प्राप्यते ह्यात्मा ह्यात्मापत्त्या निवर्तते ॥

tapasā prāpyate sattvaṃ sattvātsaṃprāpyate manaḥ
manasā prāpyate hyātmā hyātmāpattyā nivartate

Through penance, one gets to know the inborn disposition (sattva); from sattva one gets (stability of) the mind; through the mind, one realizes the Ātman; by realizing the Self (worldly life is) prevented.

~Maitreya Upanishad, Chapter 1, Verse 6

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Questioner (Q): My life seems to be going well. I feel like I am doing everything correctly, and my routine is very orderly and stable. The state of my mind is mostly very clear throughout the week and I do not observe many disturbances. I wake up, go to work, spend time with spiritual literature, listen to you, and try to keep myself attentive to my inner state constantly. The mind is still, and I witness my activities and the world. Still, I want to ask you for clarification. Am I missing something? Should I be cautious of something? Please help me understand if I am in the right direction.

Acharya Prashant (AP): If one has doubts regarding his internal states, then they really are not doubts, they are affirmations. If you have a doubt regarding your internal well-being, then you don’t even need to consult a specialist. The doubt is the disease.

When you have doubts regarding your physical well-being, then you go to a physician and he advises you a diagnosis, and the diagnosis can go either way: the diagnosis can say you are perfectly healthy, or the diagnosis can suggest that there is something wrong with your body. So, the doubt can have two results, either confirmation or negation. This is with respect to the body. If you doubt the health of the body, then your doubt might be well-founded or baseless.

Acharya Prashant