To know who you are, see what you want -Ramana Maharshi

Acharya Prashant
8 min readApr 3, 2020

Ramana Maharshi says ‘Go to the root of the thought’. However a common question that arises is such: ‘when a thought arises in the mind then it demands to be addressed, otherwise it keeps hanging and causes trouble.’ So all is good. When a thought arises in the mind and demands to be addressed, do address it and address it properly and fully. On the one hand we complain that we remain annoyed by, occupied by, pestered by thoughts. On the other hand, we never give thought a serious consideration.

If thought is so meaningful in your life, if thought is the center of all your activity, if thought is what your inner life is all about then why don’t you give thought the importance it deserves?

As far as you’re concerned, in your own eyes thought is pretty important, is it not? What is important then is to do justice to the thought. Address it properly, all thoughts have in some direct or oblique way your welfare at the center. All thoughts, whether directly or indirectly, are about you. Look at your thoughts, many of them you’ll find very clearly and directly carry the word ‘I’ at their center. In other thoughts ‘I’ is not very obviously visible but if you’ll probe a little you’ll find ‘I’ is there. You just don’t randomly think of anything. We make a mistake when we say thoughts are random. We make a mistake when we say, Oh! Thoughts are like purposeless clouds floating in the sky of the mind.

Thoughts are not purposeless, thoughts are not random at all. You never randomly think of anything, there’s a clear design there, there’s a clear pattern and purpose there. We think for the sake of our welfare, it’s just that the thought might not be coming from conscious mind and often it does not.

Conscious thinking is a very small part of the sum total of our thinking. Most of our thinking is quite sub-conscious, we think without having consciously decided on or chosen our thoughts. We just think, since we’ve not consciously decided on the content of the thought so we’re tempted into concluding that thoughts are random. Thoughts are not random, you chose them. Just that you didn’t choose them consciously, so they don’t come to you very vividly. All thoughts have a design, a purpose in them. The purpose is your welfare. At the center of all thoughts lies ‘I’ whether…