Real meaning of ‘I am awareness alone’

Acharya Prashant
6 min readFeb 15, 2020

Meditate on this: ‘I am Awareness alone, Unity itself.’
Give up the idea that you are separate, a person, that there is within and without.

~ Ashtavakra Gita (Chapter 1, Verse 13)

Ashtavakra says, “I am Awareness alone, Unity itself.” The emphasis is not on the word ‘Awareness’. The emphasis is actually on ‘alone’. “I am awareness alone.”

Whenever we usually say that we are something, we don’t merely say what we are; we also concurrently say what we are not. So we have established a partial nature for ourself, whenever we have declared an identity for ourself.

When you say that you are a man, or a father, or someone of X age, or someone belonging to a particular locality, or having a particular identity, you have given yourself many identities actually. And each of these identities are not only partial, but also put together, they cannot give you the total.

First of all, they are all partial identities. Secondly, even if you take all those identities and put them together, you still do not get to the total. So, what Ashtavakra is saying is, “You are Awareness alone.” Alone. Nothing else. The word ‘alone’ has to be read in negativa. The word ‘alone’ is a big ‘No’.

The word ‘alone’ is a negation — denial, a rejection.

You are rejecting everything.

You are saying, “I am rejecting all those identities that come as a bunch, that come as a cluster. I am rejecting all the identities that come to me as a crowd.” If you are somebody’s father, is it possible that you are not somebody’s son? If you are somebody’s father, is it possible that you are not somebody’s husband?

So all the identities that we usually assume, come to us in a cluster. They are not identities; they are groups of identities. You may want to choose any one particular identity, but the moment you touch even one identity, what you have actually allowed into yourself is hundreds of identities.

Ashtavakra is saying, “Choose that identity that comes alone. That identity which is a firm denial of all nonsense, all clutter.” Ashtavakra says, “I am Awareness alone.” This much he says in words. You must also read what he does not say.

Acharya Prashant