The actor is the action

Acharya Prashant
5 min readMay 16, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, it’s not okay for me if someone hurts someone else. Is it true to say that, “Don’t reject person but action”?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Is it possible to really draw a line between the actor and the action?

Is it possible to say that the action is being rejected but the actor is alright?

The action is nothing but a gross manifestation of the actor, you will do what you are. The doing depends on the doer. Often, by condemning the doing, and condoning the doer; you are just preserving the doer to continue with the doing.

The doing is immaterial, the doing was inevitable. Given what you are, what else could you have done? You had no option.

If something has to be addressed, it is not the doing but the doer. Pay attention to who is doing this, and if he remains the same, the same kind of actions will continue to come from him, maybe in other forms, maybe in hidden ways.

Actions just don’t drop from somewhere; they don’t come from an isolated vacuum. They arise from your self-concept; they arise from your idea of who you are and what the world is like. If the idea remains the same, the action will repeat itself; in other situations, in other names, in other ways.

So, forget the action, look at the actor. You talked of hurt; Who gets hurt? Who wants to preserve himself?

If there is no desire of self-preservation, is hurt possible? If you do not want to continue with something, keep something safe, protect something. If you do not want to not alter something, not to expose something; is it possible to still get hurt?

Look at the thing, the entity that gets hurt; what is it? And where there is hurt, there must be fear. If you are vulnerable towards hurt, you would want not to get hurt, and you would be afraid that you might get hurt.

Who gets hurt?

Who is so weak and vulnerable?

Who is the one needing a defense, an armor?

Who is the one forever doubtful of his strength?