The myth of the Soul or the Inner Self

Acharya Prashant
3 min readApr 3, 2020

Spirituality is not at all about finding something inside of you. It is merely a popular illusion.

Spirituality is simply ‘Silence’.

The Upanishads say and they put it so beautifully -“That which powers the mind to think, is THAT which the mind cannot think of; That which powers the tongue to speak, is That which the tongue cannot speak of; That which powers the ears to hear, is That which the ears cannot hear of.”

You don’t need to go inside the body, the body itself ‘is the proof’ and ‘THAT’. In another instance, the Upanishads say, “the ear behind the ears, the eye behind the eyes, the voice behind the voice, the mind behind the mind.” Looking at the mind, you require ‘the mind behind the mind’. ‘Seeing how you hear’, you have started ‘listening’, (shrotrasya shrotram = the ear of the ear). That does not mean that there is another ear inside your ear. That does not mean that there are eyes behind the eyes and behind them is some soul. What kind of model making is this? Have you read no Biology?

I think a basic course in Anatomy is a prerequisite to basic spirituality. Before you touch the Upanishads you must first go to the textbook on human anatomy. So that there remains no confusion regarding any vacancies inside the body, where the soul can take refuge.

People have gone far to conduct very clever experiments. Actually, there is a verse in ‘Kathopanishad’, where it is said that the Atman is of the size of the thumb.

People have taken that literally. And they have gone to great lengths, in trying to find out where that pocket is, where this thumb shaped cavity is there. And then there are others who objected, Buddhists and Jains. They said, if the Upanishads are right, then tell me where is that thumb sized cavity inside the body of an ant? So, then came another clever reply, that in the case of the ant, the thumb refers to the ant’s thumb.

After all the soul is supposed to be inside the body. Nonsense.

But then the Vedantists were not to be left far behind, they said, “how about the fish, they have no thumb? What is the size of their soul?”

So, what is said from a position of meditation, must be understood in the same meditative way. When it is said…

Acharya Prashant