The real meaning of Vipassana

Acharya Prashant
3 min readMar 21, 2020

What you call as meditation does not help, what you call as God does not help, what you call as religion does not help. Meditation helps, God helps, religion helps, but God is not what you think God to be, meditation is not what you call as meditation and religion is not what you have ideated it as.

Whenever you say meditation, you are so badly conditioned now, you start thinking of a man, sitting in some pose with eyes closed and trying to be silent.

Meditation is about opening your eyes, not closing your eyes.

Whenever you see a man, meditating with eyes closed, rest assured that he is fooling himself. If you cannot meditate with your eyes open, how will you live in this world? With eyes closed? Whenever a life situation will confront you, what will you do? Will you close your eyes? Meditate with eyes open, meditate when you are driving, meditate when you are eating, meditate when you are talking, that is real meditation.

The right action, the right center of operation, that is meditation.

Lord Buddha is saying watch your breath. He says watch everything that is in motion. One must have the intelligence to decipher the code.

There are idioms in language, there are metaphors, things are said figuratively, you must know their real meaning. Lord Buddha is saying watch the breath. He is saying watch your relationship with the world. What is the breath? Your relationship with the world. See, how things are going in and coming out. See how you are absorbing the conditioning and see how you are shaping the world. That is what is meant by watching the breath.

Vipashyana, pashya means to watch. Watching is the real thing not breath. Watch everything. Breath is a useful thing because it is always with you therefore, easy to watch. But the breath is not at the center, watching is at the center. Vipashyana, watch. But watching is out, breath is in. If you learn to watch, would you only watch the breath. Breath is a reminder, breath then becomes a token of the guru. Breath is like then an alarm clock. Somebody by your side to always nudge you, are you watching, are you watching, are you watching? You might do something or not do something, but what is certain is that you are always breathing. So, breath is a nice reminder. He hopes that you are intelligent enough to decode his words. And his words are simple; there is no great codification or mystery there. But we are so stupid that we take everything on face value.

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