To know who you are, see what you want

Acharya Prashant
12 min readAug 27, 2021

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

“The fact is that the mind is only a bundle of thoughts. How can you extinguish it by the thought of doing so, or by a desire? Your thoughts and desires are part and parcel of the mind, and the mind is simply fattened by new thoughts rising up, therefore it is foolish to attempt to kill the mind by means of the mind. The only way of doing it is to find its source and hold on to it, the mind will then fade away of its own accord.”
~Ramaṇa Maharshi

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, please help me understand what it means to find the source of the mind and hold on to it. When a thought arises in the mind, it demands to be addressed. Otherwise, it keeps hanging and causes trouble. Even this question is coming from my mind and to get an answer, the mind is trying to understand. But that is not leading to the dissolution of the mind rather adding to mental activity. How then, to really understand? How is it different from the usual mental activity?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Ramaṇa Maharshi is saying, “Go to the root of the thought.” You are saying when a thought arises in the mind, it demands to be addressed otherwise it keeps hanging and causes trouble. So, all is good. When a thought arises in the mind, it demands to be addressed, do address it and address it properly and fully. Why don’t you do that?

On one hand, we complain that we remain annoyed by, occupied by, pestered by thoughts. On the other hand, we never give thought 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? And as far as you are concerned in your own eyes, thought is pretty important, is it not?

If it is important then do justice to thought. Address it properly. All thoughts have in some direct or oblique way your welfare at the center. All thoughts whether…

Acharya Prashant