Would you know without naming?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readJul 31, 2020

Acharya Prashant (AP): Suppose these statements (referring to the scriptures given to camp participants) come to you without a title, suppose you do not know that they are coming from the Upanishads. How would you respond to them?

Listener (L) 1: It’s too abstract.

AP: Too abstract, right?

L2: For me, it would be the same

AP: The same. So, would you actually devote so much of time and respect to them irrespective of the title that they have? Suppose you just have found these written on a sheet of paper somewhere; no introduction, no heading, no explanation just these statements. Would they still carry the same weightage for you?

We would like to say yes.

L2: It seems like a code language, what it means?

AP: That in some way is the whole message of the Upanishads — to the mind, the name matters so much.

And that is an understatement. It might be possible, that to the mind, name is everything and it might be possible that some of the statements that have come to us right now may not be from any Upanishad but still, we would accept them and try to make some sense out of them because they carry the name of the Upanishads. Without that support, we would have simply ignored and rejected that statement.

How does it help the mind to have names?

Why does the mind find it so comforting to deal with names?

L1: There is a certain fixity.

AP: Certainty. Right. Once I know that a thing is what I know it to be, then I am relieved of the need to enquire into it. Something new comes, let’s say a new person, I’ll have to ask a lot, I’ll have to pay attention, I’ll have to be open. An old acquaintance comes, the name is sufficient. Who is knocking? Okay, it is Rajul Garg (picking up random name).

Now, the name Rajul Garg is an assurance, plus it relieves me from the need to pay attention, the need to work, the need to find out, it may also be possible that the mind fundamentally has very little capacity to reach directly, by itself, into the Truth, so it needs names. If names are not there, finding out is probably impossible for the mind, at least for a usually conditioned mind. So, it…

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