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Swami Ranganathananda on Pratyak and Parak

Pratyak in Sanskrit means inward; the opposite is parak (outward).

Every object is referred to as parak.

Our sages have studied these words very thoroughly. Whenever you point your finger out and say ‘this, this, this’, that is called parak—outgoing understanding of things.

Is this all the reality? No. Reality has parak and pratyak dimensions.

We study objects that are near, and we use instruments like telescopes or radio telescopes to study objects that are far away, and microscope to study smaller things. But all they study is parak—only objects.

If you want to study the subject, you have to change the direction; the finger must point to oneself. This finger turning inward is called pratyak. To turn to the pratyak direction is to discover an infinite consciousness hidden in the human being.
Swami Ranganathananda