There is no need to reject the mind || Acharya Prashant (2013)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Speaker: Does understanding oneself as different from the conditioned mind mean that we have to reject the mind, shut it down, numb it down, kick it away, do away with it?

No, none of that. In fact, those who know the mind as the mind, the collection of external influences, as a pre-programmed entity, those who realize that this is the nature of the mind, are the only ones who are able to utilize the mind in a proper away.

See, you have a machine with you that has a certain capability. What do you do with that machine? Do you use that machine according to your intelligence, or do you allow the machine to become your master? Someone has aptly said that the mind is a wonderful servant but a very bad master. Do not do away it, or don’t shut it down, as in your words. You become its master. Don’t allow it to dominate your life. We will take two statements.

One- mind is a collection of external influences. Second- mind dominates us. Combining these two statements we get, ‘the external influences dominate us.’ When the external influences dominate the mind, what does the mind become?

Listeners(everyone): Slave.

Speaker: Hence, to not to realize the mechanics of the mind is to become the slave of the external. When you realize the mind, it functions as a beautiful machinery. I am taking to prospective engineers. One engineer is talking to other engineers. When you understand the machinery, its nuts, bolts, its movements, only then you will utilize it to the perfect. Right? Can you utilize something, can you change something that you do not understand. No, you cannot. This understanding is very helpful in living a fruitful life. A life of fulfillment, a life of vigor, a life of vitality.

Listener 1: Sir, I understand that we are slaves. Our mind is a slave. But, what do we do as we are living a life in the outer world?

Speaker: I am expanding the question for you. He has asked a very beautiful question. His question is that we are living in the outer world, wherever we go there is an ‘outside’. Even right know you are listening to an external person. Everything around you is an external. Your friends are external, the books are external, the philosophies are external. Everything that comes to you through your senses is external. We live in the world of external. Where do we go? Do we run away? Do we hide somewhere, become renunciate, run to the hills, quit everything, shut the mind down? What do we do? We are living in the external world.

Of course, all information can come only from the outside. You cannot generate information. But, unfortunately, our life has become such that we not only take information from outside, we take ready-made decisions from the ‘outside’. And there is a big difference between the two. To take information from outside is alright. But that is not the way we live our lives and that is not the way the whole humanity lives its lives. It does not take information, it takes ready-made decisions from outside. To do that is to insult your intelligence. Gather all the information that we can take. Even the language that we use to take things from outside, even that is an external thing.

Listener 2: Can you give an example?

Speaker: You see, you type a word and the search engine will give you the entire information. But, you must know the word. That the internet search engine cannot decide for you. By all means take all the information from outside. But where is your own intelligence? Or are you just a recipient of dead information that others keep giving to you, like a dustbin, in which the entire world keep throwing its garbage? Are you getting it?

Be very, very vigilant. Let information come to you. There is no question of saying, ‘let it come.’ It will come. Information will be coming. Be alert. See that what is that information. Do not let that information become your master. For example, take the hoarding of an advertisement. That advertisement, in pure sense is just information. But the advertiser knows more than that. He is smart. He knows that this will not remain merely information, it would become a temptation. When that information becomes temptation, this implies that the reader is not careful enough.

Information is alright. You cannot allow that information to dominate your mind. The advertiser knows how the human mind functions, he knows. So, what will he do? He will repeat the advertisement. Not one hoarding, you will come across many hoardings. Not one channel, you will come across the various media that will display that advertisement to you, internet, television, newspaper, word-of-mouth. And soon after repeated attacks on the mind, you will find that what started as mere information has very soon become temptation. And one fine day you find yourself buying that product. And when somebody asks that you why are you buying this new product, you would say that it is ‘my’ decision. Was it really your decision, or you were compelled to buy it, compelled in a very subtle way. Think about it, go into it. Was it really your decision? Really, really your decision? It could have been your decision, had that advertisement meant only information. If its acts as more than information to us, then there should be an alert.

Remain in this world; like a king, like a ruler, not like a slave.

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session video: There is no need to reject the mind || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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