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Speaker: ‘How can I get my ex-girlfriend back?’ The question comes from Shubham. Shubham you will have to die (audience bursts into laughter). There is no other way, you will have to die.
You know, it was Kabir who said:
ये तो घर है प्रेम का, खाला का घर नाहिं ।
सीस उतारे भुँई धरे, तब बैठें घर माहिं ॥
You will have to die. And obviously it is not death of the physical kind. When Kabir says, ‘Cut your head before you can enter the house of love’, what does he mean? What does this denote? Kabir says, ‘Cut your head down’. What does this denote?
Listener 1: Ego.
Speaker: Yes, wonderful. This denotes the sum total of your past. This denotes the absolute sum total of your past, your attitude, your conditioning that you carry forward. You cannot get your ex-girlfriend back if you continue to be the same person who broke up. Are you getting it?
After all there was a context to the breakup. Am I right? If you are the same person who broke up, how will you engage with her again? To engage with her again you will have to be an absolutely new, fresh person, that old fellow must die. Unless the old ‘Shubham’ dies there is no possibility of a new relationship. Is this becoming clear?
And what do I mean by, ‘the old Shubham must die’? What is this ‘old Shubham’ all about? When you say, ‘I am Shubham’, what are you all about? You are your entire worldview, you are the entire set of beliefs that you are carrying about yourself, about the world, including your girlfriend. That’s what you are in your head. And that is why Kabir says, ‘Chop it off’. But that’s not so easy, because we have grown great attachment to those dead beliefs, to all the residue of the past. We think that if it goes away, something very important goes away. We think that it is the essential ‘I’, how can we let it go off?
‘How do I get rid of it? These beliefs that I have been carrying since a very long time, this attitude has become my identity. How can I get rid of it, and if I get rid of it what will remain?’ This is a great fear. The past offers security, there is a great security in remaining ‘the old Shubham’ that you were. There is a great security in clinging to the known, in clinging to the past, but that security is a totally dead thing,
A relationship is lively. You cannot remain in the past and yet have a living relationship with anything, not only with your girlfriend, but with anything, anybody, not with your parents, not with your teachers, not with your friends, not with books, not with anything. If you remain anchored in the past, then you will never come to the new. And this moment is always new, this moment is always new.
The past will have to die. The false will have to die. When the past dies, then you see the present. When the false dies, then you see the truth. Getting it?
Love is not far away, you don’t have to achieve it. Truth is not far away, neither is joy. They are all very close. But how do you come to them when you are so steadfastly holding on to the dead, to the past, to your beliefs, to all your conditioning? There is brightness everywhere, but you will only see darkness if your eyes are closed, and then you will claim, ‘it is very dark’. It is not dark at all and light is not far away, it is there, your own eyes are closed.
Open your eyes. And ‘open your eyes’ means, opening your eyes to the reality of the present moment. When you open your eyes, what do you see? Do you see the yesterday? Or do you see the tomorrow? No, when you open your eyes, you see what is right now. That is what is meant by, ‘open your eyes’. But you are carrying an artificial image, you are dreaming, and those images that you are seeing in your dreams, you are thinking that they are real, they are the present. No, they are not. Reality is somewhere else.
Shubham have you ever bothered to know that why it comes to a breakup? It’s not only about the ‘girlfriend’. Have you ever bothered what is the cause of all conflict in the world? Boyfriend breaks up with girlfriend, husband fights with wife, friends can’t get together, nations are quarreling with each other, communities are fighting with each other, and all this is just the same.
Have you ever bothered to know that why there is conflict in life?
There is conflict in life because man lives in a virtual reality. There is that which is real, present, and there is that which you imagine to be there. So you are here but your mind would be somewhere else, in your imaginations. There is a reality, and there is a virtual reality in the mind which is false, fake.
There is a person, and there is an image of the person that you are carrying in your mind. The person is there, very much real, breathing, alive. But you are carrying a virtual reality in your mind, an imaginary thing, a carry-forward from the past, and these two will necessarily come in conflict. They cannot stay together, they will be in conflict, there would be a friction, there would always be a friction. Your mind wants to stay in its images, but reality will knock. After all, for how long can one dream? Sooner than later, reality knocks, and the moment reality knocks, there would be conflict. A breakup!
Usually people break up because they find that they are not meeting each others expectations. You know, one of the things that is usually said at the time of break up is: ‘You are not the same person anymore’. ‘I am breaking up with you because you are not the same fellow anymore.’
Now, how is that possible? The fellow is what he is. What do you mean by, ‘you are not the same man or woman anymore’? What you mean is, ‘I am carrying an image of you, and your reality does not conform to that image. There is a clash between the image that I am carrying of you from the past, and what you really are’, and hence there is conflict and all kind of violence, pain, suffering, and eventually breakup.
You will have to give those images up, those images will have to die. And the moment you approach her as if you are looking at her for the first time, things will be entirely different. If you come to her with all the bitterness and agony that you are carrying forward, then there can never be a new and fresh relationship. Those memories will keep haunting you. ‘How there was a breakup, how there was suffering, how there was conflict’.
Approach her, approach the present in all freshness. It is there, right now. Let those memories, let those images be present just as an information, but let them not interfere with what is. Let them not become a substitute to what is, and then see the magic. Are you prepared to die?
It is not so difficult. It’s the false that will die. The real one will always remain, it cannot die. The real one will always remain, it is impossible for it to die. Getting it?
This love, which begins mostly just as an attraction to another human being can be a great force of self-awareness. So the question may just be, ‘how can I get my ex-girlfriend back’. But that question will cause a great movement in life, a great movement in life. It may begin just as an attraction, but it will be a life- altering thing. The whole structure of the mind will change. It was Ghalib who said:
रोने से और इश्क़ में बे-बाक हो गए
धोए गए हम ऐसे कि बस पाक हो गए
(Applause from the audience)
Now Ghalib is being very lenient. He is just saying that you’ll get washed. Kabir is more straightforward. He says, ‘chop it off’. But essentially both mean the same thing. Ghalib says, ‘Cleansing, cleaning your mind of its conditioning, of the burden, of the load of memories’, and Kabir says, ‘chop it off, get done with it, finished’. Essentially it is the same thing.
Love is not for the faint-hearted. Love is not for those who come to it as a mental, physical need. A man who is not self-aware can never come to love. Love is not for stupid people, it is great intelligence. Love is not for those who remain within the boundaries of their past and their conditioning, or for those who think that their hormonal surge is what love is all about.
Love will require tremendous self-awareness, a free mind, a mind which is not held captive by various external forces. And then you will see the quality of being free joyfully, that beautiful relating which you call as ‘love’, then that will come to you. Right? Alright.
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: How can I get my ex-girlfriend back? || Acharya Prashant (2013)
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