In victory and in defeat, you are always a winner || Acharya Prashant (2014)

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

Question : Sir, is truth necessarily cruel and dangerous? Whenever I listen to you, I feel fear of losing something. Why is it so?

Speaker : Who is losing something? If you unnecessarily identify yourself with somebody who has possessions, only then you feel that you are losing something. We will understand a few things.

First, there is no need to take any of your possessions seriously. Because what is really yours can never be taken away. You will be wasting your energy by being serious about it. See, you are feeling serious about something, and you are afraid that you might lose it. Right? You are saying, “Whenever I listen to you, I fear that I will lose something.” If there is the fear that you might lose something, then this fear is the proof enough that, ‘that’ thing is external. It is not really yours.

You can use it for a while. If needed you can be with it, you can interact with it, but you need not claim to possess it, because it is anyway not yours. Had it really been yours, then there was no question of it being taken away, and hence there was no question of feeling afraid. You couldn’t have felt that fear.

(Confirming the name of the questioner) Jaanhvi? Right? If I call you by some other name a thousand times, say Rekha, would you still be afraid that your real name might be taken away? And remember, the name is still something external, because it was given to you by somebody. So even in the case of something as superficial as your name, you do not feel afraid that the name might be taken away. Just because the external condition is like that, just because an external agency (pointing at himself) starts calling you by a different name, do you feel insecure that your name might be taken away?

You don’t feel insecure. You know it is yours. When you know it is yours, then fear does not arise. And if you want to test whether something is yours or not, then just ask yourself, “Do doubts about losing it arise in my mind? Do I become afraid that I might lose it?” If you find that you become afraid of losing something, then it is the proof enough that, that thing, or person, or thought, or idea, or relationship, is not yours. Had it really been yours, you wouldn’t have been afraid of losing it? You wouldn’t have been afraid.

So, when you say, “When I hear the truth, I become afraid that I might lose something,” then understand that whatever you will lose is anyway not yours. I am not saying that throw it away. Let it be there, but don’t take it too seriously. Don’t take it too seriously.

Whatever has come to you will be sooner or later be taken away, and that is not a bad news at all! Because if it is not yours, and it is taken away, how can it be a bad news? It only means that the load is relieved. If you unnecessarily carry some burden from here and there, and now it is gone, then it is a relief. But it appears as bad news, when you take it seriously, when you identify with it, when you feel that your very existence comes from the things that the world has given you.

I am asking you to realize that even if the world takes away everything it has given you, you are still wonderful! And You are still wonderful (2)that will give you so much of sureness and lightness. All your fears, all your tensions arise because you are afraid that this or that might be taken away from you. And when it is taken away, then ask yourself, “When was it mine?” Then tell yourself, “It surely came to me in the past. If it can come to me in the past, why must I be surprised if it goes away in the future? Let it go away. It was anyway not mine.”

But this sureness has a precondition. A man who feels that he has nothing, will desperately try to clutch a five-rupee note. A man who feels that he has no money, will desperately try to hold on to an old, five-rupee note. Why will he hold on to that five-rupee note? Because he feels that except this he has nothing, and if somebody comes to him and takes that five-rupee note from him, he will feel bad.  He will feel that now he has become worthless.The Secondly, the note can actually be taken away! It’s a five-rupee note, an external thing. Anybody can take it away.

But if that man comes to know that he is a billionaire, and his riches are so secure that nobody can touch them, that he is a multi-billionaire, and his riches are so secure that nobody can touch them, will he still hold on to this five-rupee note? Will he still say, “Sir, whenever I hear you I feel that your words are cruel and dangerous. dangerous, and I feel that something will be taken away”? He will say, “No, I have a great richness within me, and if you want to take this five-rupee note, you can take it away.”

He will not feel bad when five rupees are taken away from him, and he will not feel good when five rupees are given to him. To not to identify with the external, you need to have a great faith in the internal. The question that you must ask yourself now is, “Do I have that faith in the internal?”

Understand this. The ones who have faith here (pointing inwards), are never afraid of losing anything outside. They never feel that they can be robbed, or cheated, or deprived. It is not that they cannot be robbed. They can be robbed, but they know that whatever can be taken away, is anyway external and petty.

They say, “My worth is independent of the respect that you give me. My worth is independent of the money that youMy worth is independent of the respect that you give me give me. My worth is independent of the qualifications that you accord me. My worth is independent of the relationships that I have in the world. I stand alone. I do not need support. And that does not mean that you are arrogant. That only means that you feel complete within, that you are not trembling and shaking.

It’s a simple statement to make, but people find it very difficult. “I am great, irrespective of what I get or what I do not get. I might run in a race. If I win the race, I am great. And even if I lose the race, I am still great. My worth does not depend upon the medal that you give me. I work, and if from that work some money comes, it is wonderful. And if the money does not come, I am still great. I am living a life where others might be looking at me. If others appreciate it, wonderful. If others don’t appreciate it, more wonderful.” Nothing can be taken away from you. Nothing.

Now you won’t feel afraid of the truth. The truth does not give fear. The truth gives an unparalleled security.


“I might lack in skills, I might lack in knowledge, but I am still great.” Everybody lacks in knowledge. Is there anybody who has all the knowledge? Is there anybody who has all the skills? Is there anybody who can be called a master in any field? Is there anybody whose records wil) never be surpassed? Is it possible? Is there any peak that can never be climbed again? Is there anything that man has done, and that cannot be done better? Tell me.

Listeners : No, Sir.

Speaker : So, “I might lack in this, I am still great. I might have a few records, I might not have a few records, but I am still great. I might stumble and fall down a thousand times, I am still great. I might not be able to keep my resolutions a thousand times, I am still great. I wrote an exam and I found my name at the bottom in the result sheet, but I am still great. A thousand people appeared for an interview. I was not amongst the ones who got selected. Doesn’t matter. I am….”

Listeners : Still great.

Speaker : “Let nobody come and tell me that I am worthless because I could not achieve this or that.” If there are people around you who keep telling you that you are worthless if you do not achieve this and that, then get rid of those people. They are diseased, and they want to spread their disease.

I am not asking you all to be losers. I am saying, “Whether you are a winner or you are a loser, you are always a winner. A great winner.”

“I am not a loser even when I lose. When I win, then obviously I am a winner. But remember, I am not a loser even when I lose. I am always a winner.” Have this faith within! And this faith is not a cultivated thought. It is not an artificial belief. It is what I just said, “Faith. A deep-deep faith.” And without that faith, life is meaningless. There is nothing in it.

See, over the last so many years I have been talking to various audience of various age-groups, across various cities. And there is nothing that is more of a waste than a young man or a young woman feeling small about himself or herself, feeling inferior. Sad eyes, drooping shoulders, sagging faces. Oscar Wilde has said, “Youth is lost upon the young.”

fully expressedHave you seen a young tree? Do you know what is means to be young? To be young means to not be in doubt, to not be in self-doubt. To be young means to be what you are, to be fully expressed, to not be repressed. The voice of a young man booms. The sureness of a young woman expresses itself. A young woman or a young man don’t talk in whispers, they don’t hide their faces.

Your voice is good, let it boom. I want to hear your voice but all I hear is these adolescent kind of whisper. Your face must radiate the energy, the vigour of your being. Instead, it is caught in self-doubt. If there is something that none of you have is, faith in yourself.

A young man is the one who does not accept limitations, who casts away influences, who shrugs off all his conditioning. It is the greatest announcement of existence, “I am”. And I keep searching for that young man or that young woman. Rarely do I find him or her. Rarely! All I get to see is caricatures, terrible caricatures.


Such a wasted opportunity – what you are and what have you made of yourself! Why have you made this out of yourself? Why? Do you have any idea of your greatness? Why do you act like a pervert? Do you have any idea of the Godliness within you? Do you know how big you are? Why must you act so cheap?

And look at the faces of the women, covered with this and that. It is because you have no knowledge of the beauty within you. So you paint your face with all kind of rubbish. Your face, your mind, your entire being – painted, artificial, cosmetic from top to bottom. Straightened hair and pedicured nails! And everything in between is also cosmetic!


It’s not a matter of laughter. It shows a deep complex. A deep inferiority complex! Had you known that you are already alright, why would you have invested your time, money and energy in all this?

Who taught you that you are ugly? Who is teaching you continuously that you are ugly, that you should treat yourself? “Go and get some eye-work done”- who is teaching you that? He cannot be your well-wisher.

Imagine a rose plant applying deodorant! A Jasmine spray!

A rose flower is a rose flower. What does it need a jasmine spray for?

– Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: In victory and in defeat, you are always a winner

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