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Question: Sir, when two people are at a same level, and if one of the two moves ahead, the other is mostly not comfortable of this fact. Whereas had the same person, been a stranger to him, the second fellow would still have been comfortable. Why is it so that knowing someone, leads to problems including jealousy?
Speaker: There is very little left to be answered here. The fact has been rightly stated. It is just that you have known the fellow since a period of time, and now the fellow is changing. Obviously you cannot ignore the fact that you have known him. Obviously there are images from the past, and compared to those images the fact of today is different.
I am not asking you to forget the images of the past, I am not asking you to look at that man in a new light, I am not asking you to look at him as if you are looking at him for the first time today, because that is probably not possible for you. You have been too close, too intimate for too long to look at the man afresh. Yes, you have a past, and yes the changed man is standing right in front of you. Now if you really love the man is not this a cause worth celebrating? Isn’t this a development to be rejoiced!
Do not forget that earlier he was with you. Because you will not be able to forget! But today, if he is unlike you, should you not celebrate this fact? Or would you rather mourn and complain and be jealous. If jealousy is arising in you, it’s a fair opportunity to reflect on the quality of the relationship that has already been there. I have been with somebody, and I do not like the fact that he is refining. Now has this a relationship been of love? Had it been of love, I would have been happy. I would have said, “Great that you are moving ahead. I love you even more now. I loved you then, and you are far more lovable today!”
Or would you rather regret and rue? Your child gets seventy marks in one examination, and in the next examination he gets eighty, do you feel disappointed? What do you say? It’s great that he is improving. Then why do you feel disappointed when your spouse starts getting ten percent more in the exam of life? He is improving, he is a better man. Celebrate!
But you can celebrate his refinement, only if first of all you value refinement. (Sarcastically) “I loved you for your crudeness, I loved you for your ignorance, I loved you for your violence, I loved you for your servility, and I do not value freedom, refinement or wisdom.
When I do not value refinement or wisdom or freedom, how will I love a wise, refined and free man? How will I love?”
Somebody getting ten more marks is a very gross event. It is obvious and visible that from seventy, there is an increase to eighty, and I wanted that increase. Right? But if you don’t want that increase, then that same increase can be a cause of regret. “Oh, I didn’t want that increase, it has increased.” Marks increase from 70 to 80, you celebrate! But if your weight increases from 70 to 80, you don’t really celebrate that much. It’s a question of value. You value marks but you do not value weight. You start calling yourself ‘overweight’.
Do you value ‘wisdom’? Do you value ‘peace’? Do you value ‘understanding’? Do you? And if you don’t value these things for yourself, obviously you cannot value these for your husband. First of all you have to value these for yourself. A wise woman would thank the heavens that the husband is gaining in wisdom. A free mind would fill up with gratitude that the partner too is gaining freedom. So, remove the spouse from the question, remove the other person from the equation. Look at yourself. “What do I value? What have I labelled as important in life?”
When you would be rightly valuing, not somebody else, first of all yourself, when you would be rightly knowing what is valuable, then you would value all the right things, all the right people, and all the right developments. Then you would not resist them. Then you would not wish that things would have been better, had this not happened. “Oh, you were better off earlier, why don’t you become the same old man? I miss what you were one year back.” Then these things will not come to your mind.
Have your heart at the right place. When somebody is waking up, and you are really friends with him, then wake up along with him. That is the only way to keep company, that is the only way to maintain the friendship. There can be no friendship between the running and the limping.
Listener: What if there are two people, both at the same level. One person who is known to me and if this person rises up, it causes a wrath of jealousy in me. However, the other person is not known to me, and if he rises, there is no jealousy. I even think that probably he deserves it. I might even be happy for him.
Speaker: Factually unfeasible. Movement means ‘comparison’. Movement is always from A to B. If you are saying that this person is showing a movement it means that you have known him in the past. You cannot say somebody is improving without having a standard to compare him against. How do you know somebody is improving? Only by knowing firstly what he has been. Do you understand what I am saying?
Listener: What about the relationship then?
Speaker: Ah, attachment!
It’s alright. Be attached, but to what? What are you attached to? I will not just announce that attachment is bad. I am saying that it is alright, be attached, but what are you attached to? There is something about the man that was there in him two years back that you are attached to. What is it that you feel attached to? His ignorance or his love?
If you are attached to his love then he is becoming all the more worthy of love, kindly be all the more attached. Wonderful! Divine attachment! But you will have problems if you are attached to his darkness. And what gets attached to darkness? Does light get attached to darkness?
It is your own darkness that is fond of darkness. So I’m saying, forget the other person. Look at yourself. Dispel the darkness within and then you will value all that is light. Being dark within, how will you value light?
If there are people in your life who are not happy with the fact that your eyes are opening up, that you are able to look at the world clearly then please know that this resentment is not coming from their light. It is coming from their darkness and hence this resentment cannot be made important. If your friends taunt you, when you turn up for the clarity session, then they are not your friends in the first place. Please understand this.
Friend by definition is a well-wisher. A friend by definition is a man who would celebrate if you are improving. Not a man who would be jealous and irritated seeing you walk the path of liberation. He is not a friend at all. But don’t condemn him, because if he is not a friend to you, firstly he is not even a friend to himself! He is his own enemy, how can he be a friend to you?
We make friends with so many people, without even asking, “Is that fellow a friend to himself first?” He is his own enemy, how can he be my friend? The one who does not know what is good for him, how will he know or like, what is good for you? He is bound to resent it. How can you give importance to their resentment?
– Excerpts from a Clarity Session held at AdvaitSthal. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Why do I get jealous?
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