How we live by instruction manuals || Acharya Prashant (2015)

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Question: Sir, why do people always classify anything on the basis of good or bad, right or wrong?

Speaker: Because we need some kind of a guideline to live by. You see, you are always faced with choices all the time. Right? All the time we face choices.

Now there are two ways in which you can make a choice.

One – “I understand. So, I know what I have to do.”

Second – “I do not understand anything. But, I have a manual with me. An instruction manual which says, ‘When this kind of a choice comes, choose A. A is good. B is bad’.”

Now the second man is a blind man. The man who can see and understand does not need any manual. He does not need any instruction based on good or bad, right or wrong, correct or incorrect. His own awareness is sufficient.


The one who lives by his awareness, has an answer to every situation. The one who lives by commandments and instruction manual will find that most of the time he does not have answers. Why? Because life gives you a fresh situation every moment, and your ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’ are not applicable to every moment. Are you getting this? Morality, code of conduct: these things are only for those who do not have the eyes to realize things on their own. Otherwise, you need not be told that what is good and what is bad.

What is really good in one situation, can be very bad in another situation. Will you carry an algorithm for every situation? Speaking loudly might be good right now. Two minutes later, I might have to speak very softly. Bolting up the door might be very right at this very moment, opening the door will be right the other moment.

(Nodding his head down) Nodding your head like this, might be right one moment. (Moving his head sideways) Nodding your head like this, might be right the other moment. How often will you consult your books of morality? “What to do when somebody nods like this?” Helping somebody might be good one moment, and the nature of help might be totally different the other moment.

When you live through your inner awareness, then you have great freedom of action, because now you are not limited by any rules. The only rule then is, your own understanding. Where is the action coming from? Understanding.

“I understand, so I am doing it. The entire world may say that it is a bad thing to do. I know. I don’t even bother to confirm with you. I know. In fact, I could not have done anything else. It is impossible for me to do anything else. Once I know that this is right, how can I do anything else? The entire world may say that this is not to be done, but now I know. It is a thing of the heart. How can I go back now? I am choice-less.”

It is like love. Is love good, or bad? Neither! Love does not care for good or bad. Somebody may say, “Love! Very good! Somebody may say, “Love! Very bad!” Can love be good or bad?

Love is love. You may say, ‘Good’, you may say, ‘Bad’, how does it matter? It is like Truth. Somebody may say, ‘I agree’, somebody may say, ‘I disagree’, how does it matter? You may agree with the Truth. You may disagree with the Truth. By agreeing, you are not enhancing the Truth. By disagreeing, you are not reducing the Truth. The Truth always stands and shines at its own place. Good-bad, right-wrong, plus-minus, agree-disagree, opinions-thoughts, do not matter! Truth is not democratic.

See, so many people can come and say, “Sun does not exist!” So what? Will the Sun stop existing? Just a few years back, around four hundred years back, they used to say that the Earth is…

Listeners: Flat.

Speaker: So what? Let them say. And now they are very certain that the Earth is an oblique spheroid. This also they do not know! They have heard this too from someone. How does it matter that what label you provide to the essential? Somebody has said: “A rose is a rose, by any name.”

So there is a rose, and one party is saying, “We agree with it!” The other party is saying, “We disagree with it.” Is the rose bothered? Rose is a rose. “Proudly it is standing, and proudly it will wither away.” After two days, there will be no rose. “Proudly it came, and proudly it has gone.”

You can keep fighting and discussing whether the rose is a rose or not. It makes no difference to the rose.

Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

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