Why cannot I make others understand? || Acharya Prashant (2014)

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

Question: When I try to share the understanding that I have gained, people question my understanding in a way that I start doubting my understanding.

Speaker:  It’s a good temptation, right? “Look, I’ve got a new toy.  The entire neighbourhood must have a look at it!” “Come, look at my new clothes!” “See, how different is my new bike. See what I have got!” Why do you want to show what you have got?

You want to show what you have got because it makes you feel nice. It helps you believe that you have actually got something. Especially if others ratify that this dude now, has something, then I’ll come to have a more firm belief that “Alright, alright, it’s not all myth. There is something substantial that I own now”. You want to show it to others to prove that you have something. And exactly for the same reason the others will dispute it, to prove that they have something. The existence of the two parties is at stake. How can they just accept that you have something? They have to resist, oppose, remonstrate. The entire process, from both the sides, is just the process of the ego displaying its wares.

Joydeep (referring to the questioner), there is nothing called ‘my’ understanding. What you go and talk of, is the stuff that you have collected, and the stuff that you have collected is never understanding.  Understanding is not something to be talked of. You can live it, breathe it, it will be there in every aspect of your movement and if somebody has the eyes, he will see. He’ll see without much of your effort. You won’t even know that you are already radiating the essence. You would become a walking transmitter, a moving lighthouse. Even without your deliberate will, if there is understanding, it shows up. It is not shown; it shows up on its own. That’s its nature. It doesn’t remain hidden; it does not ask to be advertised. You don’t have to broadcast it.


But it’s such a nice temptation: “Come here all of you, there is something new I have got”. Exactly for the same reason that you want to collect the corner crowd, the corner crowd will refuse to acknowledge that you have got something. As I said: the existence of the two parties is at stake. You want to enhance your ego, which should be at the cost of somebody else’s, then why should the other party tolerate it? Why should they acknowledge you? And in fact, they must not. And can there be any greater proof that there is no understanding than the fact that when the other party questions and resists, what you call as ‘your’ understanding starts quivering. And then you say that “I came as a preacher to tell them what I have newly gained and my own foundations have been shaken”. You must have heard that story by Khalil Gibran. There were two of these scholars: an atheist, and a believer. So they go out and they have a great debate- energetic, even violent. At the end of which the atheist turns a believer and the believer turns atheist. Such is our understanding. Anybody can challenge it; it exists on the support of others. It continuously requires validation. And if there is no body to validate it, to sanction it, if there is nobody to accept it, and tell you that “Right, that’s it!”, then you have no means to ascertain that this is just the right thing. Our situation is like that of the man who drinks a little water and then looks around to find out if there is somebody to verify that he is not thirsty anymore. And if there is nobody around, the fellow is in a great confusion, he doesn’t even know whether there is any thirst left or not. Our situation is like that of the king who had been duped and was being paraded naked through his kingdom. You must have heard that story right? “There are no clothes on the king”.

But just because everybody is claiming that the king’s new clothes, new garments are wonderful, fascinating, that they are the ones used by the gods, so the king has no problem in standing naked in front of everybody. Why? Because everybody is saying that my clothes are good! So they have to be good. After all, clothes have no intrinsic value. They are just meant to be displayed to others, the others are more important than the clothes. Others and their opinions, they are more important than the clothes themselves. So if others are okay, how does it matter whether there are any clothes or not? Let the others say that I’m okay.

A few things:  First of all, do not quickly slip into the missionary, the evangelist mode. Just because you have heard a couple of nice, fascinating things, does not mean that you have to go out and broadcast them. Nobody has entrusted you with the responsibility to salvage the human race. That Joydeep is the new messiah, and he must take care of the entire locality. “Come, come, all of you come, uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces, here is the new prophet and he has come straight as the messenger of God, the Father”. And then our prophet faces such disappointment! People come and say “What an ass you are, what rubbish are you talking?” And Joydeep wonders, he says,”the same statement made in that room (the room where the speaker is speaking) appears so true, but now everybody is making fun of it, and I am repeating exactly what had been said, but now it has no value”. So he checks his notes; is there some error? At least some punctuation error? Next time he repeats with comma, and full stop and semi-colon included, still nothing changes.

Don’t do that, there is no need. There is no need. If you have it, it will show itself, without your will, without your permission, without your deliberate effort. A flower is helpless, even if it wants to, it cannot help itself from spreading the fragrance. It will happen. It can’t even hide, it will happen. Where will you hide? If the Sun decides to hide itself, where would it find a veil?

The second thing is: if arguments can dent it, then it is not understanding, and it has no faith behind it. If arguments can dent it, then it is exactly that: an argument. Because only arguments can be shown down by arguments. How can argument fight understanding, how can argument fight faith? So good if you see that a couple of clever statements or probing questions by somebody are able to shake your confidence. That has helped you see what you have got. All you have got are a few arguments. And no argument is final. The most clever, the most subtle of arguments can be challenged. Even if they are not challenged by somebody else, having a few arguments stored in your head will give you nothing. Even if you are, let’s say, lucky and you find nobody to challenge the stuff in your head, still the stuff in your head will not give you anything. It will only cause you to be more loaded and have a false and shallow sense of security.


You must have heard of the story of the father who was dying, so he says “I’ve got something very precious son, very very precious.” The son says, “Yes I know, all your life you used to drop hints and always tell that we’ve got a treasure in the house, tell me about it! What is it?” The father says there are three bricks of gold kept at a particular place in the house, you have to dig a little and you will get them. Son says, “Alright, now die.” The father is anyway about to expire, he dies. So the son goes and digs for the bricks, when the bricks come out he takes a close look at them and finds that they are very ordinary bricks, not at all made of gold. So he goes to the mother and says that father has been cheated, there are no gold bricks, these are ordinary bricks. Mother says, “What do you think, your father didn’t know that? But it doesn’t matter because everybody used to think that he has some treasure, and that’s what matters. You are now 25 years of age and all along you grew up in the confidence that your father is a tremendously rich man. Doesn’t that matter? The entire village respects your father, believing that he has a hidden treasure somewhere, doesn’t that matter? How does it matter whether the bricks are really of gold? What matters is how they are being perceived. And now listen carefully to me son, these bricks are gold, and that’s what you will tell your son, if you want to have any respect and credibility in the village. Since many generations, we have been passing these bricks from father to son. They are gold.”

Now, whatever the father may say, howsoever much respect, the so-called respect he may get, he knows.  Can the bricks really bring peace to him? But they will give him a shallow sense of security, a false sense of security. That is the worth of arguments, that is the worth of beliefs. You know what they are, deep within you know that it is nothing, it has no value. “It cannot give me anything. And when I’ll really need it, it cannot come to my rescue, it will not help me”. But a nice thing to display, a nice misconception to nourish. Helps.

Listener: Sir, yesterday I was watching one of your earlier videos in which you were saying that whosoever starts getting It, he should share too, otherwise he will stop getting It. Kindly elaborate on this too.

Speaker: So that’s what you are trying to do? The one who has It, does not remain the one who did not have it. You do not come here as Joydeep and walk out as Joydeep plus knowledge. Having It means being no more. Having it means only That is, I’m no more.  And if only That is, are you now responsible for spreading it? Now, who is responsible? Who must go and spread it? That which is! Who said that Joydeep will sing? But no, what we think is that the responsibility lies with ‘me’, the self, the ego. It does not lie with you. Understanding means a dissolution of the person who walked in. If ‘he’ will speak, just ‘he’ will speak. The same man, the same old man, just that he will speak with a little extra knowledge. He will speak with a few additional arguments. But who is it that will speak? That same man who walked in.

You don’t have to sing, you don’t have to share, sharing happens! It is the nature of understanding to be shared. It gets shared, you don’t have to share. In fact, you are not there to share. Who will share? The same old man? He is no more, how can he share? And if he is still there, then obviously there is no understanding. Sharing will happen, just don’t obstruct it. You don’t have to do it. But the doer wants to do- “I will share!” And it appears so disappointing- “I want to display my new clothes and nobody’s appreciating”. You go back home and “Look mama, what I have got!”, and nobody gives a damn. So what do you feel? “Maybe I’ve been fooled by the shop keeper. Nobody’s appreciating my new clothes. The same shirt looked so brilliant under the lights in the shop. Here everybody is saying “This is what you’ve spent your six hours for? This is all you have got? Too expensive, the same stuff can be obtained with one hour worth of investment.”” Sharing

Have you not seen women quarreling like that? One goes and brings something from a sale, and she demonstrates it, “See, new saree, I got it only for 3000 rupees, (laughingly) it is actually for 2 lakh rupees, but there is such a grand sale that I could get it only for 3000”. The ladies from the neighbourhood come and say “What? this is only rupees 200 stuff!” And imagine the disappointment. That disappointment is exactly what Joydeep is facing.  And then there are a thousand abuses to the shopkeeper. “The bugger is brandishing useless stuff by saying that this is immense, great, ultimate, param, invaluable, when it’s nothing”.

– Excerpts from Clarity Session held at Advait Sthal. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MldydCTZip4

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