Healthy relationship is possible only to a healthy mind || Acharya Prashant (2014)

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Speaker: What do we call as a dead relationship?

Listener 1: When we cannot relate.

Speaker: Yet the person is right in front of you. Right?

So apparently, technically, you are there with the person; yet you clearly call it a dead relationship. When do you call it a dead relationship?

Listener 1: I think when I can’t relate with any of the events in the past?

Speaker: What do you mean by ‘not relate’?

Listener 1: I mean, I don’t have any friend, I don’t have any relative. So I say that…

Speaker: No, there is this fellow right in front of me. And I am saying it’s a dead relationship. What do I mean by that?

Listener 1: That there is no emotion that we both are sharing.

Listener 2: I am least bothered with his presence.

Speaker: Hmm. Speak more on that.

Listener 2: His presence makes no difference.

Speaker: But why?  He is there and he is all right.  Why does his presence make no difference to me?

Listener 3: There is certain attachment to the whole ‘image’.  I am attached to the platform on which I see him or listen to him and that is so full that nothing new could come to it. Things are extremely predictable.

Speaker: So, either that could be there that he is coming from my past and I already have an idea about him, an image about him. Or it could be so that I don’t know him at all; yet I cannot relate to him. Even in that case it is a dead relationship. Even in that case I do not know him.

And if he is sitting next to me but he exists as if he is not there at all, even now it’s a dead relationship.

Why is it a dead relationship?

Listener 3: Even in the second case you know him, but as a stranger. He is somebody I do not know.

Speaker: In the second case, again there is an image. ‘I am preoccupied with something else’. And again there is an image that he is not a part of ‘my plan’. He is not a part of my mental process which is happening right now. So he is unimportant. This is a dead relationship. When ‘What Is’ becomes unimportant, importance goes to ‘What is NOT’.

What Is-1

So, what is a dead flow?

Listener 1: That my attention is somewhere else and…

Speaker: That’s it.

Listener 2:  A preoccupied flow is a dead flow.

Speaker: Yes. Just as in terms of space we have relationships with people, similarly in terms of time, we have a relationship with past and future.

What is the right relationship that we have with people? When do I say that I can a have right relationship with somebody?

Listener 1: When I can pay attention to that person.

Speaker: For that I have to be deeply grounded in my Self. I have to be deeply with my Self.  And then there can be a loving relationship with me and anybody else. Similarly to have the right relationship with past or future, I have to be deeply grounded in the present. Then only my relationship with past and future is alright.

Just as in terms of space, we depend upon other people for fulfillment of our desires. Don’t we?

My son will bring me such laurels. My wife will fulfill my desires. My boss will give me what I want. So, what is it? It’s depending on other people for fulfillment. I do not have it within me so I am depending on others to give it to me. I do not have it within me so I am depending on others. There is a sense of incompleteness, something wrong. And I am depending on others to provide it to me. This is in terms of space and people. Similarly when I say that ‘the future will give it to me’, the process is exactly the same. It’s just that instead of people, now it’s time.

Listener 1:  So I am again not with myself.

Speaker: What is the right way of dealing with a person? Yes you are wonderful, you are beautiful; but I am not dependent upon you. That exactly is the way you deal with the future also. We have no enmity with the future. It’s not that future is something evil. Just as others are not evil, future too is not evil. But future becomes dangerous when used as an escape from present. Otherwise future is alright. Just as others are alright, future is also alright.

Do you remember in our calendar there is one distinct quote that says, “Seated firmly in the present, past and future are good harmless jokes.”


So they are good fun. Just as when you are seated deeply within yourself, others are wonderful, the entire world is wonderful.

Listener 3: Sir isn’t that space, that other is also time? This other also exists because I have spent time with him.

Speaker: Yes, these two are always related. It’s always space-time.

Excerpts from Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

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