To be at rest is to be at the destination even in the middle of the journey || Acharya Prashant (2015)

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Question: Sir, when you say rest, what do you mean by that, because something is always going on in the periphery, some or other activities are always being carried out?

So what is rest?

Speaker: Rest is to realize that none of those activities, which continue on the periphery, have any real value. Rest is to realize that whatever you are doing is ultimately not going to benefit you in terms of result. However, the doing itself can come from the point of being already at the result.

See, whenever you act, you act in the hope of a result. That’s what gives energy to our movement, right? Rest is to not to hope for a result, but to be already there, already there; and because, you are already there, so the activity is happening. Now, you cannot really take the activity seriously, because what can the activity now give you? Nothing much depends on the activity. Whatever is there to be taken seriously is not at stake. It is in a sense pre-obtained; pre-ordained and pre-obtained, both.

So, now the activity is a game, a pass time, just for fun. You can indulge yourself or you can change the activity. The activity doesn’t really mean much. You said things are always there on the periphery, now it is really only on the periphery. Now, you realize that it cannot give you something of the center.

For us, peripheral activities are not really ever peripheral. It might be a peripheral activity, but the hope of getting something essential from it, is always there. Is it not there? That is what you call as the result. That is what you are always expecting. That by doing this, I will come to the point of non-doing. By moving around on the periphery one day, somehow, miraculously, I will strike the center. That is the engine of all our efforts. That I will keep moving on the circumference, keep moving on the circumference, and somehow I will find myself on the center one day. It doesn’t happen.

Have you not seen people talk this way, “I will keep working, I will keep working, I will keep working and then one day I’ll retire”? Workers never retire; it’s just that their modes and places and outlets of working change. They never retire. They might stop going to a particular office, they might stop working in a particular job, but do they ever retire? Retirement is a different quality altogether. Retirement is the center. Retirement is much the same as surrendering. People work all there life and then they die, without retiring. And the one, who has to retire, retires today. He does not wait for a specific age, time or a milestone to retire.

That is what is meant by being centered, even when there is a lot of action on the periphery. On the periphery, you might be a diligent worker, but on the center, you must always be that retired, relaxed, wise old man. Relaxing on an arm-chair in his garden, that’s what you must always internally be, with all the time at his disposal. Have you seen such people? At least outwardly, have you seen such people? Who appear to be retired? Inwardly you must be like them, and outwardly you can keep working as hard as you want to.

Listener: Sir, yesterday when I was travelling, and it was a long journey of 6-7 hours, I started reading your blog and watching videos. Then this thought came to my mind that why can’t I go through this videos and blogs for the whole journey? Why do I need variety? But then after sometime, I started watching a movie without much interest, just for the sake of doing something. But the thought did keep coming to me that what am I doing? Why do inwardly I keep jumping from one thing to the other, knowing full well that won’t give me rest? Though the degree has reduced now, yet why do I keep doing this?

Speaker: See, this can be a thought of deep depression as well. You could even say that this is a thought that shatters all hope. So, it’s a dislikable thought. Nowhere to go, nothing to achieve, all doors shut, can’t even knock anywhere. Total disappointment! Not only is this road not the right one, but there is no right road at all. And whatever road I take will be the wrong road. This can be an acutely depressing thought. If it does not come along with the realization that you really do not need to go, anywhere.

If you are searching for heaven and you realize that none of the roads available are going to lead you to heaven, then you will not like it. Except, when you are also, simultaneously told, and you realize, that you are already in heaven. You are already in heaven. You know wont it be a little funny? You work hard, hard and very hard, to reach heaven. And you keep working hard till you die; that’s what people do, right? Their entire life they are working very hard, so that they can reach heaven; and working hard enough, they expire, they die. And after you are dead, God asks you, so how was heaven? Won’t it be a little embarrassing?

To surrender is to realize that you are already at the climax of your being, that there is no better place available. So, there is no need to put in any more efforts; that no road needs to be taken; that this is it, full stop. And it is not a full stop of deadness; it’s a throbbing and vital full stop. It’s a full stop, not to your being, but to your disease.


Now, you have the glow of health, and in that pink of health you can play around. The world is your playground, do whatever you want to do. But do it not as a sick man, but in complete health. Do it, not out of expectation, but out of gratitude. Do it, not because you want to achieve something, do it because you have already been blessed with so much.


Listener: Sir, some activities need to be done to see their futility; and in seeing their futility, we get sensitive towards them.

Speaker: Whatever needs to be done to show you the truth, is already being done. Because you are not going to show yourself the truth, the truth alone can show you the truth, and the truth is always at work. It never misses out on its duty, never. You are asking, something needs to be done, to show me the futility of my efforts. I am asking you, by whom? Yes, something needs to be done, but by whom – by you? Will you show yourself the futility of your efforts? That would just be another effort. That would just be another futile action. The one who will show you the futility of your efforts is already doing so. He is already in action, already demonstrating to you, already talking to you, already displaying to you. You need not assist him. You need not do anything extra, because you anyway cannot help him. But you can impede your own way, and that’s what you keep doing.

So, that is why I keep saying, do not ask what more to do? What to do is not the question, not to do is the question. You’re doing only blocks the way of the One, who is trying to help you. He is always at work, always performing his duty, always trying to help you. But you are so smart that you will think and try to outdo him. He is trying to do? I’ll go one step ahead of him. You are smarter than Truth, that’s what you think. You don’t want to surrender; you don’t want to take him unconditionally. You want to choose, you want to set your own priorities.

Just don’t block his way and don’t even try to guess his ways. You will not realize in what all forms he is present to guide you. Because whenever you will try to guess the forms in which he tries to help you, you will only come to a very limited, rather pathetic guess. You will say these are the three forms in which he tries to help me. And in the other forms, he tries to destroy you? He tries to hurt you? And it is beyond you to even imagine that in all forms there is only help coming your way. That you cannot imagine, because your world is a world of duality, in which if there are friends there are bound to be enemies as well. That there are only friends is beyond you to take. That every form is helpful is beyond you to comprehend.

It is happening, it is already happening; just don’t try to act smart. That’s a simple advice. And it cannot get any simpler than this. You want me to repeat? It is already happening. And it will keep happening, till the day you decide that you are clever. The day you decide that you are clever, it will stop happening.

Help is already there. You are already receiving it. And you will keep receiving it, till the day you decide that now you are self-sufficient. That is the day help will stop.

Listener: Sir, it will probably never happen, that we are satisfied, become self-sufficient.

Speaker: If it doesn’t happen wonderful, you will keep receiving. But see, how you don’t like it. Are you saying this in gratitude and amazement, that I might never become self-sufficient? See, how apprehensive your face was while you were saying, ‘But this may never really happen that I become self-sufficient.’ That is your deepest desire, is it not, to break away, to actually become self-sufficient and stand on your own? And what is this standing on your own? Is this not just ego? One day I will not need you. One day I’ll stand independently. What is this independent individualism? What is this? I don’t need the help of Truth. I am my own God. Who needs anybody’s help?

And you take so much pride in saying things like, I am a self-made man, Don’t you? Right, I am a self-made man. There is no expression of man’s vanity, as perverse and as heretic as this one, I am a self-made man. You want to become a self-made man, right, who does not live upon anybody’s help? You will be disappointed. You will always need help. And it will be really an unfortunate day for you, when help will stop coming your way. It will actually not stop coming, but you will block its way. You will be a very unfortunate day.

~ Excerpts from a Clarity session. Edited for clarity.

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