A young man must have a healthy contempt towards the world || Acharya Prashant (2015)

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

Question: Sir, it is recognized that there is a thirst. Where is the miss? Is It forgotten, or may be just missed? What is the reason? Why is it happening?

Speaker: You still have some belief, in all that has been fed into you. Society, culture, all kinds of inputs that your mind has received, have told you that menus of emancipation do exist within this world. You have been told that there are objects and people within the world, that can offer you the ultimate. And you have been repeatedly told that. You have been repeatedly told that the Highest that is possible to a man, is a worldly thing. So even though you experience the urge for the Highest, yet you rush outwards, to fulfill that urge.

Experiencing that urge is a welcome sign. But the direction in which you go for fulfillment, is a foolish direction. That urge is real, but the means, the methods and the directions which you are choosing, will not quench that thirst. Why are you choosing those means and directions? It is because you have been told that the valuable lies outside of you.

TV advertisements have drilled it in you that buying the next pair of shoes will bring you peace. Stupid movies have planted it in you that the face or body of a woman can bring deep relief to you. You are unable to reject these influences properly; they have gone down very-very deep into you. They have gone down so deep, that now they are no more mere thoughts. They have become tendencies.

You have totally forgotten your clean and innocent state. You have totally forgotten that all that you believe in today has been fed into you. You are not like this; these are mere concepts. Today you do not take them as concepts; today you take them as some kind of eternal truths.

You feel that – This is it. Obviously this is a fact that having good money gives you contentment. Obviously this is a fact that having an attractive woman by your side gives you peace. Have you ever really, impartially, calmly investigated this so-called fact? Have you seen all these people who are walking with women by their sides, or men who are walking with men by their sides? Has it given them any peace? Really? Yes, it is giving them babies.

Somebody said, “Intimacy brings love.” The other one said, “No, it only gives babies.” Have you ever enquired? And if it is doesn’t ever happen then why do you continue to believe that it will happen with you? You know of so many people who are in a relationship, you know of so many husbands and wives also. Can’t you honestly look at their lives? They say, “A wise man can learn even from the experience of others. An ordinary man learns at least from his own experience. But the fool refuses to learn from anything.”

Look really at the world, look at its situation. And then you ask yourself, “Do you really want to emulate this kind of life? And if I do want you to land into the same holes, then why am I following their footsteps?” Somebody walks a particular path, and falls into an abyss, and if you are following his footsteps, what is your fate?

Listener 1: The same will happen.

Speaker: But you are great devotees, you have role models, you have celebrities, you have people within your friend circle and family circle, who act as role models for you. You want to follow their footsteps; consciously or sub-consciously. You feel that they really are worth emulating; you feel they really have something valuable in their life. Go close to them, and really enquire. Go close to them and honestly see, and then ask yourself, “Do I want my life to be the same horror story as is theirs’? And if not, then why am I hell-bent on repeating their stories. Why?”

You are doing everything that everybody else has been doing. But when you get the same suffering that everybody else is getting, then you look around in great surprise and wonder and shock, “Oh my God!  Why did I receive this suffering? Why did I get this punishment? Where did I go wrong?” When you were doing the same things that everybody else does, then you never asked. “Everybody else looks for excitement, I too look for excitement.” Then you never ask. “Everybody else is worried about career and future. I too am worried about career and future.” There you never ask.

But when your search for excitement lands you into a gutter, then you put on an innocent face and ask “Why is there so much of shit on my face?” There is so much of shit on your face because you are doing what exactly everybody else has been doing. And there is shit on everybody’s face. How can you be an exception? Look around in the gutter, that gutter is the world. You will find all CEOs, and Presidents, and Prime Ministers there. You will have good company. All your role models are there. You can take their autographs; the gutter is a nice opportunity.

 But you put on a bewildered expression. “Oh my God! Something unusual has happened. It must be a mistake. May be the law of cause and effect has gone wrong in my case. Such a virtuous and deserving fellow like me, how can I be found in a gutter?” Where else do you hope to be found? Following the footsteps of a pig, where would you be found? Where would you be found?

Listener 2: In a gutter.

Speaker: You still are unable to get rid of pig worship. You still have a lot of respect for the pigs. And as long as you have respect for the pigs, you would be found in gutters.

The life of the wise man is the life of a strong, but deeply peaceful rebellion. The wise man is a perpetual rebel. He refuses to worship pigs; he refuses to be respectful of idiots. He will not even engage in lip service. He knows the fate of the pig worshipers; he does not want that fate. And when you rebel superficially, then your rebellion is a very tempestuous rebellion. There is a lot of sound and fury; there is a lot of shaking up and agitation. But when your rebellion is really-really deep, then it becomes a very peaceful rebellion.

Your rebel, you rebel deeply. But because you are so convinced that you cannot be defeated, so there is no agitation in your rebellion. Your rebellion is not that of the servant against the master; your rebellion is the command of the master himself. You are not rising against something, now your rebellion is just a rising.


Learn to rebel. Do not just be respectful of anybody and everybody. This head must bow down only in front of the Truth, not in front of this and that. The ego must surely surrender, but only to the Ultimate; not to social authorities.

Even if you fear, fear God only, not your wife or boss. But see how your wife makes you tremble. And if your wife can make you tremble, surely there is no God in your life. Rebel! Learn to rebel against the boss, learn to rebel against the husband and the wife, because if you cannot rebel against boss, then you also cannot surrender to God.

You are a young man. A young man must have a healthy contempt for the world. A young man should not be dyed in the colors of the world. Youth ought to be a little contemptuous; not worldly, not worldly. Even till thirty-forty years back, you at least had the hippies, for all their mistakes, for all the flaws in their worldview, they at least have not been bought over, or bought down by the world. Be contemptuous.

Today this is such a pity to look at thirty and forty five years olds, and see how they are acting in deeply worldly ways, buying properties – that is their concern. They are not rebelling against establishment; they are standing with establishment, and aligning their interests with the establishment. They are doing what their fathers did after they were fifty years of age. They have no contempt for the world; they worship the world. And that is why their faces look like those of fifty years olds, and even their minds act like the minds of those fifty years olds.

Let there be a freshness and innocence in your youth. And if you are fresh and innocent, and if you surrender only to the Truth, the world will extract its pound of flesh. Be prepared to pay the price. No price is too heavy for reclaiming your youth. Pay the price. Take boldly on your chest all the wounds that this world can inflict upon you. Have the guts! Let them wound you; let them become your enemies. Let them gang up against you. Why must you become a survive cow? Why?

Why must you offer respect to those who are not respectable at all? And deep in your heart you know that you are displaying respect to people and institutions that are totally corrupt and unworthy of respect. You think you are just being smart. You think that you are just exhibiting respect, without having respect, so you won’t be harmed. You are wrong, you are mistaken. You do not even realize when the pigs become a habit with you, you do not even realize when your habits start dominating you, and you not realize why you are in the gutter.

Proudly you claim – “My role model had three houses only when he turned sixty. I am thirty and I have six houses.” That is why at thirty, your face looks as disgusting as his face looks at sixty. Don’t you see that? You have really matched him, and in fact, beaten him. He started looking so deeply sick only after he crossed sixty. But you have started looking sick, even before you are thirty. You have really exceeded your role model. Really!

“I am better than the previous generations, so what will I do? I will make the same mistakes that they made. But I will make them more quickly. That’s my smartness, that’s my smartness. My father suffered because he was obsessed with one woman, who happens to be my mother. I will prove that I am my father’s worthy son, I shall have relationships with ten women.” And then you cry aloud and wonder that why you are suffering ten times. Was one woman not enough to teach you a lesson? But you are ambitious; you are generation X, Y, Z, alpha, beta, and gamma, whatever.

Nothing new. Your life is just a repetition of the lives of your role models, only a faster repetition. So you think that you are making progress. So you think that you are better-off than them. “You know they were hit by a truck moving at the speed of thirty kilometers per hour. I am better than them. I would ensure that I am hit by a truck moving at the speed of ninety kilometers per hour.” This is your concept of betterment and improvement.

Learn to rebel. Opt out of being hit by the truck. There is nothing great at being hit at ninety kilometers per hour. Even if you are offered the highest honor for it, yet it is a very stupid thing. Leave the highway, let the trucks be. Rebel against stupidity.

Listener 2: Sir, for me respect means certain gestures. When I act according to those gestures, I feel that I am paying respect. If I stop respecting, does it mean that my gestures will change?

Speaker: You have no option. When initially you have to stop paying respect, you will jump to the other end of duality. The other end of duality is contempt; the other end of duality is disrespect. So your behavior will turn opposite of what it was. If initially you were too full of respect, then now you would be displaying disrespect. But do not forget what I said right in the beginning. “When the rebellion is superficial, only then there is great sound and fury about it, only then there is a great agitation in the rebellion. When rebellion is deep, and as rebellion becomes deeper, then the rebellion becomes assured and peaceful. Now you do not need disrespect, now your rebellion is about being untouched, about being detached.

The immature rebel shows disrespect; the mature rebel is just detached. But you will have to pass through the immature phase of rebellion. You will have to pass through that phase. Do not be afraid when you pass through that phase. I repeat: the immature rebel displays disrespect, the mature rebel has no need to display any disrespect. He is just beyond influence, he is just detached. That is his rebellion – to not to be influenced, to not to be touched.


But yes, in the beginning you would find that there is bitterness in your ways, you would find that earlier you are full of display of respect, and now you are displaying disrespect. This would just be a passing phase, and the sooner it passes away, the better.

~ Excerpts from a Shabd-Yog session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: A young man must have a healthy contempt towards the world

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