Hope promises change, but is an agent of continuity || Acharya Prashant (2015)

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

Question: Hope promises change, but is actually an agent of continuity. There is a lot of ‘hope’ in my life. Why?

Speaker: Keep hoping. The other day somebody was quoting the Quran to me. There was a beautiful verse there. It said, “Go out. Look at the entire world, and see what happened to those who denied the Truth.” Yes? I do not remember the exact Chapter from where the verse was taken. Go and refer to the exact words. I have just recollected from my memory.

You want to be hopeful, then go out, scout, and see what happened to those who ‘hoped’ so much. Because that is the only proof that can be given to you. You only look outwards. If I ask you to look within, you would say, “Where?” because ‘within’ does not exist for you.

Then go out and see what happened to those who lived their lives in hope, and are living their lives in hope. See, face the facts. Face the facts. And don’t just see superficially, from a distance. Come close to them and see what is really happening. See what has happened to your relatives, see what has happened to your friends. And go and talk to old people who have spent all their lives ‘hoping’. See.

(Referring to one of the listeners) Shubhankar has written as his Whatsapp status – “This is it.” If you can remember this much, it is enough. This is it. It won’t get any better because it is not bad at all. Tell yourself very clearly, “It won’t get any better. It is already perfect.” What improvement can you bring upon it? It won’t get any better. I know it breaks your heart. I know how you squirm on hearing, “Nothing better is going to come your way.” But this is it.

That doesn’t mean – ‘this is it’ – the way you think it is. Yes, ‘this is it’, but you do not what ‘this’ is. ‘This’ is not what you think it to be. It is more beautiful, infinitely more immense, than what you think it to be. ‘This is it’. Yes. But, what is ‘this’? You need to know. And then in that knowing, there is no space for hope. ‘This’ is already so much, where is the space to hope for more?

It is because you do not know the ‘present’ that you keep craving for a future. This deep desire for a ‘future’ comes simply out of the ignorance of the ‘present’. You do not know what is ‘it’ right now. You do not know at all. It is impossible that you know. Had you known, how could you have ‘hoped’?

The more ‘hope’ tries to possess you, the more you must try to immerse in the present. That must be your response to ‘hope’. When ‘hope’ comes, reply with ‘attention’. Attend to the ‘present’, whenever ‘hope’ starts knocking. Attend to it, and you will find that there is no space for hope.

This ‘present’ is so magnificent and so challenging, it is continuously giving you something, and it is continuously asking for a response. How do you get the occasion to ‘hope’? How? From where do you find out space to ‘hope’? Only from ignorance, only from inattention.


Is there any moment in life which is vacant? At every point, the ‘happening’ is happening. Or is it not? Does it get suspended? It is happening. And if it is happening, it is sufficient. You have to be occupied with the ‘happening’. You have to be fully immersed in the ‘happening’.

To hope, you have to cut yourself off from the happening, and involve yourself with imaginations, which is stupid.

Getting it?

Listener 1: Sir, as you said right now that when one is not in the present, then one is somewhere else. And it is all thoughts. Mind cannot be stopped, it keeps running. The thought shave no master. So mind is running, and one is greatly involved in this running of the mind, because this involvement is so demanding. But I want to snap this involvement. Will it come with practice that after a while…?

Speaker: It will come with practice, and with paying the price. I understand what you are saying. What you are saying is that your mind runs with so much energy and vigor, that it saps energy out of you, to stop the mind.

Listener 1: Or to stand away from it.

Speaker: Or to stand away from it. It just becomes very demanding, because the mind has become very potent.

Who fed the mind for so long? And who is still identified with the mind that has become a rogue, a rowdy mind now? The price has to be paid. This is the entire thing about ‘karmfal’.

But it is better that you pay the price and get out of the whole thing. It is like, clearing away a debt. Clear the debt, and stand free. And remember, this ‘price’ is not a constant price. Only as much price is to be paid, as is the depth of the identification. The mind may be a rogue mind, but if you are not identified with it, then it cannot do much.

So the ‘price’ that you are paying, is not really a price that one pays to subdue a rowdy mind. It is the price that one pays for identification.

You see, somebody has kidnapped a child, and the kidnapper is asking for a ransom. The ransom that a man pays is not the amount paid to free the child. It is the amount paid for maintaining his identity as a ‘father’. The deeper is your identity, the more will be the price that you have to keep paying as ransom.

So both things. First, keep paying the price, as long as you are identified. Second, see whether you actually need to be identified.

~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session.

Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Hope promises change, but is an agent of continuity

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