Real change comes not from your effort but from your Surrender || Acharya Prashant (2015)

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


Question: We have often discussed that one should not go to somebody with a reason. But if we discuss this in context of a student-teacher relationship, a student goes to his teacher thinking that going to the teacher, he will probably get rid of his diseases. So, there is always a reason in this case.

So, how should be a student-teacher relationship?

Speaker:  See how you are framing your question. From which point are you asking? You said, “One should not go to a teacher for a reason.”

What you are saying is, “Remaining what one is, one should modify his behavior.” Do you see what you are trying to hide and protect? What are you trying to protect? What one is. You want to protect that. You didn’t say, “One should discover his nature, that particular nature which does not cater to reasons, which is not a slave of reasons.” You didn’t say that.

When one discovers his pristine nature, then one does not approach ‘anybody’, just for reasons, let alone a teacher. It is not a question of merely one relationship. It is not merely a question of how you approach the teacher. It is the question of how you approach anybody – that man on the street, that animal, that tea-vendor, that cart-puller, that shopkeeper, that dog on the road. The very centre from where you make relationships, changes, right? You have to talk about that centre.

Who is the one, who is approaching the teacher? Talk about that one, not about – how remaining what you are, you should be with the teacher. Remaining what you are, whatever you do, is not going to be fulfilling.

Are you getting it?

Listener 1: Is there not an objective difference between ‘the Guru’ and the rest who occupy the world?

Speaker: Yes, there is.

Listener 1: So, ‘the Guru’ has it, and others don’t have it. So, when one approaches ‘the Guru’, one must..

Speaker: There might a difference between ‘the Guru’ and the rest of the world. But in calling it an ‘objective difference’ you have reduced ‘the Guru’ to another object. There is a great difference, but it is not an ‘objective’ difference.

What do you mean by ‘an objective difference’? An ‘objective’ difference is something that the subject can perceive. An ‘objective’ difference is that the subject has created, and only the subject is in a position to perceive. Are you getting it? That is an objective difference.

‘The Guru’ is not your creation; you are the Guru’s creation. You will not be able to perceive a difference, remaining what you are. So if your hope is that you will learn remaining what you are, then you are talking of something impossible.

‘The Guru’ really cannot be a topic of discussion. You can discuss objects, you cannot discuss That, which you know nothing about. And you never know nothing about ‘the Guru’. So trying to discuss about ‘the Guru’ is like trying to defeat yourself.

On one hand you are going to him, because you sense a particular ‘beyondness’ there, don’t you? And what does ‘beyondness’ mean? He is beyond ‘me’. If he is beyond ‘you’, then why are you dragging him in your mental space? You are defeating yourself.  If he is really beyond ‘you’, why do you want to bring him within your definitions?

GuruIt is enough that life gives you indications of ‘beyondness’, and if you can calm down your fears a little, if you can assuage your suspicions a little, then you will be prompted to move towards the unreasonable. That is ‘the Guru’, that is sufficient.

You will not know the reason why you are being prompted. You will try to figure out a reason, you may get a reason, but that reason will mean nothing, that reason will have no worth. If you have really gone to the right place, it would be very much an unreasonable movement. You may be able to attribute some reason; otherwise it may become very scary for us. Somebody may ask, “Why are you going?” and if you say, “I don’t know, I am just going,” then it sounds quite ghostly.  So you must have some workable reason.

“Why am I going? Oh, they serve a particularly beautiful kind of tea.”

“Why am I going? Oh, I really love the smell of the room, especially after the air-conditioner is off.”

“Why are you going?”

“I love the way they make the announcements, before the session begins.”

So, some kind of reason you can always wear, take upon yourself, but really there is no reason. It is good for you if there is no reason, otherwise you will be defeating yourself. Good for you if there is no reason.

Listener 2: Sir, from the point of loneliness, we are still identified with being an object, totally. So whoever we approach, be it a lover, be it a teacher, we approach as an object. So, once when one comes in contact, does this aloneness, as the centre is changing, also change the quality of the relationship?

Speaker: Yes, of course. Quality of the relationship does not hang about nowhere. It depends on ‘you’, who you are.

Listener 2: The first step starts from, being identified with an object, right?

Speaker: It is not the question of where it starts from. It is the question of, where ‘you’ are standing right now. No one knows where the whole thing starts from. Don’t say, “It starts from there.” It doesn’t start from anywhere. The question is – where is it, right now?

Yes, right now it is pretty much a subject-object game, then?

Listener 2: Till I am an object, I am identified to an object. So, does this identification become a hindrance to the movement? I am going to a teacher, I am going to a lover, I am going to a friend, in all of this, I am still very much an object, and the centre changes. For the centre to change, I have to stop identifying with all of this, right?

Surrender 1Speaker: For the centre to change, the existing centre can do nothing. The existing centre can do nothing, to change itself. All that it will do, will only reinforce it, never change it. Kindly drop this illusion that you can do anything, that will ever change you.

Change comes not from your efforts, but from somewhere else. Don’t be in a hurry to devise a formula, a plan, a structure. Being what you are, whatever you will do, even your efforts to change yourself, will only cement your standing.

Remember, you are talking of – change into the unknown. We forget that, right? When we say, “Change, real change,” we talk of it, as if we are talking of changing our seating from this point to that point. What are you talking of changed? Do you realise the immensity of ‘real change’?

Real change is beyond ‘you’. ‘You’ change – into the unknown. But you talk of ‘change’ in the same way you change your clothes.“So, when one is changing, how does it feel?” as if you are changing from ‘red’ to blue’, from ‘salwar’ to ‘skirt’.

Do you have some sense of – what it means to ‘change’? It means ‘finishing-off yourself’. We are not talking of casual change. Casual change is happening all the time. Mind is change, thoughts come and go. So that change is happening all the time. What else is happening in the mind all the time? Change. Are we talking of that change? Is that something, that would satisfy you?

You want change, right? But mental change, of the kind that we are witnessing all the time, would that satisfy you? What you want is an altogether ‘different’ change. You don’t want the change, that time brings with it. You don’t want the change, that anyway the run of the world, brings with it. That is anyway happening.

What you are looking for, is something different, something special. And ‘special’ must remain ‘special’. Don’t talk of it in casual terms.

Listener 3: Sir, you said that ‘I’ i.e. mind cannot bring that change. Is it because mind is a machine, and it can do only in terms of whatever it has learnt so far, and it will never be able to go out of that learning?

Speaker: Yes (nodding his head).

Listener 3: So, anything ‘I’ will do, ‘I’ will do only based on that learning, and nothing else?

Speaker: (Again nodding the head) Yes. Call it ‘experience’. It is just the matter of words, but use the word ‘learning’ in a different sense.

Listener 4: So real change from loneliness to aloneness happens when one gets fed up.

Speaker: Yes, but one cannot get fed up, by deciding to get fed up. So even that cannot be formula that – “Let me get quickly fed up now,” accelerated fedding up. That won’t happen. We have a great capacity to tolerate; we don’t get fed up so easily.

Man is full of almost infinite hope, an infinite capacity to take torture. So, getting fed up is not so easy.


~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Real changes comes not from your effort but from your Surrender

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4 comments

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