Self-Realisation is not the ending of the struggles, it is the ending of the struggler || Acharya Prashant (2014)

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Question: Is self-realisation for everyone? Many people would choose to live a life of illusion, take comfort in that. Do we really need to wake them up? And of course, the struggles of life don’t end even after self-realisation.

Speaker: It is something like that of a mountain bus driver – he has his challenges, of which passengers know nothing about.

Self-realisation is not the cessation of struggles. Self-realisation is the ending of the struggler. Self-realisation is not the cessation of troubles, it is the ending of the struggler.

Imagine that this is a viper snake (signalling towards a pen), and you believe in it, right? This is a viper snake, and it is deeply poisonous. Alright? You look at it. Now, how do you react? Think that this is a viper snake, and now act.

(Listeners acting scared, afraid).

Speaker: Alright. Now open your eyes. What is it?

Listener 1: It’s a pen.

Speaker: Does the pen change, or your mind change? Does this struggle change, or the struggler change?

Listener 2: Struggler.

Speaker: So what is realisation – the ending of the struggle or the ending of the struggler?

Listeners: Struggler.

Speaker: Is self-realisation for everyone? Is self-realisation is for everyone? When you say, “Everyone,” you mean persons. What do you mean by – it is not for everyone? What do you mean by it being an exclusive privilege of the élite, the intelligent ones or something? What are you believing in?

Listener 3: In today’s time, is it important for everyone to be self-realised, or people can choose to not to make and effort towards it?

Speaker: How is this question important?

Listener 3: It is important because we are trying to deliver this message to students in some way.

Speaker: So you are asking whether it actually needs to go to anybody.

Listener 3: Not just anybody. But if there are some students who decide to not to receive the message, consciously or sub-consciously.

Speaker: Even consciously they can decide that. Even consciously, students can decide that we do not want to listen to this. They can decide. But how is that decision important?

Listener 3: It’s important for us to know about them.

Speaker: So what will you do with this knowledge?

Listener 3: May be we can understand our reactions in some cases.

Speaker: No, it is certain that there would be a large number of people who will say that we do not want this. Now what is that going to do? We are coming to something important. So what will you do with that?

Listener 3: It will be an understanding. Just that.

Speaker: You are in front of fifty students and thirty-five of them say, “I do not believe that it is important to me,” so then what?

Listener 3: Then we have to somehow relate it to their life.

Speaker: But why will you relate?

Listener 3: Because this is actually important.

Speaker: So you are done then. Why are you asking this?

Listener 3: I am asking this from the perspective of the listener, not the deliverer.

Speaker: Yes, that is true. From the perspective of the listener, it is the fact that many of them may think that this is not important. But is that important? What will you do with that?

Listener 3: We will try to……

Speaker: You will still try, right? And why will you try?

Listener 3: Because I know that it is important.

Speaker: You know, right? You know. That’s it. Done.

You know.

You know.

You know that it is important, and you also know as a fact that there are many who think it is not important. It is there personality, it is where they are operating from. It is their false centre. Let it be so. Let it be so.

And you are right when you say that will help my understanding, that will help my response. Obviously, when I know that thirty-five of them do not think that this is important, obviously I will take a particular route. Obviously my response is going to be commensurate. Obviously. But I am asking you again: Is self-realisation for everyone? Is this your question, or the students’ question?

Listener 3: It is somehow my question.

Speaker: Yes, then there is a problem.

Listener 3: (Referring to a movie) Like in movie Matrix, you have the choice of taking the red pill, or the blue pill.

Speaker:  I am asking you: the one who is taking the red pill, has he already not taken the red pill? I am asking you: the one who says there is a bottle of liquor, and there is a bottle of nutrients. The one who chooses the bottle of liquor, is he not already drunk? Or will he be drunk after choosing the liquor?

He is already drunk. So the choice has been already made. Do not think that he has a choice. The bugger is choice-less. He is already drunk.

Listener 1: This choice is out of conditioning.

Speaker: So it’s not freewill or intelligence that is choosing between the red pill or the blue pill. Where is the choice coming from? What do you mean by – the person and his choices?

Listener 4: His conditioning.

And that is the method of Koham (Who am I). Who is making the choice? Who is making the choice?

Listener 4: His conditioning is making the choice.

Speaker: So self-realisation is not for ‘everyone’, it is for me. Self-realisation is not for everyone, it is for me. Because unless I realise, how will I realise whether it is for everyone.

Not getting it?

I am asking him: Is this drink for everyone? Can he answer me without having tasted it himself? So for whom is self-realisation – for everyone, or first and foremost for me? It’s for me. No it’s not for everyone, not at all. It’s for me. And then, once it is for me, then it will flow, if it has to. Why should I bother to speculate? I am not speculating. All I know is that it is for me, and full stop. If it is for me, it will flow to the students. If it has to.

Speaker: Remember: if you are speaking in the context of the students or the society, nothing can convince them, except your being. The student will not be convinced by your arguments. For one or two sessions, you may be able to impress them. Later on, he will see whether IT is there, because a thousand situations will arise and your unpredictable responses will be able to tell him.

He says something, in such a situation whether you are able to quickly come up with something, or you take a lot of time in coming up with something, even that is important. Sometimes you actually pause and ponder. He will know.

It’s your own light that goes out to the world. Do not bother to whom it will reach. The Sun does not bother whether everybody needs light or not. Does the Sun bother whether everybody needs light? It radiates. It radiates. And then from that radiation a thousand things happen.

A chemical reaction can happen. Something can change to something, something may not change to anything. Water can vapourise. Something can be born out of sunlight, something can get killed out of sunlight. Does the Sun bother? Is it the Sun’s responsibility to get bothered?

Out of your self-realisation, a thousand things will happen. Things will change. Things will be born. Things will get annihilated. You need not worry. You just worry about your own mind. That is selfishness.


“I do not know whether it is for the world. How can I know? I have not realised myself? Let me worry about myself.” Please be fully selfish.

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

Watch the session at: Shri Prashant: Self-Realization is not the ending of the struggles,it is the ending of the struggler.

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