Should one want liberation? || Acharya Prashant, on Vivekachudamani (2018)

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Mumukshatva is the burning desire to free oneself by realising one’s true self from all bondages, from that of egotism to that of identification with the body, which are bondages imagined due to ignorance.

~ Vivekachudamani (Verse 27)

Questioner:Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam. Desire seems to the root cause of misery. Should we even desire for Liberation, Freedom and Guru?

To have the right intention in conscious and to remain surrendered in everything we do. Is it right? Is Liberation even possible without Grace?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Anoop, it is not a matter of whether you should desire for Liberation. It is a question of whether you ‘do’ desire for Liberation.

Desire for Liberation cannot be a teaching. It cannot be an idea implanted in your head by somebody else. It has to be your current, rather than pre-existing state. Spirituality doesn’t mean that you will go to someone and he will put an idea in your head.

And how have you come to him? As a tourist comes to a watchable place.

You don’t go to a Guru so that he may provoke you to get liberated, so that, he may indoctrinate you in Liberation. You go to the scriptures or the Guru, when you are already burning for liberation.

If you feel satisfied, contended, alright, then, I seriously advise you to not to be here.

Spirituality is for those, who are already sensing that the life is going waste.

If you are not sensing that, then continue on your paths, long enough and intensely enough, to get an experience to what hell is like.  

And then you will run to be rescued.

Spirituality is, when you already see that you have unfortunately, probably inadvertently, created a mess.

And if you have created a mess, why would you ask, “To have right intentions and conscience and to remain surrender in everything we do?” If you are stubborn, that you will continue to do, what you are doing, then do you realise the mess? How has the mess been created? By doing, what you did, by choosing what you did.

And people come and ask this same question. They say, “But so many teachers are saying that wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, be surrendered to that.”

I said, “What if you are a blackmailer, or a terrorist, or a serial-killer?” Then you should continue doing, what you are doing with great devotion? And that’s what most of us are. We are caught in corrupt professions. Doesn’t matter, whether you are in analytics, or sales or marketing, you know very well that your profession is corrupt. It relies on cheating, deception and violence. Without deception or fear and violence, your profession would crumble in a day.

But people come and say, “My Guru told me to continue doing to what you are doing. Just be devoted to Krishna.” I said, “Did Krishna advise that to Arjun?” Krishna said, “You must fight.” Did he say, “If you don’t want to fight, don’t fight”?

Just keep chanting, “Krishna, Krishna!” Is that how the Gita was born?

Did Krishna tell Arjuna, “Continue doing what you want to do, if you want to run away from the battle, run away. But as you run away, keep chanting”? So, imagine, Arjuna running away and chanting, “Krishna, Krishna, and Krishna!”And Duryodhan is having a good laugh, “See the bugger, the best warrior of the world! Chanting Krishna, Krishna and running away.”

It’s not about – doing whatever you do.

It’s about doing the right thing, and stopping doing what you do.


I don’t know how this unfortunate idea came into circulation, but this idea is very-very prevalent now – ‘Just do whatever you were doing, but do it with faith’.

Great! Now – ‘I am a pick-pocket, and now I will steal with faith.’ That’s amazing!

“Just do what you are doing, but remember Krishna. You don’t need to leave thing, continue running your fake shops, continue with your fake profession and fake life, just be a little devoted. Do thirty minutes meditation in the morning, and a bit of yoga.” That’s not what Spirituality is all about. Yoga, Dhayana and the shop!

It’s not this way!

Spirituality is living the right life.

It is not about decorating your already existing ways.

Spirituality is not a pain-killer.

It is the eradication of the disease.

But most people are looking for just pain-killers, and therefore, there are so many shops selling pain-killers. Spirituality scoffs at pain-killers. Spirituality says, “If you are taking a pain-killer, you are worsening the disease.”

Spirituality rather says, “Let the pain be exposed.”

And that’s what the right Teacher does. He exposes your pain, he sensitizes you to your pain. But the result is, you say, “The right Teacher has given us pain.” And so you run away.

You run away to a shop, where you are given pain-killers because all that appears to be very pleasant. You came with pain, and now you no longer consciously experience pain. Your pain has been subdued.

“Should we even desire for Liberation, Freedom and Guru?”

Don’t desire, if it is in your hands!

Spirituality starts, when you see that all your attempts to deceive yourself have finally failed. As long as you can curb and subdue your sobs, like this (covering the face), Spirituality will not start.

When you are sobbing just a little, what do you do?

And you have been able to convince yourself, that matters are not very serious or bad. And then comes a point when this (covering the face) does not work. And then comes a point that you are compelled into acknowledging that yours is a miserable state. That’s when Spirituality begins.

And we are masters at covering the face, and at (wiping the tears). The proof of suffering dismissed with disdain.

“No, I am not weeping at all.” Go to the kids, they do that. You say, “Why are you weeping?” They say, “Who is weeping?”

That’s the situation of mankind.

“Who is weeping? I am not weeping?”

Because, if you accept that you are crying, then you will have to accept that your life, and decisions have been wrong. That’s too much for the ego.

“Should we desire for liberation?”

My question is – Do you desire for liberation? And if you don’t, then don’t!

Desire for liberation cannot be induced in someone. It is either there, or not there yet. And if it is not there yet, then wait. Who has said that Spirituality is compulsory?


Your time will come, may be a year from now, may be a century from now, may be a millennium from now.

Time is infinite.


Watch Full Discourse: Should one want liberation? || Acharya Prashant, on Vivekachudamani (2018). The transcription has been edited for clarity.

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