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Question: Acharya Ji, my mind is fully occupied and surrounded by one person. A problem is there. When I am away from him, I am totally free, but when I will go back to him, how will I be myself? Not sure where the problem is, within me or somewhere else?
Acharya Prashant: Lata, it’s not a thing between you and that person, please. (Referring to one-on-one that happened between the seeker and Acharya Ji, a night before). We talked about it the other night.
First of all it has to be between you, and the impersonal One. If you are with Him then it really doesn’t matter whether you are with one other person, ten more persons, or with nobody at all. Your mind should not be occupied by a person. If your mind is occupied by a person, then the mind is never going to find peace. It doesn’t matter who the person is.
The mind must be the seat of the Absolute. You must belong to the Real One. And then you may be with five persons, ten persons, and we said, or no person at all. It won’t bother you.
So, have you seen the situation?
The problem is not that the person hurts you, or the person dominates you, or the person creates problems for you.
The flaw is that you are allowing that person to become too central and too important for you.
Who should be central and important?
You are perceiving things wrongly. You are saying a person sits at the centre of my mind, and the problem is that he hurts and annoys you, which means that in your own estimate, you will cease to have a problem if that same person ceases to hurt or annoy you, right?
So the problem is not that the seat is occupied by the wrong one. In your own admission the problem is that – the one who is occupying the seat, is troubling you. If the same occupant of the seat stops troubling you, you would say, “I have no problem.” No. The problem is deeper than the trouble this person is causing you. The problem is – why is the seat occupied by a person? Any person, doesn’t matter who that person is.
(Referring to one of the listeners, sitting in front) If I allow him to sit on this seat, would you complain that this chap is talking non-sense? Would you complain? What is the fundamental fault? Why did you allow him to occupy this seat? And having allowed him to occupy this seat, why are you now, so astonished or troubled, if he hurts you? This seat belongs to? This seat belongs to Him.
Why did you allow him(one of the listeners) to occupy it? See, how eager he is. He wants me to get up and move away, and then he wants to sit here. In his enthusiasm he may even do strange things, present silly arguments, strange and strong arguments. He may say, “No, I must sit here. You go away.” But that is his doing. Would you admit all that? Hmm?
In the expectation of deriving pleasure and security from a person, we allow that person to occupy a place, that no person should have ever occupied.
And then there is trouble. For the wife, the husband becomes all important. For the husband, the wife becomes all important. The same can happen with parents and kids, even in an employee-employer relationship that can happen. Or you can turn somebody into an ideal. And now that ideal is occupying the throne.
The throne has to be left vacant for the Infinite. It belongs to Him and nobody else.
So, even when you are with that person, live as if, firstly, you are with the Absolute.
Outside, maybe that person or several other persons will surround you.
Inside, you should be all alone with Him.
That’s the key.
Would you remember this?
Outside a crowd may surround you, inside, there should be just you and Him.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
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The transcription has been edited for clarity.