Is hard work the key to success?

Question: Sir, everyone says that hard work is the key to success. Is this true?

Speaker: Rohit is asking that is hard work the key to success. Rohit, you have picked two entities and asked whether they can be equated.

You have said, ‘hard work’ and you have said, ‘success’. You are asking that are the two synonymous. Does one lead to the other? Is one guarantee to the other? Is the presence of one necessary for the presence of other?
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Travelling, not destination

Question: Sir, I saw one of your videos titled, ‘Ready to write a new story?’. In this video you have said that we should not follow the same, old story. I understand that we should write our own story. I know what I want to do and I am walking on that path. What is it that will keep me going? I know which way it is going but what is it that will keep me stick to it and stay motivated about it? Can something be done which will help me save myself and write a new story?

Speaker: The sheer enjoyment of walking keeps you going. If you think that the lure of reaching, that the lure of the destination keeps you going, then sooner or later you will be exhausted. Those who are attracted by the destination become exhausted. That is why we make goals, but we find that our goals are transient. Goals come and go. Our resolutions keep breaking. It is because they are all focused on the destination, what you want to get.

Enjoyment of walkingContrasted to this, there is another man who is not thinking at all of the destination. It is because there is hardly any destination. He is enjoying the movement, the travelling itself. The fun in travelling keeps you going. There is no other motivation.

When I meet senior students, they have lots of queries regarding their career. They would ask that how should they choose which organization to work with. My advice to them on this is, choose a job that you can do even without getting paid. If you can get a job that you would like to do even if it does not pay you anything, then you are in heaven. Then every moment will be joyful.

One of my old students once came to meet me. I asked him where he was working. He told me that he has set up his own company. He had established his own firm. He told me a few things about the work his company was doing, and he also added that his company was not making enough money. He was feeding it out of his own saving. I asked him why he was investing so much in it then.

He answered, ‘Sir, some seven-eight years back you told me that if I can find a job that I can do without getting paid, then it would be very beautiful. Today I have a job that I am doing without getting paid for it. So, you can imagine that it must be very, very beautiful.’

People work and then they say, ‘I have worked, so give me money.’ That is what you call as salary. ‘I have worked so you give me money’. And then one reaches a point and says, ‘I thank you that I could work in this way. Now that I have worked, you take money from me. I am so happy that I got an opportunity to get this that you can take money from me.’

What keeps them going? What is their motivation? The work itself is their motivation. Not the destination. When you will find something of that kind in your life, then all the stupidity will vanish. All the immaturity and all the childishness will go away.

Do you know who is a mature man? The one who has known enjoyment. If most of you are immature and appear idiotic, it is because you are suffering. You have never known enjoyment. The day you enter joy, you have entered maturity. All distractions and fidgeting arise from suffering. The mind is suffering that is why it is restless. It can’t stay put at one place. It is searching for something.

The motivation cannot be in the search. The motivation has to be in the movement.

 -Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

 Watch the session at: Travelling, not destination

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: To go for goals is gloom to fantasise a future is frustration

Article 2: Before you chase goals become goal-less

Article 3: Your goals come from your borrowed self-concept

Article 4: Motivation is slavery

Article 5: Motivation and ambition symptoms of suffering

Ego and attitude

Question: What is the difference between Ego and Attitude?

Speaker: Ego is internalization of an external statement about you. Right? Ego says,”I am something”, and that something comes from outside. Right? The moment you are something, there will be an attitude associated with that identity.

To be something is an identity, and with every identity, there is an attitude.
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In the exam of life, no question is ever repeated

Question: Sir, I would like to ask you a question. What is life and why is it so important to live a worthy life?

Speaker: Life is not some unknown quantity outside of you, mysterious, something to be reached or attained. I am sure none of us sitting here want to say that we are not alive. Anybody here who claims that he or she is not alive? We are alive, all of us. All of us are surely, well and truly alive. Are we not?

Listeners(everyone): Yes, Sir.

Speaker: Then there is the complication. If we are alive, then this is life. Or is there any doubt in our aliveness? If you are alive then when are you alive, and where are you alive? How many of you are alive right now in the United States? How many of you are alive on Mars or Jupiter? This is where you are alive. Right? If you are alive, then when are you alive? How many of you can take a couple of breaths in the future? How many of you can take a couple of breaths in the future? If you’re alive, then you are breathing…?

Listeners (everyone): Right now.

Speaker: A man was breathing two days back. Would you call him alive?

Listeners (everyone): No, Sir.

Speaker: He is qualified to be alive only when he is breathing today. Neither can you breathe in the future nor does breathing in the past qualify or entitle you to be called alive. So what is life? We are alive and this is where and when we are alive. Hence, life is a very straight-forward matter, it’s so simple that we can miss it. And so simple that we feel like complicating it. This is life. You’re sitting over here, this is life.  You’re sitting with your arms folded, this is life. You’re sitting in attention, this is life. You’re sitting and thinking, this is life. Whatever this is, is life. Then you asked, “What makes life worthy?”

The quality of lifeThe quality of this moment decides the quality of life. If this is life, then the worthiness of this moment is the worthiness of life. Is it not so?

Listeners(everyone): Yes, Sir.

Speaker: Now in this very moment, some of you are deeply absorbed in attention. Your faces clearly tell that you are here, present. And in this moment it is possible that some of us might be thinking of this and that. Someone may already be writing the test that you have to write three days hence. Someone may still be stuck with an incident he or she had in the morning. That is the quality of that person’s life. What is the quality then? If life is this moment and the mind is wandering somewhere else, then what is the quality of life? Poor, bad and not present at all. You have to write a question paper. You have to respond to a challenge. What kind of answer would you be writing if you are not present to write the answer? Imagine this situation. The question paper is lying on your desk. The question paper is a challenge. It is demanding a response from you. Is it not?

Listeners(everyone): Yes, Sir.

Speaker: The question paper is there on the deck, but the chair is vacant. Now can there be any response?

Listeners(everyone): No, Sir.

Speaker: If life is this moment, and this moment has its peculiar, new, fresh, demanding challenges, then you must be there,on the chair to answer the challenge. What does it mean to be on the chair? It does not mean that you have brought your physical body to the chair and kept it there. It means that you are well and truly there. And that is the worthiness of life. To be well and truly in it. “Yes! The moment is there and I too am there. I have not made some kind of proxy arrangement.” What does a proxy arrangement mean? “I am not present. I’m not applying my mind to the question paper. Instead there is the data base of memory from which my responses are coming.” You see, there are two ways to not respond adequately to the question-paper of life. One is to miss the exam altogether. The question paper is there on the desk and the chair is vacant. We talked about that. But if that happens, then it’s a relief because you can see that you are not there. It is a very gross event, you cannot miss it. Usually what happens is that our absence is not so gross. Our absence is subtle. In what ways is it subtle? That physically the body is present but the mind is not there in the paper. How will you respond to the question paper? Let us say that there is a problem in mathematics. Will you say that I have already solved a problem like this earlier and let me just repeat the answers? It is a very poor question-paper then. Life is a far more clever question-setter. It does not give you questions that have been asked in the previous years. It always gives you new questions.

Exam of lifeThose who live by memory, those who live by tradition will not get good marks in the exam of life. But what do we do? The question paper has come and I don’t want to apply myself fully in it. I say, “I already know the answers. Previous year such a question was asked and my seniors wrote those kind of answers. So, this too must be a similar question. And let me just repeat the answers my seniors have been writing.” And those seniors include an entire variety of people. When you feel inferior, then everybody else becomes senior. That’s the definition of senior. So everybody else then becomes a guru, a guide, a prophet because you then lack a real consciousness of your own. So you hear something from the family, you hear something from the neighbours, you hear something from the media and you want to repeat those answers. What will be the quality of those answers? Last year a second order differential equation came and this year the question paper contains a third order equation. And what kind of answer are you writing?

Listeners (everyone): Second order equation.

Speaker: Assuming that this is the same question that has been asked since centuries, do you see that your answer will then not be worthy? Do you see that?

What is life? What decides the worthiness of our life?

Your presence. Your being well and truly into it. That is what decides the worthiness of life.

But that worthiness is not really life’s worthiness. It is your worthiness. So don’t ask, “What makes life worthy?” Ask, “What makes me worthy?” If you are worthy, then life is worthy. And worthiness requires the courage to look at things very, very afresh, to not to depend so much on memory but instead work in attention, instead work in presence. If you’re listening to me right now and still utilizing memory, then it would be very difficult for you to get what I am saying, to really connect, to really be present along with me because memory is still functioning. Memory is substituting for your presence. That’s what is called as proxy-attendance. “I am not here, my memory is here.” Do you understand memory? The entire store-house of the past. So there might be somebody here who is hearing a few words and then comparing it to what he or she has heard earlier before. This means that you are not truly present. Do you know what you are doing? You are looking at the question paper and trying to figure out whether you have looked at such a question earlier. Have you seen such people? The moment they come across a question, they try to remember whether they have seen that kind of a question before. You too might have done it sometimes. Have you done it?

Listeners(everyone): Yes, Sir.

Speaker: You see a question and what do you try to do? You try to relate it to a question that you might have previously solved. Have you done that sometimes?

Listeners(everyone): Yes, Sir.

Speaker: It is very tempting. Is it not? You feel that this would make things easier. “Oh! I have already solved it.” And you feel kind of confident if you can remember that this is not an entirely new question. “I have seen such a question before.” You feel comfortable. Don’t you?

Listeners(everyone): Yes, Sir.

Speaker: But that makes the entire thing dead. Because now what is functional? Memory is functional. And memory is dead. Any instrument can have memory. Computers have memory. And even the most basic computer has far more memory than you can ever have. Forget about a computer even a camera has more memory than you can ever have. So to live by memory makes life unworthy. To live by understanding is what makes life live-able. That is called consciousness. That is called presence. That is called intelligence and understanding. They all point towards the same direction. You are young; the courage that it requires can easily be summoned by you.

To really live a worthy life requires one to be fearless. Only a fearless man will not need unnecessary support of the past. The man who is afraid always relies on the crutches of the past. You do not need to do that. I see healthy bodies in front of me. And your eyes are glowing with the light of intelligence. You/ surely can muster that courage. “I do not need a proxy kind of presence. I can be well and truly present.” And that is the worthiness of life. Is the whole thing somewhat clear? Is it making some sense?

Listeners(everyone): Yes, Sir.

-Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: In the exam of life, no question is ever repeated

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: How do I stay in the present?

Article 2: All displacement from the present is suffering

Article 3: Let life be a spontaneous unplanned flow



Love, Opinions, Creativity

Questioner: What is the difference between ‘what I love to do’ and ‘what I want to do’?

Acharya Prashant: How are they different? How can you want to do something that you do not love? How can you have two exclusive sets? You are saying that these are two different choices; my love and my want. You are saying that I want that which I do not love.

How can you not want to do that which you love? Read more

You have forgotten the key to yourself

Question: Sir, good afternoon. While I speak before you, I will try to choose my words very gracefully. Sir, I have many things in my life that keep me happy but it is life and we are not supposed to have everything. I have lacked something in my life that I can say as self motivation. How do I get self motivated?

Speaker: What you are really asking for is not motivation. So first of all let us make a little bit of semantic correction. Read more

How to make career choices? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Question: Sir, after completing B.Tech, should I go for higher studies or a high paying job? How can I decide that?

Speaker: What’s your name?

Listener 1: Sonu Singh, 3rd year B.Tech.

Speaker: After completing B.Tech I do not know that I should go for the job, or for higher studies, or something else. Sonu, usually in life when you are stuck between two or three choices, you will find most of the times that none of the choices are really good for you. So, my question will be that why I am unable to choose between A, B and C. Life says that whenever you are unable to choose between A, B and C; had any of these three been really what your life is looking for, then you would not have been confused. Confusion itself is an indication that these, all three, all five, all eight, are sub-optimal choices.
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Imagination is not creativity

Question: Is imagination more important or knowledge?

Speaker: There are two words and we will understand the difference between them. One is imagination, the other is creativity.

Imagination means that I am living confined by my past knowledge.

Anybody here who knows Russian?


(Pointing towards a student) Imagine yourself to be speaking in Russian language. Can you imagine?
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The importance of education of the self

Speaker: Over the last 15 years or so of your education, what have you studied? You have studied languages, Hindi and English. You have studied History, Politics, Geography. Then you got into Maths, Physics, Chemistry. And now you are students of technology. This is what you have studied. This is what you mean by results.

Are you Hindi, English or Sanskrit? Are you the laws of physics? Are you the formula in Chemistry? Are you the theorems of Mathematics? Read more

The decorated highway of success or The naked sky of freedom?

Speaker: Aman has asked, ‘What should I choose, a life of correctness or a life of exploration?’ First of all we have to understand that why this question is arising in his mind. What is correctness? ‘Correctness’ as the word, as the notion exists in our mind, is probably about following a beaten path. If I have to go from here to somewhere then I already know this is the path that I ought to take. So many others have taken this path. This path has been recommended to me by teachers, friends, family. Whenever I look around I see people taking this path. So this must be the correct path. After all I just have to reach from here till there. Reaching is important. Why waste time in thinking too much about the path, especially when the path is so easily obvious? It is a proven path. Everybody has been taking this path. So why bothered to inquire about this or that, I already know. Take this road, walk, reach there’. This is what probably we mean by correctness. It is already correct. It is well know, in advance through others. Then there is exploration. What he means by exploration is, ‘As I stand here, not only do I have a definite notion, a fixed notion about the path that I want to take, I also have not asserted my mind where I want to reach.’
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Youth and Creativity-4 || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Listener 1: One morning I woke up and I had a creative thing that I saw in the night. Secondly, whatsoever somebody is saying is coming from past maybe from unconscious. For each of your sentences I had so many flashes from the past. Actually I’m not ignoring knowing, it actually helped in knowing.

Speaker: Alright, let’s look at the validity of this. You said that next morning I woke up and I had a creative thing that I saw in the night. Can you dream of something of that you had no experience in the past, what you have not experienced, can it be present in your dreams?

Listener 1: Sir, actually I feel yes.
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Youth and Creativity-3 || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Speaker: Both are extremely dependent beings, the child has no freedom and the old man has no freedom, then, who is a young man?

Listener 1: Sir, there is a saying that ”Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, that’s why it’s called the Present”.

Speaker: Yes, that brings us to the young man. The child says I cannot know, the old man says that I already know. What does the young man says?

Listeners: I want to know
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Youth and Creativity-2 || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Speaker: What is it that makes old age unattractive? Why is it that we are not talking of old men in architecture? What is it that we don’t like in old age? Yes, they do have experiences, an old person’s mind is full of experiences.

Listener 1: The problem with him is that he is pre-occupied with the old and does not allow the person to do something new.

Speaker: So, now we are coming down to something very, very important. The experience itself is curse of the old man, he does exactly as you said he does. He thinks he has learned from his experiences, the old man thinks he has learned from his experiences and hence he is quite equipped to face life from his experience. I already know. Because I have experienced it and just as you said that situations in life are similar so my past experience will help me face life in present, the old man thinks exactly the same way as you are thinking right now. I have had experience and life is repetitive, so that past experience will be useful in the present. And that is why you don’t like old men because they are mistaken, they are making a fundamental mistake thinking that experience is learning. They are thinking that what you have gone through at one point in time is re-producible in other point of time and that is why you would never want to claim that I’m quiet old now, because when you are old, you are actually confining yourself to your experience.
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Youth and Creativity-1P || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Speaker: You can say that till this age, I could be called as a child, and, the such and such age, we call it teenager and youth and so on and so forth. It’s very complete when it comes to the body. I am not greatly interested in the cycle of the body right now. When we are talking of youth and creativity, youth and architecture, we are talking of mental cycle. Mentally, who is a child? Irrespective of the age, Mentally who is a child? His physical age may be twenty-five years or eighty years but mentally, who is a child? Who do you call mentally arrested, mentally still kid?
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Ideas are never new; Intelligence is now and new || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Speaker: The question can be broadly put as, ‘What is place of new ideas when the external is never really going to accept them?’

What do you mean by a new idea? Can an idea ever be really new? An idea is a thought and thought will necessary come from the past. There are new ideas ever. Nobody can ever have a new idea. Yes, understanding is always new. Understanding is always fresh but ideas can never be new because idea is a thought, dependent upon the past. Are you getting it?
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What are we educating our students for? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Speaker: It has been said that in teaching we are trying to achieve some final output. Right? So we already know what kind of output to produce. We already have it in our mind that this is the output that we want to produce, and getting the student to that kind of output is what we call as transformation. Is that transformation or is that manufacturing? I would also take it pertinent to ask here, ‘who is the master who is determining that output? Who is the one who is determining that this is the output we want?’

Faculty 1: The market.

Speaker: Wonderful. The market! So teaching the institution is essentially a supplier to the market then! Is that what teaching is? To supply the finished product to the market; is that what we mean by teaching?
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What is the secret of excellence? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Question: Sir, what is the secret of excellence?

Speaker: Excellence comes from enjoyment.

Can you excel in something you do not enjoy? Can you really excel in something that you do not enjoy? Since childhood you are fed on a diet of statements like, “Hard work is the key to success.” Now that is such a stupid thing to say, but it has been rolling on and on and on for generations. We were kids, we could not understand, so we accepted it. The kids are not to be faulted. But are we kids even today? Should we keep living on such flawed basis, on such flawed fundamentals?
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Gratification would be; contentment is

Speaker: Should we delay our gratification? If yes, then to what extent and how long?

By delay, you mean time, to put it ahead in time. Man uses time itself for gratification. When you say delay gratification, you only mean, that I am expecting more gratification by the use of time. If I do it now, it may be one unit of pleasure, if I do it six days later, it may be six units of pleasure. So, all delay is undertaken with the goal of maximizing gratification. Whatever involves time, would always be a trick of the mind, and the mind wants nothing but gratification. So to say that I am delaying my gratification is a paradox of sorts. You do not delay gratification, you may give yourself the illusion of delay, but all this delay is so that the gratification can be multiplied manifolds a little later. You are using time; just using time. The real does not involve the use of time.

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What makes life worthy?

Listener: Sir, you say that we must not go by the social norms, but we want to enjoy worldly success, like earning money…

Speaker: Do you understand enjoyment? There is a difference between enjoyment and titillation. There is a difference between enjoyment and entertainment. Do you really know, what joy is? You are using these words very loosely. Just because society has handed over these words to you, you are tossing them around. What is it that makes life worthy? You tell me, ‘what is it that makes life worthy?’ You will have to inquire into the essential nature of life. What is life all about? When do you say that a man is alive? Let us start with this : When do you say that a man is alive? Read more

Why do we say that we ‘fall’ in love? What is ‘eternity’ of love?

Listener: Now the first question I have is that a lot of people talk very positively about love, yet they use a phrase ‘falling in love’. Why should they use a negative phrase for such a beautiful thing? Secondly, this is my personal belief that nothing is truly permanent, nothing in life remains forever, that is what I truly believe in, and so why is it that people want to be with each other for ‘eternity’, as they say, ‘saat janam’(seven births). As I see that if love has to die, it dies and if it has to remain, it remains, then how is love ‘eternal’?

Acharya Prashant: Two, three questions have been asked, bundled together by Rishi. First is why do we call it ‘falling in love’?

L1: Why not, ‘rising in love’?

AP: Why not rising in love? Second is why must love be ‘eternal’?

At any point in time, if you are really present, where are you? Right now, if you are really attentive, then you are here, in this moment! Right now, you are, just present in this moment. Tomorrow at some point, if you are really present, where would you be? In this moment! Because, at that moment, you would call it, “this moment”. So what is eternal?

L1: This moment.

AP: This moment, isn’t it obvious? This moment is the eternity. At any point in time, ‘this moment’ is always there. ‘This moment’ is eternal, nothing else is. Past and future and time are not eternal; the present is eternal, it sounds contradictory. Doesn’t it? That how can ‘this moment’ be eternal? But think of it, aren’t you always in ‘this moment’? At any point in time, if you are attentive, you are in ‘this moment’, this is what is meant by the ‘eternity of love’, that love immerses you in this moment.

An eternity of love does not mean eight years, and ten years and twenty years and saat janam, all that is foolishness. All that is, insecurity of the mind because you are not sure that your wife will stay with you, you think she is going to run away with the neighbour, so you make her swear, “You will be with me for seven more births.”- That is not love. That is just like…

L2: Pledge, oath.

AP: Yes. You take a cow and you tether her using a very strong rope of contract, and religion, and oath; that is not love. Eternity is this moment. Do you get this clearly? Eternity is right now. Love does not bother for tomorrow and if you are bothering for tomorrow, rest assured it is not love, it is something else.

When you are hugging somebody and at that moment if you are still thinking – what will happen tomorrow, then god save you and that person. If you are still calculating, what to do tomorrow, what day after, and planning out – now that we have come this much close, the next hour is going to be very fanciful. This is not love, for sure. Love does not bother for the next moment – but that is Real Love. The kind of love that we know is ‘falling in love’.

Yesterday, I was listening to somebody, who speaks really well. He said that it is not a coincidence that all cultures have established heaven upstairs and hell downstairs – paataal (below one’s feet). Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam – hell is always here (downwards), falling, downwards and heaven is always there (upwards). This direction of going down has a particular significance; I can bring it to you in two ways. First is – why do things come down? Why does it come down when I throw this up? Why?

L2: Gravity!

AP: Gravity! What is gravity? It is the attraction of material to material, attraction of mass to mass. When mass attracts mass, then things are said to be, “Falling down”. So, when a female mass attracts a male mass, then that is ‘falling in love’. Because it is just mass – 45 kilogrammes attracting 60 kilogrammes and you know men often deliberately looks for mass. So do women.

That is why so many people go to the gym, to get some mass. That’s attractive too. Mass attracting mass is gravity, that’s what is ‘falling down’. When body attracts body – that is ‘falling in love’, and mass is a body, right? When body attracts body – that is ‘falling in love’, like gravity, mass attracting mass.

Our love is that – Hormonal attraction; mass attracting mass. That is why when a particular age comes, you just start slipping and falling and bathing and wallowing in love, all kinds of things start happening.

Why don’t you fall in love at the age of six? Why does it have to happen at sixteen? And it happens with everybody at sixteen – First crush. Don’t you know why it happens? Hormones, nothing else, it is not love at all; it is just mass attracting mass. The boy is gathering some mass, the girl is gathering some mass, and the mass is attracting mass, gravity. Not really gravity, it does not follow that law, but it is still material attracting material. So, upwards and downwards.

Several traditions have looked at this upwards and downwards in another way. Classically in India, you call it urdhvgaman (ascendance) and adhogaman (descendance). ‘Urdhvgaman’ means going upwards and ‘adhogaman’ means falling down.

They say that in the body, what is the highest? (Pointing towards the head), the mind, the intelligence. If your love arises from the mind, the intelligence, the highest point in the body, then it is ‘rising in love’. If your love is intelligence, then it is rising in love, but if it arises from a point that is a little lower down, then it is ‘falling in love’. Urdhvgaman – this is rising in love, adhogaman– this is falling in love. You have to find out where does your love arise from?

For most of us, love has nothing to do with this (the mind). We say it’s arising from here (the heart). It is not arising from the heart, it is actually arising from a place a little more southwards.

When you remove all the arrangement in that place, your love will disappear. Remove your hormones, remove all your reproductive system, and your love will disappear, that is why it is called, ‘falling in love’ because it is arising from the lowermost; it is not coming from your highest potentiality. It is coming from your basement, so it is called ‘falling in love’.

One can rise in love, yes, and in true Love, one does rise.

One does rise.

If you do not rise in love, it is not love; it is something else. Call it attraction, call it attachment, call it lust, and call it insecurity.

If it is really Love, you will rise in it.

That is one of the quickest ways to check whether, it is really love or something else and because all of you are at that age, let me disclose it. If being with a fellow, makes you fearless, makes you less and less conditioned, makes you think less and less about the future, frees you of attachment then probably, it is love.

But if your love is about being more attached, more possessive, jealous, insecure, lustful, then it is ‘falling in love’ and it is nothing else. You have to find out, “What is the quality of your love?” If there are conditions attached, it cannot be ‘rising in love’. So ‘rising in love’ is possible. Would you rise in love?

L3: I think yes!

AP: I didn’t get a quick yes! It’s scary, right? Rising in love, or falling in love? Animals fall in love, not human beings. Animals fall greatly in love. We often see that in the mating season on the roads, how they fall in love. That is ‘falling in love’.

Love is not your Facebook status.

Love is not a thing of a display.

Love is not about having something to claim, that, “I am also engaged with somebody”, “I am not totally worthless”, “What do you think? Only you can have a boyfriend. See I have two!”

Love is not that. Whom are you fooling?

Love is not that we have stayed together for six years, so there is this habituation to each other and we have started calling it “love”, this is not love.

Love is not about this that I must love XYZ because I have been told, that “You must love so, I am loving”.

Love is not a duty.

Love is not a responsibility; not a burden.

If it doesn’t free you, it is not Love.

L3: So in that case, it will not be restricted to one person at all. It can transfer to as many people as would come near you or speak to you.

AP: See, at this moment, can you listen to me and a parallel speaker? So at one particular moment and that moment is an eternity, you cannot be with two people but at the same time, a loving mind is a cause of wellness to everybody. A loving mind is non- violent. A loving mind does not choose objects, “This is my object of love and these are not my objects of love.” A loving mind will not say, “Towards this preferred object of love, this preferred man or woman, I am going to be nice and kind and loving, and careful, and towards everybody else, I am going to be violent and hateful. My own kid, so I am going to take good care of. I will do everything for this kid; the best possible clothing, the best kind of food, and just outside the gate, there are these three kids, all two years old, starving to death, freezing to death, and I won’t do anything for them.”

Love is a light that reaches out to everybody; of course, those who are close to you will get it the most. Those who are far away, they won’t really receive it, but then you are not being selective. If I am saying something to you, I do not want to exclude others from it; it is just that some of you are within my physical range, so you are getting what I am trying to say. Those who are not within my physical range, they will not get what I am saying, but I am not choosing my objects. Those who are living in the same house as I do will get the most out of my love. Those who are not living in the same house as I do, they will probably receive less, but I will not try to choose, it is just a question of physical limitation.

You are here, you are close, so you are getting something; those who are not present at all, they cannot get anything, but I am not really trying to be object specific, I am not really trying to be person specific. It is for everybody, just like this light.

Is this light choosing where to fall? The lights are illuminating the entire auditorium, but what can the poor lights do, if someone doesn’t enter the auditorium? The lights cannot illuminate or the lights have to be like Sun, but even the sun has its limitation. You go and hide in a cave; even the poor Sun cannot do anything. Can the Sun illuminate you, if you go and hide in a cave? The Sun is trying to give its best to everybody. Remember everybody, not just one particular person or object.

Same is the nature of love – for everybody, but someone receives it and some does not receive it. You want to give it to everybody, but you have physical limitations. You have physical limitations.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Why do we say that we ‘fall’ in love? What is ‘eternity’ of love?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Unconditional love is a fierce commitment to reject all but the One

Article 2: Love is not just an external action. When Truth shines within, Love is its radiation.

Article 3: Love is possible only in detachment