How to be less dependent on others? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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

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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?

The Absolute.

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.

Watch the session: 

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Who is leading you?

There is always the threat of our self-image being lost destroy and distorted.

“If others are telling you that you are a leader then who is leading whom? Are you a leader or they are leading you into believing that you are a leader?”

The others are always dominating the mind. Ask yourself that all you know about yourself how much is first hand? Of all the identities you carry how many intrinsic all yours and how many have been supplied by external situations, society, powers.

The more you are living with a borrowed self-concept with a borrowed self-image the more you will be afraid of the world. It’s a slavery.

The more you start looking at yourself with your own eyes, the less dependent you are on anybody else. The less dependent you are on anybody else, the less is the fear of losing your self-image.

You want to get rid of fear then reduce your dependency on others. Say, I have intelligence. I have my eyes. Let me use that to directly look at things.

What most of you call as your own, has not really been your own.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: You will always be afraid of the world if your self-image comes from the world

Acharya Prashant: You will always be afraid of the world if your self-image comes from the world

Listener: How to get rid of fear of losing my image in front of others?

Acharya Prashant: Sit, what’s your name?

L: Acharya Ji, Prateek.

AP: Prateek is saying to get rid of fear and then he specifies the fear of losing my image in front of others. Prateek if it is really your image how can you lose it? If it is really yours is it possible to lose it? But no, we all know that we are so conscious about our images and we feel so vulnerable about it.

There is always the threat of our self-image being lost destroy and distorted.

Why does that happen? That happens because our image is not ours at all. It’s a second-hand image. We do not look at ourselves directly. We look at ourselves through the eyes of others. It is another matter that others do not have their own eyes but as far as we are concerned, we look at ourselves through the eyes of others.

We think that this is my image but it is constantly supplied to us by somebody else. I was recently conducting an interview for hiring MBA students so, one of the candidates, he comes and I asked him that what are your quality is? What do you call as your strengths?

You know candidates are very eager to spin out their strength. So, I asked him what do you call as your strength? He said I’m a very good Leader. I said how do you know that you are a good Leader? The fellow said, “This is that nothing comes out of it.” I asked him, “Young man, tell me really why have you written that you have leadership qualities? What made you believe that you are a leader? He said, “Acharya Ji, the fact is everybody tells me that you are a good leader. Lots of people have already told me that you are a good leader and you make even for a better leader in the future so I have come to believe that I’m a good leader I have leadership skills.” I said,

“If others are telling you that you are a leader then who is leading whom? Are you a leader or they are leading you into believing that you are a leader?”

He didn’t get the point so I repeated what I wanted to say twice-thrice and then something started opening up. He said, “Yes if my very self-concept comes from others then surely it’s the others who are dominating. It’s the others who are leading me. I do not know myself. All I know of myself is what have given to me.”

I come over to the podium and I say something I really have no realization of the quality of my talks. If everybody applauds I feel good I must have said something good and if I am hooted I’m jeered then I feel, Oh! I must have spoken horribly. I come to the campus and people tell me, about looking smart, handsome. I swell up that yes, I must be looking good that’s why the compliment. And the same person in the afternoon tells me you are looking so dumb. What happened to you? Why are your face so fallen and I start wondering is it that might really be so. Every bit of our self-image is acquired from others. There is hardly a thing that we know about ourselves and the more our self-image is acquired from others is dependent on others the more is the power of others to destroy it, to distort it. That is the reason that why we are afraid.

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The real can never be taken away

Wherever there is the other, wherever there is dependence on the other, there is fear and hence a search for safety.

Are you getting this?

I’m dependent upon the industry for my self-worth. Let them come and give me a job that makes me feel safe, right? And not just one job offer, I want to have two. One in hand, one in pocket. Now you’re dependent, severely dependent. How am I looking? I depend on somebody else to approve my looks. You’re playing safe. So, whosoever advocates safety, is first and foremost a man who is afraid. Because the real need not be saved. The real is never threatened. Only the unreal, the borrowed stuff is threatened.

The real can never be taken away. Never. No one can take it away from you. What can be taken away is anyway borrowed. Let it go. What was never yours, what is the point in protecting? What was never yours need not be protected, and what is yours can never be taken away. So, all fear is stupidity. No point playing safe. That does not mean that I am asking you to go and stand in front of a moving bus. I’m saying, “Be situated in your essential nature.” Don’t be trembling all the time. Let the feeling that some loss is going to happen not trouble you all the time.

Read the complete article: How important is not ‘playing safe’ in life?

How important is not ‘playing safe’ in life?


Listener: Sir, how important is not playing safe in life?

Acharya Prashant: How important is it to not to play safe. What’s your name?

L: Bilal.

AP: Bilal. What are you trying to secure? When you say that there is something that needs safety, what am I trying to save? What is it that demands protection? Only something that demands protection needs to be saved, am I right? Is that not obvious?

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Why do we often require somebody’s company?



Acharya Prashant: Praveen is asking, “Why do we always require somebody’s company?”

Even when there is somebody who is lying on the side of the road, let’s say an accident victim waiting to be helped, we wonder whether we are the first one or the only one who would be getting involved. We think so many times before putting our foot forward. In such situations too, we require the company of somebody else, why?

Praveen, this is just one particular incident where it becomes obvious, that we are so dependent on others. Such incidents only exemplify, bring forth to light that we are very very dependent. But, such dependence is not limited to these kinds of incidents. Kindly, do not think that in other general, day to day matters of life, we act independently Read more

Yoga is freedom from that which you think yourself to be




न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्ध : कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ।।

श्रीमद भगवद गीता (४. ३८)

(Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge.

A man who has become perfect in yoga, finds it within himself in course of time.)

Acharya Prashant: Krishna, brings us to Yoga, along with certain words – Knowledge, time, the self. Let us discover, what Yoga is, and what is the relationship of Yoga to knowledge, to time and to the self.

न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

“Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge” – It is always, easy to misinterpret, misunderstand a Krishna, a Buddha. They speak from their highness. We listen from where we are. And they too are confined by language. Though they are artists of language, though their language plays around, though their language breaches the  of usual boundaries of meaning. Still, language is language, something man-made. And whatever is man-made, will always struggle is fully carrying the import of that which is beyond man, which is not man’s creation.

So, Krishna says, “Nothing purifies like knowledge.” In the world of Krishna, ‘Knowledge’ has a very special meaning. The word, ‘Gyana’ there, does not refer to the usual, sensual, memory based knowledge, that we are accustomed to. When Krishna says, “Knowledge”, he means, that which helps you see the limitation of what you generally call as knowledge.  Krishna says, “Knowledge is a great purifier.” But for most of us, knowledge, is the prime agent of corruption. For most of us, knowledge is the greatest bondage. Knowledge is, what keeps us heavy. Elsewhere in classical literature, The Shiv Sutra, very crisply put it in two words, “Gyanam bandhah”, Knowledge is bondage. Read more

Money or Love?



Question: What is the basic need of anyone? Money or Love?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Listener: Vaibhav

Acharya Prashant: Sit Vaibhav. Vaibhav do you know the meaning of your name ‘Vaibhav’?
Do you know what Vibhu means? Do you know what Vibhuta means? Vaibhav is very closely related to Vibhu, Vibhuta. Vaibhav means, ‘I have it and I need no more’. Know the meaning of your name. I have it and I need no more. And you are asking what is the most basic need of anyone – Money or love? Read more

Faith is freedom from fear in the middle of fear


Listener: “Fear can be answered only with Faith” (A quote by Acharya prashant) What does this mean? And what is ‘Faith’


Faith is to be certain without reason.

Usually, when you are sure of something, confident of something, it is because of a reason. You have some previous experience, or you have somebody to trust; now you feel safe and secure and sure. Walking into a new room, into a totally new place; if you are not afraid it would be because you have had previous experiences of the kind or because you trust something or somebody. May be you trust your strength; may be your trust the builder or the owner of the room. There is always a reason when we feel safe, secure or good.

Now there is a danger in that. What is the danger? If we feel safe, secure, good, all right, for a reason, then we will not feel safe, secure, good, alright if..? If that reason is withdrawn or taken away. And reasons are supports. Reasons are events, and happening or people. They come and go. Read more

The true Lover wants you free; the false lover wants you dependent


Question: Sir, if someone wants to do something we don’t agree with, you say let just people do whatever they want. If we don’t agree with what is happening you have to think a lot or just let happen.

AP: No. Before asking what if we do not agree and whether to do and what to do about other’s actions. Is it not firstly important to see what in you agrees or disagrees?

Who is the one agreeing or disagreeing? Read more

What kind of relationship does one have in loneliness?

What kind of relationship does one have in loneliness?

A relationship of dependence,
a relationship of expectations
that are never going to be fulfilled,
a relationship of craving, begging, attachment.

And I am not referring to these words just because in traditional, spiritual literature they are referred to vices. We all want a particular peace.

We all want peace.

I am referring to these words because they will not let us reach there; that point of contentment.

In loneliness, any and every relationship that one has is a relationship that only augments our pre-existing restlessness.

When You are gone, then nothing matters

While I watch everything around me, I cannot for a moment, forget that all this around me is great only till the time You are with me.

When You are gone, then nothing matters.

And when You are there, then we can just casually play, or try and experiment with anything and everything.

We can go and have a game somewhere.

Will it matter if we win that game?
Well, not much.

Will it matter if we lose that game?
Well, not much.

Because the game was for our sake, we are not for the sake of the game.

Utility of knowledge

Have you seen these kinds of people, who appear nice and peaceful as long as certain conditions are been satisfied in their environment?

But the moment their environment takes an unpredictable turn or changes, in a direction that they do not support or like, these people simply lose their cool. Their mental poise is all gone! The man who appeared so composed is suddenly a mess – angry, violent, out of his mind.

This is the mind that lives by knowledge.

It’s a different center of living all together, it’s a dependent center.

And then there is a mind that lives by itself.

This is the mind that, I say, lives in constant knowing.

As far the world of senses and perceptions goes, knowledge may have some utility.

Only as long as I am ignorant, knowledge may have some utility.

But if I am talking about the Real; if I am talking about the Truth, then knowledge does not mean anything.

Let’s look at desires


Question: Something happens and then suddenly a desire related to that arises in me, what should I do?’

Acharya Prashant: Just know that your desire is actually just external stimulus; external stimulus that activates your conditional patterns, which means that you have very little right to call your desire as really your own.

Desire can be provoked in you, and every advertiser knows that. Read more

The image of the so-called enlightened one makes one scared of enlightenment


Question: I have a confused question. Can I confess that I don’t know if I want to be awakened or not! I am afraid to realise myself. I am curious but I am stepping back from the Truth.

Acharya Prashant: “I am afraid of being awakened!” You must be afraid. All these so-called spiritual people have painted such a horrible picture of awakening that it is normal to be afraid of awakening. When you look at all those who call themselves awakened, it is very normal to say, “I do not want to be awakened, if awakening means this!”  If you look at all those who call themselves enlightened, you say, “I do not want to be enlightened, if this is what enlightenment means.”

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No need to work hard

22Question: Do goals always limit us, or can they be helpful as well?

Acharya Prashant: The method is to always ask, “Whose goals?” You have done the exercise named, ‘Who am I?’ You have done the exercise called, ‘I in identity’. You ask, “Do goals always limit us?” Do goals exist in a vacuum? Or are they always somebody’s goals? Is a goal something that is devoid of a context? Does it hang on a tree? Does it rain from the clouds? Or is it always something attached to something?

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Why am I unable to be involved in my work?


Listener 1: Work is to be completed and there is the habit of seeking pleasure too, because of which work gets neglected, so a dilemma is there. How to come out of this?

Acharya Prashant: Why are these two different? There is work and then there is something else, why is there a separation?

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Key to Fearlessness is Independence

We do not mind at all when somebody tells us in the morning that you are handsome, you are looking wonderful. We think that this is what I am.

But you do not pay attention, you do not realize that, now you have given this person the license to say something to you in the evening. In the morning the fellow told you that you are looking wonderful, and in the evening if the same fellow comes and says that you are stupid, you have to take that in. You have made yourself dependent on him.


By accepting what the world is saying about you, you make the world your master. ‘I am brilliant because my entire batch is telling this to me. If I am brilliant because my entire batch tells this to me, then I will be an idiot if I my batch tells this to me. I need to be afraid of my batch. I cannot offend my batch anymore. If I offend them, they might call me an idiot.’

When we grandly accept it, then we have made that fellow our master. We have no eyes to see ourselves directly. We look at ourselves through the eyes of others. Whenever we have done this, we must realize that we have made the other, our master. Now we are dependent on others.


Whenever there is dependence, there is fear. And that is the reason why you are afraid of others. That is the reason why anybody is ever afraid of anything or anybody. That is dependence. If you want to live fearlessly, then stop being dependent on others.

Find out your dependence. Find out in what ways you are dependent and on whom. Look at your dependencies. Try to find out. Wherever will be your dependency, there will be fear because you will be afraid that the fellow can take something from you. The more dependent you are, the more afraid you will be. The key to fearlessness is independence. The key to fearlessness is freedom.



~ Excerpts from the article, ‘Why can’t I speak in front of others?‘. Edited for clarity.

A life free of incompleteness and inferiority

Question: Sir, we have learned that we should not have ego, as it is conditioning. Ego arises because I feel incomplete within. But to fill this incompleteness is what I want in life. It gives me satisfaction in life. So, shouldn’t we be egoistic?

Speaker: What exactly is the logic? That we should be egoistic so that we continue feeling incomplete? Is that the argument?

Questioner: No sir. If ego is giving us completeness, shouldn’t we have an ego?

Speaker: It’s like saying that disease is giving me health. Is ego giving you completeness? Or is ego itself a continuous feeling of being unwell, of being incomplete and lacking and small and unworthy? How can a feeling of unworthiness give you worthiness? How can a feeling of incompleteness give you completeness?

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Responsibility is the fruit of maturity

Listener: Sir, we have heard this thing and understood it well that with maturity comes responsibility. My question is on the next statement which I will state now that, “Responsibility also given before time and before maturity, have the tendency to spoil that person to whom it is given, because of the over-indulgence and expectations from him”. Is this statement true?

Speaker:  Nice, wonderful. With maturity comes responsibility, and if responsibility is given before time then it is a spoiler. That’s the statement that has been just made. Is the statement clear to everybody? With maturity comes responsibility. But if responsibility is not timed well then it will spoil. Let’s try to see. What is maturity?

Listener 1: Sir, the tendency to differentiate between real and fake.

Speaker: Very nice, very nice. What is maturity?

Listener 2: Sir, tendency to take correct decision.

Speaker: Tendency?

Listener 3: Ability to walk alone.

Speaker: Ability to walk alone, yes all of that, all of that. Nice! And? What is maturity?

Listener 4: Creating a background to work all the decisions in your life.

Speaker: Good, good.

Listener 5: A state of mind where we can take our own decisions.

Listener 6: If you act after understanding and analyzing the facts, that’s maturity.

Listener 7: Sir, that period of time in which the society expects from you to give them something or to cooperate with them.

Speaker: Why not begin with immaturity?

Listener 8: When you don’t have to look at others for what you have to do.

Speaker: Nice, we will begin with this. We will begin with ‘looking at others’. You would surely call that immaturity. So how is a child born? What is the state of the child? What does the child know himself or herself as?

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