How to deal with mental and sexual abuse of the past? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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How to deal with mental and sexual abuse of the past

Question: How to deal with childhood mental and sexual abuse, which makes a deep impact on one’s mind? Do these things happen due to past life karma?

Acharya Prashant Ji: If I tell you that they indeed happen due to accumulated actions from the past, past life, what would you do? What would you do with that knowledge?

I am walking in a shopping mall, and a piece of merchandise captivates me – the color, the luster, the texture. The total appeal has just captivated me. And I walk up to the salesman and ask, “Where is the factory? From where does it come?” Does it liberate me of that piece of hardware? Does it?

Next I ask, “What exact shade of blue is this?” and he tells me that this exact shade of blue is this. He comes up with a fancy name, for the color. Does that liberate me of the attraction?

What liberates me of the trap I have walked into?

I just keep walking.

When something in the shopping mall, just fascinates you, almost overpowers you, how do you walk out of that trap? Just keep walking. Just keep walking. The good thing about continuing to walk is that – your walk may take you out of the mall. You walked your way, out of the mall.

Don’t stop there.

This attracts, that attracts, this attracts, that attracts, you keep walking. But given the way we are, we won’t be able to walk past something attractive, unless we have something more attractive to egg us on.

Are you getting it?

So, for the commoner, for the beginner, it is important to have a purpose, it is important to have a high, lofty purpose. If you are rushing towards the pharmacy, it is unlikely that you will be tempted and stopped, by a toy-shop. You need a purpose.

Purpose-lessness is for those, who need no personal purposes.

Their purposes now come from the Absolute.

Their purposes now come from somewhere else.

So they get the authority to now declare that, they are personally purposeless now.

Those who are infested with purposes, those whose mind is a huge inventory of desires, aims, purposes, a bee-hive, they better have a better purpose, because you anyway have not one but multiple purposes. 

How many shops are there in the mall? And every shop is a potential purpose. Is it not? Every shop is a potential purpose. It is important that you have a bigger, better, more appealing purpose with you, so that you can walk straight. 

This, that you have written Kiran(the questioner), is coming from one of the shops. There are shops that attract you, by talking of the future. They tell you, “Come to us. We will make you a more dynamic personality. Come to us and three years later, you will have  a house of your own. Come to us, and after a while you will have a baby in your arms.”  And equally, there are shops that attract you by talking of the past. Aren’t there restaurants with retro themes? How do they attract you? Using the past. Nostalgia!

“What’s the theme?”


Strange things are happening these days. Parties are happening with themes like – ‘Tughlaq’. ‘Aurangzeb’ is the theme. And some of them claim to be Sufi Parties. There was this recent Sufi party. Theme was – ‘Draupadi’. Every woman had to come with five…… Only the best ones could make it. I mean the best women. Who else can gather five around her, and ensure that the five do not kill each other along the way? The past can be very attractive.

You might be feeling offended Kiran, that we are making fun of such a serious and sensitive question. I deliberately want to make fun of it. I don’t want to take it seriously. You have already done a lot of damage yourself, by taking these things seriously.

Where is that five-year old girl, who was sexually abused? Show me! Where she is? If she comes to me, I will talk to her. She is not. She is dead, and you are keeping her on the ventilator. You are exhuming her from the grave. You have collected her ashes. And you are not prepared to give them away to the river.

What pleasure are you getting from all this? No, I am not sympathizing with you at all. But there is pleasure in retro themes. Or is there not? And one gets attracted to shop, whether it sells the past or the future, when one does not have a purpose. Your life is deficient in something very important, Vitamin I.

Show me one experiment Kiran, this is a Buddhaesque experiment, try it. Show me one fellow, whose past is blemish-free. You know where it is coming from. That woman goes to the Buddha, and says that her kid has died. And Buddha tells her to go to all the homes and get him grain from a place, where no death has ever happened.

So, I am asking you to tell me the name of one person, whose past is ideal, heavenly, blemish-free. Surely, you know of the ‘Me too’ movement. A huge number of women, showed up. They came forth, and said, “Me, too.” And I tell you, the number of women who did not show up, is ten times the number of women who have declared themselves. And ‘ten’ might be, by the way, an underestimation.

There is nobody in the world, who goes untouched. Why do you want to call yourself ‘special’? Don’t you see that this is a trick? You are not special. This is happening with everybody. And when I say, ‘everybody’, I mean – every body.

You are born human, right? And to be born human, is to be born cursed. Yes, you have some memories of somebody touching you inappropriately, perhaps. But even that is after your consciousness became memory-capable. After three years of age, or four years of age, right? How do you know that you were not inappropriately touched when you were two years old? And how do you stop that?

And what do you think, that happens only with women? I would be delighted to disappoint you. That does not happen only with women. It happens with male kids as well, albeit less frequently. But then, the male babies have their own tragedies. Their tales are no less steeped in tears and blood. They have their own trials and tribulations, that women will probably, not easily appreciate.

It is all pervasive. Just get over it. Why do you want to talk of only the period of adolescence, or childhood? Are you not being abused today? Are you not being abused today? But we call abuse, as an ‘abuse’ only when it is explicit. I say that – explicit abuse is more apparent and more honest, because it does not seek to disguise itself. 

When you slap a person hard on his face, you are sending across a very loud, honest and powerful message. You are not concealing the message. You are not disguising it, you are not coding it. You are telling a person, what really is going on. Kiran, far more rampant and evil, and poisonous is the abuse that happens daily at workplaces, in our homes. The kind of abuse that is the bedrock of our civilization, and culture.

But we don’t even call that abuse as ‘abuse’. When the body is offended and penetrated, we raise a big hue and cry. And probably, justifiably so. But when the mind is serially abused, in a school, in a college, in a university, in a house, in a home, in a temple, in a mosque, in a church, in an institution, at a workplace, then we don’t bat an eyelid.

I am asking you – Were you abused in the past, or you being abused even today? Do you have kids? Do you know how they are being abused in the schools? And that does not mean that somebody is fondling them in the genitals. Have you looked at their teachers?Have you studied their curricula? Have you seen what is entering their mind? Won’t you call all that ‘rape’?

But no, we are extremely body-centered people. We agitate only when the body is offended. And when the body is offended, we run aghast. “Ah! Body, body. Somebody touched my body.” And you have no concern of the mind. I am not an advocate of physical rape, by the way. I am pretty sure, there would be many, who would be ready to ponce upon this chance and declare me ‘misogynist’ or whatever. They are welcome.

I will tell you what the ‘rape of the mind’ is.

When the mind has non-nonsensical purposes, that is the ‘rape of the mind’.

When things like stuff that happened in the childhood, or teenage, attracts you and dominates you, then the mind is being raped.

Forgive me the cliched expression. But – the mind needs a lover. And whenever the mind does not get to that lover, the mind lands in the hands of rapists.

What is ‘rape’? When somebody enters a place, that he should not have entered, that act is called ‘rape’. And that is why you have expressions like – ‘rape of the city’. The enemy entered forcefully and plundered, and that you call as the ‘rape of the city’. The entire world has entered your mind, and is plundering it, spoiling it, kindly be concerned.

Your rightful purpose, your solitary purpose, must be to move towards the Solitary One, the Lover.

If you are engaged with any other kind of non-sense, this-that, this matters to me, that matters to me, he insulted me, she said something to me, this happened, that happened, then you are inflicting rape upon yourself.

I know I am sounding harsh.  I will punish myself later. Right now, I need to do what I am doing.

We have become so habituated to getting ‘raped’, I have no other word, that we it doesn’t even concern us how this whole social machinery has entered our sanctum sanctorum, and is defiling it, desecrating it.

You don’t like it when you are defied, but you don’t bother when you are defiled. What kind of a person are you? When the ego gets hurt a little, then you start crying, but when life is getting wasted, minute-by-minute, it all appears normal to you. 

In the shopping mall, if someone comes and gives you a shoulder-push, or darts his elbow, a little  bit, into your ribs, you will quickly say that you have been violated “The fellow pushed me with his shoulder. I have been violated.” And there is no doubt, that this is an act of violation. I am not supporting that act. I am just questioning the dissonance, the hypocrisy.

If a shoulder-push matters so much to you, why doesn’t the mall matter to you? The one who is pushing you by the shoulder, is just hitting your body. What is the mall doing to you? What is the mall doing to you? About that, you don’t talk.

You would be happily allowing yourself to be violated in shopping-mall, provided your so-called, shallow honor is safe-guarded. But if the security misbehaves a little, they ask you to display what is inside your handbag, or if the body-check is a little too hard, or intimate, then you start saying, “O! this is too bad.”

All the shops together, can keep spoiling your inner purity. You do not complain. Why? Because you say, “I am here on my own accord. This is my personal choice. My free-will. After all, the shopkeepers are not forcing me to buy something. It’s a matter of my personal liberty. I have come here on my own.” Have you? Have you really gone there, on your own?

You don’t even know how you have been subconsciously, dragged into that mall. Not even pulled. Tethered by thick ropes, to an old jeep, I saw the video of a few people, being dragged on a rough road. That was a video, that was titled, ‘Barbaric bestiality’, because it was so very explicit. The ropes were visible. And it was quite apparent, that the fellows were being dragged, against their will. But when the shopping-mall of the world, the shopping mall that  this world is, drags you to itself, then you never complain.

You know, a few months back, this girl came to meet me. It was a bit of a complicated family. Both the mother and the father were into their second marriage, and this girl happened to be from the mother’s first husband. And now the second husband was not treating her properly. And there was so much. She was quite young, twenty, twenty-one. And she had already had two or three abortions.

She broke down many times while narrating her story to me. She had, had abortions, and she also had, had a divorce. Her education could not be completed. And when she was a kid, she was beaten up, and all those things. She could not pursue the course she wanted to. She wanted to get into the beauty business, she was not allowed to, and all those things.

While she was narrating this tear-soaked story to me, it came to a point when she talked of her current boyfriend. After she was done with all the gory details of the past, she now talked of her current boyfriend. And I was a bit interested, and I said, “Tell me more.” And it was so very obvious that the current boyfriend is every bit as much as, or an even bigger violator, than all the demons she had seen in the past.

But she was not talking of the current boyfriend.

That’s how we live – we do not see what great violation is happening to us, right now.

We rather keep ourselves engaged with shops selling retro-stuff.

Even in the moment, when she is telling me about her misfortunes of the past, she is actively carrying a boyfriend, who is currently bringing, or if not currently bringing, would soon bring an even more heinous violations upon her.

But we don’t want to talk of what is happening, right now. And I tell you, it is not possible that something equally dastardly is not happening right now. I have a proof. The proof is that you are so very interested in the past.

If the present were what it should be, then you couldn’t have been so-very interested in the past.

The very fact that past haunts you so much, shows that trouble is brewing in the present.

Had trouble been not brewing in the present, the past couldn’t have been so material to you.

And that’s a rule of thumb.

When someone comes to you and says that he is bothered about what happened yesterday, or last month, or ten years back, when somebody comes to you, and that somebody could be ‘yourself’. When you feel that you are bothered with what happened yesterday, or ten months back, or ten years back, then you should immediately know that something terrible is happening with you, right now.

What is the proof?

Had the right thing been happening to you right now, then you couldn’t have been bothered with the past. So, whenever past bothers you, you should immediately know that some danger is lurking immediately in the present. 

And that is what past does.

It serves as a very deceptive distraction from the present.

Now you are distracted. You are busy wailing in the past. And the trouble is inching closer and closer to you, in the present. And you cannot look at the present trouble, because you are busy with the past.

And I tell you, it is not a coincidence that happens sometimes. It is always going to happen. Whenever the past would be bugging you too much – “Something happened yesterday, and I am bothered about it” – rest assured, something far worse is going to happen to you, right now.

It’s a bad trick, but we fall to it.

And it’s such a set trick of maaya. But it still succeeds.

It was said about Waqar Younis, when he would bowl, everybody would know that a yorker is coming. They would know that a yorker is coming, and they would still get bowled out. The batsman would say, “I know that he is now going to send a yorker. And still the middle stump would be found flying in the air.” That’s how adept she (maaya) is. You better be cautious.

So Kiran, your homework is to figure out what is happening, today. And I am not denying that all the bad things happened in the past. No, I am not denying them. But dear, my commiseration or consolation would not help you. If you want to have me as an agony-aunt, come cry over my shoulder. But that would not hep you.

So, excuse me for being a little rude. Actually, quite rude.

Something is cooking, and it’s cooking right now. Figure out what it is. That’s your homework. Would you do that?


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: How to deal with mental and sexual abuse of the past? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Past life karma, goal of life, and liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Past life Karma, goal of life, and Liberation

Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here

Question: Acharya Ji, do you believe in past life?

Acharya Prashant Ji: That is irrelevant. Will I find you after your death? Will even you find yourself after your death?

Listener: I may be in a different body.

Acharya Ji: In a different body, will you have the same psyche, the same identity? You are a ‘person’, and a person is driven by identities. Forget about having a new life after death, even in this life, if I give you the option that your personality will be totally wiped out, your memory will be totally wiped out, your body will be totally changed, and you will be taken to a different place, a different planet, will you still say that you are ‘you’? Will you still say that you are ‘you’?

Even in this life, if your memory gets wiped out, do you remain what you are? Then why do you talk of ‘past life’, and ‘future life’?

Even in this life, if somebody strokes your head with a hammer, and your memory is totally gone, which means your identities are totally gone, you are as good as dead. You are no use to anybody then. You do not remain. You have disappeared, because you are a man of identities, because you are a personality. You live in a personality. And once the personality is gone, once the ‘person’ is gone, you are no more.

‘Eternity’, and ‘continuity’, is a word for those, who do not live in the personality.

If you live in the personality, you need not wait even for your physical death. You are dying continuously. Even tomorrow, you will not be who you are today, then how will you continue to be the same, in your next birth?

Even today you are not, what you were, fifteen years back, are you? Then how will you continue to remain, two hundred years from today? But, it is such a stupid thought, still very common. Do you feel one, or identified with, the self that you were, when you were ten years of age? Go into this!

You, as you see yourself, were once ten years of age, right? Today do you find much in common with that ten year old kid? Today, in fact, ninety percent, is not common, with that ten year old kid. Right?

In the same life-time, you are almost a totally different person, are you not? Then how will you remain the same after death, even if there is a rebirth? So what is the point in talking about this and that?

Listener 1: So, thirtieth birthday means, thirty years of death?

Acharya Ji: Yes, nice. Good.

Listener 2: Acharya ji, we said that memories being wiped out, is equivalent to you not being there. Now, this is a bit confusing, as we talked about we not being the body.

Acharya Ji: But, are you the Atman. I said that ‘Eternity’ and ‘Continuity’ are words applicable only to those, who live as the Atman. Do you live as the Atman? If you live as the Atman, then you will not talk of this birth and the previous birth, because the Atman never really dies, so how can it take the next birth?

To take the next birth, something must firstly die. Atman is eternal, it does not die. How can it take a new birth?

Question: Acharya Ji, many religions like Hinduism, Jainism, they talk of past lives and rebirth. You do not want to be consistent with them.

Acharya Ji: What do you want?

Listener 3: I just want……

Acharya Ji: Those who just want anything, do not get anything. Talk of one thing that you want, and then don’t talk of anything else.

Listener 3: I want the Truth.

Acharya Ji: Yes. So, Truth is – freedom from the false. See what all is false, in the way you currently live. Currently live. Currently live. Two things – ‘currently’, and ‘living’. Go into your life, right now.

How do you spend your day?

Where do you eat?

Where do you earn your money from?

These are the questions that should bother you. Not fancy intellectual questions.

Listener 4: Is it part of spirituality, the worldly matters – what I do, and all that?

Acharya Ji: What do want to do with ‘spirituality’ and ‘worldly matters’? The one who is in trouble, wants freedom from trouble. If the name of that freedom is ‘spirituality’, fine. If the name of that freedom is ‘worldliness’, fine. What the person wants is – freedom.

If I am thirsty, I want want water, you want to call it ‘jal’, ‘ambu’, ‘waari’, anything, I do not mind. Give me that, which will quench my thirst. Full stop.

Question: I have the same question related to thoughts. He said that thoughts increase the level of concentration. How can we manage that level of concentration?

Acharya Ji: Goal.

Listener 4: How to magnify and amplify that goal?


Listener 2: I am not even asking about amplifying the goal. In the example that you gave, when we were playing football, you mentioned that there was a clear distinction, that each team knew where their goal post is.

In real life, there are ten goal posts being shown, and each one is trying to instruct that this is where you have to reach. Unfortunately, sometimes the goal posts look similar also, and one gets confused.

Acharya Ji: Who is suffering?

Listener 2: I am suffering.

Acharya Ji: So who will know, whether or not you are getting freedom?


Who is suffering?


It is like this – “I am thirsty, one guru tells me to put water in this hole(the ear). Another guru tells me to put water in this hole(the mouth). Another one talks about the other holes of the body. Who is thirsty? You are. Don’t you know when your thirst is going to be quenched. Why are you acting so ignorant?

Don’t you contact with your own thirst, with your own suffering? Don’t you know when it is being quenched?

Listener 2: I have not even reached the level where my thirst is being quenched.

Acharya Ji: At least you know when it is not being quenched. This much, at least, you know?

Listener 2: Yes.

Acharya Ji: Next time, don’t put water in your ear. Reject the guru who teaches you to put water in your ear. At least this much you can do? Do this much.

Listener 2: But the problem is, I will give a parallel example. When one is thirsty, it is the water that one needs. When one gets a cool drink near by, one is tempted to take it.

Acharya Ji: Try it, immediately.

Listener 2: You are already thirty or forty years old, or may be, twenty-five. How many more trials do you need? Have you already not given everything a shot? Are soft drinks, or ice creams, or petroleum, new things to you? You have already tried them a thousand times. Are you still not fed up?

If you are not fed up, give them one more chance. And then, be absolutely fed up. But please, at some point, learn to be honest. Learn to quit. Learn to honestly face the mirror, and tell yourself, “I have been cheating myself all my life.” If you don’t do that, there are thousand kinds of fluids in the universe.

You will keep trying them endlessly.

Water is simple water – pure, direct.

I have no issues, if you want to give various things, various methods, various means, various books, various teachers, a chance. Please do that. But do that with all honesty. Having given the chance, ask yourself, “Is the thirst being quenched?” If ‘yes’, then stay put. Then don’t budge at all. If ‘no’, then you have no business looking at that face, ever again.

Man is strange creature, you know. He develops a stake, even in thirst. If you have conditioned yourself, to find pleasure in thirst, in suffering, in non-sense, then…

Question: Acharya Ji, what is the significance of sleep? What really happens in sleep? What is the spiritual significance of the sleep?

Acharya Ji: Are your problems in your sleep time, or are your problems related to your waking state? Just don’t be interested in miscellaneous knowledge. Focus on the goal. Any kind of knowledge that does not lead you directly towards the goal, is merely a burden. Disregard it.

If you have genuine problems, sleeping disorders, then talk to me about sleep. But if your problems are related to your life, stuff that you think of in your waking state – your relationships, your transactions, then why be interested in sleep?

I can speak for fifteen minutes on sleep, but that will not help you.

Be direct, be honest.

Question: Acharya Ji, why is mu mind constantly trying to become something?

Acharya Ji: Everybody is trying that, because nobody is contended with the current state.

The only problem is – you want to change, but you want the changed state to be a derivative of current state.

You want the changed state, to be organically linked to your current state, which means that you really don’t want to give up your current state. So, all ‘becoming’ fails. All change is defeated.

It’s like just changing clothes. That will not cure you of your lung cancer. It’s like wearing make-up. That will not fundamentally cure your any skin disorder.

Change is wonderful.

When you want change, see what you really want.

Don’t change halfheartedly.

Change fully.

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

Watch the session:  Past life karma, goal of life, and liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Thoughts, Understanding and Realization


Acharya Prashant: We rarely understand. We only keep thinking. And we think that we are understanding.
Naresh, there is a humongous difference between ‘thinking’ and ‘understanding’.

We ‘think’, but we rarely ‘understand’.
When you look at that mobile phone, you are ‘thinking’, you are not ‘understanding’. ‘Understanding’ is a totally different thing.

‘Understanding’ happens when thoughts have been quietened.

You think about the mobile, have you ever thought about the ‘Tack Sheek’? Is there anyone here who thinks about ‘Tack Sheek’?

Listener: We don’t know what that is!

AP: You think about the ‘mobile’, because you know about the mobile already. No one here has ever heard of ‘Tack Sheek’ before! And that’s why you don’t know about it.

All thoughts come from the past. When you are looking at something, the only thing happening is, that your mind is recalling something that it already has recorded previously.

And that is why, when I said ‘Tack Sheek’, you all were clueless about it. Because there is nothing to recall. This is not ‘understanding’. This is just a recalling of the past.
There is something previously fed into your brain, and you just recalled it again. This is not called understanding. This is highly mechanical. This can be easily done by a computer’s hard drive, which has no intelligence at all, which is purely instrumental.

So, when you are looking at this mobile, then you are just dealing in an image. That is merely a thought, not ‘understanding’.

L: So, what then is ‘Real Understanding’?


‘Understanding is the fruit of intelligence.’ It operates only in an environment of attention. When you are completely still, then the process that happens instantaneously, that is called ‘Understanding.’

Read more

Acharya Prashant: Attention wipes your sins away


Question: How is the karma of the past linked to my current state of mind?

Acharya Prashant: What you call as your current state of mind is always a friction, a conflict, a tug-of-war, between two opposing forces. One is the ‘force of the past’, one is the ‘force of conditioning’, and the other is ‘the call of peace’. The call of the untouched, the call of the core.

What we call as the mind is nothing but a sandwich between these two. But it is not a normal sandwich, it is not a normal conflict, it is a conflict between two parties in which the first party is the first party, and also the power provider to the second party.

Are you getting it?

So, there is that which you can call as the core, and then there is that which you can call as conditioning, or illusion, or Maya. What is happening in the mind? A tussle between the call of the core, and the lure of the Maya. But in this, we will remember that Maya is not really a power opposing the core, because Maya itself is being powered by the core. So, two parties are in conflict. Yes, there is a tussle, yes, there is a tug-of-war. But, it is a special conflict in which one party is powering the opposite party as well; that’s why it is called ‘Leela’. I want to have a good time, so you know, I am powering the other party.

Sometimes, it happens, when you are very playful. Let’s say you want to have a race, a sprint, with someone, who can’t run too fast. So, what do you do? You run slow, or you give him a lead. You say, alright, I will cover 100 meters and you have to cover only 60 meters. So, you are powering the other party, because you want to just have a little bit of fun. That kind of a war it is. But nevertheless, it is a war, and the mind is a battleground.

When you say, ‘Is my state of mind, a result of my karma, my past?’ Yes, it is.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Brain and Intelligence


Acharya Prashant: We can live in two kinds of worlds. How? Even as I am speaking to you, some of you are listening, and the others might be thinking and wandering and lost in imagination, Right? Do you see that? You have to be together in this. Is that alright?

So that means that it’s possible for man, and each of us is a human being right? So whatever is applicable to us is applicable to mankind in general. We can easily generalize whatever is applicable to us. So, it is possible for man to be simultaneously living two kinds of lives. One is that you are sitting here. The other is that you are thinking about something else. Correct? The very fact that which really is known as reality. Whereas that which is imagined, which is thought of, is called ‘the mind.’ Can you see this that even though you would be sitting here, it is possible for the mind to be at a totally different place? You could be in Disneyland or at your home or at any other place. Now is that for real? Where is a reality? Reality is that which is. Everything else is imagination. This imaginary aspect of us is what is the ‘mind’. Now, what is this thing called the mind? Write down. The mind is ‘brain + intelligence’.

Brain — Matter, Product of Evolution, Just like a computer hard disk, Just like a computer hard disk, Automatic, Prone to Conditioning, Like the Fan.

Brain is like the fan in the sense that it’s totally material. It is a slave to the commands of somebody else. You switch on the fan, you switch off the fan. Does the fan have any intelligence or any will of its own?

Remember it’s very efficient. It keeps working all the time. But does it work according to its own understanding? Does the fan know what is going on in its head? Does the fan understand what electricity is, what electromagnetism is, Faraday’s law, Ampere’s law, anything? Does it understand? Yet it keeps working. It keeps working according to the design provided to it by external forces.

Who has provided the design to it? Man – an external force. Not the fan itself. The Fan is a mechanical device which is a slave of others, albeit very efficient, efficient but dumb. With the result that everybody else can exploit it, can make use of it. It’s mechanical, dumb. You can write all these things for a brain. Everything that applies to the fan also applies to the brain. Alright? Except for one thing that the fan does not have a memory chip, the brain has a memory chip as well. The fan cannot really recall the events of yesterday. And that too can be done. You can have a fan with a memory chip. That’s not difficult at all. That’s not at all difficult.

You can have a fan that can keep registering what is happening day in and day out, and after one year when you will take that chip it will have all the data accumulated on it. That on which particular day how many hours of rotation was there, at what time, at what speed, all that can be done, right? That’s not at all difficult. You can do that as a project. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Are you getting it?

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Life is not that tragic

The mind is like that. It has no independent existence of its own. It lives only in relation. Only in comparison. If it cannot relate something to the past it will not be able to make any sense of it.

It derives its very existence from a relationship with knowledge. The thing must already be there in the mind by way of knowledge for it to make any sense to you. So that’s all the mind can do.

Life is not that tragic. The new is there, every moment is new. We are leaving continuously in the new but the faculty that will know the new is not the conditioned.

The only way to come close to the happening is by way of direct approach. Comparison is indirect approach and you have the capability to approach rife directly.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Why does the mind compare everything with the past?

Acharya Prashant: Why does the mind compare everything with the past?

Listener: Why does my mind compare everything with the past?

Acharya Prashant: What else can it do? Do you want to think without having a benchmark? That’s impossible.

The mind is like a ‘businessman.’ It weighs everything. And have you seen weighing scale? It always has two parts that are weighed against each other. Have you ever seen a weighing scale that does not compare? That does not have a standard or a benchmark?

The mind is like that. It has no independent existence of its own. It lives only in relation. Only in comparison. If it cannot relate something to the past it will not be able to make any sense of it.

Assume I utter word right now that you cannot relate to your past, will your mind make any sense out of that word? If you have never heard that word before. Would that word be meaningful in the language of the mind? Yes? So, that is the all mind can do. Compare.

It derives its very existence from a relationship with knowledge. The thing must already be there in the mind by way of knowledge for it to make any sense to you. So that’s all the mind can do.

If it says something is good it is because it has been made to believe in the past that such are the benchmarks of ‘goodness.’ If it says something is moral or ethical then it is because it is made to believe that such are the standards of ethics otherwise it hardly knows anything.

So if your question is why does my mind compare anything and everything with the past? Then the answer is because that’s the only thing it can do nothing else is possible for the mind.

The question now needs to be broadened. The question must now be – “Do I need to know everything by way of comparison?” Alright!  the conditioned mind will only know something by comparing it. Right? The conditioned mind will only know something by comparing it. But will I also know everything by comparing it?  Is that an obligation upon me as well? No, that’s not really an obligation upon you. That is an obligation upon the conditioned part of the cells. But not really upon you. If that is an obligation upon you then, Life will become very terrible. Because it would imply that there is no possibility of any ‘newness.’ Only that will come to me that has a relation to the past. So, nothing new then can come to me. That is a terrible thing to happen.

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The greatest dependence is psychological dependence

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future? Tell me?

To look towards future, one would have to take his attention away from the present, right?

Your goals cannot be bigger than your awareness. Goals will just be within the circumference of what you know.

Life is the present moment, there is nothing else. If you are free right now, there is no need to become enslaved the next moment. Why do you want to pretend that we are slaves? You are not! You are free this moment!

And remember, financial dependence is not a great dependence. Even physical dependence may not be a great dependence. The greatest dependence is psychological dependence.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting


Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting

Question: Acharya Ji, we should have future plans also. What should set that in our minds that what we are going to be in future!

Acharya Prashant: Alright, that is a very sensible question. What’s your name?

Questioner: Aanchal.

AP: Right. Aanchal, suppose if one day, you give one of your friends a call. And say, tell me, which road goes to Chandigarh? How do I reach Chandigarh? And you are feverishly asking her. How do I reach Chandigarh, tell me, how do I reach Chandigarh? If your friend is sensible enough, what is the question she is going to ask you?

Listeners: Where are you, now?

AP: Where are you right now? To reach anywhere, shouldn’t you firstly know where are you right now? To talk about future, shouldn’t you firstly know what the present moment is? And if the present moment is known, is Chandigarh too far away?

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

And right now means exactly right now! Are you aware of how your thoughts are wending? Are you aware, from where are these questions arising? Are you even aware, why there is incessant thirst for the future?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future?

Tell me?

Have you noticed? Have you been attentive to the fact that when is it that you really start thinking of the future?

When you are? Insecure. When you are insecure, and tense and anxious, that’s when your mind rushes to the future.

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Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration? Ask yourself.

Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive. Is it not?

Always remember, you will not run after something unless you are worried. All motivation has a close linkage to worry.

Always have a firm realization, let me even call it a feeling, that I am alright. I might be defeated, I might take losses, I might be rebuked, scolded, still, fundamentally I am alright. Never lose that inner faith.

No goal is bigger than you. You are bigger than anything your mind can come up with. A goal, a fantasy, an imagination, a concept, you are bigger than that.

You are not worried about goals. Goals come because you are worried. Do you get the subtle difference?

When the mind is worried, then it sets more and more goals and becomes more and more serious about them. Becomes very serious about the goals.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?


Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?

Question: Acharya Ji, my question is, “How to be free of botheration and still be focused on our goal”?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Questioner: Kumar Abhishek.

AP: Sit, Abhishek.

Abhishek is saying, how to be free from botheration and yet to be focused on the goal. Let’s examine.

Abhishek, where does the goal arise from?

You are asking, one – I need to be free from worries; parallelly, I need to be focused on my goal.

I am beginning by asking you, from where does the goal arise?

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration?

Ask yourself.

When you are Light and Joyful, are you still thinking of goals? Go to your moments, when you are free, light. Were you planning, were you concerned with goals? Were you concerned with goals?

It’s obvious that goals arise from botheration. The more bothered you are, the more is your sense of inner incompleteness, the more goals will be there in your mind. A goal is like a medicine. I am feeling sick, I am feeling sick, so I am searching for a medicine in the future. Goals are not only like a medicine, they are also a ‘False medicine.’ Because the botheration is right now and the medicine is in the?

Listener: Future.

AP: Future. It’s like saying, I have a severe headache, a migraine right now, but I have planned for a medicine that will work two years hence. What kind of medicine is this? If you have a migraine right now, when do you need the medicine to work? Right now. The suffering is right now, the botheration is right now, you need something that heals you?

L: Right now.

AP: Right Now.

Two things, One – goals arise from a sense of turbulence, from a sense of, there is something wrong somewhere, from a sense of there is something unworthy, inadequate about me and I need to make up for it by achieving something in future. I am not alright.  I will be alright when that goal is achieved. Right? That’s what the goal tells you. You will be good, admirable, lovable, adequate when you get that promotion when you have that amount of money when you earn that respectability. That’s what the promise of the goal is. And we fail to see that it is a false promise. A false medicine.

So, Abhishek you are asking for the impossible. You are saying, “How not to bother and how still to be focused on goals?” Do you see how you are asking for the impossible? Goals themselves arise from the poisonous soil of botheration. If there is no botheration, how will there be any goals either? How will there be any goals, if you are not worried?

Tha’s why you see, In many systems, in many institutions, in the minds of many people, it is essential that they keep those around them, worried. Because they know that unless you are kept worried, you will not run after goals. In many professions, the lure of incentives is given, to achieve targets, goals. Parallelly, there is a threat of disincentives. And in any case,

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The past, first of all, raises a future, then directs the mind to chase that future.

Without any self-inquiry, we claim that we are a product of our city, a product of our economic situations. And, when we say that, are we not using that statement just to hide our fear, just to remain what we are? You let yourself to be defined by your past, by your experiences, by your gender, by your religion, by your money, by your knowledge. And you will have to look at the future, the next big thing.

You will have something unended continue in your mind. You will have scores to settle. You will have an unfinished task. The past has no intentions ever of remaining a past. In fact, calling it as past is a mistake. You know what past means? Past means left behind. You say you have gone past something. The past is never left behind, you never go past it. If there is one thing which can never never be left behind, it is the past. It will continue. In fact, it will jump ahead of you. Not only will it stay with you, it would be running ahead of you.

It would be running ahead of you like a guide. A very deceptive guide. Nevertheless something, someone, that claims to be a guide. Most of us think that the past is there behind the back. No, the past is there in front of the eyes. Not only it is in front of the eyes, it is actually guiding the eyes, guiding the mind, guiding the feet. The past decides what our future would be like.

The past, first of all, raises a future, then directs the mind to chase that future. Is there anything that you think of, anything that you feel happy about, anything that you feel disappointed about that is not coming from your past? Are all our disappointments not cultivated disappointments. Had you not been told by the movies, by the novels, by family, by all the mythological stories, that this is something that you need to feel bad about, would you still have felt bad about such things?

Read the complete article: There is nothing called a new beginning

There is nothing called a new beginning

SR Generic_ English

L: Can we begin from Nowhere?

AP: Can we begin from Nowhere?

L: Yes.

AP: Actually you always begin from somewhere. If you begin from nowhere, you also show no movement and you also do not go anywhere. Nowhere is not a point of beginning. All beginning implies a change in state. All beginning implies that there was no movement and then there is a movement. This movement you call as beginning. One is not moving, then one moves. And this change in state one call as the beginning – I have just begun.

In Nowhere, in that nothingness that you are terming as nowhere, there is no beginning and hence no end. And that’s a great relief. Remember, whatever begins is definitely going to end. And whatever is going to end always carries expectations and fear with it. Hence, a beginning is not really such a nice thing to have. We keep on saying, “Let’s begin. Let’s start. Let’s change. Let’s reform. Let’s improve.” All of which are names for just the same thing. The thing is Activity, “Let’s do something.”

Are we all not fascinated by the idea of changing, doing, improving, moving, reaching, attaining, achieving? All of these involve beginnings. All of these involve an apparent change in state. What is remarkable however is that, what we call as the mind, its nature is to keep changing? More correctly put its tendency its habit is to keep changing. When the very habit is to keep changing, what is new about another change?

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Good and bad are just two sides of the same coin

Good and bad are just two sides of the same coin. When the mind is giving importance, it calls it good or bad. And nothing is worthy of great importance. No event in the past deserves such seriousness. Nothing is to be called so important. Only the present is important.

But we want to keep good memories. Whenever you will try to keep good memories, you will find that along with you are also keeping lots of bad memories. If good is important then bad is also important. But our attempt is, “let me retain all the good memories and let me forget all the bad memories.” That is impossible. That cannot happen. That is against the law of the mind. In fact, the more bad memories you have, the good memories will appear all the sweeter.

You see, a lion was coming to eat you and you were going to be surely killed. A stranger comes and saves you. You want to keep only the good part of it and forget the bad part. Is it possible? You want to remember only that you were saved by a stranger, but the moment you remember that you were saved by a stranger, you will also have to remember that you were about to be killed. So, good and bad will always go together. And because the event was so bad, hence the fact that you were saved is so good.

Read the complete article: How to get rid of memories?

How to get rid of memories?


L: Sir, why are we unable to come out of memories? It’s only due to the pain of heartbreak or something like that.

AP: But Memories are very nice.

L: Sir, bad memories.

AP: Oh, bad memories are nicer. We are attached. See, there is a direct way of remembering something. How? By remembering it. This is a direct way. In fact, this is an honest way. You say “I am remembering something.” So, you put photographs in your house and all that, right? And you say, “Because I want to remember something or somebody or some event, I have put all these photographs. They will remind me and I will remember.”

And there is also a dishonest way of remembering something or somebody. What is that dishonest way? Daily, for two hours, I try to forget that person. Just like people meditate in the morning two hours, I also devote two hours in the morning and two hours in the night for forgetting some person. What am I doing? I’m trying to forget. This is a very proven and a very dishonest way of remembering.

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Creativity has no past

Creativity is totally different.

Creativity means, there is nothing by the way of experience yet something comes up. Something comes up from nowhere. Something arises from nothing. Something arises from nothing. So, there is an absolute newness to it. It is not coming from experience. It is not coming from something that I have read or heard or gone through. It is not at all related to my past or the past of mankind.

From where is it arising? From where is it then arising? That point from where it arises, that is the mystical point called ‘the source’ or ‘the center’. It is that point. Creativity has no history. Creativity has no past. That is why creativity is so unpredictable. Even the creative mind cannot know what will sprout forth. Even the creative mind will be surprised by what it does or says or starts knowing. It will wonder, from where has this come. I never had this, I had never read of this, I had never planned this. From where has this then come? And that is why creativity cannot have any process.

Imagination on the other hand always has a history and a process and a thinker. Wherever there is a thinker, he would be limited by the domain of his thought.

Now there is no point saying that one should not imagine or one should be creative. These are not prescriptive things. This is not a moral lecture where one would say that you should not imagine. What else then the mind would do? The mind keeps imagining. The only thing is to know that creativity is at a much higher plane than imagination. They are different dimensions altogether. There are instances when you do imagine. And that is alright. In day-to-day living, imagination does play a role, so it is alright. But the two are incomparable.

Read the complete article: Are creativity and imagination the same?

Are creativity and imagination the same?


Are creativity and imagination the same?

Acharya Prashant: You are getting muddled up between, building and creating. Creation is not a physical reality. Imagination is the mind rendering within its limited domain of experiences. Experiences that it has gathered through the senses. It might have seen something or read something or heard of something, right? That constitutes the set of experiences that the mind has.

Whenever you will imagine, you will never go beyond what you already know, beyond what has already happened at some point or someplace. Imagination will never take you beyond that. The last time I was here I asked you, can you even imagine that you are speaking the Russian language? Those who do not know that language, do not have any experience of the language, they can’t even imagine. Even to imagine, something about it must already be there in your past. Read more

Far better than introspection is attention.

Attention says, “Whatever is happening, be in that, be alive, be present.” Give everything to ‘what is’ and forget everything else. Let all your concerns disappear, Let all miscellaneous thoughts disappear. Let all planning, all worries disappear. Nothing, no movement in the mind at all. A complete disappearance of all disturbances. Just presence, this is attention. And when you are attentive, after that introspection will appear foolish. You will say, “What should I introspect?” The event is done, the game has been played, the rock has been walked, the food has been eaten, now what is there to introspect?

And when I am introspecting about the past, I am losing out the present. Every second that I am ruminating about the past is a second that I am losing out in the present. So the general meaning of introspection is very misplaced. Very misplaced. It is just as we said, a ‘Postmortem’. The event has been done and now you are uselessly thinking about it.

Far better than introspection is attention. Attention says, “When the event is there, let the event be there and nothing else, let everything else disappear, dive into the event, give everything. And when the event is not there, then forget the event. Then there is no need to think. When you are awake, be fully awake. and when you are asleep, be fully asleep. When you are asleep, don’t keep thinking about the day. Don’t keep having bad dreams. When awake, fully awake, when asleep, fully asleep.”

Read the complete article: Past, future and introspection

Past, future and introspection

SR Generic_ EnglishQuestion: Sir everyone says that introspect yourself, realize your true potential. I have failed to do that.

Acharya Prashant: There is no need. Actually what you are calling as introspection is usually a post-mortem. What people typically call as introspection usually means that “Once the event is done, now think about it” and that is only wastage of time. That is only wastage of time. Attention is something totally different.

Sitting over here if you are introspecting, you are wasting your time and my time. Why? because you will be introspecting about something that happened in the morning. Now, is it morning right now? But you will be introspecting. And all introspection is about an event that has gone by or is the past. Attention is something totally different. I ask for attention. Read more

Ambition is nothing but the great granddaddy of the desire.

Ambition is nothing but the great granddaddy of the desire.

So, desire is small, ambition is large.

There is nothing wrong with ambition except that it is not new, not fresh. Being ambitious is like asking for repetition of the past. That is the only thing wrong with ambition. You believe that you are ambitious and you want to create a new future for yourself, but that can happen only in intelligence, that cannot be a product of conditioning. That cannot be a product of conditioning. And the one who is living intelligently, anyway gets a wonderful future. He doesn’t desire, he doesn’t plan it. He just gets it as a surprise gift. A beautiful and wonderful future he gets. But not a future that has been pre-planned for him, that has already been scripted for him by others.

Ambition, firstly understand that these words belong to the same family. Ambition, Goal, Purpose, Target, Desire, they all belong to the same family. They are very closely related.  You could just say that they are just one word, Desire. And all desire comes from the past.

Read the complete article: What is ambition?