Forecasting future is one thing and desiring future is totally another

We all have the ability to forecast. Forecasting is one thing and desiring from the future is another thing. Based on how economy is going, the economist can forecast how the economy will grow in the next year, that is also looking into the future but that is not the same as being future-oriented.

If I have the capacity to project the future, that is one thing, but to be obsessed with the future is the entirely different thing. To make the future the centre of your action is totally different.

There can be two ways of acting: one is that I am acting right now and the other is that I already have the image in the mind and based on that image I am working for the future. Unfortunately, ninety nine percent of us work according to the second order.

See, the first model says that, “I am in love with my books and studies in the present and because I study well in the present, so I will do well in the examination, which is in future.”

The second model says that, “When the examination will be announced, when the exam date-sheet will be put up, then to do well, I will start studying. To do well in the future, I will start studying. Future comes first for all.” That is our model. That is the way of life for ninety-nine percent of the people.

Future comes first for you and then the present comes. You are reversing the flow of time. In our minds, future comes first. “I want to succeed in that examination, so today I must study”. The appropriate sequence is, “Because I am studying, hence I will naturally do well in the exam. I am not studying for the sake of exam; I am studying because I love to study.”

Would it not be beautiful if you live this way? Then marks would be a by-product. Marks will not matter, what will matter is the time that you spend with your books; the joy, the fun with the books, that is more important.

Feel free, let it come. Fearlessly, let it come. Let there be faith that, “I am capable of handling whatever will come. I can take it. I will not be scared. I will not shiver. I will not be afraid. Just bring it on. I have a way to respond to it. My intelligence is adequate. There is a challenge, I will respond. The world is not a threatening place.

Existence has given all this to you, how can existence be hostile towards you? The past was not hostile, the present is not hostile. How can future be hostile?

Essentially, all planning for the future is planning of the present.


~ Excerpts from the article, Plans of future come from fears of past

Why you have come to this Campus? || Acharya Prashant (2012)

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


Speaker:  If somebody asks, “Tell me about yourself”, then how will you talk in the language of ‘We’? You see, this is what it is. I do not know myself and I claim to know everybody else as well.  It is already dangerous to claim self-knowledge, and I am claiming knowledge of others as well. Yes, so ‘I’…?

Listener 1: But Sir, I am not getting you actually.

Speaker: “I am not getting you”, right? Not “We are not getting you”. What did you say? “I am not getting you”. Correct? So, ‘I’! Yes?

Listener 1: Sir, I was saying, up to now, it was just a growth. But now I am here for development. Growth plus progress.

Speaker: Alright Sir. Now how do you differentiate between growth, progress and development?

Listener 1: Sir, according to me growth + progress = development.

Speaker: What is growth? What is progress? When you say X + Y = Z, you must first know ‘X’ and ‘Y’ in order to come to ‘Z’. What is growth? What is progress?

Listener 1: Growth is just increase in size and when some progress is included in that, it becomes development.

Speaker: When some…?

Listener 1: Progress is added to it.

Speaker: What is progress?

Listener 1: Progress means enhancing your views, observations and all the things.

Speaker: When you say increase in size, increase in whose size? Your body’s size. Is that what an educational institution is for? What do you mean by increase in size?

Listener 1: Sir, knowledge, mindset. It is a part of development.

Speaker: Growth. Let’s first focus on one thing. What do you mean by growth? We will then come to progress so that we can come to development. What is growth?

Listener 1: Simply as you have told that…

Speaker: Why should what I have told? I am nobody.

Listener 1: You were saying one thing…

Speaker: (Interrupting) You tell me, what do you mean by growth because it is your life, not mine. Right? It is your life. Not mine. So you tell me, what do you mean by growth.

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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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Live fully, die fully, and then come alive, again, and again…

Listener: Can we do music, study and exercise together, successfully?

Speaker: Sagar is asking, can I be into music, studies and exercising simultaneously.

No, never simultaneously! Never simultaneously. I would not really enjoy if you are exercising right now? Or if you are singing right now. Right now there can be only one music and only one exercise. Simultaneity in that sense, is not possible, and not welcome either; should not even be attempted. One thing at one go.

A Zen monk has said that, “When I eat, I eat; when I walk, I walk; when sleep, I sleep.”

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Even when you are lost, you are already Home

“The significance of a man is not in what he attains,

but rather what he longs to attain.”

-Khalil Gibran, ‘Sand and Foam’

Question: Once during a discourse on the Bible, you too have said, “The more you know the Truth, the more you want to know; such is the expanse of the Truth, infinite.” If this be so, then what is coming back to Home? What is this whole thing about coming back Home? Can one ever really be Home? Khalil Gibran seems to say that more than arriving at Home, it is the longing for Home which is important.

Acharya Prashant: Listen again to what Khalil Gibran says. He says, “The significance of a man is not in what he attains, but rather what he longs to attain.”

Man is a constant search, man is a restlessness; that is how man is constituted. That is the basic definition of man. Owing to this, often the religious mind builds a mental model that there surely exists a point at which this restlessness is extinguished. In this mental model there exists a problem statement. The problem statement is – the restlessness of man. And finally there exists a full stop to the story, a solution, and the solution is – coming Home.

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A confidence independent of knowledge

Question: Sir, how to get confidence that is not based on knowledge?

Speaker: (Laughingly) Just say that even if knowledge is not there, no harm will be done. Simple!

How did you associate confidence with knowledge? You did that, right? By unnecessarily saying a few things to yourself, over and over, again and again. You repeated falseness like a mantra. You repeated lies like a mantra and it came to a point where you started believing in your own lies. That is the simple story.

All that you are carrying in your head, you were not carrying it 15 years back. You acquired it during the journey and you kept acquiring and kept acquiring and you kept preserving it, you kept safe-guarding it, with the result that now you feel that it is really something precious.

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Immersed in life, you will not ask how to spend your life

Questioner: Sir, how should I spend my time?

Speaker: Whatever you have in imagination, can be spent only in imagination. Do you really have time? If you have time, show me where is time? You are talking about spending life. I am asking you, do you have it? How will you spend it? How will you spend it? Where is it? Where is time?

Yes, we all are living in the illusion that we have time to spend. But where is that time? Where exactly is the time to spend? Do you have even one second with you? One second? Forget about time as a large quantity. Do you have even one second to spend?

What do you have, to spend? What is it that you really have with you?

Listener 1: Sir, the present moment.

Life Vs. TimeSpeaker: And that present moment is so small, that you cannot say anything about it. By the time you say anything about it, it is already gone. So, how will you spend it? By the time you pull it out from your pocket and try to spend it, that moment is already gone. How will you spend it? Are you getting, what I am trying to say?

Where is time? Except in the head, except in the imagination; where is time? You don’t really have time. You have Life, but not time. You have the opportunity to live, but you don’t have time. Living is possible, but spending time is not possible.

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What is one’s ultimate goal in life?

Question: How do we understand our ultimate goal?Goalless

Speaker: Your ultimate goal is to come to goalessness.

As you are, you are bound to have goals. I cannot advice you to not to have goals. Because it is impossible for you. It is impractical for you. You will need goals. Given your constitution, your stage in life, the makeup of your mind, you will need goals. And if you must have a goal then the goal must be goalessness.

Till the time you have goals, keep telling yourself- “I am not yet done.” You have reached the goal when you forget everything about goals. You will have goals and if you must have goals then this is the goal to have- “Can I go beyond this goal? Can I really see what this goal is?”

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The honest man has just One priority

Questioner: Sir, there is a quote of yours that says, “Only by being firmly tethered to one’s core can one fly freely. Wandering without a center is looseness, not freedom.”

Doesn’t that have something to do with priorities? Like, making a single priority and then letting it continue.

Acharya Prashant: ‘Who is making that priority? You talk of priorities as if priorities are something objective. ‘Who is making the priority?

What is the priority of a politician contesting elections? – To win the election.

What is the priority of a thief breaking into somebody’s house? – Steal.

What is the priority of a man out to kill? – Kill.

Whose priorities are you talking of? Your priorities depend upon your mind. We all have priorities but we do not even know that those priorities are not at all ‘our’ priorities. Those priorities have been imposed upon us by various forces.

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Forget the imaginary, just attend to what is

Question: Is death, as an event, good or bad experience, if we dissolve our self in the universe after death or to the bigger Self?

Speaker: See, you are sitting here. You are writing something. You traveled a particular distance. How is all of that any less important than an imaginary moment of death? Nobody ever seems to ask, “What will happen, when I will sip the next cup of tea?” Nobody seems to ask, “What will happen when I will breathe next?” Are all these things any less important? But we all seem to be asking about death.

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The only way to help the world is to leave the world alone

Question: Sir, why should I care about global warming or any political situation in a country? If the world is unreal, then why do all these things matter?

Speaker: You don’t care about global warming. Do you?

Listener: But still, why should anyone care about global warming?

Speaker: You forget about others, because you do not know others. But you anyway don’t care about global warming, do you? So, from where is the question ‘Why should I care about global warming’ coming?

Listener: Sir, then should I forget about it?

Speaker: You have already forgotten about it. Being what you are, do you have an option? You are asking as if you can care about global warming. Who can care about global warming? Global warming, remember, is nothing to be taken care of. You stop doing what you are doing and global warming will take care of itself. You don’t have to take care of global warming. What do you take care of? You only take care of yourself. When you take care of yourself that’s when global warming happens.

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How to deal with anger?

Questioner: In spite of keeping all watch and vigil, anger comes and leads to wrong actions on certain trigger points and situations. After that it is realized that a slip happened. What is the way?

Speaker: There is nothing in existence that is unnecessary, totally useless, needlessly there. It is good that we are talking of anger, its causes and its consequences, the harm that it does. But that also might be because firstly anger is very gross, very visible. There is a clear sensual expression of anger. So, it becomes very obvious that we are angry; it cannot remain hidden. And secondly our education or morality has constantly taught us that anger is something bad. So to the problem of anger, we seem like being alert. But are we equally alert, let’s say, to the fact that even in those moments of the day when everything appears normal, we are actually feeling a little down, a little dull, a little bored, a little short of energy; that we do not consider a problem as big as anger, again for those two same reason. One, anger is gross and that constant sense of background boredom is subtle. In anger you shout, your face turns red, your blood pressure rises. In boredom, well, there is not much that happens that can be caught or traced by senses. Now you are just sitting, you are weary, you are yawning, and it doesn’t seem that there is much wrong with yawning. In anger, well you are beating people up. It seems that there is so much wrong with anger. And secondly, we have been taught that anger is bad and boredom is a much smaller evil. But is that so?

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On having motives in life

Question:  Sir, is it not important to have motive in life?

 Speaker: See Sana, motives are there. So the question: “Whether or nor motives are important and whether we must have motives?” is a little irrelevant because motives are anywhere there. And who is asking this question? Is it optional to have motives? If I say, “Don’t have motives”, is it within our capacity to not to have motives? The one who is asking this, will necessarily have motives. Why? Read more

How do I get rid of my bad habits?

Question: I want to get rid of my bad habits. I have tried all the things to get rid of them, but I am still unable to do that. What is the reason?

Speaker: How do you know whether a particular habit is good or bad? How do you decide?

Listener 1: It has been told to us earlier, that what is good and what is bad.

Speaker: You have been told earlier that what is good and what is bad. That is the way we go about deciding everything – what is right, what is wrong, what is fair, what is unfair – on the basis of criteria that has been given to us in advance. That this is good, this is bad.
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How do I get rid of my restlessness?

Question: Restlessness doesn’t really leave me. Why am I so restless? How can I get rid of my restlessness?

Speaker: Cars these days come with the auto-pilot feature. You can put the car on the cruise mode, especially on long drives, and the driver can relax. There was a research conducted on the vehicles that have this auto-drive feature.  It was found out that people who buy cars having this facility do not really use it. Read more

What is the meaning of intellect?

Question: Is spirituality easier or more probable for a sharp intellect?

Speaker: We do hear this sometimes that one requires a certain level of intellect even to be spiritual. That one needs the power to think and analyse, logically discern, so as to go deep into the spiritual truths. But to what extent is this factual, that we will have to investigate. Read more

How can I get my ex-girlfriend back? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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


Speaker: ‘How can I get my ex-girlfriend back?’ The question comes from Shubham. Shubham you will have to die (audience bursts into laughter). There is no other way, you will have to die.

You know, it was Kabir who said:

ये तो घर है प्रेम का, खाला का घर नाहिं ।
सीस उतारे भुँई धरे, तब बैठें घर माहिं ॥

You will have to die. And obviously it is not death of the physical kind. When Kabir says, ‘Cut your head before you can enter the house of love’, what does he mean? What does this denote? Kabir says, ‘Cut your head down’. What does this denote?

Listener 1: Ego.

Speaker: Yes, wonderful. This denotes the sum total of your past. This denotes the absolute sum total of your past, your attitude, your conditioning that you carry forward. You cannot get your ex-girlfriend back if you continue to be the same person who broke up. Are you getting it?

After all there was a context to the breakup. Am I right? If you are the same person who broke up, how will you engage with her again? To engage with her again you will have to be an absolutely new, fresh person, that old fellow must die. Unless the old ‘Shubham’ dies there is no possibility of a new relationship. Is this becoming clear?
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Who is a Friend? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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


Questioner: To what extent is friendship important in life?

Shri Prashant: What is friendship? What do you mean by friendship? You are lonely and you get somebody to cling to, and then the two of you hang out together, and you call this as ‘friendship’. What do you mean by ‘friendship’? What kind of friends do we have around us? When do we call somebody a friend? Read more

Friends, jobs and the need for entertainment

Questioner: Sir, everyone is expecting something. Parents are expecting something, friends also expect something but sometimes I prefer to be alone. What to do in that situation?

Acharya Prashant: Do you really have a friend? What kind of friend is this who does not like you to do what really gives you joy?  If I am your friend and you want to be alone, what am I to do? Chase you? Get stuck to you? Or allow you to be alone? Do we really have friends? What kind of friends are these?

Somebody has said that a person is worth being with if you feel alone in his company. Only that person is worth being with. That’s the test. Read more

The imaginary fear of death || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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


Question: Sir, my question is related to the thing that you said about death, that are we afraid of death. Is that someway related to life being transient?

Speaker: Wonderful, the question is about death. Yes, life is transient, always.

You see because the brain has nothing of its own, all it gets is what it gets from the outside, the external. The brain has nothing of its own, all that the brain gets is from ‘time’ and ‘others’. When we say, ‘space’ we mean brain gets something from another person or situation. And when we say, ‘time’, then we mean that the brain has a collection of memories in the past. So, whatever the brain has it gets from ‘time’ and ‘space’. It has nothing of its own.
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