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All addictions vanish when this happens || Acharya Prashant, at Mithibai College Mumbai (2022)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
64 reads

Questioner (Q): Namaste, sir. My question is, in these teenage years, how do we avoid social evils like bad addiction and bad activities which exist in society and just focus on our goal?

Acharya Prashant (AP): For that, the goal has to be alluring enough. The goal has to be captivating enough. And then all kinds of addictions and wastage of time, energy, effort, money will just not happen on their own. Tell me, when you are doing something really meaningful, do you find you have the inclination to just get up and go elsewhere and waste time? Does that happen? That doesn't happen. How many of you play cricket? Today, we had a swashbuckling inning by one of the players. So, cricket. So, how many of you bat? How many of you bowl? Has it happened that in the middle of your run-up, you stopped, took out your mobile and ordered a pizza? Has it happened? Or the bowler is coming at you, and you say, "Please stop, I want to gossip with the wicketkeeper!"

Has that happened? Why does that not happen? Because you are in attention out of your own volition. Do you know what is happening? — You are in the game, and you love being in the game; nothing else is on your mind. And that's the best way of living, is it not? One thing and nothing else on your mind. Could we be on the crease forever as the batsmen? Wow! Unfortunately, life gets us out every time. Some wicked yorker and the stumps are shattered. And we have to return to the pavilion. And what happens in the pavilion? All kinds of distractions now. Somebody is ready for a fight. And somebody is sleeping too much. Somebody is eating too much. Somebody is smoking too much. Somebody is gambling too much.

Now, all kinds of things can happen. But nothing of that sort will happen when you have the ball or the bat in your hand. Why not continuously be on the crease? I am asking you, please. The same applies to all kinds of sports — racket sports — tennis, badminton. In the middle of a badminton rally, how many of you have stopped to scratch your back? "Please stop!" And you have ordered the shuttle to just keep hanging there, "You know, I need to scratch my back a bit. Yes, shuttle." Does that happen?

Why can't we forever be in the middle of a rally? That's what you know life actually is, by the way. It's a rally. It's a rally between you and the one called Maya . You can also call her life itself. How do you find time to be distracted? You are losing all the points if you are getting distracted. Are you not? Temptations, addictions, distractions — none of these can be avoided if you do not have a great central purpose in life to love.

Never be spread out, scattered. Always be concentrated densely in one place. There is just one thing. The wise ones from all places, all times, and all streams have always talked of the one, one, one. Keep spirituality apart. That oneness, that unification is the central thing in life. Have some one thing and forget everything else.

You will say, "But how do I identify that one thing?" Keep trying out. Let life be a continuous movement towards that one thing. If you cannot concentrate on that one thing, then concentrate on getting that one thing. Always believe that you are destined to be the highest and to reach the greatest spot possible. Therefore, never settle down. Always keep asking yourself — “how do I evolve? How do I learn? How do I be better? How do I move on?”

No place is your final destination. And when you have your eyes firmly set on greatness, then all kinds of distractions will appear very kiddish. It's like we are talking to each other, and one among you is looking around for lollipops. Is that likely to happen? Something extremely important and very engaging is going on, and one of you is looking around, "Does somebody have Hajmola?" Is that likely to happen? — No.

But all our lives, that's what we are doing — looking around for lollipops, Hajmola, something because we don't engage life enough. Don't live on the surface of life. Dive deep into it. When you do something, get into it. When you read, read fully. Get into what is being said. Don't just turn pages and complete formalities. When you listen, listen deeply. Be fully present. Keep everything else aside. Just listen what's happening, what's really happening. Turn this into a habit: “When I listen, I listen. When I play, I play my heart out. I don't care for injuries. I don't care for victory, either. I just play my heart out.” Then all the trivia and trash that surround the usual life, you will find they are very distant.

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