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An individual is one whose desires are his own || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
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Speaker: There is this water-bottle over there. Can you estimate the number of water molecules in this?

Listeners (everyone): No, Sir.

Speaker: One mole of water has how much grams of water?

Listener 1: Eighteen grams of water.

Speaker: This water-bottle has not less than four grams of water. So, you can estimate the enormous number of molecules present in the bottle. What is happening inside? What is the typical r.m.s. velocity at the room temperature and normal atmospheric pressure?

It is of the order of hundreds of meters per second. Right? So much of the movement is taking place there. Look at any individual molecule. What is it doing? A three-dimensional random movement. Correct. Why cannot that molecule move in one particular direction and keep moving in that direction? Why?

Listener 2: There is a disturbance, an obstruction.

Speaker: Obstructed by whom?

Listener 3: By others.

Speaker: Others.

Listener 4: And the wall of the container.

Speaker: The wall of the container. So, it moves in one particular direction, and when any other molecule hits it, there is a transfer of momentum and it starts moving in some other direction. It then again moves in another direction, another molecule comes and hits it, and it changes its track. The result is that despite an enormous distance that every molecule is covering, if it is moving at two hundred meter per seconds, then in one minute it has covered many kilometers, but despite this, the net displacement is zero. All the molecules have covered a great distance inside this bottle, but the net displacement is zero, close to zero. Why cannot the molecules reach anywhere?

Listener 1: Sir, because they have no desire to reach anywhere.

Speaker: Let me say that it has a great desire to move in one direction. Something happens and the desire changes. How many of you find that you take a resolution and that resolution very soon comes to an end. ‘I resolve to start going to gym, it is my new year resolution.’ There is a beautiful study in the United States about the longevity of new year resolutions. The study says that the average resolution lasts for on an average only 7.8 days. Why does it happen with us that we become greatly desirous, then we go out for something, and very soon it settles down. We have great plans that we will do this and that, and by the time next year comes, we say that we want to leave it. The plan could be of anything. It can be visiting a gym, preparing for the an exam, preparing to join dance classes. But our resolutions do not really materialize. Why?

Listener 2: Because they all purely arise from thought.

Speaker: You see, you have a resolution, you are moving in one direction and then the ‘father’ molecule comes and strikes you, and you change your track. You are going in this direction, and then another molecule comes, and you change your track. You are going in that direction and the ‘media’ molecule comes, you read something on the internet, in the newspaper, and the track changes once more. And then another one, and another one.

Had the molecules been like you, they would have said that it is ‘my’ desire to move in this particular direction. Are our desires really ours or they are just the result of transfer of momentum, that somebody is putting these desires into us and we are moving after them thinking them as ‘my’ desire, till somebody comes and strikes us again?

Had these really been your desires, how is it possible that they would change? Had these really been your desires, how is it possible that new desires would come? After all you are one, not many. Correct? There is a constancy in you. If there is constancy in you, how can there be no constancy in your desire? Surely, these desires are not yours at all. Surely these desires are coming into the mind as the impact of somebody else.

Someone comes to you and puts a desire in your mind and you think that these desire are all your desires. This is the reason why these desires never really reach completion, these desires are never materialized. That is why there are not one, but infinite number of desires. As the time changes, desires change because you are bombarded by other molecules .

The individual is one whose desires are his own.

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

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