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Before you understand others, silence your mind || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
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Shri Prashant: This is a camera (holding a smartphone in hand, pointing towards the camera) and let’s say that there is something written over here (pointing at the wall) . I want to let it come to me through this camera and I record it using this camera and the camera is vibrating all throughout, it is disturbed, heavily disturbed.

This is the way I am recording it (shaking the phone in his hand) and then I look at the recording and want to understand what is there.

Will I be able to understand anything?

Will I be able to read that?

No !

That (pointing at the wall) is the world, we look at the world through our..?

Through our..?

L: Eyes.

SP: Yes, eyes bring it in. But we comprehend it through our..?

L: Mind.

SP: Mind! If my mind is disturbed and vibrating all the time, can I read the world then?

I can’t!

Yes, surely we can understand the other person. We can understand what’s going on in the world.

It is even possible to read the other person’s thoughts . But before you can read the other person, firstly you have to be..?

L: Still.

SP: Still! If you are not still, you will not be able to understand what’s going on there. Let the mind be still.

For example, if my mind at this moment is filled with my own tribulations – “What would be going on there? What would be happening at the office? What’s wrong with this? What’s wrong with that?”

A thousand things of here and there.

Would I be really able to understand, Sukrati (questioner), what you are saying? If there are a lot of confusions going on in my mind, would I be really able to understand what you are saying?

No, I wouldn’t be able to understand.

Similarly, if your mind is filled with ten other things, and your mind is completely under their weight, then could you be understanding anything at all of what is being said?

It is surely possible to understand the happening, but for that you have to be silent.

We don’t know how to observe anything silently. Our situation is such that if we go near a flower, then we tend to ask questions like – “Why are you like this? What is the purpose of your existence? Are you successful or not? By what means will you gain prosperity?” And there are a thousand thoughts about the flower. There is another way of just looking at the flower or the world, which is to be silent and come close and then you can read what is going on.

Be silent and come close. If you want to know something, come close to it. By being away from it, you will not be able to know. To be disturbed is to be away from the present.

Will you remember this?

Because, whenever you are disturbed and whichever thought is there in the mind can’t possibly be of the present. Thought essentially comes from the past.

To be disturbed is to not to be in the present. And when you are not in the present, when you are not close to the present, how will you read the present?

By being close to someone, you will not be able to know the person. To know someone, you will have to be quiet first and it doesn’t mean that the lips aren’t moving. Our lips are not moving at times but a thousand things are going on in the mind.

When you are still, then the mind will be able to see what’s going on.

Here also the discussion has come to the same place, that, we have to be attentive towards ourselves only, not on someone else.

Even in “H.I.D.P.”, the most important letter is which one?

L: I.

SP: Now you can understand ‘I’ as an individual or simply the letter ‘I’ or as an interview. But the most important is ‘I’ itself.

If you have to understand others, even then the attention has to be given to..?

L: I.

SP: Even if you have to clear the interview, towards whom you have to be attentive?

L: I.

SP: You won’t be able to go far from the ‘I’ as this is what you are. It is a very good thing to understand others.

Want to understand the other?

Then be quiet.

If you want to understand the book, what will you have to do? Lots of people say that even after studying they don’t get enough marks in examination. What will you have to do for understanding a book?

L: Go close to the book, quietly.


Give yourself an environment, free of disturbances. As an intelligent individual, identify your disturbances and keep them a little away. Then you have fun. This is what am calling as party of life. The grand carnival of life.

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