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Dare to invite trouble || Acharya Prashant, on Vedanta (2021)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
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Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, why is going against yourself always so tough? I find that I get overpowered by pleasures whenever I try to take steps towards the right direction. And then I find myself quitting very often. Kindly help me with my state.

Acharya Prashant (AP): You need Love. Only Love can trump pleasure. The joy of Love overpowers all kinds of material, mental pleasures, and only Love can do that. Because it is indisputable, that when you want to go against yourself and you face physical, mental hardships, it appears so normal, so logical to stop punishing yourself. No? “See, what am I doing all this for? Why can't I live a normal life? Why do I need to deliberately punish myself so much?”

If you don't have Love, you won't have an answer. Only Love can make you commit the kind of madness that is needed for realization.

Spirituality seen from the view of the ego is insanity. From the point of view of the ego, spirituality is insanity. You require that insanity and only Love can make you go insane. Otherwise, pleasures are just so overpowering, they captivate you. Pleasures are intoxicants. To beat pleasures, you require an intoxicant even bigger. Pleasures make you go mad. To beat that madness, you require a madness even bigger. And that can come only from Love. Otherwise, there can be no logical reason why one must make himself/herself suffer.

The question will be: “In pursuit of what?” And you'll have no answer. Because Liberation is no thing. You cannot tell yourself, “Well, I am putting myself in distress to obtain that particular goal, to get that particular thing.” Liberation is no thing. So, the logical question will be:—“What for? Why so much discipline? Why are you being so tough with yourself? Don't you have some self-love? Please, be kind to yourself.” And you'll have no answer to such voices, inner voices. Only Love can make you obstinate to the extent that you stick to your guns even without having an answer. You have no answer, you have no defence, yet you continue doing what you do. That happens only in Love.

The interrogator is shrieking at the top of his voice, “Kindly explain!” And you have no explanation to offer. And he says, “If you have no explanation to offer, then mend your ways.” You say, “No. I would neither explain nor change. I will not explain, because I genuinely do not have an explanation. And I won't change, because I am helpless. I genuinely cannot change. So, I'll remain unreasonably mad. I’ll be mad without knowing why I must be mad.”

You cannot convince yourself to fall in Love. You cannot convince yourself to go for Freedom. If you do not have love for Freedom, no logic for Freedom can convince you. There are some places where logic cannot supplant Love. How do you convince somebody that freedom is important? Either it is self-evident, or it is impossible to explain. How is it self-evident? It is a priory; you know it without somebody having to tell it to you. You just know it. “I love freedom!” Why? “But I just love freedom. That's my nature. There is no reason to it. There is nothing behind it. It is an uncaused Love. It is not a product of something. It has no cause. It just is!” So, either it just is or it never is. It cannot be made to appear.

I am not trying to discourage or disappoint. It is not possible to coerce someone to fall in Love. But you can create conditions in which the barriers against Love get weakened. What are the barriers against Love? The biggest barrier against Love is the routine life. The routine life has been set purposefully in the kind of routine that forbids Love. You'll have to break away from your routine life if you want to give love a chance. Because the routine life is not incidentally routine. That routine comes with a hidden, nefarious purpose. The purpose is that Love should not blossom and the routine should continue. Love is the death of that routine. For the routine to exist, Love must be nipped in the bud.

So, get away from your routine. Make yourself available to threatening experiences. Go beyond your cocoon of safety. Remember that the inner and the outer go together. If you want to change the inner, you cannot keep insistent on the outer. Let your environment change. Let your company change. Let your experiences change. Ensuring that your experiences do not change is ensuring that the experiencer never changes. And the experiencer is suffering. You don't change your experiences, you continue suffering.

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