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Do influences come to influence you? || Acharya Prashant (2014)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
9 min
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Question 1: Sir, how can our mind be free of influence?

Speaker: Influences never come to influence you. The question is: how can the mind be free of influence? Does the influence come and say that I want to influence you? Go into this. There is a hoarding on the road. It is advertising something. Does it come and catch you by your throat and say that you must read it, and not only must you read it, you must also get influenced? Does it say that? It is there standing at its place. Influences don’t come to influence you.

You have a mind that is like a sponge waiting to be influenced. Differentiate between these two things. We all say that we want to get rid of influences. This mind is a hungry place that is demanding to be filled with influences, like a sponge, asking, “Can I have a drop of water so that I can absorb it?” Why is our mind of this quality that it is hungry for somebody to come? Why is our mind like a vacant drawing-room and we are standing at the door wanting somebody to come and fill our house? “My house is vacant. My house is empty. Can somebody come and please grace these chairs? My bedroom is waiting since thousand years, there is nobody to grace my bed. Can somebody please come?” Now there is nobody who is so eager to come. But like a beggar we are asking every passer-by, “Can you please come and sit in my house?”

“Pal bhar ke liye koi humein pyaar kar le, jhoota hi sahi (Someone love me even for a moment, even if it is false.)” (Listeners chuckle) Is that not our situation? Influences are not eager, you are eager. And you are eager because the place in the mind that should belong to the most sacred divinity, that place has been left vacant by you. So all kind of rubbish is trying to fill in that space. The royal chair is empty. There is nobody to sit on it. The king is missing. So all kind of loafers and undeserving people are rushing-in to sit upon the king’s chair. Why have you displaced the king? Why? Invite the king again. Let the king sit on his throne. And then you will find that you are not eager for influences anymore. Then influences will come and you’ll say, “No vacancy.” Have you seen these hotels at hill stations in the off-season? What do they do in the off-season? They have all these agents on the roads and they catch hold of every passer-by. “Please come and occupy a room in our hotel. Four hundred percent discount. If you come to our hotel we will give you two thousand rupees.”

(Listeners laugh)

Why is your mind permanently in off-season? And what happens in the season? The rooms are over-booked. Even if you want a room, you cannot get one. It is not about the tourists and their drivers. It is about the rooms being occupied. Are you getting this? The inner completeness must never be compromised. Not for a second must you believe that there is something missing in your life. But we have been trained to believe that way; that something great is missing in my life. And whatever is missing can be supplied by the world. When you were a kid, you were told that friends are missing from your life. After that you were told that marks are missing from your life. Later you were told that a reputed institution is missing from your life. Now you are told that a girlfriend is missing from your life. Then career is missing. Then money is missing. Then a grand-house is missing. Then kids and family are missing. But you are constantly being told that something is missing from your life. I am saying that not even for a second must you believe in this propaganda. There is nothing ever missing in your life. “I got a promotion but there is no need to congratulate me. Because if you’re congratulating me then you are also telling me that there was something wrong with me before promotion. Sorry! I was always okay. There is no need to come and give me gifts on my wedding anniversary. When I was a bachelor, I was joyful even then. There is no need to celebrate my anniversary. I am always okay. There is no need to have special days because everyday is special for me. So, there is no need to celebrate birthdays, and festivals and this and that and whatever. Everyday is festival for me.”

“I am always alright.” The one who lives in this realization will never be influenced, never. He will not be desperate. “Can you please come for a date with me? If not a date, at least an hour. If not an hour, just a few seconds. I’ll just click a pick and let everybody know that you are with me.” (Listeners laugh)

Why act in such impoverished and desperate ways. Does it look good? Do you want to feel like a beggar? *‘Bhagwan ke naam pe de de.’* (In the name of God, please give me something!) Then why must you run after this and that? Sometimes marks, sometimes jobs, sometimes career, sometimes relationship. Why? Who taught you that you are not worthy? Who was that man or force or influence or system who has put that feeling deep down within you?

(Silence)

And let us give that man the benefit of doubt. Maybe) he was ignorant. Maybe he also did not know. But why must you stay ignorant even now? Is there any need? Why even at this age must you believe that you are a kid and behave in all manners that suit only kids, whispering, gossiping, itching, touching, squabbling and cribbing?

Fullness has a radiance about it. When you’re feeling good about yourself, then your face shines. And that is what maturity is. That’s when you’re a man; not a kid anymore. Your face shines when your heart feels full; that there is nothing missing in my life. Manliness is not about your virility. Manliness is about that inner radiance. It is about that mind that has the certain feeling of completeness. It is there in the eyes. It is there in the expression. It is there in every step that you take.

“I’m not a beggar walking upon this planet. I’m the son of existence; full, complete, loved and perfect.”

“And you cannot reduce that. I cannot be reduced. You cannot take away anything from me. You may disrespect me, you may take away my belongings, my qualifications. It is alright. Take them away! Yet you cannot reduce my essential being.” That’s what the man declares. A kid on the other hand is always insecure. “Oh! Somebody gave this to me. Family gave this. School gave this. Job gave this. So, it can be taken away. Can I somehow just hold onto it?” And he is clutching with both the hands, tight fists. He does not want to give and he’s begging, crying, always looking at others, not secure within himself. There is no need. It sounds so unbelievable; that I am perfect. You can believe in anything except this. And it is good if you can’t believe this because it is not to be believed. It is something to be lived.

Your inner perfection is to be lived, expressed.

(Silence)

And is it not ridiculous that somebody comes upon this podium (pointing at the podium the speaker is sitting on) and tells you, “This is missing in you, you don’t have this skill. Oh! This is missing in you, you don’t have this knowledge. Oh! This is missing in you, your body is not alright. Oh! This is missing in you, you don’t have all these belongings. Oh! That is missing in you, you don’t have these many marks. Oh! You don’t have money.” You will be so glad to accept him. Won’t you be? In fact you will feel that he is your well-wisher. He is telling you everything that is missing in you. And that is what all our well-wishers do. They keep telling us what is wrong, what is short in us.

But you find it absolutely unbelievable when somebody comes and says, “Missing? What is missing? You are alright. Intelligent, beautiful, perfect and wonderful.” That you don’t want to take. Your eyes get covered with suspicion. “No! There’s a trap somewhere. How can I be perfect? Ah! That neighbour can be perfect. God can be perfect. Of all the people he is telling me that I am perfect. Look at my face. Me?” “Even my pet dog can be perfect, but I can never be perfect.”

You are perfect. With all your deficiencies, you are perfect. With all your failures, you are perfect. With everything that is wrong with you, you are still perfect. With all the resolutions that you could not keep in the past, you are still perfect. For all your ignorance, you are still perfect. In spite of all your rubbish, you too are perfect. Not more perfect than anybody else. Not less perfect than anybody else. Just perfect. With all your shortcomings, you are perfect. Alright?

-Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

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