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Guilt and Ego || Acharya Prashant || Short Clip
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
4 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): Guilt is a dangerous thing, you know. A little bit of it is useful if it can lead to self-correction, but a lot of it just weighs upon the mind.

Questioner (Q): It’s like I feel really not like guilty but like ‘I could do this!’.

AP: Ah! It's not as per my potential, No?

Q: Yeah.

AP: I'm capable of much more, No? That's not you!

‘Ah! You are performing below your own standards.’ That's what the internal voice says. Don't you see this is exactly what is called the…?

Q: Guilt.

AP: Ego!

"I'm not so bad. How could I do this?"

Q: Yes.

AP: "It happened in spite of me. Had I performed up to my potential, I would have won that match. I deserve to win. If I lost, it was some chance circumstance."

I won't accept the fact of my being, and the fact is that one is feeling drowsy. Full stop.

I sometimes advocate guilt, but never in excess. It should not become a constant weight upon the mind. Otherwise, guilt itself adds to the ego and to the drowsiness.

The ‘I’ is constantly in need of eating something, getting attached to something. It always wants some food, and the food can be anything; even God can be that food. If God can be consumed by the ego, what to say of guilt? Guilt is so easily the fuel of the ego.

"I'm not good enough, so don't teach me anything". Now, what do you do with such an argument? And I face such arguments daily.

"Acharya ji, what you are saying is wonderful, but you know what? I'm not good enough, I don't deserve to be your student. So may I be excused?" Now what do you do with such an argument? This is what excess of guilt does to one.

I'm so bad, improvement is a far cry and would require herculean effort. I'm not capable of putting in that effort—It's not even a matter of intention. I'm guilty of not even having the capability, and if I don't have the capability, why should I listen to you, Acharya ji?

‘Listening to you is an onerous task. It requires a particular stamina, it requires a particular upbringing, what do I do? I was not brought up in a spiritual environment. There is nothing in my background that enables me to get connected to you. You are there (pointing towards sky), and I'm here (pointing the ground). So please excuse me!’

‘Why didn't you learn the next bhajan? Because I hadn't learned the previous one’. Do you see how guilt operates? Because I'm bad, so I refuse to be better—These are the kind of logical arguments we live on—Because I'm bad, so I refuse to be better!

Like an obese person in the gym, "I'm 150 Kg, how will I do these exercises? Because I'm 150 Kg, so, I refuse to lose weight. Why do I refuse to lose weight? Because I'm 150 Kg; but that's how we live!

"I'm seventy years old now; don't teach old dogs’ new tricks; too late for me."—If you are seventy years old now and you think you have only five or ten more years left, then you should be rather hurrying up. Instead, you are saying that "It's too late for me, and I don't want to learn anything." But go to aged people, and you'll find this argument very prevalent. "It's too late for me now".

When you are getting late and you have to catch a train, what do you do? You rush! Or do you say, ‘it's too late, so chill’?

If you are weak, then what do you do? Do you put in extra effort, or do you give up? But that's the logic of weakness: "I'm so weak, that I can't even put in efforts". Nobody is that weak!

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