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How to be free of mental tendencies? || Acharya Prashant (2017)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
3 min
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Questioner (Q): Put in some difficult situations and old locations, I am surprised to see my old tendencies of hurt and dependence are back; they never did leave. I am selfish, difficult and stubborn. Help me Acharya Ji. Help me move ahead of this pettiness. Please!

Acharya Prashant (AP): You have to constantly apply yourself. There is no other way. This constancy in application is also called unshakable faith. You got it right, tendencies are stubborn, hard to die like a chronic disease. Change of environment helps but change of environment can also delude. One may feel that the old has left, one may feel that there is total transformation but as soon as the familiar situations return, the familiar reactions also return.

First of all, like a patient who has been advised to avoid food and stuff and environment that exacerbates his disease, avoid situations and company that you know will bring out the weak side of you and when you cannot avoid, then pray! Faith will be needed and faith will show up in both the avoidance and the praying.

That which makes us suffer has its own magnetism that attracts. So you will find that in spite of your conscious unwillingness, situations that pull you back into the old whirlpools somehow keep arising. Avoid their pull as much as possible. Be prepared to suffer losses, be prepared to forego gains. Be cautious of confidence. A period of calm, a period of strength may delude one into thinking that one has fully conquered her primitive tendencies. Be very, very cautious. If tendencies appear dormant, know that they are alive and kicking. If tendencies appear dead, know that they are just dormant.

Maya is habituated to victory. One of the tricks that she uses to get victory is defeat. By admitting defeat, she will defeat you. The ego likes to conquer everything, there if fun in conquering the world and there is fun in conquering oneself also. The ego fattens itself by telling itself that it has conquered the ego. And therefore it hurts when one finds that the old egoistic tendencies have not been conquered. They are strong, rotted, gone nowhere.

Don’t give your ego the pleasure of imagining that it has conquered itself. When you are fighting against yourself, it pays to always remain on the defensive, always remain on the lookout, always remain suspicious of your victories. The enemy is within, you will not be stabbed from the front, you will not even be stabbed from behind. You will be stabbed from within. Your eyes won't help you, even mirrors wont help you. You are being stabbed from within. The enemy is more powerful than you because the enemy is enemy plus you.

Continuous vigilance, constant awareness is the only way and in spite of all your alertness, you would still be occasionally, sometimes frequently deceived, beaten. Then just know that you probably raised your head too much and that's why it got beaten down so bow your head down and pray in those times. That's the only way.

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