Acharya Prashant is dedicated to building a brighter future for you

How to decide the highest work to do? || Acharya Prashant, at BITS Goa (2023)

Author Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant

4 min
67 reads

Question (Q): Sir, you always talk of filling life with the highest work possible. I want to know what exactly is that highest work you repeatedly refer to?

Acharya Prashant(AP): We know of what is not high, right? When we are talking of filling our lives with the highest possible, that's actually not a constructive process; that's not actually a process of filling up, that's actually a process of draining out or emptying. Empty your life of what is not high, that's what I mean.

So, you have to interpret my statement in negativa. When I say, “Fill yourself up with the highest,” what I actually mean is drain out the lowest, getting it? Drain out the lowest. And don't you know what is low in your life? What is low in your life? Just a few examples? My life, gluttony, one of the things. I have a lot of other stuff as well.

Q: Instant gratification.

AP: Instant gratification—pleasure, yes. What else is low in life?

Q: Fear

AP: Yes, Fear! Come on, let's fight it out. Fear is something that energizes me because it comes so often to terrify me. And when it comes, I say, “Right! Now, now is the time for a duel”. I don't always win, obviously, but I try to give it a good fight. At least, that much I am capable of, right? You too are capable of that. Are we different? Does fear come to you?

Q: Yes.

AP: It comes to me as well! Can you fight fear? That's what I try for.

Simple, drain out the lowest. If fear is the lowest, my duty in life is to at least not be knocked out in the first round. Come on, deliver a few punches, do something; show that you are a human being, a man of some kind. Too difficult, is it?

Q: No

AP: Impractical, huh, impractical? (mockingly) “So it is for, you know, young people. We have now grown a bit too old to hear of these things now. It is our time to retire and go into Sannyāsa .” Is that the reply?

Audience: No.

AP: But I hear that from your faces. Too old or do we have only young men here? Only one young man here?

Come what may, if it's not something that adds dignity to life, I will fight. Let there be some steel within. Don't surrender easily, and when you don't surrender easily to things like fear, that is what is called spirituality. That's what is called real surrender—to not to surrender to the lowly things, that's what is spiritual surrender. Spiritual surrender does not mean you bow down to some imaginary God. It means, I do not surrender to things like fear, and temptation, and stuff. No, I don't surrender!.

They come to me and what do they get from me, a loud ‘No’ with a thundering punch, “No!” That's what my response is, and that's what Vedānta is—a loud thundering No. Interestingly, the very method of Vedānta is called Neti-Neti — No! Not this, not this, not even this. No! And that's the mark of a young person, a young boy, a young girl—he meets life with a great No. And when you have No towards this usual kind of life, that's your resounding Yes to real life.

On the other hand, if you keep saying Yes to all these things that you see around yourself, then you have said No to the real thing. You don't need to say Yes to the real thing, that's not needed; just keep saying No when needed. And as life is, ninety nine percent things that are there in life deserve to be replied with a No. That should be your stock reply, “No!”

And they don't always come to you with verbal temptations, they will simply put a billboard in front of you. There is the highway and there will be five billboards. They must be replied to because they are proposing something to you, are they not? What are they saying? They are saying, “We propose happiness to you. Buy our stuff and you will be happy.” So, stand there, look at the billboard and say, “No, No!”

YouTube Link:

Receive handpicked articles, quotes and videos of Acharya Prashant regularly.
View All Articles