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How to have one’s parents understand him?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
25 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): (Reading the question) “Acharya Ji, my concern is about relationships we share with our near ones. I find so many limitations in every relationship which I make. What to do in such situations where my parents do not understand me? What to do to have them understand me?”

First of all, you have to stop thinking of yourself primarily, fundamentally as a daughter or a son. Being a daughter, being a son, being a born one – these are the facts of this body; they are not to be ignored. At the same time, they are not your primary identity. One must be very cautious; discretion has to be applied. There is no doubt that this you call as ‘yourself’ was born on a particular date to a particular woman. And your body contains what you initially received from a man and a woman. That must be acknowledged. And for that, you must remain grateful. At the same time—and more importantly—your essence does not come from anywhere, any persons. The more you think of yourself as a born body, the more you will have to comply with all bondages that this bodily world has imposed upon you.

Look at the world around. What do you see? What is this? (Picks up a stone) It’s a body. Have you ever seen anything in the world except bodies? What is that river? It’s a body of water, is it not? What do you call it? A water body. That tree is a body; this receiver is a body. Body, body—ah! Such a vast collection of bodies. If you too are a body, then you fully belong to the bodily. That is alright. Except for one minor glitch, what is that? Freedom has no body. Show me the body of freedom. The question that you have raised is crying for freedom; the question that you have raised is crying for rightness, Dharma , Truth. That’s what you’re asking for, right? In fact, love and compassion too are hidden in what you’re asking: you don’t want to hurt your mother. Show me the body of love and compassion, come on! Go search the entire world and bring me the body of love. Would you find it anywhere? This world or any other world? This planet, this solar system, this galaxy, this universe, all multiverses—where is the body of love?

But if you are a body, born to bodies, then you belong only to the world of…? Speak, please!

Questioner (Q): Body.

AP: Bodies. And in this world of bodies, you will find everything except these few little unimportant things like…? Like…? Ah! Who bothers for that? *Love, care, compassion*—they are not bodily really. That’s the price that you pay for belonging solely and primarily to the world. You will get everything that is bodily: huge mansions, sophisticated computers, most expensive cars and jewellery and gadgets. They all have…?

Q: Body.

AP: In fact, it is not even proper to say that they all have bodies: they are names of particularly designed bodies. Anybody here who cares for love and freedom? Please raise your hand. (Speaker raises hand and smiles to the audience) Nice and upright!

The message is clear: take yourself to be a body and forget everything about that which is not bodily. Forget everything that a book of physics cannot cover; everything that is bodily will always be contained in a book of physics. Or biology. Alright, or geography. Geography is the study of…?

Q: Bodies.

AP: Bodies! Biology is the study of…?

Q: Bodies.

AP: Bodies. And physics too is a study of…?

Q: Bodies.

AP: And mathematics enables that study. Because if it is bodily, then it can be enumerated. Whatever is bodily can be expressed in numbers. So you need numbers, you need a strong hold over numbers in order to analyse bodies, measure bodies, map bodies. No mathematics, no mapping, no analysis, no progress. Have you ever found love in a book of geography or biology or history or mathematics? Never found it there, right? Getting it?

If you really want to love your mother, you must forget that you are a daughter. If you are a daughter, then you are bodily. And if you are bodily, then you cannot love. Too bad. If you are a daughter, then you are bodily. You’re born as a female from some other woman—that’s the meaning of daughter. Right? But no body can ever love. If bodies could love, then you would’ve had a chapter called love in a book of biology or physics. Do you ever find that chapter, ‘Love’? Yes, in the book of biology you can find a chapter titled ‘attraction’. There they would talk of bodily juices, hormones, secretion from glands. Those secretions cause attractions. They would talk of pleasure, and they would name chemicals and bodies like dopamine. They give you a sensation of pleasure. But love they dare touch not. Because love—who knows what it is?

Only bodies can be known. All knowledge is about that which is bodily. That which is not bodily is not in the province of knowledge. You are not a daughter. And even if you are a daughter, that cannot be your first identity: that has to be a secondary, a tertiary identity. First of all, you just are. You aren’t anybody; you just are. That’s freedom. Freedom from being any…?

Q: Body.

AP: Body. Any…? Any body. Not just anybody: freedom from being anybody, and any body. That’s freedom: I just am. I am not somebody; I’m not some body. You aren’t somebody; you aren’t some body. I just am. And when you just are, that is absolute freedom. Now you don’t have to do the right; only the right gets done—because the right is movement of existence. It is Tao ; it is Vritt . Existence knows the right way of moving. And that right way does not come from thought or planning or calculation. It does not come as an answer to some question. For that right way you require no Guru to tell you the path. Gurus are required only to help you get rid of the false ways. Once you are free from the false ways, the Guru disappears: not needed anymore! The right way is its own dictator, its own director; the director and the direction both. Are you getting it?

You won’t then ask what is the right way: you are the right way! When you are free, then you are the right way; you don’t know the right way. Please appreciate the difference. You then don’t know the right way, then you…?

Q: Are the right way.

AP: Be with me. Then you…?

Q: Are the right way.

AP: Are the right way. It’s a crude example, but there is a difference between picking up this tumbler, sipping, versus breathing. In an approximate sense you could say you do the drinking, whereas you are the breathing. Approximately, just as an indicator. Understand the difference. You do the drinking in the sense that you decide the occasion, the time, the moment when you would extend your hand to pick this up. Whereas breathing…?

Q: Is automatic.

AP: Not only automatic; uninterrupted, unthought of. I may speak to you, I may not speak to you—the breath is continuous. I might be awake, I might be asleep—the breath is…?

Q: Continuous.

AP: The breath just is . Irrespective of whether your bodily apparatus is engaged in this or that. The body goes to the east—the breath is; the body goes to the west—the breath…?

Q: Is.

AP: Is. But I said it’s a crude example because a day comes when the breath too disappears. That which we are talking of and yet cannot talk of is that which never disappears—That you just are. But you take yourself to be just a body, right? So you say, “I am eating.” ‘I am eating’ is an activity of the lower rung. First of all you just are. Eating will come and go; you will remain. And when I say you will remain, I don’t mean the body because the body too keeps changing. Continuously the body is changing just like your actions. In fact, no action happens without change in the body; you’re eating, you’re eating not—the body has changed; you are in anger, you are silent—the body has changed. Can you be in anger without a corresponding change in the body? You are in shade, you are in the sun—the body has changed.

So the body has no right to say, “I just am”: the body is always dependent on something. The body is so related to the world that a body can never freely say, “I am.” The body would always have to say, “I am related to the shade; I am related to the food; I am related to the mood.” So we are not talking of the body when we are saying that you just are. When you know that you just are, you know how to deal with bodies. In other words, when you know that you are not merely the body, then you know how to look at all bodies.

Firstly, learn to look at your own body. Then you’ll also know how to look at the bodies of your parents. Because you’re terribly identified with the physical self—which you take to be born, which you take to be maturing, which you take to be ripe, which you take to be decaying, which you take to be mortal—so you’ll also look at the bodies of your parents in the same way. Because you have unnecessarily burdened yourself with being a daughter, therefore you also enslave the man and the woman with being your parents.

The daughter complains that the parents are overbearing. But that they are overbearing comes later on: first of all, you have saddled them with parenthood, have you not? The day you were born you imposed another identity on one woman. What was that identity? She is my mother. Look at the injustice that you are doing! When you free yourself of being bodily, when you free yourself of your daughterhood, then you also free the other one of her motherhood. Freedom works both ways. You want freedom, but within the domain of daughterhood. That is no freedom, it’s not possible. That which you are, your mother too is; that which you are, your father too is. I like to say that really, we are all just brothers and sisters: there are no parents or offspring’s here. Getting it?

You are taking minor things to be too important. Maybe your parents are 25, 30 years elder to you. Does that really matter? What is the age of the universe? What is the age of the universe?

Q: 30 million years.

AP: How important then is the 25 years gap? But you say, “No, she has a lot of experience. I’m just a youngster.” Seriously? How much is the difference between 8 and 10 when you compare them to infinity? The two of you are just sisters. Maybe she’s the elder sister. That’s ok. And when you look at her as a sister, then you can really be compassionate; then you can really be helped and help. Don’t enslave yourself, don’t strangulate yourself with these accidental identities.

I just received a photo this morning. 4 little rabbits in Ashram, new-borns, have died. And parallelly, I got the news that another rabbit is pregnant. It happens. Why are you taking these things so seriously? There is something beyond birth and death. And if there is nothing beyond birth and death, then please forget freedom, love, compassion, care, Truth—forget them. And if there is nothing beyond birth and death, then show me how freedom is born. If everything is a born self, then show me the birth of freedom, show me the birth of love. And love that takes birth, love that is born just like bodies, will meet the fate of the bodies: bodies that are born also eventually decompose and…?

Q: Die.

AP: Love that is born will—like other bodies—die. And how would that be? How would that be, to watch the death of love? Please! How does it feel? Even when the so-called superficial love dies, how does it feel?

Q: Painful.

AP: Painful. Please be immersed in that love which is never born, which does not belong to the domain of bodies. That love will never die. And in only that love is there security. Otherwise you will remain so insecure about your love. Have you seen lovers? There are hardly other people as insecure as lovers. You might be leading an otherwise reasonably secure life, but the day you fall in love you start thinking about the longevity of your love; you start wondering whether the lover would stay or leave. You may act as if you are steep in sureness, as if you know that love is immortal, but somewhere within you’re always doubtful and curious—what is happening at the other end? Who is he seeing? Why is he not returning in time? So you take vows, don’t you? So you want a legal commitment. So you’ll even want a financial security: keep this much money with me. It is because our love is like our body. It takes birth, it grows, it becomes old and then it dies. Our love is a punishment for our bodily selves.

Look, just look! Don’t look as a daughter. Look at your father, look at your mother not as a daughter; look! Look clearly! Look sharply! Great realization, some great care will arise from your heart. It will arise from freedom and it will help you set them free. Look at your age. Probably at the same age your mother gave birth to you. Around the same age. But that’s the thing about the body: it is designed to live in illusion.

The mother thinks that at the age of 25 or 30 she’s fit enough to become a mother. But when the daughter is 25, then the daughter is not capable of looking after herself. Does the body ever live in facts, let alone the Truth? The 20-year-old feels like a 15-year-old after a breakup. And the 50-year-old feels like a 20-year-old after getting hitched. Does the body ever live in the fact? The body is just prone to illusions: it follows cycles. Truth follows no cycles. In that there is just composure, stillness, stability, an independent existence; being without botheration; doing without purpose; being without a base. People ask me, “How do I deal with parents, how do I deal with my wife?” All problems are arising because you are a husband. Did you have problems with your wife before you were a husband? Before you were a husband, did you have problems with your wife? So the solution is obvious: don’t be a husband. As long as you are a husband, wife related problems will nag you; as long as you are a wife, husband related problems will nag you. And why do you entertain those problems? In hope of pleasure.

This silly hope of pleasure makes us bear so much, does it not? Are those two moments of pleasure somewhere in the future? They make you tolerate every bit of hell that comes your way. And you call that as hope. You call that as patience. If there is one hope, it is the hope of liberation. That is the only justified hope. And ultimately even that hope has to be given up. To remain as a body is to forever live in the hope of getting that which is beyond the body. That hope never materializes. Do you see this? When you live as a body, you are forever living in hope. What do you live for? Come on, tell me. What do you really live for? What is the one thing that your dry eyes are waiting for? Total love, total freedom, a total dissolution of all worries, the highest attainment – that’s what your living for, right? You look at the impossibility contained in this hope. Remaining so much bodily, so very bodily, you are hoping for something that is…?

Q: Not bodily.

AP: Not bodily. This hope—will it ever materialize? So if you must hope for something, hope for liberation from all your hopes. As a body, if you feel that you are compelled to hope, hope for disidentification from the body. Such hope is called prayer. You’re not being asked to give up something precious, please. I’m just pointing towards that which you anyway want; I’m not giving you a new desire; I’m not exciting, attracting you towards some dreamland or wonderland or some other world. I’m just drawing your attention towards that which you are anyway craving for, crazy for. And I’m telling you that remaining what you are, remaining what you have made yourselves to be, you will never get what you really want. It’s a simple suggestion. What you desire is made impossible by what you have compelled yourself to remain as.

You want good for your parents. You have made that impossible by remaining a daughter. You want love. You make that impossible by remaining a wife. For once, learn to relate to that man not as a wife, not as a woman. And then you will know what it means to really unite. But it sounds so difficult, right? You will say, “If I’m not a woman, what relationship will remain between me and the man? Because the two of us got together first of all due to the sexual chemistry. He was a man, I was a woman, both were attracted to each other. And if he’s no more a man and I’m no more a woman, then there would remain no relationship.” That is not true! At least give the possibility a chance. Why are you so sure? Your confidence is totally misplaced. No man ever is really looking for a woman; the man is looking for fulfilment, don’t you see that? He thinks that fulfilment will come via the woman, so he goes to the woman. No woman ever is hankering after a man; the woman really wants completeness. She’s misled into thinking that completeness can be attained through a man. So she attaches herself to the man.

The man and the woman are not really ends: they are being used as mediums. And the medium is false. It’s a road that appears promising in the beginning, but soon you hit a dead-end. That’s the medium. It does not take you very far. The man gives you a bit of satisfaction and then? Daily quibbles! Nagging troubles! The sullen man. The boisterous woman. Have you ever wondered why men love to deal in jokes on women? There are just a few jokes on husbands, but there are an infinite number of jokes on wives. No, it is not misogyny; there is a spiritual Truth contained in those jokes. The fact is that the man really did not get what he was looking for. The same thing happens with women too. It’s just that they don’t express it so much through jokes. No father is ever satisfied with his son; no woman is ever satisfied with her husband. And we all are crazy for satisfaction, are we not?

Please release yourself. This jail is confinement, is self-made and unnecessary. Please be released. And that does not mean any of those scary things. I know detachment and renunciation and letting go are very terrible and scary words for you. That’s why you don’t use them often. I’m talking of common sense.

I repeat: freedom has no…?

Q: Body.

AP: So it will be never available to bodies. The maximum that a body can get is another body. The stone can be trenched in the water, which means one body has met another body. So the maximum that a body can meet is…?

Q: Another body.

AP: Another body. But if you want freedom, then it is impossible for a body. Show me how a body can meet something that is not bodily. Can it? Come on! Can it? A stone can be kept on table. What has happened? One body has met another body. A stone can be crushed in a crusher. What has happened? One body has been destroyed by another body. What you call as destruction is nothing but a change in form. Still there is no freedom! You can decorate a stone, or you may crush a stone. In either case, is there freedom? You can start worshipping the stone as a deity. Or you can put the stone in an urinal. In either case, the poor stone is just a stone. There is still no freedom.

You just are. You just are. Unrelated, independent, baseless, useless, purposeless, birthless, deathless. Nowhere are you coming from and nowhere do you have to go. You just are; you aren’t even here. You are not sitting here; you just are. You aren’t 20 years of age; you just are. And you aren’t 50 years of age; you just are. If you’re too fond of telling your age, tell that your age is 32 trillion years: that’s how old you are. And if you do not like being so old, just state that your age is one second: you are just born. Either your age is 32 trillion years or half a second; nothing in between befits you. Why not simply say, “I have no age”? Either you are not even here, or you are present in every bit of the entire universe. Why confine yourself to a narrow spot? And if you don’t listen to what I’m saying, then remember that for a stone there is no love. Reject my words—and reject love.

When you hear your name, do respond. But before you respond, you must feel as if you are a stranger to this name. When somebody calls you ‘Martin’ or ‘Jusdeep’ or ‘Anuj’ or ‘Himanshu’, the reaction must not be automatic: you must not immediately feel as if you are being called. When you read your name written on a paper, you must suddenly wonder, “Whose name is this? What relationship do I have with this name?” You must be a stranger to your name; you must be a stranger to your photograph. When you look at your own face on the computer screen or in the mirror, you must immediately wonder, “Whose face is this? Me?!” Not quite. And then, as an after-thought, you may just agree, “Oh, that’s me.” But that should not be your first response. I hope I’m able to convey, it’s subtle.

The agreement that the one in the mirror looking back at you is you must come after a second; it must be secondary. The first thing must be wonderment: who is that? Do I know him? Or do I know her? Ha! Silly. Looking at me. Are you getting it?

Don’t be so one with your name that freedom becomes impossible. There must be proximity, not oneness with the body or the name or the world. Remain around; not in. Where are you? “Well, around here.” When somebody asks your name, say, “Ah, they call me Anuj.” That’s entirely different from ‘I am Anuj’. And it’s stylish as well.


There is a bit ‘oomph’ in this. “They call me Anuj.”

Q: sara shaher mujhe tiger ke naam se jaanta hai (The whole city knows me by the name of Tiger)

(speaks in hindi)

AP: sara shaher mujhe tiger ke naam se jaanta hai (repeats in hindi)


Stylish! Or you may call me ‘Jusdeep’. You can’t do any better! “What’s your name?” “You may call me Jusdeep.”

Never say I am Amit or Hiba or whatever. It’s just a linguistic trick. Yet it helps.

Q: So, then how should I introduce me?

AP: “They call me Martin.” People live on gross levels. They won’t usually even appreciate what you have just said. And if there is somebody fine enough to inquire further, then reveal the secret to him. He deserves to know, tell him. And if there are people who don’t even enquire, let them be satisfied with crumbs; let them be satisfied with the gross and the false. And if you don’t do that, remember, for the stone there is no…?

Q: Love.

AP: When an Ashtavakra speaks, a king, far advanced in numbers, listens. First of all, he must be 30 years elder in age to Ashtavakra. Legend has it that Ashtavakra was just a teenager when he revealed the Ashtavakra Gita to Janak. Just a teenager. And Janak is a king; king and elderly both; advanced in age and advanced in worldly possessions. Of course, if Ashtavakra was thinking of himself as a body, he couldn’t have spoken. A Bhishma is elder than a grandfather; he’s a pitamah , and he begs Krishn to bless him with true knowledge on his deathbed. Obviously, he’s not pretending. The old man is dying, and he’s requesting Krishn: kindly tell me a few things. Before this body dies, bless me with your words. And Krishn was decades junior to him; not one year or 5 years. Only in body.

Krishna has no age; you too have no age. The essence of Krishna is your essence; the essence of Ashtavakra is your essence. Why are you afraid then to be in the Truth, to speak the Truth?

Was Jesus an old man when he was crucified? Early thirties, that’s all. Young man. You could say raw; you could even say impetuous. Raw, brash, wild, uncaring, unyielding. But you don’t judge a Jesus, and certainly you don’t judge a Jesus by his age. That which you are is its own judge. Therefore, it cannot be judged; therefore, you must not worry and wonder whether you are saying the right things. Be bold, be uncaring. This body that you care for so much is anyway going to turn into this (points to the soil) . Would you care for so much bones?

You are like someone who cannot embrace life because she’s holding water in both her palms: My hands are not free! What am I holding?

Q: Water.

AP: Water! For how long will you hoard the water? For how long can you keep doing this? Even if you show immense patience, the water would dry down. But because your arms are not free, you cannot embrace life. You’re saying, “Ah… I can’t greet life! I’m responsible, I’m caring!” Don’t be so responsible. This that you are occupied with is not going to last. And because of this you are missing out on so much.

Get yourself clicked this way and make it your DP.


Trying to save water in my palms and hoping for immortality.

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