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How to Make the World a Better Place? || Acharya Prashant
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
18 min
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Questioner (Q): So, if we have young girls in our life whom we can influence or talk to, what do you suggest we should share with them?

Acharya Prashant (AP): It’s a position of tremendous responsibility. Men corrupt women and then suffer as a consequence. Women remain womanly and suffer. I think if there is a girl, a little girl, or a teenage girl, in your life you can influence, the best thing would be to not influence her.

Yes, not influence her. And if you have to influence her, then the influence has to be remedial. Influence her only if there is a great need to rectify something that’s obviously bad, obviously evil. Only then you should interfere in her life. Introduce her to greatness. Just give her glimpses and options as to what all is possible in human life. Let her take decisions of her own. Enable her to take decisions of her own.

If we suffer in our relationships with women, I repeat, we are just paying for the sins of history, and one way to rightly pay for those sins is by, at least, not corrupting the young girls anymore. So, my position on this is nuanced. On one hand, I definitely do agree that, as things stand today, men do suffer in their relationships with women. Obviously, women too, do. I agree that men suffer a lot. I also know that suffering does not come from a particular relationship or a particular person. It comes from the centuries of ignorant conditioning mankind has lived through. It comes from spiritual deficiency. So, we cannot avoid that suffering. We have to pass through it, and if we have to pass through it, we better do that with some decency, some dignity. And one exhibition of that dignity would be our relationship with the young girl you are referring to.

Do not raise her in the image of mankind as we have known it. Again, but that would be possible only if firstly, you have enough self-knowledge to know that all selves are false. Only then would you not want to impose a particular self upon her.

So, you need to have that spiritual orientation. First-of-all, you need to have that self-knowledge in your own inward domain. Only then you can deal with her rightly. There are just too many toxic sources of influence. And they can act very surreptitiously, so keep an eye on those things. Yes, it’s a huge responsibility. Do not get into the missionary work of liberating women without, first of all, having enough self-knowledge.

You know, especially, as a young man, you must be very skeptical of yourself. There are just too many young men who begin by trying to liberate young women of their own age and end up just fathering their kids. So, be very cautious of your intentions.

Because it’s extremely likely. Who am I? I’m a father figure to her. My intention is to just help her and raise her, support her and all the while my balls are itching. So, have at least that much of awareness about your intentions, or else it’s such a cool alibi.— I’m just trying to spiritually liberate her, I am trying to peel of the layers of her conditioning. And all this while you are peeling of her cloths. That’s all that you managed to peel off. Right, son?

Q1: Too many liberators around here. A lot of. (laughing)

Q: I started off annoyed and frustrated at women for making it so hard for me to understand them. And as you explained I guess, what’s staying with me is that it takes a really fearful and scared mind to want to communicate in that way. And it makes me much less frustrated.

AP: I don’t know whether you have lived in the small-town India of the 90’s of the last century or something.

Think of the girl who has to be all the time alert, that her bra strap doesn’t show up. What kind of attention can she give to her books? Even as she is occupying her seat in the classroom, in the college, all her attention is on her dupatta (shawl), on the vultures’ eyes, so she will be fearful. And when you are fearful you are violent. When you are fearful you are mad. So, on one hand, I do admit, that she is often mad. And I also know that madness is not her fundamental nature, madness comes from a lot of fear and other toxic things.

It has to be a nuanced position. We cannot just admit the ways of the womenfolk today as sane, or normal or healthy. But even as we point fingers, we must know what lies behind the madness. We must also know that madness can never be partial or partisan. If there is madness on that side, there would necessarily be madness on this side as well.

A disclaimer: this does not mean that there are no evil women, obviously, there are. This does not mean that there are no women who are not fearful but actually scheming, cunning, vile. They definitely are. But if such women exist, so do such men. There are gold diggers. There are women who actively conspire to lead lives as free riders, eating upon somebody else’s fortune, somebody else’s labour, there do exist women of this kind. But whenever you come across such specimens, it’s pertinent to ask: One, ‘Where did they come from? Who raised them? What influenced them?’ Secondly, ‘If they are so vile, so decadent, don’t we have the corresponding numbers on the other side as well?’

Q2: Acharya Ji, we have almost come to the conclusion, but my question is as the first question and is regarding the current culture that you see on Instagram, and also the popular actresses who get the audacity to say it on the stage that, ‘God measures my bra size,’ and the Instagrammers who clearly know that the depth of my cleavage is proportionate to my likes and they clearly use it. They are not ignorant, they are very, very clever and they are using it on all these…

Q1: Someone falling for the advertisement.

AP: I would rather educate men to not press the ‘like’ button. As long as there is somebody to keep pressing the like button, there would be somebody to keep unbuttoning the cleavage.

Q3: Acharya Ji, it has to be shared responsibility also, in fact, in a different context. I remember you have also mentioned that, for a single question, doesn’t the woman also have her own sense and consciousness. Even if you know…

AP: See, that goes without saying. Had this been a gathering of women, I would have asked them what do you really get by doing all these things. But because I am talking to you, so, I will say, ‘Why do you press the like button?’ To the woman, I will ask, ‘Why do you post such pics and what fun do you really get in doing all this and where would it take you?’ See, these two things are going together, she is posting that, and you are pressing the button. Also, if today I educate her, and next she poses as a veritable goddess, totally clad in a saree. Would you encourage her by gifting her with twice the number of likes? Would you?

The day she poses all covered up, her likes will dwindle to what, one by ten. What message are you sending her? And she is no goddess really, right? She is vulnerable. She is weak, like anyone of us. If you keep sending her all the wrong messages, she will fall for it. And who does not want to act lazy in life? If I can earn both my bread and my respect by just flaunting my body, it’s a cool deal, is it not? Why should I slog for long hours and do this and do that? I would rather just keep the body fit, presentable, sexy, and eat out of it.

Q1: I think, I have had a little ascension with this talk. Little more open towards the gender, in that sense, yes.

AP: I hope that openness does not result in…

Q1: (Laughing) Yes.

AP: But all I want you to appreciate it that you cannot have corruption on just one side. I am not asking you to discount the corruption on that side. No, the corruption that you are talking of definitely does exist.

So, if you have seen really wild women in your life, I fully admit the possibility that there are actually quite vile. That’s all right. What I want us to see is that if there is ignorance and stupidity and all those things on that side, they are bound to be present in equal measure on this side as well.

Q1: Their violence is not independent of…

AP: Exactly, exactly.

Q4: Thanks for making it so clear Acharya ji, because it seems like a trait of toxicity and falsity. If women are posting stuff because men are liking them, men are falling into trap of EMIs, buying cars because women are showing so much…so both…

AP: Obviously. The culprit is Maya . If you have to name a person as the culprit, the person who said that man does not need spirituality is the culprit. There was one particular passage in Hindi.

It is there in a video as well, when I said that, a man and a woman are walking together, and they both find their money is stolen and they both had their wallets and money in their back pockets, and they are walking next to each other. The woman puts her hand in her pocket and finds that money is gone. And the man puts his hand in his pocket and finds the money is gone. Both of them are suspecting that the other did it. Because these are the two-walking hand in hand and next to each other. The woman thinks that the man did it and the man thinks that woman did it. Both think that the other exploited them. Whereas the fact is that there is a third person in the scene invisible to both of them, who is the real pickpocket, who has robbed both of them.

He has, first of all, robbed being a third one. First thing, it’s the third party, not either of the two. Secondly, he has robbed not one, but both of them. And thirdly, since neither of them know this so they are busy pulling each other’s hair. It’s a third one, the invisible one behind our back.

Q1: One more learning that I have got from this is that rather than, because now when the game is actually in front, so rather than dealing with the topic of woman in, you know, as a thing, it is better that to put your energy into your own accession. Because what you are wanting…

AP: Instead of blaming the woman, put your energy in your own betterment and that will make you more appreciative and more compassionate, and you will be able to do better things with yourself and also with the woman.

Q: Blaming the woman makes it easier for me to not look at myself.

AP: Blaming the women makes it easier for me to remain the man I am, and that’s no good. And that’s the man that caused the woman to be that way, so, no good.

Q1: So, blaming or, you know, discussing and everything, in that perspective or from a man’s perspective, is only deepening the wound and not really healing.

AP: Deepening the wound and reinforcing the two poles, the two respective positions. She will become more of what she has been, I will become more of what I have been, and this way the two egos will both nourish and prosper, and life will be ruined.

Q1: Third one is enjoying this.

AP: The third one is enjoying the game all the while.

Q4: A feminist journalist in America asked Vivekananda ji, I mean what you have come from India, what is your, I mean, how do you, what project have you undertaken to really help the women out, in their back there in your country? So, he said, ‘If you are asking a man, you are not getting any answers from me.’

AP: That’s what. ‘I am not a man,’ and only then can I teach the woman, that she is not a woman. If I am a man, then she is a woman, and if she is a woman then there is no hope. The woman’s hope lies in not identifying herself with her woman-ness. Therefore, if I am a man, how do I tell her she’s not a woman?

Q1 : On a very different scale, individual scale, just something that as a man, I have always found, the challenging part is that women seem to be an existential choice in a way, that’s totally different, it’s very not in the context of what we are talking, but in the sense that they occupy a very central position in a man’s life in the sense that…

AP: Vice-versa.

Q1 : Yes, yes. I am talking about my own, so ascension, because on one hand just putting the whole thing across I have not…It has just come right now, so, it is taking time. The whole thing that on one hand, when the third trait has been shown so clearly, then there is desire to ascend as soon as possible because surely the suffering is a lot here. But on the other hand, what counter question is coming is that if I ascend, then I might just totally lose my, you know, ability to, my want to be with a woman.

AP: No, right now given your position, you want to be with the kind of woman, that your position portrays and sketches. Your position paints a particular woman of your dreams and desires, and you want her. When you ascend, then your position will bring you to another kind of woman.

Q5: Acharya Ji, you told for the Rishis (seers), there was an apt environment, where the Rishis could arise. So, what are the dangers that the environment can get destroyed, or from some external thing happened or something from within happened. So, this goes away, this fades away. What are the dangers to that environment in that state?

AP: The wrong forces in power. You have a king who decides to just clear the forests of the Rishi’s cottages, burn them down, hack them down, destroy the libraries, destroy the institutions, the systems, you require worldly patronage as well. You require the right worldly forces to wield power. Could we be having this discussion in an environment that legally forbids talking sense, talking freedom, and talking freedom post mid night?

So, even for internal growth or Liberation, you do require a favorable, conducive, external climate. So, who holds the reins of power becomes quite relevant. The society must learn to value the right forces, the right people, and the ones with authority must really be Seers and Sages. If the ones wielding authority are very ignorant and mediocre individuals, with very ordinary desires and intentions, then the entire society will suffer.

They must know what to patronize, what to suppress. Tender things always require delicate hands to protect and nourish them. Not everything can be left to coincidence or the market. Certain things have to be nourished very deliberately, purposefully. The market or random accidents will not create a work of art or something very extraordinary.

If you want something extraordinary like Liberation to happen in the society, then you have to take extraordinary care as a society. As they say, ‘You leave enough monkeys with enough keypads and within an hour, one of them will compose all the works of Shakespeare.’ All you need is enough monkeys, enough! Then just as a matter of probability, one of them will equal Shakespeare. But do you want to leave things to probability? No, if you really want to produce Shakespeares, then you need good institutions. You need authorities who have that vision, who know what to bring up in what way, who know, whom to accord respect, whom to assign power to. You need that kind of a society that chooses the right kinds of rulers, brings up the right kind of institutions. Otherwise, you are depending just too much on chance.

Q4: You mean those who have the economics in their hands will determine the culture.

AP: Yes, to a great extent. See, it’s no coincidence that the rulers themselves were educated by the Sages. So, that was the quality and the pedigree of the rulers. Now if you are being sired by a Sage, what do you do when you ascend to the throne? You respect the Sages, you accord them power, you give them the resources that they need.

Q1: Value that what they value.

AP: You would value what they value, there would be resonance in values.

Q4: We will create an ecosystem where more such…

AP: Where more such sages can prosper, yes.

Q: So, you said economics drives the values but isn’t a lot of desire for economics or desire for wealth rooted in bad values?

I guess my question is, how can we expect people who use any possible means to get wealth, to suddenly change and propagate different values that got them the wealth?

AP: See, there can be obviously no formula, but remember that those in positions of authority do depend on the society to some extent at least, to catapult them to authority.

So, the society has to determine, what kind of rulers it would have, and if the society is sane, then it will bring the type of people to power who would, economically and otherwise, patronize the right institutions and the right people. So, if your question is, how would that happen? How to get the society to do that?

To get the society to do that, you have to teach the society, but who would teach the society, if the conditions were adverse? The chicken or the egg thing. Then in such a situation, you require a miracle. Because what we are talking of is a system, we are talking of, is the sage as a product of the system which will not always be. We are talking of a situation in which the system produces the sage or the system encourages the sage, and then the sage nourishes and cleanses the system, but that will not always be. So, then what do you require? I said you require a miracle. Then you require a kind of sage who remains a sage, irrespective of an adverse system. The system is adverse, and the rulers are stupid and vile, and still, this person or group of persons exists and in face of adversity impacts the society, strongly enough to change their choices.

But again, I mean, if you are asking for this then, you are asking for a de facto miracle, and you cannot command miracles to happen. Miracles may or may not happen. Miracles do happen, it’s a matter of grace, but you cannot depend on them.

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