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How to rise above material things in life? || Acharya Prashant (2018)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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Question: Acharya Ji, we remain attached to the material things and eventually it all leaves us when we die. How do I detach myself from this old and disappointing pattern of material based existence, that I need a job and money, so that I can be happy?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Carla (the questioner), the more you choose to value stuff, that is not really stuff, in your life, the more you will rise above stuff. Ah! Frowning. Such a stuffed statement.

Yes, death is material. And you have rightly pointed out that one is so attached to the material existence of the others, and one is so attached to things like job and money, that one’s happiness too is contingent on material things.

So, one is attached to the material, right? Why don’t you start valuing love? And if you value love, then aren’t you valuing something that is not material? Please. Is it not often a choice to value love over glitter, convenience, or money? If there is a choice between love and convenience, and you have chosen convenience, then what have you chosen? The material.

Whereas, if you have chosen love, have you chosen material? Is love, material? If love is material, bring some of that material to me, on this plate. Please, somebody serve love to me on this plate. Material can always be transformed, and presented here on this plate. Serve me love here. Please. With some sauce. Can you? You can’t.

That’s the way to beat the material.

But first of all, one has to be fed up with material, and one has to have some love. Good news is, and equally the bad news is, all this is a choice. It is often said, “Love just happens.” We talk of spontaneity. We talk of it’s finality, reversibility. We talk of it’s unknowability. We talk of the total possession that love takes over oneself. But all that is a lot of poetry.

The reality is, that Love too is a choice. Love cannot just overwhelm you, and overpower you, and possess you, if you don’t want it to. You have to allow Love to dominate you. If you don’t allow, it won’t.

It’s such a handicap, you know. Even God needs our permission to enter us. And more often than not, the permission doesn’t come.

Love won’t just happen, you have to permit it. In the choice between convenience and love, the right choice won’t just happen. You have to make it. And the temptation to go with convenience is always there.

So, Carla (the questioner) has to tell me that how important it is to go with Love. I turn the question upon you Carla. If the material annoys you now, then tell me, are you ready to love? Because that is not material. And obviously I could throw a few more words, and complete the mix, the usual culprits – Freedom, Joy, Simplicity, Liberation. They are not material, are they?

Ever seen a cube of Truth? A cube of Truth dissolving in a cup of Love. We haven’t seen that ever. Have we? ‘Colours of Joy’, though we use those phrases. Stupid phrases, but we use them. Ah! ‘The rainbow of Joy’. But the fact is – Joy cannot be seen.

Behind your seeing can be Joy, but in nothing material, in nothing see-able, lies Joy. When you are joyful, then the world is a wonderful place. But if you are not joyful, just seeing something will not give you Joy. It may give you relief, it may give you temporary happiness, but not the real thing. Not, Joy.

Material attracts, because the ego can measure the material. And only the material can be measured. In material lies a lot of security, because material can be stored and possessed. You can write your name on the material. And you can claim it. Nobody else can touch it. You can deposit it in a bank locker, and it is all yours till your death. You can even leave it behind for your kids.

Such is the quality of material.

So there are lot of advantages related to material, are there not? If it is perishable, you can salt it, and preserve it in a container to use it next season. You can pickle it. Love – would you want to salt it, and pickle it? You do want that. Most of us keep trying that, don’t we? Look at the married couples. There love has been salted and pickled, and they want to use it season-after-season.

The mango is long since dead, but the pickle is surviving. Obviously, with no juice. With love, storage is not possible. With material, storage is easy.

Love is the fresh mango, direct from the branch. And then, there are relationships. Old pickles! So oily! They spoil the body. But nevertheless, they are very spicy. Now you choose what do you want – spices with oils and preservatives, and then shrunken piece of mango skin, or the luscious mango.

What is it that you want?

You look at my incapacity Carla. Even to give you an example of Love, I have to use something material. That’s how mind is tempted towards the material. Even to tell you of Love, I have to take the example of the ripe mango.

Listener: And a luscious one!

Acharya Prashant Ji: And a luscious one. Ah!

So now you see why the mind goes towards the material? The ego finds so much comfort there. Right? “This sofa is mine.” With Truth, you cannot do that. Ever heard something called ‘personal Truth’? Truth is not even universal, how can it be personal? But the sofa can very well be personal. And you can modify the sofa. If doesn’t work properly, you can get it cut into something more convenient to you.

A saree can turn into a skirt. There are designers that specialize at it. Bring us old sarees, and we will give you designer dresses from that. With love, you cannot do that. Yes, with the lover’s saree, you can do that.

So, there are many for whom love is just a great saree. Then they don’t need love. In lieu of love, you can give them a great…saree. And they are happy. Often when they need a saree, they do not say that they need a saree, they say, “Jaanu, you do not love me.” And Jaanu understands, she needs a saree.

She won’t directly say that she needs a saree. All that she will say is, that she needs…

Listeners: Love.


Acharya Prashant Ji: Similarly, Jaanu doesn’t need to say that he needs sex. All that Janu says is, “I want to love you.” And she understands what he wants. If he says, “I want to love you,” he means – undress.

Love is difficult, very difficult. It requires guts, something burning within, to want it. If you don’t have that fire, those guts, then you can have ample material.


Most of us are not seekers of Love, we are chasers of lovers. *There is a great difference between them – wanting Love, and wanting a lov*er.

Please meditate on that.

There is great difference between – wanting love, and wanting a lover.

If you have a lover, it doesn’t matter to you whether you have love or not – such is your obsession with lovers.

Because lovers are material, and Love is not.

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