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I love you. I also love chicken || Acharya Prashant, with MMMUT Gorakhpur (2023)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
15 min
60 reads

Questioner (Q): Hello sir, Valentine's Day is coming and for the past few days in our College there has been a an environment of romance and every day there is a new celebration. There is Teddy day, then Rose day and then chocolate day and we often see that these loving couples, who are in a romantic relationship, end their relationship in a very bitter way. So, I wanted to know, why relationships that start with such kicking romance and teddy bears and roses and everything end in a such a bitter and ugly way and what is the secret of a long and loving relationship?

Acharya Prashant (AP): One wants a loving relationship, that I can understand, but why does one want it to be long? And that's the reason why the splits are often so bitter. This yearning for length is a desire for security, which basically means possession. When you say that you want something to be with you for a long period, ideally an infinite period, what you are saying is that you want to control that thing and control is violence; is it not?

Q: Yes, it is.

AP: And control is fear and where there is fear obviously there is no love. So, if in love, you are looking towards the future, there is surely very little love. If in love, you are looking to formalize or legalize the relationship again, there is very little love. Love has to be a thing that scoffs at the future. Love is a commitment to be better. Love is when you look upwards, love is the way you look at the moon — upwards. Love is the way you look at the sky. Love is being with that, that makes you tilt your head like this (looking towards the sky). I'm looking at something, at someone far bigger and higher than me and you know, when your head is thrown back, that's when your head has bowed down. Because now you are looking at someone higher than yourself and that's what bowing down is.

Do you see this? You're standing in front of the mighty Himalayas and how do you look at them? Downwards? Head hanging? No, head tilted upwards. Love is the upward glance and if the thing you are looking at is actually bigger than you, then it will make you forget all your desires. So, love and desire cannot go together, please understand this. The moon or the mountain should be able to make you forget yourself. So, love is that which makes you forget yourself. You're looking at the moon and you are gone and if you are gone, where are your desires? The two are gone, are they not? Where is the future? The future has been dismissed because I do not exist, that's what love must do to you. It must make you disappear. That is not something you can nibble at, enjoy the taste of and swallow, no. Love is not something you can consume. Love is not something that tastes delicious. Love is something that does not let you remain. If it's not making you forget yourself, it's not love.

Gone! (Looking upwards). So, how can you remember a particular day as the day of love? Love is when you forget all days and all nights. Love is when you forget that even you are. If you are not, then there is not even a birthday, let alone Valentine's Day. Is all this sounding too surreal, too abstract? How do I help it? You see, you go to the other because the other appears attractive and the other appears attractive because you already have a hunger for stuff. The stuff that you want you see there in the other. So, you go to the other to consume stuff. If the stuff has been consumed, then the other is of no use. If the other is unable to provide stuff for your consumption, even then the other is of no use. So, how can there be any life in the relationship? You just want to sink your teeth into the other and that's also what the other wants. So, two people biting each other — has to be a very violent teddy, no?

We do not know love. Life is an opportunity to know love. In the name of love, all we have is glands, secretions, hormones, genitals, procreation, the insatiable hunt for experience — all that obviously has to come to a dirty end and that's what it comes to. The fellow did not learn love in eighty years of his life and you think love can be a thing of one special day? Not possible rather infantile to nurture such a thought. What is the boy coming to you for? What is the girl looking at the boy for? Is it all not so obvious? Come on. And these two are not to be ridiculed, they are to be petite. Because not only will they not get what they are looking for, but they are also laying the ground for a lot of suffering. Don't you see that the moment you wish someone a long-lasting relationship, what have you said about the nature of their relationship?

Q: They're going to be bonded to each other for a long time.

AP: It’s just that what I'm saying will sound very scary because we are people of fear. We just do not know what it means to live in freedom, and we suffer from a terrible feeling of inferiority. The ego somewhere knows that it is little. So, that's inferiority and the ego is quite confident that if it does not latch to the other, the other will be gone. And therefore, the relationship has to be made long-lasting.

The moment you try to form a relationship, the relationship is already dead. So, what does that mean — great relationships don't have a future? No, great relationships don't care for a future, and these are two different things. Great relationships do not formalize the future, great relationships are not ideas in the mind. They are not pre-planned, things happen, and things happen in ways that you cannot even think of — ways beyond the mind, ways not of desire but of destiny. But here you are, six months into the relationship you start yelling, “Oh! Let's think of our future, what about us? Let's talk about our relationship” and all that is very normal and very sad. It does not have to be this way. A young person is a fresh possibility. It does not have to be nipped in the bud.

But that's how even the greatest opportunities are lost. Every damn shopkeeper knows your desire. The roses will be at a premium, the teddies will run out of stock, even hotel rooms will be difficult to get, and a simple table in a restaurant will become so elusive. Today is February 12, and you want to just go out all by yourself on the 14th night, impossible. You will have to have reservations made today, and I'm not sure, even today is too late. So, that's the quality of our love, every shopkeeper knows the very fabric of our love. So, they all prepare it well in advance.

Real love is unknown even to the lover, how can it be known to the shopkeeper? Real love offers you no assurance, no security, it's bigger than you, you see. It will not come to offer you a discount. Do the mountains bend down to greet you? No, they don't, but our love is such a little thing, and the word relationship is such a trap, unfortunately. It does not have to be, but it is. If you really wish someone well, do not wish them a relationship in the normal sense of the world. Let people relate to each other, let people relate to the right one. Learn, develop, know. If you are a woman, really knowing a man will help you know yourself better. Knowing the other can be a way towards self-knowledge.

Thinking that the other is a means to satisfy your desires — desires that in themselves are quite hollow and pitiable — all that is no good. I don't know whether any of this that I am saying makes sense in the kind of world we are living in. In this world, people are supposed to pick a job, pick a girl, breed kids, have insurance, enjoy certain pleasures, then spend some time in the hospital, and then just be dusted. That's the way of this world. In this world, is it possible for a girl to really know a boy? For a woman to really intimately relate to a man? Very difficult, but if that doesn't happen then, is life worth living? Not quite. I am talking of the two genders because you're talking about Valentine's Day. Obviously, love is not person-specific, not gender-specific, not something that is confined to a certain age, and in a nutshell, all that is nonsense. So, you are born to do much better than that and if you have someone who takes all these days too seriously then avoid, just avoid.

Q: I have watched a few of your videos on Valentine's Day itself and I was going through a few of the media reports, which claimed that some of the Hindu outfits in Mumbai are going to observe the upcoming Valentine's Day as a cow Hug Day.

You won the most influential vegan award from PETA last year and at the same time, you always talk a lot about the meaning of true love and compassion towards the animals, towards the cows, towards the rabbits, etc. My question to you is that it's quite very possible that the motto behind hugging the cows on this very particular day may be very good, but according to you, though you have said that there's no one particular day for Love, but can there be a more compassionate way for celebrating upcoming February 14?

AP: Pre-teens do all these things. You know Katie wants to tease John, so, she goes to Jack and hugs him. All this is just to make John envious and make him feel lonely and ignored. So, does Katie really love Jack? So, do we really love the cow? You do not want the girl to hug the boy, so you're telling the girl to hug the cow. Poor cow and the cow never asked for that hug. In all this, where is the consent of the cow? Do not become Jack. If somebody is coming to you just to annoy someone else, do not offer yourself for a hug.

Unfortunately, the poor cow has no choice, and we'll have a barrage of pics streaming in and videos of people hugging a reluctant cow. The cow is somehow trying to make her way to greener pastures, it's a bull she wants. Yes, nonsense, there is no compassion in this, this is not about the cow, this is just cultural reactionism of the pre-teen variety I said. That's the kind of maturity such things have.

If all animals are to be loved, that’s such a wonderful thing, why only the cow? Secondly, why only on February 14? And we know of ample cow lovers who enjoy their chicken. This won't do. The cow is indeed lovely, and I had the opportunity to be recorded while talking to a cow, that was in Rishikesh. It's a long conversation and a beautiful one. They are very special and magnificent creatures, but they have to be taken as representatives of all flora and fauna. You cannot be selectively loving towards a cow and that love has to outlast the February 14. This is disrespectful even towards the cow. If Katie goes to Jack just to annoy John, is this respectful towards even Jack? No, Jack should refuse all this — “No, don't come to me on a recoil” That's how we all do. The moment you break up you are so hungry, you start looking for another plate.

Q: New relationships. People start searching for a new relationship.

AP: I wish we had true compassion; I wish we really loved the cow. If you really loved the cow, do you know what is the first thing we'd do? Drop all dairy. Do you really love the cow? Drop all dairy this moment, stop all this milk business if you really love the cow. So, the cow Hug Day should be the day, all dairy industry should be permanently terminated. You very well know that milk and beef are very closely related, and you probably do not know what all is done to the cow to get you your glass of milk. The cow is very unwilling to be milked by any creature and it would be common sense.

You have a female mammal, why would she want to exist to provide milk to you? And that too of another species? So, hug the cow and liberate the cow. We never think of what happens to the male calf, do we? We are talking about the cow. The female calf becomes the cow, and what happens to the male calf? You don't want to talk about it. You don't want to ask, “How is the cow able to yield so much milk?” The milk can come only when the cow is pregnant, first of all, and how is she impregnated? You don't want to know that, you just want to have a holy image, a romantic image, a juvenile kind of caricature to carry, “Oh! There is the cow, and the cow is so happy. In her udders, she is carrying milk for mankind.” Why will she do that? No common sense? She's carrying milk for her baby and the baby is most often killed at the time of birth itself so that you can have the milk and the cow cannot be a milk supplier all her life.

Just like the human female after a certain age, she cannot give birth and therefore no milk. Have you ever inquired about what happens to the cow after that? Have you ever inquired how cum India is the biggest exporter of beef and a lot of that beef, by the way, comes from Uttar Pradesh? Yes, cow beef is difficult and therefore not so much, but then most of the milk that you take is anyway buffalo milk. So, the beef too is buffalo beef. Basically, it means wherever the milk comes from, that animal will turn into beef. Because it is the buffalo that is the principal supplier of milk, so it's buffalo beef. But we don't want to know all those things, we just talk of hugging cows and such infantile ideas. The cow deserves much more. All these token gestures will not help her — randomly hugging a cow and clicking a pick is good only for likes and comments. It will not do her any good.

Q: So, it's quite very possible that what you are saying may annoy those moral policies. Would you like to give another name to this February 14 instead of cow hug day?

AP: Why should I give it another name? Why should it be important at all? Why should any random day be named? It's a day like any other day. Why does it need to have another name? It's a day. You sound a bit afraid.

Q: Not afraid but it's quite very possible that the courage comes from clarity, and I lack that clarity. I don't know in terms of love and relationships.

AP: What can ‘they’ do? You know, so do I, what we are talking about and who we are referring to. Let them come.

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