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Menstruation and Mind || Acharya Prashant, Vedant Mahotsav at IIT Delhi (2022)

Author Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant

7 min
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Questioner (Q): Namaste Acharya Ji! Firstly, thank you so much! You have helped me in ways which I cannot explain. So, I am basically a student. I am 26, and I am a student of Philosophy. I completed my M. Phil sometime back.

My problem is that I have a lot of fear and anxiety, and generally I am able to manage it. I indulge myself in spiritual videos. From the last two years, I've been following Osho, and I've been listening to you also for the past 10 months.

I indulge in journaling or self-talk, and I am able to manage it. But there are certain times, wherein it just aggravates in a way, wherein, I am not able to control it. Specifically, before and during the time of menstruation, I am not able to handle it. And it gets so difficult that I am not able to work also - not even day-to-day activities, I don't feel like doing anything. So, in that case, what should I do?

Acharya Prashant (AP): See, you've kind of opened a window into your own situation. You know it is physical, right? It's just that at the time of menstruation, it becomes very visibly obvious that the mental thing is from a physical place. At other times, the physical origins remain hidden. So one is led to believe as if the thoughts, feelings, and fears and anxieties are just of the mind.

The thing is that they are never of the mind. The reason is very simple - the mind is two things concurrently - the body and the pure Self ( you could call as the Truth or the Ātma). The mind is a sandwich. The bodily component is definitely invariably present right since birth, but whether or not the mind will be occupied by or devoted to the pure Self is a choice.

Most of us never make the right choice, as a result, what we call as the mind, is hardly anything beyond the brain. Ideally, the mind should exceed the brain, in the sense that consciousness should exceed the body (Mind is consciousness, brain is body). Right? In an ideal situation, the mind should be way beyond the brain. What is brain? - a mere physical organ, just like arms and feet and eyes and the uterus. That's what the brain is. If the mind is nothing more than the brain, then the mind too will be nothing more than the feet and the arms, and the uterus.

Once I said, and there is an entire chapter devoted to that in one of the books, "Gynecology is Psychology". That what you call as the mind, is nothing more than your genitals. Potentially, one can transcend the body, but most of us do not exercise that choice.

So what are our feelings then? Our feelings are just hormonal. Our thoughts are just glandular. Our decisions, our choices, our likes, our dislikes, our relationships, our sorrows, our elations... What are they? All very chemical, very biological. Getting it? And that is what is to be realized. It's all Chemistry; nothing beyond that. It's chemicals, polymers, in movement. What do I have to do with it! It's so chemical, it is predictable. If something is predictable, is it conscious or mechanical? And what is mechanical, must be left to its own mechanics. Why must you worry so much! Why must you worry!

Why must you take it as something extraordinary happening to you! It is not happening to you; it is a thing of the body. And let it stay there, in the body. Let the mind be unencumbered.

The mind should be free, untouched, by the bodily vagaries. And the body can do anything. The female body does a lot of things. The male body too does a few things. Why let that become too much for you? You know very well that the time of the month is approaching, and you know in advance what is now going to happen to the mind. And since you know that, you are free. You are already free!

It's like setting an alarm. The alarm has been set. The alarm will ring. You are not the alarm. How does it feel to be called the alarm? Hilarious, no? Who am I? - the alarm. And the alarm has been set at, let's say 6 a.m. I am the alarm, it will start ringing. The body starts ringing.

That's how Prakriti Maa has made it. It starts ringing at the particular day in the month and it keeps ringing, keeps ringing. That's how evolution has made it. What can you do about it! You are not the evolved one. You are the one who is, was, and would be always perfect! And perfection has no relationship with evolution. You are so perfect that you are beyond the stream of time in which all evolution takes place.

So what do you have to do with things that are evolutionary, such as the body. Let it be there, let it be there. Let it be there. It's happening, but it's not happening to you. It's just happening. There is somebody who is feeling the pain, somebody feeling the anxiety, somebody is feeling that. And the more intimately and clearly you keep realizing it's chemical, it's bodily, it's evolutionary, it's not Me, the more you will find that things have not changed but their relationship with you definitely has.

It's the relationship that matters. Not that your knowledge of the body's mechanical nature will change things bodily, but your relationship with the body will change and that's all that matters. Are you getting it?

The body has to die one day, it will die. Not that if you are self-realized, the body becomes immortal. No, the body will go its own way. You will not go the body's way. Isn't that nice? Just realize, it's not happening to me. It's not personal. I am not a body. I am not a woman. Something is happening to the woman's body, to the woman's brain, I am not that! I am not that!

Who am I then? I do not know whether I am the pure Self, but at least I am the observer of the happening. This much I can say with certainty. Something is happening, I am the observer. And if I am the observer, I cannot be the observed phenomena. So keep yourself at some distance from the observed phenomena.

Your primitive tendencies will keep on pulling you back to the happening. No! Extricate yourself. Pull yourself away, again. But the happening is just so attractive. You feel like becoming one with it again and again.

So every two minutes, you will have to, again and again, redeem yourself. Take yourself away. Tear yourself apart. That will be needed. With time, it will become easier. It will become something of a habit. Right? You will see what is happening and you will know it is just happening. It is not happening to Me. It comes with practice. Right.

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