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Must the mind worry so much? || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
12 min
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sir sir rijak sambaahay thaakur kaahay man bha-o kari-aa.

~ Rehraas Sahib, Fifth Mehala (Nitnem)

The Lord and provides sustenance to everyone, t hen why should you worry my mind?

~ Rehraas Sahib, Fifth Mehala (Nitnem)

सिर सिर रिजक सम्बाहय ठाकुर कहाय मन भाओ करीआ

~ रहरास साहिब, पाँचवा महला (नितनेम)

Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji. How do we engage in compassionate talk with our mind, instead of judging it?

Acharya Prashant: When the Guru’s are saying, “The Lord provides sustenance to everyone, then why should you worry my mind?,” then what does it mean?

Look at the great material world that does not operate with the sense of ‘I’; look at the rivers, look at the stars, look at the galaxies, the entire universe. There is no sense of ‘I’, and yet you know how old the stars, and the suns, and the moons are.

Even without an ‘I’ sense to take care of them, they are there. Forget about somebody else being able to take care of them, even they are not there to take care of themselves. Do the Sun and the Moon take care of themselves? How old are they? How old are they?

Questioner: Billions of years.

Acharya Prashant: Billions of years. And you take so much care of yourself. How old are you? With all the care, you would not cross a century; without any care, they exist, and will continue to exist long after you are gone. That’s the world without the ‘I’.

Then there is the world that has only the prakritik (natural) ‘I’, the world in which the ‘I’ sense is extremely rudimentary. The ‘I’ sense is so underdeveloped, that there are not any individual names – trees, germs, all the bacteria, all the little-little things. And then the animal kingdom.

Of all the living beings on the Earth, human beings constitute just 0.01%, you know. 99.99% of living beings do not have the kind of ego that human beings have, in the sense that they cannot worry.

Man is the only one that has a worrying ego, man is the only one that has ego that looks into the future. Other living beings on the Earth have a very nominal and minimal ego. All that it wants is to be alright, currently. So some food should be there, and that is alright; enough for the day. And may be some sex. Beyond this, nothing is to be demanded.

Give some food to any animal and see how it relaxes. It will never worry about what is going to happen next. And when you go to a form of ‘I’ that is even lesser than that found in animals, the numbers are even more colossal. And they are all doing well for themselves.

By our yardstick, we may judge them and say, “O! They are just pathetic little beings,” but for themselves, they are just doing perfectly fine. You would not meet anybody in the jungle who is cribbing about the situations. You would have probably never wondered about it, but there is never any Kaliyuga in the jungle.

(In Hinduism, Kali Yuga (Sanskrit: कलियुग, romanized: kaliyuga, lit. ‘age of Kali’) is the last of the four stages (or ages, or yugas) the world goes through as part of a ‘cycle of yugas’ (i.e. mahayuga) described in the Sanskrit scriptures. The other ages are called Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, and Dvapara Yuga.)

Source: Wikipedia

No sparrow would say, “O! It is Kaliyuga in the jungle. Things have gone so bad. The crow just took away little bit of my food.”


There, things are just as they are; nobody is complaining. Animals might get hunted, might get killed, but they are still alright; they carry on. So the rivers, and the mountains, and the galaxies are being taken care of, without any ‘I’. The bacteria, and the little things in the oceans, are being taken care of, with hardly any ‘I’. And the birds and the animals are being taken care of, with very little ‘I’.

Even among human beings, where there is a pronounced ‘I”, even the evil-doers who are 99.99% of the human population, are being taken care of. First of all, 99.99% population of the Earth is non-humans, and they are being taken care of. And the great universe, which is all just material, is being taken care of. And among the 0.01% humans, 99.99% are fools, who are still being taken care of.

Does it happen that if you do not worship the God, a great rock falls on your head? Does it happen? You are walking down the road, and you ignore the temple, does it happen that a celestial lion jumps upon you from the skies, bites away your nose, so that the entire world comes to know how big an infidel you are? No nose. Does it happen? So even the evil ones are being taken care of.

The insentient ones are being taken care of, the hardly sentient beings are being taken care of. And among the sentient ones, even the ill-doers are being taken care of.

You might be somebody who spits in the face of Truth, but still you will get oxygen to breathe. Or would you not? Does God punish you by withdrawing oxygen from your lungs? Does it happen?

You may keep cursing God, you may totally not only deny the existence of God, you may go and spit at the temples and mosques. You may say, “These are places where satan lives. These are places of great darkness and illusion.” Still you will get sunlight in plenty, you will get air; nothing would be denied to you.

The One you are trying to deny, is still taking care of you, irrespective of your haughty attitude towards Him. In fact, He is proving His presence, by taking care of you, irrespective of your foolishness.

Are you getting it?

So the Guru is saying, “The Lord provides sustenance to everyone. Then why should you worry my mind?”

Do you see how broad this ‘everyone’ is? Now you still want to worry? Remember that even your worries won’t outlast your physical age. And the Moon is a billion years old.

You are worrying about dying, the joke is that even the ‘worry’ would die. So when worry comes to you and tells you, “You are going to die,” turn your back and tell it, “You too are going to die. Who are you to tell me that I would die? The thing is, I would outlast you. Before I die, you would die.”

Look at the foolish worry, all it has is a lifespan of two minutes. And it is trying to threaten you into thinking that you are so evanescent. “O! You are going to disappear. Please take care of yourself.”

When we were kids, we used to play a game. There would be one fellow who would be blindfolded, and he would say, “ Ghoda jamaal khayee (The horse eats the potion).” And his job was to continuously say this. There were two teams. His own team was there to guide him and warn him against the opposite team. The opposite team’s task was to hit him in the back. If he could be hit in the back, then he was out. And if he could touch the one who had come to hit him, then the one who had come to hit him, would be out. But he could see who was coming to hit him.

He could not see who was coming to hit him, because he was blindfolded. So the fellow was blindfolded, and the fellow from the opposite team was coming to touch him at the back. And if they could succeed to touch him at the back, he would be out. Whereas if he could be warned in advance by his own team members, then what would he do? He would touch them, before they could touch him at the back. And then the other team’s turn would come.

So this fellow’s task was to continuously keep saying, “ Ghoda jamaal khayee (The horse eats the potion).” And his team’s task was to say, “ Peeche dekho maar khayee (Look at your back before you get hit).” So all he had to say was, “ Ghoda jamaal khayee (The horse eats the potion)*.*” And his team had to say, “ Peeche dekho maar khayee (Look at your back before you get hit).”

And, “*Peeche dekho maar khayee*” was to be said only when somebody was approaching. And if somebody was approaching from the left, then it was the task of the team member on the left, to say, “ Peeche dekho maar khayee,” so that the fellow could guess not only the fact that somebody was approaching, but also the direction from where somebody was coming.

So if the sound was coming from this side (pointing at his left) , it means that there was somebody approaching from this side. If the sound is coming from behind, it means that somebody has already approached the back. If the sound is coming from there (pointing at his right) , it means that there was somebody approaching from this side. It’s a very interesting game, so just sprung up. We were talking of worries. “ Peeche dekho maar khayee .”

You do not know who is coming to assault you, and all you are uttering is nonsense – “*Ghoda jamaal khayee.*“


And that too with such gusto (speaking a bit forcefully) , “ Ghoda jamaal khayee (The horse eats the potion)*.*” And then a little voice quips from the right, “ Peeche dekho maar khayee (Look at your back before you get hit).”

That’s what you should tell your mind.

“What are you threatening me with? Look at this entire show, who is coming and who is going? What are these worries about? Is your little existence even a blink on the eye of celestial things?”

“The Moon has seen you since you were an ape. Oh! Even before that. Same Moon, take that. What were you? An ape. And the Moon was watching over you. And you are worried about the existence – “What will happen?” What happened to the ape? Nothing. The ape became you. What will happen to you? Nothing, you will turn into something else. But the ape was till better than you, at least it was not worrying. Without worrying the ape became a man. With all his worries, the man fails to become even an ape.”

I repeat: “The Lord provides sustenance to everyone, then why should you worry my mind?” It’s a liberating statement. It means – your precious time and energy are to be redeemed from the wasteful act of worrying.

What is ‘worrying’? Worrying is nothing but an unauthorised concern for results.

First of all, it is a concern for results. Secondly, it is an unauthorised concern for results. You are trying to speculate about something, you are not authorised to think about.

You have no authorisation, no locus standi to think about the future, to think about everything that will happen in the future, including the results of your actions, and this and that, and still you are speculating about them.

That is ‘worrying’.

Of course, worrying is the other name of hope. When you think negatively about the future, you call it ‘worry’; when you think positively about the future you call it ‘hope’. So worrying is just as equally bad as hoping.

Are you getting it?

Conserve your energy, train your thoughts. Discipline your little self. Time is precious, attention is precious. To waste time, it is not necessary that you must do something wasteful. It is just enough to worry.

You can sit on your armchair, doing absolutely nothing, and still you can waste an enormous length of time. Can’t you?

Listeners: Yes.

Acharya Prashant: What are you doing? No, you are doing something more than doing. You are…..

Listeners: Worrying.

Acharya Prashant: It is no ordinary action; it is hell of an action. It is called ‘worrying’. You can call it being ‘pensive’, being ‘brooding’, a lot of good sounding names can be given to worrying.

Having conserved yourself, get down doing the Right thing. What is the Right thing? “Now that I am available to myself, now that I am available to the Right action, let me simply get into the Right action.”

Look at where darkness is, and dispel it. Look at where falseness is, and fight it. Look at where bondages are, break them, and liberate yourself. And you cannot do that, if you have the future in mind. If you have the future in mind, the mind is not available for the great task.

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