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Sir, what is your Life Mantra? || Acharya Prashant, in conversation (2022)

Author Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant

3 min
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Questioner (Q): I think we have come to a point where we want to ask this question to you and get your insight on the title of this podcast, ‘The Philosophy of Now’. What is your philosophy of the now ? And what I mean by that is, what is that life mantra? What is that philosophy that you feel you live by as well as you would like to expand upon for us all? And that philosophy is not necessarily from your past, not something that is always only relevant in your future but something that if you close your eyes, you are meditating, that is the crux of it, that is the foundation of it for you.

Acharya Prashant (AP): Had you asked this twenty years back, I would have been able to say something. Today, I have forgotten all philosophies. There is no mantra that I remember. And I am being very honest with you.

If you ask me, ‘What is your life mantra?’, I will struggle to find an answer. You are asking me, what do I meditate on if I close my eyes? I really do not close my eyes. I do not meditate. I do not remember any mantra.

I keep teaching the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, but there is no point during the day when I feel the need to recall any of the verses, the mantras. My memory is free of them. Maybe they reside somewhere deep within me, what for sure they do not sit in my memory. That does not mean that I do not remember them. Often, I have found that when I need to quote a verse, it comes to me.

There is no life mantra; there is life and there is my response to life. There is no principle I am relying on. You speak to me, I hear you out and then there is a response. There is no idea or thought or principle or formula or mantra there.

Q: Would there be one for the youth?

AP: Depends on the person I am speaking to. Mantras are like medicines. When you present yourself to the teacher and you are diagnosed, then a particular mantra can be advised to you depending on your situation at that time. No mantra is forever.

But you got me thinking, ‘What's my mantra?’ And I am surprised to discover that I have no mantra. That's nice!

Q: That is a mantra in itself. Thank you so much for this amazing, amazing conversation, very thought-provoking but enlightening at the same time. While there was so much to dissect and analyse, we concluded with a freedom from all of it and not the neti-neti that we started with. What we concluded with is: ‘Not this! Not this! Not even a mantra! Just life itself!’

AP: I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you!

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