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They aren't bachelors, they are wannabe husbands || Acharya Prashant, with Delhi University (2023)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
18 min
83 reads

Questioner (Q1): Hello, sir. Good evening. My name is Poorak Singh. And so, my question is regarding being single in India. Sir, your movement promotes antinatalism, which led to a lot of people remain single and go against marriage. So, if we talk about in India, singles have to face through a lot of challenges like renting a house or housing society, housing society keeping eye on them and tracking them oftenly. Their argument is that the singles can make any mistake any day. So, my question from you is that, how would you suggest them to deal with such preset notions?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Have you gone through such experiences?

Q1: Not yet, sir, because I am living in a parent's site/ right (2:02 incomprehensible word) now.

AP: See, it's a small price to pay, isn't it? I am sorry I didn't get your name.

Q1: Sir, my name is Poorak Singh.

AP: Poorak, this is such a small price to pay, is it not? No? Let's gladly pay this price. There is nothing in it. Think of the travails of a normal married person, now compared to his situation, the situation of a bachelor and the consequent challenges of a bachelor are just about nothing. And you cannot have everything. There will be a price to pay.

What you are saying is you want to; you want to enjoy all the freedom and all the benediction that comes with not being trapped in marriage. And also, you want to have easy places to rent and to live in. No, no, you can't have both. And it's not a big problem if people are not prepared to let you in their premises. Anyway, you are single. So, you don't have, really have to worry about four people. So that's, that's okay.

Q1: The only alternative we can have like to face the issues we are having; it's not an issue, according to you.

AP: You see when you are born human, you are born into problems. One has to choose his problems carefully. And if this is the price you have to pay for not choosing a far, far bigger and needless problem, then it's a very small price to pay. It's a very small price to pay. If you want to go deeper into this question, you will have to go into the institution of marriage. You'll have to understand that.

What's all that about? And right now, that you are married, you will easily get somebody's place to live in. Somebody will be very happy to rent you his premises. He'll say, "Fine, are you married? Walk in." And if you are married with three kids, then you will be all the more welcome. The entire market is looking to welcome people with husbands and wives and kids. Right?

Have you not seen all these restaurants loudly, proudly displaying? Something… —"Sartaj family restaurant." The market loves families. And when some particular producer releases a movie, he wants to tell you five times—"It's a family movie," "It's a family movie." All the shows that you get at 9 p.m., they have the maximum TRPs because they are family shows. They are family shows. So, everybody watches them. And so, the market loves families.

But you must figure out whether raising a family is the best thing that you can have. And when you see that the market loves families, you will also see why the market wants to punish bachelors. You see, if you are a bachelor and you walk into a restaurant, why would the restaurant want to afford you a table? Let's say they have tables with four chairs each. Typically, that's how restaurants are, right?

I'm not talking of cafes that are meant for couples. So, there is a table with four chairs, and you have just walked in solo, and you are saying you want to occupy a table, and if a bachelor occupies a table, the four tables near it go unoccupied. Also, you have occupied one table, and three chairs are now vacant. So, it's loss of business.

The market does not like bachelors. But what's bad for the market might actually be very, very good for the individual. Especially when you see that a lot of that market survives on fleecing the individual. Does it not? You have to see what is good for you. You don't have to become a scapegoat so that somebody else's pockets are fattened or so that somebody's cultural biases are maintained.

I'm not against relationship. I'm talking of those who have happily, wisely, in all consideration and discretion, chosen to be single and yet complain about the troubles that come with being single. To them, I'm saying, if you want to marry or if you want to be in a relationship, that's fine. That's wonderful. But if you have, with all due thought and discretion, chosen to be single, now don't complain. Because you've probably made a great decision. And with each great decision comes a price to be paid. Please have the heart to pay that price. And if that price appears too much, then you go ahead and surrender to the society.

Anyway, your parents and your neighbors and the extended family and dada dadi and friends, they all are too eager, and don't they all keep poking you? — ”Teri kab ho rahi hai?” (When are you getting married?) So that's the day anyway, everybody is pushing you towards. So, if you feel that it's too big a price to pay, then oblige those people and they'll be all very happy. They'll come to dance in your wedding, and everybody will be happy except maybe one or two persons.

Q1: Okay, so basically, it's the price. You know, the problems you are having is the price of being an individual and staying single.

AP: Obviously, you see, to be an individual in this world where you only have crowds and sheep is a great luxury. I really wish you that luxury. This is a world in which you don't have individuals. You have people who follow traditions, people who follow their conditioning in the name of culture. But you don't have people who have the consciousness that is strictly individual.

They cannot think. One never thinks in a crowd. One thinks for himself, no? Thought is the most individualistic thing, provided the thought is not conditioned. But we let the society pervade into our thought as well. Society penetrates the very root of our thought, and then even thought is not individual. So, if you can be a free thinker, if you can be someone who has the wisdom and the courage to live life on his own understanding, in his own light, then you are a successful person. And the problem that you talked of, of people not welcoming bachelors into their properties, it's a small problem. And you know mostly, mostly, who creates that problem?

Q1: Society?

AP: No, no, no. That problem is created by bachelors who wanna be married. If you are a real bachelor, why would you create ruckus in your house and in your society? You see, if you look at the usual bachelor, he is bachelor only temporarily. He is always in the queue to get married.

So, it's unfair to even call him a bachelor. He is just a wannabe husband, not a bachelor. Not a bachelor, a wannabe husband. Now, these wannabe husbands are the ones who create all the trouble. And I know that they create trouble because they are wannabe husbands. They start salivating wherever they see some woman. Sometimes they would trouble the landlord's wife herself.

Now, why would the landlord be so eager to let you in? Because you are not a bachelor. These people are blots. They are ignomities in the name of bachelors. All bachelors should collectively decide to exclude them from the bachelor's club. Bachelorhood. See, I am not completely joking. It's only half a joke, right? I am half serious.

Bachelorhood is an achievement. Not everybody deserves to be called a bachelor. Not everybody. Just because you did not have the opportunity to get hitched, you cannot be called a bachelor. Just because all the girls have been kicking you away, you cannot be called a bachelor.

You are a bachelor when you realize the nature of your true self. When you realize that just being with someone of the other gender is not going to relieve you of your loneliness, then you are a true bachelor. A bachelor is one who is a bachelor by dent of his understanding, by dent of his realization, not because of chance or lack of opportunity.

Now in India, especially in north—Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, we love to kill all the baby girls. Right? So, the sex ratio at birth is abysmally low. So, in places like Haryana, in many districts, even in Rajasthan, even in western UP, girls are hard to find for marriage. So, people have to remain bachelor because of compulsion. No girls are there who want to marry. Now, these are not fit to be called bachelors.

You are a bachelor when you realize who you really are. When you are a bachelor, you realize that it's silly just being welded to a woman or a man for your entire life. When you realize that the very foundation of the institution of marriage is sexual, and you do not want to remain in a sexual relationship all your life. Now, this would hurt a lot of people.

The moment I say that the institution of marriage is founded on sexuality, many people start squirming. Because they want to claim that husband and wife they share a bond of emotion, and together, they face challenges and together live through life, all the romantic, filmy, fluffy stuff. They want to claim all this. All this that they have seen in movies. Husband and wife living together. They grow old together, and then they die together or whatever. So, they think that that's the core of the institution of marriage. They want to deny the obvious thing.

If togetherness is the core of marriage, why don't you marry someone of the same gender? Why can't you have togetherness with a man, as a man? Why this togetherness comes only with someone who has the opposite gender and the kind of genitals that suit yours, to put it very, very bluntly? So real bachelorhood is when you realize the very nature of the institution of marriage, and you say it is nonsensical.

When you realize that it is just not tolerable to continuously share your personal space with someone just because of sexual or emotional reasons. When you realize that, when you see through this social trap. It is not just social; it is biological as well. And that's what society will also tell you. They will say you must get married; otherwise, how will human civilization proceed? Which is such a stupid argument to give.

The onus of furthering the human race does not rest on you. Who yoked you with this responsibility? And anyway, there are lot of idiots all around who will take the human civilization ahead. Why must you sacrifice yourself? So, when you start seeing through the stupidity of that whole institution, that's when you are truly a bachelor.

And when you are truly a bachelor, do you know who you are? Then you are a sage. Then you are a Rishi. Most of them would not marry. Some of them did. They must have had their reasons. Or maybe they were married before they could have some wisdom. But most of them, if you look at the saints, the sages, and the philosophers, the proportion of bachelors among them is staggeringly high. Why? Because they had wisdom. Simple.

I am not restraining anybody from getting married. Please do get married, and please do not curse me. Do not troll me. Or troll me if you would. That's your choice. Just as you would get married by your choice, you can do whatever you love to. But please, whatever you do, do in some consciousness.

Before you enter into something, ask yourself what is that whole thing about; what is that whole thing about? What am I going to do? And mind you, a lot of these things are irreversible. And when you enter into something irreversible, then you have to be doubly careful. Not doubly, you have to be 100 times more careful. Because what you have done cannot be reversed.

Especially once you beget kids, how will you reverse them? And kids are largely accidental. Just as marriage is accidental, you do not know what your hormones are getting done from you. Equally, you do not know from where your kids pop out. But that happens. And once that happens, that is irreversible. So why don't you better know what's going on before you fall on that slippery slope? It's okay.

Q1: Can we say that being single is better than getting married?

AP: No, no, we cannot say that. I'm saying being conscious is better than being unconscious. Being discreet is better than being indiscreet. We, in our discussion, talked of the most popular reasons why people remain bachelor. And we said the most popular reason is female foeticide and infanticide. That's what makes men remain bachelors. Because there are no women to marry. You killed them all. So just remaining a bachelor is not necessarily a proof of virtue. Not at all.

Sometimes people say, you know, I was so committed to my family responsibilities. I had seven sisters to marry. So, I kept marrying them one after the other. And by the time the last one was married, I was already 42. And then I decided to marry, and no woman was prepared to marry me. So, I'm a bachelor. Now, this kind of bachelorhood is nonsensical. It is of no value. So, we are not talking of bachelors being superior to married people. We are talking of conscious people being superior to unconscious people.

Q1: Thank you so much, sir. It was a really great interaction with you.

AP: Thank you. I enjoyed this one.

Q2: Again, good evening, sir. Sir, from your last line, it's clear that bachelor is not always a choice for everyone. One can be a bachelor from the situations as well. So, my question to you is why the restaurants and markets are not accepting bachelors, that is, singles, beyond their greed? That is, they are not making a profit from the bachelor as they are making a profit from the family. And my next question is how can we change the perspective of the society for bachelors as well?

AP: You cannot change the society. You just save your own life, first of all, and that is sufficient. And after that, you can think of doing something in the society.

Q2: Okay, but sir, still, I want to ask you that if I want to change the society, I have changed myself according to me and according to society as well. Still, I want to make a change in society.

AP: Then you have to display to the society how beautiful and joyful, and truly successful you are with the choices that you have made. And when people in the society will look at the beauty in your life, the joy in your being, then they'll be inspired to come to you and ask you how did you manage this?

And then you can tell them the secret is consciousness. I avoided conditioned behavior. I avoided doing something because culture dictates that. So, I went neither by conditioning nor by culture. I went by consciousness. But that you can tell to others only when you can, first of all, become an example in your own right.

So, first thing is you should try to carve out a beautiful inner self. There is just so much nonsense inside all of us. Each of us is born with a tendency to accumulate garbage and all that is there within. And that has to be very carefully and purposefully wiped out or chiseled out.

And then there is this beauty that radiates. And it happens that when there is beauty in your being, then people are attracted to you. They'll come to you. They'll want to know your secret. And that's the right time to diverge the secret.

Q2: Sir, but right now in our society, there are many examples who are bachelors and successfully live their lives. For example, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. And there are many more examples of bachelors in our society, in Indian society. And so then again, these market people and the restaurant owners, they want to make a profit by family, not by the bachelors. And it's true that bachelors are not making any type of loss to their restaurants. If I have made a change and become a bachelor who has attained that success and I become ideal, then people will definitely forget me, just like the other bachelors who have gained success in their life.

AP: See, why do you want to make their problem your own? They may forget you. They may remember you. They may not want to…

Q2: Because of society…

AP: No, that simply means you are afraid of the society.

Q2: No.

AP: If you're not afraid of the society, then why do you want to make their problem your own? If they don't want to learn from your example, let them not learn from your example. You focus on your own life, on your own beauty. No?

Q2: No, sir. If I'm living in a house which is very dirty and I love that house, I will definitely clean it. I won't let it just be dirty as it is.

AP: Do you own that house? Do you own that house?

Q2: At a particular time or at some time, I definitely.

AP: Right now, do you own that house?

Q2: Do I want that house?

AP: Do you own that house?

Q2: No.

AP: No, you don't own that house. Then you have rights only over what you really own. If there are six people in that house, all six will have a say in how the house operates or works or looks like. So, who are you to say, “I want to keep the house clean”? You go and own a house and keep it clean. There, nobody can interfere.

Q2: Then how can I make a society? I'm still living in it.

AP: First of all, you make your own life. First of all, you make your own house. And that will lead to a great society.

Q2: Okay.

AP: If you do not have your own individuality to display to others, why will the others look at you or listen to you? It's a bitter thing to say. It's probably even more bitter to listen to. I understand all that. But could there be a second Truth, I would have said it. There is no alternative. I have nothing else to offer you. I'm sorry if it hurts.

Q2: No, no, sir. Thank you, sir.

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