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Yoga Is The Intensity Of Your Want To Live Without Fear
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
59 min
73 reads

श्रुतिविप्रतिपन्ना ते यदा स्थास्यति निश्चला।

समाधावचला बुद्धिस्तदा योगमवाप्स्यसि।।

śhruti-vipratipannā te yadā sthāsyati niśhchalā

samādhāv-achalā buddhis tadā Yogam avāpsyasi

When your mind, now perplexed by what you have heard, stands firm and steady, then you will have attained Yoga or Self-Realization.

~ Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 2, Verse 53)

Acharya Prashant: We come to verse fifty-three of chapter two. We would either get the whole of it – Yoga, Krishna and Gita together or we miss the whole of it. Yoga, Krishna and Gita all at once. It’s not possible to be versed in Yoga, to excel in Yoga while not understanding the principle yogi – Krishna. And it’s not possible to claim Krishna without closeness to his Gita. We will be getting all of them together. Let’s enter this verse with the utmost attention.

“When your mind, now perplexed by what you have heard, stands firm and steady in the self, then you will have attained Yoga.”

These are words of the highest gravity. It would not at all be an exaggeration if we say that these are probably the most important words one can ever hear. Their simplicity is a veil, their obviousness deceives us. We are accustomed to see value only in the complex. And Krishna is presenting the highest Truth to Arjuna in the only way that befits the highest Truth. And that way is the simplest, most direct and the most obvious way. Krishna is not talking of anything transcendental, Krishna is not dwelling into matters of the beyond. Krishna at least in this particular verse has not touched even the soul or the spirit or the Self or the Atman. He is talking about something that is very-very earthly, very mundane, very day to day.

And what does he say?

Listener: “When your mind, now perplexed by what you have heard, stands firm and steady in the self, then you will have attained Yoga or Self-Realization.”

Acharya Prashant: You know what, even the introduction of the word ‘Self’ is an intervention by the translator. The translator has yet again made his presence felt. All that Krishna has actually said in the original Sanskrit is – “When the mind stands Nischal, steady”, That’s all. Still, motionless, unwavering.

So, when the mind perplexed by what it keeps on hearing and absorbing, stands steady, that is Yoga. We are diluting Krishna’s words even further. When the mind which is usually perplexed, you understand perplexed? Confused, Befuddled. You can extend that to an entire range of personally suitable words - irritated, frustrated, tense, worried.

When the mind which is perplexed by all that which it has heard, you can again just broaden the scope of hearing to include all senses. So, the mind not only hears, but also gets information by the way of?

Listeners: Eyes.

Acharya Prashant: Seeing, remembering.

Listener: Touching.

Acharya Prashant: Touching, all kinds of experiences. So, the mind which has been loaded, pressurized, frustrated by all its experiential journey and what all does that include? All the experiences that you had since birth. All that you brought to yourself along with your birth. And what was that? What did you bring with yourself even as you are born?

Listener: Samskar.

Acharya Prashant: Your genetic material. Your fundamental DNA, your basic tendencies. So, the mind is irked by all of these. That is what keeps the mind busy, occupied, purposeful and also loaded, restless, annoyed. When such a mind becomes steady Krishna says, “Oh, Arjun that itself is Yoga. Go no further, try nothing else.”

Krishna is an expert in diagnosis, he has diagnosed the human condition which is reflected, in this case in Arjun’s peculiar predicament, very-very correctly. The human condition is, in spite of all the diverse elements that we may suffer from or we may claim to have, the fact is our illness is just one. Our illness is an occupied mind. Mind occupied with anything. And when I say anything with emphasis, do you know what?

Krishna has said, “When the mind, perplexed by what you have just heard, Oh! Arjun.”

And what has Arjun just heard?

Whatever Arjun has just heard includes also what Krishna has just said to Arjun. Remember that we are in chapter two and verse number fifty-three, which means Krishna has already talked a lot to Arjun and Krishna is accepting with all realism and all humility that even the words of a Krishna can become load of the mind. So, it doesn’t matter what you are carrying in your mind, it could even be verses of the Gita that would still be an agent of trauma for the mind. So, the list of the agents of suffering is all inclusive, it includes what you call as your bad experiences and equally it includes what you call as your?

Listener: Good experiences.

Acharya Prashant: Both are equally loads on the mind. Look at the straightforwardness of Krishna.

He is saying, “Arjun, not only is that an unnecessary burden upon you which you have absorbed from the world, even that is burden upon you which you have heard from me.”

Whatever comes to the mind and stays in a mind is a burden even if they happen to be the words of a Krishna. It doesn’t matter where the stuff is coming from, if the mind receives it as stuff, as objects, as sensual inputs, it is only going to add to the misery of the mind. Krishna has diagnosed the condition perfectly. He has said, we may claim that our diseases are different. But fundamentally just as all human beings are one, similarly their problems are also one and there is just one problem known by the name of mind-stuff. There is the mind and whatever stuffs up the mind, whatever becomes the content of the mind is the human problem, there is no problem, seek no further, think no more, your thinking about the problem will only add to the problem. There is just one problem – Mind-stuff. Whatever goes on in the mind, whatever circulates is your burden, doesn’t matter what is it that circulates. It could be the holiest name, it could be the name of God the Father, it could be the name of Parmatma, it could be the japa or tapa that your Guru might have suggested to you.

Krishna is saying, “Arjun, this is Sankhya Yoga, and seeing that you are not really understanding, you are absorbing my words just as knowledge; I am prepared to accept that even verse number 1 to 52 has only added to your problems”. Verse number 53 is an acknowledgement. Arjun whatever comes to you through the sensory route and becomes the content of the mind is only going to pull you down, wave you down further. It might be the Gita, it might be the Bible, mantra, tantra, japa, tapa, Yoga-Bhog, renunciation – appreciation, knowledge of the world, knowledge of the scriptures, belief in ideals, belief in God, thoughts of getting more, thoughts of leaving more and more, thoughts of the family, thoughts of the country, thoughts of society, thoughts of the hell, thoughts of heaven, thoughts of bondage, thoughts of liberation; enslavement, enlightenment.

“Arjun, whatever has come to you through sensory route that alone is what makes you suffer.”

The great Indian sage Kabir, I hope at least some of you have heard of him and heard him, and if you haven’t then I heartily recommend him. Put it very-very pithily, he said – जो मन से न उतरे, माया कहिए सोए (Jo man se na utare, maya kahiye soye).

And I would have read this particular one from Kabir a thousand times now. And every time I read it; I am over odd once again. I just mention it to you, it sent something through me. If I mention it again to you, it would again send something new through me.

जो मन से न उतरे, माया कहिए सोए (Jo man se na utare, maya kahiye soye )

“Whatever rides your mind, call it Maya”

Kabir doesn’t qualify, Kabir doesn’t make a distinction. Kabir says whatever goes on in your mind that alone is Maya. Those might be the wisest thoughts, those might be the words of a saint or a prophet, a messiah. Whatever stays with you becomes your burden, leave that. And once you have left that, that is Yoga.

But I have maybe strayed a little from what Krishna is saying because Krishna doesn’t say leave that. Krishna says – “Mind becomes Nischal, still.” Now how is the stillness of the mind relating to leaving something? We will go into it. The mind is movement. Do we see this? Is the mind ever still? Whatever is there in the mind keeps changing. That is what I mean when I say, the mind is movement. Whatever is there in mind comes to the mind and then fades away, right? The mind is a thousand alternating currents. With more being added every unit of time. Is that your experience or is that something that I am asserting?

Listeners: My experience.

Acharya Prashant: So, the mind is continuous activity. Things are changing and that change of things, the change in objects, the change in world is denoted by time. For time to be able to communicate to you that things are changing, there is seen some activity in a dimension called space. Whatever is in time and space always occupies a certain position at a certain time. Is that not what our world is all about? Something at a certain time.

You are here right now, if I go to another point in space you are not there. And if I come to this point itself at another point in time, again you are not there. So, our world is?

Listener: Time and space.

Acharya Prashant: Our world is time and space, and both are changeable. This hall right now, does not look the same as it looked an hour back. And it won’t look the same at 9:00 PM. Forget about the run of time through centuries. A microsecond is enough to change things, in fact a nanosecond!

I do not know how far to fraction the tiniest unit of time. But the fact is, if there were a camera here sensitive enough to capture us every millionth of a second, it would still not show the same pictures. Do you see this?

Even in the millionth fraction of a second, we are changing, are we not?

Something changes. The quantity of change might be very little, so the change eludes us, we feel nothing has changed. But change is happening. Even if you take the least bit of time, still something changes in it. That is what is mind. Mind is the sky in which nothing is ever constant, forget about permanence, it is not stable even for a millisecond. That is what is the mind. The mind keeps running. Now what is the mind running after? What do you want when you led thoughts move about? Alright forget thoughts, what do you want when you move about?

Listener: Pleasure.

Acharya Prashant: What gives you pleasure?

Listener: Sex.

Acharya Prashant: What do you want in sex?

Listener: Our kisses, absurd and I...

Acharya Prashant: Ah! forget that. That’s not what you say it to your lady or man when you intersex. What is it that you want in sex?


What makes the sexual activity reach its completion?

Listener: Orgasm.

Acharya Prashant: Orgasm. And what is that orgasmic feeling all about?

Listener: The mind’s stopping.

Acharya Prashant: The mind’s stopping, even for very small while. So, you see what is mind wanting when it is running?


Acharya Prashant: You said, “You want pleasure” I said, “What in pleasure?”

You said, “Sex”. And culmination of sex is orgasm and orgasm is about ‘stopping’.

So, you ran. You began with running; you ran for pleasure. And pleasure meant sex, and sex meant orgasm and orgasm meant stopping. So, you started to?

Listeners(in unison): Stop.

Acharya Prashant: Ah! that’s quite nice.


Acharya Prashant: You started to?

Listeners: Stop.

Acharya Prashant: Now, repeat that ten times.


Acharya Prashant: The mind is running about because it desperately wants to?

Listeners(in unison): Stop.

Acharya Prashant: Stop!

Listener: Even if someone is doing orgasm, so the mind is keeping all the senses…

Acharya Prashant: Yes, all that is a prelude to orgasm. Is it not?

Orgasm is almost a sleepy state or if you want to take a different example, take the example of rest, sleep, when you are tired. What do you want?

Listener: Stop.

Acharya Prashant: Stop.

Let me take another example – Ambition.

One wants to achieve something. What do you want to do with your achievement?

Listener: Accomplish it.

Acharya Prashant: Accomplish it or did you say accomplish?

Listener: Accomplish.

Acharya Prashant: Whatever you have accomplished, would you stop at that?

Listener: No. We will create another one.

Acharya Prashant: You will create another one. How long would you keep creating another one?

Listener: Always.

Listener: Every time.

Acharya Prashant: You reach one peak. That does not quite satisfy you so we want another peak. You won’t stop here, you want another peak, and then you want another peak. Ultimately what do you want?

Listener: To stop.

Acharya Prashant: Ultimately you want a peak high enough to make you stop. Is that not so? Ultimately, we all want something that is so ultimate and final that it would eliminate all need to run. We are running for something and whatever we get along the way does not quite satisfy us, so we keep running. Ah! I got this (pointing towards hand indicating something he got), nice, nice, nice, maybe I can stay with this for five minutes, but more than that not quite possible. Something else calls me. So, on my way again, and then you meet something else. That too appears attractive. But attractive only enough to make you halt for five minutes. After five minutes again the same dissatisfaction, again the preparation to march ahead. Don’t you see what is happening?

One wants something that is so consummate, so total and ultimate and captivating, overpowering, that one would have no option but to halt. The mind is running so that it may stop. And if you are the mind then you exist, so that you may disappear. That is all that once existence is all about.

If the mind is running to stop, then we are actually living to reach that finality of disappearance, which means that Yoga corresponds to an elimination of all that which holds us and which we hold. We take ourselves to be travellers. We feel something is missing, and we journey to obtain that which we sense as missing or incomplete.

So far so good. There is a traveller, the traveller has been given a certain number of years thirty, forty, seventy or eighty. And the traveller feels that in this limited time, he can reach his destination. On the road there are several milestones. But none of the milestone is the destination. The traveller however remains hopeful that there does exist some destination ahead of him.

Does anything suffice?

Alright, what is it that you can ever get on your way? Whenever you are traveling, you are traveling in the world, through the world. So, what is it that you will get on your way?

Listener: Life experiences.

Acharya Prashant: More precisely that would mean that you would get?

Listener: Memories.

Acharya Prashant: Memories, and?

What is it that you would encounter along your way? What would you get?

Listener: Knowledge.

Acharya Prashant: Memories, knowledge and?

Listener: Adventure.

Acharya Prashant: Adventure and?

Listener: Relationships?

Acharya Prashant: Relationships, and?

Listener: Happiness.

Acharya Prashant: Happiness, and?

Listener: Pleasure and pain.

Acharya Prashant: Pleasure and Pain, and?

Listener: Expectations.

Acharya Prashant: Expectations, and?

Men and women, people. Won’t you? Objects and things, cars and houses, fame and infamy.

Listener: External gratification.

Acharya Prashant: Gratification, which he (pointing towards another listener) said – Pleasure.

Now, not for the sake of agreeing with the speaker, please tell going by your life story, does any of this ever suffice? Listener: For a little while.

Acharya Prashant: For a little while, but you don’t exist for a little while.


Acharya Prashant: All of you feel that you have still not seen enough of the world. Have you seen any of these suffice for anybody since the beginning of time? Have you ever seen anybody really contended with his relationships and wanting no more, getting hurt no more? Expecting nothing from his relationships? Does it happen? Have you ever seen anybody meeting a perfect person whether as a spouse, or as a friend or as a family member? You come across a lot of people but have you ever come across a perfect one?

A perfect one, who is so perfect that he would not want to improve him or change him even a little.


Has that happened with you? (Pointing towards one of the listeners)

Have you ever seen that happen with anybody?

We hope it to happen that way. It doesn’t happen. It cannot happen. Ever seen anybody satisfied with what he has? And it doesn’t matter what he has.

I repeat this - It doesn’t matter what he has.

Ever seen anybody contended with what he has? Doesn’t happen. And there is a direct reason why it doesn’t happen. The mind is space and time, right? That is all that mind can deal in - objects, things. Whenever you think, don’t you think of a thing?

Don’t you think of something that has a name, that can be visualised, imagined?

Can you think of something that cannot be thought of?


Can you imagine something that is unimaginable? Can you?

Listeners (in unison): No.

Acharya Prashant: So, you always think of things because things can be thought of. And things include names, forms, sounds everything, all of them are material. All of them are things. Whatever is there in space and time is limited by its very definition. Can you imagine something that is unlimited?

Try right now. Imagine the infinite. Imagine something that does not have boundaries.

Listener: Space.

Acharya Prashant: If space has no boundaries then who are you to think of space? Where are you located? I am again asking you, “If space has no boundaries that means only space exist?” Then who are you to think of space?

If only space exists, then who is this thinker?

Listener: Space-man.


Acharya Prashant: Space-man


Let’s not take my words on face value, conduct experiments. Spirituality is not about just believing otherwise we are entering the realm of superstition. Can you ever think of something that has no limits? Forget about getting something unlimited. Can you even conceptualize something unlimited? Can you?

Listener: We can but it cannot be a part of experiencing.

Acharya Prashant: Forget about experiencing, even imagination. Can you even imagine the infinite?

Listener: No.

Acharya Prashant: No, not possible. You can look at this wall (pointing towards the wall) only as long as this wall ends somewhere. If only this wall were to exist you would have no consciousness of this wall. Consciousness is dualistic and can take place only between two limited entities, you have to be limited and the object that you perceive too has to be limited, otherwise there can be no consciousness.

So, the mind deals only in limited stuff.

Can you please let this penetrate us? The mind deals only in?

Listener: Limited stuff.

Acharya Prashant: Do you know the implications of what we have just we said? It means that whatever is there in the mind cannot be immense, cannot have depth, and gravity and infinity. Which means that if something has become part of your mental domain then you can surely discount it as petty. The moment something becomes knowledge, concept, consciousness, you can immediately strike it of as of no use because it is?

Listener: Limited.

Acharya Prashant: Only the limited can exist in mind, because mind deals only in space-time and space-time means objects with boundaries. No boundaries, no mind. No boundaries - no object, no cognition, no consciousness. So, whenever the mind has something, that something is?

Listeners (in unison): Limited.

Acharya Prashant: We will repeat this. Whatever is there in the mind, is surely?

Listeners (in unison): Limited.

Acharya Prashant: Now, which of you like something that is limited?

Don’t you always want to add plus one, to everything that you have?

Anybody here who really enjoys limits?

Even speed limits?


Limits of time? Limits of intimacy? Limits of acknowledgment, appreciation, accomplishment, recognition?

Do limits ever please us? But whatever is in the mind is?

Listeners: Limited.

Acharya Prashant: And whatever the mind will get along its journey would also surely be?

Listeners: Limited.

Acharya Prashant: So, not only your mind full of limited stuff, the mind is destined to meet only more limited stuff the more it tries. The mind can keep on trying till the end of time, what it could still encounter is?

Listener: Limited stuff.

Acharya Prashant: And limited stuff is not?

Listener: What we are looking for.

Acharya Prashant: Nobody likes limited stuff. But that’s a very difficult situation. As human beings, as mind beings all that we can ever get is?

Listener: Limited.

Acharya Prashant: Limited, because the mind cannot perceive the?

Listener: Unlimited.

Acharya Prashant: So, you may keep trying. You may go to the end of the world and then you may go to the seven other worlds. Still what you will get is something?

Listener: Limited.

Acharya Prashant: Go to the Moon, go to the Mars, go to Venus and then travel to another galaxy. Still what you would get is something?


Acharya Prashant: I know this shatters our hopes but a lot of people are registering their way to Mars, hope you know that, right? The enrolment is already on. A particular gentleman has established a firm that would soon be colonising the mars with human beings. And a lot of people had already paid up with humongous advance amounts. They want to settle in Mars, because they think that Mars will offer them something that is?

Listeners (In unison): Unlimited.

Acharya Prashant: Sadly, for them.


That’s, that’s not going to happen. When even Mars is limited, how can Mars offer the unlimited? Is Mars finite or infinite?

Listener: Finite.

Acharya Prashant: How can the finite ever offer the infinite to you?

Listener: The same thing to reach and eventually go elsewhere and elsewhere.

Acharya Prashant: And then from Mars to Jupiter maybe. It’s big, one likes the big.

Listener: Yes.

Acharya Prashant: Yes, live life Jupiter size.

Listener: Is meditation a kind of useless stuff?

Acharya Prashant: Is there something called useful stuff? Stuff by definition is?

Listeners (in unison): Limited.

Acharya Prashant: And you don’t like the limited. Now let’s name stuff. Let’s name what’s goes on in the mind. And remember that whatever goes in the mind is limited even God the Father, if he is going on in the mind is limited. Even the concept of limitlessness, if it is going on in the mind is?

Listeners: Limited.

Acharya Prashant: Even infinity if it is going on in the mind is?

Listeners: Limited.

Acharya Prashant: Otherwise, how could it be contained in the little mind? How could the great Ocean be contained in such a small pot? The very fact that you could think about something, makes it?

Listeners (in unison): Limited.

Acharya Prashant: If you can think about infinity, infinity is finite. If you can think about immensity, immensity is petty. If you can think about freedom, freedom is bondage. If you can think about love, love is estrangement. Whatever you can think about becomes little immediately, because the mind can only deal with the limited. The total, the immense, the whole is beyond the scope of the mind or else try imagining the unimaginable. No need to believe in my words, try thinking the unthinkable.

Mind does not like to be limited, but mind’s helplessness and condition is such that wherever it goes, it will only find?

Listeners: Limited.

Acharya Prashant: Mind at some point does come to know that it’s hopes are false, that wherever it goes, it would only encounter another small man, another small wish, another false promise. The mind at some point does come to see that. But what can it do even if it sees that all it would meet is the little, the unsatisfactory, still it can go nowhere else?

It’s like a man who knows that nothing but the sky would please him, but has still no wings but only legs. So, he runs about. But no amount of running about on the earth will take you to the sky. If you run really hard on the Earth, you won’t reach the seventh heaven. That’s the mind’s dilemma. That’s the mind’s irony. It can only move in this dimension (pointing with hands towards ground) and this dimension is of space and time. And nothing in this dimension is ever going to satisfy it, because we don’t like the limited. Do you like limited love?

So, please lay all doubts to rest, one does not like the limited. But on this Earth, on this dimension where the mind can go about there is only the limited. The mind wants That (pointing upwards), for That it needs wings, wings are not available to it.

What does the mind do then?

Krishna is asking the mind to do the impossible. Krishna is saying, “Yoga is when the mind that is traumatized by sensory experiences and accumulation of conditioning comes to Nischalta, comes to stillness”.

How can the mind be still when the mind is hungry, tortured, yearning, wishful, demanding, desirous? How does one keep still when the ultimate, the destination is far away? One is in trauma, one is in acute restlessness, how does one keep still in that moment, in that position? How? (Silence)

Listeners: When it stops.

Acharya Prashant: How do you stop? You are suffering, your entire body is burning, you are looking for some water. How do you stop?

Listener: Just be aside?

Acharya Prashant: I am found of this little parable by Chuang Chu. I narrate it quite often. Let’s see whether it has some meaning for you. There was a man who was very scared of his footsteps, the sound of his own footsteps would make him jittery. He did not know how to stop the noise. He did not what to do, where to go so he would run. He would run hard and harder. He would run in order to come to a point where he would no more be listening to the sound and the echo of his own steps. Unfortunately for him the more he ran, the more the?

Listener: The louder the steps.

Acharya Prashant: The louder and more frequent were the steps and the more frequent and the louder the steps were, the more he was compelled to run. And he kept running, he kept running and now I take over, Chuang Chu stops. The man falls dead. There was no sound anymore. Is this how you want your search to end?

Chuang Chu says, “The man stopped tired, and he discovered that there was no sound anymore, that there was no need to run.”

Most of us never ever give up on hope. Most of us remain hopeful and wishful throughout our lives. Hope has been taken as a supreme virtue and is constantly peddled to us. Remain hopeful, keep trying, do a little more, keep running. There would soon come that cherish destinations where the sound of your footsteps would no more be bothering you. Man is deluded by feeding him hope. What we require is total hopelessness. Hope means you can postpone the ultimate to the future. Hope means you can say that the present is condemned to be what it is because that which you want would come to you in the future as a result of a process and effort. The mind is searching for something that is not an object. Is that not so?

Because whatever is an object would have?

Listener: Limits.

Acharya Prashant: The mind is searching for something that is not an object. In other words - the mind does not quite like objects.

This is ironical because the mind is full of objects still not satisfied with them which means the mind and objects do not really go well together. Objects keep circulating in the mind but never satisfy the mind. Is that not so?

The mind always has something, but whatever the mind has never suffices. So, it is not as if the mind is really in love with objects, it appears so.

You go to a furniture shop and the latest chair or a sofa set or a dining table really attracts you. But can you ever say that you are in love with an object? And when I say ‘love’, I mean it with all depth and sincerity not the causal usage of the word ‘love’. Because if love is casual then what that love would offer too would be casual. That casualness hardly suffices, that only leaves us hungry and thirsty. I know most of us have experienced the hollowness that one encounters in incomplete love. You know what that is, right?

Mind does not like objects, yet mind is running after objects. Terrified and hopeful both together. Terrified that it does not have objectless-ness and hopeful that it would get objectless-ness through objects.

Can the mind be a little less afraid, can the mind have some faith?

Can the mind be a little less afraid?

I am asking you, or are you sure that the man’s destiny is to live in fear?

If you are afraid you would keep running. Your fear is your energy. Your fear is your motivation. As long as you are terrified, your legs won’t stop. You may fall dead but you would still not stop. That is what is called as reincarnation in India. Even after you have fallen dead you don’t stop because you are so terrorised that you keep running. You keep running and you get a new birth and a new chase. Of course, that does not happen in a gross way, so we can keep that aside.

Is it possible to live without fear?

Don't you want that it is possible to live without fear?

Listeners: Yes.

Acharya Prashant: The intensity of your want to live without fear is Yoga.

If you can be without fear even for a moment, even in one relationship, even at one point in your life, then you know that it is possible. And if it is possible then it is thoroughly possible. If it is possible then it is totally possible. If you can see a glimpse of the sky, that means it exists. You have the proof now. The proof will enable you to be free of fear, of all the things that you run after. How many are really necessary? Or go to your past, won’t you have been far better without doing a lot of things that you did?

Does your grief come mostly from what you did not do or what you did?

Listener: I believe… I think of it comes from things you don’t do, more or less.

Acharya Prashant: No, don’t think about it. Look at life as it is because thought would always be favouring more doing, reason- thought exist only in doing, in non-doing thought itself perishes. So, thought would always side with doing, the doer, because the doer himself is a thought. Listener: But you asked if grief comes more from things we have done or things we didn’t do.

Acharya Prashant: Let me put it a little differently. To do something you must start from incompletion, that’s how you start, right?

Something is left to be done so you do. Are we together till this? Something is left to be done so you say I better go and do this. When something is left to be done, how do you feel? Do you really feel joyful and peaceful?

How do you feel?

Listener: Incomplete.

Acharya Prashant: So, you start from incompletion, when you say something is left to be done. Then you come to a point when you say that I have done what I wanted to do. At this point how are you feeling? Have you come to a full stop or is there something more, something next left to do? So, one moves from incompletion to?

Listeners (in unison): Another incompletion.

Acharya Prashant: Our actions are all born out of a sense of incompleteness, of littleness. We act because we find something missing. We act because we are not okay with life, with existence. We act because we are not alright with ourselves. That is what I call as grief. Our actions are nothing but reflections of our grief. We have no other engine or centre to act from.

So, let me now ask - “If everything were alright, would you still do the things you did?”

Listener: No.

Acharya Prashant: Nothing, Nothing at all. If everything were alright would you still do anything that you ever did? If you are feeling nothing here (indicating towards throat) would you pick up your bottle to drink? If you are alright where you are, would you travel to Rishikesh?


Listener: Yeah.

Acharya Prashant: Do you see that every single action that we indulge in, arises from our grief? I am using a strong word ‘grief’. You may say it’s a minor irritation. But still the dimension is the same.

Listener: There is a natural flow also to our actions.

Acharya Prashant: That natural flow is human suffering. That natural flow is the stream of suffering. Don’t call it natural.

Listener: What is all about then?

Acharya Prashant: The flow?

Listener: Reaction, resistance.

Acharya Prashant: The stream thinks that it is going to reach some ocean. That ocean is ultimate bliss and total awareness, and pure consciousness (sarcastic).

Listener: Yeah, we consider some play.

Acharya Prashant: Is there playfulness involved when you are starting from grief? You don’t have something in your house, right? And to get it you are rushing to the supermarket, now can you be playful? You watch some kids playing soccer along the way. Now can you go and join them?

Is there a scope for playfulness when your action is purposeful?

I am asking you, “You are starting from a point of incompleteness, now can you be playful? Is playfulness possible when there is a hollow in the heart?”

Listener: What if we don’t attach to the outcome?

Acharya Prashant: How is it possible to not want an outcome when you are perceiving the current situation as deficient? If I am perceiving my current situation as deficient, if I am desirous, don’t I want an outcome?

You see non-attachment or fruitless actions are not just concepts. They must be born out by actuality of our life. What is the actuality of our life? If we keep reciting the phrase – idealess action or fruitless action twenty times, will that change the situation of the mind?

In fact, the mind is talking of idealess action only to cover up something. The mind is saying, “I am complete, I am complete”, only to cover up the hollow. If it were not needed to do something about the hollow, why would the mind recite that it is total and whole and complete? Does the whole ever say that it is whole? Does it have any need? When you are healthy do you ever shout aloud – “I am healthy! I am healthy!”

Do you do that?

How many of you have in last half an hour told yourself that your left foot is alright?


Acharya Prashant: Because it is alright so you don’t tell yourself that it is alright. Because it is alright, so there is no need to tell yourself that it is alright. But look at us what we do, “I am the God, I am Brahma, I am the pure Self” When do you say that you are pure Self?

Only when you know that you are not. And the more you are told to tell yourself that you are pure self, the more it is established that you are not the pure Self. Otherwise tell me about your left foot.


Acharya Prashant: If it really is healthy, you don’t say it is healthy. Health means disappearance, health means no thought. Health means no claim. Health means a general absence of all worry. Do you get this?

Man jumps from grief to grief in search of Joy.

Krishna is saying, “Just be still where you are. Just stop. Just stop and that is Yoga.”

He is not saying, “Start.” He is not saying, “Arjun, from today, you will engage in the practice of Yoga.” He is not setting a schedule or time table for Arjun. He is not saying, “You will get up at such time in the morning and will then practice such Asanas.” Neither is he saying that you must go and read such scriptures.

He is saying, “Whatever you have been engaging in, just stop and that is Yoga. Just stop and that is Yoga. Whatever you have been engaging in, if you have been engaging in me Arjun, then drop me.” Drop Krishna and that is Yoga. Drop Krishna and you have reached Krishna. Drop whatever rides your mind and you find that you are unnecessarily carrying it.

Drop, drop all your plans. Drop your agendas. Drop all your purpose. Drop your sense of the self. Drop whatever you think to be the holiest, and the purest and the best. Would you ever carry anything with you that you know to be little and cheap and petty? You don’t carry that right? Because you say – “Oh’ it’s so small, valueless and worthless. Why do I carry it?”

Do you know why you carry certain things?

Because they come with the label of holiness. That which you call as holy is your real enemy. The one that you take as sacred is the one who is torturing you. Otherwise why would you allow him entrance in your mind?

He knocks and you say, “Password?”

And he says, “I Am Holy.”

And he enters.

Holiness is the thief’s password. The passwords can keep varying - enlightenment, purity, identity-less-ness, pure Self, absolute Truth. But that’s how it enters. Otherwise why would you get it entry?

If the thief says, “Knock, Knock.”

“Who is there?”

“I am the thief”

Would you allow him in?

Listener: No.

Acharya Prashant: What must the thief say?

“I am the Guru.”

And then he is granted a grand reception. That’s how anything enters your mind, by wearing the mask of value and importance. Do you ever keep anything unimportant in your mind? If it is unimportant then it get deleted. Does it not? Since this morning today, what have you remembered?

Tell me what happened at 10:58 AM today?

Do you remember?

You don’t, because the mind does not label it as important. Now at 10:58 AM, had you broken a leg, you would remember that time for twenty years. Depends on the severity.


Acharya Prashant: Do you see how anything gains entrance into the mind? By telling you, I am?

Listener: Important.

Acharya Prashant: Krishna is saying, “Arjun, whatever you think as important, that is where the demon lies. That is where the Satan is hiding”. The Satan would never come and hand over his visiting card to you. Mr. Satan, is that what his visiting card would ever read?

No, he would say, “I am the lover. I am your lover, I am your responsibility, I am your imagination, I am your friend, I am your teacher, I am your dependent.”

That’s how stuff gains entrance into the mind and remains there.

Krishna is saying, “Drop whatever you think of as important and if you cannot drop it, see whether it is actually, really important?”

Had it been really important then the series of these so-called important things would have satisfied you by now. They are not important; they are only illusive. They are the illusion, you are in, Oh’ Arjun!

Don’t drop the trivial, drop the valuable. Drop all that which you consider as serious, pertinent, holy and important because it is not important, because it is not holy, because there is actually nothing serious about it. Your engagement with it has made it serious. Your attachment with it has made it important. See whether it still remains important after you are out of the picture. The moment the mind losses all the hope that it places on objects, something beyond objects becomes available to the mind. Something else comes upon the mind.

What is that something else?

Words cannot talk about That. Because the words can talk only about the limited. The unlimited can hardly ever have a description. One can describe only boundaries. And if you can describe something, rest assured that it has a lot of boundaries. Whatever is real, is always beyond description. Your words will fail and if your words succeed then what you have in your hands is petty.

The mind needs to see that running won’t help. Another one from Kabir just pops up - “भागें भला न होएगा (Bhage bhala na hoyega)”

“Running won’t help”

Wherever you have placed your hope, whatever is promising your liberation is keeping you further subjugated. See this. You have knocked at a thousand doors, at a thousand houses, at a thousand shops, you would have easily stopped by now. Your hands are already bloodstained, you have suffered enough already. And you have enough sense to have stopped by now. By what keeps you going?

A new shop, a new promise, a new man, a new voice, a new event. You feel you have been betrayed a thousand times but this time something new is going to happen, nothing dimensionally new is going to happen. Names, forms, faces, colours, language can change, but nothing really new is going to happen because nothing really new is possible in this world. The world is what it is, a phenomenal moment of objects in space and time. The world cannot change its condition, its movement, its Prakriti. It’s useless to expect anything more from it. Yes, do expect what the world can offer, the world can offer you the little. If you want some tea, the world can offer that. If you want some money, the world can offer that. But if you really want contentment and peace the world and its objects will not be able offer that.

What does that mean?

That means that you need no peace.

That means that you need no contentment.

That means that you are already peaceful and already contended.

The more you hanker for peace the more you hypnotise yourself into thinking that you don’t have it. You need no enlightenment, you are already there. There, what there? Here.

You need no peace.

You need nothing.

That is why all the running about is very nonsensical. पानी में घर मीन को, काहें मरी प्यास (Pani mein ghar meen ko kahe mari pyaas)

“The fish is dying of thirst.”

You need no water, you are in the water. You need not go anywhere to fetch water, water is inside and outside of you. But by your doership, by your insistent to claim that you will get it and earn it for yourself. You have made even the nearest, distant from you.

It’s like having something in your pocket but not being satisfied with getting it so easily because if you get it too easily how would you get the credit for achievement? And the ego really loves to have credit and achievement. So, you have it with you right in your breast pocket, here near your heart, but you say, “No, I don’t have it, I must go out and get it.”

When you begin, you begin probably as a sport, knowing fully well that you have it and you are just pretending that you need to get something. But over time you forget and you really start believing that you have lost it. And your entire situation actually becomes of a person who does not have it, who has lost it. Meanwhile the thing that you are searching for, which is actually a non-thing, firmly stays where it was always was and would always remain. Where? Listener: In our pocket.

Acharya Prashant: In your pocket, right close to your heart, it remains. But in your wish to be recognised, to be acclaimed, you have forgotten what was here (Indicating towards chest pocket). You have become a victim of your own lies.

There was a lovely story. You have heard of a character called Mulla Nasiruddin?

He was probably a Sufi Dervish. One does not know who he really was. Probably a residence of Turkey. But a lot of legend has followed him. So, once the Mulla was standing at a crossing and there were some kids around him. The kids were pestering him. The kids were just as kids are. Not very differential. Not really caring for Mulla's Stature or authority.

So, the Mulla said, “I am going to teach them a lesson”. Mulla said – “Why don’t you all go to the market place? Run along and run hard.”

The kids said – “Why? Why should we go there Mulla?”

Mulla said – “You know, the mayor, he has thrown a lavish party. And you must go there. Here you would get nothing. There you can fill up yourself to your heart’s content. So, run hard everybody”.

And the kids were taken away. They were kids, innocent. The kids ran to the marketplace. The Mulla smiled for some time.

And then the on lookers got the surprise. They found that Mulla too running after the kids.

Somebody stopped Mulla and asked him – “Mulla, we saw you fool the kids. Now why are you running to the marketplace?”

Mulla said – “Who knows, there might actually be a party”.


Such a joke is human life.

We fall prey to propaganda. Mostly our own propaganda. We very well know that there is nothing there. There is nothing in the direction we are running towards. But what can one do with the tendency to hope? Mulla started hoping, “Well so many kids are going there, what if there is actually be a party then I would be the one who had been fooled. So, why take the risk?”

When everybody is running towards the marketplace, let me also run towards the marketplace. You too are running towards the marketplace. In the same way. It might be a commercial marketplace, it might be a spiritual marketplace.

Listener: Yeah, we came running here.

Acharya Prashant: There is no need to go anywhere this point onwards. Be still. The party is where you are. The party is not outside of you, not anywhere in any marketplace. And the more you run, the more you will be convinced that there is some party somewhere else. You know why? Because now you have invested your life and energy in running. If mid-way you are stopped and somebody tells you – “You know what, you are needlessly running.”

Then you would not want to believe him because believing him would be to accept that all your life you have wasted your time and energy and efforts. That you have been needlessly going in the direction that offers you nothing. One feels like a fool and one does not admit that he has been a fool all his life. If at the age of forty or sixty you come to see that you have been needlessly running. What does that tell about the quality of those forty or sixty years?

That tells that those forty and sixty years were wasted. One does not want to admit that, that hurts the ego. But better to admit that then to waste the remaining years as well. Mind wants object-less-ness by running after the objects. Stop the running and object-less-ness is there. That is what is called your nature.

Anybody here who suffers in sleep?

When you are really asleep, there are no objects and hence there is no suffering either. When you are really asleep then everything has vanished including you. You too are just an object in your own mind. So, one does not suffer.

This object-less-ness, this freedom from chase, this freedom from chase, from limitation is what each of us is after. But you cannot run to stop. You cannot get object-less-ness via objects. You cannot drop the world using things of the world. You cannot drop one concept by getting another concept. The other concept, the second concept which comes as a remedial concept might be very-very clever, or wise, or promising but still it is?

Listener: Concept.

Acharya Prashant: A concept, and if it is concept then it will keep circulating in the mind.

You would be carrying an identity – “I am Priya.”

And then you would start carrying an identity – “I am Nothing. I am just the pure Self”.

Nothing has really changed. From one object you have hopped on to another object. What do you mean by ‘I am the pure Self?’ Have you ever wondered how nonsensical this statement is? Last year when I was here somebody said, “I am the pure Self.”

I said, “Yes, Jacob.”

He said, “I am the pure Self."

I said, “Yes, Jacob?”

He said, “I am the pure Self.”

I said, “How do you know that I am asking you? You very well know that you are Jacob and still you are insisting that you are the pure Self.”

“I am the Jacob, the pure Self.”

What is going on?


This is Yoga, This.

(Pointing towards silence in the room)

And anything apart from this is Viyoga. Viyoga is nothing but a search for Yoga. Whenever you search for Yoga, you have distance yourself from Yoga. Stop the search, you are there or after finding that you are there go and gleefully search. Searching can be good fun after you know that there is no need to search. But if you are serious about the need to search, then your search would be a trauma, a torture. Then you would be searching like someone who feels that he has really lost. There are other ways of searching.

When you are playing a game of blindfolds with your friends even then you search, don’t you? Then you willingly put on the blindfold and you look for your friends or your kids. There is a great fun in searching that way. That is called Leela. You are searching because you know that you have willingly put on the blindfolds and any moment you can take it off. Now it’s good fun but if your kid is really lost then it’s no more fun searching for him. No more fun. Dropped the idea that you have really lost something. That is Yoga. Drop all ideas because all ideation is an ideation of loss. There is no idea of fullness. Wherever there is an idea, the idea is always about loss. Test it.

There is no thought, no concept, no idea of infinite. Every idea, every concept, every thought pertains to a deficiency and hence calls for action. The doer has his genesis in incompletion. Whenever you act, whenever you are the actor, the actor is a small and petty actor. When the actor is infinite then he feels no need to act. Then he may just act because acting is fun. We act because we feel a need to act. We feel because we see if we act then something might become available to us.

That’s the way of the total.

The total Bhagwat Gita is available to us in this one single verse. And I didn’t really intent to pick this one today. It’s the coincidence that yesterday we discussed the first two verses so, today was the third one to take up. We could have as well taken up the first one or the tenth one. Yoga would have remained the same, Krishna would have remained the same. The question is would you remain the same after all this?

What’s your intention?

Listener: if something happened in this moment or you know man is seriously required.

Acharya Prashant: We think because we find thought to be important. Now, don’t rush to the other extreme, don’t attach importance to thoughtlessness. Thought is not the culprit, the importance that you attach to the thought is the culprit. And if you start attaching the same importance to thoughtlessness then you are again trapped. Equally trapped rather more deeply trapped. The common man, the worldly man is trapped in thoughts. And the so called spiritual man is trapped in thoughtlessness. Both are concepts, both are traps. Let thoughts be there, just as you let the wind be there, just as you let the flowers be there, just as you let your little finger be there. Let thoughts be there.

Why do you need to load thoughts with expectations? And that is when thoughts also start quivering because thoughts cannot fulfil your expectations. You think that by thinking you will achieve thoughtlessness. Now, thought cannot do that. So thought groans, thought looks pitifully at your face and says, “What are you expecting me to do? I cannot do that.”

You can use thought to invent a motorcycle and that is alright but if you want to use thought to invent something that will carry you to heavens, thought will fail. Let thought do what thought can do. Do not use thought to do something that is totally beyond thought.

And please do not fall in this trap of thoughtless living or thoughtless mind. Mind cannot be thoughtless, just as the stomach cannot be hunger-less, just as the wind cannot be stop blowing, just as the Ganga cannot stop flowing.

Anybody who is preaching thoughtlessness to you had no touch with the mind. Go and tell the Ganga to stop flowing. How then do you want the mind to have no thoughts? And is the want not another thought?

Do not kill the mind, fulfil the mind and these are two very-very different things. Let thought be there. Don’t unnecessarily pester it. Don’t poke it. Let thought do its own thing, let intellect do its own thing just as you let your livers do its own thing or do you keep checking your liver? And if you are checking your liver then there is surely some problem of the drunkenness, do you keep checking what your small intestine is doing? Then why do you want keep checking what your mind is doing?

Let mind do what it wants to do. The mind is imbued with its own intellect. The mind knows what to do, just as your skin knows what to do, just as your eyes knows how to look? Do you train your eye to look? Do you train your heart to beat?

Similarly, you do not need to train your mind, the mind knows. Withdraw all the training that you have given to it, and you do not need to begin a process of withdrawal. That is another trap. These days I am in the process of deconditioning myself somebody told me. Wonderful. Now, deconditioning too has also become a process.

Let thought be there of whatever kind of whatever quality. Let it be there, it’s alright. Don’t be guilty about it. Don’t be anything about it.

Listener: This is non action?

Acharya Prashant: Yeah, the thought is there. The Ganga is there, do you need to go and spit? Or do you need to go and try to stop the flow? The flow is there does that makes it necessary for you to go and drown in it? Do you say, “What can I do? I was helpless. The river was there, so I had to drown. I am not the culprit you see, the river was there, what else can one do? I went and drowned.”

You won’t want to meet such a person over tea, right? Or over Satsang?

Especially not if he is sitting on the Guru’s chair.

Let thought be there. The wind blows, the river flows, thought too does its own thing. Don’t meddle with others affairs, that otherness is very-very important. You are neither the wind, nor the river nor the flow of thoughts. You are somebody else. And that is proven by the fact that the river can flow indifferent to you and that you can be in spite of the river, so there is an otherness, maintain that. There is no need to get entangled with the river. Even when you are asleep the river is flowing. Even after you are gone, the wind would be blowing. So how are you needed? Let thought be there. Thought is thought’s business, not yours. It is not a good etiquette to poke your nose in others affairs. Mind your etiquette.

Listener: However, the mind is trying to live for what we are here.

Acharya Prashant: Whenever you let something be there, then you have to necessarily become a non-actor. If you let your kid play, then would you actively make him play? Letting something happen is the same as the non-interference, is the same as the non-action, is the same as witnessing. Letting it happen. And that letting involves lot of respect, love. One cannot let the others be, unless one has a certain respect, a certain faith. If you do not trust the other, you would not let him be. You would constantly feel the need to interfere and you would also feel that you have the authority to interfere. And that is not at all respect.

Have some respect for your own system. Have some trust in the existence, it can take care of itself and you. It was there before this body came and will be there long after this body is gone. So, the existence knows a few things. You are not the only one who is wise and clever out here. Even before you were born sufficient oxygen was made available for you. Do you know how much has been made available? Do you know what kind of preparation has gone into making life feasible for you? Do you know what would happen if any of the elements are displaced from their location even by an iota?

What if there is little more carbon dioxide in atmosphere? You know what happens. Just two percent more carbon dioxide in the environment and what happens?

All the ice sheets are gone, the Arctic is gone, the Antarctic is gone, the coastal cities are gone. Don’t you know what is global warming? Just a little more carbon dioxide.

So, there is something, there is somebody who has some Intelligence and who is working on your behalf. You need not be so restless. He knows the precise percentage of carbon dioxide that must be there in the environment. And he knows that far better than you do. Then why do you take all the owners and responsibility on yourself? Let go. That’s what you said, let go. When you let go then you are leaving your matters to somebody who can look after them with far more effectiveness then you ever can.

Letting go means I am allowing the surgeon to wield the knife because if I become my own surgeon…


That is what letting go means.

What if the gravity that you are so comfortable and confident about, changes from 9.8 m/s2 to something like 15?

Do you know what that would do to your haunches?

You would be crushed. Our backside would be attracted so intensely to this floor that they would almost stick. And when we want to get up you would have to leave a little bit of yourself behind.

Not pretty, even in imagination. Is it?


Letting go must be the easiest thing because letting go means I am giving over responsibility to someone who is really responsible.

Do you see that you can breathe with effortless ease? Do you see that?

It’s another matter that you want to improve upon your breathing. So, you learn breathing techniques. But do you see that you already breath quite nicely?

You don’t have to learn the art of breathing, somebody has already arranged it for you.

Do you see how food gets digested in your system? Do you even know all the chemicals that are responsible? Do you know even any of the chemicals that are responsible?

Still the thing gets done.

In fact, if you start knowing how the things get done, it may not get done so easily, because then you would interfere.

Do you see how your all physical processes keep going on like an a well-oiled and a sophisticated machine?

And still you don’t want to let go?

You don’t want to trust this great system.

This great system is so great that even after you are gone, your corpse is taken care off. Now, are you there to take care of yourself after you are gone?

But still there are enough animals, and birds, and bacteria to take care of your body. The system takes care of you to that extent. Even in your absence the system is taking care of you. But you find it very difficult to let go.

Are you there to guard over yourself, to watch over yourself when you are asleep?

Are you there?

What if all the atmospheric pressure simply reduces? What if one of your hands separates from your body and start flying in air? Why can’t that happen?

Because you were not lording over your body anymore when you are asleep.

Why can’t that happen?

But that doesn’t happen.

Your teeth even remain intact, don’t they? You wake up and all you have to do is brush them not re-plug them. Unless you are using a denture or something. Even if you are using a denture, the denture remains where it was when you went off to sleep. You just have to get up, pick it up and place it back.

So difficult to let go.

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