Acharya Prashant: In these matters a little twist and turn of the words creates a huge gap in understanding. Let’s go into it. You say that you can’t understand why we must not believe in the past.
No, there is no question of believing in the past or not believing in the past. The entire issue is all about knowing the past as ‘past’. And ‘past’ means gone. Past is not a substitute for the present, it is not about believing or not believing. This wall is a wall; you don’t believe or disbelieve in it. It is. Similarly, the past is past. ‘Past’ means gone, not this.
There is nobody here trying to tell you to forget the past. Please. We are not up to that. We are not trying to forget the past. We are here to realize that the past is past. And the present is present, and the present is where we live. We don’t live in our memories; we don’t live in our dreams. We don’t live in that which is gone. Do you understand the difference? See, what do we do?
We substitute this moment with our memories and there are so many people around, virtually everybody, whom you can see doing this. They are not alert and attentive to ‘what is’. They live in images of ‘what was’. By no means forget ‘what was’. Don’t do that.We are not asking you to forget anything. Don’t forget; remember that, but also remember that it is gone. It is no more there. The past is only information now, use that information in the present, but don’t become a hostage to that information. Don’t start believing that the information itself is the present. Are you getting it?
The past gives you a lot of data, a lot of information, a lot of knowledge which is useful. You can’t live your life without that information. We can’t talk without this language and this language comes from the past. So, the past makes life convenient. But then the past is past. The language will not help me if I am not attentive to your questions, and mere English language will not help you if you are not attentive to what I am saying. Are you getting it? In the present you have to live fully. The past is just the information to be utilized. Is this clear? Alright.
-Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Past is past | YouTube
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