Question: How can I avoid the comments made by others about me?
Acharya Prashant: How can you avoid? There is no way! There are so many people, so many mouths. Is there a way to avoid? Is there a way to prevent people from speaking? There is no way! Even if you prevent them from speaking, is there a way to prevent them from thinking? There is no way!
So what does one do?
You can have a very little control on ‘that’, the things happening in the world but you can observe the effect it has on ‘this’, the mind. Because your suffering lies not ‘there’ but ‘here’. You suffer in your mind. Right? You don’t suffer somewhere else. And if you suffer in the mind then let the action be on the mind itself.
‘This’ is what needs to be taken care of. Why are you so obsessed with what others are saying? Why can’t you ask, ‘Sir, what to do with this mind that gets affected by everything that happens outside?’
Take care of the mind, not the people, because they cannot be taken care of.
Realize that by allowing others to affect you, you are becoming their slave. Realize that a free mind is one which has the power to look at itself. That is the ultimate freedom. The free mind does not get blindly persuaded by external inputs. It is its own master.
And how do we live?
Anything that happens outside we let it affect us. Waves come and sweep us of our feet and we have no control, we have no self-mastery. Our mind is not ours. Anybody can come and dominate it.
You see, even right now your mind is not looking at itself but it is looking at ‘That’. ‘How do I avoid comments made by others?’ The question must be, ‘How do I have a mind which remains uninfluenced?’ Influence is conditioning. The question must be, ‘How to have a mind that receives all the inputs, but is not influenced by them?’
-Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: How do I avoid the comments made by others?| YouTube
Read more articles on the topic:
- How to keep others happy?
- If others can predict you, others will enslave you
- Why do we blame others for our mistakes?