Questioner: Sir, how to forget the past completely?
Acharya Prashant: How to forget the past completely?
By not trying to forget it. Trying to forget the past is a sure-shot way of holding on to the past. Do you know there are two guaranteed ways to remember something.
First: Trying to remember it. Put up reminders here and there and you will remember it.
Second: By saying daily, ‘I want to forget it.’ This is another way to remember something and never forget it. ‘I want to forget ‘A’ and I remember daily to forget ‘A’.’ What am I remembering daily?
Q : ‘A’
AP : ‘A’. The mind very well knows what to forget. Do you even remember everything that you have done since the morning today? Can you recall every second? You have already forgotten. You have already forgotten. Mind will forget on its own. You do not allow the mind to forget.
How do you not allow the mind to forget? By giving importance to that thing. The moment you take something seriously, it gets more deeply registered in the mind. Now it will not forget it. So don’t ask, ‘How to forget?’ Ask, ‘How not to take trivia seriously?’
Our problem is that we take those things seriously that deserve to be pushed aside, and we have no sense of that which is really important. So we remember all the rubbish. But what is really important, we forget that. We forget that because what is really important is actually not important to us. We do not value it.
Till the time you keep valuing something, it will hover here (pointing at the head). It will keep buzzing here. It is impossible that what is important will be forgotten. So find out what is really important. When you know what is really important, then everything else will just fall-off on its own.
A man is holding on to a two-rupee note in his fist. Why? Because he thinks that this is all he has, and to him it is supremely important. Days, nights, even in dreams, he is remembering that two-rupee note. But then suddenly somebody reminds him that he is already carrying a precious gem in his pocket. Precious gem, invaluable. It’s there with you already.
What will he do with this two-rupee note now? He has something a billion times more valuable, already with him. What will he do with this two-rupee note now? He will easily forget it. But he will forget it, only when he discovers the really valuable.
Instead of discovering the really valuable, our concern always is, ‘Sir, how to forget this rubbish?’ This rubbish can be forgotten only when you first know that this is ‘rubbish’ and something else is very precious. And then forgetting, dropping, becomes easy, simple.
If you are engaged in something very important right now, would the past come and bother you? Does that happen that if you are involved in something really important, the past still comes and bothers you?
So, isn’t that obvious that when does the past come and attack? When you are not with the important.
Find out what is important and stay with it, stick to it. And anyway, that should be the only place where you can be, with the important. Every moment remain aware of this: What is important in this moment? And whatever is important in the moment, stay with that. Whatever is important in a particular moment, stay with that. Never lose consciousness of that. Don’t allow yourself to become drunken, drowsy.
Whenever you find that you are being carried away, a drift is taking you along, ask, ‘Is this important?’ And it’s such a powerful tool. Whenever your mind is being dominated by something, just pause for a while, and ask, ‘Is this important, really important?’ If it is not important, it will drop on its own.
– Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at : How to forget the past? | YouTube
Read more articles on this topic:
- What is past? A resource useful, or a beast frightful?
- Do not try to control the mind, just leave it alone and it will extinguish
- There is no need to forget the past