Fearless Living

Acharya Prashant: We have heard of the beggar, who used to sit at the main crossing in the city. He had been begging since many years, rather decades. He had been begging since so long that it could be said that he had been begging all his life. People had grown so used to his begging face, his begging voice, that whenever they would think of a beggar, this person’s face, voice, actions would come to their mind. One could say that this fellow was begging personified. Having begged for so long, he had internalised begging so much that even when he was not asking for favours, there was the beggar still present in his eyes, in his walk, in his voice, in his total presence.

He had become an institution in himself, so much so that the new beggars, or the young beggars who would come to the city, would actually come to watch him. Just looking at him, even if he was asleep, even if he was just having his meals, just looking at him was sufficient to give a clear picture of what begging is.

Even if he would be joking, it was so obvious that he was still begging, that it was still the beggar at work. One could have safely removed the word ‘beggar’ from the dictionary and instead substituted it with his name. The only difficulty in this was that nobody knew his name anymore, he was only known as, “The beggar”.

Having begged for five decades, seven decades, he died. His presence had become a feature of that crossing, in fact, a part of the city itself, people had grown accustomed to seeing him, or hearing his voice, whenever they would reach that crossing.

For many, it had become a part of daily routine to give him a coin or two. So when he departed, it almost felt as if a part of the city or a part of the population had departed.

They went to his place, they decided to give him a respectable farewell, they collected his rag, his old utensils, his shabby clothes; there was anyway not much. When they picked up his rag, they noticed that the earth under the rag was a little strange. People are curious; they decided to see what the matter was, so a few young men dug up the earth and there they found a few coins. They went deeper and they found a few more. And by now they were energised, their shovels starting hitting the earth even harder and more coins and more coins and more was unearthed. They kept digging and finding more. It became a huge spectacle in the city, people gathered around the place of the dead beggar.

At first, they thought that these are coins that they had been giving the beggar since long, so he had probably accumulated them here. But, as the digging continued, it became clear that this was a treasure of a different nature; the coins here were such that the city had never seen before.  And after a few days of digging, the city discovered that it was probably the biggest treasure that any of its residents had seen or even imagined. But the beggar was gone. The beggar was dead.

They started remembering how the beggar had lived. People would gather around that rag where he used to sit and reflect on life. They would look at the huge pit that had been created, the way it was brimming with gold and they would think of the way the beggar had lived all his life. Memories would come to them of how he had gone from person to person, meekly asking; how he had even shed tears, how he had been keeping such a distorted face that people would be moved into pity. How he would become angry and how he would, sometimes, tell in the afternoon that he hasn’t received much throughout the day. How he would sometimes go hungry and even when he was not sleeping hungry, he would still be afraid of sleeping on an empty stomach.

It was such a puzzle, people found it difficult to reconcile. He was sitting over an endless, bottomless, store of richness but his life had been extremely miserable. The more they thought of the way he had lived; the more they went into the memories of his face, his voice, his clothes, his thoughts, his actions, his entire life, the more it became difficult for them.

Then slowly it happened that a few young men, who would sit there and contemplate, started feeling that the face of the beggar is a little bit similar to the face of the other elderly people they see all day. The fellow, who first experienced this, felt uneasy at his own insight. He said, “No, how is it possible? He was just a poor beggar and the senior-ones around me are all well-to-do and respectable people. How can the face of a beggar, bear similarity to the face of the honorable ones?”

But having seen what he had, he could not un-see it. Very soon, what initially appeared like just a faint similarity, started to show up as a deep equality. He started getting more and more convinced that the beggar was not really dead, that he had not really gone away, that there were so many like the beggar, all around him.

One day, gathering courage, one of these young men went to the old ones and said, “You know the beggar died in a very strange way, and having seen the riches that he was sitting on, I have also started seeing that the face of the beggar looks so similar to your face.” The old man nodded in agreement and said, “Yes, you are right. The beggar’s face is my face. But, young man, you too have come from me. Have you ever looked at your own face closely? Or, do you think that you are really different? You too have come from me. Go, look at your face, clearly and closely.” And that day, the young man, discovered that his own face had a few lines, a few expressions, similar to that that of the beggar. He was astounded, because now he was now seeing the beggar all around him.

The only way to not to see the beggar around, was to not to see at all.

In fact, he started seeing just the beggar, the differences in age, name, gender, religion, ideology and economics, they all ceased mattering. It did not matter, whether he was looking at a university professor or a house-wife. It did not matter, whether he was looking at a student of technology or a shop-keeper. It did not matter, whether he was looking at a soldier or a lover. All he could see was the beggar; the soldier, was the beggar, and the lover, was the beggar; the old woman, was the beggar, and the young girl, was the beggar. It started becoming difficult for him to even remember names.

When there is no real difference, why address people by different names?

The young man, is still around, he keeps roaming the streets of the city. He wants to understand what happened. When he looks around, he says, “There is nobody but beggars in the city.” And sometimes he feels like saying, “There is only one here, who is not a beggar. But he goes around in rags.”

This morning, let us look at our own faces. Let us invite the young man in, and be bold enough to ask him, how our faces look.

(To the audience) Yes, how do we look?

Is there really a difference between the man who stops in his car at that crossing, and he is in a terrible hurry, he needs to reach his office for a client meeting. If he does not reach in time, then his payments would be at stake. Such is the man, who is there in big car at the crossing. And then, there is the beggar, standing at the door of the crossing – pleading, knocking, trying to get some payments.

Is there really a difference between the man inside the car and the man outside the car?

The beggar, trembles upon thinking that he may not receive anything today; the man inside the car, trembles even more, on thinking that he may not receive anything. The young man is going around asking, “Why do we call ourselves with any name, one universal name would suffice.”

(To the audience) Yes, so what do you feel?

The topic today is ‘Fearless living’. Do you see a relation between fear and begging? What relation do you see?

Yes?

Listener 1: The fear of losing something, or not getting something, forces us to beg.

Speaker: Do you see, the million ways of begging? Tell me a few ways, in which begging happens. The young man is seeing that all ways of mankind are just new and new, different and different, ways of just begging. What are the different ways of begging?

Listener 1: Sir, yesterday, I saw an advertisement of a fairness cream for men. It got me to think about what is one looking for? We want to get some respect, some appreciation, but that has been defined by somebody else, so we beg. This is one example.

Listener 2: Sir, begging arises out of fear. Because, in every activity of my day, I am very scared to lose something, that is actually not mine, that doesn’t belong to me, and has been given to me by somebody else and I am very much scared that it will go somewhere. So, every moment, every thought is actually begging. I want to save something that does not belong to me.

Speaker: The young man, has found it interesting, that what looks like the ‘normal’, ‘healthy’, activities of mankind, also have a great deal of begging contained in them.

Somebody is greeting somebody, somebody is claiming that he is fulfilling his responsibilities; somebody is expressing his love, somebody is going to the temple, somebody is reading a wisdom book; somebody is just walking down a road somebody is in a shopping mall – these are not places or actions, where you would say, begging is prevalent. But, the young man says, “No, I only see beggars.”

Why does he say that?

Listener 1: Because, we never do anything without any purpose. Even walking down the road is not without reason, is not without purpose, it is so as to get something. Every activity is because I feel that I am lacking something and I want something from the outside world, hence every activity is just begging.

Speaker: As the young man became tired of seeing just one kind of face all around, he decided to relieve himself of the mental road; he went to sport stadiums, he went to theaters, cinema halls; he went to places where great celebrations were taking place and he returned all the more despondent. He said, “In the theater, all I could see – on the screen, and in the hall, were beggars.”

Is the young man going mad? Is the young man going mad?

He went to sports stadiums, he said, “The athletes, who were running with all their might, were just like beggars chasing old women for charity.” He said, “The zealous crowds that were cheering, and shouting, were just colonies of beggars, shouting to get alms.”

Is the young man mad?

The young man went to a wedding, he looked at the bride, the groom, the father of the bride, the mother of the groom, and he said, “So much arrangement has been made for begging!” And his heart was broken, he asked, “Does religion sanction begging?” The priest in the wedding told him, “Yes, religion does not only sanction, but actually promotes begging.”

He went to the bride, he asked her, “With so much of ornamentation, what could you collect lady? The bride had a rare moment of honesty, she pointed at the groom, she said, “My begging bowl is full for the day, look how the groom sits in it.”

He went to the father of the bride, the father was telling people around him that now he is relieved that he could fulfill his responsibilities. The young man’s presence was such that it inspired a flash of clarity in those he met. He asked the father, “Why did you make such grand arrangements for begging?” He replied to the young man, “Son, you are mistaken. It is not only today that I have made these arrangements, my entire life has been a series of such arrangements and events.”

The moment of insight, was now over. Suddenly, the face of the father of the bride became hard, his voice started shivering, there was sudden panic in his eyes. He was a respectable man, and there were guests around him and this young man was robbing him of all that he had begged for the day. The young man suddenly remember that he had seen the same panicky look on the face of the dead beggar, the day he felt that few of his coins had dropped out of his pocket and sure enough he saw that two or three of the respectable guests had overheard the conversation and looked as if they were dropping out of the wedding celebration.

(To the audience) What is fear? What is fear? What is fear?

Listener 2: A thought, that something is coming to an end, it can be anything, people, things, a job, money, health, anything. The thought of anything coming to an end is fear.

Speaker: What comes to an end?

Listener 2: The relationship with that particular thing.

Speaker: From where did the relationship come?

Listener 2: It comes from my mind, the attachment that I have to that object. If I am with somebody, I start getting attached to them. If I have something, a job, some money, I start getting attached to it. I have made some attachment with that particular thing, and somewhere in my mind, I know that this thing will not be mine forever. So, that thought leads to fear.

Speaker: Why did you not say, “It does not come from anywhere” or “That it was always there”?

Was it always there? Whatever comes to an end, was it always there?

Listener 2: It was there, but I was not attached to it. The thing was always present.

Speaker: (Smilingly) Was the ‘always’ always there? Was this ‘thinker’, who says that something was there or something would come to an end, was this ‘thinker’ always there?

Listener 2: The thinker, who is giving me that thought.

Speaker: (Smilingly) This thought.

Listener 2: He might be there, but probably, I have not realized that.

Listener 3: Sir, in the case of dependencies, you don’t know that you are attached to somebody until they leave, until they go away.

Speaker: Was that ‘somebody’ always there? You fear the ending of something, you fear that things would come to an end. What is certain about anything that can come to an end?

Listener 4: That it had a beginning.

Speaker: If it can come to an end, surely it started. What was there before the starting?

Listener 2: My thought were there.

Speaker: So, do thoughts come to an end?

Listener 2: Sir, thoughts can never come to an end.

Speaker: What happens when you are in deep sleep?

Listener 2: They end.

Speaker: So, if thoughts come to an end, surely thoughts are beginning at some point, somewhere. What was there before thoughts began?

Listener 2: Nothing.

Speaker: And because at that time, there was anyway no thought of the object that you now fear would come to an end, so there was no fear. Because, the thought of the object, had not even begun.

Listener 4: Sir, sometimes fears are instinctual. Some fears are so deeply embedded in us, for example, fear of darkness, fear of heights. You don’t even know why you are afraid, you just are.

Speaker: So, what happens when you, for example, look down the cliff?

Listener 4: My life will end. I will get injured.

Speaker: Is the cliff saying that to you? Is the cliff saying that to you?

Listener 2: It’s our thought.

Speaker: Are the mountains, the skies, the birds saying that?

Just as the young man said, “Anything and everything that is happening and anybody and everybody who is acting, is just the begging and the beggar.” Similarly, would it not be nice to say that anything that we think of, any of our purposes, goals and actions, they all are simply this. This, that we can call as fear, call as ignorance, call as suffering; we can choose the name.

More often than not, we will choose a nice name, a comfortable name, something that doesn’t trouble us. In fact, it is necessary, because if we call fear as ‘fear’, then there is a responsibility to do something about it. But, if we call fear as ‘love’, then nothing needs to be done. We can safely claim that already something beautiful is present in my life, it is not a problem to be resolved, it is not a challenge, it is not suffering at all, it is love and probably divine love.

Is not love, as we know it, just another name for something else? Is not fear, the primary motivator, of even the most ordinary of our actions? And is not fear, that same basic ‘thought’, or as you would say, the same basic ‘instinct’, that one would be reduced, belittled and eventually eliminated?

The less you have, the more is your effort to get, and the more is your fear. And the more is your fear, the smaller you think yourself to be.

(Smilingly) The smaller you think yourself to be, the more again is your effort to obtain something — greatness, bigness, from outside. And because it is to come from outside, it is unreliable. No beggar is ever sure of how heavy his begging bowl would be at the end of the day. The world is not obliged to meet your expectations.

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The smaller you think yourself to be, the more again is your effort to obtain something greatness, bigness, from outside. And because it is to come from outside, it is unreliable. No beggar is ever sure of how heavy his begging bowl would be at the end of the day. The world is not obliged to meet your expectations.

Today, the world may give you something, tomorrow it may not. Is not the basic relationship with the world fear itself? Because the very fundamental relationship with the world, and when I say, the ‘world’, I mean the world in its smallest aspects – sitting on a chair, looking at a stranger, asking for information, watching television. Is not a person’s basic relationship with the world, itself to be named as ‘fear’?

Relationship, as we know it, is simply dependency, is simply about taking, and of course giving. One does not give alms to the beggar for nothing, the beggar does give you something – What? A pitiable look. But the beggar, in his own smartness thinks, that, what he has received from the world is more valuable than what he has given. He says, “Oh! giving somebody a totally dead look, a diseased look, a hungry look, is so easy. I didn’t have to spend anything in giving that look. But, by giving that look, look I just obtained two pennies.”

So, expenditure?

“Nothing.”

Income?

“Two pennies.”

That is what everybody is thinking, that is our basic relationship with the world – self-preservation and if the opportunity allows, then accumulation. “At the very least, let me preserve what I already have and if it’s a lucky day then let me augment, add something to the kitty.”

It’s a random world. A million cause and effect linkages are there and they too are inter playing with each other. You never know, what would happen. The beggar goes out to the crossing, and the city is locked down in a strike. The beggar didn’t know about the politics of the state, he didn’t know that somebody would call a strike. The beggar goes out to beg and it is raining heavily, the heavens have opened themselves up. Zero traffic, the roads are flooded. The universe is beyond his comprehension. So, even on the finest day, he is still unsure of what would happen the next day. Yes, today it is sunny and nice, and people are so magnanimous, everybody is in a charitable mood. But, we do not know, what might happen tomorrow. Today, everybody is thanking god and looking so religious. But, tomorrow, the enemy, may drop a bomb on the city and then one does not know what would be the mood of the people.

When it comes to dealing with the world, the world is always uncertain. And the more you are dependent on the world, the more serious and critical are your linkages with the world, the more responsible you feel towards the world; the more you’ll be steeped in fear.  

To be worldly is to be fearful.

The young man is gradually seeing, that he does not need too many words in his vocabulary. Gradually, his language is becoming simpler and leaner. He only uses a few words, he does not see great diversity any more. Sometimes, when he sees a trembling man, he just says, “World”. Sometimes, when he sees misery, he says, “World”. He sees a birth, the wales of the new born, he says, “World”. He sees a death, the grief of the relatives, he says, “World”. He sees lovers locked in passionate embrace, he says, “World”. He sees somebody trying to kill somebody, he says, “World.”

I am seeing that, slowly, it will be difficult for him to even say, “World”. He will just be reduced to Silence. To say, “Fear”, is to deceive oneself. Because, if you say, “There are one or two moments in the day that I am afraid” then surely you are implying that you are not afraid at other times in the day. That is the purpose of diversity in language, it gives you the happy illusion that things are different and changing.

The young man does not see anything changing, he says, “Why do you say that you are afraid?” Because you are anyway always afraid. Simply say – fear is your name. Don’t say that you are afraid, just say, “I am fear”. Not that, “I am afraid”, simply say, “I am fear”. It’s just that sometimes you give your fear nice names, sometimes you call it ‘ambition’, sometimes you call it ‘responsibility’, sometimes you call it ‘knowledge’, sometimes you call it ‘inspiration’, sometimes you call it ‘enlightenment’.

Why are you using such multiplicity of words, they are not needed.

You are the world; the world only apparently has diversity.

What are these houses? Why do you call them ‘houses’? What are these walls? Why do you call them ‘walls’? Would there be walls without fear? Then simply say, ‘fear’ and ‘fear’ and more ‘fear’. What are these buildings? What is this thing called ‘progress’? Why do you call it ‘progress’? Just call it fear.

Eliminate the redundant words from the dictionary, one does not need them. Why have you given your festivals diverse names? Simply say, “Fear”. What is the need to mark different days in the calendar with different names, simply mark all days with just one name – fear.

The sun rises again – “Fear rises again”.

The sun sets – “More fear rises”.

Do not think that fear lives in a compartment. Do not think that it comes to you only sometimes. If you could be as sensitive as that odd young man, you would see that fear is the name of every breath that we take.

Fear is our basic relationship with the world. Even at this moment, if you could be a little more alert and sensitive towards yourselves and look at your minds, you would not find any mind anywhere, instead, you would just find fear. Why even call it ‘mind’? Why call dreams as ‘dreams’? Fear is the very essence, the very fibre from which all our dreams are woven. Would there be dreams without fear? Would there be hope without fear? Would there be fearlessness without fear? Would there be courage without fear? And I’m asking you, would there be God without fear?

Remove fear, and you will find that you will have removed the world. And accidently, there is no other way to remove fear.

The more you are a resident of this world, the more you would be condemned to live in fear.

You need not tell anybody your address, just say, “I live in..?”

All listeners: Fear.

Speaker: So, where do you live? “I live in..?”

All listeners: Fear.

Speaker: “I have built a great new house – over fear, called fear, in fear. No, it’s not built over land, it’s not called ‘Khanna’s’, it does not have any bricks or mortar.” It is built over fear, in fear and it is called fear.

Those of you who have tried to chase success in this world, know very well, that all that you have received is – fear. Kindly do not punish your children now. Kindly do not push them to make the same foolish mistakes that you kept making all your life.

Your face – look at it.  Your face reads fear, don’t hide your face. Have the courage to look at it clearly. Now, don’t teach your kids to become ‘successful’ in the world. If at all they become successful, they will become successful in fear.

I’m not here to assert that you have a metaphysical identity, I am not here to assert that you have a home away from the world. But what is obvious and so clearly seen, must be acknowledged. We have to acknowledge that the quality of our relationship with the world just makes us more and more of a beggar.

When these eyes look out, they are only looking out for prospective clients. When these ears hear, they are just craving to hear the sound of the coins. All that these hands want to touch, is something material, something that can be consumed. All that this mind wants to think of, is something that would give it security. Now tell me, have you ever seen anything else? Have you ever heard anything else? Have you ever touched anything else? Have any of your thoughts been about anything else? Incidentally, I was referring to the thoughts, the hands and the eyes of the beggar.

This day, when you go out, try to look at your eyes. No, not look through your eyes, but try to look at your eyes. See, how your eyes are looking. See, what do they want. See, what attracts your gaze. And then, honestly ask yourself, “Are my eyes not searching for alms?”

I repeat: Just see, what you are looking at, and then see how you are looking at it.

Ask yourself, “Don’t I just want something from the object I am looking at?” What else is begging?

Whenever you look at something, you want something from it, don’t you? What else is begging? These eyes open and they open to beg. They open in desire. They open because they are not satisfied.

The young man doesn’t want to become a cynic, he is asking us, “Can there be a different way of looking? Can there be a different touch and a different mind?” He’s asking, “Can there be a different way of relating with the world?” He wants an answer. We owe an answer to him.

(To the audience) Can there be a different way of being, of living?

Listener 2: Sir, it’s really difficult. Whatever we are doing, thinking, acting, it is an outcome of desires. How can we live differently? If it is true that the more worldly we are, the more fearful we will be. So, to be fearless, does it mean that I should stop doing anything? Should I stop thinking about anything?

Speaker: I do not know. I am as clueless as you are. So, I need your support in replying to the young man. Is it possible to look at something without consuming it? Is it possible to touch without desiring? Is it possible to relate without exploiting? Is it possible to take without giving and give without taking?

Listener 5: Yes Sir, it’s possible.

Speaker: The young man is around, don’t give him a false hope. If you really think that it is possible then tell him more about it.

Listener 6: What if you realise that whatever you experience in life, whatever you have in life, is a gift?

Speaker: The young man is saying, that he has seen so many people who think that what they have is a gift and they want more and more gifts.

Don’t disappoint him.

You can very conveniently think that whatever you have is just grace, the gift of God and then you can want more of those gifts. You can even complain, “If you could give me this much, then why are you so stingy that you can’t give me a little more? After all, your inventory is supposed to be infinite, why are you spoiling your own name? Be a little more openhearted.”

Listener 7: Sir, when we know that there is a diamond that is already available to us, then our pettiness disappears. When we know that we are rich, then the begging will stop.

Listener 8: Sir, I don’t know if there can be such a life but I am actually hoping that there is one. But since the last one hour of the talk I am thinking of the number of ways I beg. I sit on the chair – I’m begging. I talk in a certain way, in a certain language – I’m begging. And every bit of it is coming as a surprise. Oh my God, this is another way of begging. The clothes that I am wearing, that’s for sure begging. The authority I show, as a parent or a brother – begging. It is coming as such as a surprise.  A certain hopelessness is coming that every single thing is an action of begging. How can there be some diamond? Only pennies and pennies. I’m hoping, but it’s just an imagination right now. It is coming as a big surprise – the way that I drive my car, I change the gear, I take a turn – everything is coming as an action of begging and I’m sure, I will forget it after half an hour.

Speaker: You know the young man met a veteran beggar, one really established in the art of begging and this one really knew a thing or two about his trade. He asked him, “What makes you beg with such regularity and determination? What makes you seek these pennies?” The veteran beggar replied, “The memory of the treasure that I had and lost.”

He said, “There are these young beggars, they sometimes get so lazy that they take a day off from begging, but I have some memory of a treasure that I once had. I know, what it is to feel really rich, complete, and full. The call of that memory, makes me go out and beg every day. I am determined to achieve that same fullness, that same treasure, again. I am not deluded, I clearly remember that I once had it and it was blissful when I had it. And hence, now, in every way big and small, I beg. I beg so that I may regain what I have lost. And my begging has such completeness and regularity and determination behind it only because I do have a memory of That.”

Without a memory of your intrinsic richness, why would you beg so much? Without having a faint remembrance of what it means to be full, why would you chase fullness so much? So, it’s strange, you beg because you know that your nature is richness, but the more you beg, the more you prove to yourself that you are not rich.

It sits in our Heart, the memory of the treasure. One could go directly to the Heart, or chase the treasure in the world. The young man says, “Search at the right place. You will not find in the world, what is to be found in the Heart. But if you can find your Heart, you’ll find the Heart in the world. And the world is no more ‘world’, the world is as rich as your Heart. And the world is no more a begging place, it is your home, where you can pick up anything that you want.”

Yes.

Listener 9: Sir, there is this line by Tulsidas, “Tulsi bharose Raam ke, nirbhay ho ke soye,”so in that he has surrendered to the Almighty, that everything shall be taken care of by Him and Tulsi will relax. Is that the right way to live?

Speaker: So that’s it. Somebody trusts somebody and that makes him fearless – “Tulsi bharose raam ke”. Somebody is trusting something, somebody. You may not know what that something or somebody is, but what is certain is that it is being trusted.

Do you trust anything?

The way you look at the world, does the world inspire trust in you? Or doubt and suspicion? Do you really trust anything, anybody? And I’m not coming to Faith, I am just talking of trust.

There is no need to quickly conclude who ‘Raam’ is, and what is meant by ‘divine fearlessness’. Much more important than that is to look into our daily lives and see the total presence of doubt. How will you trust an unknown, untouchable, un-see-able, ineffable Raam, when you cannot trust even the milkman?

The wife and the kid, the neighbor and the colleague – they are always under the lens; something doubtful going on surely. Right? How will Raam be a center of trust? How?

See, how much of our energy rises from suspicion. See, how uncertainty and doubt motivate us so much. See, how people are rushing around in their cars and the fuel is doubt.

Doubt kills.

It will not let you sleep. You cannot relax with doubt.

Is there anything is your life that you are absolutely sure of?

And if you are doubtful of everything, if you must distrust everybody, I’m asking you, how do you sleep?

And if you cannot sleep, why do you live?

Why?

I’ll tell you, why you cannot trust, why you cannot sleep. Because, the beggar has only one little coin in his bowl today or that is what he thinks, and he doesn’t want to go hungry. He cannot trust the world, “What if somebody takes away his coin? What if the coin is lost, due to some mistake?” When you have so little, or that is what you think about yourself, then you cannot trust anybody. Whosoever finds that he is full of suspicion, must know that he is full of suspicion, because, firstly, he thinks himself to be petty.

When I asked you about the ending of things, I wanted you to go to the beginning of things. That is why I kept asking you, “Was it always there? Was it always there?”

Things begin and things end; that is the nature of things – to begin and end. And if begging is to end, you must investigate how it begins.

When the beginning and end are seen together, then you get freedom from both. There is no freedom from death, until you first understand birth.

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How did you begin to be doubtful? Who taught you to be doubtful of everything? Who taught you that the world is an evil place? Who taught you that you are small and petty? It surely began, and if it began and you can go clearly to the beginning, then you will find that you have come to the end.

The beginning is daily, the ending too must be daily. The beginning is happening even now. Do you see that various ways in which you are made to feel that your bowl is empty? Do you see the various voices that keep telling you to achieve more? They are the ones who turn you into a beggar.

Do you see how it begins?

Catch it when it is beginning, and it will end.

Don’t let it go too far. Don’t wait for the suffering to intensify. The wise man nips trouble in the bud. Don’t let the evil seed sprout. Once it has become a giant tree, you will find it very difficult to uproot it.

I’m repeating: Pay attention to the beginning, there is no other way to end.

It is not your nature – neither fear, nor begging, nor the world. They all begin. The world begins, fear begins, begging begins. See how it begins and I am saying that beginning and ending is a continuous thing. Beginning happens every moment, with every thought, with every glance, with every sound that hits your ears. Catch it then. See how they encourage you to beg. See how there are embedded messages. See how there are encoded motivations. Learn to decode them. Learn to see things for what they are instead of using too many words.

Like the young man, remove the garbage from your vocabulary. It may come to you as ‘care’ or ‘affection’, but learn to decode the message. It is neither care nor affection, it is simply fear. If you can decode it in the beginning, I assure you, you will be free of it.

Listener 10: Sir, what if it has already taken the shape of a big, ugly tree, then what?

Speaker: Then, don’t water the tree.

Listener 10: Sir, you said, that it is very difficult to uproot it.

Speaker: It will die down on its own.


~ Excerpts from the session at Maharishi Raman Kendra, Delhi. Edited for Clarity.

Watch the session: Prashant Tripathi: Fearless Living

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: To live fearlessly, remove your dependencies

Article 2: How to get rid of fear and panic?

Article 3: Love comes along with Courage

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