Question: Sir, was it a particular moment or series of events that led you towards the spiritual journey?
Acharya Prashant (smiling): Why do you want to know?
No, there have been no special events. No special events at all. It is not a spectacular thing. It is not something fanciful or glorious or glamorous. It is simple and ordinary.
As a naked child, there is a mother, you keep walking towards the mother. There is nothing spectacular about it. As a naked child, you are walking towards the mother. And they are getting closer and closer and closer.
No glamorous memory of this. No particular date. It’s a continuous movement taking baby steps.
Listener 1: You like receiving appreciation?
AP: Yes, if that helps the other one receive more of me. Not because appreciation means something to me. But if he appreciates me then there are chances that he receives more. So I like it when you appreciate.
(Enacting) Fill that form nicely there. Write good things. And in the end, say that you will come back. It’s nice.
L2: And if the appreciation is coming from an identity?
AP: The identity never appreciates. Appreciation always comes from somewhere else. As an identity, you will only appreciate another identity. If the appreciation is real, then it is real only from the real centre.
L3: Sometimes I feel no gratitude. And then the ‘need’ to feel gratitude arises.
AP: We all have done that. We have all done that so often. “I need to feel grateful”, so I’ll smile and all that.
‘I need to feel grateful.’
Gratitude is not a need. Gratitude is not an obligation.
Gratitude arises. It arises in spite of your resistance.
You are not obliged to feel grateful.
Do you see the extent to which these roleplays percolate in our life?—”I need to act like a lover. I need to act joyful. I need to act grateful. I need to act respectful.”
L4: “Our relationship with God”, please explain.
AP: We all have relationship only with God. You may be related to anybody. But why anybody? So that you can get some joy, some peace and some fulfilment. And joy, peace and fulfilment are God. So, all our relationships are for the sake of God.
You may call it gratitude. You may call it commitment. You may call it honesty. But, it is about being Real, not being fake.
L5: The mood keeps on changing. Conflicts arise.
AP: These are your dependencies.
It is only when you are dependent that conflicting thoughts arise; it is only when you are not dependent, then it is easy to stay firm with the obvious.
Excerpts from a Myth Demolition Tour held in Rishikesh. Edited for clarity.
Since eternity mankind has been running in search of happiness and equally shying away from sadness or miseries. With every chapter of this book, the Author takes you to a place away from these two ends of duality. The book throws light on how the search of happiness is a futile one.
With utmost simplicity, he explains how freedom from both happiness and sadness is the ultimate peace. Author’s genius lies in the fact that he does not talk of happiness and sadness as some far off terms and does not throw concepts of ‘higher living’ to the readers. Rather, he deals with issues in a very simple, personal way and through this book extends an invitation to join the ongoing existential party.