The one who entered IIT-IIM wasn’t the one who left

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Question: Sir, what was your thinking when you were preparing for IIT and IIM, and what was your thinking when you were leaving IIT and IIM?

Acharya Prashant: Sit. What’s your name?

Listener: Deepak

AP: Deepak, sit.

Deepak is asking, “What were you thinking when you were preparing for IIT-IIM or sales services and then he is asking what you were thinking when you were leaving them?”

It’s not the same man who prepared as the man who left. We are a flux. We are changing constantly and that is life. Heraclitus, the great Greek philosopher said, ‘You don’t step into the same river twice.’

Man is like a river – flowing constantly, changing constantly; flowing towards the sea, the ocean, to dissolve there, disappear there. The one who is 15 years old and preparing for IIT-JEE, has one kinds of thought in mind. He is a child who is conditioned by the situation at home, by the fact that he has born in the family of bureaucrats, by the fact he thinks that the only way to live a meaningful life, the only way to contribute is through the government machinery. And if you want to be an IAS then you first must be IIT because he saw that the IIT’ans were making through IAS top rankers list. So he says alright to IAS via IIT. That’s why he prepared for IIT.

And then the time changes. The teenager is no more a teenager. In the process of preparation itself, he sees what is meant by centralized government? What is truth of bureaucracy? And he does get selected and he spends a couple of months in the training academy. And he sees how things operate there and sees that wherever there is centralized government, there would be a lack of freedom. And by this time he is already 22 and he says, “No, I am young. I cannot spend my life in a system that will constantly dictate how I am to be.”

So, he quits. But you know this question is not of such great importance to you except for one thing. It doesn’t matter where you are. Your entire history has brought you to a point. That history doesn’t matter.

In your awareness, in your deep understanding, what is right, is right.

Yes, I had invested a lot of time in pursuing my B.Tech degree and I had invested time in preparing for civil service exam and I invested time in doing my MBA also. But that doesn’t mean that my past becomes so heavy upon me that I live just as a slave to it, that I must be an engineer because I have engineering degree, that I must work as a manager because I am MBA from Ahmedabad or I must be a bureaucrat because I cleared civil service exam. No, past doesn’t matter.

In fact,

If at a particular point something sees right to you, go ahead and do it. Don’t be a captive to your history. Don’t say that now that I have invested so much in it, how can I leave it? These are sunk costs.

You go to watch a movie. Right? You made a decision to watch a movie. And, you go inside and you discover in first one hour that movie is crap. Now there are two options. One, you can say, “I have already invested three hundred in ticket and one hour in the movie so I will invest one more hour. The other option is, “I have only invested three hundred rupees and one hour, why should I waste another hour?”

And whether you go by first choice or the second one, that decides the entire destiny of your life.

Do you see these two approaches? First approach says, “I have already invested three hundred rupees and one hour so let me spend another hour.” The Second one says, “I still can save one hour and I have invested only three hundred, why am I investing more into something that does not deserve it?”

Are we together?

Nothing is permanent. You need not be committed to anything except your own consciousness.



-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant:The one who entered IIT-IIM wasn’t the one who left



Connect to Acharya Prashant:

1. Advait Learning Camps (ALC): Advait Learning Camps are monthly 4-day retreats under the guidance of Acharya prashant in the Himalayas. To participate in the camps, ContactSh. Anshu Sharma: +91-8376055661 or Sh. Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998 

2. Course in Realization (CIR): Course in Realization is a seven-day scriptures based learning program led by Acharya Prashant. To join, either physically or online, contact:  Sh. Apaar: +91-9818591240

3. Month of AwakeninG (MAG): Attend Satsangs from Home! MAG is an online series of discourses on handpicked topics by Acharya Prashant on practical and relevant topics like Love, Fear, Achievement etc. To join the online discourses, contact: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

4. Meet the Master (MTM): Meet the Master is an opportunity to meet and seek detailed guidance from Acharya Prashant, either in person or online. Contact: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

 To join any of the above programs, send your specified application to:

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2 thoughts on “The one who entered IIT-IIM wasn’t the one who left

    • There are various opportunities to connect to and meet Acharya Prashant. These are:

      1. Meet the Master:

      Meet the Master program is rare opportunity to meet Acharya Prashant personally, either physically or online. To meet the Master, send your application, write to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Ms. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917.

      2. Advait Learning Camps:

      Advait Learning Camps are monthly retreats organized under Acharya Prashant’s guidance. These camps are about spending four days and three nights in the lap of nature, while reading, reflecting, learning and evolving. So far, scores of ALCs have been organised in places like Rishikesh, Mukteshwar, Jim Corbett National Park, Chopta, KainchiDham, etc.
      Additionally, we organize dedicated bonding camps for kids and parents. To participate in the camp, write an e-mail to requests@prashantadvait.com, or call: Sh. Anshu Sharma at +91-8376055661.

      3. Course in Realization:

      Course in Realization, a classroom-based learning program led by Acharya Prashant, is an initiative towards disseminating clarity and intelligence in the world. In this course, a rigorous study of a scripture or a saint is undertaken each month.
      To join in, send your application, write to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Sh. Apaar: +91-9818591240

      4. Month of Awakening:

      For those who cannot attend sessions physically, the foundation does online streaming of few selected sessions via Skype or Webinar. Known as Month of Awakening, this facility offers live streaming of sessions and helps seekers listen to Acharya-Ji while being where they are.
      To receive the blessing, send your application to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Ms. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

      5. Blessings from Beyond:

      Weekends with Acharya Prashant brings you the unique opportunity for a 2 day 2 night stay with the Master every month at Advait Ashram, Greater Noida. The getaway involves two mystical days of dynamic activities, explorations of the self, sports, meditative reading, deep reflections, midnight walks and more.
      To get a taste of the beyond, register yourself at requests@prashantadvait.com or contact Ms. Anu Batra:+91-9555554772

      6. Triyog:

      Daily morning 2 hour Yog feast for your total well-being. Comprising of
      Hatha Yog, Bhakti Yog and Gyan Yog.

      Send your application, write to: requests@prashantadvait.com Or to register: Contact: Shri Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998
      Venue: Advait Bodhsthal, Greater Noida, India.

      This reply comes to you from volunteers of PrashantAdvait Foundation who maintain this channel.

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