Tag Archives: Pain

Which direction to take in life? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

which direction to take in life

Question: Acharya Ji, which direction to take in life?  

Acharya Prashant: What is it, that matters to you? The direction in which you must go, is determined, by where you will feel the pain. And if you feel no pain, no discomfort, why must you go in any direction?

You move only because your current station, discomforts you. So what is your discomfort? Your discomfort will decide, where to move to and how to move. And if you are already well-settled, and alright, then that’s samaadhi. Why must you contemplate any movement then?

I find it strange to see that why do we keep talking about moving, without caring to examine: what makes us move. Why must there be any movement at all?

You are a human being. Any movement that you make, physical, psychological, involves costs, time, resources. Every movement, is a chunk of your limited life-span. That’s why movement is life. Must you then move irresponsibly? Is life there to be wasted?

Life, as you know it, is just time. Why must you move randomly, hither-thither? Yes, there is a movement, that is aimless, purpose-less. That is just like – the dance of a child. But that movement is only for those, who are not looking to move, who have internally come to the end of all movement. Have you come to the end of all movement? No. You are still eager to move.

And if you are eager to move, then you better move with discretion.

Use your suffering, as the compass.

Your suffering will give you the direction.

Be very very alert and sensitive to your suffering. Just do not surrender at the wrong place. Do not start considering that suffering, and restlessness, and boredom, and loneliness, and fear, are the natural modes of life. They are not. Never, never allow this belief to settle within you.

If life is boredom, and loneliness, and fear, that is unnatural. Just because you see a lot of sorrow and anger, and uprooted-ness, around you, that does not mean that anger and sorrow, are our natural states. They are not.

Don’t give in. Don’t surrender.

Remain a little rebellious. Remain a little compassionate towards yourself.

If the mind remains heavy, don’t just move on with it.

Pause and ask: what’s going on?

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

Watch the session:  Which direction to take in life? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How to deal with pain and hurt?|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: How to deal with pain and hurt?

Acharya Prashant:

Dedicate your time to something sublime, and then you will not be available to get hurt.

You are hurt because you are available.

Why are you walking around with free mental space, and spare time?

Be fully dedicated to something worthy, then all these little bruises, and wounds, and rubs, will not bother you.

Life hurts, and wounds, only those who are jobless. Why are you jobless?

To be born, is to be born into one great job.

What is that job?

The life-long mission of liberation.

You have to be fully employed there. It’s a full-time job, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three sixty five days a year. But you do not do justice to real occupation. You steal time, and then your punishment is, that the world will hurt you. Your theft costs you very dearly.

Be fully consumed in the one, great, divine mission.

Otherwise, life will beat you down, very badly.

You have been entrusted with time, not so that you while it away. You have been entrusted with your fifty, or eighty years, so that you make the best use of every second. Your time is not your personal property. It has been entrusted to you. You better use it for the designated, and assigned purpose.

Somebody asked the Satan, “How do you corrupt a being?” He says, “It’s easy. I just whisper into his ears, ‘Your time is your time’.” And that’s the assumption we all have bought into – ‘I have the personal time.’ Not a second of your time is your’s.

Caught in petty politics. Caught in this and that. Whenever you will come to me citing these things, I will have just one quick question to ask, “From where did you get time to be caught in pettiness? You thief.”

It’s like entrusting a kid with his books, and you have told him to be with his books, the mathematics lessons, to be finished-off. And after a while he comes and says, “You know daddy, I got bruised in the football field. Look at my knee, it’s bleeding.” Before I offer him any first aid, I will probably offer him a question, “Why did you steal time in the first place?” You were supposed to be with the book. Why did you violate my trust and run away with your brat friends? Why?” So the band-aid will come later on.

If you are suffering, there is nobody, but you, who is responsible.

Unless you fully accept this responsibility, there is no freedom.

If your suffering is just incidental, then how can there be freedom from it, because incidents can happen any way, any day?

You have to first of all clearly realise that suffering cannot come to you, without your consent. Not only your consent, but your active participation is needed in your process of suffering. Not only your participation, but your active doership is needed, for you to suffer. Otherwise, you cannot suffer.

Any bit of suffering, is a clear indicator that you have been messing up with somebody’s trust.

You know whose trust I am talking of? The one who gave you time.

He gave you time, trusting that you will use time piously. He didn’t give you time to smoke it away.

Listener: Acharya ji, while feeling pain, if we start to look at it from a distance, so who is the who is looking at the pain? Is it the ego? What should we do in such situations? Should we watch it from the distance?

Acharya ji: If you are watching pain, then you are interested in pain. If you are not watching pain, then you are even more interested in pain.

You go to a dispensary, where kids are being vaccinated. When the needle goes in, some of them very keenly watch it. Oh! The needle is going in. Why? Because they are interested in the process. They feel they have a stake in the process. So, they keep watching the process. “Oh! The needle is going in.” Aghast!

And then, there are some, who are so interested in the process, that they get terrified. And when the needle goes in, they start looking elsewhere. “It is such a deadly sight, we do not even want to look at it.”

Whether you are watching the needle go in, or whether you are avoiding the needle go in, you are interested in the needle, in both cases. How come you have so much time to watch pain? Why aren’t you occupied with something else? I assure you, right now, some part of my body is paining. Am I watching it? Not at all. Am I not watching it? Even that is not true.

I am just elsewhere. The body is where it just must be. I am where, I must be. Why are you with pain? What is the body? A storehouse of pain, what else? But if you start associating with the pain, it becomes your personal suffering. Let the pain be. For how long will you avoid pain? After all, you are a product of pain. Ask your mother.

Listener: Is it some kind of escaping from body?

Acharya ji:

You don’t have to do anything, to escape from body.

You do a lot to stick to the body. 

I still ask you: If you are occupied in something really worthwhile, would you really care for something like pain? Even an ordinary sportsperson would tell you that when you are pursuing something even as normal as, victory in a match, pain ceases to be a big botheration, unless it is crippling. Then you have to be carried on a stretcher.

(Pointing at a group of listeners in the audience) It’s noon Sun that is falling directly on them, are they bothered? I don’t think they are even taking cognizance of it. It is not even reporting, because they are where they must be.

The Sun is where it must be, the body is where it must be, why are you not where you must be? Why are you wandering here and there? Why are you so homeless?

There would never be a day when the body would not pain, believe be. And I am not talking of old-age and infirmity. Ask these young people. (Looking at a bunch of youngsters sitting in the audience) Is there never a day when no part of your body pains for a while? There is never a day.

How much do you want to concern yourself with stuff like pain? This body is anyway going to pain a lot one day, and be reduced to ashes.

Listener: Does it mean we should never think of worst moments of our life?

Acharya ji: You have to be busy, absolutely busy, with the Absolute.

Listener: And how to do that?

Acharya ji: He will teach you.

Listener: And what about life’s plans? How do we go about them?

Acharya ji: Junk them.

Your plans are anyway of no avail. Ask Him: what to plan and how to plan. Yes, in asking him, you can plan for little things, little things like reaching on time, so that you may ask Him.

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

Watch the session:How to deal with pain and hurt? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

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Acharya Prashant, with students: How to have confidence in oneself?

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Question: I don’t have confidence in myself. How to gain it?

Acharya Prashant: The question comes from an extreme – “I do not have confidence in myself.” But surely, this question addresses a pain that all experience in varying degrees, on various occasions.

There is nobody who does not feel short of confidence at one point or another. There are many, who keep feeling perpetually short. There are others, who feel confident most of the time, but find that their confidence is deserting them often when they need it.

You say you want ‘confidence’ in yourself. You want confidence in yourself only when you are in doubt. When things are just flowing smoothly, is there need for confidence? When there is no fear, is there need for confidence?

Confidence is a medicine.

Confidence is not your natural state.

Just as, medicine is not health. When you feel sick, then you ask for medicine and the role of medicine should be to make itself unnecessary. You do not want to have a medicine that you will perpetually need. What you must rather perpetually have, is a normal and ordinary state of health. What you must normally have is a state of fearlessness, in which confidence is not needed at all.

If you are requiring confidence, it means that something has already gone wrong.

Now, do you want to cover up what has gone wrong? Or do you want to directly address what has gone wrong? Because if the wrong stays wrong, then you will keep on needing confidence more and more, and more frequently.

When you are addressing your friends, do you require confidence? No! But when you are making a public presentation, then you require confidence. Do you notice that? When you are with your family members, do you require confidence? Hardly ever! But when you are in front of an interviewer, then you say that you require confidence.

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Acharya Prashant on Upanishads: Either go completely through the pain, or simply disown the pain

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Acharya Prashant: This is from the Avadhuta Upanishad, ‘When the results of actions set in motion are exhausted, the habitual usage also ends. This will not cease even with repeated meditation unless such actions are exhausted.’

So, the question is, ‘Is there no way out? What is meant by exhausted?’

Exhausted means that all the pent up, suppressed energy comes into motion, takes a release but this is the most painful, mechanical and time-consuming way of getting rid of your burden, the Prarabdha Karma (result of past actions which is ready to come in effect).

It is like saying that your palm is kept over a burning piece of coal and you can get relief only when all the latent energy of the coal is exhausted.

Most painful, unintelligent and time-consuming way of coming to end of suffering. And even in this process, coming to the end of suffering, coming to exhaustion is possible only if no fresh fuel is added to the fire.

It is possible only if one has the patience and the faith to bear all the results of his previous karma without creating new cause-effect cycles; without adding to his inventory of more unspent fuel. If the fellow has so much intelligence and patience and discretion that he can sit through the ordeal of the coal consuming his hand without creating more ripples and fresh karma-phal (result of actions).

And, if the fellow actually has so much patience and intelligence, then why would he sit through the torture?

He would rather get up and walk away!

What does it mean to get up and walk away from the unexhausted fuel, from the unspent residue of your previous karma? What does it mean to do that?

It means that you’re no longer attached to the coal.

Remember, the coal does not come to burn your palm. You’re the one to go to the coal, keep your hand over it, grab it and allow it to burn you, pierce you, torment you.

Walk away from the coal. That’s an easier way.

Why wait for the coal to get exhausted?

It can be a pretty big lump of coal. It can take a pretty long time getting exhausted. Do you want to wait and keep suffering?

Just walk away.

But walking away would mean giving up the coal. Coal is attractive. It looks almost like a burning cherry. It beckons. It tempts, and it has energy, it has power. Something seems happening there. We are attracted towards it. Additionally, the coal is yours. It does not belong to anybody else.

My burning coal!

My glamorous hot little cherry!

Who am I?

The lady with the lump of coal.

Who am I?

The lady with fire in the belly and fire in the palm!

It becomes difficult to walk away, right?

‘A fiery lady, am I. And this is high quality coal. It helps me maintain my standard. See, everybody is burning. So, burning is a given. It is a common denominator. What separates one being from the other is the quality of the burn. I’ve a superior burn. Mine is not low-grade coal coming from an inferior mine. Remember, pieces of coals come from mines. No mine. No coal.’

What all is mine?

Whatever is mine, is the unexhausted piece of coal piercing myself.

To walk away from that burning mass is to walk away from your very being. Your very identity. So, it is upon you, you can either wait with all your patience, with all your intelligence for the coal to get exhausted or you could simply discard the coal. Reject the falseness of its association with you and walk away.

And no method is better than the other. It totally depends on your mood. If you’re in a mood to suffer, welcome! Exhaust the karma. If you’re in a mood to not take the suffering anymore, walk away. Let go. Drop it. Renunciate!

How many lumps of coal in your pocket?


Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant on Upanishad: Either go completely through the pain, or simply disown the pain


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Acharya Prashant Books and Merchandise are available on Amazon and Flipkart.

To explore: http://studiozero.prashantadvait.com/

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Acharya Prashant: Live through pain, beautifully

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Acharya Prashant: Laxman is asking a question, he is saying that he has undergone two major surgeries and accidents – he says I understand that I’m identified with the body and it is the reason for my suffering. I’ve read many books, scriptures and listened to masters’ teachings that tell me that I am that not the body, yet I do not know how to come out of this pattern. Kindly guide me.

Laxman, you’re bearing physical pain. Keep bearing it. You cannot avoid it. Stop resisting the pain. Bear it gracefully. Live beautifully in pain and then you’ll not suffer. When you shout about, throw your hands about, stamp your feet, complain like a petulant child, that’s when suffering is.

You were born a human being. You’ve come to a certain age. You’ve had accidents, you’ve surgeries and now you’ve pain.

What else do you expect?

You were not born a human being to live painlessly. To be born is to be born in pain.

Do you know how much pain your mother went through when you were born?

What do you mean by complaining against pain?

Bodhidharma was asked, ‘What is greatest fortune?’ And he said, ‘The greatest fortune is not to be born at all.’

The greatest fortune is not to take birth at all because if you were born, then pain is inevitable. Pain is a necessary accompaniment of living a human life.

Don’t grudge! Don’t whimper! Don’t crib!

Your very expectation is misplaced. You will have pain. Go to the great athletes and they’ll tell you, ‘We play through pain’, one fellow is retiring, and he has won multiple grand slams and he says, ‘Now, one thing is certain; I won’t wake up every morning in terrible pain!’

Who gave you the expectation that you were born to rejoice and celebrate and have a gala time?

Maybe the advertisers told you that!

The Buddhas have never told you that you were born to be felicitated or decorated or rewarded. That’s why India has since long said that when you’re punished, then you’re cursed to take birth! This session began with myths. Do you know how the myths go often?

So, there was the great angel and she made a mistake, so she was cursed to take birth! And you’ve dozens of stories like this. The great spirit was cursed to take birth because it made a mistake.

That’s what human birth is all about. You’re here to bear. You aren’t here to have a party.

Even if you’ve party, you will…

Listeners: Suffer

AP: Have a lot of pain.

No, I didn’t say suffer. I’ll come to that. The very concept that life can be painless is false. Pain is due and legitimate. You will have pain. Now, live through like a man.

What is suffering?

Suffering comes only when you start espousing the flawed concept that life must be pain-free. When you start feeding that concept, when you start nourishing and identifying with that concept that life must be painless, then you’ve suffering because now when pain comes, you’re shocked.

You say, ‘Life should’ve been painless and from where has this pain arrived? No, no, you go away, and it is unjust! I was born to dance and now something unfair is happening. See, pain has arrived.’

Now you’ll suffer.

Suffering is non-sensical, ignorant resistance to pain.

Welcome pain! You’ve no option.

So better welcome it.

Just live through it, play through it, as champions do.

Go and ask Roger Federer. He’ll say, ‘I pay through pain!’

Ashish Nehra retired, and he said, ‘It isn’t as if there was pain in my body. Sometimes, I was searching, for my body in the pain! Pain is everywhere, where is the body?’

He used to have one surgery every two days! You get the idea, right?

So many surgeries he had on his body and he kept playing till he was thirty-six or thirty-eight or forty something.

Play through pain.

Play in pain.

Just keep playing!

Pain is life.

Just keep playing and there is such a great delight, you know, in playing through pain. If you don’t have pain, then playing isn’t as beautiful. If you can smile through tears and in tears, oh what a beautiful smile it is!

Only then, is smile really beautiful.

The lyricist might not even know what he has written and he has written maybe for an entirely different context but his lines make a lot of sense: (speaking in Hindi) Jab dard nahi tha seene mein, kya khaak maza tha jeene mein?(When there was no pain in the heart, there was no joy in living at all)

How will you live without pain?

And if you can embrace pain, then pain is your beloved.

In our case, it is the other way around: our beloved is the pain!

If you don’t turn pain into your beloved, then your punishment will be that your beloved will be the pain. Doesn’t matter whether it is, the beloved or pain; don’t resist!

That’s the way life is meant is to be.

You aren’t born a deity or an angel. You’re born a human being. Kindly lower down your expectation. Be a little grounded and if you can’t be grounded, then watch a moth rushing towards its incarceration in a flame. It is designed to go through that pain, isn’t it?

Ever seen a flame and insects jumping into it from all directions? That’s how they are designed, and you too are designed a human being and Buddha said, ‘The first of four noble truths: That life is suffering’. Life is suffering because not only are you designed to have pain, you’re also designed to resist pain. Now, that’s a double whammy!

Now that’s doubly harmful. You’re designed to both, have pain and resist pain, and that is called suffering.

Have pain, and have a lot of depth in your being.

So much depth that it can take in all the pain.

Keep soaking in pain, keep soaking in pain, and if you can keep soaking in pain, you find that something strange is happening; now you can rejoice because now you’re not really human. Had you been human, you’d have resisted pain. When you don’t resist pain, you’re no more human and if you’re not human, then you’ll not suffer as humans do.

Instead, you’re blessed with delight and delight is not available to the so-called normal human. Why?

Because they’re rushing after delight and how do they run after delight? By trying to avoid or resist pain.

If you resist pain, all you get is suffering.

If you embrace pain, then there is delight.

How is the day?

‘Sir, really painful!’

That’s the way it should be.

So, Rajiv Ji, ‘How’s life?’

‘Purely painful, sir! Purely painful.’

That’s something!


Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant: Live through pain, beautifully


(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here)

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Acharya Prashant Books and Merchandise are available on Amazon and Flipkart.

To explore: http://studiozero.prashantadvait.com/

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Acharya Prashant: To break-up or not to break-up?

Question: How to get rid of a relationship that gives pain in leaving?

Acharya Prashant: A few things must be clear.

One, if it is really a bad relationship, then you can have no pain in leaving it because the pain is already there.

How can there be a pain in leaving it because there is a lot of pain in living it?

You cannot have pain in leaving it; rather you are leaving the pain.

Second thing, dropping a relationship, does not mean dropping the other person. If you think that dropping the other person will lead to a change in the relationship, you are mistaken.

All your relationships are fundamentally a reflection of yourself.

You chose the other person.

If you remain the same, then you will find another person to have the same kind of relationship with.

You are a drunkard; you go to the market to fetch some liquor. If one shop is closed, what will you do? You will go to another shop, establish the same kind of relationship with that shop and get the same kind of intoxication from that shop.

You may keep changing shops, that does not change the relationship.

It is a very fine thing that you must understand. You can keep changing persons in your life, and yet you will find that your relationship is just the same because you haven’t changed. You have kept dropping the persons, you may keep changing shops, but wherever you go, you are just asking for liquor. So your relationship with any shop is just the same. Even if you are going to a shoe shop, you are asking for liquor.

That is one approach, the other approach is, “I chose the other person and if I remain the same, I will keep choosing persons of the same quality.” Why drop the person? Every person is a universe. What do I relate to,  in that person? What does that person become in my presence? Can I let the person ‘be’ and rather change the relationship?

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Truth is not the thought of truth

Who is a sage? A sage is the one who is extremely sensitive, who is able to catch even that which we normally ignore.

The saint is one who has realized that life is not also hell but just hell.

Because in thinking and concluding thus, you’ve missed the happening.

Gratefulness is not the thought of gratefulness. Joy is not the thought of joy. Truth is not the thought of truth.

Gratefulness means not having any sense of like or dislike.

The spiritual man is neck deep into action. He is not an escapist.

Because all your imagination proceeds from the centre of what you currently have made yourself to be, what you currently are.


Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?