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All jealousy is a feeling of inferiority || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
11 min
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Questioner (Q): Jealousy stops us from achieving our own goal, instead we try to think that what others are achieving, that’s not us. What about that jealousy?

Acharya Prashant (AP): What’s your name?

Q: Nikhil.

AP: Nikhil has spoken about jealousy. Very honestly , how many of us have experienced jealousy at some point or other? I have (raising his own hands). So, jealousy is something very, very common right? Very common, happens with everybody. So, it has to do with something that is present in the mind of everybody. Are we justified in saying this?

If jealousy is something so common that everybody experiences it, then jealousy must have something to do with something that is present in the mind of everybody, are you getting it? If everybody experiences something, then all of us must have something in common. What is it that we have in common, which gives rise to jealousy? What is it that we all have that is responsible for jealousy?

Q: We all are thinking of what others are doing.

AP: All right, well said. We all keep thinking about what others are doing, not doing, achieving, saying, right? That is one thing, more on that?

Q2: Comparison.

AP: Comparison, thinking about others and now she says comparison. What is your name?

Q2: Deeksha.

AP: Deeksha, good. Comparison, thinking about others. What else is there that we all have and that may be connected to jealousy. What else is there that is present in the mind of each one of us and may be responsible for jealousy what is that?

Q: Ego.

AP: Ha! Ego, what is your name?

Q: Harsh.

AP: Harsh has put his finger right on the spot, ego. Something is coming from here?

Q: Superior or inferior.

AP: Superior or inferior is always in comparison. What is it that gives rise to jealousy? You are already giving me answers, you already know so much. You know, this is one fascinating part of speaking to you people. I never have to actually tell you much. Though I do most of the talking, but fact remains that you already know, you are intelligent. All of you over here are capable and intelligent, and that makes it very, very easy for me. I just have to draw out the answers from you. What do I have to do? Do you know the meaning of education? The word education?

That exactly is also the meaning of education, to draw out. Not to give you something, but to draw it out from you. You already have it, I just have to draw it out, education is not about giving you something, but drawing it out from the student himself and wonderful, it’s already come out from you. You said thinking, you said comparison, you said ego and you said that all of these are behind jealousy. Yes, the question is answered. You see, you feel jealous as one of you said, you said when you feel inferior. You want to feel superior; you feel inferior. What’s your name? Divya.

Now to compare A with B, let me say A is my self-image. I feel jealousy when A is less than B, right? That is what is jealousy? I am carrying around an A and I compare it with B and what do I find? A is less than B, oh! That B is bigger than my A, so, what do I do? I call it jealousy; I call it by the name jealousy. This feeling that B is bigger than A, what is A, A is my self-image, my self-concept,. This feeling that B is bigger than A is called by the name of jealousy. Do you understand that jealousy is nothing, but the name given to the feeling that somebody is better than me. Now to say that B is bigger or better than A, I must have an estimate of A.

I must first believe what the value of A is, only then I can say B is bigger than A, right? A is your self-worth, correct? A is your self-image, self-worth. How do you know the value of A, from where does your self-worth come? How do you know that I am something? How do you know that I am this? See, you are very right that jealousy comes upon comparison, but what I am saying is, even to compare, you must first have some concept of what you are, only then you can compare, right? I am 12 units, somebody else is 14 units, then I feel jealous. But first of all, you must think that you are 12 units, how do you know you are 12 units?

Q: Comparison.

AP: Comparison yet not come; how do you know you are 12 units? So, jealousy is comparison, but even to compare you must have a sense of self-worth, self-estimation, self-image. From where is that self-image coming? There is a child at home, understand this. The child used to receive all attention, three years later a younger sister is born, and the younger sister is so cute, and people around come over to see the new-born child, and the elder brother he can hear all the other women saying, oh! She is so cute; you know she is more beautiful than the brother. Till now it was only the brother, the child. Now what does he hear? His sister is more beautiful, oh! She is so cute.

Has the child known it through his own eyes or has he heard it from somebody? Somebody tells you are good; you are okay with that. But then when that same person tells your neighbor, you are very good, what happens? Inferiority. But the point is, who told you in the first place that you are good? somebody else. Who told you in the first place that another person is very good? somebody else. From where your self-image is coming, somebody else.

What kind of jealousy is this, that is based upon the inputs given by somebody else? You are born in India, and you are not fair and in India there is great deal of premium upon fairness. The Britishers ruled us for a very long time, fair skin. So that mental slavery is still continuing. So, you are born and you are dark skin and then there is a cousin, she is quite fair and how do you feel? Jealous. What do you think, she is beautiful, right? And I am not, because I am dark. Who told you in the first place that, dark is not beautiful? Were you born with this notion? You heard it from people.

My question to all of you is, would you ever be jealous of even the most beautiful person, if you know that you are already very beautiful? Would you ever feel jealous of anybody, if you knew that you are already perfect? Would you? All jealousy is based upon a feeling of imperfection, which has been given to you by somebody else. You are born perfect, but family and society has told you that you are imperfect. No child feels imperfection, he feels very confident, he does not feel there is something lacking in me, he is alright, good. But slowly with time, teachers, education, religion, family they make him believe that there is something wrong in you, you better take care of it, as if a defective model has been born. And now there would be a sense of inferiority and hence jealousy. If you know that you are already wonderful, that there is nothing missing in you, how can you ever feel jealous?

And I am telling all of you with certainty, right now that all of you are perfect, without exception. You may be making the worst of mistakes, you are still perfect. You may be behaving like an absolute idiot; you are still perfect. It does not matter what you do, what mess you land yourself in, you are Nikhil always perfect, always, always perfect. You may commit the biggest of blunders and yet it takes nothing away from your perfection.

You are perfect. Have that confidence, always never loose it. If you make mistakes correct them and let your mistakes not make you feel that there is something wrong with you. Yes, I made a mistake, but that does not mean that there is something wrong with me, I made a mistake, I am sincere, I am honest, I will correct it. I do not know I will learn, but that does not mean that there is something wrong in me, no there is nothing wrong in me.

Unfortunately, most of us believe that there is something is missing in me, don’t we? Yes, most of us keep wishing that something changes, right? Most of us have a desire to be more intelligent, more smart, more handsome, more beautiful, more likable, more lovable, most of us have that desire, right? What does that desire mean? That desire means that we are thinking that there is something wrong with us, that there is something missing in us.

You don’t need any improvement; you are a masterpiece. No improvement possible. Yes, you are sleeping, your eyes are closed, but that does not mean that you don’t have eyes. Remember, opening of eyes is one thing and eye transplant is another thing. You need to open your eyes, you don’t need an eye transplant, you already have eyes. Honestly, how many of you feel inferior in some sense or the other?

(Audience members raise their hands) Please, stop doing this, would you? There is something within you that is absolutely perfect, right?

Knowledge one keeps on acquiring, skills one keeps on developing; develop that. Experience one keeps on gathering, keep gathering it. But nothing is wrong with us, we are alright, you are alright, I am alright, she is alright, he is alright. Yes, there is nothing wrong with any of us. I am not asking you to be arrogant, I am not asking you to stop looking at your blunders, when you are very confident only then you can honestly clearly accept that I made a mistake. Have you seen this?

When you feel inferior, then you don’t want to accept your mistake, because accepting the mistake would prove that you are inferior, so you don’t want to accept the mistake, have you seen this? Yes, we don’t even accept mistakes, we feel so inferior. Accept your shortcomings with great confidence, yes, I made a mistake, I was an idiot, thank you. Yes, I have failed, yes, I repeatedly failed, yes, I have been a liar and a thief, yet I am perfect. I have been a liar and a thief, yet I am perfect. Yes, have that in confidence and go ahead and then there is no question of jealousy, no question at all.

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