Acharya Prashant is dedicated to building a brighter future for you
Relationships are not 'give and take' || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
98 reads

Question: Sir, my friends, family and relatives condition me. Do I also condition them ? Speaker: It’s a network. You see, there is no point in blaming anybody. Those who condition you, are conditioned to condition you. Are you getting it? Those who condition you, are not really villains or evil-doers. They themselves do not know what is happening. No one has planned it. All are victims.

Everybody is a slave. Slaves are enslaving others. In fact, only a slave can enslave other. A free man never enslaves, because he loves freedom. He loves his freedom, and the freedom of others. If someone wants to make you a slave, then understand that he himself is a slave. What else would he do? What else would a slave do? Poor man. He himself is a victim.

So, it’s a mutual network, where everybody is victimizing everybody else. Whenever you find someone enslaving you, just get rid of that person. In fact, both of you must get rid of each other. It’s not that only one party enslaving the other one. Both are enslaving each other. So both need to get rid of each other.

Listener 1: Sir, does relationship make us fake?

Speaker: What is a relationship? Think of it. What is a relationship? In this moment, if you and I are in complete contact with each other, then we are ‘relating’ with each other. And this ‘relating’ is the action of intelligence. The action is happening in this moment. Right? Whereas, if you and I are bonded to each other because of some element of the past – I was born in your home, or you were born in my neighborhood – then that is ‘relationship’. And relationship has no love, has no joy in it. Because there is no love in our relationships, they make us fake.

Find out whether your relationship is because you can deeply relate to people around you, your friends, your parents, sister, uncles, brothers, teachers. Are you related to others because you are in complete contact with them, or because you hold an image of them, an image which is being carried forward from the past? Are you related to others because you have been told that it is your responsibility to be with them in such and such way? And this is what is called ‘relationship’.

“Be respectful towards your elders and parents” – this is what is called ‘relationship’. “I was born in your home, so you have given me a certain name, and now I am supposed to act in a certain way towards you.” This is not be love. This is rubbish. This is not love. Are you getting it?

The only true relating that is possible is, that of friendliness.

I am avoiding the terms ‘relationship’, ‘friendship’ etc. ‘Relating’ happens right now, not as a shadow of the past. In ‘relating’, there is no influence of the past on the present. Are you getting it? Whom do you look at when you say, “I am looking at a relative?” Whom do you look at? You look at the individual, or the name of the relationship?When you say, “I am looking at my father,” then do you look at the individual or at ‘the father’?

Listener 2: At the individual.

Be honest and admit that you look at ‘the father’, with all the bundle of memory and everything. You fail to look at the individual. And that is why there is no love, no connection, no real ‘relating’.

It is impossible for you to relate when you look at the ‘relationship’ and not at the individual. Impossible!

Listener 2: Sir, why is it said that relationships are based on ‘give and take’? Speaker: Business is based on ‘give and take’. Trade is based on ‘give and take’. Relationships are based on ‘love’. And love is giving. You don’t expect a ‘take’ in love. This ‘give and take’ is violence. Because if there is a ‘give and take’, then you always ‘take’ more than ‘give’, as it happens in a business.

In love, you don’t bother about taking. When there is a need to take, you just take. Have you ever observed that when you are with your friends? If you have really been friends with someone, then you don’t bother about asking, you just take. If there is something kept on his table and you want to take it, you don’t seek his permission. You just take. And if you seek his permission, then it is some kind of a business arrangement. Then it is not love.

Relationships are not based on ‘give and take’. The real relationship is one which is based on ‘relating’ and not on ‘give and take’. And the basis of ‘relating’ is attention. The basis of ‘relating’ is presence and love.

Have you benefited from Acharya Prashant's teachings?
Only through your contribution will this mission move forward.
Donate to spread the light
View All Articles