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What are hobbies and interests? || Acharya Prashant (2015)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
7 मिनट
40 बार पढ़ा गया

Questioner (Q): I am doing something due to somebody else’s wishes. Instead of that, I want to pursue my hobby. How can I start working towards it without hurting others?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The world is full of people who pursued what they call as their interest, or their hobby—or their love even—and kept feeling as frustrated as you probably do.

See, the influences that others have upon us, we resist them. So, as you are saying, your parents have a certain influence upon you. You want to resist it, you don’t feel comfortable. There is a constant feeling that, “I am doing something under somebody’s influence or pressure.”

So, we turn to the mind and then we ask the mind, “What do you want?” and it comes up with an answer which we call as our interest. You say, “I want to pursue my interest.”

So, somebody is born in a particular family, living in a house, in a particular street. When he is a kid then there are many influences upon him. There is the influence of the father who wants him to become a shopkeeper, who wants him to take over the traditional family shop, the business; and then there is the influence of all the elder brothers and the neighbors and the kids who are living in the vicinity, and they’re all playing cricket all the time. So, they take this fellow out to play cricket.

Now, cricket is something that he acquires from these people, and he starts calling it ‘my interest’, and the shop is something he gets from his father, and he calls it ‘father’s shop’.

Look at this. Where does he get the shop from? The father. And he says, “No, no, no! Father’s shop, that he wants me to take up,” right? Whose shop is it?

Q: Father’s.

AP: Father’s shop. And what does he call his interest in cricket?

Q: My interest.

AP: My interest. And he says, “I don’t want to pursue my father’s interest. I want to pursue my own interest.”

Seriously? Your “own” interest?

I am not suggesting that you allow others to influence you. I am saying you are already very, very influenced. When the influence is superficial, you call it somebody else’s influence, and when the influence is very deep, then you call it ‘my interest’.

In fact, if you must resist, what must you resist, the superficial interest or the deeper interest?

Q: The deeper interest.

AP: The influence that is superficial cannot be very harmful because it is superficial. So, even if you don’t resist it, the harm will not be great.

So, if you ask me to wear a particular color of kurta today, I will probably not resist. I will say, “Fine, give, I will wear.” It’s not a big deal, it’s not a significant matter. It is a superficial thing. It does not merit great resistance.

But if something is a deep influence, there you must fight.

Now, what must you really be up against, the shop or cricket? What must you really be cautious against, the shop or cricket? But you will say, “No, no, no! Shop comes from father; he is trying to impose himself on me! I will resist him. Cricket is my own interest!”

Not only is cricket not your own interest, it is actually an imposition that has now enslaved you deeply.

I am alright if you do something which others are telling you to do, but I become very alert when somebody talks of his own interests. And I become doubly warned when somebody says, “This is not even my interest. This is my individuality.” Now this is an emergency situation.

You know, these are three levels of influence.

When the influence is superficial, you call it ‘influence’. When the influence is deep, then you call it ‘interest’. And when the influence has penetrated the very depth of your mind, then you start calling it ‘my individuality’.

So, the most sick people are those who say that, “This work is an expression of my individuality.” Oh my God. The patient is almost beyond redemption now! What will happen? What will happen is just this: that you will pursue what you call as ‘your interest’ only to be dismayed, only to be even more frustrated.

Right now you are living in a hope, and you are blaming your father. Your hope is that, “When I leave B.Tech and pursue my passion, then life will be heavenly.” This is your hope. When you will actually pursue your so-called passion, then you won’t even have that hope, and you will be greatly frustrated.

So, what is the way out, then? Sir, whatever you are doing or saying or claiming is arising from your mind. This assessment that you have given me—that “I am in this peculiar situation”—this whole story that you have narrated, is arising from your mind. When the mind is cleansed, then this narrative will change. You will not look at the situation in the same way.

Right now, you are seeing only two paths: one of influence, the other of interest; one suggested by your parents, the other suggested by your interest. When the mind is cleansed, then many other paths open up; when the mind is cleansed, then from nowhere another path presents itself. What that path would be, I do not know. Even you cannot know. But surely, there is a better and a brighter path.

Instead of choosing between two different kinds of slaveries, why don’t you choose freedom? Right now, you have two choices, and it is difficult to say which is worse; one entails being a slave to one person, another entails being slave to your own mind—which obviously cannot even be called your own.

None of these choices is a worthy choice. Don’t exercise this choice, leave both of them. Let your attention go inwards. Let the mind have a certain refinement, a certain quality, and then from that quality the right path automatically emerges.

And it is unpredictable. Don’t even try to second-guess it. Don’t try to speculate. Don’t try to peep into the future. You will see nothing.

A madman comes and asks, “I have to go to New York. Should I travel vertically up or vertically down?” What would you suggest him? He is giving you two choices, two options are there, and he is saying that, “I need to choose.” What should he choose? He is asking, “So, should I fly up, or should I dig a tunnel all the way to New York?” What would you recommend to him?

Recommend him some freshly cut lemon!


He does not need to move here and there. He needs to get rid of the liquor in his mind. Don’t just keep making decisions—drunk and making decisions! Should you decide or should you first get sober? Yes? Or should you decide first?

Q: (Jokingly) Decide.

AP: (Sarcastically) Decide. Good.


This is what happens when you keep drinking for two months and then return. The liquor is still heavy upon you.

First get sober and then decide.

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