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When the five senses quarrelled: A Vedanta story || Acharya Prashant, on Chhandogya Upanishad (2022)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
34 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): What’s happening here, firstly I will read it out to you and then explain. Once, the five senses disputed among themselves about their personal superiority. The five senses quarreled as to who is superior among them. So, once the five senses disputed and each of them was saying,’I am superior’.

Those senses approached the father Prajapathi and said, “Respected Sir, who is the best among us?” He replied, “He among you is the best on whose departure, the body would appear its worst, as it were.”

So, the five of you are there, which of you is the most superior, he said, the one, upon whose departure, the body would become the worst is the highest or the most superior. So, it’s an experiment. The judgement has not been passed. An experiment has to be conducted, and the result would decide the winner. Alright, so, the experiment begins.

Speech departed. Speech is the first sense to leave the body to conduct the experiment. Staying a year out, it came back and asked, “How have you been able to live without me? So, what has been your condition, once I am gone, how you have been living? So, the others replied, “Just like the dumb! You are gone, so, living like a dumb person. Not speaking, yet alive with the breath, seeing with the eyes, hearing with the ear and thinking with the mind.”

So, this much is your worth. Even after you are gone, the mind is functional and thinks, the eyes are functional and see, the ears are functional and hear and the breath is functional, so the organism is alive. So, the speech got an appraisal of its worth and re-entered the body. Now, the speech knows the value it holds.

Who is the next one to go?

The eye departed. Staying a year out, it came back and asked, “How have you been able to live without me?” So, the others replied, “Just like the blind! Though not seeing, yet, living with the breath, speaking with the organ of speech, hearing with the ear and thinking with the mind.” So, that’s the worth of the eyes. Even if the eyes are not there, one still lives as the blind do.

The next one. This is the way of Upanishadic storytelling; the way of repetition. Now, you will be able to predict what’s going to happen in the next one. The very fact, that you are able to predict the next leg of the story, tells that you are understanding the story. If you do not understand something, how can you predict it? So, they keep things repetitive, the Seers, for the student’s or reader’s sake. Once you repeat something, it goes within. That’s the method, the tactic, employed in lot of spiritual literature—the way of repetition.

Not only are the verses repetitive, you are actually asked to read the verses repetitively, in the sense, that the same verse has to be read 20 times. The same verse has to be read repetitively for 20 years. You don’t get done with it. You can’t say, “I have read it once and I am done.” You are supposed to read it every day. And, then it no more remains reading, it becomes something higher. And, if you are really reading it properly, then, with every subsequent movement, with every next read, a new layer of meaning is revealed. The words remain the same, the meaning enhances.

So, you cannot read the Upanishads or the Gita like a novel. You cannot say it’s just like a movie, where we now know the story, so, the movie is finished on us. You can never read the Gita completely because several concealed meanings are still waiting to open up. It’s not usual fictional literature. It is a method that works by repetition. And, if the very method is repetition, then how can you not repeat? Then, the method will not work on you. Getting it?

Now, why is repetition the method? Because, repetition has to act as an antidote to another kind of repetition. What is that another kind of repetition we are referring to? The repeated, continuous assault of the world on the senses. Is that not repetitive? So, when poison is being injected into you repeatedly, the Rishis say that the antidote too must be regular and repeated. Just as you are being dirtied repeatedly everyday with dirt settling on your body, the bathing process, too, must be repetitive.

Can you say, you get dirty every day but would take bath once a year? That would be foolish, right? So, life itself is the process of accumulation of dirt. How does the dirt accumulate? Through the senses. Whatever you see, in a sense corrupts you, whatever you hear, in a sense corrupts you. So, that is something, that is happening again and again and again. Therefore, the observants of this too must happen again and again. That’s the wisdom behind the method. Do you see this?

And, so now, the ears are departing, and you may very well predict, what’s going to happen, you can even predict the exact words in which it is going to be said.

So, the ears departed. Staying a year out, the ear came back and asked, “How have you been able to live without me?”

The same words!

The Rishis have no fondness for superficial innovation. They will not needlessly use synonyms to pretend as if something fresh is being said. In fact, they want to ruthlessly expose that nothing fresh is being said. Otherwise, you have speakers, who do not have too many things to say, but they will go on and on at two thousand places for twenty years, speaking as if they are delivering a fresh sermon every time. How? By playing with words, narrating the same story in twenty different ways, using fresh idioms, clever metaphors, synonyms, this and that.

The Upanishadic way is just the opposite. The three verses are exact replica of each other. Just that ‘ear’ is being replaced by ‘eye’ is being replaced by ‘tongue’. ‘Deaf’ is being replaced by ‘blind’ is being replaced by ‘dumb’. They want to make it very clear that these three things are the same implying that the three senses are the same. There is no difference. It is a certain unity, a commonality, they want you to appreciate. And therefore, the austere similarity in the three verses. And, you will find this similarity continuing. It continues so that you get the message else, we miss the message in diversity.

Diversity is what deludes us, does it not? You look at one thing and it appears so different from the other thing, that you get attracted towards it even if you have burnt your fingers with the first thing. You burn your fingers with one thing and you vow never to touch it again. That one thing returns to you in another shape and form and appears different from the first thing. Now, you fall for it and again you burn your fingers. So, what does the thing do? It changes its apparel; it dresses up as something else and returns and now you again fall for it. So, diversity, in a sense, is the cause of your suffering, because all that appears as diverse is fundamentally one and not only one, it is false.

How do you sum up the entire diversity in one word? What would that one word be?—'Mind.’ This is all mind. That’s the mark of wisdom. When you look at stuff and you do not accord it a thousand names, what is it? Mind! That’s also what science does to an extent in the objective world. The common man would look at this (touching the objects in front of him on the table) and say, “Oh, this is black, this is mike, this belongs to one brand, this is another thing, another thing, another, another, another…” Science reduces the diversity. First of all, it will say that the diamond and the coal are one. That’s something only science can say. To the commoner, the diamond is diamond, the coal is coal. But science has reduced the level of diversity. Now, diamond and coal and graphite and something else are all just carbon, just carbon. But still, diversity remains because Carbon is different from Nitrogen is different from Oxygen is different from Uranium. And, Uranium is so very different! Such a heavy atom it is and radioactive! So, you can still say, “Diversity exists.” Alright! The diamond and the coal are one, but the diamond and the coal, both are different from Oxygen or from water, or from some other compound! Now, science proceeds a step further and says, “No, no, no, wait! Even there, there is no need for such diversity. They are all just electrons, neutrons, protons. So, there is no need to say Carbon is fundamentally different from Oxygen. Both are just the same.” What? Electrons, neutrons, protons. But then, you will say, “The numbers there are different. Science progresses a bit more and says, “What numbers are you counting? There are no objects there. You can count numbers only if specific and different objects are present. They are just waves, they are just waves! What are you counting?

So, that’s something science does in the objective world. The Upanishads do the same thing in the subjective world; within. They cut the clutter. They reduce the diversity. It’s all the same. And, that makes you very detached and equanimous. You understand equanimity? What is that? You start looking at things as just the same. Now, that’s the spiritual virtue, but that can also come through science. If you are a spiritual person, you look at one kind of food and another kind of food and you will say, “Food is just food. So, fine. This one is probably for fifty rupee and this one is for five thousand rupees. But food is just food.” So, your spirituality helps you accept both as one. You become equanimous— sambhav . The scientific bent of the mind would look at these two and say, “What? Calories? Minerals? Alright, how many milligrams of Potassium here? How much Sodium here? How many calories here?” And he will find probably that these two are comparable. He may even find in terms of the elemental composition; the fifty rupees plater is better. So, that enables him to look at the whole situation very differently.

The problem arises when you are neither scientific nor spiritual. Then, all that matters to you is appearance, delusions, the branding, the story that goes with something, the fiction associated with something. Now, you cannot look at the reality of things, because all you can perceive is the story, the fiction or the brand, the imagination! Are you getting it?

It’s a mark of inner development when you stop seeing differences where they do not exist. And when you stop seeing useless differences, then you start differentiating the one real thing from thousand useless things. All our life is spent in something worthless. We differentiate between ‘A’ and ‘B’ where ‘A’ and ‘B’ are both worthless. But, since we have to distinguish the two, we start calling one of them as worthy, otherwise, how will you distinguish?

The fact is, that you are playing the entire game between ‘A’ and ‘Z’, that is your limited universe within the mind. And, to entertain yourself, you are trying to find value in one of the characters. The truth is, that the entire alphabet is worthless. But, that’s a very painful truth, because, that alphabet is all that you have, that’s your entire world. So, you are left with no option, but to artificially declare ‘M’ or ‘R’ or ‘Q’ or ‘S’ or ‘Z’ as important. “How dare you admit that everything is false and worthless?” That’s how we proceed. And, when you do this, when you artificially accept that ‘M’ or ‘B’ or ‘Z’ or ‘D’ has value, when that kind of compulsion you totally discard, then you come upon that which is beyond the alphabet and really valuable. But, for you to come to that, first of all, you have to be free of the alphabet.

So, distinguish you must, but no point fooling yourself with false distinctions. And, people act very self-righteously, they will say, “No, I will stick to ‘D’, because ‘D’ is far more important than ‘M’.” They will say, “See, what kind of righteous man I am! I discovered that ‘D’ is more important than ‘M’, so I acted as per the rules of justice. I kept sticking to ‘D’. And, this fellow will appear very moralistic. This fellow will become an authority in his own eyes, and will say, “I am better than everybody else, because I found ‘D’ better than ‘M’ and I remained wedded to ‘D’ all life,” whereas the truth is ‘D’ is equal to ‘M’. ‘D’ and ‘M’ are not at all different. The difference you have created is fake, not merely fake, it is dishonest, because you are fooling yourself, almost deliberately. Do you see this?

Then there is the one who has the heart, the courage to say, “You know, I really, thoroughly, honestly examined right from ‘A’ to ‘Z’, it’s all the same. To tell the truth, there is no difference; all differences are just superficial. Yes, on the surface there are differences, when you go inside, they are all one.”

So then, someone will come and say, “Oh, don’t say that. If you say that, what are you left with? If everything is fake, where would you go? Where would you live? Where would you work? Who would accompany you? Don’t you want to have a house? Don’t you want to have a life? Don’t you want to be stable? Don’t you want to have security and kids and some prestige? If you say that everything is fake, how do you live?”

And, you then need to have the gumption, the conviction to say that I don’t know. “I don’t know how I would live, but ‘A’ to ‘Z’, they are all the same. And, I leave myself to the unknown. I don’t know what would happen of me, but it’s alright. I subject myself to uncertainty, and that uncertainty is preferable to deliberate dishonesty.” Then, something magical opens up. Something magical just happens, beyond the alphabet. But it cannot happen, if you sit within the alphabet and crave for guarantees or reassurance or advance demonstrations.

Even, in the spiritual domain, we act as customers. We ask for demos—We say, “Alright, I am prepared to try Freedom, a little, because, you are pressing me so much, so I’ll give freedom a shot, for your sake.” The Guru is the sales man, so, for his sake, the customer, the listener is prepared to try Freedom for a while, a little bit, you know, “Can you give me a sample or can you give me a demo?” It won’t work this way.

You cannot be assured in advance. You have to run the risk. You have to put yourself through uncertainty and insecurity and that’s when the beyond opens up. “Does it necessarily open up?” You are again asking for certainty! I don’t know! And, you have to be happy with ‘not knowing’. Honesty that does not bother about the results—that’s what is needed. If you are too bothered about the results, you just cannot be honest, not possible.

So, they are all the same. This, this, this, this (pointing to ear, eyes, nose, mouth and skin) What does this mean? The entire world is just the same. Because, the entire world comes to you through this, this, this, this, this (pointing to various sense organs) . Equalizing the senses means, equalizing every object of perception that comes to you via the senses. When you say, “Eyes are equal to the ears,” what does that mean? Everything that you can see is not fundamentally different from everything that you hear. It’s not about the senses, it becomes something about the objects of the senses. And, that’s why there is this repetition present here. This repetition is not incidental; it is a deliberate method. So, don’t get bored. You are in a process.

If you don’t nod, I get afraid (chuckling) — I don’t know whether you are immersed in meditative trance or are you just fed up?

So, the ear came back and he told of his worth. Now, the mind departed.

Staying a year out, it came back and asked, “How have you lived without me?” The others replied, “Just like infants without developed minds, but, yet living with the breath, speaking with the organ of speech, seeing with the eye and hearing with the ear.” Because just as infants who really don’t have the mind, they don’t think much—'speaking with the tongue, seeing with the eye and hearing with the ear. Hearing this, the mind entered the body and humbly sat down. ‘Oh, I have been shown my place.’’ Isn’t it intriguing what is going to happen next?

See, it is interesting on its own. It’s actually the thing of these times, that I have to artificially spice it up for you. I shouldn’t need to. But because of our lives are so drenched in spices these days, we cannot savour the taste of pure juice. This is pure juice. But it starts appearing tasteless because we have become accustomed to spice. So, then there is the need for me to explain, elaborate and make it a little more palatable for you and then still wonder whether my efforts are sufficing. Alright!

Then, as the Prana was about the depart, it uprooted the other senses just as a horse of mettle would uproot the pegs to which it is tethered.

Now, Prana too is in the fray. Prana says, “Now I am going to go,” and as Prana is about to depart, all the other senses, too, are uprooted. Without Prana, eyes, ears, mind, nothing functions. They all then came to it and said, “Respected Sir, please be our Lord. You are the best among us. Do not depart from the body”.

Then, speech said to Prana, “Just as I am the richest, in the same manner are you also richest”. So, that’s the climb down. Just a while back—that is, just a few years back, they all took a year each—what was speech declaring? The speech was saying, “I am superior amongst all of us.” Now, speech is humbly admitting, “Just as I am the richest, in the same manner, you too are richest.” So, at least this much of humility—'I am not superior, the two of us are equal,’—in this acknowledgement lies the implicit admission that you are actually higher. But the speech being full of itself, full of pride, cannot openly admit that. So, all that it is saying is, “Oh, the two of us are equal, alright, alright. Bro, same to same. (chuckling) Then, the eye said to Prana, “Just as I am the stable basis, in the same manner are you also the stable basis”.

‘Whatever I stand for, whatever is best about me, you too have that, we two are peers.’

The claim of superiority is gone.

Then, the ear said to Prana, “Just as I am prosperity - that’s how the ear believes that the ear stands for prosperity.”

In what way?- only the ears know! Just as only the proud man knows what his pride all about, the others cannot see that. Have you not seen vanity of that kind? That fellow is all puffed up and he believes himself to be the most important man in the universe, and only he knows why. Others look at him and say, ‘Piece of trash.’ But, he says, ‘No, if I am not there, the sun won’t rise.’

So, the ears come and say, ‘Just as I am prosperity, in the same manner, you too are prosperity.’ And, then, the mind came and said, “Just as I am the abode - I am the one who shelters everybody, in the same manner are you also the abode.”

Verily, people do not call them as organs of speech, nor as eyes, nor as ears, nor as minds. But they call them only as Pranas; for the Prana indeed is all these. What does Prana stand for? Who won the race? Who is declared the winner unanimously? Who? Prana. What is Prana? What is that?

(From the audience, somebody answers, ‘Consciousness’) Yup, Consciousness! Consciousness!

Consciousness is what powers thought; consciousness is what powers all the senses. To put it more precisely, the “I” feeling that arises from your physical body, the “I” tendency—that’s Prana. All your thoughts are founded on the “I” tendency. “I” stands at the centre of all thoughts.

Think of something in which “I” is not involved. Try. “I” is at the centre of all thoughts. Even if you try to think about something distant, you will find you are thinking about it, because, in some way you are related to it, else, you can’t think of it. Even if it’s a purely objective thing, like the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter, like climate change, like the snow in Alaska. Even in these things, the “I” is at the centre of thought. Otherwise, you just won’t think. It’s impossible to think without being interested. What does ‘interest’ mean? You have something at stake. Who has something at stake? The “I” has something at stake. Else, the thought cannot arise.

We talk of ‘free thought’ or ‘objective thought’. The fact is, free thought is not possible. All thought is tethered to the “I”, so, how can it be free? Yeah, there can be a long rope, we understand, but even if an animal is tethered by a long rope, would you call it free? The rope is long, does that make the animal free? no. So, thought is never free. Thought is founded on “I” and that is Prana. So, that’s the reason, the mind is subservient to Prana. And, that also tells you what is the definition of life.

When something comes to life, when something has Prana, it starts saying “I”. It may not utter from the throat, but the “I” tendency arises and that’s the definition of life. If you ever want to distinguish between something that is animate and inanimate, this is the test—Does the thing have a consciousness of itself? If the thing has the consciousness of itself, it is alive. If a thing does not have the consciousness of itself, it is not.

That’s what happens when life develops in the womb. The embryo is taken to have come alive at a particular point or in a particular phase, that is when it starts having an “I”, an identity, an appreciation or concept of itself, however vague. It does not know itself, but still, it can feel itself and therefore starts responding. Are you getting it?

The body is special because even as the body is material, from this body arises something that is not completely material, and what is that? That is “I” consciousness. And there is nothing in the body, that you can independently, in isolation look at and declare as the birth place of the “I” tendency. Does the “I” tendency comes from the fingers? Does it come from the neck? Does it come from the heart? It does not even come from the brain really. Even if you are a kind of brain dead, yet, your lungs will respond to ventilators.

What is this “I”? What is Prana? That is the magic of life.

The only way to know “I” consciousness is to give it fulfillment. As long as it remains unfulfilled, it remains unknowable. To know it, fulfill it. The interesting thing is, if it is fulfilled, there remains no urge to know it, because the knower departs.

So, we were saying, do you know the one who looks out through your eyes? He is the master of the eyes, he is the “I”. The eyes are doing his bidding, the eyes are his servants. The eyes are not random, the eyes are not performing mechanical function. Had the eyes been random, why would you all have been looking only this way? Look randomly any other way! Because, the eyes can look elsewhere as well, the eyes will have no problem, but there is somebody within who will have problems if the eyes start looking towards the door. There are so many other sounds floating around, are they not? The creaking of the chair and there is some object outside and something is happening and somebody just tapped his feet, something. Did you even hear? Because the ears are not random, there is somebody within who is trying to hear through the ears. And, when he knows that something important is happening, he won’t focus on random things.

Contrast that, with this (showing a pen drive) What is it recording? Everything! What are you recording? One thing! Because this does not have Prana. You have Prana, so your ears become very different from this receiver, even though objectively, this receives sound waves, in much the same way as this funnel (pointing to the ear) receives sound waves. They both receive them in the same way, but they don’t record them or admit them in the same way, because this (pen drive) is devoid of Prana and this is not (ear) . You could also take the example of camera, same thing. But that would not be a good example because the camera is not recording everything. You have prohibited it from loitering around, right? So, it’s just looking at one thing. Are you getting it?

It’s very important to come to your fundamental identity. That’s what these verses are all about. This is not some nice, juicy, entertaining take on the five senses and one of them appears as winner and nice, contest over. No! It is to educate you in something important about yourself. And that education unfortunately, we do not get through our system; the education, social system etc., The physical system, obviously won’t allow that education.

Not making much sense?! (Smiling)

Do you understand the implication of what is being said?

This is not important (ear) , this is not important (eyes) , this is not important (mouth) . Of much more importance is the one driving all these. Especially because you are thinkers, intellectuals, you must know that thought is not very important. You have to look at the centre of thought. The centre of thought is the master of thought. And thinkers love to call themselves as free thinkers. This is what is telling you there is nothing called ‘free thought’. There is nothing called ‘original thought’ either. All thought is commanded by and subservient to the fundamental “I” tendency.

Stuff like new ideas, creative thoughts, innovation through brain storming—these are meaningless terms in light of spirituality. True freedom is not freedom of thought or freedom of limbs or freedom of speech. True freedom is freedom of consciousness itself. Consciousness is born in bondage. Can you liberate it? The “I” is the master of the speech. Now, you want to have free speech when the master himself is in bondage!

Not getting it?

Go back to the second world war. Britain ruled India. And, let’s say, Germany starts ruling Britain. Would you call India a free country? That is just as hilarious as clamoring for freedom of speech. The speech comes from the “I” tendency and the “I” tendency itself is in bondage right from the moment of birth, so how can you have free speech? Therefore, in the name of free speech, all kind of nonsense is uttered. Is the speaker free? If the speaker is not free, how can speech be free? Who is the speaker? That “I” within, is he free? He is not free. Why? Because he comes from the body, and therefore, he carries all the rubbish of the body since birth. When the speaker himself is not free, what’s the point in asking for freedom of speech or freedom of thought? Not that these should not be given, obviously one should have freedom of thoughts, speech, movement, trade, this, that, freedom of worship, all the freedoms that you want to have, in the liberal sense, obviously you must have them. But, having them is quite pointless. Not that you must not have them. The point is that even if you have them, it does not mean much.

We are like free slaves. Free to practice our slavery. How alluring does that sound? We all free to practice our respective and favorite slaveries. Her favorite slavery is of one kind and his is of another, all kinds of slaveries. You choose your flavour and you can top it with extra cheese. And then we say that we are free people in a free land. What freedom?

The most fundamental freedom is the freedom of the “I” tendency from its fundamental bondages. What are its fundamental bondages? What are you born with? What do you born with? What does the child do as soon as it is born?


Ignorance, body identification, fear, anger, lust, that’s what the “I” is captive to. If you are not free of these, what’s the point in speaking aloud, what’s the point in writing a thick book, saying this is an expression of my original thought. Inwardly, you are fearful, lustful, vengeful. Outwardly, even if you are free to express yourself, that expression would actually be polluting and poisonous to everybody.

We talk of hate speech, for example, and we want to abolish it and condemn it which is all very good. It’s just the hate speech is not just steeped in explicit hatred necessarily. When there is ignorance within, then, even normal speech is just hate speech in disguise. You may not realize it, because there is no explicit hatred in that speech, so you cannot jail that person, you cannot condemn him, you cannot delete that tweet. It would appear something very normal, very, very normal, ‘You know, there is no hatred in this.’ In fact, there is a lot of repugnance in that. You just don’t realize it. And, that’s not an odd event. When you are not sorted within, then everything that you utter, everything that you do, is just an exercise in hatred, division, lovelessness and suffering. You don’t realize that.

Inwardly, if we are not sorted, even an “I love you” is an expression of deep hatred. Is that so? The fellow is expressing deep hatred by saying, ‘I love you’. Alarm bells! What to do? And, if you are sorted within, even that which superficially looks like hatred is actually love.

Therefore, Prana is the superior one amongst all the senses. Sort that one out.

Is it so absorbing or so unacceptable? Both? (Smiling)

Questioner (Q): I have a basic question. As we are sitting here, are you talking to my “I” tendency or are you talking to my consciousness? Because when I get meditative in your speech, I felt that I am unavailable. I am not finding proper word for it, but I am kind of deeply involved in it, I don’t find my…

AP : Immersed. I am talking to the one who is in desperate need of these words. Who do the clouds rain for? The stones? The dessert? The roof tops? The rain for the one who is in need of water. Who is in need of water? That same one the Upanishads are alluding too. And, therefore, the drops are received differently by all. How do the stones receive the drops? With contempt. Drops fall on the stones and just break into splinters, don’t they? That’s the reception the stones have for the drops. The drop just come and shatter.

And then, there is the parched earth. How does it receive the drops? In love, in a most welcoming way. There is something parched and dry within all of us, it keeps waiting for the rains, but it cannot cause the rains. In another sense, if its wait is honest enough, it somehow, not only invites but actually creates the clouds. Then, they say, ‘When the student is ready, the teacher just appears from somewhere.; The question is not, ‘Who the teacher is speaking to, or where the teacher is coming from? The question is, ‘What is it within you that is so anxiously and so lovingly waiting for the drops?’ If you can know that as your real identity, then, you will invite more and more clouds. If you do not know that as your real identity, then you will have to be dependent on the accidental shower.

Sometimes it will rain, sometimes it will not. But you will never find yourself consistently drenched. It depends on you, whether you want this to remain a mere accident. You are at some place, it started raining, and so you found a relief for a while. And then, you coolly, calmly, happily walked away. You could choose that option. Or, you could be where the clouds are. You could say, ‘Quenching my thirst is more important than anything else, so, why do I walk away? I have to be where the clouds are. No other place, no other task is more important.’ Of course, I am not answering you. Of course, the question is different, but this is something that needed to be said. Or, have I answered you? I don’t know.

Q: Acharya ji, you said about the “I” consciousness building the day it is born, with so much attachments and kind of building some frame work for seeking that fulfillment. And, that kind of starts building its baggage.

AP: It’s world!

Q: And, this baggage continues to grow and my question about that is, it also seems to be changing its form all the time, like lust is replaced by greed, greed is replaced by something else. And, you sometimes getting a feeling that the baggage has been released. And you dropped the baggage, but that turns out eventually into a misconception and delusion and in no time the baggage is there, because you are not free. So, can there be certain, like reading the scriptures, can there be certain reminders that one can build to ourselves of not letting the new baggages not getting created?

AP: The scripture is the reminder. The entire scripture is the reminder. See, if the shape and the form of the baggages won’t change, how will you continue carrying the baggage? Because the baggage is in itself something very weak and unappealing, very liable to be dropped, it’s just a baggage, you are carrying it, it hurts. So, how does it continue to remain on your back and shoulders your entire life? By changing name and form and shape and thereby deceiving you. Otherwise, you would have gotten rid of it, just after the first few experiences.

Alright, there is a man who loves ice cream. So, he goes after vanilla. After a week, he gets fed up, goes after chocolate, then strawberry and then something else. Then, he gets fed up with ice cream itself. So, Rasmalai, then all other kinds of sweets, forty varieties. Then, he goes after cakes, then pastries, then candies, then he is reminded that he is gaining weight, so, he starts going after fresh fruit juices.

You know, what he is actually after? Sugar. But, sugar in just one form starts getting exposed, therefore to deceive himself, he starts consuming sugar in another form. Had sugar been available only in the form of vanilla ice cream, this man would have achieved liberation very quickly, because vanilla would have exposed. But vanilla very quickly become strawberry, strawberry becomes chocolate, chocolate becomes Kaaju burfi, then it becomes Rasagulla and then it becomes some healthy option, sugar cane juice, even apple juice. So, you can even claim with some kind of righteousness, ‘Oh, I take only healthy drinks!’ But the fact is, all that you are after is, sugar. That’s how we remain deceived all our life.

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