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Your one and only responsibility || Acharya Prashant (2016)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
10 min
88 reads

Questioner (Q): Are we responsible for our actions? Or is it just happening to us? Because, if life happens to us then we are not responsible?

Acharya Prashant (AP): No, you are responsible, you are responsible to let it happen through you. Your only responsibility is towards the Truth. That is your first and only responsibility. You let it happen. You are greatly responsible. who says you are not responsible?

Q: Can I give an example? So, for example, my friend, she is a beautiful girl and she behaves in a very provocative way with men and when men come and try to seduce her, to meet her. She says, “I don’t want any relationship. I don’t want to be with any guy.” And I am saying to her, “You behave in a very specific way that attracts a lot of guys. Your behavior, you cause that behavior in men.” I can see that very much. And she says,” I am not doing anything it’s just happening.” She causes a lot of grief in a lot of men and to herself.

AP: You know, there is the ordinary woman, who is seen as a seductress, as being provocative, if suppose she behaves in particular ways, and here in Kashmir, we have had a woman who walked absolutely naked and she was the most beautiful woman. She walked naked when she was young, and she is revered as a saint.

Is it the behavior that is the cause of grief? It is the center from where it comes; one could be walking totally naked on the streets, and yet be arousing only the element of the divine in the heart of those who look at you. So, it is not as if the act is spontaneous and not deliberate. Kindly remember that when the action is not happening by you, then you would also never suffer the fruits of the action. And if you are suffering the fruits of the action, rest assured that, you are the doer.

Q: So, she said, in that case, “I am not doing anything, it’s just happening.”

AP: She is just not aware of what is actually happening.

Q: Yes.

AP: I have no objections to anybody walking even naked. But if, as a result of walking naked, you find that you are suffering, then it only means that you were the doer of the nakedness.

Q: What if other people around you are suffering?

AP: You don’t have to be worrying about that. You know, your concern is not that the other people are suffering; your concern is that the other suffering people can do something to you. So, you are concerned about yourself. We do so much that causes suffering to the world, but as long as the suffering world does not retaliate, we are okay with it. You must think on this, you must pay attention to this. Is it the grief of the other man that bothers you? Or is it the presumed action of those grieving men, that bothers you? You don’t have to think about others, pay attention to only your own suffering. I am repeating: if I am suffering as the result of my act, it is a proof that I was the doer of the act.

Only when you are the doer, do you receive the fruits of what has been done. Only when you are the actor, do you receive the fruits of the action. So, if you are receiving the fruits, it proves you did it. Now, don’t say that ”No, no, no, it was just in the flow, I didn’t do it. It happened through me.” Nonsense. You did it. You might not have been conscious of it, but you did it. So, better pay attention as to, how you did it?

Q: So, when it happens through me, what happens to the fruits?

AP: The fruits don’t come.

Q: So, in the case of the woman, so, she was the doer.

AP: There was always a hidden intention.

Q: Of, maybe talking to someone.

AP: Maybe talking to someone, or maybe getting noticed, or maybe being more acceptable, maybe attracting attention.

Q: Is it not, just making a human connection?

AP: Please wait, it is not called human connection. It is called feeding the ego. ”Ah! people are looking at me” every woman knows about it so…

Q: I think, there is generally, there is an amount of sexual vibration in communication between men and women, maybe consciously or unconsciously.

AP: You see, I repeat, in India, we have had male mystics who have walked totally naked and they had beautiful bodies. We have had Mahavir and the other Jain Tirthankars and we have even had women; beautiful young women, who were walking without a single piece of clothing on them.

They didn’t take a decision to wear something, because it offends social morality. Or because it causes disturbance to men, they didn’t decide that. It is just that when you are as innocently naked as a child, then everything is alright. But you need to be as innocently naked as a child. Not naked as a seductress, then it is, you know, in some way similar to—if I may use the word —prostitution.

Q: How do we deal with sex then, is it strictly a reproductive function or…?

AP: You don’t have to deal with sex. Let the body deal with sex. If you deal with sex, then you will only enter into pornography. When Man deals with sex, what does he do? He does a lot of things. You have nothing to do with sex. It is the body, its hormones, its desires, its actions, its urge to reproduce that has something to do with sex. Let the body take care of sex, why are you worried?

Now you cannot figure this out. You cannot put this in an image.

You are trying to think, "So, what does that mean? When a woman comes in front of me, what am I to do?" You have to do nothing. Things will happen, and when they happen don't block them. The body knows, the mind knows, why don't you trust them? Have faith.

You are still not getting it. (listeners are laughing)

The same questioner is asking, “What do I have to do with thirst?” What do you have to do with thirst? When the body needs water then the brain knows, then the hands move, and then the intellect figures out from where to get water, and then you drink water. What do you have to do with all this business? The body, cells start losing water, what happens then? A signal goes to the brain. And what does the brain activate? The faculty of intellect. And what does the intellect do? It searches for water. And then what do the hands do? They grip the glass of water and then what does the throat do? It gulps down the water. Now, where are you in all this? Why are you worried?

Q: We carry bottles with us, shouldn’t we have it?

AP: Let the hand carry the bottle, let material carry material.

Q: I do not get it.

AP: You don't have to get it, let the hand get it. And the hand already has it. So, all this is not needed. Do you see any animal, do you see anything, even the tiniest blade of grass worried about water? They know what water is, they know that they will get water. Only Man is so afraid that he plans.

Q: Suppose a man is walking by and somebody tells him about the beautiful woman or about feeling thirsty, then the thought will go through his mind and his body will act involuntarily.

AP: How do you know? How do you know that?

Q: I just think it might happen that way.

AP: No, Don't imagine. How do you know? Is it not an insult to the divine within us, to say that we are so stupid, that, if we don't keep a control on ourselves, then we will just start groping every woman that we come across?

Q: But if you leave it to the body, then it might be.

AP: It might not be. Just as you are saying, it might be, it might not be. Why not see what happens? Why guess? Have you ever let yourself free? If you have never let yourself free, then how do you know, what will happen?

Q: But it does happen in many cases. In those cases what is happening there?

AP: In which cases? Is it happening in your case?

Q: No.

AP: If it is not happening in your case, then let it be first of all. Let it happen.

Q: Is it actually the other way round, that, when you start controlling things, then you become that more?

AP: Obviously, when you start controlling yourself, then sex gets suppressed, and then there is rape. The ones who have preached all this sexual morality, they are the ones who are causing so much of rape. In animals, there is hardly any rape. Only because you say that “I will decide when to approach a woman, whether or not to touch her according to a particular code of conduct and morality” then, what you get is distorted sexual relationships.

Then, even a hello or a goodbye is steeped in sexuality. Have you seen that? You go to a shop to purchase toothpaste, and you are asking for toothpaste and the shopkeeper is offering you all his manliness. You said, toothpaste. He is prepared to put his manliness in your hands.

Now, this is the result of all the suppression that happens. And you have a lot of it in India, I am concerned, if even non-Indians are advocating it.

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