आचार्य प्रशांत आपके बेहतर भविष्य की लड़ाई लड़ रहे हैं
How to obtain a satisfactory future? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
आचार्य प्रशांत
11 मिनट
55 बार पढ़ा गया

Question: In the present day college scenario, there is one thing which is the academics, which I focus on, or there is this equivalent pool of activities which will help me develop my personality, in a sense that if I get better in a specific activity, it might help me in my future, in my life.

So, in general I may have the belief that I am good in academics, I need to excel in academics, but only academics might not help me in my life, in my future. How should I balance, and how should prioritize things so that I get contended? What is contentment? Is it right to compromise on contentment, because I may do something particular today which will help me in future, irrespective of whether it is making me contended or not? Is it the right way to lead life?

Acharya Prashant: There are two questions in this.

First: What is contentment?

Second: Can contentment be obtained by doing something in the future? Is contentment a thing of the future?

The answer is contained in our own daily activities, and what we see all around us.

What satisfies a terrorist?


What satisfies a scientist?

More time spent in the laboratory.

What is a Hindu interested in?


What is a Muslim interested in?


What would be an Indian nationalist interested in?


What would be a man interested in?


Don’t you see that what satisfies you, comes deeply from how you are conditioned? Are you getting it?

You find satisfaction only in that, in which you are conditioned to be satisfied in. So this satisfaction then happens to be quite an ugly word, because this satisfaction is nothing but a continuation of the repeated patterns of the past. This satisfaction is not even yours, you have been trained to be satisfied in this. You have been trained to be satisfied in this and that. And that is the reason why this satisfaction is never really complete.

Isn’t it obvious?

Does it not happen that you do something, and that never really satisfies you, and then you hop on to something else? You reach there, but that point is never final, so you want to hop on to something else. Had that really satisfied you, would you still have tried to do something more and more and more?

He wants to ask, “What kind of balance I should take up? What would be satisfactory balance?”

The answer cannot be given directly, but yes what can be certainly said is that, let it not be an external influence that decides this. Let it not come from your seniors or anybody else. If it comes from there, then it cannot be your own, then it cannot be the product of your Intelligence.

Let it not come from a general trend. There is no fun in really being a part of the crowd. And also it’s no fun in remaining separate for the sake of it. I am not advocating that if everybody is going on one side of the road, then you should start driving on the other side.

“I don’t do what the crowd does, so I drive on the wrong side; against the crowd.” Not that, not really that. Because even in that, you are dependent on the crowd, that – “If the crowd goes right, I will go left.” You are still dependent, you are still a follower of the crowd.

The word ‘satisfaction’ is quite intriguing. It is always something to be obtained, and it lies in the future. The word ‘future’ must ring a bell. The moment we say, “Future,” we mean the…..

Listeners: Time.

Acharya Prashant: Yes! And hence, a hunt for satisfaction necessarily means that right now you are…

Listeners: Dissatisfied.

Acharya Prashant: Unhappy, dissatisfied.

Now look at this absurd logic of the brain. It says, “Right now I am dissatisfied, right now there is a disease, and I will cure it in the future.” If you are sick right now, you need a medicine right now. You cannot say, “I am so miserable, and my life is pathetic, but the day I will pass out and get a nice job, then I will be satisfied and happy.” And what about the remaining four years? You live life today, and you think you will be satisfied then. Don’t you see what you are doing in your life? You are wasting it, absolutely wasting it.

Everybody who lives in dreams and ambitions, is making a terrible waste of life. Everybody and anybody who is running after results of any kind, is surely wasting his life, because chasing results means you are not in love with the moment. And in the moment there is always a process. You are not in love with the process.

It would be on one particular day that the results would be declared. Right? But life is continuous, every moment. If happiness belongs to that one moment when the results are declared, then it is a very poor life.

You get your salary cheque on one particular day of the month. And how many days do you work? If happiness belongs to that one particular day when you get that cheque, then what about the other twenty-nine days? How do you spend them? In misery. That’s what we do. We spend those days in misery.

“I will be happy when results come.”

“I will be happy when I meet him.”

“I will be happy when my C.G.P.A. exceeds 8.5.”

“I will be happy when …..,” and that when is always in future. And future is always in the brain.

There is no future; life is in this moment. Those who live in their aims and objectives, necessarily miss out on their life.

Are you getting it?

Look at the poverty of those who say, “This is a stepping stone, and there is this ladder, the proverbial ladder of success, and we are climbing up that ladder. And then we put our leg on one rung, and then we put our leg on another rung.” What they don’t say is that they are not satisfied at any rung of the leader, they are miserable at every step, and that is why they keep climbing up, and up, and up. There is no real movement taking place, because at every step they are still miserable.

Is the patient improving if day after day his condition is still miserable? In our life there is always a ‘tomorrow’, the great tomorrow – “Tomorrow something will happen and then I will be satisfied.” You go to a doctor and he keeps telling you, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow,” and there is this infinite series of tomorrow. What kind of doctor is that? Surely a quack.

Our brain is that kind of doctor. It keeps you in an illusion all the time, that there is something great in the future. And we have understood why the brain keeps looking at the future. Because of its own insecurity, because of its inability to live in the present.

Questioner 1: Acharya Ji, how can we condition our brain to live in the present?

Acharya Prashant: You cannot condition your brain to live in the present; you can only be aware of the processes of the brain.

Brain is like a machine. Howsoever much you alter it, you will change its design, you will do a few other changes, you can entirely change its programming, but howsoever much you may change its programming, it would still remain a machine, bound by its programming.

Old programming or new programming, programming is programming. Programming is slavery. Are you getting it?

Brain can never go beyond its programming. Yes there can be different kinds of programming – Hindu programming, Muslim programming, Young programming and Old programming, Male programming, and Female programming. There can be different kinds of programming, but the brain can never go beyond that programming.

Don’t talk of doing too much with the brain. Talk of that Intelligence that can understand this programming of the brain. The brain is programmed, and it cannot understand that it is programmed. Intelligence understands that the brain is programmed.

What does Intelligence do?

Intelligence (emphasising on the word ‘looks’) looks at the brain. This is called ‘witnessing’. Intelligence (emphasising again on the word ‘looks’) looks at the brain, and understands that it is a machine, and hence not to be taken very seriously.

Are you getting it?

That’s the only way you become a master of the brain, rather than the brain becoming a master of you.

How do you look at the brain? By looking at what it does everyday from morning till evening; by remaining alert, awake and conscious.

You see how habituated it is. What is a habit? A repetition of the past. You see how habituated brain is. You wake up in the morning, and you immediately start doing that what your habit tells you. You go to the same set of people everyday, you are habituated to calling as your ‘friends’.

To be Intelligent is to look into all this, and more – the habits that the brain follows, its sense of insecurity, boredom, frustration that we come across every day. To be Intelligent is to be alert right now, right now; to observe what the brain is doing. Even right now, is it listening, or wandering in thoughts? And we all know that thoughts are time.

That is the only way you go beyond the brain.

And to go beyond the brain is to go beyond the slavery, and become a master – not by trying to alter the shape of the brain, not by enforcing some discipline upon you, but by intelligently understanding the limitations of the brain.

And the limitations of the brain can be seen only in its functioning, how it functions, how you get angry very soon, how lust and other impulses of a purely mechanical nature, chemical-driven, hormone-driven arise in you. By observing all this, not by suppressing all this, not by fighting it, the limitations of the brain can be understood. You do not fight a machine. What fun is there in fighting a machine? You understand a machine.

As intelligent people what do you do? Do you fight machines? No, you understand their design. You understand their input and output methods. And when you have understood a machine, you have mastered the machine. Right?

So you understand the brain.

You are sitting, and a thought comes to you, and you don’t become a slave of that thought. You say, “Alright, I understand where this thought is coming from. Let it be there.” You have become very emotional upon hearing something, or reading something. You do not let that emotion overpower you. You say, “I know what this thing called ’emotion’ is. It is nothing but the manifestation of thought. When the thought becomes very intense, it takes the shape of emotion.”

And then life is different, very-very different.

That is the way the intelligent being deals with the brain – observes it, witnesses it, looks at it.

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