Acharya Prashant: How to take important decisions in life?

Question: During the journey of life, one comes across many stages where decision making is difficult and is not easy to tell ‘right’ apart from ‘wrong.’ Whom do you depend upon, at these critical junctions?

Acharya Prashant: I have a ‘mad’ servant. Let’s say; I have a mad servant. I didn’t know; he was mad because I too am mad, because of keeping his company. If you remain in contact with madness for too long, the madness rubs upon you. You too catch some of that madness. So I have a mad servant, and his company has made me a little ‘mad.’ Maybe not as mad as him, but yet, not wise either. It never occurred to me that he is mad because I too am ‘a little mad’ so I could never figure out that my servant is ‘mad.’

To figure out someone is mad first of all, you have to be sane. I was not sane because of his company. Do you see what kind of a loop this is? So, I sent my servant to bring food to me, and he is mad. You do not know what he can bring. But, I don’t think he is mad. So I entrust him with the task of fetching food for me. And while he is away, Grace dawns upon me unexpectedly and I at least temporarily recover from my insanity.

So, I am not as mad when the servant returns with the food items. Now, I am sane at least for a while. And the servant keeps these food items in front of me, and he says pick whatever you want to, your choice. The servant is mad, and all the items have been brought by him. The servant is mad, all the choices that are in front of me are the choices that this mad one is presenting to me.

Now, my question is, which of these food items is the right item to eat. Sir, please. Which of these items is the right item to eat? It is a critical juncture as you have said.

So you need to decide between ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Which of these must you pick up? Which of these must you pick up? They all appear different, but they all have something in ‘common.’ What is that? They all have been brought to you by the mad servant.

Now, what is the question of ‘right’ and ‘wrong?’ Can there be a right choice when the whole background, the entire environment itself is ‘wrong’ and ‘false?’

You have only one option, reject everything.

Neither A nor B nor C nor D, nothing, reject everything. Then that which is indispensable will come to you. The right choice comes to you on its own, and you don’t have to pursue it.

But the right cannot come to you till you are occupied with the ‘wrongs.’

All the choices presented to you are coming from the same source, from the same center. What is the center? The same mind. Now, coming from the same center, how can one choice be right and one choice wrong. Coming from the same mad servant how can one item be right and one item wrong? If he is insane, all his choices are going to be mad choices. How can you take one as superior over the other? All are the same, reject everything. And then that which is right will come to you in that space that has now sanctified by rejection.

We don’t want that. We want to keep occupying the chair, and we want TRUTH to come and sit in the chair. You are sitting in the Lord’s chair, and you are praying, “Lord, please come and take your chair.” See how hard am I praying to you. Where are you praying from? You are praying from the wrong place. Your very beginning is wrong, how can the end be right? Sitting in an unauthorized place, sitting where you should not be sitting, you are asking for good things to happen to you. How can good things happen?

First of all, reject the very center, don’t reject the food item. Reject the servant itself. When you rejected the servant, you rejected all the choices that the servant presents to you.

Do you know who the servant is?

Listener: The Mind.

Acharya Ji: Yes, the mind. All the choices that come to you come from the mind. Reject them, and then That will come to you which is choiceless. That is real. There you will have some Joy.

-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How to take important decisions in life?

Originally published at prashantadvait.com on September 30, 2018.

Author and Vedanta Teacher | acharyaprashant.org