Be cautious of what attracts you

Acharya Prashant
10 min readJan 15, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Acharya Prashant (AP): The Upanishad is saying, “Be very, very cautious of the one you take as your god. Be very, very cautious of the one you feel pulled towards. Be extremely cautious of the one you are attracted and attached to. You will become that. You have no option.”

When you feel attracted to a little kid, how do you behave? If you want to be with a kid, if the kid has become very lovely and very attractive to you, have you not found yourself behaving like a kid? You will become the one you are attracted to. If somehow it happens and be very attentive when you are trying to understand this, otherwise you will miss the point. If somehow it happens that you are greatly attracted towards an elephant, in a psychic way slowly you will become an elephant.

The Indian scriptures talk of the jiva, ‘the human being’ as analogous to the Bhringi Keet. It’s a mythical insect, Bhringi. It is said that the Bhringi insect assumes the name, shape and form of the object it feels attracted to, the object it keeps looking at. So, if Bhringi is looking very attentively at a blade of grass, Bhringi would more or less turn into a blade of grass. There are obviously in the factual world exists no such as insect but get the message right. You are no different from that which you take as the highest. Be very-very mindful of your gods.

If you feel attracted towards something or someone bodily, it will become a compulsion with you to assume a body. Think of it, you are attracted towards a body, now how will you approach that body if you are not a body? And your attraction obviously is not the love of the nameless, formless, selfless kind. Your attraction is of the consumptive kind. You want to be physically near to the object of your attraction. So that you can enjoy it in a material way.

How will you enjoy the material if you are not material? Can immaterial existence interact with material stuff? But to really partake in pleasurable consumption, you will have to interact, and if you want to interact with the material, you will have to be material. Only a particular chemical can react with another chemical. Ever heard of a chemical reacting with nothing and yet the reaction happen? It’s not possible…