Can freedom co-exist with one’s roles and responsibilities?

Acharya Prashant
9 min readSep 16, 2020

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

Question: In this materialistic life, we realize the importance of Freedom that you are speaking of. Then what should we do?

Acharya Prashant: Here the questionnaire is essentially asking, “I am already engaged materially. I work somewhere, I have commitments there; I have a family, I have responsibilities there. And everything was going alright. And then suddenly you barged in. The party was on — and then there was a gate-crash. And now you are talking of all these abstract things: Freedom, Absolute Love, Emancipation. Now, what do we do? We are already booked!”

You are seeing this as an either-or game. It is not an either-or situation.

If it is an either-or situation, it is actually a neither-nor situation.

Either-or does not mean that you will have one of the two; either-or means that you have none of the two.

But you pose your question to me as if you have something, and if you listen to me, then that something would be lost. Is that not the simple and direct assumption?

“We have our material world. And now this man with the shabby beard has come, and he’s saying that there is another world. And not only is he saying that there is another world, he’s actually publicizing it; blowing the advertisers trumpet — ‘Come, come, come! There is something more attractive there!’.”

There is no other world that I’m talking of.

Everybody is presently and always in a particular situation. That situation is a flow from an accumulation coming from the large cycle of cause and effect chain; all the past, all the conditioning, all the experiences, all that mankind ever went through comes together to put you in your particular individual position.

One cannot dispute or fight that position. That position is the truth of one’s mortal being; that position is the fact of one’s personality. One cannot deny that. One is in that position.

If one is a mother of two kids, the two kids are there; they are facts. If one is now seventy-four years of age and has maybe just five more years in front of him, that is a…