Can one get rid of mental patterns even at an advanced age?

Acharya Prashant
3 min readSep 12, 2020

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

Question (Q): All the wisdom is available to us only after a certain age. But the dye is prepared early in the childhood. How does one change his dye at an advanced stage of his life?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The dye is no good. The dye does not help you. The dye is such a lousy dye. The dye is such a misfit. When you watch the dye you do not want to confirm to the dye and that is freedom from the dye. Nothing else. You call it the dye, you call it your conditioning, you call it the various layers that you have covered yourself under. You call it your ideas, ideals, prejudices, whatever.

One thing is certain and common about them. None of them are any good, none of them really help you. And when you see that they don’t help you then the temptation and the tendency to cling to them disappears. Nothing else can give you freedom from the dye, or freedom from the world, or freedom from dying. Just see that that which you believe yourself to be is not helping you. It is keeping you restless. Otherwise all lectures, all knowledge is going to go waste.

Only the uselessness of one’s position and one’s direction enables one to give up his means, methods, efforts; otherwise, one continues.

So act in self-interest. See what the dye is doing to you.

It will then be easier to give up what is not needed.

Q: Why society and teachers are not available to educate us in childhood?

AP: The question says that at that age it is easier to be responsible because at that age one has not been burdened with responsibility etc.

Don’t ask why they are not available. They are not available, that’s all. Now you know that. Now act. Live with that understanding and act. Or do you want to cry over spilled milk?

Do you know why one wants to cry over spilled milk? So that one doesn’t have to do the right action then and there.

The right action probably then is to clean up that which has been spilled. You probably did not get exposure to wisdom literature as a child.

Acharya Prashant