Do you know what you are so afraid of?

Acharya Prashant
17 min readJan 10, 2021

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

Here is a quote from the essay “Listen, Little Man!” And it’s the great man or the big man talking to all the little men:

“I have known you, shared your experiences; I’ve known you in myself. As a physician, I’ve freed you from what is small in you; as an educator, I’ve often guided you on the path of integrity and openness. I know how bitterly you resist your integrity, what mortal fear comes over you when called upon to follow your own, authentic nature.”

— Excerpt from the book “Listen, Little Man!”

The question is can you please elaborate on how a man keeps resisting his integrity and true nature? What are those morbid fears that cripple man when he wants to follow his heart? Relating to the same excerpt, the same point, another questioner asks that when man tends to move to his true nature or individual greatness, people around him are inevitably going to get hurt because of their expectations from him but this hurt experienced by others leads to this seeker of true nature or individuality to compromise on his actions as he starts thinking that he is hurting someone and secondly, he is not fully sure about the rightness of his actions. So, the question is ‘Is it bad to care for others?’

Acharya Prashant (AP): There are two paths open to man. And on both the paths, there are respective fruits and respective troubles or problems or thorns. And there is no judge or arbiter outside of man. The two paths are both open and available to man. Both paths involve their own pros and cons. And man has choice and choice means that either of the paths can be chosen as the right.

There is no divine decree in favor of or against any one particular path. You can choose either of the paths and spend your entire life traveling on it. Nobody outside of you is going to come and declare to you that you have been a paragon of virtue or an epitome of wise. That won’t happen. You have all the freedom. Do whatever you…