Dropping desire is just another desire; knowing desire is fulfillment of desire

Acharya Prashant
6 min readFeb 22, 2023

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

Question (Q): As I listen to you, I understand that when you don’t have a desire, you don’t have hope, and when you don’t have hope, you don’t have anxiety, and that leads to a peaceful life. Correct?

Acharya Prashant (AP): No! We have constantly been saying that you want change. What you heard is what the religions and traditions have been repeating always. So you have not really heard it here. You have been carrying it in your mind even before you entered this hall.

Listener (L): I am coming out of your statement on desire that — desire leads to hope, and hope leads to anxiety.

AP: No! I have constantly been saying that you are thirsty for change. Desire is something that you surely want. It is just that what you want cannot be given by hope, cannot be given by the future, because hope is always in time. Getting it?

This line — “don’t desire, don’t hope, and remain settled with what life has given you” — is a very beaten line. And the mind has found enough loopholes in this argument, to trash it long back. That is why we want to stick to this argument.

You understand, “Santosham Parmam Sukham” (Contentment is absolute happiness). We want to stick to this. Why? Because it is so hollow that we can easily trash it. Everybody wants a weak adversary. This adversary — “Do not desire, do not hope” — is so weak, that we all love it.

Let us have this argument come to us. Let us say, “All spirituality is about not desiring and not hoping.” Why? So then we can say that spirituality is rubbish. There is no way I have said this. This is what one has been carrying in his mind, continuously, continuously. And whenever it comes to spiritual discourse, one feels like pre-deciding that because it is supposed to be spiritual, so he must be parroting the same old line again.

Unfortunately, I am not saying that!

Surely there is desire. It is evident in your eyes, it is written large on your face. ‘You’ are desire! How will you drop desire? I am saying, “Go to the root of your desire.” I am not saying, “Drop it.” I am saying…