Freedom from compulsive need for company

Acharya Prashant
6 min readSep 9, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): Companionship in this journey, Satsang or a community, is difficult to find. When you seek out on this journey, it’s very very difficult to find people with whom you can talk about your experiences.

Acharya Prashant(AP): Yes, yes, yes.

Q: So, it becomes a very lonely conquest. And it is a lonely conquest because eventually, it is a conquest of the self. But, I feel at the beginning that kind of community is very important. Or the more you continue, the more your friends actually also start becoming fewer. Because they don’t understand the things that you are saying. So, if you could talk a little bit about that.

AP: It’s a lonely conquest and if you have to carry on the conquest, then you have to conquer loneliness itself. It’s not as if it’s “a lonely conquest”, but “loneliness” is to be conquested. Because if the feeling of loneliness persists, then it will drive you towards the company of undeserving people; and that is exactly opposite to the purpose of spirituality.

When we say that the mind is polluted, corrupted, conditioned and that’s why we need to be spiritual to come to the pure mind, it becomes pertinent to ask, “What corrupted the mind, in the first place?”

The fundamental thing is, of course, the physical body took birth. But, then after that, it is the companionship of others that corrupted us. Is it not? It is the others — others meaning the entire world. The world is the other. It is the others who corrupted us. So, the problem itself is the others.

The others, the otherness that we are carrying within, that itself is the problem.

Now if that otherness is the problem and to solve the problem, we still depend on others, then it hardly solves the problem. In fact, we are just, then, continuing the problem in another name. Therefore, I think one has to be cautious when it comes to companionship in the spiritual journey.

To begin with, yes, probably you require a mate or two because there would be new things, new experiences, and one requires both affirmation and support. So, maybe, yes, you require a person or two around you. But, you know what…

Acharya Prashant