How do I ensure that my life is not going waste?

“When the day is done and the light has failed,

I searched my pockets but not a cowrie find:

What shall I pay for ferry fee?”


Acharya Prashant: What does going back mean?

Listener: Freedom from birth and death.

AP: But if you have a desire to go back, then it requires something more than just sudden chance. Coming happens in sudden chance. It happened, right? None of us had — as we are at least consciously — wanted to be born. It happened. But liberation wouldn’t just happen. Birth, just happens. Death, just happens. But liberation, does not just happens.

So, Lalleshwari is saying, “You have to pay for your liberation.” I will repeat-


Listeners: Just happens.

AP: Death?

Listeners: Just happens.

AP: But liberation?

Listeners: Does not just happen.

AP: Does not just happen. She is saying, “You need to pay the price. You need to earn your way back.” She is saying I had the day and now the day is gone, the sun is setting. What is meant by that?

L: It is just happening.

AP: It means you had a lifetime. The day is your lifetime. You had a lifetime and now you are finding that the life is slowly slipping away. The wave is ebbing. You don’t have time and there is not enough done to liberate yourself. The weight of your carry over, your conditioning is still heavy upon you. You are not yet light enough to go back. Liberation means, liberation from your luggage, baggage, whatever you are carrying. You find that, “Oh my God! It’s nearing dusk and I am still heavy.”

Time, as human beings have it, has only one proper function — to take you into the timeless. If time is able to take you into the timeless, then time is properly spent. Then you can say that you have lived a nice life; your life has not gone wasted. But if time has had everything related to time about it, and not the touch of timeless, then your time has been just…

L: Wasted.

AP: It’s not only about a lifetime. It is about every interval of time.


This day, today’s day, whether or not it has been of any avail, can be known only by one parameter-

Has this day had a touch of timeless?

Has there been something about this day, which did not belong to time?

What is time? Everything that you see around is time. This mountain has come up as a result of time. This tree is time, these edibles are time; this body is time. So if your day has been spent only in relation to these, then this day has been squandered. Then you will be left saying just as Lalleshwari is saying that the sun is setting…What is the exact line?

(A listener completes the sentence of Lalleshwari)

L: “When the day is done and the light has failed, I searched my pockets but not a cowrie find, what shall I pay for ferry fee?”

AP: So the entire river is yet to be crossed; the ocean is yet to be crossed, and you have not earned anything that will able you to cross it. ‘The day is gone, the light has fading.’ It’s beautiful. Is it not? See! Around yourself. ‘The day is gone, the light has fading.’ So, it’s the most auspicious and opportune time to be meeting Lalleshwari; especially this wakh of Lalleshwari — this sunset occasion. In any case, in India, we consider sunset to be a very proper time to remember the Truth, to reflect on the day that has just gone past. Has this day had something that time will not touch, not spoil, not raise, not destroy?

Tell me — your day had any moment? Anything? Any element of the beyond? At some point, did you feel something that is not a matter of everyday thought?

-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How do I ensure that my life is not going waste?

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Originally published at on July 19, 2017.



Author and Vedanta Teacher |

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