The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
A seeker of liberation, who being learned; able to discriminate between the Real and the unreal, believing the Vedas as the authority, fixing his gaze upon the Self, the Supreme Reality, and being a seeker after liberation, will he, like a child, consciously run after the unreal, which will surely be the cause of one’s downfall?
~ Vivekachudamani, Verse 337
Questioner: Dear Acharya Ji, my question is, who is the child in the above verse? Also, I would like to understand my child’s behavior, as the child keeps running behind unreal things most of the time. There is no schedule or discipline; even not taking care of his own health and hygiene. When we request in any form or guide or suggest, he wriggles. He displays disrespect towards parents, shows anger through his words. Not helping even in the smallest works and his attitude is becoming more and more aggressive.
Acharya Prashant: So, there are two parts to this question. The first part is; who is the child being talked of, and then the second part relates to a personal problem.
Who is the child being talked of?
One must understand the child. Physicality is formed and it starts expressing itself as soon as it is formed. Divinity remains just as a seed; that’s the child. All flesh and bones, body behaving exactly as per his physical conditioning, guided by nothing except the bodily impulses; that’s the child. That’s how man begins his journey, as merely the body.
And that is why at the outset itself, man is not very comfortable. The child cries when he is born, and it will be rare to find the child restful. The child runs hither and thither; the child grabs; the child explores; the child is always busy with things. That’s how we all are born: restless.
Obviously, if one is born restless, it would be great if restlessness reduces or obliterates — and that is the purpose of upbringing and education;