How to remember the essence of the scriptures?

Acharya Prashant
6 min readSep 5, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, Pranaam! I read the six chapters from the book allotted to me yesterday. And now I don’t want to stop and there is a feeling of stillness. But when I look back to conclude what I have read, I cannot recollect much. There is a feeling that I need to read again and a feeling that I haven’t received completely what has been said.

Yet, there is no question. Am I not paying attention?

Acharya Prashant (AP): These aren’t matters of completing the syllabus. These are things of Love.

Look at the whole milieu. Look at the whole story, not merely what you have done today and a few days back. Is there Love? Then obviously attention would follow. And if there is no Love, how does it matter how many chapters you have ‘completed’?

What next? Would you appear for an exam tomorrow and reproduce what you have just mugged up? And that too you won’t be able to do because as you have mentioned that you don’t remember much.

Too bad.

So you felt that you are lagging behind, right? The course is proceeding, we are past the halfway mark, the class has surged ahead, and you felt that you are lagging behind. So you picked up the book and in one go you finished off the chapters. Right? Is that not what a sixteen-year-old does, a twenty-year-old does, a twenty-two-year-old does?

The syllabus has shot ahead of me, so what do I do? One night I just clean up everything, and that allows me to laze around for a couple of weeks. Is that not how we have anyway been approaching education? Has anything really changed?

Is there Love?

You want to play catch-up and then just to double-check, you want to recollect that you have indeed caught up. You haven’t asked me, “What is this game of playing catch-up?” See what you have asked me. You have asked me, “Have I indeed caught up?” You are saying, “When I look back to conclude what I have read, I can’t recollect much. There is a feeling that I need to read again. A feeling that I haven’t comprehended completely what has been said.”

Are you judging yourself against some