IIT Bombay: The real way to deal with dependency

Acharya Prashant
9 min readMay 29, 2022

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

Questioner: Sir, how to overcome emotional dependency and loneliness?

Acharya Prashant (AP): First of all, there are not several types of dependencies. These types are very superficial. We might say, “I have a material dependency, I have a financial dependency, I have a physical dependency, I have an emotional dependency, I have a spiritual dependency, dependency’s dependency.” Who is dependent?

All dependency comes from the fundamental sense of incompleteness of the ‘I’. We are born feeling that something is not quite right about us. Even the newborn baby carries that deep belief — obviously not consciously — and it is that sense of imperfection or incompleteness that drives us through life. That is what makes most people do whatever they do in their lifetimes.

So, we acquire knowledge, we acquire social certification, we get into several kinds of relationships; we procreate, we amass wealth, we do this, do that, build a house, build a mausoleum for ourselves, we do all these things. Fundamentally, why do we do any or all of these things? Because we are not convinced that we are alright.

The ‘I’-tendency is a raging dissatisfaction against itself.

“I am greatly dissatisfied.”

With whom?

“With my own being, with my own existence. I am not okay. Why am I not okay? Don’t ask me that. I am born like that!”

Has something occurred to you to make you feel that you are not alright?

“No. I have occurred to myself, and that is what makes me feel that I am not alright. Not that some event has happened to me, the event that has happened is me, ‘me’ meaning my birth. Not that something has happened to me and is making me feel bad about myself, no. The event of my existence itself makes me feel bad about myself. I am born feeling bad about myself. I am born feeling hungry and dissatisfied. When I was born, I cried.”

That is the human condition. “Why am I here?” — that is the first thing that occurs to the kid, the newborn infant. “Why am I here? What did I do to deserve this?”

Acharya Prashant