IIT Patna: Only right company can heal your loneliness

Acharya Prashant
8 min readMay 14, 2022

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

Questioner (Q): My question is about loneliness. There is so much technology available for social interaction these days. We can instantly connect to people from all over the world, have video meetings and such things, and then there are all the social media platforms. But despite having all these means of connecting, we are lonelier than ever before. Why is this so?

Acharya Prashant (AP): See, it is not that we become lonely. It is not as if loneliness has much to do with the ability to Zoom or video conference. We are born lonely. It is just that in some specific moments the loneliness becomes very obvious, and only when it becomes obvious do we start saying, “Oh, I am lonely.” But every single child is born lonely.

It is not that you are born in a great mental state. The mind, as it is born, already carries a lot of deformities and problems, and seeds potential for many further deformities and problems. Try leaving even a newborn alone and you will see that it does not like it. Have you been with a baby, with a small one? Even they want people to be around; even they want that somebody should be touching them, or at least a human face should be visible. And when such a thing does not happen, they start weeping, and when they start weeping, the mother rushes. And sometimes just by looking at the mother’s face, they feel relaxed, because there was not much wrong; the fellow wept only because it wanted company.

And the same thing happens to us throughout our life, when we are three years old, when we are thirteen years old, when we are thirty years old, because the ego, this ‘I’-tendency that we are born with, is by definition lonely. It needs something or somebody to get attached to. It needs a finger to hold. It needs a name to associate itself with.

Have you ever heard somebody saying just ‘I’? Rare, very rare. Nobody ever says ‘I’. We say, “I am this person. I am male. I am a Hindu. I am rich. I am a scholar. I am a student. I like songs. I like to travel.” So, something is always getting associated with the ‘I’. This ‘I’ doesn’t want to be by itself; it always wants to be with something, be it travel — what is the ‘I’ with right now? The ‘I’…