In spiritual practice, why do we often just succumb?

Acharya Prashant
3 min readMar 24

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

Question (Q): Sir, daily life puts forth so many insane demands and expectations that it becomes difficult to understand what to follow and what not to follow.

Acharya Prashant (AP): We all have felt that occasional boredom while reading our texts. We all have often felt that inertia to stay back at home and not come over on a Sunday morning, or a Wednesday evening. There are so many occasions when we come in late, and there are so many occasions when we just get up and walk out in the middle of a session.

We all are definitely interested in knowing, developing, liberation, call it whatever we may. Our mumukshatva (desire for liberation) seems reasonably more pronounced than the general public’s. Then why do we often just succumb?

It is important to ask this question. Isn’t it?

I would agree that the kind of daily lives we have chosen to live leave little space for alternate thoughts.

The direct, pratyaksh, has seemingly easy rewards to offer, and seemingly more harmful penalties to impose. Money lost can be easily counted, so it becomes important. But the knowledge lost on not reading cannot be put in numbers, so the loss remains unaccounted for. Similarly, bodily pain on rising from the bed to attend a session can be easily felt, so it becomes a decisive factor. But spiritual pain is not pratyaksh, so one can remain numb to it.

If our daily lives, our jobs, and our families, are full of an environment that is overly pratyaksh, material, then it is unrealistic to expect that we would still be thinking about liberation.

We are reading Shankar these days, and he does not consider thought as undesirable. He never talks of dropping thought or freeing the mind of notions. In fact, he says that the very idea of liberation is of great importance. He says that we must have the desire for liberation. And he says that one must have thoughts that ask ‘Who am I? Who runs this show?’ etc.

My question is: can a mind preoccupied with the daily rubbish of home and office ever ask ‘Who am I? From where did I come? Who runs this show?’. I understand that one must…

Acharya Prashant