Is it possible to eliminate fear completely?

Acharya Prashant
4 min readSep 6, 2020

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

Question: Is the goal to eliminate fear completely, or to be not affected by fear as one witnesses it within? I ask because as long as one has expectations from others, one needs to fulfill their desires, which can inhibit freedom and create fear.

Acharya Prashant:

Fear is not an external object.

Fear is your relationship with that object.

When you say, or ask, “Is fear about remaining unaffected by fear?” Then you are talking about that relationship between you and that object.

If you can remain unaffected, then the relationship is broken.

So, there is no fear.

If there is a monster, in this room, and you are not conscious of it, and thereby you have no relationship with it. Would there still be fear? If there is a monster in this room and you know of it but have forgotten it, would there still be fear? So, fear is an active relationship with something. The moment you say that you can remain unaffected by that thing, the relationship is already broken; so, there is no fear. It is not ‘things’ that disturb you, but your perception of what those things can do to you. Are you getting it?

Does a tiger in a cage, terrify you? When you go to a zoo, does a tiger in a cage terrify you? Now the cage is suddenly lifted, gone, what happens to you? Now, the same tiger can do something to you! So, was it the tiger which was scary? Had the tiger been scary then you should have been even afraid when it was in the cage. You were not afraid then. So, it’s not about the tiger. It’s about what the tiger can do to you. Is the fear about the other? Or, is it about your own sense of perceived vulnerability?

The more vulnerable you take yourself to be, the more anything would be able to terrify you. And if you are not vulnerable, then why talk of this and that? Take care of your vulnerability, and ask yourself, how is it that I have come to consider myself so dependent; so much at the mercy of this situation and the others.

What is it in me that the other can really take away? What if the other does the worst that he can, still what is it…