Learning from life versus learning from a teacher

Acharya Prashant
10 min readAug 30, 2021

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

Questioner: If I’m the first man and the only one, can I disregard all your teachings and learn firsthand from life? Can I forget all the theories I have heard from you? Those theories might be holding me back against inquiring on my own, where I am, as I am.

Acharya Prashant: What is this mysterious thing called ‘life’ you are referring to? What is life? We talk of life as if life is some vague, nebulous thing happening in some other mysterious or mystical dimension. What is life? — This breathing, this eating, these day-to-day interactions, these relationships, right? The food that you eat, the work that you do, the people you come across, isn’t all this life? So, how am I outside the purview of your life?

You’re talking of life as if life is something totally separated from anybody who can help you out. And this in itself is quite interesting — all the trauma that you experience on a daily basis, that you happily call as life, all the nonsense you remain mired in, that you happily call as life, your interactions and your relationships with all the foolish and unworthy and mediocre people, that you will gladly accept as life.

You will say, “You know, life brought me in contact with this girl and I just fell for her, and then this thing happened and that thing happened.” And you will willingly say, “That was life”, right? So, life can bring you in contact with a girl and that is life, but if life brings you in contact with a teacher, that is not life, that you take as something outside of life.

I just fail to understand this, people say, “I’ll not learn from the teacher, I’ll learn from life.” Is the teacher situated in some other dimension, some other universe, on some other planet? How is the teacher not a part of your life?

If you watch my videos, which you probably do, aren’t the videos a part of your daily 24-hour schedule? Or are you watching the videos in some specially, artificially, mystically created 25th hour? Let’s say, once a week you watch my videos, is the timespan not within the span of your life? Is the duration not within the domain of your week? Then how am I outside life?

Acharya Prashant

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