Mercy and sympathy — agents of suffering

Acharya Prashant
4 min readDec 9, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): Sir, I understood one more thing. As you said in the last session that we wish to walk on this path and we also wish the praise from others. We don’t want our loss. And that is not possible.

Acharya Prashant (AP): Yes. You are asking that does a feeling of sadness comes with the dissolution of the ego. It does. You clearly do see that something is being left behind. You know I have been losing weight, and it is a sad feeling in losing all those kilos. I am leaving them behind. They were so loyal to me. They went wherever I went. They did whatever I asked them to do, and now they are all being lost. How cruel of me! Highly insensitive! My loyal pounds of flesh have been vaporized as drops of sweat. Too bad.

One quickly gets over it, very-very quickly. Very quickly. This feeling that you are talking of is actually inevitable, it will come, but it disappears in no time. This is the last recourse of the ego. ‘I am going, I am dying, aren’t you feeling sad for me.’ It’s like a virus in your system pleading for mercy. Greatly harmful virus, disease, and it’s pleading for mercy. ‘Please let me remain in your lung, I love you. We have been together since so long.’ And most of us actually become sympathetic towards it. ‘Poor little virus, who will take care of it if I throw it out. You come and sit, no problem, close to my heart. Be there, we will live and perish together’. And the virus is saying, ‘Living I don’t know, but perishing I’ll take care of.’

Don’t be swayed when that sadness comes. Too many battles have been lost at the hands of tears. Great kings who have been able to sustain the attacks of swords, guns, and explosives, have lost it in front of tears. Don’t lose it there.

The ego, Maya, when she can do nothing else, she will weep. Don’t become sentimental. Sentimentality is not sensitivity. Sentimentality is foolishness. Don’t become sentimental. Kill it. Ruthlessly kill it. One of the problems with this land, this nation has been that it has forgotten the art of killing. Have you heard those lines? “There is a time to heal, and there is a time to kill.” Healing is all right, but wisdom also knows how to kill. And kill mercilessly, ruthlessly. Don’t…