Mind invents dummy problems to escape looking at itself — the real problem

Acharya Prashant
15 min readMar 6, 2023

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

Question (Q): I fear a student who would fully surrender and dislike a student not attentive. If both the states and anything in between is only reaffirming my ego, can the session be of any use to the student?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Who is facing this problem? Is the student asking this question?

Right now whatever he is saying is a concept of his own mind. When he says can the session be of any use to the student, the definition of use is coming from…?

Listener (L): Teacher.

AP: From the mind of the teacher, right? You would regard one particular thing as useful to the student and she (addressing another listener) would regard another thing as useful to the student. You might regard that if I could get the student to laugh, it indicates that the session was useful. She might regard that if I could get the students to silence, then the session was useful.

So, when we say that my session is useful to the students then what do we mean? Whatever we will mean will be an indicator of my own life. What I think of as useful for myself that I’ll think of as useful…

L: To the student.

AP: I live in one room, which would be hardly 7 feet by 15 feet. You come to me and say, “Sir, you know what I wanted to buy a 3,500 sq feet thing. But instead of that, I could get only a 2,500 sq feet thing.” Now, will I say that you have met with a great calamity? When I am living in something which is 100 sq feet, will I feel great sympathy for you if you had to live in just 2500 sq feet?

I find money very very useful to me. All the time I am thinking of that, it features in all my mental activity and the mind is all the time calculating. So, a student comes to me and says, “Sir, you know what, I could not get that higher-paying job, instead I had to settle down with this average one.” Will I feel that the student has lost out on a great deal?

You do not give money great regard and a student comes to you and says, “Sir, I cannot attend your session today because I have to prepare for that particular interview and…