On Advait Vedanta: True love is another name for discretion

Acharya Prashant
4 min readApr 5, 2022

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

“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad.”

~ Rumi

Questioner (Q): Dear Acharya Ji, this poem from Rumi calls to me like never before. I feel I am just doing prudent planning at this point of my life. There is nothing in life that reflects anything of this poem, and yet it appeals to me so much. It feels like something from my wildest dreams, and the mind says, “I wish you could do what the poem says.” Can you please expose my conundrum in relation to this poem?

Acharya Prashant (AP): You are right! Rumi is saying run away, forget safety, destroy your reputation, be notorious. You are taking it step by step, carefully planning. Sometimes it is cowardice to stay where you are. And sometimes when the urge to take the plunge is very powerful, then, in an interesting way, it requires a lot of guts to withhold the urge to plunge.

In different contexts, the need for security means different things. Somebody who is seeing security in the US, refusing to come over to India, would mean that the fellow is chasing security, fearing insecurity, those things. But someone who is feeling a strong urge to come over to India is already beyond the concerns of security. Had the concerns of security been so very important, then the urge to just come over could not have been so powerful. The urge is there, so the concern for security is already gone.

Now, your system is clamoring to leave your place and be here. In an interesting and inverted sense, you are now seeing some kind of higher security here. So, it does require guts to still stay put where you are. Now you are not staying there for reasons of greed or fear; now you are staying there for reasons of wisdom. The work that you are falling in love with requires that you physically join it only after reaching a certain stage, only after crossing a certain date.