On Advaita Vedanta: Even in passionlessness hides passion

Acharya Prashant
3 min readApr 14, 2022

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

Questioner (Q): In the last session you said that cessation of passion is dispassion. I don’t feel I am passionate towards anything in my life. I like classical music, reading about spirituality, listening to the masters, I like the silence, but I am not passionate about anything. I am unable to understand where I want to go. Life is going really great, but the inner me is not at all satisfied with what I do. I cannot continue like this anymore. Please tell me what to do in this situation.

Acharya Prashant (AP): First of all, figure out clearly what the situation is like. On one hand, you say life is going really great, and then immediately after you declare that you cannot continue like this anymore. What do you want? Is life going great or horrible? If it’s going great, why can’t you continue as things are?

Q: The inner me is not at all satisfied with what I do. I am not passionate about anything.

AP: What is passion? In the spiritual sense, the meaning of the word ‘passion’ is pain, and you do look quite pained. So, you do have passion. Passion does not merely mean heightened enthusiasm. Passion stems from pain, a perception of a lack of something, an inner wound, an inner hollow. It is very much present, and that’s what you are to observe — your passion.

You do have passion. Not wanting anything in life, not being enthused by anything in life, not having love towards life, feeling miserable even when life is going apparently great — all this is passion. This is your passion. So, do not say that you do not have any passion in life. This is your passion. Your passion is that in the middle of a seemingly wonderful life, you are still dissatisfied. That is your passion. Observe it.

And next time when you send over a question, make sure that you do not say that life is wonderful. And if life is wonderful, do not send over a question. You cannot go to the doctor and say, “You know, doctor, I am in the best of health, I am the fittest person around. I think I am going to live three hundred and fifty years! But why don’t you treat me?” If you are so fit and so healthy, then you are fit to treat the doctor. Why have you gone to the doctor?

Again and again you people take me back to Sholay. “Mausi, my friend, is wonderful — just that he is the most wretched one around! Mausi, my friend, has all the great qualities — just that he is a drunkard! Mausi drinking is no problem at all — drinking will drop the day he stops going to that whore!”

That’s how we are, right? “No, everything is alright — it’s just that I am living in hell!”

You are welcome to know more about Acharya Prashant and the work of the Foundation. You can also contact the Foundation directly.

--

--