On Saint Lalleshwari: Don’t let the donkey loose

Acharya Prashant
4 min readSep 28, 2020

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

“Sir, have you forgotten the promise you made in your mother’s womb, to die before you die? When will you remember what you intended?

Don’t let your donkey wander loose! It will stray into your neighbor’s saffron garden. Think of the damage it might do, and the punishment!

Who then will carry you naked to your own death?”

~ Saint Lalleshwari

Questioner: Acharya Ji, what does Lalleshwari mean when she says, “Don’t let your donkey wander loose! It will stray into your neighbor’s saffron garden.” What is the neighbor’s saffron garden for me?

Acharya Prashant (AP) : Let’s understand this.

The donkey is the ‘Mind’.

The neighbor’s saffron garden is the ‘World’.

The mind has a tendency to always wander into the world. The mind always finds the world very very attractive — ‘Lovely saffron garden!’

So the moment it is let loose, it will stray, enter there unauthorized, without permission and then what will happen? Once the donkey has done some mischief in the world–in the neighbor’s garden anywhere, it is not the donkey who is questioned. It is not the donkey who is put to task.

Nobody comes to the donkey to seek damages.

Who suffers?

You suffer!

The donkey has done what the donkey can do!

And who pays the price?

You pay the price.

Now you have an unnecessary relationship with your neighbor, that is the price. The price is not that you have to compensate him in rupees, the price is that now you are entangled.

The neighbor you had no business to be paired with, to be tied to, is now giving you company. The neighbor now feels he has the right to stand in front of you and to take your time. Otherwise, you could have…