Only a Buddha can really help others

Acharya Prashant
6 min readSep 11, 2020

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

Question: “My understanding is that the right battle is the one fought not for self but for others. Is my understanding right? Please elaborate more on right battles. Is it so that most of the battles we fight day to day are wrong battles?”

Acharya Prashant: You may fight for others. But, who are these others? Do you fight for every other? You feed your own cat. You are fighting for your cat. Now is it really the same as fighting for others. You are protecting your cow. You milk her. You have a vested interest there. Would you say that your motive is charitable? Would you say that you are doing it because you are a world lover, your altruism knows no bounds? But we do that don’t we? We feed the cow because we want to milk the cow and later on we tell the cow that we have been very charitable towards her. Don’t we?

Have you not seen parents do this to their kids? “We raised you, we fed you, we taught you.” You can visualize the same being done to a cow. You would never quote “We milked you.” You would only say, “We fed you, we protected you.” What about the milking? What about the expectation of the milking?

If one is really doing something genuinely for others, there are no conditions attached. There never are any fine prints. Neither are there conditions attached in the beginning nor are there conditions attached in the action. You will be prepared to do anything. And anything means anything.

You can love someone so much that you can lay down your own life for that person. And you can love someone so much that you can be prepared to kill that person. Anything means anything.

Kindly get over this notion that we live for others. That is the privilege granted only to a Buddha. Living for others happen only to the one who has nothing personal to live for. If you have a lot that is personal in your life, personal time, personal freedom, personal money, personal thoughts, personal relationships, personal choices, as long as you have all this personal stuff in your life, you will live only for this stuff.

You have a personal family. You fight for that family. You do a lot for that family. Does that mean you are doing anything for…

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