Stone covered in gold

Acharya Prashant
6 min readMar 29, 2021

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

Acharya Prashant: Any kind of attainment whether physical or mental indicates the presence of a bonded one within. The full cannot attain. The limitless cannot add to itself anymore. Only the one with boundaries can aspire to attain. When there are boundaries, then there is scope for addition. When there is a limit, when there is finiteness, then there is a possibility of enhancement or increment.

What can you add to infinity? What will infinity further grow into? There is no possibility. Even the desire or resolve to have these things is bondage. Why is it bondage? For the very same reason, that physical attainment or the desire for physical attainment is bondage.

You are starting off from a point of incompletion. You are adding layers and layers to your core of incompletion, right? How do you think that the addition or superimposition of these layers changes the very core? It can hide the core, not change it.

You can take a stone and you can put layer upon layer of gold, and silver, and tungsten, and platinum on it. Ultimately, the piles and layers can combine to show up a great mass of precious and glittering metal. The mass has increased, the glitter has increased; has the core changed? What is it that lies still at the core? The stone. And why did the stone in the first-place attempt to put on these layers? Because of its stone-ness. The stone’s success in managing to cover itself up with layers of precious stuff does not rid it of its stone-ness, rather reaffirms its stone-ness. Can you see that?

When you are feeling little or incomplete or hollow, then any attempt to cover up that hollowness just reinforces the power of that hollowness. In such cases, what must be the direction of the right action? Usually, the direction of action is external. Remaining as we are, we want to obtain, attain, put on things that will make us appear different to others and to ourselves. No, the right direction of action must be internal. If I am not all right with my stone-ness or ugliness or worthlessness, then what do I work on? My stone-ness, my worthlessness. No amount of fancy stuff that I conceal my reality with, will succeed in changing my reality to myself.