Taking feelings seriously?

Acharya Prashant
6 min readJun 8, 2021

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

Questioner: Nowadays whenever I feel that I should not do something, I don’t do it. I’m not planning much and this includes me not offering prayers to God. Is this okay?

Acharya Prashant: Arun (Questioner), that which we call as a feeling is not really so internal that may deserve to be heartfully followed. You’re saying, these days you don’t offer prayers to God when you don’t feel like. These days you don’t bow down to God. I don’t know much about that but what is certain is that you do bow down to feelings. So, you might not be offering prayers to God but you are praying to feelings.

Who is God? The one, worthy of being surrendered to. If you choose to be dictated by the ebb and flow of feelings and emotions and instincts and intuitions, then feelings are your God. You might even feel like playing, some other time in a different mood and then you might indeed pray. Even then your prayer is subservient to your feelings. You prayed only because you first felt like praying.

If our prayers and our God are secondary to our feelings then we are praying to no one else but our own petty self from where all feelings arise.

It’s alright to not be dictated by the external, by the outside. But it’s not at all alright to allow the same external to guide you by disguising itself as the internal. Your feelings are really not your feelings at all. It is a mistake to be identified with the one who feels.

Where are all your feelings when you were off to sleep? What happens to one kind of feeling when the mood changes? What happens to even very strong feelings when in the middle of the surge of the feeling, you receive a contrary piece of news? What happens to one kind of feeling when another kind of feeling overrides it? Don’t you see what these feelings are? The regular madness of the mind. And to make the situation even more pitiable, it is an imported madness. It is a madness that you have needlessly taken upon yourself.

You are taught to feel. You are trained and conditioned to feel, partly by your genes and mostly by the environment you are born and brought up in. The food you eat, the things you come in contact with, the people you stay with, the music…

Acharya Prashant