The one after pleasure is mere flesh || On Advait Vedanta (2019)

Acharya Prashant
8 min readApr 29, 2024

ਹਰਖੁ ਸੋਗੁ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਨਹੀ ਬੈਰੀ ਮੀਤ ਸਮਾਨਿ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਨਿ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਤਾਹਿ ਤੈ ਜਾਨਿ ॥੧੫॥

harakh sog jaa kai nahee bairee meet samaan kaho naanak sun ray manaa mukat taahi tai jaan

One who is not affected by pleasure or pain, who looks upon friend and enemy alike — Says Nanak, listen, mind: know that such a person is liberated.

~ Guru Granth Sahib 1427–6, Salok Mahala 9–15

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Questioner: If friendship and enmity are the results of unfulfilled desires, then the reactions towards them also come from a point of unfulfillment. Does this realization enable someone to look upon friend and enemy alike?

Acharya Prashant: These are not matters of speculation. First of all, you are terming an assumption as a realization, and then you are asking me, “If I assume that I will have this realization, then will I be able to look at friends and enemies alike?” This is not how these things are done. You do not say, “If I know this or if I realize this, then will my behavior become like that?”

The one who looks at friends and enemies alike is a different being, is a different ‘I’ altogether. He has not just freshly learned some principle; he is not enacting some code of conduct. He is somebody else. He is…