The right company for the mind

Acharya Prashant
6 min readFeb 4, 2021

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

Acharya Prashant (AP): Being in the right environment itself is Satsang. Satsang does not necessarily mean a gathering. Satsang means realizing what affects the mind and acting accordingly. Give the mind the right food, give the mind the right companions. The right companions of all kinds: right books, right food in the physical form, right sleep, right activities, right exercise, right internet, right people, the right city, right locality, right house, right husband, right lover; that is Satsang.

Questioner (Q): How we can define right?

AP: That which does not unsettle the mind. That which does not load the mind with more and more ideologies, thoughts, opinions.

What did the question begin with? Is boredom contagious? So, what is then the definition of the right environment?

An environment that is not eager to load you with stuff.

That is the only definition of the right companion.

That is also the definition of the right friend, or the right husband or wife, or the right acquaintance. Someone who is not very eager to wash his dirty linen upon you. Someone whose presence in your life does not make you unsettled, because our nature is to remain settled. Then comes someone, piles up his garbage upon you and you start shaking under the impact. Now, that shaking you don’t call as shaking, sometimes you just call it pleasantries, sometimes you call it responsibility, sometimes you call it excitement, sometimes you even call it love.

Q: Discipline.

AP: Or discipline. But that is one benchmark that you must always use to assess the environment you are in. Is your environment bringing you to peace? Is your friend, or teacher, or lover bringing you to peace, or is he a cause of more perturbance, more annoyance? Does he provoke ambition inside you? Does he repeatedly take you to the past and memories? Does he keep loading you with responsibilities? In a nutshell, would you be better off without him? Why stretch a simple thing so far?

Okay, let me put it otherwise, on a clean slate given no obligations, no slavery of any kind, no compulsion; would you still want to be…

Acharya Prashant