The saint is not obliged to conform to your expectations

Acharya Prashant
8 min readNov 14, 2020

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

In what direction am I going, how shall I find the road? I hope they will send me a map before it’s too late, or it’s all over for me, my breath all gone to waste.

– Saint Lalleshwari

Question: Lalla had surrendered all her life to ‘That’. Now, why this confusion? Why is she saying that a road is still to be found? Why is she asking for a map? Why is she saying that it might be too late? Why is she afraid that her breath might all be gone to waste?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The mind will go where it has to go. A surrendered mind is still mind. There is a beautiful line from the scripture Drig Drishya Viveka. It says, “Yatr yatr manoyati, tatr tatr samaadhayah.” (Wherever the mind goes, there is peace). It does not say that the mind goes nowhere, that the mind is not wandering at all. It is saying, “Yatr yatr manoyati, tatr tatr samaadhayah.”

The mind is still going. What else the mind will do? Thoughts are still there. Will you change the mental apparatus, the brain, the cells — the way you are physically configured? No, that continues. But all that continues in peace. States of mind keep changing, yet you are in peace. To realize does not mean that the mind will now be in some constant, ideal state. The states of mind will keep changing, they have to, and they must. That’s the fun of life: leela.

Sometimes you will be angry, sometimes you will be sad, sometimes you will be happy, sometimes you will sleep, sometimes you will wake up, sometimes you will be tired, sometimes you will be energetic and refreshed, yet there would be something within, which would be untouched by all the changing states of mind.

Sometimes you might be worried as well, which is alright.

Something very subtle changes. It is not as if you develop giant shoulders or big thigh muscles after liberation. It is not gross. It is not a thing of display. It is something very, very internal, very subtle. Yes, its fragrance spreads. But on the surface, things might remain just the same.