The world is a river; use it to cross it

Acharya Prashant
6 min readSep 15, 2020

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

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”


(JOHN 2:15)

“Prosperity, pleasure, pious deeds. Enough! In the dreary forest of the world, the mind finds no rest.”



Acharya Prashant: It is astounding to see the commonality between Jesus and Ashtavakra. Why are they both saying that engaging in the world will not be the way to peace? What does it mean to engage in the world?

The world is a tricky thing. The world has to be understood.

The world has utility but the world is not the end.

One uses it.

Ever seen a man swimming? What is he doing? Why is he swimming at all? He is crossing a river. The man is swimming. Man is crossing the river. Why is he crossing the waters? Because if he doesn’t cross the waters, he will drown in the waters. If he doesn’t cross the waters or the river, he will drown in the river.

And what is he doing to cross the water? He is using the waters themselves.

Look at the position of this man. Look at what he is doing. You can either let the water consume you. You can either drown in the water, or you can use the same water to cross over the water.

What is swimming? What is the thing that you use to cross the river? The river itself is being used to cross the river. We said the world is a tricky thing.

Living in the world then is like swimming.

Use the water to cross the water or you’ll drown in the water.

Now, Jesus says do not Love the world. If you love the world you do not Love God. Loving the world, in the way Jesus is putting it, is the same as getting lost in the beauties of the river while swimming.

Acharya Prashant