Total freedom from the past

Acharya Prashant
3 min readSep 7, 2020

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

Question: Acharya ji, please explain what Shri Ramakrishna meant by:

“Once a Marwari gentleman, approached Ramakrishna and said, “How is it, Sir, that I do not see God, although I have renounced everything”?

The Master: Well, haven’t you seen leather jars for keeping oil? If one of them is emptied of its contents, still it retains something of the oil as well as its smell. In the same way, there is still some worldliness left in you and its odor persists.”

Acharya Prashant: This is the momentum of the past. Just because you go on a diet today, you quit over-eating today, would you today, lose all the excess fat that you have? Would today, your weight drop to normal? All your karma of the past, stays with you in the form of accumulated Karma-fal(Fruit), which is calories and fat and weight. Is it clear now?

Today you might say that you won’t take one morsel, one calorie extra. But what about all those years, when you were piling up stuffs after stuff? That stays with you. That has to run its course. That will stay with you till it is burnt down.

So, do not complain.

Do not say that “Why am I to bear the load of all the excess weight accumulation and mental baggage when I am living a pious life?”

Your life is pious today. But mind, is a continuity, mind is a flow.

You might clean up the Ganges at Patna.

You might ensure that no ways it be let into river, there. But what about all the waste that the flow is carrying with it from behind?

The mind is like a river. Time is a river. And this can be a serious disappointment. This can be a great trick of Maya. It can even make you deviate from the pious — the path of letting go that you might have taken. You will continue with your austerities. You will continue with the life that does not add to the momentum or add to your baggage, and yet, you would be let down, when you would see that the things have not changed greatly.

It has been ten days, since you last bit into that burger and still your waist-line is almost the same. Maybe you have lost half an inch.