What are you busy with?

Acharya Prashant
3 min readJul 5, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): Yesterday, we were listening to Upanishads. We saw that the disciples were asking a lot of questions: Why are things happening around us and so on. I also get these questions a lot and have been getting these questions for a long time and never have I found a solution. You said yesterday, that you are never going to find a solution. I have an observation that when I am very busy in anything, whether it is a hobby or even office work or whatever it is, these kinds of questions don’t come up, because I just forget about them.

My question is, is staying busy a solution? Is that it? Is it all about keeping yourself so busy that these questions, don’t even get time, they don’t even bubble up?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Being busy is a double-edged sword. If you are busy with the right thing, nothing like it! But if you are busy with the wrong thing then you are damned. So, you have to be very careful before you immerse yourself in something. Immersion is not in itself a virtue. You have to find out what you are immersing yourself in. You could either immerse yourself in something that dissolves you, right? Like a lump of sugar in water. Or you could immerse yourself in something that will crystallize more of you around you, like a lump of sugar in a saturated solution of sugar.

So I understand the thing about being busy or remaining immersed is much in circulation these days, but one has to be very careful. That’s the test- “Am I becoming more of myself or am I becoming less of myself? What am I allowing to occupy me?”

The wrong kind of immersion is like anesthesia, you will feel no worries because you are rendered unconscious. The wrong kind of busyness or immersion operates by lowering your consciousness. And when consciousness is lowered then pain reduces. The right kind of immersion operates by elevating your consciousness. When consciousness is elevated then there is a distance from pain, because pain exists only at the middle level of consciousness. If you rise above it then there is a distance between you and the pain. Not that the pain subsides but the pain subsides for you. You are away from it, no?

Acharya Prashant