What is attachment?

Acharya Prashant
4 min readDec 8, 2020

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

Question: What is attachment? Please explain with an example.

Acharya Prashant (AP): Mind is the product of time. Anything and everything in the mind is in terms of time. The mind takes time as real. So, whatsoever exists for a long length of time in the mind, the mind takes it as real and becomes attached to it. The mind says, “Oh this is real. If it is real, then it is me.”

The mind is an incompleteness, waiting for completion. It requires some object. Which object would it prefer? It would prefer an object that makes it feel secure and hence it would prefer an object which it can call real. For the mind real is always in terms of time. The mind has no other way of determining whether something is real. Don’t you say, ‘Oh? It has been continuing for 2000 years, how it can be false.’ Have you not heard such things?

‘This temple is 5000 years old; it must be a very respectable temple.’ For the mind, time is the certification of the truth, which means that whenever the mind is in contact with something for a long period of time, the mind will get identified with it and that is — attachment.

Whatever you are with, for a long period of time, you start feeling a relationship with that, — that is attachment. The kind of relationship you feel depends on your mental configuration. If you are with ten things, your relationship with the ten would depend on your conditioning. But what is certain is that — as time passes, the relationship will deepen and that is attachment.

You can get attached even to a small dam spot on a wall in your room. Every day you go to sleep, you lie on the bed and before you sleep, you watch that damn spot for 10 minutes, 20 minutes and you have been habituated to watching it for 6 years. Now, if you have to leave that room and settle somewhere else, you cannot sleep. Why can’t you sleep? ‘I need that, where is my spot. Without watching that I can’t sleep.’ — Attachment.

Just time is needed, which means that if you take time out of the equation, attachment is gone. That shows the very impotency of attachment and that also shows the absurdity of attachment. If you can be made to live with dry dung for a long period of time you will be…

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