Why are others able to dominate me?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readOct 24, 2020

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

Question (Q): What to do when an external force tries to stop me?

Acharya Prashant (AP): There is one central law of existence, which is, that nothing can really stop you without your consent.

Nobody can exercise control over you, nobody can make a slave of you without your own agreement.

But we really do not see how we have agreed to the whole thing, how we are a participant in the process of slavery,

and then we complain that others are holding control over me.

The others have no power over you. It’s just that you have traded away your freedom and it's not a question just about you, it’s a question of anybody who ever feels himself under compulsion.

We trade away our freedom for a few basic privileges and luxuries.

You want to go in a particular way. Now, somebody is stopping you. What is he doing? Is he physically stopping you? Is he coming and saying that “No, you can’t go that way? Stop, you have been chained.” No, not really.

Somewhere, you have a particular greed that he satisfies. Somewhere, you are getting a few luxuries and privileges from that person. That person could be parents, a teacher, or anybody in the world and you are afraid of losing those privileges. That is why you allow that person to have control over you.

I will not say that your freedom is being snatched away. A better expression would be, ‘you are trading away your freedom’. You are not being robbed of your freedom, you are trading it away in order to get some goodies, a little bit of security, some food, shelter, conveniences, respectability.

Once the mind sees that what you are giving away, your freedom, is far more valuable than what you are getting, what you are giving away is worth a trillion rupees, and what you are getting is worth just ten rupees, then you will stop making this transaction, then this trade will no longer happen because you will see that this is a highly unprofitable trade.

Right now you are not valuing your freedom, your own intelligence properly. So, if you are getting something with ten rupees, you…