Why are we not fully devoted to ourselves?

Acharya Prashant
4 min readAug 11, 2020

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

Question: The Yogi worships with one-pointed mind, but I worship with a hidden desire, and a hidden self-interest. Is my devotion wrong? What is one-pointed devotion?

Acharya Prashant: It is not about ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, it is about settling down with a little when a lot is available.

When you go to God for fulfillment of your desire, then at most what you will get is — the fulfillment of your desire. That is the maximum. And let me tell you, that is not much. The maximum that you can think of, desire of, conceive of, is not much at all. Not only is it not much, it may actually not be much beneficial.

If you were wise enough to know what to ask for, then why would you ever ask for anything? So when you ask for something, then you are making either both, or one of the two mistakes. Either you will ask for little in the name of much, or you will ask for something that does not serve you, and instead harms you.

Why do you want to make these mistakes?

But the ego goes on making this mistake, because it has a great, and misplaced, and stubborn belief in itself. So it says, “I know what is good for me. Now, God’s role is limited to fulfilling my self-appointed wish.”

“I will not tell God — ‘You do what is best for me.’ I will tell God- ‘I know what is best for me, and now I am dictating to you what is best for me. And your little role is to just do the bidding’.”

“Go, obey my desire,” — that’s what we tell God in the name of prayer.

Isn’t this, how we pray?

We decide our desire as great sovereigns, as autonomous persons, we decide what is good for us, and then we instruct God in the name of prayer, or pleading, “Please do this. Please do this.”

Is that Devotion?

I don’t know.

What I know is, if your desires would have gone fulfilled in some other way, you wouldn’t have gone to God. I don’t know how that can be called as ‘Devotion’. What I know is that had you not been suffering, or feeling guilty, or sad, or sorrowful, or jealous, or fearful, you wouldn’t have gone to the

Acharya Prashant