Why does defeat bother the mind?

Acharya Prashant
8 min readMar 14, 2020

The more you desire victory, the more will the effect of defeat linger in your mind. When you are fighting from the right place for the right cause, then comes a point when victory and defeat become inseparable. You have given so much of yourself to the great cause that now there remains nothing, nobody to get hurt or defeat.

There has to be somebody remaining to get hurt, right? There is a house and the people in the house are warriors. And the house has given itself completely to the war, every member has gone out to fight. They have completely devoted themselves to the war. Now the enemy comes and demolishes the house, who gets hurt? They are not there. They have given themselves totally to the war, so nobody gets hurt.

When you have devoted yourself, your ego totally to your cause, now where is the remainder? Now, who is left to get hurt? Now, victory and defeat, therefore, look sound and taste so much the same. And you know what is their taste? They have no taste. After you have won a really bloody and deeply fought out war, there is nobody left to rejoice. Who would rejoice? You have given everything that you had. Now, who would rejoice? Not even a trace of ego is left. Not even a trace of yourself is left. Who is left to rejoice? You cannot rejoice after real victory.

Similarly, after a real defeat, you can neither complain nor whine or groan. There is nobody left to feel the hurt. You are simply exhausted. Now everything is gone. All members of the house are gone. Who would wail? Who would feel bad? We are all already gone. All you can do is now sleep.

Does that not happen?

A long-drawn match of lawn tennis, a five-setter, drawn over five hours, with the last set preceding to 15 games. The enemy is formidable. The opponent is formidable. And you win and he loses. What do you do after winning? You crash. Don’t even rest. You crash because you are exhausted. Or, do you throw a party? Do you go out claiming that you are a winner? Such is the nature of the right battle, you will never be left alive remaining to celebrate a victory.

That is one of the reasons why so many epic tales, heroic tales of war and victory end with the death of the protagonist, the hero. The war is won, but the hero is gone. “Oh captain! my captain, the war you…

Acharya Prashant