With youth: Can one be related without attachment?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readJan 12, 2023

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

Question (Q): Is it possible to be related without attachment?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The question covers the wider issue of relationships. What are relationships? What is the place of attachment in relationships?

Relationships could come from three different, distinct sources. There could be three different basis of relationships.

The lowest basis is material basis. What kind of relationship is this material relationship? This relationship is the same as that exists between one chemical and another chemical, or let us say between an iron and a magnet. The magnet attracts the iron piece and the iron piece is attracted by the magnet, but both of them do not know why.

There is a relationship, there is a clear relationship, but both of them do not understand that relationship. It is a dead, very material relationship. Such kind of relationship is possible between human beings as well, where two people are apparently related, but none of them understands why the relationship exists at all.

You put water over sodium and immediately you get sodium hydroxide. There is a relationship that has happened, but neither sodium nor water understands why all this is happening, and because they do not understand why and how all this is happening, so they have no control as well. Sodium can never decide that today I will not react. Sodium is conditioned to react. It is a slave, in the sense that the moment you put water over it, it is bound to react and enter into the relationship. This is the lowest kind of relationship possible.

A little higher than this is the animal basis of relationship. In the animal basis of relationship, the two parties are attached due to fear and greed. We are attached so that we may get something from the other party. The other party gives me security, money, and an identity, this is the greed factor. “I am afraid of going against patterns, traditions, and conventions. It is just coming from the past, so I am related to somebody,” and there is the fear factor. This is the animal basis of relationship. That relationship exists only because of ‘greed’ and ‘fear’.

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