With youth: Relationships are not ‘give and take’

Acharya Prashant
4 min readJan 1

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

Acharya Prashant (AP): It’s a network. You see, there is no point in blaming anybody. Those who condition you, are conditioned to condition you. Are you getting it? Those who condition you, are not really villains or evil-doers. They themselves do not know what is happening. No one has planned it. All are victims.

Everybody is a slave. Slaves are enslaving others. In fact, only a slave can enslave others. A free man never enslaves, because he loves freedom. He loves his freedom and the freedom of others. If someone wants to make you a slave, then understand that he himself is a slave. What else would he do? What else would a slave do? Poor man. He himself is a victim.

So, it’s a mutual network, where everybody is victimizing everybody else. Whenever you find someone enslaving you, just get rid of that person. In fact, both of you must get rid of each other. It’s not that only one party enslaves the other one. Both are enslaving each other. So both need to get rid of each other.

Listener 1 (L1): Sir, does a relationship make us fake?

AP: What is a relationship? Think of it. What is a relationship? At this moment, if you and I are in complete contact with each other, then we are ‘relating’ with each other. And this ‘relating’ is the action of intelligence. The action is happening at this moment. Right? Whereas, if you and I are bonded to each other because of some element of the past — I was born in your home, or you were born in my neighborhood — then that is ‘relationship’. And relationship has no love, has no joy in it. Because there is no love in our relationships, they make us fake.

Find out whether your relationship is because you can deeply relate to people around you, your friends, your parents, sister, uncles, brothers, and teachers. Are you related to others because you are in complete contact with them, or because you hold an image of them, an image that is being carried forward from the past? Are you related to others because you have been told that it is your responsibility to be with them in such and such way? And this is what is called a ‘relationship’.

Acharya Prashant