You cannot change without allowing your environment to change

Acharya Prashant
5 min readJul 2, 2021

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

Questioner: There is a lot happening in my life. The whole day is full of actions and reactions. There are times when I catch myself slipping when I see chaos. And there are times when I have glimpses of Truth. What is it to be at the center, and then be able to do all this?

Acharya Prashant: See how smart you are. You are asking, “What is it to be at the center, and then be able to do all this?” One thing is sure for you, what is happening must be done. On that, you will not compromise. You are saying, “I want to do all this. There is no way I can leave all this. Please tell me a technique that how can I keep doing all this, without getting disturbed?”

(Mockingly) “Murder I must do, because that I have chosen as my profession. Now, because that is where my greed and my ignorance have taken me, but I want to be a very peaceful murderer. So please teach me peace.” It’s a great question that he has asked, and it’s a great instruction for everybody here. “What is it, to be at the center, and still be able to do all this?”

He is not at all asking, “Should I be doing what I am doing right now?” He is not asking, “What I have accepted, is it worth accepting? What I have rejected, is it worth rejecting?” That question he will never ask. This is how we all use spirituality. “I want to murder, but I want to murder peacefully.”

(Mockingly, in a soft voice) Now pull the dagger out, and slowly stab the person in the heart, and then say, “Hari Om Tat Sat.” And when the person is dying, say, “Om Shanti, Shanti (Om Peace, Peace)”, right? Your daily dose of corporate dhyaan (meditation). That is what you have come here for.

(Referring to the questioner) “By choice, I have immersed my life in the rubbish. By choice, I ran away from where there was emancipation possible. By choice, I have surrounded myself with people who will drag me into hell.” And now he is asking, “How could I be doing this, and remain centered at the same time?”

The man who wants to remain centered, why would he go to those environments in the first place? The man who has to remain centered, will he remain there?