You will never understand the mystic

Acharya Prashant
16 min readNov 13, 2020

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

Acharya Prashant (AP): I will begin with the question. It is a quotation from Japji Sahib. The question is such that it will dissolve a few other questions.

One, who tries to describe the state of the faithful, shall regret the attempt.

~ Japji Sahib

What do we think? We think we can lay our hands on anything. Do we have any understanding of the mystic? We think we can reason it out. We think we can nearly, neatly summarize that in words. We think everything is within our dirty, conditioned domains. Be it faith, be it mysticism, or be it Truth, we just want to explain away everything, so that the petty mind can get an assurance that it knows so that it can get a temporary relief from its stumbling.

The mystic will not attempt any such thing, though he himself is there, it’s his own life, but he will never try to put his mind, his inner world in words. It is just too large. Its load is so heavy that our normal man-made language: English, Hindi, any language, cannot bear that load. But even to appreciate this requires a lot of understanding.

We simply ask questions, which only indicates that. Forget about entering the room, we are not even knocking on the door.

Nanak is telling you, “One who tries to describe the state of the faithful shall regret the attempt.”

But had we not begun with this, had I just given a question to all of you: “Please, describe the state of the faithful,” I am pretty sure everybody would have been able to write a lot. Those of us who are pretty learned, who pride themselves on the amount of literature they have read, the gurus that they have followed, they would have written even more.

“This is the state of the faithful.”

And Nanak is saying to not even try that. “You will regret,” he says.

Is it so that what we are writing is something that we understand, but Nanak doesn’t? Is it so that our language, vocabulary is richer than that of Nanak? So we are in a better position to explain?

Acharya Prashant