Shun the Company of the Past

H.W.L.Poonja, Popularly knows as Papaji

by Papaji

If you simply keep quiet I don't think any thought can come. Simply decide to sit quiet. This will be a fire - nothing can touch you. Until now it is only that your decision has been weak.


The past is stronger than the present in the mind because you cannot see the present. Everybody speaks to you of the past. Do you find anyone among your friends and relations who is speaking of the present? Everyone speaks to you of the past; therefore it has become very strong. You will have to seek out the company of those who speak to you of the present moment, then this will also become much stronger and you will shun the company of the past. To get rid of the past keep company with those who are trying to live in, or who have tasted this moment of present, who are speaking about this present life. Satsang means association with those who live in Truth. Here everyone is speaking everyday of this present moment, of peace and love and happiness.

The enemy is very strong: Mind is your enemy. You have to be very strong and tight fisted with your decision not to be lead away by those friends who trouble you. Shun their company, even if they are related to you.

There was a young princess in India, still in her teens. She had great love of freedom but the royal family would not allow her to meditate. They said that it was not the right way to live in a royal palace; that you have to live as queens live. Her mind was very serene and peaceful, and she had no one to turn to for guidance. In the royal palace there was the king and all his relations, but no one who could be a guide for her or a friend.

She heard of someone whose advice she could seek. She wrote a letter and gave it to a runner to get advice. She wrote in the letter:

"My dear father, I do not know which behavior will be better for me. These people threaten me, saying that I have to live in such-and-such a mold to suit the palace. But this behavior doesn't suit me. I want to meditate. I have to win freedom in this life. But these people threaten me and give me trouble. Please advise me what to do."

The reply came back: "Shun everyone, whosoever they may be, maybe near and dear to you - husband, relations, parents, whosoever. Walk out.” That was all he wrote. Then he quoted different stories of a son disobeying their father, a wife disobeying her husband, to find freedom. He gave many examples. The queen walked away from the palace and is still remembered today.

You will have to decide for your own good. You can't please the world. Who has ever pleased the world? If you have won freedom perhaps everyone will be happy with you. We still remember people who lived a life of freedom, even thousands of years ago. We don't remember our relations. We forget even those who have been dead for ten or twenty years. A person who worked for himself and won enlightenment and gave advice to others is still alive.

You have to make up your mind. Nobody can trouble you if you decide for freedom. You have to make a firm decision then nothing can trouble you. If you are weak everybody will trouble you. If you simply keep quiet I don't think any thought can come. Simply decide to sit quiet. This will be a fire - nothing can touch you. Until now it is only that your decision has been weak.

18 January, 1992

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Source: Reprinted with the kind permission of the Avadhuta Foundation.  The Avadhuta Foundation was established in 1993 to further the teachings of Sri H.W.L. Poonja, affectionately referred to as Papaji, and to make available the archives of Papaji’s talks in India. You may visit their website from here.