How to be smart with the world and at the same time be innocent at heart?


How to be smart with the world and at the same time be innocent at heart?

11 Answers

Nalin, according to my understanding the answer to your question boils down to one word. INTEGRITY. When you live your life day to day with absolute personal integrity within yourself, you will find that sense of innocence coming back to you. Innocence is not to be confused with being naive. To be innocent simply means to be in a state of purity, being uncorrupted. An integrated being will naturally be uncorrupted and free of guilt.

Unfortunately most people in order to succeed in life (as we know it in the present world), end up making a lot of compromises to their personal integrity within themselves and hence get into conflict within themselves and this conflict is what saps people of joy and authentic self expression. How do you start to live with complete integrity in today's world? This is where each person has to do a bit of reflection and determine for themselves what price are we willing to pay for attaining that state of material success in the world? If in the process of winning the rate race you end up becoming a rat, then I personally feel it is too steep a price to pay. When you finally decide that you will live strictly in accordance with your own internal moral compass (to state it differently, your personal dharma), then the world will realign itself slowly and start to reflect a new reality to you. But for that to happen, consistency is key. If you follow your own inner voice diligently, you will find day by day your inner strength and all the qualities that make you special and unique grow in their expression and you will once again exude that childlike innocence around you at the same time your intellect will also be sharp. Being innocent doesn't mean gullible or childish...Its a powerful state of being. Hope this helps 🙂


Jai Sri Hari Nalin, I really waited for a long to write this because A has covered it very well. However, could not resist so here goes. You worry about being innocent at heart and let the divine worry about taking care of you. If you truly are innocent where you don't hurt other people, judge them, or work only for your own gain the divine will truly take so much care of you that you don't have to worry about being too smart. The world will teach you how to protect yourself. You focus on being innocent.

PS: This is a rip-off of an answer Swami gave when someone asked him how to teach their kids worldliness in today's world. I am paraphrasing but he said you focus on teaching him values. The world will anyway teach all the other stuff.


I think this is a question most young adults struggle with. As long as we live under the protection of our parents, we have no need to be sly or street smart. But when we're on our own out there, we need to look after ourselves. 

In my opinion, we should assume that no one has our interest in their heart and act accordingly. Swami often says if something seems too good to be true, it often is! We have to be a bit selfish. But as long as we're not hurting others it's fine. As we gain a bit more experience and exposure to different people , we'll eventually become better judge of characters and can become a bit less selfish and a bit more open to others.


Be helpful to others. There is no reason to play the smart game, you will be outsmarted and it's a never ending game.. When you have the best interests of others in your mind, you will find innocence in your heart. If somebody acts smart with you, you become a tough cookie and your answer will always be NO to their vile manipulations.



I would recommend this book.

The good thing about this book is that it was written by an author who himself was samadhist/enlightened. Infact, in an earlier version of Swamiji's website, Swami Ji had a recommendation for one of his books(The Kybalion)

It not only covers one of the highest possible stage of  development that a person can have from a systems thinking perspective, my observations says that the siddhas/rishis/naths etc. grow and reconcile apparent paradoxes and the number of paradoxes in the same manner. Which is why they evolve or you can say they evolve which is why they reconcile paradoxes like this. All systems evolve in this manner. This is the magic key. 


I had read this beautiful below quote by Swamiji. 

Often, to effectively deal with problems in life we need to have an adult's mind with a child's heart. And love and Kindness, of course.


Hey Nalin,

innocent at heart, that one can always be because its a internal state. 

How to be smart with the world? I think if you find out WHY you want to be smart with the world, you will figure out the how. 

Full disclosure - not trying to be smart with the response 🙂 


Many times many why´s we don´t find answer. even if we search in the world the answer don´t sink  in..  I think cultivating bhakti and concentrative meditation helps to get real answer of this quesion.

Its a slow process but we take step definetly we get answer.


Innocence of the heart is such a rare and beautiful thing - don't lose it at any cost. There are 7 billion people in the world, 132 crore people in India, there are plenty of people to choose to hang out with, in case being innocent causes people to move away from you. 


When I look around, most of the people have a child's brain with serious heart, which is the root of their suffering. 

True Bhakti will make you innocent. If you want to get the intellect as well, then you have to do some kind of Sadhana, meditation, etc. Silence, lots of Tratak, Solitude, witnessing teach this. (Tratak is amazing for intellect, it helps you dive deeper into your mind)

Philosophy and books are of less help because there is always a chance that your mind will misinterpret and form a belief system out of it, unless you have learnt thoughtlessness. 


You are very smart and innocent Nalin ❤️❤️

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