What is the Present? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Speaker : What is the present? We keep on talking of the present, what is the present?

The present is the source, present is nothing but the Truth.

The present is that from which everything emanates. The present is all, there is nothing but the present and the present is not this moment where you are sitting and doing something. All this is sheer memory and movement in time.

Present is not a moment at all and to say that live in the present does not mean that do what you are doing right now and think of this and that. All that is a very limited way of looking at thing. The present is what ‘is’ . It is the Truth itself, the source itself.

‘वर्तमान’, the root word from Sanskrit is ‘That which is’. वो जो ‘वर्तता है’, ‘वर्तने’ का अर्थ ही है ‘होना’, ‘That which is’.

And ‘That which is’ does not mean this room and the bodies sitting here.

The present is not a moment at all, it is not a part of time.

The present gives rise to time, it is not a point in time.

Present is the source of time.

Present is the source of everything.

Also, remember something. Present is there, mind is changing. Time is not flowing. It is not that time is flowing and this is the present, and this is the present but this is how our thinking goes. What are you doing presently? Presently, I am singing. What are you doing presently? Presently, I am bathing. What are you doing presently? Presently, I am walking. All this is the fallacy of language.

The present never changes. Mind changes and time changes. The present is always there at its place. It has nowhere to go. There is only the present.

So, when you say the present moment, probably you mean, right now this is the moment and there would be another moment, so the  present moment has changed. The present never changes. And the present is not this that you are doing right now. The present ‘Is’, not this.

Whenever you will look at the present as the part of flow of time, you will be making a mistake because then you will keep changing the present itself. So, at 9 p.m., what is the present? 9 p.m. At 10 p.m., what is the present? 10 p.m. Now, this is foolishness.

The present can not change its time, time changes, present remains.

Present does not mean that we are having this discussion right now, to be in the present means, listen to me attentively and this means the present. No, this does not mean the present. Present is not an activity. Present is not your being in this room. Present is a mystical experience in itself. Present is not a sensory experience that if you can see it with your eyes, then this is the present.

जैसा हमने कहा था कि अटेंशन क्या है? एक स्टेट ऑफ़ माइंड है । वैसे ही वर्त्तमान  भी है , मन की एक अवस्था है, जिसमें घटनाएँ बदलती रहती हैं पर अवस्था  नहीं बदलती ।  वो है  वर्त्तमान ।  वो नहीं बदलता, वो लगातार है, वर्त्तमान लगातार है ।  प्रेजेंट कंटीन्यूअस भी नहीं है, प्रेजेंट का कोई फ्लो नहीं है परपेचुअल भी नहीं है, क्योंकि ऐसा लगता है कि चल तो रहा है पर कोई अंत नहीं है, वो चल ही नहीं रहा है ।

It is. Everything moves perpetually in it. It is not perpetual. Everything moves in the present perpetually. The present is not at all perpetual. It is nothing, just nothing.

An empty container in which everything is moving, that is the present. You can take the present, as an image, as a huge container, in which lot is happening. The container goes nowhere, it is there. Within it everything is happening, within it is time. So, things appear like changing. Within the present lies the whole of time.

Where do the past and present lie? In the present, in the cauldron of the present. The past does not lie to the left of the present and the future does not lie to the right of the present. They both lie within the great cauldron of the present. And they are changing, you can call them perpetual, you can call that a flow, you can call that whatever you want to call. But one thing is certain that all is happening in the present and the present is not changing.

So, nothing is actually happening. Nothing ever happens. To say that anything ever happens is a mistake. Nothing is ever happening. Whatever there is, it is there, just there. Within it, a lot of movement appears to be happening.

Nothing real ever happens. All happening is an illusion. There is no change.

If you are attached to the mind, you will think that the things are moving, that changes are happening, because mind is time and attached to time, you are continuously moving in time. But present  is something, which is the base of the time. Because it is the base of mind, it is also the base of time and whatever is the base of time, can not be moving with time. Whatever is the base of time, is there, is just there, you can’t even call it stationary because the state stationary itself implies that movement is possible. It is the base of time, timeless base of time, that is the present.

Nothing is moving. Only your mind is moving. Nothing happens and that is the present. You are in the present only when you realize that nothing is happening. Otherwise, you are not in the present, it is not that easy. Lets all be in the present moment. Its not that.

Listener : You could not be anything but what you are in the present.

Speaker : Yes, you can not be anything what you are in the present but you are not in the present what you think you are in the present. What do you think you are in the present? You think you are Garima.  You are not that. Of course, you can not be anything other than what you are in the present but in the present ‘you are not you’, the present is.

The present is a cauldron, one, complete, total, in which there is no possibility of a different person compared to another one . So, you are right but in an opposite way.

Listener : Sir, does that mean that there can not be a personal present?

Speaker : Wonderful. If I say that the present is this what is happening here then the present is different for this and the next floor and the next office and for everybody present it is different. And for you also, the present keeps changing  with every passing second. Obviously, there can be no personal present.

The present is completely impersonal. Impersonal, unchangeable and unlimited. So the present is not at all this moment.

Listener : There can never be a time when you are not in the present.

Speaker : Wonderful. But then, this implies as if again you are in the now and now is in the flow of time. No.

Now is not in the flow of time, it is not at all flowing. Time is flowing within the now. Time is flowing, now is not flowing. And with time, of course, identities and objects and space and thoughts and everything that goes with time, that is in the now.

Listener : Sir, in that vast impersonal present, there are so many personal bodies and minds alive and we call them our personal.

Speaker : Yes. You are not able to express it. Right? That’s it.

Listener : But that personal body or mind, it is also not different entity. It is also that only. If I say that I am the body, I am the mind, then it is also valid.

Speaker : That’s the way of living post the realization, not before realizing it. That can be claimed only when you are in realization. Sitting in the non-dual seat, the great throne, duality is beautiful, otherwise it is not beautiful, otherwise it is suffering.

Sitting in the timeless, time is a sheer enjoyment, good entertainment. Then if you want to go to memories, go to memories. Then if you want to go to hope, go to hope but sit in the timeless. Only then you get the license, otherwise there is no license.

Listener : When we talk about the quality of self, truth, joy, is that possible?

Speaker : Present is ‘Sat’, ‘That which is’. सत का मतलब  है प्रेजेंट | सत -चित-आनन्द | ‘सत’ is present.

Listener : There is nothing called present moment.

Speaker : Of course, not.

Listener : What we are, we are. In the present moment.

Speaker : In the present moment, you are nothing. You are, you are not the function of the present moment. You are not a function of the present moment, you are not at all a function of time. You are, you are, that is unchangeable. Time can not do anything to it. Time can not do anything to it. Time is your own baby. You are not the baby of time. You are the mother of time. You were not born in time, time was born in you.

Listener : It is the complete reversal of the way of thinking was. Sir, in the cauldron of the present, can there not be anything beyond?

Speaker : There can be nothing beyond. So, the future is in the? Present. Future is not the ad of the present.  All future is here so this implies  that those who want to take care of the future will have to be seated deeply here. Here, where? Not on this floor. In that source, in that timeless, in the present.

Sit in the source. Be seated firmly and all time is taken care of. Forget future. Future will be taken care of. When the mother is healthy, the child is taken care of. Let the mother be healthy.

Do you remember, the quote from the Narayan Upnishad, ‘नाहं कालस्य , अहमेव कालम्’ . I do not belong to time,  I am time. I am not the baby of time, I do not belong to time. I am time, I am the mother of time.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session video: What is the Present? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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2 comments

    1. There are various opportunities to connect to and meet Acharya Prashant. These are:

      1. Meet the Master:

      Meet the Master program is rare opportunity to meet Acharya Prashant personally, either physically or online. To meet the Master, send your application, write to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Ms. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917.

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      Advait Learning Camps are monthly retreats organized under Acharya Prashant’s guidance. These camps are about spending four days and three nights in the lap of nature, while reading, reflecting, learning and evolving. So far, scores of ALCs have been organised in places like Rishikesh, Mukteshwar, Jim Corbett National Park, Chopta, KainchiDham, etc.
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      4. Month of Awakening:

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      This reply comes to you from volunteers of PrashantAdvait Foundation who maintain this channel.

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