Ignorance is the freedom of Truth || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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Speaker: Ignorance is the freedom of Truth. The Source obviously is free. When it is said that it is free, it means it is free to express itself and free to not to express, and there can be no speculation or determination of its nature by the mind; causeless freedom and causeless cessation of freedom, at least apparent cessation of freedom; free in all aspects, all dimensions. It is very easy for us to believe when it is said that the ultimate is merciful, all powerful, illuminated, remover of suffering, good, virtuous, and that is the way it has been conceived in religion and in man’s mind, that the ultimate is the wonderful entity. But rarely do we want to see that the real, the ultimate is also free to be nasty, to be mean, to be absolutely merciless, to be very non-virtuous, and to be the Satan itself.

And because the human mind does not want to look at that aspect of the ultimate, it creates an unnecessary duality. It takes a Satan and juxtaposes it against a God. Sometimes it takes some ‘Maaya’. Then a Shankaracharya will come and say, ‘Brahm’ is the ‘Truth’ and ‘Jagat’ is ‘Mithya’. Why is ‘Jagat’, ‘mithya’? Because it is the work of ‘Maaya’, because it is ‘Avidya’, because it is ‘Ignorance’, so the world is false. But then very few people pause to raise this question, ‘if the ‘God’ is the source, from where does the ‘Satan’ come?’ Why are you unnecessarily creating a parallel authority? If the ‘Brahm’ is the Source, from where does the ‘maaya’ come? Or are we accepting two Gods? Or are we accepting two Sources? Then what is the Source of these two sources?

It is because man likes to live in pleasure, so he has divided the God as well. He has taken the source and attributed all the nice things to it without bothering to inquire that where does all the pain and suffering come from. God removes the suffering. But who gives the suffering? God removes the ignorance. But who causes the ignorance? God is the grace that comes and helps you in your moments of crisis. But who causes those moments of crisis? When there is grace, you will immediately attribute it to God. But what about the sudden catastrophes that befall us? What about a sudden Tsunami or an earthquake? Where do these come from? You are being attacked by a mad murderer, and out of nowhere a gentleman comes and saves you, and you will say that he is an avatar of God that has come to save; God himself came to save me. Then who was that murderer?

Because we like to live in ways of pleasure, we have divided Godhood as well. God is that murderer as well. So not only ignorance is freedom of Truth; murder is the freedom of Truth, chaos is the freedom of Truth, suffering is the freedom of Truth, violence is the freedom of Truth, Satan is the freedom of Truth, and Maaya is the freedom of Truth.

Listener 1: Is that Source free to express itself and free not to express itself? Isn’t it a desire? And then does the Source also have a desire?

Speaker: You see, when there is a desire it is towards some end, towards a particular perfection. Desire arises only in imperfection, when there is something left to be attained. The Source which is everything within, the source which is the root of everything, how can it desire for anything? At the best it can have some fun with itself, because there is nothing else. So all this ‘maaya’ at the best, in human terms, can be described as source having fun with itself. Not a desire, just fun. When it becomes possible for a mind to see the Truth or the Source or God, or Self even in the most abhor-able and the most despicable, only then the mind is a religious mind. It is very easy to praise God in your moments of pleasure; in moments when you feel that you have been gifted something. But a really aware mind is the one that sees the same Source, when everything is robbed away, when things are not going as per your desire and plan, even the same source having fun. When one comes to that equanimity, where not only the expression of deep consciousness, but also all kinds of darkness and ignorance are simply apparent as one, as the functioning of the ultimate, then you know that you know something.

It is a very clichéd example, but still it is. There are all these flowers on the terrace, you go near them, most of the people appreciate the flowers. And we have those rose plants and some of those rose plants are affected by a particular type of insect so they are not doing too well. To be able to appreciate not only the rose flower and the rose plant, but also that apparently ugly insect, as the manifestation of the source; that is religiosity. He is a man who has woken up. So, go to that insect and tell him…

Listener 2: तुम मुझे  यूँ  बना ना पाओगे (You cannot deceive me).

Speaker: तुम मुझे  यूँ  बना ना  पाओगे. It is a deep corruption when we take the source to be some kind of a godfather, a very benevolent kind of uncle, who will grant all our wishes, a Santa Claus who comes with huge truck load of goodies. And religions have done that. All religions say that he is the one who forgives and does this and that. Very few of them bother to tell us that he punishes as well, and he punishes brutally, remorselessly. You act stupidly and the punishment is swift, harsh and not in installments, or may be in installments, as per his wish. (Everybody laughs).

Do you all remember that we talked about that word ‘tremendum’? That’s the word for God – ‘tremendous’, something that causes tremors. And that is one of his forms. When he decides that it is the time, be sure then that there are tremors, the earth quakes, the body trembles, the mind does not find a place to hide. And it is good if you also remember that side of the Source that he is free to be tremendous as well. He is not only the ‘creator’; he is also the ‘annihilator’; the ‘terminator’, the ‘ultimate terminator’. What we create in our movies are toy terminators. (Smilingly) He is the ‘ultimate terminator’. So when there is तांडव, then everything just disappears; goes back to the source, ‘प्रलय’ – gone. None of your nice doll houses will remain, none of your dreams will be left intact.  He is not only a saint, he is worse than a Satan. He is not only the one who does justice; he perpetrates the most severe kind of injustices as well.

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

Watch the session video: Ignorance is the freedom of Truth || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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