Truth is not for those who sell their Freedom || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Question: Why don’t we have the courage to speak the truth, to show the truth to anybody?

Speaker: It is because we have traded away our freedom to speak the truth. There is no problem in speaking the truth to anybody, there is no limitation at all. The only limitation is that you are afraid that you will lose your conveniences. You are afraid that if you speak the truth, then that person will take away all the privileges, luxuries and conveniences from you. That is the reason that you do not speak the truth. That is the reason that you can’t be yourself.

You have traded away your conveniences for some petty things which are worthless, and it is such a bad deal that you have made. It is such a poor trade. You have given away the priceless- your freedom- to get some basic luxuries, some basic privileges, some  basic conveniences. A little bit of money, a little bit of security, a little bit of identity, to get all that, you have traded away your freedom, your essential freedom.

A child is dependent, it is understandable for a child to be dependent. A child is dependent because he cannot do much about it. But why are you dependent on others? Why are you so dependent? Till the time you remain dependent, you won’t have the courage to speak the truth, because speaking the truth has its cost. Only a free man can speak the truth. Only a free man can be himself. A slave cannot be himself.

You all are fond of saying, ‘Be yourself’, a slave cannot be himself. Only a free mind can be himself. Don’t ask this question that why can’t I speak the truth. Rather, you must ask that what am I gaining by trading away the truth. Find that out, and see the worthlessness of what you are gaining by trading away the truth, by trading away your freedom.

Once you realize that you are gaining only a little bit of comfort, some emotional security, some petty attachment, and you are giving away something of great value, then you will stop that transaction. And then you will have all the courage. Stop taking what you are taking, stop taking those privileges and luxuries. Once you stop taking them, you will become free.

Listener 1: In the activity, ‘Neti-Neti’, we were told that we see the things as others see it. My question is, ‘How to develop that intelligence or understanding to see the things differently?’

Speaker: Shreya is asking, ‘From where do I get intelligence? How do I get attention?’ You don’t need to get attention from anywhere. All you can do is get rid of the enemies of attention. Attention is not an external object that you can get from somewhere. It is there with you. The capacity to be attentive is very much innate. You don’t have to fetch it from somebody or somewhere. You have cultivated, harbored so many enemies of attention in your mind. Those enemies of attention do not allow you to be attentive. What are those enemies of attention? Prejudices, beliefs, distractions.

Attention is possible only in deep, inner silence.

If you have such people around you who themselves are deeply distracted, and keep distracting you, then attention becomes almost impossible. Look at the quality of those who surround you, day-in and day-out. Look at those who belong to your inner circle. What kind of people are you surrounded with? Look at your habits. Where do you spend time while working on the internet? What kind of magazines, journals, books do you read? Your choices are your enemies of attention. Once you get rid of the enemies of attention, attention is there. You don’t have to get it.

The problem is that these enemies often come under the label of ‘friends’, ‘family’ and ‘society’. Hence I said that if you are anchored to something, then you cannot be free. Attention is available, but if you are biased, if you are carrying beliefs and notions in the mind, then it would be impossible to be attentive. If you are afraid then it would be impossible to be attentive. One is afraid only of losing, losing your attachments, possessions. If you are so attached, you cannot be attentive.

Develop a general resistance to distractions. When your mind starts wandering, do not go along with it. Watch it and understand its mechanics, its ways. Just as you understand anything external all around in the physical world, understand this also. ‘What is happening? How do these thoughts arise? What are emotions? What affects me? What controls my moods?’ Once you do that, you have taken care of enemies of attention, and now attention will be available to you.

Listener 2: I want to ask a question related to attention only. As you entered in the room, you said that everyone should be immersed in themselves and should not bother about what is going here and there, but I was not able to be with myself. What is the best way to concentrate ?

Speaker: Whenever this happens, do not fall into the easy trap of suppressing the distraction. Try to understand what is happening, look at it factually.

You want your mind to focus on one object and the mind instead is looking here and there. That is what is happening. The first mistake that can be easily made is that one tries o suppress the mind. Please don’t do that. Just see what the mind is doing, because your suppression will not help. Your suppression will become another thought, another activity of your mind. And we don’t want more and more activities in mind. We want to get silence in the mind.

So calmly sit down, otherwise your suppression will become another activity. Don’t chase concentration, don’t start feeling guilty that you are not able to concentrate. Instead, use this occasion to watch the mind’s processes. In an effort to concentrate more, you will find that the mind wanders all the more. And the moment you see it, you are already in attention.

Attention is fundamentally more about witnessing the mind, and in this witnessing the mind quietens.

Quietening of mind is not a direct process; that you can quieten the mind through suppression or some technique. No. This quietening of mind is an indirect thing. It is the product of witnessing the mind. Let the mind do what it wants to do. Let it wander. Just remain conscious in its wandering, just as you conduct an experiment in the lab and watch the reaction. You observe all the reaction.

Watch the mechanics of the mind and the moment you watch, you are already in attention. Now the mind will quieten. Do not approach it with a hammer. Don’t do that. That is it!

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

Watch the session video: Truth is not for those who sell their Freedom || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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