Let ‘Direct observation’ not become a convenient excuse || Acharya Prashant (2014)

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

Speaker: There is this question about direct observation and how the world when ‘directly’ observed appears muddled up, appears quite confusing. There is a question that what is all this. One of the aspects of the question is, ‘What is love?’ When I look at the world around, there is no clarity that emerges about love either. Let me just say something. ‘Direct observation’ is possible only with eyes that s. You have paralysis in a particular leg. Let’s say you have fracture or something, there is something that is incapacitating the leg. After the leg has been treated, after its been operated, the physician will tell you to walk on your own and that will enhance the strength of the leg. Right? But you go to a doctor with a fractured leg. Will he say that you go for direct observation, you go for direct running and direct running will help you? What will happen if you go to enhance, if you try to increase the muscle strength when the leg is fractured? What will happen? Your state is going to be deeply worsened. With a fractured leg you cannot take a walk. You first need to treat what is wrong and only then you can walk. Same is the case with direct observation. Direct observation is every bit an exercise of the mind as is travelling or running, for the legs.

‘Direct observation’ means coming in contact with the world. Are you getting this? If a stable cleansed mind comes in contact with the world, it sees the world clearly. Whereas if a feeble, uncertain mind comes in contact with the world, it further gets infected. The cool morning breeze is very-very good for a healthy man. He’ll run around in it and will increase his strength, it will make him even more healthy. But that same cool morning breeze will kill you if you are a patient. Why are you coming so much in contact with the world? There is no need. First of all ensure that you are in that position where you can brave the storm, you have that much of strength. Otherwise your state will be like that of the earthen pot which is not yet ready but comes in the hands of the world. What will happen to it? The earthen pot, the mud pot, a particular shape is given to it and then it goes and gets drenched in the world, the sansaar. What will happen to the pot? It’s not yet been cooked, not yet been treated with fire, it’s not yet ready, but it’s too eager all the time to go and get itself drenched. That what it needs to do it does not do. It needs to do its homework, it needs to read, that it does not do, but it says that I will go for direct observation. That direct observation will kill you because you are not capable of observing directly. When you say that I am observing, you are not observing. Pay attention. You say, ‘I am observing’, you are not observing, you are getting infected. Observation is possible only when you have the capacity to be detached and yet observe. Otherwise when you will observe, what will happen? You will only be dominated by what you intended to observe.

There were a couple of women with me, in the organization, here. They came to me one Sunday, feeling a little lonely and all that. they said that you have told us all this and we are no longer with our old friends. What to do? And there is a Sunday. So I told them to go to a shopping mall and observe everybody there and see how the world goes around. So they went there. In the evening they came to me all the more depressed, gloomy. They said, ‘We had gone there to observe the world. For some time we stood in front of a garments store seeing how the people were behaving foolishly and we laughed at them and told each other that see how foolish of her, that kind of dress she is wearing, and after some time we started feeling greedy, attracted. So we two went and bought a few dresses and now after coming back we are feeling guilty.’

Sansaar will consume you. ‘Direct observation’ requires that you first become capable of observing directly and not be infected. I am narrating a real, factual incident. Then another day, we were discussing the activity ‘Awareness in action’. In that activity, one of the points is- wear something that you have not been wearing so far. Try a new dress. So my friend, she tried a new dress, a short dress, a revealing dress. She said that now, this is the expression, my expression of my freedom. She again went to the same shopping mall, and again came back depressed. Why? She said, “You know, I went there to declare my victory upon the world. But very soon I found I was begging everybody to have a look at me.”

This is what will happen if instead of reading, if instead of writing, you become involved with the world. And by involvement I do not mean active involvement. Even observation will become an involvement. How else does one get involved?  Tell me. How else does one get involved? How does it begin? What is the first step in getting involved?

Listeners: Watching.

Speaker: Watching, observation. And that’s exactly what you have written. You have been watching a few websites. Your watching will suck you in. You will go saying that I have just come to watch. ‘Oh! I have just come to watch, its kind of window shopping.’ And what happens after that?

Listener 1: I end up going into the shop.

Speaker: What happens after that? ‘I am just watching. No, No I am just watching you. No nothing more I am just watching you.’ Three minutes is all that will take to suck you in. ‘I am just watching, nothing more, nothing more.’ See, this is what happens. This much of masala and off we go. This is our state. World is open for you. But for whom is it open? Go roam anywhere you want to roam but first get the awareness. Do whatever you want to do the world is your playground, completely open to you. But, but, but, awareness. Be seated in Bodh(awareness). Only after that. You need Ashtavakra, be with him. Never think that your so-called direct observation can be a substitute to this.

I observed this even at the learning camp. We would be discussing in our sessions and one or two members would be sitting and watching the hills. What can the hills give you? What can the hills give you? Have you not seen this happening? Everybody is sitting, discussing and one of them is saying, ‘No, no, no, you know I am in my aloneness, I am looking at the hills and the stars’. You are making a fool of yourself. The hills will give you nothing. Because direct observation is direct observation without the aid of the ego. Is it not there? Even if it is there, what do you mean by direct observation? You can’t observe directly. See you better come and sit into the session, simple, finished. That’s what it is for you. And that’s what is for everybody.

I am not answering the question at all. I am answering you. So it doesn’t matter what is written here on this paper. Even if nothing was written here, I still have the same thing to say. Even if you just say that I have not written anything, I would still have the same thing to say. And, had you been listening to what I was saying, you would not have been able to write all this while I was speaking. This is exactly the same. Have you seen this happening in Samvaad sessions? I am answering a student and he is already up with his hand. Now are you listening? If you are already thinking of how to react, what to say, then are you listening? How could you have written so much exactly at the time when I was speaking to you? Could you have listened if you were busy with writing? This is what. The rootedness in the ego is deep, very-very deep. What do you think I have anything to do with this? There is no great importance in what you are writing here. I am talking to you. How could you have written so much? And it doesn’t matter what you have written, what wisdom has been displayed here. What is certain is, that if something is being said and you are still writing, you can’t be hearing.

See, I know anybody who hears this will not quite like this. People like Krishnamurti have been constantly telling us that go ahead, directly observe the world, be your own Guru. I am saying that is useless, that cannot help you. Could that help you, you would have already been helped, because you are anyway observing all the time. For you, observation only means looking with the eyes. That you are anyway doing all the time, that cannot help you. It hurts a little, it hurts. ‘We are not even capable of direct observation?’ No you are not, please. As you are right now, you are not. You have all the possibility, all the potential, but not right now.

Be with the right man. You have the text in your hand, be immersed in it. And then just raise your head and look at the world. Then you will know what is means to directly observe. Are you getting it? After you rise from Ashtavakra and then when you look around, you will know what it means to directly observe. But for that you have to be first immersed in Ashtavakra, or in Krishna, or in Rumi, or in Bulle Shah. Have you seen how the world looks after you open your eyes, when you really wake up, or after meditation? After meditation, after the period of meditation, when you open your eyes, how does the world look? It looks a little different. The same light appears a little fresh. That’s just a glimpse of direct observation. It is like you have been in a river, deep into the river and then when you come out, then the wind feels different, then the sun appears different. But for that you have to be first be immersed in the river, and then when you will come out, then everything will appear different. But first be immersed. Without that immersion nothing can happen. Without reading nothing can happen, without writing reviews nothing can happen. You keep sitting, holding your dear ego along, ‘me and my ego, me and my ego.’ Nothing, nothing will change.

Writing is just a method of immersion. You remember that in the camp I was constantly telling that the pen should keep moving. This writing will ensure that your mind is seated rightly. That’s why I am insisting much to write. And those of you who are not writing, it is very obvious that they are not gaining anything. The life is as poor as that of a worst beggar. It is a method, follow it.

Let it be an occasion of immersion. Getting it?

-Excerpts from a Samvaad session.

Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJz0iItqSQE­

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    1. Dear Adam,

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

      Greetings from PrashantAdvait Foundation! Glad that you are liking the videos!

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