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Question: Taittriya Upanishad says, “Mind creates everything as ‘happening’.” If all happening is mind, then what is ‘real happening’? Is there any difference between ‘real happening’ and ‘mental happening’? Is the ‘real happening’ just a concept of mind?
Speaker: Few basics have to be understood. And they can be understood very well through the mind. Whenever you say ‘happening’, never forget time and space. Whenever you say ‘happening’, what do you mean? You mean- something is changing.
‘Happening’ means change. Whenever you say ‘happening’, you mean a change that is happening somewhere. There can be no doubt that these two- space and time- are mental constructs. So obviously all ‘happening’ is here. In ‘The Real’, there can be no happening. There is no ‘Real happening’. Nothing ever happens there, and you cannot even imagine.
Try to imagine anything which is out of space and out of time. So, there is no point asking that what is ‘mental’ and what is ‘real’, or is even the ‘real’, mental. It is just that because of lack of patience, we are not content with faith. We have a restless mind that wants to encroach even into the divine. And it will not sit still. It will keep asking that what is the Real. “Please tell me, let me know, give me a taste of it, show me a picture of it, show me a video, take me there”, that cannot happen. And when that happens, this fellow who is asking it, will not be able to experience it. What he wants, can never happen. It is another matter that the want itself may be dissolved. It is another matter that he may stop wanting it. What is it wanting? Who is wanting what?
The mind wants to know what is real. It will never get an answer. So don’t even try that. Man has always tried to capture the divine within his fantasies. That is the reason why all these holy scriptures are there. The fact of the matter is, that every holy scripture is bound to be misleading. What is the scripture doing? It is trying to capture that which cannot be captured. Yes, it can be helpful if taken in the right spirit. It can be helpful if used as a guide.
The moment you take the words as the final thing, you are gone. Man has tried to make temples, and then he has put statues in these temples. What is he trying to do? He is trying to give a form to that which cannot have a form. Man has tried to sing songs in the praise of the One. The One cannot be pointed by using any song.
I am not denouncing all that, all that is useful, but there is subtle arrogance in all this. Arrogance is that whatever there is, my mind can capture it. I can understand. And beware the day when you feel that you have understood the divine as well. Think of the height of your arrogance. If you become convinced that you know the real, what will happen?
You would have come across such people who appear as if they know everything. They are supremely sure. They are very dangerous people. For them, nothing is a mystery. Nothing at all is a mystery. They will not say that this is where my mind stops, my knowledge stops and beyond this I dare not enter. They are very dangerous people. They will appear very confident. And those are the kind of people who are destroying the earth.
We all want to become that kind of people. Man is kept in check only by the mysterious. The day there is nothing mysterious in your life, you are a demon. The day you say that I know everything, you are a demon, and you will go on and kill. That is why science has been very harmful in some ways. Science gives you the illusion that you know everything. Science gives you the illusion that whatever there is, I understand it or at least I have the means to understand it. If not today, tomorrow, everything will be known. Just bow your head down.
I am not asking you to not to be inquisitive. It is one thing to be inquisitive. But to try to transgress, is an altogether different matter. To transgress in the zone of the sacred, is something you should never dare to do. Never. Mind craves for images It will ask you to create more and more images. And even saint falls into that trap. Haven’t you heard of all these songs of the divine as your husband, as your master? Yes it is happening in love still it is violation. You are bringing that down to your own level.
Someone has said, “Aaa piya tohe palkon mein band kar luun. Na mein dekhuun gair ko, na tohe dekhan duun (Come God, I will capture you in my eyes. I will then not look at anyone, nor will I let anyone look at you).” What are you doing? Even the divine becomes so spoiled in the hands of the man. You are saying, “Come, I will capture you.” It is alright when you say, “I will then not look at anyone”, but look at the other part “I let anyone look at you.” You are saying that I will not allow you to look at anybody else. This is the treatment that you are giving to the real, to the infinite.
We anyway have many images, why ask for more images? We live in words, why create more and more words? As human beings you do require a few words, so a few words are alright. There may be a basic need that without it, how to talk about it. There may be a practical utility. But, why go beyond that?
Buddha is wonderful in that regard, he will just say, “Shoonya, nothing”, no other words needed. And when you say, ‘the real’, have you understood ‘the mental’ first? Have you understood this world? Why are you in such a hurry to leap over to the other world.
Whatever appears, whatever can be heard, whatever can be read, whatever can be mentioned in words, obviously is all ‘mental’. Or what do you think, it is divine? We have had this discussion earlier as well- whatsoever can be described, cannot be divine. Finished. If you can talk of it, it is not divine. It is not ‘real’, it is ‘mental’, it is ‘conceptual’. It may be a different level of the mind, but it is still ‘mental’.
You get a wonderful dream, or sitting here, you start hearing sounds. None of that is a message from somewhere else. It’s all coming from within the mind. But we are in a hurry, and when you are in hurry, expecting somebody, then every sound from the doorbell appears as if the fellow has come.
He does not come through the main gate, he rises from within. He will not press that button. He will not come in your dreams, he is the foundation of dreams. He will not come and express himself through a book, he is the foundation on which all books rest. It suffices to say, “All is mind”, without exception.
Whatever you can think of, know of, sleep of, dream of, talk of, sing of, is mind. Full stop. It hurts because sometimes you have such lovely visions, you feel that surely it is coming from somewhere else. No, it’s coming from nowhere. All coming is from here (mind). And that is a great rebellion, when you start seeing the mental as mental, it’s a great rebellion. It’s a great challenge to live in that way.
When you are able to say that this temple is not God’s temple, it’s a man’s temple, when you are able to say that how can I make God’s temple, that this mosque is not God’s mosque, its a man’s mosque, then it’s a great rebellion. It is the height of Neti-Neti,Neither this nor that, you are refusing everything. And that is the reason why atheists are very spiritual people, really spiritual people, because they do not believe in the kind of fabricated God like we do.
Being an atheist, sometimes is a very pure thing, at least you are spared from believing in fantasies, dreams and all those fairy tales. You are spared from all this when you are an atheist. At least you don’t have to go and sing those things that you do, and convince yourself that all this is happening for the sake of the Lord. All that is not happening for the sake of the Lord.
It is the same mechanism that makes you write a resume, it is the same mechanism that makes you go to the bank, it is the same mechanism that makes you search for sex, it is the same mind at work. There is nothing divine in that. You might be standing in front of a deity, doesn’t matter. You are doing much the same thing there. In office, the kind of stuff you do in front of your boss, in temple you do it in front of the deity; prostrating. Sycophancy You are spared all that. In fact, it is very advisable to not to believe in any kind of God. Just ‘be’, just ‘be’ fully. That is the deepest spirituality.
“I do not believe in anything, in any kind of belief. Any kind of belief is a mental illness. I don’t believe in anything.” It starts may be with a very cute kind of affection, but soon it turns out to be utterly monstrous. Have you seen women carrying small statues, and now the Lord is their baby. The Lord sleeps with the woman, she feeds the Lord and the Lord goes regularly and takes a bath, and now she has become the mother of the Lord. And when she will eat, she will give a little bit to the Lord also. What is all this? It may appear like love, but it is just arrogance.
Observe the kind of language that we use, “The doors of the temple are closed. Lord is sleeping.” What exactly do you mean by that? And before you eat, you want to give something to the Lord. And then Lord becomes a partner in whatever you want to do. You want to go out for a shooting mission, you first go and now you are hand in gloves with the God.
Imagine a rioting crowd, the fellows coming from this side shouting, “Jai Shri Ram“, and those coming from that side shouting, “Allah-O-Akbar“. This is their Bhagwaan, and this is their Allah. And do you know what does the word “Akbar” means? The exact opposite of what you are doing right now. This is when you bring him down to your level.
There are two ways of uniting with the divine. One is, you rise so that you meet him, and the other is, you bring him down to your own level. That is what we do. Rising up to Him requires a lot of effort, and you have to give up a lot of things. So why rise? Just pull the bloody thing down to this level and also create stories. So, your gods are jealous, and possessive and they will often threaten you and tell you to be afraid of them.
What kind of God is this that threatens you and tells you to be afraid? You are superimposing all your qualities upon divinity. Don’t you see that? In this room, we are extremely happy talking about the mind, because that is the only thing we can talk about. Don’t encroach upon the sacred territory. Surrender to it, bow to it, live in great awe of it. Get immersed in it. Lose yourself in it. But don’t ever try to claim that you understand it. It is a mystery and let it remain a mystery.
Listener 2: Won’t be a bad deal to say that it doesn’t exist and become completely scientific and so-called practical.
Speaker: Utterly material, which is wonderful.
We do not understand the very basics of our living. We do not understand our own frustration. I want to buy a Two thousand rupees shirt, but I can buy only One thousand rupees shirt, and that irritates me and I do not understand that irritation. My stomach is upset and that is spoiling my mood, and I do not really see that this is happening. I am thinking that something else is affecting my mood. I don’t understand the very basics and yet I suppose that I will understand God.
Somebody says a few bitter words to me and I remain upset the entire day, and I don’t understand what is happening in the mind. But my dream is to understand the divine. That which is immeasurable, I want to understand that. I don’t understand the tea cup, I want to understand the ocean. Understand the tea cup first. Understand that what is happening day-in and day-out in life. Why aspire for something which is beyond you?
Listener: There is a good goal behind that. By aspiring for that which is beyond my mind, I do not have to understand ‘my’ actions and ‘my’ mind. And I know that I cannot understand it.
Speaker: You have these two fellows, very scholarly fellows, having a very good debate on whether it is dual or non-dual, on whether creation is at once or continuous. One of them receives a phone call from his wife and runs away. You do not understand the basics of this life. Why not talk about that? But the scholars claim that they know everything.
Yes, the mind is knowable, and do know it. Wonderful, nothing stops you there, and you must without any hesitation, venture in the territory of mind, understand it, become its master. It is wonderful. But do not go there, where anyway you cannot go. Life is in tatters, in shambles but I like to talk about Brahm. Nothing short of Brahm will do. Only that satisfies my ego. I don’t look at my daily living. Can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t talk. Pay attention to that. What is this Brahm business?
Religion has caused so much misery. Probably more wars have been fought in the name of religion than in the name of anything else. Do you see the reason? I am acquisitive, I want to increase my territory, I want to capture few more kingdoms. But what do I say? I am doing all this in the name of ‘Allah’. They are all Kaafirs and they must be captured so I am going to capture that territory. What are you doing? You are abusing God. Why not just simply admit that it is pure greed. There is that temple and that temple contains so much of gold, and I want to ransack that gold. No, you will say that I am doing it in the name of God. Alright, go ahead, satiate your greed. Please don’t bring God in between. What has God got to do with it?
When all these riots take place, raping is very pervasive. What has God to do with raping? And you will say its a holy war. Whenever you want to justify something, you say its God’s will. How is it God’s will? You have been itching to do this since a long time, so you went ahead and did. How is it God’s will? Or you are so lazy that you don’t want to do anything. So what do you say? It has been brought upon me by God.
And you take the Gita and you absolutely spoil it by saying all is predestined. The Lord himself has said that one has to do nothing, so I do nothing. You won’t simply admit that you are a fat ass who doesn’t want to move and so you will say ‘effortless’. Lao Tzu has said that “man is such a criminal, he appropriates everything he gets.”
And it has been happening. One day there was a session on ‘Ego’. I said a few things in the session. A few weeks later or a few months later, sometimes the very next day, I receive an email citing my own words that you know, you yourself said have said that ego is important, so we are going to enhance our ego.
You will just not admit that you are a slimy, little, ugly thing with no understanding, with no spine, with no backbone. You will take mean of the mighty, the almighty to hide your littleness. One day I was reading the book ‘Aatm-Bodh‘ by Shankar. The first verse in the book was that this text is only for those, who are eligible to go ahead in the direction of knowing the self, those who have through great penance, tap, dissolved their basic tendencies, those who have been able to thin down their attachments, and those whose only desire now is to understand completely. This book is only for those, other please put it away. First become eligible to read that book.
First thing. Are we eligible? No, we are not eligible, but we want to dive straight into the ocean. There is a basic qualification required. One needs to do a little bit of work. What is that work? First, the ability to live an austere life, tapasya. To not be afraid of austerities, to not to say that for three-four days I have not been getting delicious food. To not to say that since four days, there has been no mobile signal, since five days, I have not touched my wife, I am feeling so horny. To not to crib that I need more and more money, I am not getting it. That is austerity. Second, to thin down your attachments. If you are deeply enslaved, then God is not for you. You occupy yourself in your this and that? Alright, go. Go ahead. Divine is not for everybody. First the basics have to be done. The ground has to be prepared.
Listener: The division of Brahmin and Shoodra was good in this way. You have to be a Brahmin to read something. But now is has been dropped down to religion and caste-system.
Speaker: There has to be a particular life style. Only when you live that kind of life, you become eligible for that kind of inquiry. First start living that kind of life. Your life stinks and you want to talk of Brahm and what not.
(Sarcastically) “Jesus?”, look at Jesus first before uttering his name. Do we even deserve to utter ‘Jesus’. Just say ‘Judas’, that is better. Do you know Judas? Jesus had a few disciples and Judas was the traitor among those. He sold away Jesus. Just say ‘Judas’. That suits you better. The traitor among the students. He must have had his reasons. But we will not rest.
The appetite of ego will not be satisfied by anything less than God itself.
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: Ego will not understand this world, but will demand a Reality beyond || Acharya Prashant (2013)
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