You cannot change without allowing your environment to change || Acharya Prashant (2015)

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Question: There is a lot happening in my life. The whole day is full of actions and reactions. There are times when I catch myself slipping, when I see chaos. And there are times when I have glimpses of Truth. What is it to be at the center, and then be able to do all this?

Speaker: See how smart you are. You are asking, “What is it to be at the center, and then be able to do all this?” One thing is sure for you, what is happening must be done. On that, you will not compromise. You are saying, “I want to do all this. There is no way I can leave all this. Please tell me a technique that how can I keep doing all this, without getting disturbed.”

(Mockingly) “Murder I must do, because that I have chosen as my profession now, because that is where my greed and my ignorance has taken me, but I want to be a very peaceful murderer. So please teach me peace.” It’s a great question that he has asked, and it’s a great instruction for everybody here. “What is it, to be at the center, and still be able to do all this?”

He is not at all asking, “Should I be doing what I am doing right now?” He is not asking, “What I have accepted, is it worth accepting? What I have rejected, is it worth rejecting?” That question he will never ask. This is how we all use spirituality. “I want to murder, but I want to murder peacefully.”

(Mockingly, in a soft voice) Now pull the dagger out, and slowly stab the person in the heart, and then say, “Hari Om Tat Sat.” And when the person is dying, say, “Om Shanti, Shanti (Om Peace, Peace) Right? Your daily dose of corporate dhyaan. That is what you have come here for.

(Referring to the questioner) “By choice I have immersed my life in rubbish. By choice I ran away from where there was emancipation possible. By choice I have surrounded myself with people who will drag me into hell.” And now he is asking, “How could I be doing this, and remain centered at the same time?”

The man who wants to remain centered, why would he go to those environments in the first place? The man who has to remain centered, will he remain there.

(Mockingly) “I want to carry my rotten stuff with me. It gives such putrid odor. How can I carry my stuff without the rancid smell?” So God’s name is like deodorant for you. You don’t want to clean yourself up. You want to use spirituality like a deodorant. Right? So that all your bad odor can be masked.

And there are many here who are interested in all these techniques. Somebody once asked, “How to be attentive in the moments of sexual urge.” You may as well ask,”How to rape meditatively?” The bugger will not ask, “What is the origin of this sexual urge? What is it? I want to understand it.” Because in understanding, there is the fear of dropping. So he will ask, “No. I am interested in tantra. And one great master while talking about the tantra said, ‘Indulge, but indulge attentively’. So that’s what I want to do.”

(In a severely criticizing tone) Indulgence is not negotiable at all. “Indulge I must. If you can tell me how to indulge attentively, that would be an added bonus. May be that would lead to even deeper orgasm. May be the pleasure of raping would be heightened if I do it attentively.”

What kind of fallen minds are we? Again that same old garbage. “Sometimes I catch myself slipping, I see chaos but at other times I see glimpses of truth.” Seriously? You catch yourself slipping? Seriously? You have glimpses of truth? Like a drunkard having glimpses of sunlight in the midnight. Sunlight in the midnight. And he is saying, “I have glimpses of truth.”

“I catch myself slipping sometimes,” and then what do you do with the catch. You have caught yourself slipping, now what? Now drop yourself. But that hurts, right? After you have caught yourself, if you drop yourself, you would be hurt, and especially if you are overweight. But it is such a great consolation.

“I do catch myself, but you know it is a part of my style. It is the way I am. In spite of catching myself, I remain corrupt. Just as all great people have their idiosyncrasies, this is mine. That I catch myself, and still remain the same.”

Have you not heard drunkards saying, “No, I am not drunk. Let me drive. I will catch myself doing the accident.” And when the accident happens, the bugger says, “O! I just slipped.” and then I had a glimpse of truth.

You want continue in you same profession. You want to continue in the same old wretched house. You want to continue with same old wretched partners. And you also want truth. Right? You also want a new life. Whom are you fooling? You want to secure your personal life, you want to secure your professional life, and amidst all this security you also want the great, free, fearless truth.

You are cutting a very smart deal. “Let everything remain the same. Let my friends remain the same. Let my habits, hobbies, interests remain the same. Let my girlfriend, husband and wife remain the same. Let my profession remain the same. But I want to be new. Let truth enter my life.”

Will Truth enter your life and sit at the wretched place that you are offering it? Truth sits only at the cleanest of places. Have you created the right space for it?

Is there any clean place in your heart where Truth can sit? Do you have any space in your house for the Truth? Go and have a look at your house, and then ask yourself, “Where in this house is Truth going to sit? Where? Exactly where? Even if truth were to come, how would it enter this house, and where would it sit?” Truth is not of your world. Truth is not the object of compromise.

Now that you have chosen hell, remain in hell. Do not ask for any glimpses of the Sun.

(Addressing one of the listeners) You were the one singing in that college, right? “Winds stay in darkness as you have come after putting off so thousands of candles.” You have chosen darkness for yourself. Now remain in darkness. There is no possibility of light there. Do not ask for light.

Those who ask for the Sun, must be prepared to come out of there caves. Are you getting this? Those who are obsessed with their caves, need not ask for the Sun.


– Excerpts from a Clarity Session held at Advait Sthal. Edited for clarity.

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