God and scriptures are not matters of personal belief || Acharya Prashant (2014)

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Question:  Sir, belief in God often stops us from doing wrong things. What is your point of view?

Speaker:  Belief in God stops us from doing wrong thing. How does the whole thing operate? You are saying that my belief in God prevents me from doing the wrong. Do you see how the mind operates in this situation? The mind is saying that there is a God and that God will punish me, if I do any of these things. So you have a list ready with you; these are the good thing and these are the bad things. If I do good things then Gods will give me some reward and if I do bad things then God will come with a stick and punish me.

What kind of God is this? And what kind of list is this?

Today what you consider as right, did you always consider it right?

How do you know what is right and what is wrong?

And how do you know that what is right and what is wrong has been approved by God?

And how do you know that when God approved right and wrong, he meant the same thing as you are imagining God to mean?

God says, “Be with the Truth”. Right? Do you know what the Truth is? Then how can you be with the Truth? I am yet not going to the central question of what is meant by God. I am assuming let there be a God and I am probing after that. I am saying even if God has said that, “Follow the Truth”, what will you follow? Do you know what the Truth is?

You think that following the Truth is the right thing. But how will you do the right thing? What is right for you is just some kind of an imagination and imaginations change. That is why what is right for you at twenty years of age is not right for you at forty years of age. What is right in one religion is so wrong in another religion. What is right in one country is wrong in another country. What is right in one family is wrong in neighboring family.

How do you know that God is happy when you are doing all these things? And remember, those who have done the worst of mischief, evils have done it, in the name of God, by saying that this is the right thing. Why is casteism a right thing? God approved it. Why should I kill people of other religion? God approved it. Really, God came and said all these things. Why should I exploit women? God said. Is it not true that you are doing what you want to do and you are making God, a convenient excuse for yourselves? Is it not true?

One of my friends, he is very fond of sacrificing for the sake of God, Qurbani. So I asked him, “Really tell me the fact? Do you really do this because you want to sacrifice to God? Do you know what sacrifice means? Sacrifice means, sacrificing your very ego. That is the meaning of Qurbani. You are killing an innocent animal, how can that be sacrifice”? He says, “I know that very well but this animal tastes so good. So I have to have some excuse for eating it. So the excuse is God. You do what you want to do, and you bring in the name of God. You want to exploit another human being and you take the name of God. You want to exploit the entire world, the excuse is God. You want to feel superior, the excuse is God. How? My religion is God’s true religion. The funny thing is every religion says the same thing. What kind of God is this? That is saying one thing to one man and another thing to another man.

To Hindu he is saying, “Your religion is the best religion”. To Muslim he is saying, “Your religion is the best religion”. Very mischievous God. But the Hindu will say, “No, no, he said only to me. The Muslim is hallucinating, he is drunk”. The Muslim will say, “The God never speaks to Kafir (Atheists), he never said anything to the Hindu”. So, your God, your creation. Do you see how in order to do any rubbish, you quote from some scripture? Do you see that?

Listener: How can scriptures be misquoted?

Speaker: What do you mean by misquoting? What do you mean by misquoting?

Listener: Misquoting means telling it in other way.

Speaker: When you say other way, then you also mean that there is a proper way. How do you know the proper way? I might have a beautiful scripture in front of me but who is reading that scripture? The scripture might be wonderful. The scripture might contain the highest words ever said. But who is reading that scripture? I am reading that scripture. And what kind of mind do I have? I have a totally corrupt mind. Using this corrupt mind I am reading that scripture. What will I get? The scripture says ‘Truth’. Now by reading; T, R, U, T, H; do I know what Truth is? The scripture says ‘Love’. Now the scripture is just paper and ink, that is what scripture is? A book.  A book, paper and ink; and L, O, V, E, is written on that paper. By reading L, O, V, E; do I get Love? Do I get Love? So, what can the scripture do? Poor scripture, what can it do?

I am drunk and I am reading the scripture. Can the scripture help me? Even to understand scriptures, first of all I must be deeply attentive, right? Do you see this? Even to understand the scripture I must be deeply attentive. And if I can be deeply attentive then in that attention, I will anyway know what is right and wrong for me. The same attention that will reveal to me the true meaning of scripture, that same attention will also tell me, what is appropriate? And that is the only definition of right and wrong. When you do something out of your deepest consciousness, it is right. And whatever you do in a drunken state, when you are unconscious, that is wrong. That is the only right and only wrong.

The word of God does not come to you just through books. A book has not life; in fact a book is your slave. You can keep a book anywhere you want to, right? You can decide whether or not to read the book. What can the poor book do? In every house there is a Gita, Krishna’s Gita and how many people read it? Very few. The poor book is lying on some book shelf, what can the book do? You are the book’s owner and master. God’s word is not so powerless and it does not come to you only in the form of a dead book.

Primarily, God comes to you, in the form of your own life. Your own life, your own liveliness, your own consciousness is a more important revelation of God than any other book. Do you understand this? Even the book can be understood only in your own consciousness.

So what is more important, the book or your consciousness? So your consciousness that is the deciding factor, that will decide right and wrong. Don’t you have eyes? Don’t you have intelligence? Use it and you will know right and wrong and you don’t need God for that. Why bring God into your petty matters? God, should I eat paneer (cheese). Now what can God do? You do what you want to do. God should I wear black or white? One small pimple here (pointing to his fore head). Oh my God! Now what does God have to do with your pimple. Why are you bringing God in these petty issues? God has already given you the best that he could give. What has given you? Intelligence. Use it, why are you calling God all the time?

And even if you call God and let’s assume you call God and there is some God, and he comes to speak to you. How will you understand what is he speaking? Do you know the language of God? Even if he speaks to you, how will you understand? And is it not possible that he is speaking to you all the time but you do not understand.

Let’s say, God has come in whatever form and shape and he is speaking to you. But will you realize? You will bypass God. You will say, “Some idiot”. And God is speaking to you all the time and in all the forms. Every form is a form of God, what else? Are you ever able to listen to God? But you have your notion, God told me this is right and this is wrong.

God never told you anything, God keeps on telling.

Do you understand the difference? Told means rigid, keeps on telling means dynamic, in the movement, present. God is your consciousness, he keeps on telling but you do not listen. What can poor God do? You do not listen. You are so smart, you are so clever.

 God! Oh my God! So old-fashioned. Give me something hot, no God.


 Sir I know the language of God. Sanskrit is the language of God. Great! No sir, Arabic is the language of God. God has nothing to do with Sanskrit or Arabic, God speaks in a thousand languages and in no language.


Listener: Sir you have told that the book is only a slave for me. But a path is necessary to achieve anything what we want. What is right and wrong, this is your imagination. But a path is necessary. Without path you can’t do anything, what you want to do.

Speaker: Where do you want to go?

 Listener: Something that is globally accepted. The first thing is to be helped.

Speaker:  You are right. But how do you know what is help? How do you know what is it to help somebody? Do you know? There is a drunkard and he sees a man lying by the road side. The man has met an accident and his head is bleeding, the drunkard wants to help that man.  And what does he do? He performs brain surgery on that man, then and there. This is help. How do you know what is help?

Listener: Whatever is better for that person.

Speaker:  How do you know what is better for that person? Do you know what is good for you? Then how will you know what is good for your neighbour?

Listener: That which gives us some relief; that is good for us.

Speaker: You very well know what gives you relief, what gives relief to a killer? Killing.

What will give relief to a man who is hunting for sex? Raping.

How do you know what is help? How do you know what is right?

These cannot be globally accepted things; the globe has nothing to do with them. This has to emerge from you your deepest realization. What is right, right now for this man? And to know what is right for that man; you have to first of all know, what is right for you? And the world is full of people who do not know what is right them but are very, very eager to help others. Look at what parents are doing, all parents wants to help their children. And what do they end up doing.

The world is such a corrupt place because everybody wants to help somebody, without first helping himself. Do you know? There are these Yazidis. Have you heard of them? Who are been driven away from Iraq, Syria and they are being killed. So, somebody asked the killers, “Why are you killing them? They said, “No we are not killing them. We are helping them”. So when asked, “How are you helping them”? They said, “His mind has been occupied by shaitaan (Satan). If he lives more, then he will collect all the evil that will force him into hell. So by killing him we are giving him relief. If he lives then he will surely go into hell and spend more and more time there. So we are helping”. How do you know what is real help? Parents teach all kind of rubbish to their kids and they think they are helping the kids. How do you know what is real help?

Listener: Someone thought that this may be right or wrong but when all the people in the world believe it, they how can it be wrong?

Speaker: All the persons of the world, till only around 500 years ago used to think that the earth is flat. The entire population of the world used to think that the earth is flat. Man’s stupidity has no limits. Kindly do not think that a billion or ten billion people cannot be idiots. Stupidity is infectious. In fact, the more people believe in something, the more it is certain that it is a falsehood.

Listener: Sir, I will explain my question with and example. A sentence is written in the Quran which has now been proved by science. Then how can you say that useless is written in books.

Speaker: Whatever is written in the books is so useful that we are unable to make any use of it. Know one thing for sure that the scriptures are timeless. When something is timeless, it will never point to objects.  Whatever it will say will just be an indicator. For example I say to you, “You are flying high in the sky”. Does that mean that you are really flying high in the sky? Does that mean that you are really flying high? It is just the way of saying. And the real meaning of this has to be understood in your intelligence. Now some idiot comes and says that he had said that, “Sadaqut(pointing towards the questioner) is flying in the sky”.  So Sadaqut must surely be flying in the sky and he also proves it that Sadaqut was flying. Now this is rubbish.

A great thing is trying to be said. But the one, who is interpreting it, is interpreting it from his own level of consciousness. Remember that the Quran is said to be a revelation, right? You understand revelation? That it is not coming from an ordinary level of mind. That is why it is said that it descended. Is it said that it was thought? That it is a product of thinking. Is it said? Is the Quran a product of man’s thought? Then what is said? It is a revelation. What is meant by the fact that it is a revelation? That it is not coming from an ordinary human level of consciousness.

And who is reading it? Who is at a less than ordinary level?  Now how can there be a match? How can there be a match? Every sentence of not only the Quran but every scripture does not mean what it appears to mean. It points at something beyond that. But because we are unable to see the real meaning, we keep on doing our stupidities with it. And wonder of wonders is, somebody comes and proves as well.

To understand the Gita, you have to be somewhat like Krishna. Do you understand this? To understand the Quran, you must have the deepest silence within. Only then you can understand it. Otherwise you will not understand. Don’t you see that noise is prohibited in a mosque, don’t you see the reason? Because if there is noise, then you will not be able to understand and you will misinterpret it and there will be so much suffering. And everybody is misinterpreting and everybody is missing the point. Everybody is missing the point. And these are mystical statements. The Bible says, God said, “Let there be light”. Now what does it mean? That somebody says “Let there be light” and there is light. No. This is a very meaningful statement, a mystical statement. And you can only drink it.

The misfortune of mankind is that the scriptures have fallen in the wrong hands. The highest of words have come in the hands of the lowest of minds. Now the lowest of the minds do not want to rise to the highest level. Instead what they are doing is; they are bringing those words down to their level. When there is a great word in front of me, there are two options I can have. One, I can rise to the level of the word or I can pull the word down to my own level. But because I am a damn egoist, what do I do? I pull it down to my own level.

Kabir all the time talks of the Soorma(Religious warrior). And he says that the Soorma is the one who fights till his last breath. Purja purja kate marhe kabho na chhade khet (Brave is the one who fights even being badly wounded but never leaves the battlefield). Now what does it mean, that Kabir is promoting violence. One has to understand, what is the meaning of Soorma? Otherwise you can very well use Kabir’s word to justify your wrong doing.

One of Hitler’s close aids, he used to say that, “I love the Bhagwad Gita”. He said that, “The Gita is a wonderful document in cold blooded killing”. Because what is Krishna telling Arjun, “Arjun kill, and kill your relatives, kill your brothers, kill your elders, seniors, family members”. So Hitler’s people used to like Gita very much. They said, “We want to kill and Gita supports us”

That is how you use the scriptures; you want to kill so you use the scriptures for killing. That is what Krishna seems to be saying, “Arjun kill”. Is he not saying that? “Arjun kill. Pick up your bow and arrow. Don’t hesitate”.

Man brings the scriptures down, instead of rising up to them.

– Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

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  1. You started with the phrase whats truth. As you rightly said Truth is the highest form when should search for it.

    I believe the bible answers it.

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    John 14:6

    The phrase I am the truth does not stand truth, because truth cannot be many, truth means one, and only God is one, above all.


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