Why can’t I do what is right?

Question: How do I make the mind work for what I know to be important at that moment?

Speaker: Once you know what is important there will be no need to make the mind work for it. Realization is such a potent force! It cannot be surmounted. If you think that even after realization, you require some other prop, some kind of a support or motivation for you to act as per the realization, then the realization actually has not really happened at all!

Realization is extremely powerful. You cannot realize and not act. It is impossible. Do you get this? You cannot realize and not act. Action follows realization. So if you come and say, “I realize, I understand but I cannot act”, then you are mistaken; you actually do not realize at all!  The action after realization is not time bound, it does not even have a time lag. It is instantaneous and spontaneous.

Understand these two words. Instantaneous means, then and there! Tatkaal. Instant, at that very instant! Spontaneous means without the need to think. And obviously fresh; spontaneity also carries the connotation of freshness.


Realization strikes you dead. After that you are gone. Realization is like an arrow; it hits you and you are dead! And after that realization works; you are already dead. After that the arrow works; you are gone. You won’t even have to decide, “Now what to do?”

Realization will decide.

These are but obstacles to realization. Demanding what will happen after realization, for example, is a great obstacle. “Alright, even if I realize, what will happen?” Have you seen people asking such questions? “Even if I come to know, what will happen?” Sometimes it is in the nature of innocent inquiry and at other times it is even in the nature of an assault. “If the entire world becomes Gautam Buddha then what will happen? If everyone comes to realization then what will happen to this world, who will take care of it? Everyone will just go to the jungle.” Now, this is not even an inquiry, this is an assault!

You do not realize but you are guessing so much about realization. And there are more ‘innocent kind’ of foolishness too. “Sir, after Buddha got enlightened, how was he feeling?” I come across such questions. Now you do not realize anything, how will you realize what the Buddha realized? But sitting where you are, you want to experience what realization is. “Sir, how is it possible that happiness and sorrow become the same for him, is it not like being dead?”

You never know when the cuteness ends and cunningness starts. You never know when innocence turns to insouciance.

There is nobody here who would not be carrying a concept of realization. There is nobody here who is not carrying an image of Buddha. That image is the obstacle. What you do not realize is that the image you carry is that of a man, a person. Buddha is not a man or a person, he is awakening itself! And awakening can take an unlimited number of forms. What you are seeing is the form of a man in 6th Century B.C.

BuddhaThat is why in Buddhist tradition they talk of Buddhas, not Buddha. Siddharth
Gautam they referred to as the Shakyamuni Buddha and there are countless other Buddhas as well.

That makes it a little easier for you. Now there is no need for you to imagine a Buddha because no imagination is alright and every imagination is a possibility. Whatever you imagine might be possible.

Can the Buddha take the form of a thief? Yes, he can.

Could the Buddha be carrying a gun on the shoulder? Possible.

Could the Buddha be an astronaut? Yes, why not.

So every imagination has a possibility.

But you get horrified, “Oh My God, I will have to go to the jungle, walk bare feet, beg for my food and the sanga (fellowship) will have no women, what to do? And what if I beg and someone gives only vegetables?”

Do not put yourself under the pressure to act: Realize, and let things happen on their own. You are under no compulsion to change yourself. Any such compulsion is firstly, foolish and secondly, ineffective. Firstly, such a compulsion will arise out of ignorance and secondly, this compulsion cannot be successful because change cannot come forcibly, so it won’t have effectiveness. You can tell yourself, “Today I will do this,” and you can pass thousand resolutions mentally, all of them will come to naught!

So, let things be. Let your life continue as it is continuing but know, and the knowing will subtly, silently, even without telling you, change everything, or rather, change all that that must change. You can meanwhile happily continue with your current life. You do what you are doing, your realization will be at work, and it will keep doing what it is doing.

Are you getting it?

It is like you go to Rishikesh, there is this toll road that ends close to Muzzafarnagar and after that there is this two lane road, chaotic and messy, right upto Roorkee. Now traffic is going on in this two lane road: it is not an expressway, it is bumpy, it is narrow, but in parallel, construction is going on in another 3-4 lanes. Realization is like that. Your normal, messy and chaotic life will continue on these two lanes, and parallely a new life will be built, without disturbing what is currently going on. So, you can continue with your B.Tech but a new road is being built for you. You need not leave this road saying, “The highway is being broadened, a new road is being built, so let me just stop, I will go to Roorkee only when this is complete”. You need not do that.

You can continue with your ways; something else is happening: Something else is happening. Do not be afraid that something will be taken away from me, nothing will be taken away. What do you have to be taken away? The road is already so bumpy, only holes are there. Who can steal holes? What can be taken from you?

Marx very famously said to his people, “You have nothing to give except your chains.” You are so poor and so fettered that there is nothing except your chains that you can give. So, even if you give, it will be good for you. But even your chains are not being requited, keep them, continue.

Do not be afraid.

Question 2: Why does it always feel like there are so many things still left to do?

Speaker: Somebody, very recently made a poster. The poster asked, “What is inner poverty?”, and the answer was, “A nagging feeling that something is missing.”

Inner PovertyWhat is inner poverty? A nagging feeling.

Nagging means something that is always troubling you, poking you, irritating you; a nagging feeling that something is missing. You do not know what is missing. If you are asked to pin point, “What is missing, what is wrong, what do you want? Be specific, tell me, maybe I can give it to you,” you won’t be able to tell because you do not know.

But where ever you are, whatever your situation is, you always keep feeling, “I am not perfect, something is missing. Am I forgetting something?” Have you seen such people who are always checking their pockets, “Is the key still there? Is the mobile phone still there?”

They are actually not trying to ascertain whether the mobile phone is still there, they are looking for something else. But they do not know what they are looking for. There is something else that is missing, and it will keep missing irrespective of what you fill your pockets with. It will keep missing. What is it that is missing?

What is it that is missing? Let’s take an example. We have just been through winters. Or let’s take the example of the place where we had our camp; it used to be sub-zero in the nights. So, a quilt, another quilt, couple of blankets and there is a small key that you have in your pocket, it gets left on the bed; buried under layers and layers of quilts and blankets. The key is for something precious, it is a key to a treasure and it is there, right on your bed. But now it is hidden, you are missing the key, the bed is right in your home, the key is right on your bed, but you are missing the key.

So what do you do? You go out and say, “I want to look for my key, look for my key! What do I do?” You go and meet a few wise men, loving advisers; they tell you that if the key is so precious, if it is the key to a treasure, then you must get an expert to look for the key. You bring in experts, but it is your house! Nobody can be an expert with respect to your house. The expert cannot look for the key, so someone says, “Go and get a duplicate key made”. But the treasure is yours, nobody else has seen that treasure. Even for the best key-maker to make a key, he must first have a look at the lock, only you know the lock so the key cannot be made.

Someone says alright, “Go ahead and buy another key,” and all of this is happening in the world, now you are constantly going out and out, out and out in search of? The key that is right there in your home but buried under your own quilts and blankets. But you are going out and out now, more out. Someone says, “Do something, there must be some other keys of this kind, in the world somewhere; it is a wide world. But you will have to earn them; you will have to show some guts and efforts. Success comes only to the ones who work really hard, so go out and work really hard, earn the key!” And you are working very, very hard, extremely hard to earn the key.

In fact, you earn a lot of money, you take that money, all your money after thirty years of hard work and you go to all the shops that are possible, you show them all your money and say, “Please give me the key”, but they cannot give it to you.

Thirty years of hard work and all the markets of the world cannot give you that key. They can deceive you, people start getting greedy on looking at your money, and they say, “Fine, give this money to us, we will give you the key. Now sit down, and read these books, they are the art of key-making. Now sit down, take a deep breath in, raise your left hand, extend your right leg, close your eyes. This is called the Key-Asana.”

This is how the world runs. This is what you are missing. This is what you are searching. This is what you want to buy through all your efforts.

Remember what all the money in the world cannot buy is not called valuable; it is called invaluable, because it cannot be valued, because all that you can do all your life will not give you that peace, that key. Whatever you are striving for is bound to fail, it is already failing, is it not failing? Are you at peace?

Are you at peace?

We often talked of the center, the home and man going away from home and wandering in woods. You know why does man goes away from home? Looking for the keys to his home! One is already home but looking for the keys to the home, he goes out to look for the keys and gets lost, and gets lost!

There is no search as ignorant, as useless and as tragic as the search for happiness. And unfortunately, happiness or sukha, is something that all your well-wishers want for you, that all the markets and systems in the world promise you and all that your mind is mad for.

It feels bad to hear that you will not get it, right? You would rather hear the means, the ways, the methods to get it; that would please you more. But what do you want, to be pleased or the Truth? The Truth is that you will not get it. It is not something to be obtained.

“Sir, what about those then, who seem like who have got it? What about those who are laughing and singing and who seem to be enjoying the market?”

Go close. Go close.

Happiness is a mirage that appears only from a distance.

This is the thing about mirage, it appears only when you are a little away from it. Go close to that point where the mirage appears and the mirage is gone. Go close to happiness and the happy people and you will know what this happiness is: You will only see faces lazed with tears. The smile, the laughter is visible, the tears are mostly hidden. But you are not blind, if you go close, you will see.

Nobody has ever laughed except in tears. Teary-eyed we all laugh. There is no happiness without sorrow. In fact, happiness is another name for sorrow. Funny thing is that happiness promises relief from sorrow and we buy that promise. We say, “Maybe it’s possible”.

Happiness is sorrow itself. How can it bring you relief from sorrow?

Sometimes the scriptures also use the word sukha, but when they do that what they really mean is the final, the para-meaning of the word sukha, and that is not happiness, that is joy. The context in which you use the word sukha is mere pleasure. ‘Sada sukhi raho’ (Always be happy). That only means go, eat, drink and be merry.

Question 3: If we fail to realize when things start and end, come and go, does it mean that we are not aware?

Speaker: It means that you are missing something.

Explaining the question further: “Something happens, and after happening it is gone as well. Does it mean I was not aware?” It is like, “I was sleeping and someone came and went and I didn’t come to know. Does that mean I was not aware?”

It means you were busy dreaming of love when the beloved was by your side. Happens! The fellow is deeply asleep and he is dreaming of the beloved, and the beloved is waiting and waiting by his very side and the beloved is gone. It means that you are missing something.

Would you just keep dreaming or would you wake up? He comes, he comes daily, but finding you absorbed in dreams, he says, “Fine, may be next day will be the apt time.” Then he comes back again. He can never really go away, he waits. You have to wake up. He is waiting, and you too are waiting, otherwise how could you have been dreaming of him? It’s just that you have been taught that dreams are the method to get to him. It’s just a question of means and methods. Your thirst is the same as the thirst of a Kabir, or a Rumi, or a Farid, no difference at all. But they knew what the thirst was, so they could quench it. You have the thirst but you also have a lot of knowledge from here and there. You have theories about the thirst. They simply experience the thirst, innocently, like a child. Have you seen a child feeling thirsty? “Mum!” (Water)

He will not say, “Covalent bond, two hydrogen molecules and hydrogen bond among them.”  He will not talk of all these things, just, “Mum”.

If you can just say “mum”, like an innocent child, may be mother will be around to provide the water. But you are busy finding the thermal quotient of water, specific heat.

Can H2O be turned into H3O? What if I take the hydroxyl ion and play games with it? Hydrogen is so light, what is the fun in drinking water that has hydrogen? Can I drink D2O, a little bit of radioactivity will be good fun.”

You have so much knowledge. Additionally you have been told that water when it comes in corporate packages, it is better. So the fountain maybe in front of you; you go to a great hill and there is a clear spring in front of you, nothing but the beauty of nature abounding. Nothing to corrupt it, but the fellow is deeply thirsty because when there is nothing to corrupt the beauty of nature, there are no shops either. Our man is searching for packaged mineral water and he is deeply thirsty because he cannot get it. Only useless things are around, like the fresh water of the spring. (Mockingly)

“I need corporate water. I have money, I want to pay. How can I take this natural fresh water? Just for free! There is danger, my money will be useless. If I drink from this, it proves that all my capital is useless, so I cannot drink! I have to go to civilization and buy it from there. Water, purified by the touch of machines, by the great wisdom of corporations; that is water worth drinking! And by the blessings of my seniors” (Mockingly) “Sir, can you please sanctify this water?” So the fellow probably spits in it or something and now it is fit to drink.

Ecstasy is what we all are missing, call it mauj. It is as simple and as direct as that. Throw yourself into the water and you will forget all your nonsense. There is no point sitting outside and listening to a clarity session. Throw yourself in and all rubbish will evaporate, immediately! You will have no doubts left, it will become very clear that this is what you wanted.

Listener 1: Which water?

Speaker: Want to know the label? The Brand?

He is more inquisitive. Even in the corporate world, he wants to know which one.

Otherwise, water is just one.

Listener 2: Piyat ram ras, lagi khumari (Drinking the nectar of devotion, I am intoxicated)

Speaker: So it intoxicates, khumari.

This water is such that it goes right to your head and makes you mad. You understand khumari? You go a little insane. Which water? Ram ras. (The nectar of devotion)

(Mockingly) Did I say apple juice?

I did not even say aam ras (Mango juice), forget about apple! I said Ram Ras. (The nectar of devotion)


But such are our minds, somebody just heard apple juice. Give up the apple! You know what happened when Adam and Eve ate the apple? They got banished from the kingdom of heaven. You want to be banished? I’m serious. Either give up the apple or be banished. I’m serious. It’s dangerous. It was not without reason that God told them, “Do whatever you want to do, the garden is yours but don’t touch the apple!” But then there are those tricky serpents that keep on luring you. (Whispers) Apple.

~ Excerpts from a Shabd-Yog session. Edited for clarity.

 Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi: Why can’t I do what is right?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: What is Joy?

Article 2: How to take right decisions?

Article 3: You have forgotten the key to yourself.

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