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Listener: Can we do music, study and exercise together, successfully?
Speaker: Sagar is asking, can I be into music, studies and exercising simultaneously.
No, never simultaneously! Never simultaneously. I would not really enjoy if you are exercising right now? Or if you are singing right now. Right now there can be only one music and only one exercise. Simultaneity in that sense, is not possible, and not welcome either; should not even be attempted. One thing at one go.
A Zen monk has said that, “When I eat, I eat; when I walk, I walk; when sleep, I sleep.”
We live in a different way. When we walk then we are talking in our heads, when we are eating then we are planning ‘when am I going to study’ and such things. And there is a great deal of parallel actions going on, obviously which is imaginary, because in reality actions can never be parallel. Existence does not allow multi-tasking. It says, “One thing at a time.” That’s the first thing for you. One thing at a time. And whatever is happening, that one particular thing, must be happening fully, 100 %. One thing at a time and that thing must be 100%. That is the first thing I am saying.
Second thing is what is happening right now, must happen only right now. It should live in this moment, be fully alive, as we said 100% alive and then it should die. It should live, live fully and then it should pass away, go. It should not carry itself forward into the next moment. So, if you are walking, and obviously, you have walked into this room, if you are walking and then you proceed to sit down, then, you are sitting right now. You are sitting; you are no more walking. Are you getting it? You are no more walking.
The action of walking must seize completely. Movement must come to a stop. Obviously, not only in a physical way, but more importantly in a mental way. We do not live in that way. There is always a phase difference between what the reality is and where our minds are. There’s always a phase difference. Do you understand this phase difference? You might be here, but the minds are either lagging behind or have jumped ahead. Lagging behind means, the mind is still in past, and jumping ahead implies the mind has moved into the…?
Listeners: Future (in unison)
Speaker: We have said two things and we are saying them together. They do not stand independently. First thing is ‘one thing at a time’. Whatever you are doing, it should be your sole occupation. Nothing else should matter at that moment, nothing else must matter. Second is, ‘one moment must not carry itself forward into the next’. At one particular moment, let’s say, singing might be your life and there is nothing in the world except singing. The next moment singing must go away and go away completely without leaving any residue.
Now I am eating, now there is no singing; there is only eating. When I was singing, I was only singing. And now that I am eating, singing is…? Gone. Gone fully. I could not be eating and yet having my mind occupied with a song. Remember, if my mind is still full of something else, then it shows that I was not into that thing when the right moment was there.
Let’s say, you met somebody at the door, at the main gate today. The fellow said something to you. Out of your limitation, out of your mental baggage, you could not respond fully. You could not respond fully. Now even as you sit here, it is quite likely that, that particular event will reverberate in your mind. Are you getting it? You will keep thinking that, “I should have said this, I should have done this. Why couldn’t I do this?”
On the other hand, if you could give a simple, direct, appropriate response, then you would totally forget that incident because that chapter is now closed. He said something to me and I responded appropriately and the chapter was closed. You moved on. Are you understanding this? Whatever is lived fully, whatever comes to a completion, does not remain a baggage on the mind anymore. So, we talked of the first rule that do it fully and completely and whatever is being done, only that must be done.
Rule two in some way follows from rule one. If done completely, then obviously it will not carry forward. If you find that there are lots of carry forwards in your life, it only implies that you are not living it fully right now. If you do complete justice to it today, then it cannot remain a baggage for tomorrow. And there are lots of baggages that we have. All these hopes, dreams, ambitions, they are baggages. They exist because we are escaping from doing what must be done today. If I understand things fully and let the right action happen today, then my mind will not wander into hopes of tomorrow. It will be completely occupied with the great possibility of this moment, of what is to be done. Are you getting it?
Similarly with people! All of us have hopes of meeting someone special, of being with so called better people, of gaining better company. Most of that stems from the fact that we do not have adequate relationships with people who are already in our lives. We do not have complete, fully loving relationships with the environment around us, with every object or person or situation that we are related to. Because we do not have living vibrant relationships with these people, so we keep moving into hopes of meeting that someone special.
Those two rules that we talked of apply to people as well. When you are with somebody, you should only be with that person and nobody else should matter. No thoughts of anybody else. When you are with a book, then nothing else must matter. When you are with a friend playing soccer, nothing else must matter. When you are with your girlfriend or boyfriend, nothing else in the world must matter. But once you are not with them, then they should seize mattering.
Thoughts must not stay in the mind. That factor of ‘missing you’ must not be there. And you miss people precisely because you are not with them when the opportunity is there and it’s a very funny situation. When the opportunity to be with someone is there, then we find ourselves compromising, then something stops us, something holds our feet back and we are not completely with them, and then the moment goes away. The opportunity does not stay forever and when the moment is gone, then what are we doing? Then we are daydreaming, then we are texting “missing you.” And why are you missing now? What were you really doing when you were together? At that time your mind was occupied with something else, and it’s a very funny pattern of life, actually irritating.
So, everything is possible. Yes, music, studies, exercising, paragliding, deep sea diving, whatever you want to do everything is possible, but one thing at a time. Life can be very-very long, extremely long, I dare to say infinitely long, if you really live it. One moment lived fully is infinite time. When you are into it, just everything is possible.
Have you heard of the word polymath? A polymath is an individual, who is adept at doing various things, various-various things. Leonardo Da Vinci, mathematician, philosopher, architect, you name it and he was doing it. Einstein was a good musician as well. Rabindranath Tagore was a very good accountant. He used to keep all the records of the finances of Shanti Niketan. But one thing at a time. When he is writing a poem obviously he is not thinking of accounts. Then, there is him and there is a poem and there is nothing else in the world, not a worry, not an object, not a concern, nothing at all.
That’s the secret of doing a thousand things at a time, and someone has said that, “You have lived, only if you have lived a thousand lives in one life”. You have lived, only if you have lived a thousand lives in one life. In India, we have had a very peculiar way of relating to time. If you read any of these old stories, they will say that there was this old monk, who was 10 thousand years old. Have you read some of those stories? Or, this particular child, the son of a king, went and did Sadhna on the banks of river Ganga for 600 years. And then God got pleased and said, “Yes son, what do you want?” Have you heard of these stories?
Now, do you really think somebody lives for two thousand years? What does that mean that somebody lived two thousand years? That means, that ordinarily, let’s say, we live 50 years, 80 years. And that is one life time. 2000 years implies that, that individual lived twenty-five lives in one life, eighty multiplied by twenty-five, or forty lives, if you take the life span as fifty years. In one life, he lived forty lives and thats why, his age was 2000 years. You too can live 2000 years. That is the meaning of immortality, living multiple lives in one life. A musician, an architect, a sportsman, an engineer… 2000 years old.
Yes, I am 2000 years old, why not? Why not? And this way you have actually beaten death. Death says, “You will live for 80 years.” And you have told death that, “You know what? I have lived 2000 years in 80 years. I have defeated you”. This is the real meaning of immortality.
This was about time. Similarly with persons. Have you heard the story of Krishna’s Raas Leela? How he was with so many of his girlfriends, how did he manage? You cannot even manage one, if you have one at all.
How did he manage so many? Because when he was with one, he was completely with one. At that time, others don’t matter, and that’s the reason why he could have so many. And folklore says that not only all these gopies, when he married, he actually married 16,000 times. And of course, all these are fanciful stories, but they are pointing at a particular direction. He may not have actually had 16,000 wives, we are not talking facts here. We are talking of something beyond facts.
We find it difficult to be related to even sixteen people, right? Do we have complete, fully loving relationships with even sixteen people in our life? Difficult! In fact, the horrible fact may be, we don’t have relationships with even one person in our life, complete relationship. And in his life, there were 16,000. How did he manage? All his artistry is summed up in the two rules that we have talked of.
So, the first formula is the rule of complete life and the second one is the rule of complete death and these two must go together. When these two are together, then you gain immortality, 2000 years, getting it? Yes, alright!
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: Live fully, die fully, and then come alive, again, and again… || Acharya Prashant (2013)
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