Acharya Prashant: Anybody who provokes imagination is only pushing you further into the mental quagmire. Spirituality is about calming down of imagination. It is about silence. It is not about more theories, more fancy dreams, more beautiful visions.
Spirituality is not a well dressed up adult;
rather spirituality is a naked child.
Listener: Sir what do you think about those who read the spiritual books just for fun?
AP: Yes you can read them for fun. See, there is no obligation to talk in spiritual terms at all the times. I only have an issue with those who present things of the mind as spiritual. If someone wants to write something that he dreamt of, some fiction—he is most welcome. But if he says, ‘No, this is spiritual fiction’, then I have an issue with that. And there is a lot of spiritual fiction being sold these days, just too much of it.
L2: Sir, when we keep on reading books of spirituality and there are different theories in each of them, then does that take us away from the truth?
AP: Don’t read books for the sake of seeking instead read books because they are wonderful.
Don’t read books for the sake of seeking; instead, read books because they are wonderful.
Don’t go to books to search for an answer.
Go to books just as one goes to a friend.
One doesn’t go to a friend to search for something.
One goes to a friend because the company of a friend is a peaceful company.
Do not search for anything in books. You’ll only get what you bring to the books. If you go to a book searching for something you’ll only get what you have brought to the book. The book will not offer you anything new.
L2: Can we read the books of spiritual fiction just for entertainment?
AP: As long as you know that this is just entertainment, entertain yourself.
There is nothing wrong with that. There are so many nonsensical movies one watches precisely because they are nonsensical. In fact, the more nonsensical they are the more is their attraction. But if one says, ‘No this is about truth’ then there is a problem.
L3: Sir, sometimes reading for fun unfold things naturally and automatically. You don’t try to seek or draw something out of it but sometimes you just connect to the book and you feel that you are connecting to it in a strong way, for example—when I first read The Prophet, it was just for fun but I kept on reading and it was a wonderful book and soon I found myself lost in that book and things started unfolding.
AP: You know that is why the ones who are most likely to misinterpret a religious book are the followers of that religion because they are the ones most likely to go to that book searching for the Truth.
And when you are searching for the truth it is impossible that you’ll find it.
When you are not looking for it, then it is all yours.
When you are looking for it, then just ‘looking for’ is yours.
L3: Sir I think that is why The Bible states that – The kingdom of heaven is in you then why do we search it in the Bible.
AP: But that does not mean that The Bible is worthless. The Bible, just as in the world there are n-things that you can company with, that you can live with, spend your time with, why not spend time with at least parts of the Bible? I mean you are alive, right? And you are spending your time somewhere, why not spend your time with a Krishna rather than some miscellaneous fellow.
There is something called a good company or is it not?
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
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