The need of mind to get Peace, to settle into Understanding, to be clear of noise and be seated in Silence, to not to feel lonely but Total – that is Love.
And because we all experience that need, we all are lovers. Had we not been experiencing that restlessness, that disquiet there would have been no question of love? So we, as we are, the mind as it is, is always attracted to something beyond itself. The mind is always attracted to something beyond itself.
The mind sees that it is chaotic, it wants an end to the chaos. The mind sees that it is restless, it wants an end to the restlessness. The mind sees that it is lonely, incomplete, it wants certain completion, it wants some suitable partner that would complete it.
The mind is tense, it wants something that would give it the deepest relaxation, that is the natural urge of the mind to want something that is outside of it. Inside the mind, there are the usual patterns, the daily rigmarole, the chaos, the disorders, the conditioning, the patterns, the fragments; the influences all of which are which is burden upon the mind. The mind keeps seething under its own burden like a weak man who cannot take his own weight – that is the situation of the mind.
The mind wants freedom from all these but what is the mind? Nothing but all these. So the mind wants essentially freedom from itself.
This urge of the mind to get something outside of itself, free of itself is love. At the same time love is something that mind wants. Now the mind has two interests. One – it knows only that which is within it. So if it wants something it can search that thing only within itself or with in the mind and the domain of the mind is the entire world; that is one concern of the mind is. The second concern of the mind is – the mind says I want freedom and the mind lives only in experiences, it wants to experience freedom which means that the mind wants to survive to experience freedom. So even as the mind is pulled by a great attraction towards peace it has these two other concerns.
Which are these two other concerns?
One – I want peace because I know only the world. Hence I want peace in the world. I’ll go and search out there for peace. There is no doubt that I want peace, there is no doubt that I want a suitable partner, there is no doubt that I want joy and freedom but because I know only the world so I find it almost natural that I go out into the world to search for my deepest urge; that is one concern.
Second – Because to me everything is an experience so I must survive to have that experience. Hence, even as I want love, even as I am in love and want peace, even as I am in love and want something beyond myself, even as I want end to all that I stand for, I still want to survive.
Do you see these two concerns?
One – “I want the ultimate” that’s what the mind says, “I am not satisfied with fragments, smallness, and imperfections. You all have a deep urge for the perfection, for the ultimate, for the highest, for the climax but I want it in the world outside of myself.” That is one concern.
Second – “I want it but not at the cost of my life. I want to survive to experience that freedom.”
Now it is because of these two concerns that love becomes such an enigma otherwise there is nothing complicated about love. You want peace, you get peace and getting peace is not a matter of getting something. Peace is one’s nature. Getting peace is rather a matter of losing something. Losing what? Losing that which you stand for, losing that which you carry. So if the mind wants peace the mind doesn’t have to get peace, the mind simply have to loose itself which means that the ego has to go.
Now the mind is totally divided between these two pulls. On the one hand it cannot live without peace and silence and Joy; that attraction is love. On the other hand it cannot have the courage to give up on itself. It does not muster guts to let go of all that which it has accumulated and now love becomes a problem because you’ll not let go of yourself, you rather want to accumulate yourself. What you’ll say? You’ll say, yes I want something/someone that is flawless that takes total care of me that give me total security and you say that this something or someone now has to be a thing or a person. So you go out and you start searching for a man or woman.
Did you see how love gets related to man or a woman? Otherwise love has nothing at all to do with any object? It is nothing to do with a man, a woman, a car, an idea, a house, respectability and fame nothing. It has nothing to all do with anybody.
Love is not something that has happen between two people, not at all. It is just the urge of the mind to settle into peace.
But the mind will not go to the peace that is its own nature instead it is urge for peace outside because that’s all it knows, the world. So, you go into the world and then you find a woman and you say Aah! She looks like the one who will complete me. Now this woman is always going to fail. The man has put a totally unfounded, unreasonable, an impossible burden upon her. He is actually expecting herself to God and that is why love always fails, the kind of love that we know and the woman does the same.
See the mind will not really settle for anything less than the perfection, anything less than God. So what happens is that when you have a man or a woman in your life you start looking for God in that person and that person cannot be God. So your expectations are belied and then you feel betrayed and disillusioned then you say, “Oh My God! This is not that what I thought.”
Can you see this? Instead of letting go of all that which troubles the mind and hence hides peace, the mind accumulates something more. See I want peace because I am not in peace, so I am restless. I am restless because restlessness is my nature, is that so? I am restless because I have gathered a lot. Now obviously now to drop the restlessness I simply have to drop what I have gathered but what do I do? I instead gathered more hoping that what I am now gathering will get me peace.
Now this is foolish. One feels lonely because one has never been able to have fulfilling relationships. One feels lonely because one is selfish, self-centred, and insecure. Now to get rid of this loneliness what is one have to do? Obviously one has to drop his insecurity, his self-centeredness. But instead of that one will say I am, remaining what I am — self-centred and insecure — I will get a woman. So till now one had 10kgs weights on the mind and now you have a woman sitting on 10kgs. You have brought her additionally into your life and upon your mind.
Do you see this? This is how our so called worldly love proceeds and that is why what we call as worldly love is not love at all. You can call it general attractions, obsessions, illusion or if you want to be blunt, simply stupidity. But it doesn’t deserve to be called as love at all. That is why whosoever has known has always been wary of calling this physical phenomenon that we see all around us as love.
Sufis have distinguished clearly that they would say- “ishq-e-haqiqi ishq-e-majazi.” The ones who have talked of prem(Love) and bhakti they also differentiate very clearly. They say prem and para-prem or param-prem, the fact is only para-prem or param-prem is prem (Love). What you normally call as prem is not prem at all. So we are in a way taking up a wrong topic, barking-up the wrong tree. That which we are trying to look at as love is not love at all so what is there to understanding?
We are asking that why does this tree not bear mangoes. It’s an orange tree that’s why. And we are sitting by that tree and looking at it, analysing it and trying to figure out why there are no mangoes and what can be done so that we get mangoes. There can be no mangoes here. What you call as love can never give you any mangoes? It is not love at all.
So first thing is to see that it is not love. And that is why it is characterised by science such as possessiveness, jealousy, this and that. You are possessive because you were operating from insecurity in the first place. Why did that man and woman enter your life? First of all because you are insecure? Now if you are insecure and that is why striking the relationship, I am insecure so what do I do? I get a woman in my life, now, obviously I have to be possessive about love; what’s the complication?
She came into my life precisely because I was insecure and lonely. The foundation itself is weak and flaunt. Now what is surprising in this if the woman and man are deeply possessive and jealous and violent towards it each other………… I am deeply in need of this phone, I feel my existence is incomplete without it, I am so plagued by an inferiority complex that I need something outside of myself to complete myself. Now this phone says, “I want to walk away. I want to have my own life, give me freedom.” Will I allow this phone to have freedom? Now that’s what happens with man and woman.
Now the man constantly needs you to fulfil his physical needs and mental needs, his sense of being and you say, “no…no, I have a free will, I am an individual.” He says, “you are my prop, you are my slipper, and you are my trouser. How dare you think that you are an individual? You are the spoon that feeds me. What kind of free will can you have?” Do you see this? And that is violent. So what we call as love is just another name for violence.
Our regular patterns are there. They show up in everything that we do and they also show up in our relationships. A man who is greedy and ambitious, what do you think he can be loving? The man who is greedy and ambitious in his work place from 9 till 6, he come back and needs his wife, what do you think he suddenly turns loving? It is the same thing that is continues it’s a same tendency, the same mind. But the woman expects that he will be a demon for the whole world but a prince charming for me. The assumption itself is flaunted. If the man is a peace -less man, a violent man, he is bound to be violent towards everyone even towards a wife and kids.
So which means it is not about one’s particular relationship with a man or woman. It’s about the very foundation of one’s being. The question is what kind of a person am I? What is the quality of my mind?
The quality of your mind is the quality of your relationships. The quality of your mind is the quality of your love.
A high quality mind will have high quality love; a low quality mind will have stinking love. So instead of asking whether your partner loves you; simply ask what quality of living does this person have? What is his quality of being? Do not ask, how is his relationship with me? Ask what, how is his relationship with the birds? How is his relationship with the waterfall, with the trees, with the little kids, with the rocks? If he has a peaceful relationship with all of them, only then can he have peaceful relationship with you.
If he is a butcher otherwise, what do you think; he would be caressing you even in your intimate moment? Even in your intimate moments he would be butchering you because he is a butcher. Do you see this? But we raise a dream world, we say, “no…no…no; outside he can continue to be a scoundrel, to be a blot Hun mankind. Let him be corrupt without any integrity. Let him extract money from the entire world and then let him use that money to pamper me. Let him use that money to flourish our love-nest”; can that happens? But we always expect that to happen, don’t we?
So couples would be walking hand-in-hand, lost in each other and there would be a sick child lying by the way, who bothers? Don’t you see that the man and woman who can have no concern for the sick child, can also have no concern for you? Today the sick child does not fulfil any of his needs, so he pays no attention. Soon a point will come when you will not fulfil his needs; he would ignore you in an equally humiliating way. But at that moment it appears so romantic that we are oblivious of the world, we are not looking anything else. We are just lost in each other’s arms. This is foolishness and you pay for this foolishness.
Only a high quality mind can have a high quality love and by high quality mind I do not mean intellectual sophistications, I mean a surrendered mind, I mean a mind at peace with itself.
Your first relationship can never be with the world, your first relationship can never be an idea, a man or a woman. Your primary relationship is with peace. You can call that peace as God, that is your first relationship. If that relationship is healthy all your other relationships will be healthy. When you meet a person see what kind of first relationship does he have? Is he at peace with himself, is he surrendered to the God? Is Truth his first priority? If that be so then you can unconditionally be with him then you need not think any further. Are you getting this?
A man who could not belong to God, cannot belong to you either.
A man who could not be loyal to God, how he will be loyal to you?
A woman who has no respect for Truth, how will she have any respect for you?
But you will be foolishly expecting that she will respect you, she will not. And then your dream house will come crashing down on your head. And then you will say Oh! I have been betrayed. So you haven’t been betrayed, you are just reaping the bitter fruits of your own deeds. Are you getting this? So talk not of relationships, talk of the being, and talk of the states of mind. Do not ask him, do you love me? See whether he is capable of loving at all and love is not object – centric. It is not possible that love is compartmentalized; it is not possible that he loves you but hates his mother.
The loving mind is a loving mind. Now love can be expressed differently, of course. He would not express love in the same way to his father as he would do to his wife. The expression of love would vary according to situations, according to persons and such things. But essentially his driver would be peace. And when your driver is peace then you are called a loving mind.
When your primary concern is always the Truth then you are called a loving mind.
Are you getting this? And such a mind, I repeat cannot have person specific love. His love cannot be fragmented, his love cannot be target oriented and he will never weep that I am not getting my love outside in the world. All those love poems and things that you read are just nonsense.
You have poets who are talking of their dream damsel, what dream damsel? There is a neighbour and you would have no relationship with your neighbour and you are talking of that woman far away, out there. Had you had any love you would have first any relationship with your neighbour, your cow, your dog, your tree. With these you have no relationships but you are singing poems, you are writing elaborate, romantic captivating poems; what nonsense is this?
And have no images about love. We know no love, we know images of love, and we know romance and all that which has fed into mind by media, by poets, by anecdotes, education even and religion too. Have no images of love. Often you know what you search for, you search not for love but for something that resembles your image of love.
As we were coming here Abishek and Devsh ji had a really good time in acting the images of love. We find a lot of newlyweds here; I am in no position to comment on their quality, the quality of their mind, the quality of their relationship, but what is certain is that they all seem to be striking very similar poses and one is reminded of similar poses in a very A class, B class, C class Hindi movies. The way they hold their hands, the way they cuddle each other, the way they talk to each other, the way they pose for selfies – it’s all so…… one wonders, “I have seen this earlier and then wonder; and then one wonders I have seen this many times earlier.
Now the thing is that the women thinks is love that the man thinks is love. So the mind can get dull to such an extent that it just has value for image of love. And mind you if the man refuses to live by that image, the women would accused him of being loveless. If the man says, no why should I talk to you in a sweet way, why should I mouth romantic dialogues? Why should we walk holding our fingers, Why? The women will say, A”ah! You do not love me. Now I know I always suspect you, you do not love me.”
Listener: How unromantic you are?
AP: How unromantic you are? And I am sure that you are seeing someone else. Even the roadside entertainers know that you do not know love, you only know images of love. So Devesh ji here pointed out that he has seen four or five or six of these, what instruments are they playing?
AP: Iktara. So they are playing iktara and he is saying, “I always find all of them playing the same set of songs, how is it possible?” It is possible because we all have the same image of love and because the image is same it is coming from the same sources. So we know no love. Often it becomes ridiculous to that extent where you reject love if it doesn’t match with your image of love. In fact that is the only reason why love becomes a riddle for you. Because it is not complying with what you think it must be. Is it not very predictable – Which songs, what kind of dress, which locations, what actions? Just looking at the couple and you can predict what next is going to happen.
You know when there is such dominance of the image, when your mind is totally seized by the image then obviously peace will elude.
True love has very little glitter about it. It does not shine in a goldly way. It is not boisterous; it does not announce itself to the senses. It is understated, it is subliminal. You need to have a little fineness, a little subtlety to appreciate it.
It is not about holding someone’s arms and pulling her towards yourself and you know. One cannot rule anything out, anything is possible in this world but one must not have straight jacketed patterns either.
L: True loving person have something different within him, he can also go when catching finger and he can also sing a song when his …?
AP: He can also kill, why not talk of that? He can slap, why not talk of that? But it is difficult to talk of that. If you are saying that the truly loving person knows no boundaries so why must we say to hold down someone’s arms. And he must also say no boundaries, he cannot only hold the arm, he can twist the arm.
L: Pull the arm.
AP: Pull the arm. Why not twist the arm? That too is possible, have no images. When Krishna is telling Arjun, “Arjun go ahead fight and kill”; is he a loveliest being? So in love, one may kill why not? The entire field of possibilities is open. You are not limited and constrained by images. Your love is not an algorithm – Desire women, chase women, woe women, marry women, made with women, impregnate the women, and ignore the women. Now you are not running that algorithm within. Now anything is possible.
But if all of this has to be put very clearly, I would simply say, look at your mind. If your mind is not prepared to see that, that which it wants is not something within itself and that its search for love in the world would always remain a futile and unsuccessful search, till then you will only have disquiet intention and restlessness. Love would keep calling but you will not answer. Truth will keep sending invitations to you, you will not respond to those invitations.
In poetic language it is said, “the beloved will keep walking on your door. You will not open the door.” Why? Because you are already too busy with the false lover inside. So the real one will keep knocking, knocking, knocking and you will say, “Oh! That knock is just a disturbance. I am busy making love with my lover inside and some unrequited, unsolicited fellow is creating nuisance on the door.”
When the mind is surrendered, that surrender is love.
When the mind is surrendered then it drops everything that prevents it from moving towards that ultimate goal. Then the mind says that the peace is so dear to me, anything that obstructs my movements towards peace is totally undesirable, I drop it.” It gets dropped automatically. Then only that remains with you which enables your cleanliness which enables your quick movement, instantaneous movement towards the Truth. Only that then remains with you, all the rubbish then gets incinerated.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Knowing Love
Book Of Myths
This is the most challenging book one can ever come across. It will question all the popular beliefs one harbours. Never imposing itself on the reader, at the same time the book facilities a thorough enquiry of popular knowledge which is blindly accepted as an obvious fact. It demolishes our so called holy concepts.
If you are someone who has read anything on self-help or on spirituality this book is a must for cleaning of spiritual information.