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Question: Two years ago, I left my job, my girlfriend and my home. Since then, I am okay but now I don’t know whether it is okay to run away? I wonder at myself.
Acharya Prashant: But do you have an obligation to not to run away? What makes you feel that running away is a sin or a crime? Are you running away from life or are you running away from disturbance? Are you running just away from something or are you running towards something? Important to ask! Or you just running?
You have no obligation to not to avoid something. You have no obligation to remain a part of the system. It is the system that teaches you that running away from the system is a crime. Why must you feel guilty of avoiding the system? Yes, run away. By all means run away. Why must you not run away?
Listener: It is not about the society. It’s just about myself as if this way of life was rough. But sometimes a thought comes that it (running away) is a good way to avoid responsibilities.
AP: Are you obliged to bear your responsibility?
L: If that responsibility can rectify me, can lead me to myself then, I think,..
AP: Was that really happening when you were bearing responsibilities before you broke away? When you were bearing all those responsibilities, were all those responsibilities leading to peace? And if they were indeed leading to peace, then why did you run away? So the fact is those responsibilities were just a social burden. And now that you have run away, you haven’t totally run away. You are still carrying a part of social self with you and that social self is nagging you. It is troubling you. You haven’t yet broken away totally with the society. So the society is still present in you and is reminding you to come back. It is telling you that, “Oh! Your responsibilities are waiting for you. How can you be so irresponsible? You know, you must come and fulfil your duties. Otherwise, you will be called a sinner.”
You must be twenty-five, thirty-five, and forty-five. You have many decades of life behind you. You must have been fulfilling all those responsibilities? What did they give you? Ultimately, you have to break away.
Living true to yourself is your only responsibility. Living in tune with peace is your only responsibility. Remain committed and surrendered to the Truth is your only responsibility. You are not obliged towards anything or anybody else. You are not answerable, accountable to anything, anybody else.
Are you getting it?
So, shamelessly, guiltlessly, you can continue to your wandering ways.
There is no right answer that you need to give them. You are not even answerable. When they ask you for answer, don’t even answer. Forget about right answer or a wrong answer. Just don’t answer.
They have no locus standi to question you. And when I say, “they”, I refer to a part of your mind. They are not outside. They have colonised a part of your psyche. They are inside. It is from inside that they command you. They come in your dreams. They come in your thoughts. They come in your question.
L2: Some people, they don’t like me to feel peaceful because I was more and more detached and more peaceful. It seems like they want me to feel guilty because I got detached and I am peaceful.
AP: They cannot make you feel guilty without your own support.
Unless they dominate a part of your mind, they cannot command you.
L: But it creates disturbance.
AP: That disturbance is not because of that incident. That person must have been in control of your mind since long. It only showed up in this particular event. So live a life in which you give your total self to the only one. When you have given yourself totally to the only, to The One, then obviously nobody can have a part of you, a pie of you. All right?
L: Sometimes it creates confusion that now that person is losing power on me.
AP: Yes, but how did he firstly gain that power? And is that not happening continuously? It is only when the special occasion come, that we become alerted that somebody has power over us. And when they use that power to further their self- interest, then we are aghast. Then we say that, “Oh! He is exploiting me.” But that exploitation was not sudden. That exploitation was in the making for a while. And we allowed that. Don’t allow that.
L: But when you express that you don’t allow it, then it seems like anger.
AP: Yes! It seems like anger. But that’s what. That’s the right action at that time.
L: So, when you say, “No” to many things, then it sometimes seems like violence to them.
AP: That’s right. But if that incident is behind you, then you must just leave it behind. The more you talk about it, the more you energize its memory. If you are still dissecting it, analysing it, trying to come to terms with it, it only means that it is still a little green in your mind. So just, walk past that now. It’s gone.
To talk of somebody is to let that somebody have your mind share. You don’t want that. Or do you?
Your mind is not yours. Your mind belongs to That. So now how can you allow a third-party, to come and have control of your mind? Your mind is not your property. It has been given to you only for safe keep, only as a trust. And what is given to you as a trust, cannot be traded away, cannot be distributed and partnered. All right?
L: When you are saying, “Be only with The One.” I suppose you are saying that be not only with yourself but be with others also?
AP: No. You forget the others. You take care only of yourself. When you are taking care of yourself, then there is not much concern that you pay to others. The whole feeling that others are important, that otherness is important, vanishes. It is a paradox because when you are totally with yourself, then you are highly respectful to others, without trying to be respectful.
L: So, they will not harm you anymore? They will not even try to do anything wrong to you?
AP: They will do whatever they may want to do. If you do not have control over the ways of the world, it is unpredictable. But only that can be harmed, which is susceptible to be harmed.
L: The body, for example?
AP: Yes. But if you have found something more important than the body, then you can allow body to be harmed, but not that.
L: So if somebody wants to kill me? Then?
AP: There have been ample occasions when people have preferred getting killed than losing out on essential. The fellow called, Jesus, is one ancient example.
L: So I should peacefully let him kill me.
AP: You cannot do that as another social obligation. You already have enough obligations. Now after this meeting, you walk away with another obligation, which is to get killed. So feed others, say hi to others, be nice to others and then, lend money to others and then, get killed by others.
Dance within your own peace. Relate to others in that dance.
It is a very sacred space when you are operating really within. In that space, even you do not exists. So, how others can exist? So there is no question of having the relationship with others.
It is just a pure dance, a pure movement. Not me and you, but total because you and me is separation. Then it is just an integrated movement. Then it is not as if I am speaking and you are listening. Then it is as if this whole setting is one integrated whole, within which a voice is emerging. It is not as if it is my voice, it is not as if it is your ears. Words cannot capture fully what I am expressing right now. So you have to be very empathetic.
Any attempt at trying to relate with others or being good to others or being true to others would still maintain a lot of separation and that separation is ultimately, violence.
L: It is also unnatural who wants to be nice, spiritual, and all…
I heard this thing, it was very nice. It was like “In every moment of your life, you have the choice to be a dance of life or a bundle of thoughts and emotions.”
AP: Bundle of thoughts and emotions. Yes. Even an imagination does not look quite appealing.
L: What to do when you are feeling kind, peaceful, cool? What to do in that situation?
AP: Remain kind, remain peaceful.
L: Yes, but it’s like, “Oh! I am great. I am peaceful.”
AP: Remain great and when you are feeling that you are great and still find yourself acting petty, then tell yourself that you are a great hypocrite.
It is easy to tell yourself that you are great, but then you have to live that greatness.
L: When you are thinking that, ” Oh! I am better than this person”
AP: It is not a sign of greatness to compare. Greatness is so absolute, so absolutely arrogant, that it does not compare. In little arrogance, you compare. In great arrogance, in absolute arrogance, you don’t even compare. Truth is absolutely great, and hence absolutely arrogant. In absolute arrogance, you become very humble. They are one and the same. That’s why The Truth expresses it in two ways. It says, I am nothing and parallelly it says, I am everything.
Total arrogance is total humility.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
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