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Question: Acharya Ji, J.Krishnamurti says, “In a right relationship, you come to know yourself.” Please explain.
Acharya Prashant: The question is, Krishnamurti says, “In the right relationship, you come to know yourself.” So, how does one know himself?
That which you have quoted, is in itself the solution. He is saying, “You know yourself in relationship.” What is it meant, when it is said that you know yourself in a relationship?
We always exist as somebody related to something. You take away everything outside of yourself, and it will become impossible for you, to say even one sentence about yourself. Everything and anything that we utter about ourselves is related to the world. And the world is supposedly, outside of yourself, is it not?
Tell me anything about yourself. You would say, “You are a citizen of a particular country and the country is outside of yourself, and hence your identity is in relation to something else, the country.” You tell of your gender and the gender does not mean anything in absence of the opposite gender. Does it? And the opposite gender is surely outside of yourself.
So, we do not exist in a silo, we do not exist ever in isolation, we exist always in relation to something or somebody. Are you getting it?
We always exist in relation to something or somebody. So, if you want to know yourself, you just see, what is the effect that the other has had upon you and we then, are a sum total of all those effects.
What are we?
We are mental fragments, devoted to the nation, the society, the education, the upbringing, the commerce, the culture, the civilization. You want to look at yourself, you will have to look at the effect all these external influences have had upon you. We exist with respect to these influences. There is nothing in us that is not coming from somewhere or the other. So, to know yourself is to know these things that are coming from somewhere or the other.
“So, this part of me, well it is coming from religion; this part of me, well it is coming from ethnicity; this part of me, well it is coming from culture; this part of me, well it is coming from a gender; this part of me, well it is coming from my genes, this part of me, well it is coming from my education.” And, this way you can know all that you see yourselves to be. Are you getting it?
This way, you can know everything that you see yourselves to be. All the conditioned bit that we are; and remember that we are very totally conditioned. There is nothing in us that is not conditioned, every single cell in the body is conditioned. So, the conditioned bit that we are, can be known only by seeing the genesis of that conditioning.
If you can see where your conditioning is coming from, you have seen who you are. This is called self-knowledge. Do you see what Self-knowledge is? To know yourself, see where your actions are coming from. How do you know that? You watch your actions. You watch every bit of yourself, your activities from morning till night, your thoughts, your inclinations and you come to appreciate all the conditioning that has gone into making ‘you’. Right? This is Self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is obtained by self-observation.
Then there is something called, Self-realization. Self-realization is a little different from Self-knowledge, and also very closely related to Self-Knowledge.
You see, how deeply conditioned you are. The ‘conditioning bit’, amounts to Self-knowledge. And the ‘seeing bit’, amounts to self-realization.
I repeat, you ‘see’ how deeply conditioned you are. And everybody is deeply conditioned. As I said, every single fiber in the body is conditioned. So, you ‘see’, how deeply conditioned you are. The deeply conditioned part pertains to Self-knowledge. And the ‘seeing’ part — I am seeing how deeply conditioned I am — pertains to Self-realization.
Self-realization is not objective; Self-realization is not knowledge; Self-realization cannot be wrote down, conceptualized, or summarized or expressed; Self-realization, or Self-understanding is just Silence. It is an absence of everything you thought yourselves to be. Everything that you thought yourselves to be, is bracketed under Self-knowledge. Your name, your gender, your caste, your religion, your profession, your family, your views, your ideologies – all of them come under Self-knowledge.
Self-knowledge is the result of observation of life. Self-knowledge means you watch how you behave, when you pass in front of a temple compared to when you pass in front of a railway station. Self-knowledge is to see, how your relationships are with the man who owes you money, compared to the man, to whom you owe money.
When you look at all that, what you get is, Self-knowledge. This is the way I am, this is the way my habits and tendencies are. Getting it?
And the power to see all this, the beginning of seeing all this, and the ending of seeing all this, the entire environment of seeing all this, that is called Self-realization. Self-realization is nothing because anyway the Self is nothing, the Self is all false. The Self is all nothing, the Self is all false, so Self-realization too is just nothing. Just Nothing. It is an emptiness. It is a peaceful silence. If you say you are Self-realized, and still you have something more to say about yourself, then all you have is a concept of Self-realization.
Self-realization is actually not a word at all because a word ought to have some meaning, a word ought to have some content, Self-realization has no content at all.
Self-realization is an empty cup that is empty even of the cup. You usually have cups that are empty of contents. Self-realization is a cup that is empty even of the cup.
Now what do you hold? Ah! It’s a cup that you cannot hold, it’s a cup that you cannot drink from because not only does it not have the drink, it also does not have the cup.
So, Self-realization really cannot quench your thirst for knowledge. You cannot drink from it. Self-realization, then is only for those, who have no thirst left; Self-realization is only for those, who do not need to drink any further, because they have already drunk on life; Self-realization, then, is for those who have passed out, so drunk that they are gone now.
But, Self-knowledge is important. Self-realization is not something that you can work on. In fact, Self-realization works on you, you do not work on Self-realization. Self-knowledge is important. That is the maximum you can ‘do’. Self-realization is not a product of your ‘doing’. Self-knowledge, well yes, there, your free will and your consent have some role to play. You ‘can’ decide to observe and you ‘can’ decide to remain unobservant. Are you getting it?
Listener: Does that mean you have a choice?
AP: At least superficially, a choice exists there. In Self-realization, even that choice, even superficially, it does not exist.
To observe yourself, is Self-knowledge, to see your tendencies and to know what your tendencies are, is Self- knowledge, and the ‘ability’ to see yourself is Self-realization.
That ability is an unborn ability, that ability is an innate ability, that ability is a nameless ability, you can never know the source of that ability and you can never know the fruit or the intention of that ability. That ability just exists.
Listener: What does Self-mean, in Self-realization?
AP: In Self-realization, Self means nothing because Self-realization too, means nothing. In Self-knowledge, the Self means Ego.
L: Can observation happen from any position?
AP: Observation cannot happen from any position. Observation must be very un-positioned, unbiased. You know what the word “posit” mean? You are talking of position.
L: It is like the knowledge, if you have the knowledge of this particular thing — for example — you think that there is something else maybe it means greed to me and that is lying…
AP: You cannot observe with any of these thoughts in mind. You have to rather, observe these thoughts. You do not observe with the thoughts. You observe the thoughts themselves. Are you getting it?
You do not observe with concepts. You rather observe the concepts themselves at play. The concepts are always playing out. The concepts are always manifesting themselves. For example, if you believe in God, your actions on a Sunday are likely to be different those of an atheist. The concepts are playing out on a Sunday morning.
L: But here, there is an understanding that there is God…
AP: No, what you are calling as understanding is, conceptualization. Understanding has no ‘content’. Understanding has nothing left that can be put forward as a conclusion. Understanding, only means that everything is now settled, dissolved, gone, so one can relax. Only this ‘relaxation’ is understanding. As long as you have something to play with, you have not understood. As long as you can come to a final statement, you still haven’t understood, because the final statement still needs to be disposed of.
L: So, this is some kind of a mind game
AP: Yes, Yes. So, understanding, then is a very absurd word, because it is as much of a non-word, as realization. You can never say, “I have understood that” and then continue the sentence further. No. If you say, “I have understood that”, then you haven’t understood.
To understand is to be at a situation, where everything has cancelled out everything else, where everything has dissolved in some super solvent; the thing and its opposite, both have dissolved in the super solvent. That is understanding. So, not only has one thought dissolved, the opposite of that thought has also dissolved, so you are left with nowhere to go – that is understanding. That’s why I am calling that a super solvent. It is dissolving, both ends of duality. What happens in concept formation is, that you take positions. And I was talking about the origin of the word – position. ‘To posit’ is to assume. So, every position is just an assumption. You take positions, and when one position is challenged, you find a safe sanctuary, in the opposite position.
For example, one position is, God exists. And someone comes and challenges this position, what do you do? You then, find a home in a position that ‘God does not exist’. No, this is again the ancient game of seeking refuge in concepts. To understand, is to dissolve both the positions simultaneously. Both ends of duality are gone and now you are resting in non-dual understanding. So, what did you understand? Well, you can’t say anything. Does God exist? You are silent. Does God not exist? Again you are silent.
To understand, does not mean that you have taken one position over the other. To understand means that there is such a super solvent that has dissolved both simultaneously. ‘God exists’ does not exist for you anymore, and ‘God does not exist’ too, does not exist for you anymore. It is this, divine ambiguity that is non-duality. Are you getting it?
To understand is to be free of both the concepts parallely, together, at the same time. Does God exist? Silence. Does God not exist? Silence. “I don’t have any position to take on this. I am free of all positions.” That is understanding.
L: So, there is no fact?
AP: About God, there is no fact. Till the time you are dwelling in the world of facts, you will have to stay content with knowledge. Understanding is not related to facts. Facts are wonderful, they will contribute to good knowledge, right knowledge, unadulterated knowledge. But that is still not understanding.
If you know the facts, then you come to Pure Knowledge. But even pure knowledge is not understanding.
L: Okay. So, is pure knowledge useful?
AP: Yes, it is useful. Because pure knowledge dissolves on its own.
That which we are discussing, that which you are reading since three days is pure knowledge. This pure knowledge has no tendency, to stick or hang around or linger on. It is like a time bomb, it exists, only to explode and get lost. It is a self disappearing thing. It has no tendency to continue in time. In fact, it exists to dissolve all pre-existing knowledge, and then also disappear by itself. That is the right knowledge.
L: Does this mean that you have to accept yourself as you are now and you don’t have any guilts or regrets about anything?
AP: This, that you are calling as here or now, includes all that composes you. So, that includes all the regrets and guilts as well. Self-acceptance does not mean that one does not have guilt, Self- acceptance means that one accepts even the guilt. And these are two very different things. The way Self- acceptance is usually sold is – you don’t need to be guilty about anything. Whereas what Self-acceptance means is – If guilt exists, you look at the guilt, you realize the guilt, you acknowledge the guilt, you do not label it as something unwanted, “Yes, guilt exists, just as desires exist, just as suffering exists, guilt too exists.”
Self-acceptance means, accepting yourselves in totality, not accepting just the desirable portion of yours.
L: Accepting yourselves in totality as it is? But, this means that your object is part of the doubt!
AP: I am talking only about the totality ‘of the object’. ‘Of the object’. And the ‘object’ is the Mind. And the Mind contains all sets of dualities. It never has one end of a duality within it and the other outside of it.
L: So, acceptance of Mind?
AP: Acknowledgement. Acknowledgment. It is this way, of course. It is this way. Yes, it exists within me. Desire, it exists, guilt, it exists.
L: Many times it happens that, I try force myself to not express something even if I have accepted it as it is. Even if something is rolling out, I just force stop it.
AP: Whatever is happening, you need not explain it. Just don’t be daunted by it. If it is rolling out, let it roll out. See, ‘what is’ rolling out. That’s all. You don’t have to be choosy or selective, you don’t have to discriminate. Stand, and keep seeing what all is flowing.
L: So, just acceptance?
AP: You don’t have a choice anyway. It is flowing, even if you don’t accept it, what difference does it make?
L: But this means, that generally we are suppressing the ability to observe.
AP: Yes, Yes. When you are biased, observation becomes very difficult.
In fact, if you can put it a little differently, it will start making more sense.
You don’t have to accept the flow. You don’t have to accept all the pluses and the minuses you see there. You rather have to accept yourself, and then whatever comes with it, is alright.
L: What I see, is that even for observing, you need certain knowledge, to see things. If you want to observe, you have to know at least some things in your mind.
AP: So, you see that. To observe, let’s say there are a few pre-requisites. You observe that also.
L: Yeah. But without knowledge, you can’t observe.
AP: So, knowledge is needed to observe, so you observe that knowledge as well.
You need legs so that you can walk up to that flower. You observe both – the flower and the movement of the legs.
L: Is knowledge an object?
AP: Knowledge is an object. What else is it? The flower is there and the legs are there, and both are objects.
L: So, you are saying, we don’t need to add any extra stuff.
L: We already have enough things and we just need to observe.
L: Sir, there are shlokas in the Upanishads, which are like formulas, and then there are Songs of kabir … Why, this difference in ease and difficulty?
AP: The source is the same, it just depends on the audience. Kabir was talking to the general folks.
L: Was there any reason, why Upanishads made it difficult for the audience?
AP: It was not difficult for the audience, it was suitable for the audience. When two men, of a certain advanced learning are talking, then they talk in codes, and the codes are very suitable to them. It is not difficult or easy. It is just appropriate.
L: So, the common man cannot read
AP: The common man can read, but then he will have to acquaint himself, with the terminology, he will have to get used to this precise, direct, terse, expression. That which the Upanishads, call as Brahm or the Mind, would become the Lover and the Woman in Kabir’s parlance. The Upanishads were able to communicate to the audience they were addressed to, and Kabir was able to communicate to the audience, he was addressing. Both succeeded.
The question is, if the Rishi of the Upanishad were to address a Kabir’s audience, which language would he choose? I am very sure, he would choose Kabir’s language. And if a Kabir were to address the students in a Rishi’s ashram, which language would he choose? He would choose the Rishi’s language.
L: So, scriptures like Upanishads provide us with Pure, Right Knowledge that’s the whole goal, or the point of what we are doing, speaking here. So, this gives help to observe and proceed.
AP: Yes. This, clears the mind. It’s a solvent. The scriptures have also variously called it as a Holy Fire. Holy Fire that burns down everything that is there in the mind.
L: This actually comes as my observation of my life as well as what I read here. You mentioned in the last session that till the time ‘I’ take the ownership of my safety, of security, nothing is really going to reach me. That’s what actually happens, although I somewhere know that all that I have is more than enough, and I am fine, I am okay, yet this tendency to accumulate and to be clever, persists.
For me honesty is okay. But after a point, to live that is not comfortable, I have to actually outstretch to live honestly. Until the situation is not extreme, I can be honest, but the final importance, that I give to, is myself. And ultimately, if I have to be clever and smart, I will let go of honesty.
It takes a lot of balls to be honest, seriously.
AP: (Smilingly) you have them (Audience chuckles).
No, I am sure. We all have it. There is no need to be doubtful of the essential. The more you test it, the more you become certain of it. So, you can fearlessly test it. In fact that is the ploy the mind uses, it does not even test.
So, I keep challenging people. Test, test, and try. The more you will test and try, the more you will be stripped of excuses. So, try.
L: Sir, do we need to test it, or it gets tested by itself?
AP: ‘It’ does not doubt itself, so why will ‘it’ test itself. You doubt it, so you test. God has no self-doubt. God does not look at the mirror ten times, before attending a party. ‘You’ have doubts on God, so you test God and see whether he fails you.
L: That’s what I am saying, it’s not that I choose to test. Situations happen and it gets tested.
AP: No, you must choose to test it. Just as you choose to do many other things.
Don’t you live in a world of choices? Even if it is a make believe world. So, just as you exercise other choices, consciously exercise this choice as well. Now, this choice may itself not be a choice at all, if looked at in totality. But still, in your frame of reference, it is a choice. You do think that you have a choice. When you go to select a pair of shoes, don’t you exercise a choice? Similarly, exercise a choice when it comes to testing versus non-testing.
L: Sir, when I am sitting here, listening to you, it feels like I am conversing, although from outer side it might seem that I am not talking. And then when I go out from here, the conversation ends, there is a complete change, and I am confused, for what is real? This here, or that there? Or am I missing out on something!
AP: The conversation has to be very subtle if it is to be continuous. The louder it is, the more perceptible it is, the more it will be prone to being vitiated, interrupted. If you want it to have longevity then keep it subtle, keep it very very fine. Only then will it be able to survive all the onslaughts of all the noise and all the loudness outside.
It is a very strange thing you see. Loudness will always be defeated by more loudness. But what loudness can never defeat, is ‘subtle silence’. So, if we want to beat all the loudness that rushes upon you, once you are out of this session; then maintain a very subtle conversation with me.
That subtle conversation, you can maintain at all times. The more fine it is, the more you can continue to converse with me, without any break or interruption.
L: As you said that the words of the scriptures must disappear, so till what time they must stay?
AP: They must stay. Till the time, other stuff in your mind is staying, this too must stay. The super solvent must disappear, but only after it has dissolved away everything. This knowledge that you are getting from the scriptures or the sessions, must disappear, but not before, all the rubbish too has disappeared. Otherwise, the medicine has disappeared leaving the disease behind, intact.
What is knowledge? All that the senses gather through experience and observation. And then put in some kind of a structure, is knowledge.
When you walk out from this hall, everything that you experience or see, is very different from what you are seeing here, what you are gathering here.
Even seemingly innocuous things like a lawn, is actually an instruction from the society telling you something. And what that lawn is telling you, is opposite to what you have been hearing from me, in this hall.
You know what the lawn is telling you?
The lawn is telling you that you can cultivate nature for your own convenience and then you can gladly step over it. Lawn is telling you that the grass must grow only to the length that suits us human beings. So, the grass must exist but only as a slave to our tendencies. Beyond that, if the grass grows, you are going to prune it.
So, the lawn is in itself another clarity session, that clarity you can call it as confusion. So, this is a clarity session and then you go and you watch the lawn, then there is a confusion session. Now, the lawn does not look like something sinister. The lawn looks pretty harmless, but you don’t even realize the signal that the lawn and the mowed grass has sent you. You do not realize that you have been taught something. And that what you have been taught, is deeply deeply dangerous.
You look at the buildings when you go out, you look at the faces of men, you look at the way people are conversating and all of that is educating you, all of that is sending you signals. All of that is conditioning you.
Here you are seeing me speak. Outside there are tens others who are speaking, and they are speaking just as they have been conditioned to speak. Even their sight is not something that helps you remain clean. Just the sight. Even if you don’t hear what they are speaking. Even if you watch their faces as they speak, you are corrupted.
A totally different world of powerful influences crowds in upon you, the moment you step out – Different voices, different sights, different concerns, different priorities, a different dimension of being. You go to the dining hall to eat your dinner, do you know how deeply that place is conditioning you? That place is telling you that to eat your dinner, you first have to organize your stuff. The dining hall is a pretty much organized space. You know what organization means? Planning.
Jesus tells you that the Lord will take care of your bread. But that is not what this dining hall is telling you. The dining hall has been arranged by man. Everything there is planned out. The chairs are exactly four in number, around each table. There is a man made order. You don’t realize that. You don’t watch so attentively, that you can catch it. You don’t see that it is not merely a dining hall. It is a center of education. And that education is ruining you.
You see how all the vessels are arranged on the table. Do you know what message is that giving you? That message is that even food can be a product of human production. Are you getting it? The message that is been sent is, that if you are the body then the basic sustenance of the body comes from man’s efforts. In these ways, in various ways, you are continuously being influenced, even if explicitly there is nobody to influence you.
That is the reason why living solitarily has been used since long time, as a method in spirituality. How effective that method is, and in what conditions, that is another topic of discussion. But for this discussion, it suffices to say that at least some people have found it effective under certain conditions, to put themselves in a solitary state where they have nobody to talk to, where they have nothing man made to look at. It helps because the mind is now no more receiving social signals.
Are you getting it?
In fact, it is similar to the situation where a patient with low levels of immunity, is put in a special ward in a hospital where nobody is allowed to meet him or touch him. Because, whosoever meets him is likely to transfer some of his pathogens to this sick man who is low on immunity. Because his immunity is low, so he will not be able to resist any of the pathogens. Such is our state. Our immunity is so low, that we are unable to resist any influence that comes to attack us. And therefore, it may be a useful thing for many of us, to just not interact with those, who are likely to corrupt us. It depends on your condition.
If you think your immunity is powerful enough, to stay unaffected even in corrupting situations, then go ahead and plunge yourselves, in a cesspool. May be you will come out untouched. But if you, humbly and honestly know that people affect you, situations affect you, sights affect you, food affects you, urges affect you, thoughts, desires, sexual fantasies, they all affect you, then it is advisable for you to simply abstain.
Why put yourself in a situation, where you know, that you are going to get affected, where you know that you are likely to slip. In fact to put yourself in a situation where, there is a likelihood of slipping, is to be guilty of deliberately planning to slip. You very well know that if you go to a particular friend, he will convince you to drink, and you claim that you do not want to drink and still you go to that friend. Then are you not guilty of planning to drink and drinking deliberately. You very well knew that you have no immunity against that friend. The moment he will come in front of you, you will be compelled to drink, and still you went with him! Then it is as bad as drinking deliberately.
Abstinence, has its virtues. Depends, for whom? For the one, who knows his immunity to be low, who knows, his internal defense, his internal resistance to be low. Mind you, if your internal resistance is low, and you still fall a victim to the pathogens then your low immunity will be even further lowered. Are you getting it?
You already had low immunity and you fell sick. Now, what is going to happen to your immunity level? It will drop down even further. So, good for you – don’t invite such situations, just stay away. Just stay away from places, from people, who are likely to have corrupting effect upon you.
Don’t remain, in fantasies about your powers. You should humbly accept, that you just don’t have any power to resist. When the moment to slip will come, you will gladly slip. So, why pretend that you will enter the coal mine and still come out untouched and pristine white. You very well know, that when you enter the coal mine, it will be next to impossible for you to emerge neat and clean. Now, why are you entering the coal mine? You still are not so skilled, you still are not so centered that you will be able to make your way through the mine, remaining untouched. You very well know it is impossible for you. Why do you do that then? Avoid, avoid, abstain.
L: This need to be clever, this want to have more knowledge is a defense again not being a fool. And somehow, the knowledge that we are talking about, it seems okay to be a fool.
AP: Yes, it is security.
Similarly, all you get, is an idea of security, not security itself.
Good. Welcome to Holy foolishness.
L: Sir, if I have understood it clearly, you are saying that if one feels weak, and is easily shaken, we need to be exclusive in experiences, we need to block off certain experiences. But, practically, there are times that you have just have to plunge in those experiences. I clearly know that one comes back weaker, but what if your work requires to plunge into those experiences.
AP: It depends. What is the genesis of your work then? You see, when a patient is quarantined, then he has been cut off from the entire world, except one person. Who is that one person?
Now if the question is, What if the Doctor is saying that you take such and such medicines. Well, you go ahead and take those medicines. Because it is the Doctor who is making the decision in the first place, to quarantine you. Your question is tantamount to asking, “When I have been put in isolation, why should I meet even the Doctor”? (Smiles)
That is what the patient is asking, “When the entire world can influence me, my immunity is so weak, won’t even the Doctor influence me?” So, the logic is, well I must not let any influences come to me, I must also not let the Doctor come to me. That is silly.
L: It’s not about the Doctor, it’s the entire hospital
AP: Ah… If it is not a really sick hospital, then the Doctor is one with the hospital. The Doctor and the hospital, would be one and the same thing. And if they are not, then again, the only fellow who can resolve the situation, is the Doctor. Let’s say there is a nurse, attending to you. And she is carrying all kinds of germs and stuff, and you are afraid that she might affect you. Then who is the person you take the matter to? The Doctor. So, even if the Doctor and the hospital have a certain dissonance, in the sense that the nurse is not, what the Doctor is; then the thing still goes to the Doctor.
L: The question is in reference to the word used, that is – conventional brahmcharya. My immunity is not that good. So, you took the example of going to the coal mine. Till the time, I am not going to the coal mine, I have an image of myself that I am alright, and nothing happens to me.
AP: No, that image need not be there. You see, you have been put in solitary confinement. Now, how can you still have an image that you are alright? You are quarantined, or you are in the I.C.U. ward; how can you still have an image that you are alright?
L: So, the moment the talk in over, we go out. And I see that there are three people, they can come to me and I won’t be able to save myself. So, I do not go there, but I obviously go to the rest of the people. And I assume that now it is alright. I am not getting corrupted. Had I gone to them, things would have gotten exposed, I would have busted, something would have revealed. But with these people, I have an assumption that I am alright and I am immune.
AP: See, in this case, both are pathogens. And also the phenomena that you are talking of, ‘exposure’, that need not necessarily happen. You may go somewhere and not explode, not even simmer. Even explosion requires a certain courage. When your immunity is very low, then you just fizzle out, without even a noise. There need not be any explosion, it’s not necessary.
How often do you see people exploding? It does not happen too frequently. Even for explosion to happen, there must be some substance within. The whole thing is, when you know that you are susceptible to influences, you better take care of yourself, and you better keep yourself in the right company, as simple as this. When you know it is cold outside, you better put on the right clothing.
When you know, that you are walking through a jungle full of violent animals who can attack you anytime. Then you better remain protected with a man who knows the ways of the jungle, and is also preferably carrying some fire and a gun. Remain in the right company. If you don’t have the company of the man, with knowledge of the jungle and fire, then you will have to bear the company of the lions and the hyenas.
That is what happens. You know walking through the jungle, you leave the man who is carrying the fire, the light and then you are gone, finished. So, stick to the light. Stay close together. And it doesn’t matter, for how long you lose contact. If you lose contact, even for two minutes, it is quite possible that you have lost the light forever. That is why saints have called it a very difficult path – “Rahiman dhaaga prem ka, mat todo chatkaaye, jode se fir naa jude, jude gaanth padi jaaye.” Don’t let it snap, even once. If it has snapped once, it is impossible to repair the thing. And even if you repair it, it will carry an ugly knot.
Don’t distance yourselves, even for two minutes. Love is what connects you to God, love is what connects you to the beloved. Don’t desert him even for a minute, who knows what will happen to you in that minute. Who knows what decision you will take? And who knows what will be the lifelong repercussions of that decision? One minute is a lifetime. One day is a lifetime. And the damage is often irreparable.
So don’t leave the right company, even for one minute. You may have to pay the price of one day, or one night, all your life.
It’s a very fine thread. It’s a very fine thread.
When you are hanging with a thread, you better respect the thread. When your life depends on that weak sliver, you better take care of it. It is very vulnerable. And your position is very critical. One minute of exuberance, one minute of indiscretion, and you may have lost it forever. Be careful.
L: But… From other perspective. Does it even matter?
AP: Yes, it does to you.
L: But, if we are like seeing it from …
AP: It’s not an assumption. When you are sick, you aren’t seeing at all. You can’t use ifs and buts in these things. When you are suffering, you are suffering you cannot say, “If I am suffering.” Suffering makes a mockery of all your imaginary questions. None of these imaginary questions are going to rescue you, when suffering hits you in the face. Do you ever say, “If I am suffering?” Is suffering an imaginary concept?
Or is it the most real thing, when it is there?
I repeat, this place, is an oasis. This place is a refuge. This place is a sanctuary for many threatened species. When you wander outside, wander with caution. Because you are threatened, you do not know how deeply threatened you are. I repeat this – because you are threatened, you have lost your discrimination, You have lost your observation. You do not even know what all dangers wait for you, the moment you move outside this hall, this field of awareness.
It all appears so simple, that you do not even appreciate that you are being shielded. Because you don’t see the shield. Because the shield is so perfectly made, that it is too subtle to be seen. It is a very very fine armor all around you. It’s like a Laxman Rekha. As long as you are within it, nobody can harm you, you step out and then there are many demons, waiting for your flesh.
Better be careful. Because this question has been coming repeatedly and repeatedly, that as long as we are here, we feel we understand. But the moment we go out, everything vanishes. Why do you go out at all? What is the great need to venture out and wander? Please, I want to understand this. What is the holy and essential stuff that you will get outside and not here? Saving a patient takes many many years of careful observation, treatment. But killing a patient, requires just one blow of a violent hand. For one year you can stay protected in this field and for one night, you can venture out and get killed. Why do you want to venture out?
Ten years of protection can be undone in one night. And after it is undone, you cannot redo it. Rahim, just said, “jode se fir naa jude.” Once you have snapped the cord, you will not be able to reverse the damage. Then why are you so casual and cavalier about it? Why do you continuously stray out?
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session video: Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti: The right relationship tells you about yourself
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