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Questioner: What does it really mean to be passively aware in day-to-day life? Whenever someone tries to hit me personally, the reaction happens. But the realization that the personality is defending is not instantaneous. So, how to maintain awareness in such instances, when one feels personally attacked?
Acharya Prashant: Aparajita is saying she wants to maintain awareness in instances when she is attacked. And should I read it to mean that you do not want to maintain awareness, in instances, when you are the attacker? If you can get the incompleteness of your question, you will realize why awareness eludes you.
Awareness is in total so you cannot get it in half. You want to remain aware only in moments of crisis. You want awareness to help you out, only when you are attacked. But when you are enjoying all kinds of pleasures, then you do not want awareness, do you?
When pain hits you, then you cry out awareness, awareness. But in your moments of pleasure, you forget all about Ashtavakra, Rumi, and Acharya Ji. You say, ‘Now, we are anyway happy and aim of all spirituality is to give happiness, so why do we now need spiritual help?’
You are wrong, Aparajita.
Spirituality is not about happiness. Spirituality is not about relief from pain. Spirituality, before it ameliorates your pain, does away with your pleasures.
Look at your question. You are saying, ‘How to maintain awareness in ‘such’ instances?’ See, how you have qualified awareness. See, how you have confined awareness. You are saying, ‘When I am attacked, then, I want to be aware’. Why?
And how many times a day, you are attacked. Two times a day, five times a day, sometimes never in the day. In those specific instances, you want awareness, otherwise not.
And therefore, you will have no awareness at all, because you are asking for partial awareness, and awareness can never be partial. You want to remain aware when you are attacked, then remain aware, when you are not attacked, also remain aware, when you are the attacker. Awareness has to be the total. The surrender has to be absolute.
You cannot wish for health only in the moments when a virus attacks you. Health will not suddenly come to you. If you have been healthy, health will defend you, when you are attacked, besieged and if you have not been healthy, then no point trying drastic, and last moments tactics. This is what mediocre students do, don’t they?
‘What to do now, when exams are on our head?’
What you have been doing throughout the year, son?
And now when the exams are upon you, I will not advise you shortcuts and dirty tricks. I would rather say, miss a year but complete the course properly. Complete the course properly, be a good student. If you have been attentive throughout the year, the exams will not bother you. And no point asking exams if you have not been a good student throughout the year.
When anger strikes you, or fear, or suspicion, that is the moment, when the slumbering consciousness wakes up a little. It realizes that it has been attacked. So, it asks for help. That is almost like asking for help after house has caught fire.
Prevent the house from catching the fire. That’s almost like asking for help, after you had a heart attack. Now, the cardiac arrest is there. What is the maximum that can be done?
Great damage has already happened.
Why not live the life, in which the possibility of cardiac arrest is the minimum?
Look at how the body, mind machine operates.
It’s fun to watch.
And watch especially, when you are happy or pleased.
Watch Full Discourse: Do not try to be aware in ‘some’ situations || Acharya Prashant (2018). The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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