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Question: How to differentiate between and recognize, whether one trusts in the universe to unfold one’s destiny and goes with the flow, and allows the life to unfold, and be the one who is a loser, who is lazy and does nothing?
Acharya Prashant (AP):
The lazy one does a lot.
The lazy one is lazy and inactive, only externally.
Internally, he is very active.
Please appreciate this.
The ones we call as ‘lazy’, are not lazy at all. They may not move their limbs, but their minds are very active. Absolute laziness is a supreme virtue. Sages like Ashtavakra have sung greatly in praise of ‘Divine laziness’.
‘Divine laziness’ is a total stopping of all movement; coming to that point within, where nothing moves at all.
That’s why is is being called as ‘lazy’.
You know, there is a song, a Gita. You have heard of Bhagwad Gita of Krishna, there is another Gita, called ‘the Ajgar Gita’ (The Gita of the Great Python). Do you know Python? It just keeps lying somewhere, doesn’t move. It’s an icon of laziness. So that Gita is known by the Ajgar (the Python). This Gita is devoted to inaction.
There is one mind that appears to be inactive, but is very active within.
There is another mind that appears to inactive, but is totally composed, still, silent within.
Which one do you want?
Questioner 1: The silent one.
That is the art of living – to be totally active outside, and be totally active within.
(Pointing at the ceiling fan) The fan over your head is such a good example. The wings, the blades can move about so freely, only because the axis is totally still. And so the wings can fly. That is ‘laziness’.
In that sense, the Self, the Atman is supremely lazy.
It does not ‘do’ anything; it is just a watcher.
By virtue of it everything happens, but by itself it does nothing.
In it’s presence everything happens, but it is never the doer.
Can one live like that? – Acting, yet not acting.
And you are acting and yet not acting, when you are unconcerned with the fruits of the action. If you are not acting with a particular result or future in mind, then you do not become an actor, in spite of acting. Now you are just acting. Just acting. Why? No reason. Reason means a perceived profit which will come in the future.
So, when you act reason-lessly, when you act without the need to feel secure, or gain something, then you are actually not acting, in spite of acting. Now you do not have to carry forward the results of the action. Now the past will not come to haunt you.
Now you are not the loser; you are the highest winner.
Alternately, you are the greatest loser; you have lost all your miseries.
Questioner 1: Does it mean that we cannot have any plans?
AP: You can have all the plans without expecting anything from the plans. Plan. Plan as much as you want to, but don’t cry when the plan fails. If the plan succeeds, good. If the plan fails, even better.
And if you want a plan B, have a plan C,D,E,F as well. Have as many plans. The alphabets are yours. You are free to plan as much as possible. Plan as much as kids do, plan as one plans in a dream, but don’t take your plans seriously.
Questioner 1: But isn’t planning something that takes one away from the present moment?
AP: Nothing can ever take you away from the present moment. If someone has told you that planning takes you away from the present, he doesn’t know the ‘present’.
The ‘present’ is the Truth.
Even when you feel that you are away from the Truth, you are still in the Truth; it is just that you are feeling in a stupid away. Nothing can take you away from the ‘present’. Even the past and the future are contained in the ‘present’. Where will you go away from the ‘present’?
The ‘present’ is all that there is. There is no other place to go.
Where will you go?
Questioner 1: But, may be this planning takes one away from being conscious of the present moment.
You can never be conscious of the present moment; you can only ‘be’ in the present.
All consciousness is in the present; you can never be conscious of the present.
The present is like the vast Sky.
How can it ever be contained in your consciousness?
Thought is like the cloud floating in the Sky. Let the thought, the plan, hang about; it cannot spoil the Sky. Even if you try to contaminate the Sky, the worst kind of pollution, it is never the Sky that is contaminated.
Can you ever stain the Sky?
The ‘present’ is that Sky that contains everything, and yet is untouched by anything.
Questioner 1: Can one align one’s intentions with the will of the universe.
AP: You can never align your intentions with the will of the universe, because the will of the universe can never be known to you. How will you align? How will ‘you’ align?
Only when you do not take your will seriously, then you let the will of the universe flow through you.
When do you know the will of the universe?
Only when it expresses itself through you.
Never in advance. Never in advance.
If you think that you can know the will of the universe and then adjust, or align, or manipulate your will so that these two are aligned and in harmony, that will never happen.
Your plans sometimes do materialise, don’t they? Didn’t you plan to come here? Didn’t I plan to come here? I did. Surely you didn’t stumble into this place. There was some kind of a cause-effect thing happening behind this. Didn’t you plan to take a flight? Didn’t you plan to apply for a visa? Didn’t all those plans materialise? They do. So sometimes plans fructify, sometimes plans fail. In either case, you are in the present.
It is not about the plans; it is about ‘the planner’.
Do not be too concerned too identified with the planner.
If you take the planner seriously, then you make the planner your master.
We take that planning mind, the ego mind, very seriously.
We let it dictate terms to us.
Let the planner be surrendered to the Truth, and let it keep planning. What else will it do? The mind is a monkey, it can only hop around. Let the mind be surrendered. ‘Surrender’ is the key word. In that surrender, you are free to plan.
You are saying now that – “All my plans are as per your wish, and now I will go and plan as much as I want to.” You see, if you just claim that one must not plan, then you are inviting hypocrisy, because you will find that you will end up planning.
Can you have a flyover without planning? Don’t you already have return flight tickets with you? Does that require planning? Does that, or not? But you will claim that planning is an evil thing, because some teacher, or some book told it to you. That is just hypocrisy. You are planning, even that teacher is planning. But he is advising and preaching that plans are very bad.
Not the plans, it is the planner that is the burden.
Keep your head down, and let your head plan then.
Just keep it down.
Keep it down, and then let it plan, think, run around, and do all kinds of stupidities that it wants to do.
Questioner 1: Would you like to say something on ‘control’?
AP: Same thing. Planning is the need to control. It is just the same thing.
Be controlled, and then control as much as you want to.
Be the perfect servant, and then you are the Master of everything.
Bow down to the One, and then you will never need to bow down to anybody else.
So I said, “Be controlled, and then you control everything.” Surrender your control to That, and then you are free to control everything else, if you want to. If you don’t want to, even that freedom you have.
You want to run some day, run. You don’t want to run some day, don’t run. But know that you are never operating outside the wish of your Master, or your Beloved.
Are you getting it?
Out situation is totally opposite. To God, we do not surrender. We say, “No, No. How can we bow down, in front of you?” And to the world, we keep surrendering everyday. Here, even the smallest force is enough to defeat us, to control us, to make us feel like a loser.
Does that not happen?
A little bit change in the weather, and you are disturbed. Some agitation in the city, and you do not know what to do. Some news that come to you by mobile phone, and your mood gets spoiled. Somebody says that you are talking rubbish, and you suddenly have self-doubt. Somebody comes and says that you are the ugliest person I ever saw, you quickly pull out the mirror. So, we have no qualms with that. How obediently we allow the world to rule us. Don’t we?
We allow everybody to control us, except God.
Your flight, when it gets late, are you able to do anything about it? Now you are surrendered. “Ah! Yes, I am waiting my Lord. When you will descend from heaven, then I will come to you.” Now the airline is God, and you are surrendered. And some really spiritual fellow may decide to crash the plane. And you will not be able to do anything about it. So deep is your surrender.
So you will surrender to all the fools, but never to God. Never to God.
I am saying, “Surrender to the One, and then you will not need to surrender in front of all these idiots.”
Question 2: Acharya Ji, when does journey to God begin?
AP: Journey towards what?
Questioner 2: Towards God.
AP: There is no journey. You are already there. What do you mean by ‘journey’? There is no journey at all. Get rid of this notion that there is out ‘there’, away from you, that you must reach. All journey implies a distance, a destination. There is no journey. You are already there. Already there, you can journey as much as you want to.
Will the bird ever say, “I want to journey to the Sky?” You are the bird that claims, that it wants to fly to the Sky. The bird flies in the Sky. The destination is the expanse in which it flies. It cannot fly ‘to’ the Sky.
Questioner 2: So, ‘distance’ is just a notion?
AP: Distance is not only a notion, distance is a reality. You can cover a lot of distance, just as the bird covers a lot of distance, but you are carrying the destination within you, even when you are covering all those distances.
That which you are seeking, is the one who is enabling the seeking within you, sitting within you.
Questioner 2: Acharya Ji, then why do we seek?
AP: Why does one fly? Just for fun. So keep seeking if you want to, but never have a great, all-encompassing feeling, that the Sky is suddenly lost.
Think of the bird, who feels that she is out of the sky now. The bird is feeling that the fly has disappeared. She has dropped out of the Sky, and has gone to some guru. And the guru says that unless you do some great sadhana (spiritual practice), you cannot reach the Sky. You are out of space now.
And both, the bird and the guru, are talking in space. In the space, the guru is advising that the space is lost, the Sky is lost. And a lot of methods and practices, and effort is now needed to regain what you have lost.
You have not lost anything.
You cannot lose That, even if you want to lose it.
You cannot lose God, even if you try your best to lose Him.
Put in as much effort as you want to.
You will not succeed.
You will not succeed either way.
You put in a lot of effort to reach God, you will fail. You try to put in a lot of effort to lose God, you will fail.
Questioner 2: Because you are ‘in’ God.
Watch the session video: Going with the flow, and being a lazy loser || Acharya Prashant (2016) The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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