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Question: Acharya Ji, I cannot really wrap my head around this when I say, “Okay fine, at this point that I am greedy for experiences, and I want to go out and may be get a massage for myself.”
So once I have understood that I am greedy for new experiences, and I am seeking a new experience, this means that I am supporting the greed. How am I supposed to understand, so that I am free of this greed? As Jiddu Krshnamurti says, “If you understand fear, you are free of fear.”
What is this ‘understanding’ then?
Acharya Prashant Ji: You are not greedy for the experience. You are greedy for what the experience would purportedly bring to you.
The experiencer wants fulfillment, and that is what the experience promises to bring him. It is not the experience that is paramount, but the promise. And it is okay to buy into that promise sometimes. But don’t you want to verify that the promise has been kept?
You bought into a promise. You bought yourself a massage. Has the promise been kept? Has the massage delivered what it promised? That’s what you should verify.
Questioner: Should I do this for each experience?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Obviously.
Questioner: Or, understand one experience?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Obviously, because that is what is making you invest yourself in all these experiences. If you are paying for each of these experiences, don’t you want to verify each of the bills? Or would you say, “Should I verify one bill? Or each of them?”
You paid for each of these bills, didn’t you? You paid with your time, energy, your life, your money. What have these experiences really brought you?
Questioner: What if the promises are not kept?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Don’t buy them again. Blacklist the massage parlour.
Questioner: If we end up choosing the next massage parlour?
Acharya Prashant Ji: May be, if you are still carrying a hope. A point may come when you are disillusioned with massage parlours as such. Now you know that none of these shops are any good.
It was not about one particular shop, it was about the very breed of these shops. They don’t keep their promises. Or do they?
Get a massage.
Questioner: Acharya Ji, how much should I push this experience investigation, and to what point should I push it, so that the experiencer rests?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Do you ask this when you count currency to pay in a shop? Don’t you check, and sometimes double-check every time you make a payment?
The thing was worth rupees two hundred seventy-six. You held out a five-hundred rupee note. Don’t you count how much has been received back? And don’t you count when a similar thing happens, and again, and again, and every time it happens?
It’s your precious money – you are talking about life.
How many times do you want to check? Every time, every moment.
You have given away a part of yourself, irretrievably. Is the lost minute ever going to return? You just expended a minute of your life in seeking a particular experience. Is that minute ever going to return? Now, before you expend the next minute, don’t you want to check?
Do we appreciate the loss that is called ‘time’? Or, do we live as if we are immortal?
The fact of death is strongly repressed. Is that how we live?
It was not without reason, that Saints always reminded you of death.
If they don’t remind you of death, then you keep throwing yourself away, wasting yourself away, as if you have infinite resources, especially infinite time.
The fact of your life as a ‘person’ is – you do not have infinite time.
Now, then how do you mange to waste yourself away in buying colourful experiences of all shapes? The fellow will walk away with what he wanted to. What are you left with? A drained kitty, and even more impoverished mind. The parlour will prosper. How about your life?
Every transaction has to be made with just one goal in sight.
You know that goal, right? We need not name it again and again.
It is the name of the One, who has no name.
That is – the Goal.
So, before you enter any transaction, big or small, ask yourself, “Is this going to take me to the goal, or at least closer to the goal? And if not, what am I doing in the shop?”
“Rahna nahin des biraana hai.”
(This shop, this place is not for me. It is alien to me).
“Yeh sansaar kaantan kee jhadee, ulajh ulajh mar jaana hai.”
(This world is a bunch of shrubs. One just keeps getting entangled, and eventually bleeds to death).
Such is the nature of this market place!
Watch the session video: What is each experience craving for? || Acharya Prashant (2019) The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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