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Question: Acharya Ji, I have noticed that people who know me since childhood are now facing difficulty in understanding what I am doing. For instance, it took me two years to convince my wife and relatives etc., to even allow me to do what I am doing.
When I say, “What I am doing,” I am referring to my inclination towards Spirituality. Why do our closed ones take so much time to understand us?
Acharya Prashant Ji: It is because Abhilash (the questioner), they are close to you in an un-spiritual way. So they will take a lot of time. And you will have to live with this fact.
Do not just say, “Some person is close to you.” Complete the sentence. Elaborate and clarify. When you say, “He is close to me,” how is he close to you? What do you mean by ‘closeness’? Closeness of what to what? When you say ‘close’, you mean – X is close to Y.
When you say that somebody is close to you, kindly elaborate – what is close to what? The closeness itself is quite material, or co-incidental, or social, or physical.
They were close to you in a very-very un-spiritual way. In the spiritual dimension, they were not close at all.
So it is not that people who are close to you are taking time to understand you. If you want to express it honestly, the situation is like this – people who are spiritually very-very far from you, are taking time to come close to you. And that is understandable. Is it not? They were anyway very-very far from you, so they are taking time to come close to you.
Are you getting me?
(Referring to the table placed in front) Right now, am I closer to you, or to this table? In purely the physical sense, I am close to the table. But if I start teaching to this table, will it understand? So, that’s how your question is Abhilash.
“Acharya Ji, I have been close to a table since two decades. I have been very-very close to the table. I live on the table, I eat on the table, I sleep on the table, I dance on the table. Wherever I go, I carry the table on my back. But now I am teaching Bhagwad Gita to the table, and the table is not understanding.”
Sir, you have been close in the material sense. Your hand is resting on the table. There is no closeness between the hearts, there is no real closeness, essential closeness.
Two people can live in the same room for two thousand years, without being essentially close to each other.
You live in a hostel room, and four lizards also live in that room. Don’t they? And for four years that might be the case – you and the four lizzies. And you have been reciting the Upanishads for four years daily, since four years. Have the lizards understood?
But you are saying, “No, no. We were life-partners, room-partners. We shared our space. One day I found them sitting over the Gita. They were there inside even my washroom. They knew everything. They knew my body inside-out. Sometimes they would feast from my plate as well. There was a great bonhomie between the five of us. We were a family – me and the four lizards. But they are not understanding anything.”
What does physical closeness have to do with spiritual alignment or proximity?
(Referring to one of the members sitting in the audience) Of all the people who are sitting here, Anmol is the closest, and he has been dozing.
What does physical proximity have to do with understanding?
Even physical proximity helps, only when first of all there is ample consciousness at the other end.
Then you say, “Well, the flame of consciousness is burning in the other. Bring him physically close to me so that I can give more time, more attention.”
I can wear a hat all day long, that will not tell it what is inside the brain. Or will it? If it will gather anything, it is just the oil.
And that is why you sometimes find very befuddling, very ironical things happening.
People who have been physically close to the Teacher since long, you find that they have totally missed the Teacher.
And then you wonder: this fellow was physically so close, how can he totally miss the Teacher? He knows nothing. Even those who are thousands of miles away have gained so much. But this fellow – zero gain.
The reason is, physical closeness.
He was never really close; it was just table-and-hand, body-to-body, skin-to-skin.
The heart never came close.
So what will you learn?
Even right now, this session is being broadcasted live to I suppose thousands of people. And there are so many of you sitting here, physically. Is it certain that those who are sitting physically close are getting more from this session, compared to those who are watching it online, sitting hundreds miles away, or thousands miles away?
Is that a certainty?
I know for sure that many of you are not getting anything. It is very likely, that the one who is benefiting most from the session is not even present in this hall physically.
Physical nearness to the Teacher is a blessing to the deserving one.
He relishes it.
And physical nearness is a great curse to the undeserving one.
Because by being physically close, the undeserving one gets the pride that he is anyway close to the Teacher.
And there is no meter, no sensor to tell this undeserving person that – “You are not close.” There needs to be some kind of a ‘proximity meter’, which should tell you exactly how close are you. And that ‘proximity meter’ will surprise and shock many students of the Teacher.
They might be physically just two meters away from me, or from anybody who can teach, but actually they are ten thousand miles away. Ten thousand miles away, yet bloated with the pride that they are close.
And when they do not learn anything, they say, “We were so close. We still did not learn anything. The Teacher must be shabby.”
You were never close, not now, not yesterday.
You are only as close to the Teacher, as this hand is to this table.
What will the table learn?
Watch the session video: Why is it difficult to explain spirituality to our close ones? || Acharya Prashant (2019) The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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