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Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam!
Whenever we ask this question, “What is the purpose of life?” many of the spiritual masters say, “There is no purpose of life. It is purposelessness. To come to purposelessness, to come to that state, is the purpose of life.” If one lives one’s life honestly and remains surrendered, what does it lead to?
My another question is: Since ages Saints have devoted their entire life to help people awaken. You too spend so much energy doing the same. What is the outcome that Saints wish for?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Freedom from outcomes.
Questioner: Imagining a world where everyone is peaceful and closer to the Truth, is this what the Saints wished for?
Acharya Prashant Ji: It is not a matter of imagination.
All your imaginations will be of a false world.
A million kinds of falsenesses can be imagined.
Truth, or a Truthful world cannot be imagined.
But you are not so much to be blamed.
You have had many movies, many novels, many songs devoted to describing or picturising a Utopian world of Truth. So they would show you a jungle in which the hare and the hound are dancing together, hand-in-hand, and they will say, “This is the enlightened world.”
The lion and the deer are drinking from the same river you see, side-by-side, and it is so cute. All the animals have formed a circle. There is zebra, and next to zebra is a bear. Next to the bear is the goat, and next to the goat is the python. Next to the python is the eagle, next to the eagle is the rabbit. And they are all dancing together. This is the kind of world you imagine, right?
What else can you imagine?
Don’t you see that this is nothing but the dual opposite of what you see all around you? What you see all around you, you call as ‘false’. So when you have to imagine, you just start imagining the opposite of the false, and you think that the Truth is the opposite of the false.
The Truth is not the opposite of the false.
False can be imagined, and the opposite of false too can be imagined.
All imagination would therefore be limited to the province of ‘falseness’.
Truth is not a matter of imagination.
Don’t make that mistake.
If the lion and the deer are dancing together, very soon one of them is going to die. Either the lion will die of hunger, or if the lion chooses to not to remain hungry, then the deer will die. The lion and the deer are not going to dance together, if that is the kind of ‘Truthful world’ you are imagining.
What do you mean by a ‘Truthful world’?
If you really are established in the world, all imaginations of the world would vanish. If you are still imagining how a truthful world would be, then one thing is certain – you are not seated in the Truth.
Do consider that those who have known have repeatedly told you that the world itself is false.
Then what do you mean by a ‘True world’?
You want to know the purpose of Spirituality, you want to know the outcome of Spirituality. You are saying, “Suppose Spirituality succeeds, then what would the world look like?”
To whom? To whom?
Are we talking of ‘mission polio’? There you can have a vision. You can say, “If the mission to eradicate polio succeeds, then we will have a world where there are no polio sufferers.” Alright. You can have a vision with respect to polio and the absence of polio.
You can have a vision when it comes to electrification of a village. You can very well say, “Right now this village is plunged in darkness. But if the mission to electrify succeeds, then this is what the village would look like.” You can draw an anticipatory blueprint. And if the electrification succeeds, it would quite closely resemble your blueprint.
These are the things where you can imagine, anticipate, predict.
You can look at a baby bird and project what the bird would look like when the bird grows up, if it grows up. And if it does grow up, it would quite closely correspond to your forecast.
But you cannot look at baby Gautam and try to predict what he would do, if the Buddha inside him awakens. Baby Gautam can be predicted to become Gautam the young man. But if you want to have an imagination about Buddha, then you are entertaining yourself.
People come to me with this question: “What is your vision? What do you want to do? Ultimately when would you call yourself ‘successful’?”
“Do you have a benchmark?”
“All that is done is done with a purpose.”
They will come and very scholarly tell me, “Every project must have a finish line. If you are doing something, you must know what the end of the doing is.” And I have a very difficult time explaining to people that – I really do not have any vision.
At the most if I have goals, they are very-very short-term. I am not looking beyond today, may be tomorrow. May be two months at max, if I dare to venture that far ahead. Even venturing two months or six months ahead of myself is a transgression. It is an encroachment into a forbidden area. Then how do I dare to think years in advance?
But that’s what your scholars and leaders have done. That’s what even your spiritual gurus have done. They have sold you dreams. They have told you, “Look, this is what my vision of the future is. This is what my dreamworld would look like. And I want to share this vision with you. I what you to buy into this vision.”
And you say, “Wow, what a painting you have created! Can it be reality some day?” And the fellow says, “Of course, it can be. Let’s march towards it together.” And you say, “Wow! Here I am. Enrolled. I am joining you.”
You only want to march towards the known, right? Don’t you see what you are doing? Don’t you see that even in marching towards something, essentially you just want to stay put stubbornly in your rat-hole.
When you talk of your love towards an outcome, or a vision, or a result, it appears that you are desirous of change. But what kind of change? Change that ensures that the core tendency to clutch, to remain afraid, to direct, to plan, to be assured in advance remains unchanged.
The man who has never seen, the man who has been blind since birth is trying to predict what colours are like, what objects are like, what is meant by the visual beauty of things, and what all he would love to see once he gains his eyesight.
Just as it does not behove him to talk of Light, he must just worship Light.
He must just be sold out to Light.
He must just let everything be done, that would bring Light to him.
He has no business talking of Light.
He has no business predicting things.
But people get very suspicious when you do not sell them a vision, because we are creatures of fear. We want to feel assured and secure.
When somebody sells you a vision, then you feel that you are in control, then you feel that if you are moving then the destination is known, so you won’t be lost. Then you feel that if you are moving, then you know in advance where you are going to reach.
And that way you will not reach an undesirable place.
Hell! Do you see this is what you want? Even in the spiritual journey you just want to reach a desirable place, and so you demand a vision. Many in team demand a vision from me. And when they don’t get a vision, they get very suspicious.
“But what is it that you want to do?”
“One year down the line where do you see yourself?”
“Ultimately why are you doing all this?”
And you know what, now I have begun answering and satisfying them. There was a time when I was cavalier enough to dismiss such questions away. They would ask me such question, and I would tell them, “I don’t have a vision. Go away. I am just doing what pleases me. I am just having a good time.”
Now I give them visions.
I don’t like myself doing that, but very soon may be I will succeed in dropping this dislike also. May be very soon they will win to such an extent that I will become a professional peddler of visions.
Marigolds will be hanging down the walls, and stars will be shining in your rooms. And when you will open the door, who will hear divine jingles. And pigs will fly.
So don’t worry. Very soon I will have a vision ready for you.
I am learning you see.
I have many Teachers.
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: It’s false to imagine a truthful world || Acharya Prashant (2018)
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