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Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! I read the six chapters from the book allotted to me yesterday. And now I don’t want to stop and there is a feeling of stillness. But when I look back to conclude what I have read, I cannot recollect much. There is a feeling that I need to read again and a feeling that I haven’t received completely what has been said.
Yet, there is no question. Am I not paying attention?
Acharya Prashant Ji: These aren’t matters of completing the syllabus. These are things of Love.
Look at the whole milieu. Look at the whole story, not merely what you have done today and a few days back. Is there Love? Then obviously attention would follow. And if there is no Love, how does it matter how many chapters you have ‘completed’.
What next? Would you appear for an exam tomorrow and reproduce what you have just mugged up? And that too you won’t be able to do because as you have mentioned that you don’t remember much.
So you felt that you are lagging behind, right? The course is proceeding, we are past the half-way mark, the class has surged ahead, and you felt that you are lagging behind. So you picked up the book and in one go you finished-off the chapter. Right? Is that not what a sixteen year old does, a twenty year old does, a twenty-two year old does?
The syllabus has shot ahead of me, so what do I do? One night I just clean up everything, and that allows me to laze around for a couple of weeks. Is that not how we have anyway been approaching education? Has anything really changed?
Is there Love?
You want to play catch-up and then just to double-check, you want to recollect that you have indeed caught up. You haven’t asked me, “What is this game of playing catch-up?” See what you have asked me. You have asked me, “Have I indeed caught up?” You are saying, “When I look back to conclude what I have read, I can’t recollect much. There is a feeling that I need to read again. A feeling that I haven’t comprehended completely what has been said.”
Are you judging yourself against some benchmark? Are you trying to compete? Even in matters of Love, do you have ‘others’ in mind? Such love comes to very tragic shocks.
You want to check what the other’s position is. Let me ask you, the reading was with you, suppose no sessions had passed-by, suppose the feeling of being left behind was not there, would you still have picked up the book and read it? No. You read it because the motivator was a feeling of competition.
Are you competing even in Love? Have you not learnt that when the position, the station, the presence of others becomes too significant in matters of Love, then the Beloved is lost? Even memory is an ‘other’, even comprehension is an ‘other’. Even if you go to memory to ask, “Do you retain something?”, if you go to the memory and ask, “Hi memory, do you retain something?” you are asking somebody ‘else’.
This is vilification of Love.
If you go to the intellect and ask, “Have you comprehended?” You have introduced a third party in Love. That too is an abuse of Love.
One clear characteristic of the Lover, let me tell you, very clear characteristic – the Lover cannot be affected by the presence of third, fourth, or fifth entities. Why? Because the Lover is seeing only One.
If the Lover is seeing only One, how will the Lover even ever know that the third, fourth, eighth, tenth are existent? And if the Lover is not seeing only One, then his Love is anyway not worth the name.
It’s between you and the book, how do the others matter? I could have probably said, “It’s between you and me,” but then to you, the others do matter. If you find a Lover complaining about the presence, the interference of the third, fourth, fifth person know very well that first of all this Love is very-very incomplete.
The first question that you should ask to such a complainant is, “How did you notice that a third one is present? How did you notice? Who are you looking at?” You have loved Osho a lot, haven’t you? And there is this story that Osho used to tell, a Sufi story. But he used to narrate it with such Love and effect.
So there was this Fakir who was praying to God with his mattress and beads, and books, and incense, and cups, and other holy stuff. So he had laid out the mattress, and on the mattress all these little things were kept. And he was kneeling in prayer. And he was quite absorbed.
And then there was this mad, crazy, foolish girl rushing to meet her lover. She had no sense of herself, no sense of time, no sense of etiquette. She was wearing only one sandal, her clothes were improper. And she was rushing in such great speed, hurtling through the farms through the woods. And in her great haste she did not see that the Fakir was there with all his holy arrangement.
She stumbled upon the Fakir. She disturbed all the things that had been placed and arranged, disrupting the prayer. And not only that, non-nonchalantly as if nothing has happened, she got up and kept running. And the Fakir got agitated. He called from behind, “Come back. Come here you.” The girl reluctantly came to him and said, “Whatever you have to say, please say it quickly. I am rushing off.”
The Fakir said, “Are you blind or what? Don’t you see that something pious is happening here. For the sake of a mere mortal of flesh and blood, you have committed a sacrilege.”
The girl said, “I am sorry Fakir baba. Yes it is true that my beloved is a mere man of flesh and blood. Probably I am not yet in Love with God. But allow me to rush to my mortal beloved. He is very dear to me. And before I disappear, I have just one question to ask you.”
“In love of a mere mortal I totally forgot that you were in the way. And you say that you are lover of Allah the Almighty, and yet you noticed me. I am loving just a mere man, skin and bones, and yet my eyes were so firmly set on my beloved that I totally ignored everything else. I had just one thing in my vision – the one I love. Everything was to be ignored, no third party counts. If someone is in the way, so be it. I will either knock down, or trip over, or jump. Something. But I am not going to stop or deviate.”
“How is it that you stopped your prayers for my sake? I did not stop, why did you stop? I was going to my lover, you too were with your Beloved. Why did you stop? I did not stop. What kind of Faith do you have?”
Because of others if you stop praying, you have no Love.
Because of others if you start praying, you have no Love.
Such meaningless prayers.
They stopped because there were influences, and they start because there are influences.
The mind sees just too many people, the Heart is blind to all but One.
Do you have any Heart?
How come you are seeing so many?
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: How to remember the essence of the scriptures? || Acharya Prashant (2018)
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