Watch where your time is going || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

गोबिंद मिलण की इह तेरी बरीआ ॥
Gobinḏ milaṇ kī ih ṯerī barīā.
This is your chance to meet the Lord of the Universe.

अवरि काज तेरै कितै न काम ॥
Avar kāj ṯerai kiṯai na kām.
Other efforts are of no use to you.

मिलु साधसंगति भजु केवल नाम ॥१॥
Mil sāḏẖsangaṯ bẖaj keval nām. ||1||
Joining the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, vibrate and meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||1||

रहरास साहिब, पाँचवा महला (Rehraas Sahib, Fifth Mehla)

~ Guru Granth Sahib, Page: 378

Question: If this is the advice by the Guru, how do we apply this  in our everyday life?

Acharya Prashant Ji: What is the advice being quoted?

Gobinḏ milaṇ kī ih ṯerī barīā.
(This is your chance to meet the Lord of the Universe).

Avar kāj ṯerai kiṯai na kām.
(Other efforts are of no use to you).

Mil sāḏẖsangaṯ bẖaj keval nām. 
(Joining the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, vibrate and meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord).

So Anna is asking, “How is the Guru’s advice to be applied in our everyday life?” Look especially at the middle line among the three.

First line says, “This is your chance to meet the Lord of the Universe.” The second line says, “Other efforts are of no use to you.” The third line says, “Joining the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, vibrate and meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord.”

Note what the second line, the middle line is saying, “Other efforts are of no use to you.”

All the other actions are just waste.

Only the action directed towards the Truth is worthwhile, everything else that you are doing  is a trifling waste.

A trifling, tremendous waste. 

First of all look at what you are already doing. You are talking of everyday life, right? Look at what you are doing in this everyday life. The Guru is telling you that all your miscellaneous actions are of no use.

You ask me, “How to practically apply this is in everyday life?” What is this everyday life about? Everyday life is everyday actions. The Guru is saying, “They are useless. You might be accustomed to them.” It might be intuitive to you that all that you normally, usually do is indispensable, it must be done. It is not. You can do away with it. And that would never come to you very intuitively.

If you will not meditate on what I am saying, if you will just react to it, then your reaction will be – No. You will say, “No, it is not true. It is not that whatever I do through the day is just wasteful. There are so many important, and critical, and responsible things that I take care of.”

“It is not that I am wasting my day. It is not that my actions are all just useless. Yes, I admit that a part of my day is ill-spent. But you will have to concede that a lot of what I do is important and critical.” The Gurus would have none of such statements. They will say, “No.”

You must past every motivation of yours through very tight scrutiny. You must very rigorously check every single action that you make. Just impulsively giving yourself a pass certificate is prejudice. Don’t be biased towards yourself. In fact it might be a little better, if you must be biased, to be biased against yourself.

Doubt yourself thoroughly, be biased against yourself.

Your default statement should be – “Nothing is beyond examination. Even if something appears utterly important and truthful to me I must still scrutinise it.”

Because the Guru is advising, “All your efforts are of no avail. What are you doing?”

Check, check.

Honestly and rigorously check, how much of your time is actually devoted to the Truth.

It’s a very numerical thing.

You can count it, you can quantify it. You can express it everyday in numbers.

It is a measure of your devotion.

What is the measure of your devotion?

The proportion of your time that is going really into the service of the Truth.

Now see whether you get a forty percent, a pass percentage, forget about getting a distinction, forget about being a cent-percentiler. Are you even managing a thirty three percent, or even forty? It’s a huge ask, you know.

Forty percent of twenty-four hours, how much is that? Just a little short of ten hours. Ten hours of your day, ten rigorous hours of your day, with not even a second of exemption, devoted exclusively to the Truth. Are you getting even a pass percentage? That’s what the Gurus are asking you. “When would you ever graduate?”

What is Enlightenment? Nothing but this succession of passing one class after the other. Are you really passing?

The second line explains the first line.

The first line says, “Gobinḏ milaṇ kī ih ṯerī barīā.” This is the opportunity. “Gobinḏ milaṇ (meeting the Lord) kī ih ṯerī barīā.” This is your opportunity. What is the opportunity? To get a hundred percent.

Remove, remove, ruthlessly, mercilessly, with no attachment.

Remove, remove, remove, remove everything from your life that does not have anything to do with the Truth.

Remove.

Nothing is so important that it deserves to be in your life, even if it is Truthless.

If it is Truthless that qualifies it for removal.

No more tests needed, no exceptions allowed.

No deviations, no exceptions.

You just had a conversation with someone. Ask yourself, “Was that conversation in the service of Truth?” If it was, well extend that conversation. If not, push the red button now. Don’t even bother to say, “Bye.” What else is the red thing there for? Push it. Don’t even complete the formality of saying a rosy ‘good-bye’. Finished. Even the damn good-bye will consume time. Why do you want to further reduce your percentage?

So is the whole thing about merely negation and deletion, and removal? Does it give you no positive, affirmative direction? Not so. Look at the third line. The third line will give you what you call as ‘the positive guidance’.

Mil sāḏẖsangaṯ bẖaj keval nām. 
(Joining the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, vibrate and meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord).

So on one hand you keep removing all the nonsense from your life, not a minute should go into the waste account.

And on the other hand you keep investing all the time that you are saving, in the company of those who love the company of Truth.

Who is the ‘sadhu‘ (sage)? The one who loves the company of Truth.

So what do you do with all the time that you save by removing all the nonsense from your life? You invest it in being with people who love Truth. And you invest that time in talking of nothing but God.

“Bẖaj keval nām. (Meditate only on the name of the Lord).” Look at the emphasis. It does not say, “Bẖaj nām.” It says, “Bẖaj keval nām.” Which means everything else is to be deleted. That deletion, that Neti-Neti is very important.

I repeat: Spirituality is not about adding something to your life. First of all it is about removing. Remove, remove.

Bẖaj keval nām (Meditate only on the name of the Lord).” And remove all the other nonsense that you keep reciting.

Only Truth has to be remembered and talked of.

So it’s a very practical method that has been suggested.

Save more and more of your time, money, resources, attention. And when you have saved it, then you have the liberty to invest it. Save it from the wrong places, and then invest it in the right places.

Is that all not very simple? 

That’s what the Guru is saying.

It simply means a re-allotment of your life resources. Life is nothing but a basket of resources. Is it not? Time being the principal resource. Energy is the resource, intellect is a resource, knowledge is a resource, memory and past is a resource, relationships are a resource. Muscle power is a resource, money power is a resource.

Life to you is a basket of resources to be put to right use.

And what is the Guru advising? Keep withdrawing your resources from all the wrong places, and keep reinvesting your resources in all the right places.

That is Spiritual practice.

What have you been given the resources for?

For the great project of Liberation.

The one in bondage has been given a big basket of resources so that he may use those resources towards his Liberation.

And that is the only right use of all the resources you have in life.

If you time, what is to be used for?

Listeners: Liberation.

Acharya Prashant Ji: If you have money, what is it to be used for?

Listeners: Liberation.

Acharya Prashant Ji: If you have knowledge, it is to be used for?

Listeners: Liberation.

Acharya Prashant Ji: If you have youth, it is to be used for?

Listeners: Liberation.

Acharya Prashant Ji: If you have health, it is to be used for?

Listeners: Liberation.

Acharya Prashant Ji: If you can be in a relationship, if you can have somebody’s company, it is to be used for?

Listeners: Liberation.

Acharya Prashant Ji: That’s how life is to be lived, that’s the art of living. Everything else is just nonsense.

Invest whatever you have towards Liberation, and that is Truth. Liberation and Truth are he two names of the same one.

How do you know that you are misusing your resources? Ask yourself, “I had it, what did I use it for? I had one spare hour, what did I use it for? I had twenty-four hours in the day, what did I use them for? I had hundred rupees, what did I use them for?”

And the question has to be brutally honest. It must cut you down to the core. Do not ask lazy and comfortable questions. You must have the guts to ask dangerous questions, questions that rush to you with sharp sword. Questions that will kill you.

Ask those questions.

“Was it really important to invest that one hour there?”

“Is it really important to invest two hours in the way I am planning to use them? What will I get out of those two hours? Will I get Liberation?”

If Liberation is the answer, go ahead. Let nothing stop you. And if Liberation is not the answer, let nothing make you spend those two hours wastefully. And keep asking that question minute-after-minute. “What did this minute go into?”

That minute is ‘Worship’. That minute decides your devotion, that commitment, your life, that depth, that trueness of your Spirituality. Where did that minute go? That ‘minute’ is the mantra for you. Ask yourself, “Where did this one minute go?” I am not even talking of hours. An hour is an awful amount of time to waste.

After you have wasted that one hour, it hardly helps to ask, “Where did that one hour go?” Ask this question minute-after-minute, not hour-after-hour. A second is so unforgiving, what to talk of hours. Does the gone ‘second’ return? Does it ever excuse you, pardon you? Bring it back if you can. Can you? It’s gone.

So be extremely cautious.

You have to be cautious towards the investment of all your resources, but among all the resources, we have repeatedly said that, the prime one is – Time.

Time.

Be careful about everything that you spend.

The other things that you spend can be regained, money lost can probably be regained, but there is one resource that is not retrievable.

There is one loss that is irreversible.

The loss of time.

Therefore ‘time’ as a resource has to be very strongly guarded.

——————————————————————————————————————

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session video: Watch where your time is going || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

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