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Question: Acharya Ji, you say, “Watch your cup of tea, watch your ugly modesty. Watch the tree, watch the bird. Liberation is there instantly.”
(The above lines have been taken from a poem penned down by Acharya Ji during the Myth Demolition Tour).
Acharya Ji, for me, the one who is watching everything, there is a constant unrest. The unrest is the same no matter what the object is. The unrest is bothering, hurting. In the name of surrendering this unrest, am I holding onto it instead of letting it go? May be I do not even know how to surrender.
I do not even know what I want, all I know is this unrest.
Please help me understand this.
Acharya Prashant Ji: So Jyoti (the questioner), you have a lot of energy. You have a lot of energy. Where do you find a lot of energy – in a still ocean, or in a bellowing ocean? Who requires more energy – a man sitting still, or a man running hither-thither?
Unrest implies a lot of energy, and that is being utilised to run from here to there, from pillar to post. The matter is quite simple, you need not be so bothered.
As long as you have spare time, spare space, spare energy, it will turn against you.
You have to devote every bit of yourself to something very sublime, far bigger than you.
This devotion is called – ‘Surrender’.
What else is ‘Surrender’? To give that up which you have.
But just can’t give up something to anybody or anywhere.
It has to be given to the Right One.
In fact, ‘Devotion’ is a more self-explanatory word than ‘Surrender’, because Devotion sometimes sounds like letting-go, dropping, and that almost is like dropping a wasteful piece of plastic in the waste-bin.
Here we are talking of your life, not waste plastic.
That which you are to drop is your command and control over your time, your energy, your resources, your space. Can you just drop it like plastic? No, it is not waste, it is not valueless. It has value. So it has to be given to someone who deserves it.
So ‘Devotion’ is a better word. You have to devote it, not just let-go.
Are you getting it?
It’s like one is carrying medicines, medicines that one doesn’t need. What is better – to throw them away somewhere, or to donate them to a hospital?
Questioner: To donate them to a hospital.
Acharya Prashant Ji: So, what is better – letting-go, or Devotion?
‘Letting-go’ can mean – “I don’t want to carry the burden of these medicines. So I will just throw them out.” Now is that something advisable? Not only this is something not advisable, it is also something impractical. Why? Because deep down you know that the medicines have value, so it will be very difficult for you to keep throwing them out of the window.
Every time you throw a capsule out of the window, you will know that you have thrown away something valuable. So the process of ‘letting-go’ will be not fast, it will be a slow process impeded by lack of willingness.
But if you know that that which you have is now going to a more deserving place, then it becomes far easier to drop.
Are you getting it?
If you take that same box of medicines to the hospital, it will be easier and faster because now there would be no internal resistance.
That is why even as the world keeps talking of ‘dropping’, and ‘letting-go’- these are very fashionable terms in neo-spirituality – India has remained old-fashioned and India talks of good, old Devotion, Bhakti. India does not in the Zen way, just say, “Drop.” India says, “Devote.”
And this difference must be very clearly understood.
Dropping is very-very self-centered, whereas it is the very self that you have to drop. What does ‘dropping’ mean? ‘Dropping’ is in a sense like littering. “I do not need it anymore so I just throw it away. So I get unburdened.”
“I just had the mineral water. Now the bottle is of no use to me, it’s a burden. So what do I do? I litter.” ‘Dropping’ can imply littering. It really does not, but then the mind is searching for opportunities for mischief. So, to the mind ‘dropping’ can even mean littering. And that is very-very petty behaviour, selfish one. Is it not? “I don’t need the bottle so I throw it out of the window.”
And if you are indulging in that kind of selfishness, then have you really dropped anything? Because what is there to drop? The ‘self’ itself. But dropping is not really a complete freedom from the self, because dropping is in itself, I am repeating, a self-centered activity. You are saying, “I don’t need it.”
In real, practical life that which bothers you is not really conceptual, it is tangible.
Spare time bothers you, spare energy bothers you, that spare energy becomes restlessness.
Why do you want to throw them away like waste-plastic?
Why not devote them to the right place?
And unless you devote them to the right place, dropping won’t happen.
‘Devotion’ and ‘dropping’ are not opposite to each other. You can even say that ‘Devotion’ is the real meaning of ‘letting-go’ or ‘dropping’.
Are you getting it?
You cannot be restless if you have no time. Restlessness demands spare time. You cannot be restless if you have no spare bit of energy left. Why do you have energy left?
Why are you not devoting all your energy to a great mission? Why don’t you find opportunities to contribute, to volunteer to do something worthwhile. Why do you just sit and ponder?
And if you just sit and ruminate, that doesn’t take you anywhere. Rumination does not make you a Rumi. Or does it? There are many who in the name of Spirituality do just this much, and only this much.
Spirituality is not about a lazy body and a hyper-active mind.
Spirituality is about having a body fit and eager to serve the Lord, an intellect willing to apply itself to a noble cause.
That is Spirituality.
Ask yourself, “Am I making the best use of my time? Am I making the best use of my intellect? Am I making the best use of everything that I have?” If you are doing that, you just can’t be restless.
Even to suffer you require time.
Get busy, get extremely busy.
You won’t suffer.
Watch the session video: Pour all that you have into a worthy cause || Acharya Prashant (2018). The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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