Don’t imagine solutions

Answers are not there. Only questions are there. Understand the question and that is it. This question-answer format has been given to you by the society only. That there is something like a question and then there is something like an answer. No. Only Inquiry exists and resolution of inquiry exists. There is nothing like ‘answer’ in that.

Don’t imagine solutions. Don’t imagine that if I do like this, then that would happen. Do it first.

This is what you need to observe. While walking, roaming, eating, whatever is happening, just observe that and you will understand! Truth is not far. Just that is what you have to see.

As a boss, if I am sucking Life out of my employees’ life, is that not violence all the more.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Ask till you drop the mask


 

The greatest dependence is psychological dependence

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future? Tell me?

To look towards future, one would have to take his attention away from the present, right?

Your goals cannot be bigger than your awareness. Goals will just be within the circumference of what you know.

Life is the present moment, there is nothing else. If you are free right now, there is no need to become enslaved the next moment. Why do you want to pretend that we are slaves? You are not! You are free this moment!

And remember, financial dependence is not a great dependence. Even physical dependence may not be a great dependence. The greatest dependence is psychological dependence.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting


 

You are born, so that you may totally die

All Karma, all action is for the actor. And if the actor is a desirous actor, then all action just leads to a continuation of the cycle of desire!

When you start from a wrong place, then you cannot reach a right place.

A wrong place is a wrong dimension.

More action will not take you out of action. More effort will not lead to effortlessness. More desires will not lead to desirelessness.

Seeing is effortless. Desiring is an effort.

“Mumukshtva” is realization.

You are born, so that you may totally die.

The purpose of life is total death. That is the only purpose of life.

Immortality is to feel so fulfilled that you are not counting years anymore. You are not asking, am I going to die at 50 or 80? That is ImmortalityWhen you are no more bothered about time, then you are immortal.

When you are looking at the decomposition of compounds, you are actually studying your own decomposition.

Karma is always associated with desire. That is why, to give you pure Karma, Krishna talks of ‘Nishkama Karma’. Karma, without the expectation of Karmaphal. Then you are acting without the actor.

“I” tendency does not differ. “I” tendency is the same. The objects that the “I” tendency gets circumstantially attached to, they differ. And the object that you are currently associated with, guides the next object that you would be associated with. But this craving for association and subsequent association; the tendency to get attached is the same.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: No action can lead to liberation

Fight against your lazy self

Laziness means a refusal to do, a refusal to do the right thing, a refusal to change. Laziness means that one wants to remain where one is and as one is.

Because we are not total, so even our stupidities are not total.

The Buddha is alright whether he is sleeping on a bed or on a thorn bed. But this lazy man feels alright only if certain conditions are met.

Choose the right death, please. Give death to your laziness. Give death to your ego and self-preservation. Don’t protect laziness and give death to yourself. Don’t do that. Fight against your lazy self. Don’t side with it. If you don’t fight your laziness, your laziness will give you a death that you can’t even imagine.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: What does the lazy self want?

You must be placed rightly

There is the gun and there is somebody who is holding the gun. The one holding the gun is more important.

All that you have, time, energy, capabilities, everything, you must know what to do with them. Put them in the service of truth.

If you want to give something to somebody, give something that changes him. Give him something that dissolves his illusions.

If you have legs, use the legs to go to the temple. If you have a car, use the car to go to the temple. If you can fly, fly to the temple. If you have nothing else but imagination, then use the imagination in service of the temple.

To use what you have in the right way, you must be placed rightly.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: The beautiful woman who shows no discretion

 

How to stop admitting fear?

How to stop admitting fear?

By simply seeing what are the ways in which you let your life be governed by fear. Had fear been something sitting right in your core, then we could have talked of processes of liberation from fear. And there are so many processes in the market. But the fact is that the fear is lifeless on its own. Fear does not stick to you, you clutch fear. So, instead of asking “How to give up fear?”, ask “How do I invite and retain fear in my life?”

And that requires self-observation. Because fear is not something that happened once upon a time. Day in and day out we allow ourselves to live by fear and in fear. Every time you accept something that seeks to control you by tempting you, or by threatening you, you are admitting fear. And that happens daily. It happens in our homes, in our workplaces, in the markets. That’s how fear gains control over us.

Stop letting in fear.

You watch an advertisement on TV and that advertisement talks of situation after your death. The advertisement, let’s say wants to sell Insurance. Right? That advertisement is trying to control you through fear. They want a particular behavioral outcome from you by terrifying you. Now you let yourself be drawn towards that fear. Not only are you drawn towards that advertisement, you may actually go and buy that product. That’s how you admit fear in your life.

You are not quite a performer at your workplace. Your boss comes to you and says, “You know what, things do not look good for you in the next appraisal.” And you let this statement become meaningful to you, and that afternoon you work really hard. Don’t you see what you have done? You have admitted fear. But you’d not ask the right question. You’d say, “How to give up fear?”

What do you mean by giving up fear? You are letting in fear. You are inviting fear. Not inviting fear is sufficient. Don’t invite it and it’s gone. We invite fear. Don’t invite it, that’s all. You do not require an elaborate process to have freedom from fear.



Read the complete article: Do spirituality and wisdom lead to disorderly conduct?

I will not become a slave to my opinions.

You are standing at a crossing and you do not know whether you go right or left? Because you are clueless, you start walking towards the left. That is some kind of an opinion, alright let’s go to the left. It may come from your past experiences, it may come from the condition of the road, it may come from something that you see towards the left or towards the right, so you start walking. But you go a little distance to the left and you discover that you should have gone right, then you immediately turn around. That is what is meant by being opinionless.

I will not become a slave to my opinions. The moment I discover, that something else needs to be done, I will oblige, I will comply. There will be no resistance, there will be no inertia. I’ll be a slave to the Truth. I’ll go in the direction it commands me to. I’ll not take even one-second dithering over what to do. The moment it is seen that I should have gone to other direction, I’ll correct my course. I’ll not say that I have invested so much in walking towards this direction. How do I, now suddenly take a U-turn? I’ll suddenly take a U-turn. Irrespective of how much I have invested in my current opinion. I’ll give it up.



Read the complete article: What does it mean to be opinion-less?

Ego is like a continuous uninterrupted thirst, pining for disappearance

That, which you see appearing as sex after a particular age until a particular age, is nothing but the fundamental drive of the ego expressing itself. In a human being, the ego is very closely associated with the body. When the child is small, the chief concern of the body is just nourishment and security. So, the body seeks the mother, and when the body is seeking of mother, the ‘I’ tendency attached to the body which is actually the real seeker, is just trying to gain total fulfillment through the mother. The hope is not answered. The hope that mother will prove to be the one who brings total contentment proves futile.

Intimacy with the mothers brings deep joy to the kid, but only for a while. The kid also discovers that the intimacy is not unconditional. The kid discovers that the mother may sometimes ignore him that another baby may come and affection may get a little divided. The kid also discovers that the relation really does not have perfect understanding. There is still distance. There is still confusion, conflict.

Even if of a small magnitude, yet it is still there.

The child moves ahead. The ego now must find another means to the ultimate. The child now places his hopes upon looking at the world, gaining a relationship with the world, using the world as a playground. But, new discoveries, new relationships, fun, frolic, all kinds of sports and games, they also only partially and intermittently relieves his misery. He finds that it is great fun to be adventurous, to know what this world is all about. He finds that the great fun to make new friends and keep playing with them. Mischief, naughtiness – all have their own attraction. But none of them comes even close to the total, absolute, perfect, unconditional bliss that the ego is looking for.

This attempt, the second attempt too fails. The mother fails, the world fails, the friends also proved to be failing. Fun and frolic prove no good either. Now, the age of puberty arrives. Another door opens for the kid. His search for the total, his search for peace, his search to go into the most relaxing lap, his search for security, now is able to find another expression.

All this while, what has remained unchanged is the ego’s search, longing for peace, for settlement. The ego is like a continuous uninterrupted thirst, pining for disappearance. That is a permanent background. In the foreground is the theater, the podium of all human activity.

In the foreground, actions keep happening, characters keep changing. There are differences. Sometimes there is light on stage, sometimes there is shade, sometimes characters are weeping, sometimes they are laughing, somebody is making an entry, somebody has just found an exit. People are getting related, people are getting separated. All this is happening in the foreground of life.



Read the complete article: What is the energy behind sex?

An idiot, even if he gets God, remains an idiot, with God.

An idiot, even if he gets God, remains an idiot with God. Because the idiot was anyway never prepared to change himself. Remaining himself he wanted God. He got what he wanted. He remained an idiot and he got God. So, now he is an idiot with God.

And we have lots of idiots with God. You will find it mesmerizing how you can obtain almost everything that is obtainable, and yet remain yourself. You can even obtain a lot of peace and yet remain an idiot. You will then be a peaceful idiot. All the qualities and virtues that are associated with God, can possibly be obtained without affecting your artificial core. You can start talking wisdom. Now you are a very wise idiot.

By practicing a lot of yoga you can have a glow on your face, now you are a glowing idiot. Or, you can have a well-sculpted body, now you are a well-sculpted idiot. Have you not seen people who are doing all these godly things since years, so their face is radiating, a divine bliss, locks, and hair are bouncing, there is spring in the feet, tummy is nicely tucked in, not even a trace of fat in the body. Divine idiots.

You can remain an idiot irrespective of what all you have obtained, and you can really obtain a lot. Obtaining anything, and obtaining everything, will have no effect upon what you are determined to remain. Determined to remain an idiot, you can still obtain everything. You can obtain all the knowledge of the world, knowledgeable idiot. You can even start acting in the most loving of ways, a very loving idiot.

When the removal of idiocy is a process of removal, then how can addition lead to removal? There is this tumbler kept on this table. I may add five more things to this table, will that lead to the removal of this tumbler? Removal is simply removal. Addition of thousand things will not lead to the removal of this one thing. So you can keep adding things to the mind that will not lead to the removal of idiocy.

The idiot remains an idiot irrespective of what all he has gathered, be it supreme bliss, be it all the divine knowledge, or anything else. So, never judge a man by what he has, see what he has not. As Chuang Tzu says “Whether or not his boat is empty?”



Read the complete Article: What is Shame?

Real change, lets the changing one himself dissolve

We have so much trust in our imagination. If you really are able to observe yourself, you must be surely coming to a point where you are fed up with a few things. If you are fed up with yourself, then you must stop trusting yourself with change. Because if you change, you will change only in ways and directions determined by you. And they are no good. They will keep you confined within yourself.

Letting change happen is a totally different thing compared to ‘changing’. All of us want change, right? There is nobody who is contented. But the issue is, we want change directed by, guided by, ourselves. We want to change as per our own wish. Don’t we. And if you are changing as per your own wish, what has changed? ‘The wish’ is still the master. Has the wish changed?

Real change, lets the changing one himself dissolve. Otherwise, the change would be peripheral. A few things will change, clothes will change, and behavior will change. But the core of your conditioning would remain same. I am pretty sure, you haven’t assembled here this morning, just to have cosmetic change. That we anyway keep having. We change clothes every day. Don’t we? We flip TV channels every day. Even relationships keep changing. So, surely, that cannot be the objective of genuine inquiry.



Read the complete Article: Fear of one’s inner wildness

Creativity has no past

Creativity is totally different.

Creativity means, there is nothing by the way of experience yet something comes up. Something comes up from nowhere. Something arises from nothing. Something arises from nothing. So, there is an absolute newness to it. It is not coming from experience. It is not coming from something that I have read or heard or gone through. It is not at all related to my past or the past of mankind.

From where is it arising? From where is it then arising? That point from where it arises, that is the mystical point called ‘the source’ or ‘the center’. It is that point. Creativity has no history. Creativity has no past. That is why creativity is so unpredictable. Even the creative mind cannot know what will sprout forth. Even the creative mind will be surprised by what it does or says or starts knowing. It will wonder, from where has this come. I never had this, I had never read of this, I had never planned this. From where has this then come? And that is why creativity cannot have any process.

Imagination on the other hand always has a history and a process and a thinker. Wherever there is a thinker, he would be limited by the domain of his thought.

Now there is no point saying that one should not imagine or one should be creative. These are not prescriptive things. This is not a moral lecture where one would say that you should not imagine. What else then the mind would do? The mind keeps imagining. The only thing is to know that creativity is at a much higher plane than imagination. They are different dimensions altogether. There are instances when you do imagine. And that is alright. In day-to-day living, imagination does play a role, so it is alright. But the two are incomparable.



Read the complete article: Are creativity and imagination the same?

The more afraid you are, the more willpower you need. 

We need willpower because we have created obstacles. When we look into these obstacles, we find that they are there only as long as we believe in them. Then you do not need willpower, wisdom is enough. Then you do not need courage, clarity is sufficient.

But instead of asking for clarity, we often ask for courage. Now courage is not needed, clarity is needed. Instead of asking for wisdom, we ask for willpower. Willpower is not needed, Wisdom is enough. If you are deeply afraid, you believe that everybody will laugh at you when you ask a question, then you will need a lot of willpower. But if you are wise and you say “First of all not many people are going to laugh, even if somebody laughs, how does it matter to me.” Then will you still need willpower? You don’t need willpower, you need willpower only as an antidote to fear. Where there is no fear, there is no need for willpower. So, don’t ask me “How to enhance willpower?” The more afraid you are, the more willpower you need.

The more restricted you feel, the more willpower you need, is that not so? Just open your eyes and see that there is no restriction except those that you subscribe to, except those that you willingly self-impose. Then you will say ‘Willpower’, who needs it? When you are enjoying a particular sport, then you run around a lot, you spend a lot of energy. Do you need willpower? But you will need a lot of willpower if you are told to go jogging and if you don’t enjoy jogging, then jogging even for 15 minutes, twenty minutes and you will say, “Oh My God, I am just dragging my feet, give me some willpower” When you are really into something, when there is no fear, who asks for willpower? It’s not needed. 



Read the complete article: Is willpower really needed?

The capacity to understand. 

Thought cannot be there when you are attending. Similarly, when you are really introspecting, it is not thought, it is attention; thought is mechanical, attention is real. Those of you who are really listening are not thinking, and those who are thinking cannot listen. So, ‘thought’ is not a sign of being alive. Neither is eating, walking, whatever. A good sufficiently advanced machine can do all of this.

What is it that qualifies you to be called alive? Alright, let me, this video camera is recording all that I am saying. Now, the same waves that are falling upon your retina and upon your eardrums are falling upon this camera as well? In fact, it is registering them with greater alacrity than you ever can. Right? You are taking in half and the other half is lost in distraction, It is storing everything. Correct?

But you will walk out richer from this room, you will walk out ‘with’ something. And this keeps recording whatever I say, yet it never gets anything. That is what is meant by being alive. You can have a greatly advanced camera, yet that camera will never understand even two hundred years from today what I am saying. That camera can do a thousand things with the recording, but can never understand what I am saying. You can understand what I am saying, that is what is meant by being alive. No supercomputer can ever understand what I am saying, but you can understand, that is what is meant by being alive – The capacity to understand.

Read the complete article: What is success of this moment?

You cannot have a spiritual culture

You cannot have a special land that enables the coming of the spiritual mind. You cannot have a spiritual culture, where it is easier to be spiritual. But for sure, you can have a mind that is attentive to its own falseness. That you can have! Not something definitive or particular, like a culture. Not something positive and affirmative. But, rather something reductive and destructive. Getting it?

“You know, nothing can lead me to God, let me just find out what keeps me away from God.” That kind of an approach.

Instead, we have cultures that claim to lead you to God. And that’s what all God-men do, right? They say, “I’ll take you to God.” The approach must be! You cannot be taken to Truth or God. You only need to find out what keeps you away. What makes you think that you are away. That kind of a thing can be there. That rigor, that…you can even equate it to the intellectual rigor, so it is not really intellectual. That rigor, even if it is found, even if it has been found in India, has been found only intermittently and that too very privileged and very tiny pockets.

You know, the people from whom, this…from whom the holiest…why even call them holy? Let’s call them “Intelligent Scriptures”. From whom these books came, they were in extremely tiny minority and most of them were not socially absorbed. We cannot even call them a part of society or a part of India. The fellow is living on the top of the hill. He has nothing to do with the country, nothing to do with the society. Would you call them belonging to a certain nation? He doesn’t even know whether nation exists, or has been conquered, or an earthquake has wiped out the entire population. He is so absorbed in his own meditation. So, he hardly has a nationality.

And those numbers, they were  extremely small, very-very small. The common masses were doing what they were doing. They had nothing to do with all this. In fact, even in India today, you see, all kinds of spiritual myths are popular. But if you go to somebody and you ask him to name even one Upanishad, one out of hundred people can do it. There are more than 200 Upanishads but when you do the general survey on the streets of India, and ask them to tell the name of even one of the Upanishads. I might be over-estimating in saying one by hundred.



Read Complete article: There is no such thing as a spiritual place or spiritual land

Pleasure is a forced concept

Question:  Both pain and pleasures are unreal. But why is pain more sought after than pleasure?

Acharya Prashant: Because pain gives the hope of pleasure, because pleasure is always a hope. And that hope is called pain.

You see, can you feel pain except in comparison with an imagined pleasure? You say that you are deficient in something. How do you know that you are deficient? How do you know that you are deficient except with an imagined fullness?

You have two units of a resource. You say, you know what, it is so less. How do you know it is less? Only by comparison of time with an imagined state in which you have ten units. That ten units you defined as pleasure. These two units, you defined as pain. Both of these have been put as quantities by the mind.  To go to ten units is to prepare to feel bad when you come down to two. To be at two is to keep crying till you have ten.

When you are at ten, you are shivering in apprehension that you may now fall to two. Look at the conditions of those who have the riches. They are so eager about protecting them. The fear that this may go away keeps assaulting them. So their hope lies in securing them what they already have.

And look at those who have two. Their desperation lies in having only two and then they live in ambition, the ambition of one day reaching up to ten. Ten does not give them security. Ten only gives them the additional responsibility of securing the ten that they have now got. They fully well know that time can take away this ten.  This ten does not belong to them. This ten is just accidental. Something may snatch it away. So even if you have ten, you still cannot have pleasure. Whereas, when you were at two, you said that ten will give me pleasure. Having come to ten, you find that ten cannot give you pleasure because the ten is temporary. Now what do you want to do? You want to secure ten. And no security is ever be permanent. You know that.

You very well know that all your attempts to secure something will fail. You cannot secure even your own body. How will you secure your riches? You do not know even whether the next breath would be there, How do you know whether the next moment all your stuff in the bank would be there?

That is why you keep still shivering. Both pain and pleasure are pain. Both pain and pleasure are suffering. It is not as if spirituality is about moving away from pain. Spirituality is about moving away from both pain and pleasure. And having returned to your innate fullness is the point of joy. That point where pain and pleasures are just visitors – they come, they go, I live in my house. The house is named joy.

L: So, pleasure is actually a concept.

AP: Of course!

L: It is not a reality.

AP: No, not at all.

L: It is a forced concept.

AP: Of course! Pleasure is a forced concept.

You know what! One of the biggest instruments of pleasure — you will be surprised to know this — even sex is just a concept.

All those things that you associate with pleasure, with pain, with hurt are all concepts that we have been indoctrinated into. Remove those concepts and then show me where is pleasure and where is pain? Then there is just life. Just life! Simple, total and joyful.



Read Complete Article: What is meant by living totally?

You never expect from a pizza what you expect from your girlfriend.

We treat sex as a panacea. We treat sex as a great relief. The expectations that you have from sex are unmatched. You never expect from a pizza what you expect from your girlfriend. Even the most expensive pizza is never looked at in the same way as one looks at a man or woman. So do not look at them in the same dimension because for most of us they are not in the same dimension.

People write poetry, people raise monuments devoted to their partners. That is sex. But I have never seen a Taj Mahal raised for a hot dog. So there is a difference. That difference is very unfortunate. That difference must not be there because that difference implies that you are not only treating the other’s body as a hot dog but actually as a super-duper hot dog. You are saying, “What the hot dog cannot give me, my girlfriend would give me.” That is why the girlfriend holds a much more important position than the hot dog.

Find something real. Stop placing imaginary hopes upon this and that. One woman will go, the other woman will come, you will keep hoping that this one or the next one is going to be your goddess, that will never fructify.



Read Complete Article: When does sex become lust?

Turiya is Atman itself, Truth itself, Shiva himself.

The worldly mind, takes this as real (pointing to the whole atmosphere) without ever wondering where does all this goes, when he goes to bed? In fact, he keeps believing, that when he is on the bed, the universe is still there. He believes that the universe is something, independent of him that it has an objective existence. And he is supported by the observation, that when he wakes up, things are more or less the same, as they were when he went to sleep. He left his pen on the table, and he wakes up and finds his pen still on the table. So, that assures him of the continuity of this perceived reality. Right, that’s how it happens.

The sage is saying, “Please understand that these three states appear to be different, they are one in the sense that these all are just states of mind. They are different states, but nevertheless still states. Just states, not reality.”

‘Fleeting states’. They go away, they disappear.

This so called world dissolves instantly, gone. And when you know that all of this is not to be taken seriously, then instead of these three, you find yourself located in the substratum of these three.

Tuirya, the word turiya literally means the fourth. Fourth, as different from these three. But it is not really a fourth, in the sense it is not the fourth state. It is forth, in the sense it is different from the three. Different from the three, meaning the background of the three, the foundation of the three.

Turiya is Atman itself, Truth itself, Shiva himself.



Read the complete Article: When you know consciousness, you are beyond consciousness

Man’s consciousness is not pure consciousness at all.

When we say consciousness, what we mean is the perception that there is the universe and there is the me. If you cannot perceive things, if you cannot perceive the universe, then you will not say that you are conscious. And because we are what we are, we have taken consciousness as the consciousness that we experience; that is what is ego centered behavior.

What is our consciousness? Consciousness is the content of mind. Consciousness is our thoughts, ideals, emotions, feelings, relationships. What is our consciousness? Our consciousness is doubt, fear, convictions, beliefs, attachments, imaginations, effort, attainment, beginning, end. That is what we call as consciousness.

In the language of spirituality, all of that is not consciousness at all. What we call as consciousness is the interference of “I” in the facts of life. That is what we referred to as consciousness. And if we take that to be consciousness, then we would be mislead into believing that Vasugupt is saying that ego is the self because he is saying, “Consciousness is the Self.”

And if consciousness means our consciousness, then our consciousness is an ago centered consciousness, an “I” centered consciousness. We look at the world as we are. We are greatly attracted to that which has a meaning to us. We are repelled by that which we have been taught to dislike.

So man’s consciousness is not pure consciousness at all. If a sage would look at the expanse of our consciousness, He would say, “This is so mechanical. Why do you even call it consciousness? Why do you even label yourself as conscious? You are not conscious at all.”

To be conscious means to know and to really know you must be free of the blockage to knowing. You yourself, what you take yourself to be, are the biggest blockage to knowing. You don’t really know.



Read the complete Article: Common consciousness is a burden

Ways of Truth

Ways of Truth are mysterious, paradoxical, sometimes rather opposite to what we think and sometimes not even opposite of what we think.

If they are just opposite of what we think, it is still a mercy.

The great bewilderment is when the Truth is not what we think and Truth is also not what we do not think.

Then one is left in the middle of nothing.

Life is what life is

Life is what life is.

It has no obligation to confirm to your images.

Whatever is happening around you is a gateway to the Truth.

Pay attention to it,
come close to it, and
you see a way opening up to you.

Just come close.
Just see what it is, and
you will only hear the call of the Truth.

There is nothing else that is there!