Ego – A strange thing

The ego is a strange thing. When it gets hurt, then it gets bigger.

Whatever you do, even to diminish the ego, only nourishes the ego.

Nobody has lost and nobody has gained. Both have just been fooled.

The ego is an entity which increases, by any effort of yours. Even the effort, to get rid of the ego, nourishes the ego.

Non-resistance means getting rid of that ‘I’ that accepts or rejects.

Non-resistance is to drop the right to accept. If you are still accepting, you are still so strong. You are the authority. You are the authority, who accepts.

When you throw garbage out of your house, do you also throw out your television and your wife? You only drop things selectively. You only drop that, which you think is not valuable. But when the dropping happens by itself, then anything can get dropped.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: The difference between acceptance and non-resistance


 

Beginning itself is wrong

Defeat is hardly ever to be measured in terms of the events that happen outside of you. Defeat hurts exactly because defeat happens inside of you.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning. When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

You might be a great driver, but if you do not know where you are coming from and where you are going, then your driving skills will only take you quicker to the wrong place.

What has begun wrongly cannot be corrected by the finesse involved in the process.

And one feels bad about his condition only when he strongly identifies with his condition.

Defeat is not the end of the war. Defeat is not in the end of the war. Mostly defeat lies in the beginning of war.

The more you pick unnecessary battles, the more you will feel defeated. The more you will feel defeated, the more will be the urge to fight another unnecessary battle. It’s a downward spiral. Once caught you remain caught.

Willpower, commitment, determination they are of so little use because they are extremely superficial. One can be a very committed person and yet have a very petty mind because one is needlessly committed. Committed to the wrong thing from the wrong center.

Efficiency or discipline or determination or commitment make sense only when the fundamental has been taken care of.



Read the complete article: Forget winning, first choose the right battle

The wise one is not afraid of acting stupid

Spirituality is not about taking away your earthly nature from you. Yes, there is the sky in your heart, but the rest of you is just earth. Let the earth blossom. Do not be ashamed of your own flowers. And when you flower, then there would be relationship. When the earth blossoms then butterflies and birds come to you, and then there would be relationship. How can you say you are isolated? How can you say, “You are not affected?”

The sky in you is at least for you an abstraction. But the earth in you is your mind, your muscle, your flesh, your bone, your blood., let it take form. Let it flower. And when the butterflies come to the flower, please have a sensitive relationship. Then do not say that I’m not affected by the butterflies, I have no relationship with butterflies. Butterflies come here just to distract me. I’m a yogi, I do not look at butterflies. Love the butterflies. And if you do not know that, then learn that.

The sky contains all the butterflies. You have no right to renounce them. You have just no right to renounce them. When you see somebody suffering around you, you have no right to say that you remain untouched. In fact, such right is claimed only by those who are too afraid of being touched. Their aloneness is still very fragile. So, they think that if somebody touches it, it might be broken. So, they raise a boundary, a protective boundary around their aloneness.

They say, “No No No, I’m a renouncer. I’m a spiritual man. I’m a Sadhak, a Yogi. Do not touch me, otherwise, I will crumble.”

Are you so weak that you would crumble?

Are you so weak that you can’t even weep?

Are you so weak that you can’t even laugh?

Are you so stupid that you can’t even act stupid?

The wise one is not afraid of acting stupid. And only the stupid one feels obligated to keep acting wise all the time. You have no obligation to keep acting wise. You have all the rights to play the fool. You are so clean that you can allow yourself to be drenched in mud, and you’d still remain clean.

So, do not be afraid of the mud. You are insoluble and indivisible. The rains won’t dissolve you. So, go and enjoy the rains. Don’t be afraid of getting wet. And you are indispensable to the universe. So let yourself be put in risks. The universe cannot afford to let go of you. You will remain. You are the essence of all this. How will you go away? Have that confidence. You do not need to protect yourself because you are central to all this. I know this sound like an abstract statement. But just take it. Take it for a while. You do not need armors, defenses. Let Yourself be vulnerable. And you can be vulnerable only if you’re very very strong.

You must know that no wound can hurt you too deeply. Be prepared to take the wounds. Yes, of course, relationships have their highs and lows and relationships often tend to destroy people. Still, do not abhor relationships. Know that you cannot be destroyed. So, you can play. When you know how strong you are then you are not afraid of taking risks. And all of us are very very strong. Stronger than we can ever imagine. So don’t even imagine your strength. Whenever you would imagine you would come to a limitation. Just know that you are extremely strong so you don’t need precautions.



Read the complete article: Being one with the suffering of the world

Why aren’t you feeding the right wolf?

There is the petty within you that says that I want to dominate your life, that I want to be expressed, that I want to become your breath, your action. And there is the Great within you, which is parallelly saying, “I have a right to be expressed.” Don’t you feel the call of that great? It is impossible. 

There is so much within you that is beautiful, that is healthy, and that too wants to lead you, that too wants to take you places, that too wants to make you live an alternate life.

Why don’t you give that a chance? Why don’t you?

It’s a small beautiful story, I often recall it. So, the grandma is telling a story to the kid. And what’s the story, she says “You know what baby, we all have two wolves inside of us and they are always fighting – A black wolf and a white wolf. And they’re growling and fighting and hitting each other and trying to overpower. They hate each other’s guts.”

And she keeps on describing how they are engaged with each other in the fight. The kid interrupts and says “But granny which of these wins? The white wolf is fighting the black wolf continuously within us, which of these wins?” And grandma smiles and says, “The one you feed.”

Which wolf are you feeding? And why? Why aren’t you feeding the right wolf? It has an equal right. It is equally yours. Probably much more yours than the wrong wolf. Both the wolves are within you. Feed the right one, please. And you know which one is the right one.


Read the complete article: Just feed the right wolf

The past, first of all, raises a future, then directs the mind to chase that future.

Without any self-inquiry, we claim that we are a product of our city, a product of our economic situations. And, when we say that, are we not using that statement just to hide our fear, just to remain what we are? You let yourself to be defined by your past, by your experiences, by your gender, by your religion, by your money, by your knowledge. And you will have to look at the future, the next big thing.

You will have something unended continue in your mind. You will have scores to settle. You will have an unfinished task. The past has no intentions ever of remaining a past. In fact, calling it as past is a mistake. You know what past means? Past means left behind. You say you have gone past something. The past is never left behind, you never go past it. If there is one thing which can never never be left behind, it is the past. It will continue. In fact, it will jump ahead of you. Not only will it stay with you, it would be running ahead of you.

It would be running ahead of you like a guide. A very deceptive guide. Nevertheless something, someone, that claims to be a guide. Most of us think that the past is there behind the back. No, the past is there in front of the eyes. Not only it is in front of the eyes, it is actually guiding the eyes, guiding the mind, guiding the feet. The past decides what our future would be like.

The past, first of all, raises a future, then directs the mind to chase that future. Is there anything that you think of, anything that you feel happy about, anything that you feel disappointed about that is not coming from your past? Are all our disappointments not cultivated disappointments. Had you not been told by the movies, by the novels, by family, by all the mythological stories, that this is something that you need to feel bad about, would you still have felt bad about such things?



Read the complete article: There is nothing called a new beginning

The Gita can come only from someone who understands the world.

The Gita can come only from someone who understands the world. And if you understand the world you cannot keep failing in the world. If you are proven an idiot every evening and every morning, how will the Gita come from you? How will you even understand the Gita?

Look at your life, if you are a joker, a clown, an idiot, a loser, in this world, what business do you have touching the Gita?

Do you see what is half embrace? You prove to be insufficient everywhere. You are a loser everywhere. In your relationships, you are a loser. In the school you are a loser, in the college, you are a loser. At your workstation, you are a loser, on the sports field you are a loser, and you want to touch the Upanishads? The Upanishads that are coming from the winners of the highest order. Is there any oneness between you and the text that you are trying to touch? Do you have anything in common with Krishna? How then will you understand the Gita?

Krishna was the one who brought victory when defeat looked so probable. And you are the one who will snatch defeat when victory is all yours. When it is ascertained that you are now going to win, you will still manage to somehow be defeated. And then you say, “You know what, I am not very interested in the world, Krishna calls my heart.”

You are not interested in the world? You are marginalized in the world, you are the rubbish of the world. And if we listen to Darwin then you and your ilk, wouldn’t survive for long, because you are unfit.

Even physically, have you noticed how fit most of them are (pointing towards the pictures of the Saints) and most of us are groaning, complaining? Somebody has nose pain, somebody has a headache, somebody has heartache, somebody’s back has been stolen, somebody’s stomach is exploding with gas. And look at them (the Saints). That is full embrace. And half embrace is no embrace.

The man of God is a winner in the world as well. That is full embrace. If you are a loser in the world, you do not know God. God and the world are one. It’s not just The World, it’s God World. It’s God World.

Have you seen that every living being is excellent? The epitome in its particular field. Can you beat the song of a Cuckoo? Or, even a sparrow? Can you beat the flight of a vulture, an eagle? Do you see the agility with which fish swims? They are all experts in their respective fields. I am asking you, “What is your expertise?” Even the ant is an expert. When it carries a load then the load to body weight ratio is unmatched. Compared to its own body weight, the load that a little ant can carry is unmatched.

What is your expertise?



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: The Man of God is a winner in the world

I don’t want to know whom you worship, I want to know who is it that worships?

I don’t want to know whom you worship, I want to know who is it that worships? What is the quality of the worshipper? What is your quality? Who are you? Forget God! Who are you?

Dirty hands remain dirty even if they are folded in front of a deity. Dirty hands. There is no need to fold them in front of a deity. Go to a washbasin. Use a physical soap. Metaphysical prostration will not help you cleanse your hands. Use a physical soap.

That’s what spirituality is all about and that’s why Kabir is so unique and so loveable. He doesn’t take you to a fictitious world. In the name of spirituality he doesn’t give you more dreams and more desires. He talks of your…? What is he talking of? Daily life. Everyday life: 

How are you living?

What are you doing?

What are you saying?

What’s the stuff of your day to day conversations?

What’s contained in your gossip?

To whom are you relating?

What are you attached to?

What are your real intentions?

What are you after?

Tell me, what are you really chasing?

That’s spirituality. That’s Kabir. 



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir: Forget God. Who are you?

 

One has to be deeply in love with oneself

It is not possible to be living in illusions and yet not suffer. But it is possible, to not to be conscious of the suffering. Or, to not to know that you are suffering.

One has to be deeply in love with oneself, one has to be deeply sensitive towards oneself to experience the suffering. If you don’t love yourself enough, then you will happily take suffering. And not complain.

After all, suffering is resistance towards pain. If you have no resistance then you have no suffering. Then there will be pain and yet you will not suffer.

Suffering is when you start saying, “No” to pain. When pain is welcome, then there is no suffering.



Read the complete article: Is suffering necessary for awakening?

Laughter is wonderful when it is reasonless, purposeless, detached

Laughter is wonderful, when it is reasonless, purposeless, detached. When you can just laugh, or just smile, without having to depend on some kind of satisfaction. Now, this is laughter in gratitude. When you can laugh without bothering for your satisfaction, then you are laughing in gratitude. Now, you are saying, “I am so fulfilled that I don’t need to bother, whether I am feeling satisfied, dissatisfied, hot, cold, happy, unhappy, I am still okay.” This Okayness is then the laughter.

Mind you, there is no difference between this laughter and tears. It doesn’t matter now whether you are laughing or crying. What matters is, you are crying or laughing from the right center. It is very difficult to tell whether the usual expression on the face of a saint is that of a gentle smile or gentle remorse. It’s much the same. Whether he is smiling, or whether he is a little ponderous, a little heavy. None of these states are for himself. None of these states are self-centered states.

Smiling, he doesn’t s smile because his some needs are been fulfilled. And if he isn’t smiling, he looks a little burdened, the burden isn’t its personal burden. He is not burdened by the obligation to build a house for himself or get more respect for himself.

Kabir often says: “Bhaye Kabir Udas.” Is Kabir unhappy for himself? He is unhappy for the world. And there are saints who laughed, laughed in abandon. Were they laughing because they had obtained something for themselves? No, they were laughing because something existential was now right. As such, there is no difference, whether they laugh or cry.

There have been wise men who kept crying. There have been wise men who kept silent, there have been people who kept dancing, and there have been wise men who kept laughing. They are all operating from the same center, which was not their personal center. Are you getting it?

So, laughter is indeed beautiful but there is nothing more ugly then laughter. And crying is, of course, a matter of sadness and there can be nothing more beautiful than tears. It depends on where your tears are coming from? It depends on where your smile is coming from? There can be nothing more hurtful than a smile. With one smile, better-called smirk, you can wound and lacerate someone like anything.

Your smile can be a tremendous putdown. Without even uttering a word, you can shred someone psychologically, just by using your smile. It is such a deadly weapon. And that same smile can be a balm that heals, something that puts you to rest.

Don’t bother about what is happening through you. Just bother about where are you. If you are in the right place, then whatever happens through you, will just be the right thing.



Read the complete article: Learning the best laughter

Fight for the right cause and let it consume you fully.

In the real defeat, everything that you have has been offered, sacrificed, surrendered. Now, what is the point in crying? Nothing better than this could have been done. Now, what to cry about? What grief? I have already come to the end of myself. I have already come to the end of efforts. What do I cry for? Isn’t that beautiful? You are fighting a war that cannot result in a defeat. If the result is a defeat there is nobody to receive the result. Great. Equally, if the result is a victory there is nobody to receive the result. That’s the right war.

Fight for the right cause and let it consume you fully. That is the only way of living life. Fight for the right one and devote yourself totally to him. That is the only way of living and fighting. Give yourself up so totally that you cannot now be blamed with having reserved anything for your personal self. Don’t cut corners. Don’t hold back. Don’t be compartmentalized between personal life and professional life. Devote the last ounce of yourself, your energy, your flesh, everything. That is the only way to ensure that you never are defeated.

It’s simple. Death will be with my defeat. Defeat will happen with my death. So, who will be left to grieve over defeat?

You understand death? We are not talking of physical death. The death that I am talking of might include physical elimination, but not necessarily. We are talking of death of that which we call as ourselves, that which is always hungry, begging, wanting, possessing, and still hungry. That is what we have to sacrifice. That is what we have to offer to the deity.



Read the Complete Article: Why does defeat bother the mind?

Are you able to listen to your own love song?

Ever seen a dead man, just died, everything is still there. He is still wearing the clothes that he was wearing a moment back. If he had had just had tea, the tea too, is still there. If there is a particular expression on his face before he died, even the expression is still there. The clothes are there, the body is there, the teeth are there, what is missing? Bring that, bring that, bring that.

“Jis tan preet na sanchare so tan jaan masaan,

jaise khaal lohaar ki saans let binu praan”

And ironsmith’s skin, oh! they no more use it, technology is advanced, they used to have it. It was used to pump air into the furnace. So, air out, it would collapse, air in, it would swell and it was made of animal’s skin. So, air in, and air out is happening even with something as dead as the ironsmith’s equipment.

If you do not know the love song of your heart, your body is a graveyard.

 Jis tan preet na sancharae so tan jaan masaan…..   

Just because you are breathing, just because all the material processes are happening, do not call yourself as alive. Just because all the material processes are still happening with you, do not call yourself alive. You can be put on a ventilator indefinitely, all the material things will keep happening, but are you alive? After a few days doctors advice, “Take him off, he is actually, we are artificially just blowing air into him. He is actually gone.”

What is the point in hanging on to the material? Had it been all about breathing, then why would ever anybody be taken off a ventilator? The heart can be made to pump blood and if the heart does not pump blood there are other means to have blood circulate in your body. You can be kept technically alive but what is the point of such a life. Are we all not just technically alive? Are we really alive? Do these eyes really see? Does this heart really beat?

Check! Check! Check!

 Are you able to listen to your own love song?



Read the complete article: The song of the Heart

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

Self-realization is an empty cup that is empty even of the cup.

We always exist in relation to something or somebody. So, if you want to know yourself, you just see, what is the effect that the other has had upon you and we then, are a sum total of all those effects.

What are we?

We are mental fragments, devoted to the nation, the society, the education, the upbringing, the commerce, the culture, the civilization. You want to look at yourself, you will have to look at the effect all these external influences have had upon you. We exist with respect to these influences. There is nothing in us that is not coming from somewhere or the other. So, to know yourself is to know these things that are coming from somewhere or the other.

“So, this part of me, well it is coming from religion; this part of me, well it is coming from ethnicity; this part of me, well it is coming from culture; this part of me, well it is coming from a gender; this part of me, well it is coming from my genes, this part of me, well it is coming from my education.” And, this way you can know all that you see yourselves to be. Are you getting it?

This way, you can know everything that you see yourselves to be. All the conditioned bit that we are; and remember that we are very totally conditioned. There is nothing in us that is not conditioned, every single cell in the body is conditioned. So, the conditioned bit that we are, can be known only by seeing the genesis of that conditioning.

If you can see where your conditioning is coming from, you have seen who you are. This is called self-knowledge. Do you see what Self-knowledge is? To know yourself, see where your actions are coming from. How do you know that? You watch your actions. You watch every bit of yourself, your activities from morning till night, your thoughts, your inclinations and you come to appreciate all the conditioning that has gone into making ‘you’. Right? This is Self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is obtained by self-observation.

Then there is something called, Self-realization. Self-realization is a little different from Self-knowledge, and also very closely related to Self-Knowledge.

You see, how deeply conditioned you are. The ‘conditioning bit’, amounts to Self-knowledge. And the ‘seeing bit’, amounts to self-realization.

I repeat, you ‘see’ how deeply conditioned you are. And everybody is deeply conditioned. As I said, every single fiber in the body is conditioned. So, you ‘see’, how deeply conditioned you are. The deeply conditioned part pertains to Self-knowledge. And the ‘seeing’ part — I am seeing how deeply conditioned I am — pertains to Self-realization.

Self-realization is not objective; Self-realization is not knowledge; Self-realization cannot be wrote down, conceptualized, or summarized or expressed; Self-realization, or Self-understanding is just Silence. It is an absence of everything you thought yourselves to be. Everything that you thought yourselves to be, is bracketed under Self-knowledge. Your name, your gender, your caste, your religion, your profession, your family, your views, your ideologies – all of them come under Self-knowledge.

Self-knowledge is the result of observation of life. Self-knowledge means you watch how you behave, when you pass in front of a temple compared to when you pass in front of a railway station. Self-knowledge is to see, how your relationships are with the man who owes you money, compared to the man, to whom you owe money.

When you look at all that, what you get is, Self-knowledge. This is the way I am, this is the way my habits and tendencies are. Getting it?

And the power to see all this, the beginning of seeing all this, and the ending of seeing all this, the entire environment of seeing all this, that is called Self-realization. Self-realization is nothing because anyway the Self is nothing, the Self is all false. The Self is all nothing, the Self is all false, so Self-realization too is just nothing. Just Nothing. It is an emptiness. It is a peaceful silence. If you say you are Self-realized, and still you have something more to say about yourself, then all you have is a concept of Self-realization.

Self-realization is actually not a word at all because a word ought to have some meaning, a word ought to have some content, Self-realization has no content at all.

Self-realization is an empty cup that is empty even of the cup. You usually have cups that are empty of contents. Self-realization is a cup that is empty even of the cup.


Read the complete article: The right relationship tells you about yourself

All knowledge will come only from the outside.

One contrary piece of information can prove all your accumulated knowledge wrong. Can it not?

One little evidence piece of evidence can prove all theorems of Physics wrong. One little bit of information can destroy all your trust in whatever you trust. A fifty-year old relationship can be shattered by just one bit of news.

But, that knowing that arises from heart is not so weak. It does not crumble so easily. It has a great certainty about it.

Are you getting it?

You come to a scripture, and you have never read that scripture before. It may not even belong to your organized religion. Nobody has ever recommended it to you and yet you read it, and you know that something worth worshiping is in front of you. You meet someone and you just fall in love; nobody tutored you to fall in love. And ostensibly there is nothing in that person which is very attractive. You do not know what pulls you there, and you are not an ignorant being, you are not drunk, you are awake in your senses, and yet you know what is happening is not sensible.

If someone asks you to explain, you will not be able to explain but deep down you know that you are doing the right thing – causeless, proof-less, and yet certain. This is the quality of knowing. Now phased with this knowing, all the knowledge that the world gave you, appears so weak and trivial and also deceptive because it had been lying to you all this while. What was it that the worldly knowledge was suggesting to you? That all knowledge will come only from the outside. All knowledge will always have a cause, that all knowledge will be something that can settle in the memory, all the worldly knowledge was always memory-to-memory transfer.

And here, neither is it arising from memory, nor is it going to the memory. It is so subtle that sometimes even consciousness even fails to detect it. How will it then move into memory?

When you live in such a way, where there is grace, where there is love, where there is a reason-less devotion, then you are free from the bondage of worldly knowledge.

 This is what is being called by Ramana Maharishi as the elimination of false knowledge.



Read the complete article: The elimination of false knowledge