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


 

Truth is not the thought of truth

Who is a sage? A sage is the one who is extremely sensitive, who is able to catch even that which we normally ignore.

The saint is one who has realized that life is not also hell but just hell.

Because in thinking and concluding thus, you’ve missed the happening.

Gratefulness is not the thought of gratefulness. Joy is not the thought of joy. Truth is not the thought of truth.

Gratefulness means not having any sense of like or dislike.

The spiritual man is neck deep into action. He is not an escapist.

Because all your imagination proceeds from the centre of what you currently have made yourself to be, what you currently are.


Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?


 

The scripture’s final aim is to bring you to the living scripture

Where the light is, there the lamp is.

The Self and the Ego are not the two ends of duality. It’s non-duality talking to duality.

That is what happens when a teacher exposes the falseness of one’s existing religion. When the teacher exposes the falseness of one’s existing motivations! The teacher says you know, the route that you are taking will lead you deeper into darkness. And what is the immediate conclusion that the mind draws? The mind says, he does not want me to go there, it means that he wants me to come to him. He is telling me that all those shops are false. And that surely proves that he wants me to come to his own shop. That is a quick suspicion, rather conclusion, that the mind jumps into.

You will not have your lamp, where your forefathers found their lamp. You will have to find your lamp using your own eyes. And the only mark of lamp is, Light. Don’t disregard the Light. The Light is the only proof of the lamp.

Searching for Truth, but in the wrong way, and at the wrong places, and from the wrong center. That is what the ego does. It wants light. The ego too wants light. But it won’t get it.

The scripture’s final aim is to bring you to the living scripture.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on a Sufi Story: The Lamp shop


 

Pure giving

The ego is interested in its own nourishment.

Because the ego wants only that what the ego values, not which is absolutely valuable.

Getting tired of getting hurt is a rare happening. Man is extremely resilient. We keep on getting hurt again and again, at the same place and yet we are hardly ever tired of repeating the same processes, the same actions that bring us to hurt.

You can call it a stage of demolition. The old patterns are seen as worthless and hence given up.

In the first level, the ego gives, and this giving is of a nature that strengthens the ego. In the second level, the ego gives up its trust in itself and hence gets diminished.

In the third stage giving up does not happen. The third stage is of pure giving.

You just give. Meaninglessly, purposelessly, reasonlessly. You don’t even give, you are just being what you really are.

And when you just start giving, since you are giving to yourself, you start receiving a lot.

Tremendously bored we are with everything, that even an invitation to get rid of boredom sounds boring.

Your mind is already afraid of death, and Rumi is just exposing, or at worst exploiting that fear.

Given the way we are, fear is our reality. Wherever there is body identification, there would also parallely be the fear of the loss of the body.

Everything is done for a purpose, for a reason, with the expectation of gain. And where there is the expectation of gain, there is also the parallel fear of loss.

Because an action that arises from fear can never eliminate fear.

Take care of the ‘first’ in the ‘first place.’ Do not let the disease guide your actions. Rather, the first action should be to eliminate the disease. And these are the only two ways of living.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving

Ego likes to conclude too soon

The ego likes to settle matters too soon, the ego likes to conclude too soon. Wherever there is a conclusion, wherever there is a settlement, wherever there is an ending that thought can grasp, it is a false ending, it is a false realization. I have no interest in talking about what true realization is like. True realization is anywhere not a subject matter of this course. We should rather warn of that which is false.

The ego can never be restful with loose ends, with uncertainty, with ambiguity. With things that are not beginning and not ending, with matters that seem absurd in a sequence of time, with issues that apparently do not have a cause, with actions that apparently do not result in anything, the ego will be restless with these. So, it will try to close matters, it will try to conclude, it will try to assert.

The assertion cannot be, “I do not know.” Because that is a very unstable assertion. If you do not know then responsibility upon you is to know. Sooner than later, after passing through a series of ‘I don’t know’, the ego would quickly like to come to…



Read the complete article: The mind is not your own

Your interference in an anomaly

In order to hide ones ignorance, in order to give a more respectable and acceptable name to ones basic tendencies, one starts talking of the simple and straight forward things in a convoluted and deceptive way. Man starts saying that he is not having sex to enjoy himself; instead he is having sex to fulfill his great duty of procreation.

Now there is no shame, otherwise man forever lives in guilt and shame. Man says,  “Because he have been taught in this way that sex is something abhorrent, sex is something animalistic, sex is something to be avoided, man is so afraid of his basic animal nature that he turns sex into a monster.

But, sex is irrepressible. So, then he starts searching for excuses to have sex. He says, “No, No, No, I am not going towards sex just for my physical or mental needs, I am going towards sex because it is my divine responsibility to have kids and further the cycles of this world. You are saying “Is it not necessary to expand the world?” The only thing that is necessary for you is to understand, “What this world is?” “Who you are in relation to this world?” and “whether you really are anybody?” that is the only thing necessary. Nothing else is necessary and when you have met that which is necessary, everything else is taken care of, everything else follows.

Don’t take miscellaneous stuff as necessary, don’t start treating trivial as central. Realize the ways of the mind, go close to the ego, and look carefully at the world. That is the only thing that is necessary and then all your decisions will be wonderful. Mind you, that the world knows how to take care of itself. Prakriti (Nature) was there before you and Prakriti will be there after you. You better not interfere. Your interference in an anomaly. Your interference is a problem.



Read the complete article: Having sex to further the world?

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

The more you think about love, the more you remain just a thinker.  

The more you think about love, the more you remain just a thinker.  

Is love a product of thought? Will more and more thinking bring you to love? Chances are, it may actually block love. Thought, by nature is insecure and aims at self-preservation. Love by nature is care-free and does not bother for security. These two just do not go together. Why don’t you see? The very function of thought is to maintain the status quo. Thought can aim at superficial change, peripheral change but it would always maintain the center it springs from. Thought is never going to challenge its own center. And the center of all thought is the ‘I’ feeling, the ego. That’s where the thoughts spring from.

The nature of love is to go against the ‘I’ feeling. The nature of love is to challenge the ‘I’ feeling, the very validity of it, the very presumptuousness contained in saying ‘I’; Love challenges that. Love not only challenges it, love actually mocks it, laughs at it.

God is in the clatter of the utensils and the wailing of the baby

When you look at the wall do you see emptiness?

No, you see something tangible, you see something important. Usually, this argument is given by those who want to retain their attachments. This is the favourite argument of the householders and so many people find it difficult to refute. You don’t need to find God somewhere. God is in your kitchen and bedroom.

God is in the clatter of the utensils and the wailing of the baby.

God is not in the temple bell. God is the whistle of the pressure cooker.

This is not at all bad but then the baby must not be a baby, then the baby has to be emptiness. Then the husband cannot be a person, the husband has to be infinite, impersonal, existential individuality.

You do not serve morning tea to infinite impersonal existential individuality.

Books are totally useless for the one who is not disturbed

Questioner: Are spiritual scriptures useless?

Acharya Prashant: All these books are totally useless for the one who is not disturbed. In fact, the books themselves say, “After you have gone through us, just burn us, throw us away, treat us like excreta.”

Books are only for the one who is obsessed with books. Books are knowledge. Now, if you are one who feels that she needs a lot of knowledge, then books are for you. But these are special books. You go to them in search of knowledge, and you know what they will tell you? They will tell you, ‘Knowledge is nonsense’.

So, you have gone to the book searching for knowledge, and you open the book and the book reads, ‘All search is nonsense and knowledge is also nonsense.’ They are very special books. That’s what scriptures do. All other books, they are full of knowledge and they say, ‘Knowledge is important and meaningful.’

That’s the special thing with a religious scripture.

Questions come to a mind that has first known the pattern

We question because we believe in the pattern.

Hence, questioning can come to a mind that has first known the pattern. This mind has known the pattern, but not seen the pattern to be false. So it starts feeling a little uneasy when it finds the pattern broken; it questions.

There can be a mind lower than this—that has not even seen the pattern. It is such a dumb mind that it will not even question. A mind that is not even conscious of the pattern will never raise any questions. And you would have met minds like those. They don’t question anything, whatever may keep happening they don’t find any need to question it.

Then there are those who question, those who questions believe in the pattern.

And then there are those who say, “Aah! pattern!” it may continue or it may break, how does it matter; just as a dream may continue or break.

Continuation of a dream makes it no more real than a broken dream. Then, they just sit in silence; they too don’t question.


To read the complete article: What is the value of questions in the spiritual process?

Religion is young

Feel free, totally free, don’t have that fear that you must follow the conventional.

Religion is not at all about going a particular line, going down the beaten track.

Not at all.

Religion is extremely dynamic, religion is more modern than modern.

Religion does not consist of rituals.

Religion means, ‘I will live my life with honesty and Truth’. And are honesty and Truth outdated things? Are honesty and Truth something that belongs to the seventh or first centuries. They don’t. Right?

Is love something that would be taken as primordial?

And without religion what love are you talking about?

So, religion is cool, religion is young, religion is vigour but not the religion that is touted, not the religion that is being publicised.


To read the complete article: How to read the scriptures?

Aloneness is not the function of other people

Rare is the man who can be truly alone.

Truly alone!

And of course, ‘being truly alone’ does not have to do with people.

Aloneness is not the function of other people, aloneness is a particular mind.

And it is not that as if that mind does not recognise, or realise people. It does.

Do not forget, that aloneness does not exclude duality.
Aloneness does not exclude this world.

To be alone is to be fully of this world, and yet be alone, and then one has lived.

Religion is Intelligence

The intelligent man has no beliefs.

Because all beliefs come from the past.

He just knows.

There is a difference between knowing and believing.

Do you understand this difference?

If I am blind, then I need to believe that there is a door there.

But if I have eyes, then do I need to believe that there is a door there? I will know.

Religion is not believing.

Any intelligent man is bound to be religious. Every intelligent man is religious.

Because religion is Intelligence.

Religion is knowing.

Religion is not belief.

Going to the temple or the mosque is not religion.

Rebel deeply

When you rebel superficially, then your rebellion is a very tempestuous rebellion.

There is a lot of sound and fury in it, there is a lot of shaking up and agitation in it.

But when your rebellion is really really deep, then it becomes a very peaceful rebellion.

Your rebel, you rebel deeply because you are so convinced that you cannot be defeated,
so there is no agitation in your rebellion.

Your rebellion is not that of the servant against the master;
your rebellion is the command of the master himself.

You are not rising against something;
now your rebellion is just a rising.

Whatever takes you towards your beautiful Heart is Beautiful

Whether or not your wife is beautiful, is not determined by the way she talks and looks.

It is determined by how you feel when you are next to her.

Does she bring you to that beautiful silence, or do you get further agitated in her company?
Does her very presence calm you down?
If her presence calms you down, then she is beautiful.

I keep calling Jesus, ‘handsome’.

It is not because he was young, tall, fair, and muscular.
I keep calling him ‘handsome’ for what he is.

Kabir is beautiful, Meera is beautiful.

Meera is beautiful for her devotion.

Meera is beautiful because when you are with Meera, then some of her devotion simply rubs-off on you.

Sitting next to Meera, you get a taste of Krishna. That is why Meera is beautiful.

So, what is Ugly?
Whatever takes you away from the beauty in your Heart is Ugly.

What is Beautiful?
Whatever takes you towards your beautiful Heart is Beautiful.

Sin and Repentance

The concept of sin has a very central place in Christianity. The Bible repeatedly refers to it.

And it is supposed to be a pious Christian’s duty to repent for the sins.

This repentance is interpreted in several ways, and there are several ways in which it is advised that the atonement can take place. But obviously, any question of repentance is meaningless without first understanding what the sin is.

Otherwise, there is the absurd situation of a man trying to correct a mistake, without knowing at all what the mistake is?

Acceptance does not mean compromise

You cannot accept yourself without accepting the totality of existence.

When you are complaining against everything, how can you be alright with yourself?

When you are offended and hurt by everything, how can you be alright with yourself?

People talk about accepting themselves, but accepting themselves is never in isolation.

It has to come with an acceptance of everything and acceptance does not mean compromise.

Acceptance means “Whatever there is, in the middle of all of it, I am okay; there might be diseases all around, but in the middle of diseases, I am healthy. Diseases can never touch my core, my essence. It might even touch my body, but it can never touch my soul.”

This is that inner confidence.

Now you do not need to wear make-up.

Swadharma

Swadharma is to know what your location is, and hence what is the direct route from your location to the destination. And only you can know that. You see, if you want to come to me and you are sitting there, you’ll have to take one route to come to me. And then, if you are sitting in a different direction, you’ll have to take another route to come to me.

Even if the destination is the same, the route taken will depend on your location. That is Swadharma.

Swadharma does not mean that you have a particular brand of religion. Swadharma does not mean that you have a particular concept of religion. In fact, to the contrary, Swadharma means – you have no definite religion; you have complete flexibility; you have complete dynamic freedom.

And only in this freedom is it possible to return to the Centre.


~ Excerpts from the article, What is religion?