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


 

Core value is ‘Clarity’

Why can’t my response to a situation arise directly of my out of my intelligence? Why do I need an ideal? Why do I need an ideal to show me the way? Why do you need to give me ideals? Don’t I have the power to understand? And can’t my action come out of my own power? Why do I need the support of an ideal? Why?

Every course of action and its opposite course of action both are alright in a different situation. So, how can there be an ideal response? 

Your very fundamental core value is ‘Clarity’ except that there is no core values.

Ideals obfuscate ‘clarity.’ So, anybody who will have ideals as core values will find that he is missing out on clarity. That clarity has also been given the name of ‘emptiness.’ Emptiness because it is clear, clear of everything. It is empty. That is the only core value. A little ahead that core value takes the shape of a few other core values. They are called Truth, Joy, Love, Freedom.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

Who is leading you?

There is always the threat of our self-image being lost destroy and distorted.

“If others are telling you that you are a leader then who is leading whom? Are you a leader or they are leading you into believing that you are a leader?”

The others are always dominating the mind. Ask yourself that all you know about yourself how much is first hand? Of all the identities you carry how many intrinsic all yours and how many have been supplied by external situations, society, powers.

The more you are living with a borrowed self-concept with a borrowed self-image the more you will be afraid of the world. It’s a slavery.

The more you start looking at yourself with your own eyes, the less dependent you are on anybody else. The less dependent you are on anybody else, the less is the fear of losing your self-image.

You want to get rid of fear then reduce your dependency on others. Say, I have intelligence. I have my eyes. Let me use that to directly look at things.

What most of you call as your own, has not really been your own.


Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: You will always be afraid of the world if your self-image comes from the world

The World will take back, what it has given

You can either keep plucking each single leaf, trying to get rid of, trying to destroy the different kinds of fears or you can strike straight at the root.

We have cultivated a feeling within us that we are incomplete and that incompleteness is to be filled with objects brought from outside, thoughts, ideologies, people, relationships, money, respect, qualifications.

Your entire sense of being, your entire self-esteem, self-worth, self-concept is now dependent upon the World. All identities are coming from outside. Everything that you think is precious is now coming from outside.

What comes from the World can always be taken back by the World.

That is the root of fear, the assumed sense of inner incompleteness.

There was nobody and there is hardly anyone today who comes and tells you that you are complete, beautiful and wonderful, as you are.

Whosoever wants to control you, can control you only if you feel small about yourself.

The disease itself does not exist! Why are you treating yourself with all these fake medicines? Ambition, accomplishment, recognition. All these are false medicines for a non-existent disease. That is fear. Something will be taken away from me. The World will take back, what it has given me.

The really important was never given to you by the World, so how can the World take it back? The really important is something so intrinsic, so innate to your being that nobody can touch it.

Those who want to live fearlessly must get rid of their dependencies. And you can get rid of dependencies, only when you first realize that you don’t need to dependent. That you are good, complete, alright. Perfect as you are. Essentially!



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to completely drop fear?


 

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?

We hardly ever relate in love

Relationship can be of any type. Relationship can involve multiple levels. Right now you’re sitting on a chair, there is a relationship between you and the chair. Right now there is this mic in front of me, there is a certain relationship between me and mike. You use your bike, there’s a certain relationship between you and your bike. It is not necessary that every relationship involves love. However, if the mind is loving then love will be present in all relationships. Get these two things together and parallelly.

We relate with so many and so much, people, animals, objects, ideas, bodies, the sense of self, we relate with them all, but we hardly ever relate in love. You can have a relationship your entire life without the relationship being a loving relationship. Yes, you would have a relationship, but there would be no love in it, it would be dry. Love is so fine, so tender, and so subtle, that those who have known have even gone to the extent of saying that love should not be called a relationship at all.

They have said that the word ‘relationship’ is a totally spoilt word. The word has become abused. So, when you say ‘relationship’, it should only mean a pre-scripted, definite, predefined, stale kind of relationship. When that is how you connect to the other, then using the word ‘relationship’ is fine. But when two people are together in love, and when I say ‘two’, and I say ‘people’, ‘two’ can mean anything from one till infinity, and ‘people’ can mean people, thoughts, ideas, things, animals, anything.



Read the complete article: Giving back to parents

We have been taught to be dependent in a thousand ways.

Our entire upbringing and education has been such that we’ve been taught to be dependent in the thousand ways. We’ve been told, for example, that we must top the class. Now remember, to top the class, you’ve to be dependent on others. How? Because not only your performance is important, it’s also important that the others perform badly than you. So, there is dependency. “I might do very well but there’s somebody else who’s done better still. I can’t top.”

“You’re good only when the entire society and the entire group of relatives say that you’re good.” So, your being good is now dependent on the opinion of so many people. There is no absolute standard, it’s all relative. If they say you’re good, you’re good. And if the neighbor comes and says, “Mr. Sharma. Your daughter is disappointing.” Then both Mr. Sharma and the daughter are gone. Their day is spoiled. The daughter does not know herself. And even Mr.Sharma does not know, neither the daughter, nor himself. Are you getting it?

Parents tell their kids, “We will be proud of you when the entire world claps for you.” Now what is this? Do you want to ruin your child’s life? “Don’t do this. What will they say?” Is that not a statement that you’ve often heard? “Duniya kya kahegi.” Now you’re being constantly conditioned to become dependent.

Entire system of education, examinations, certifications, you’re only as good as somebody else says you are. There is always an assessing body outside of you. The result has been that even in this young age we’ve lost the capacity for self assessment. We’ve lost the faculty that can look directly at itself. You know yourself only via somebody, only through somebody.

If you’re to ask yourself “Who am I? How am I? Where do I stand?”, you’ll find that you don’t have any answer. And that’s horrifying. And if you have any answer that answer would surely be an answer given by somebody else. It would have been supplied to you by somebody else. Even supplied is a very soft word, it would actually have been implanted in your mind by somebody else.



Read the complete article: The deeper is your dependency, the deeper is your fear

Start with your own welfare

It is not for social responsibility or for social welfare or for the progress of humanity that you probably want to have a child. Ask yourself is it not because of social pressure instead that you are feeling the need to confirm. Surely somebody is pressurizing you. It is the prerogative of the Buddhas and the Saints to think of human welfare. And they have gone to human welfare only after they have done themselves a lot of good. Only after their own eyes have opened up do they start opening the eyes of the entire world. Have your own eyes opened up? Then how are you talking of the welfare of the mankind?

Have you been able to come to your own welfare? Don’t you see it is such a bizarre situation? You do not know your own welfare but you are intending the welfare of the world and that too how? By having sex and getting a kid.

What exactly is the thinking? What is the logic? What is the inner argument? Are we living in an age where populations have been wiped out by war or plague? Are we living in a country where the birth rates are so low that the government has to incentivize births? Are we living as tribes in a jungle that are in a danger of extinction due to their underpopulation? Are human beings the threatened species on this planet? Then how exactly are you thinking of social welfare through reproduction?

Don’t you see that it is just absurd? Instead, the matter of fact might be that you are feeling pressurized by social norms or by somebody, in particular, maybe somebody of the household. Maybe neighbors, relatives, maybe one of the old ladies in the house who are constantly bugging you to become a father or a mother. Or, maybe the movies that keep on telling you that unless you are a father, there is something missing in your life.

If you really intend anybody’s welfare and welfare is wonderful, I love it and respect it when you talk about the welfare of others.

Start with your own welfare. See what life is like, understand what sex is? Understand what is procreation? Know what it means to bring a baby into this world. Know what human being is and what his relationship with the society must be? Know what is birth? Know what is bad for a human being? Only then you will know that in which lies human welfare.



Read the complete Article: Sex for fun, sex for social obligation

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

To be integrated is to be one, and to be disintegrated is to be divided

To be integrated is to be one, and to be disintegrated is to be divided. Not completely in, not completely out. Not completely here, not completely there. Not joyful, not hopeless either. And the division is not merely two-fold. It’s not as if one’s mind is divided in two. The mind is divided into 20,000 parts. Each part running in a separate direction. And that is conflict, that is violence that is what the speaker refers to as the unspeakable sorrow. Because from the divided mind of the individual results divided relationships, divided societies, ultimately a divided world. And everything is just bits and pieces. That’s the pain, right?

Suppose you are sitting here, and you’re not completely here. Do you understand the agony of that, the sheer sorrow of that? Why should I move from that platform to this place, so that I can be, fully with you? And that alone can be peaceful. That is integration. Are we getting this? Being here, yet not being here, would be sorrow.

Now, what is education doing? Is it helping me as a teacher and the student be whole, be complete, be totally here? Or, is my education sending parts of me somewhere else.

Let me give you an example. Study today so that you may get a result tomorrow. What is being done to the mind of the students? Study today, so that you may get good results tomorrow. What is being done to the mind of the students? Please tell me. Where is the student? The student is here. And where are we sending his mind?

In Future.

What is important, that, there, in the future, the results. This is Disintegration. Unknowingly the teacher has disintegrated the student. Not that the teacher has bad intentions. He’s a teacher. Yet because the teacher has not taken care, to deeply inquire, what has resulted in is that you have broken the child or parents.

What is the child? The child is, the student is, what he or she is. And then there is the comparison. The comparison that begins at home, is institutionalized by the university. How? These are the toppers. Now, what else do the parents do? “The neighbor in so good at studying, you are not.” The University takes that forward in a more polished way.



Read the complete article: What is an integrated mind?

Far better than introspection is attention.

Attention says, “Whatever is happening, be in that, be alive, be present.” Give everything to ‘what is’ and forget everything else. Let all your concerns disappear, Let all miscellaneous thoughts disappear. Let all planning, all worries disappear. Nothing, no movement in the mind at all. A complete disappearance of all disturbances. Just presence, this is attention. And when you are attentive, after that introspection will appear foolish. You will say, “What should I introspect?” The event is done, the game has been played, the rock has been walked, the food has been eaten, now what is there to introspect?

And when I am introspecting about the past, I am losing out the present. Every second that I am ruminating about the past is a second that I am losing out in the present. So the general meaning of introspection is very misplaced. Very misplaced. It is just as we said, a ‘Postmortem’. The event has been done and now you are uselessly thinking about it.

Far better than introspection is attention. Attention says, “When the event is there, let the event be there and nothing else, let everything else disappear, dive into the event, give everything. And when the event is not there, then forget the event. Then there is no need to think. When you are awake, be fully awake. and when you are asleep, be fully asleep. When you are asleep, don’t keep thinking about the day. Don’t keep having bad dreams. When awake, fully awake, when asleep, fully asleep.”



Read the complete article: Past, future and introspection

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

There can be no controller and no controlled

Few things about the dualistic nature of mind, of existence, probably needs to be seen.

First, there is no control ever – in the sense, that there can’t be a controller and a controlled. There would always be a controlled one and another controlled one, out of which one would appear to be the controller. But no one is really the controller.

Similarly, there can never be an exploiter and an exploited. There would always be the exploited and the exploited. And out of the two exploited, obviously, one would appear to be the exploiter. And the one who appears like the exploiter, need not be a definite one. Among these two, the role of the exploiter would keep changing hands. So, sometimes the man would appear like the exploiter and other times a woman would appear like the exploiter.

Whenever, the natural harmony of things, of movement, of existence is upset then there is disease; disease on both sides – the man and the woman. When things are healthy, then, nobody controls anybody. Neither the man controls anybody nor does the woman control anybody. When things are diseased, then both parties control each other.

It is not as if, because we have named it a patriarchal society, which it does appear on the surface, right? That it is dominated by man; the man is the head of the family; the man controls 97% of the wealth; the man is at the top in most organizations, so the man does appear to be the controller. Which, I would like to submit, is just an illusion.

Man controls in his own way. But because, there can be no controller and no controlled, so the woman controls in her own way. Both are at war with each other. Both are trying to enslave each other. Both are trying to get on top. It’s the exploited and the exploited, just that their ways are different because their respective constitutions are differently from a woman. A man is constructed differently from a woman. So, the way the man tries to control has got to be different from the way a woman tries to control.



Read Complete Article: Is the man-dominated society fearful of women?

Reasonless sureness

 

You may be A, you may be B, you may be C or the opposite of C, you are alright.

Even when you see the deepest flaws within yourself, never take yourself to be existentially a reject.

As you stand with all your conditioning, with all your so called lacuna, you are still eligible for the Truth.

You may fall into the deepest abyss, and yet you can never fall so deep that you will be abandoned, for you’ll carry Truth with yourself even in your darkest hour.

Even when it is pitch dark outside and inside, yet there is light in your Heart.

Had you been rejected by God, you would not have been there. Neither as a body nor as a consciousness and obviously not as understanding.

Have this deep rooted confidence, have this reasonless sureness that, ‘I am alright’.

And that reasonless sureness enables you to shed all that which needs to be shed.

It is a little paradoxical, but take this—‘Only when you have no resistance towards what you are, then you are able to change yourself fearlessly.’


To read the complete article: Even in your darkest hour, the Truth shines in your heart

The Elusive Search

The various religions are one of the major reasons why man’s search remains elusive; and when I say ‘religions’, I do not mean only organised religions. Whatsoever tells you about the fundamentals of life comes in the purview of religion.

So, if parents are trying to tell the kid about the importance of grades, about the importance of getting more marks – this is religious education. If peers are trying to tell a child, how absolutely critical it is to clear a competitive examination – this is religious indoctrination. If a particular employer is motivating his employees to forget everything else and focus on sales targets, and he is saying, ‘Forget everything else, this is what you need to do!’ – This very much religious activity. This is religious activity because it is attempting to tell the listener that by undertaking this activity you will get That which you really want.

The man who is telling a woman that she should come with him and he will give her the highest happiness possible, is making a religious promise. He will never say — and romance hardly ever looks like religion, but the promise is essentially religious — he is promising God to her, he is saying, ‘Come to me, I will give you fulfilment! ’ It is another matter that he will never be able to keep his promise. All such promises get broken, all such affairs fail. The shopping mall that is telling you that you can get enjoyment by visiting it is again making a religious claim.

All the institutions that the society has set up, that promise deliverance, completeness, satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment, are all trying to do something religious. When there is so much of purported religious activity being attempted, it is obvious that getting lost would be the easiest thing to do.


~ Excerpts from the article, What is religion?

Why I am afraid of the society?

Have you asked yourself, “Why is money important and to what extent is money important? What is money?” The society has told you that money is important and is important to this and that extent, and you keep running after it.

You spend your individual life in a pursuit of a social goal. Is that not stupid? You are spending your individual life pursuing a social goal, a goal given by the society.

Whose life is it?

“Mine.”

Whose goals are they?

“Society’s”.

Is that not a wastage of life? Your life is spent in pursuing a goal given by others. Whose life is being wasted? “My own life.”

Have you asked yourself, “What is the meaning of work? What is the relation of work to life? Why must one work? What is the relation of work to money?” Have you asked yourself, “What is employment? What is meant by one man serving the needs of other? What is meant by one man accepting a salary from another?”

Have you asked these questions? You all are adults. Have you asked yourself, “What is meant by love? What is sex? What is body? What is marriage? What is reproduction? What is family?” Have you ever asked these questions? No. And you will blindly move into them because the entire society blindly moves into them.

A particular age and you are fit for marriage, and you must have a family. Do you ask yourself, “What is all this? This one body, what am I doing with it? This one life, what am I doing with it?”

But the society has clearly laid down the norms and you will follow those norms. When you are following the norms given by the society, obviously you will be afraid of the society, because the society has now become your master.

Have you asked yourself, “What is meant by settling down? What is meant by the so-called good life where you have a car, an apartment, two kids, a nice job and a particular reputation?” What is meant by all these?

Have you asked, “What is religion?” You go and celebrate festivals. Would you ask yourself, “What is religion? Why am I following a certain religion? What is meant by following a religion? Is religion individual or social?”

Religion must be totally individual, but the religion that we follow is completely social. Even our God is a social god that the society has given us. Have you found out God? No. But you are blindly following certain scriptures that the society handed over to you, a social God.

It’s like I am sitting over here, all of you dream up a God, make certain pictures, create certain stories and then come to me and say, “This is God. Start believing in this and live your life according to this.”

When everything is social, when every breath is social, why wonder that why am I afraid of the society? You will continue to be afraid till the time you don’t let intelligence function.

Let intelligence function and then there will be no fear.


~ Excerpts from the article, Why am I always thinking of the society?

The Essence of Religion

 

If we look at our lives, and the life of the man sipping tea in his balcony, or the man out to take a walk, is there anything that we are doing and is not a product of recommendation of others? Our education, our social relationships, our very consciousness is composed of the teachings and advices and examples and experiences of others.

The more this consciousness, this mind, grows and gets filled up, the more difficult it is to return. Man is a restlessness and the restlessness keeps growing, growing. The more it grows, the more man seeks advice. Unfortunately, he seeks advice from those who themselves need advice.

The restlessness is a proof that you are being called. I’m very sure that the day you will not be called, you will not wake up in the morning.

You wake up in the morning because another day, another possibility awaits you in which something can happen. You wake up to search, you wake up to find. Your eyes open in a longing.

When you know so much, when you know that you are being called, then you surely have some connection with the One who is calling. Otherwise, how would you have felt the longing?

Instead of asking Jack and Jill, him and her, this and that, about how to go back, how to take the road back, why don’t you ask the One who is calling?

He is calling, ask Him; directly and simply. That is the essence of Religion: having no intermediary, a direct connection between you and your Home.


~ Excerpts from the article, ‘What is Religion?