What qualities should one seek while electing a nation’s leader?

(Following is an excerpt from an interview conducted by a Brazilian Journalist just before the last round of voting in Brazil’s Presidential Elections, from here onwards the interviewer is being addressed as Marcos, his first name)

Marcos: When we think of qualities, what do you think one should seek in a leader, in a President, according to what you have been saying to us?

Acharya Prashant: First of all, people have to see, what kind of a person is he. Person before politics, person before policies. Policies are a function of the person and not vice versa.

Politics is about relationships. The President must truly relate to a large number of people. And the quality of one’s relationships comes from the quality of one’s mind.

If one is ambitious, aggressive, insecure, seeking to promote himself, then whatever be his stated policies be, he will end up exploiting everybody, just to further his personal goals and ambitions. It doesn’t matter which party he is contesting from. It doesn’t matter, what policies is he tom-tomming. If he is someone who has no compassion, if he is someone who knows no love, if he is someone who can use people to further his personal interests, then irrespective of his political affiliation, irrespective of his stated goals, he will be dangerous for both the country and the world in general.

What I am saying, sounds strange, because that is not the language of the political discourse. But I am saying that the voter must ask himself: Does my president know love? Does my president know humility? Is my president able to give up what shows up as false? Or is my president a very-very attached, a very possessive human being?

The President comes later, the human being comes first, obviously. And the president will not be able to supersede the human being. The president is first of all a human being.

Marcos: For most people in Brazil, it may not be very easy to understand the views that you expressed. Your approach is lovely and introspective.

Why do you think that people nowadays in the West have focussed on intellect so much, rather than meditative understanding?

AP: It is the old case of once bitten, twice shy. Just a few centuries back, religion, and tradition supported by religion, were proving to be a very depressing, debilitating, and mindless force. And that is why an intellectual uprising was needed. That is why the revolutions were needed, Reformation and Renaissance were needed. So, man has memory of all that. And that is why we are still very apprehensive towards religion. But just because a few ignorant people at one point in history misused the name of the divine, it does not mean that man can live without spirituality.

Man cannot live without spirituality. And the dangerous part, please understand, is that man will, on his own accord, usually not accept that it is the divine peace that he is looking for. Because that acceptance hurts the ego. So man will remain frustrated; man will remain restless and angry and violent but he will not admit what he really wants. Because that admission is a crushing blow to the ego.

So what will man do?

He is frustrated so he will vent his anger on the streets. He will ask for political change. He will go about bringing a fake kind of change that will not help. He will bring about radical changes in all the wrong places. And those changes are not going to suffice, so what will man do?

Man will say probably these changes are not sufficient so he will bring about more radical changes. It’s almost like having a break-up and telling oneself that I am not missing my girlfriend. It may happen sometimes: you may have a breakup and you may want to convince yourself that you were not missing your girlfriend because confessing, admitting that you are missing her makes you feel weak, makes you feel offended.

So you keep on telling a lie to yourself: that neither do you love her anymore nor do you miss her anymore. But within you are feeling angry, within you are feeling incomplete, within there is a hole now, within you are bleeding. Outside you are wearing a mask of calmness and composure; inside you are all ruffled up. So what do you do? On a small matter, on some pretence, you go and beat the neighbour up. You needed to release your frustration somewhere. That is the kind of thing that we are witnessing in the world and we are going to witness more and more.

People will clash, conflicts will grow because people are missing something. But they are not admitting what they are really missing. They are missing meditativeness, they are missing love. They are missing the surrender and dissolution of the ego. So they are trying all kind of stupid and aggressive ways to make up for what they are missing. Their ways are not succeeding, cannot succeed, but their ways will keep becoming more potent, more powerful, more destructive. That does not sound good at all.

Marcos: What is the message that you would like to give to Brazil at this moment? What do you think they should consider while voting? What do you think they should seek for their lives at this difficult moment with a word that would remind us.

AP: Reaction does not take anybody anywhere. Destruction, criticism, operating from a point of hurt, has never taken anybody anywhere. If you go out to vote as someone who has been hurt and offended and wronged, you will never cast your vote rightly. You cannot reach the right place if you are starting out at the wrong place, as the wronged one. Your very decision about the destination would be misplaced; path you choose will be misplaced. So do not operate from a center of littleness, aggression, fear.

When you decide on the one that you are supporting, see whether the arguments in his favor are the arguments of peace, understanding, innocence and love. If you are voting for someone with destructive arguments, egoistic arguments, violent arguments, then for sure your choice will hurt you.

Marcos: O, thank you very much….


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00

Gems from Articles, April’19

Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here

1.

The condition you have come to, is not sudden. It has taken millions of years of evolution, for you to come to this state. It’s a very, very old habit.

It is like dust, that has settled over something, since centuries, millennia, aeons.

Time has brought you to your current condition.

And that which time has given you, takes time to go away.

2.

The one whose dissolution you are talking of, is he the Truth? Obviously he cannot be the Truth. Why would one demand the dissolution of the Truth? Why would one think that the Truth can be dissolved at all?

So you are demanding the dissolution of the one, who is not the Truth. Who is he then? He is a product of time. Truth is not a product of time, and therefore Truth does not bother you. And therefore, you are not demanding the dissolution of Truth.

You are demanding the dissolution of that which is, false.

Now see, now see. You are demanding the dissolution of the false. Just as it is silly to demand the dissolution of Truth, isn’t it equally silly to demand the dissolution of the false?

Truth cannot be dissolved, because Truth is timeless. And false cannot be dissolved, because the false does not exist at all. But surely, you are asking for the false to be dissolved, which means you take the false to be…..Truth.

Because you take the false as Truth, therefore you stumble, and get deceived, and get hurt.

3.

If you identify with the false, is a quick movement into the Truth possible? No. It will take time. ‘Sadhana’ is the way. You will have to be constantly embattled against yourself. And you will have to be constantly engaged with the ones, who appear closer to the Truth. These are the only two ways of ‘saadhana‘. There is no third way.

Fight against yourself, and side with the Saints, both are needed. In fact, just proceeding on one leg of the saadhana, without bothering for the other, is more dangerous than not beginning with saadhana at all. You have to both – fight against yourself, and side with the Saints.

If you side with the Saints, without fighting against yourself, then you will use the Saints, to fatten yourself. And if you fight against yourself, without siding with the Saints, then you will go mad, because you will keep destroying who you are, what you are, without finding anything.

4.

You need to have both – a determination to defeat yourself, and devotion to be with the lovers of Truth.

And both these things take time, because you are firmly convinced that you are a product of time.

Not that time is a necessity in the process.

It’s just that you have declared yourself at a position, that makes time a necessity.

5.

Invest that time in two things: in fighting against yourself,  and in being in the company of Saints and lovers of God, Truth.

6.

It is very difficult to break away from the Truth, and habituated as we are to ourselves, it is probably equally difficult, if not more difficult, to overrule ourselves, and leap directly towards the Truth.

So ours is a funny situation.

Can’t go away, can’t directly come close. And at the same time, we want to tell ourselves, that we are busy and occupied, and doing something constructive. So we start with the merry-go-round, maintaining a safe distance from the center, as if that safety is any less discomfiting, than a total separation from the center that invites us.

This is complexity, and this is dishonesty – the in-between-ness, the safe, middle path. The position, the movement, the locus that convinces us that we are not totally dishonest.

7.

You see, without a love for honesty, there can be nothing called ‘dishonesty’. Obviously, we love that which is real, that which will not deceive us, that which we eagerly want. But in spite of our love, in spite of our deep, and true desire, we still deny ourselves, we defy ourselves.

We defy the command of our own hearts.

8.

Dishonesty is – to not to see what you are seeing, to not to get what you want, not to be what you are, not to live by what you know.

If you don’t know, you cannot be dishonest.

If you don’t love, you cannot be disloyal.

9.

It’s absolutely fantastic, that we know, we want, we love.

And it’s equally tragic, that in spite of, knowing, wanting, loving, we somehow still choose to remain deprived.

Complex!

10.

The more certain you are, that you are approaching the person, with the only intention to show him the light, the easier the process will be.

If the intention is pure, then the process is quicker.

And this empowers you a lot, because now you have something to work upon.

If you just say that the other person does not listen to you, then you are helpless, because you anyway have no control over how the other person thinks, and responds, and reacts, and lives.

But once you know, that the other person’s response, is dependent on purity of your intentions, then that enables and empowers you, because now you can work upon yourself.

And by working on yourself, you can cause a quicker change in the other person.

So work on yourself.

11.

in the mind, there is nothing without a purpose, or a reason.

And as that reason or purpose gains purification, the place of that person in your life, that is your mind, changes. And then, working becomes far easier, with respect to that person.

12.

You have to be absolutely certain, that it is only because of love, and only because of kindness, that you want to bring the light to the other.

13.

The world is a habit, but drugs are a worst habit.

At least when you are free of drugs, then you can look at the facts. Under the influence of drugs, you cannot even know the facts. And I have repeatedly said that – the facts are the door to Truth.

If you do not know even the facts, then you are one step further away from the Truth.

The one who is finding refuge in drugs, is fed up of the usual stuff of consciousness. That is certain.

But, he is taking a very wasteful route.

14.

See, what do most people feel?

They feel a particular type of universe, just because they live in a particular type of consciousness.

They feel the universe, in a particular way, all the time. So, they start taking the universe, as Truth.

After all, what is Truth? That which does not change.

15.

Dedicate your time to something sublime, and then you will not be available to get hurt.

You are hurt. because you are available.

Why are you walking around with free mental space, and spare time?

Be fully dedicated to something worthy, then all these little bruises, and wounds, and rubs, will not bother you.

Life hurts, and wounds, only those who are jobless.

Why are you jobless?

16.

To be born, is to be born into one great job.

What is that job?

The life-long mission of liberation.

You have to be fully employed there. It’s a full-time job, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three sixty five days a year.

But you do not do justice to real occupation, you steal time.

And then your punishment is, that the world will hurt you.

Your theft costs you very dearly.

17.

Be fully consumed in the one, great, divine mission.

Otherwise, life will beat you down, very badly.

You have been entrusted with time, not so that you while it away.

You have been entrusted with your fifty, or eighty years, so that you make the best use of every second. Your time is not your personal property. It has been entrusted to you.

You better use it for the designated, and assigned purpose.

18.

If you are suffering, there is nobody, but you, who is responsible.

Unless you fully accept this responsibility, there is no freedom.

If your suffering is just incidental, then how can there be freedom from it, because incidents can happen any way, any day?

You have to first of all clearly realise that suffering cannot come to you, without your consent. Not only your consent, but your active participation is needed in your process of suffering.

Not only your participation, but your active doership is needed, for you to suffer.

Otherwise, you cannot suffer.

19.

Any bit of suffering, is a clear indicator that you have been messing up with somebody’s trust.

You know whose trust I am talking of? The one who gave you time.

He gave you time, trusting that you will use time piously.

He didn’t give you time to smoke it away.

20.

You don’t have to ‘do’ anything, to escape from body.

You ‘do’ a lot to stick to the body.

21.

I say, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the result.”

I am saying, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the results.”

But to those, who are not doing the right things, I say, “Look at the results of your actions.”

22.

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’ – is the utmost and final condition.

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’- that condition is possible only to someone, who is already liberated of the future.

But those who are not liberated, those who have even an iota of doubt, about the center from where their actions are arising, must use the results of the action, to know the source of the action.

23.

The source of the action, and the result of the action, correspond with each other.

If the action comes from the center of holiness, then the results are bound to be – holy.

If the actions come from the center of nothingness, then the results are bound to be – nothing.

Similarly, if the actions come from the center of vice, or deception, then the results are bound to be distressing.

24.

An action which has led to peacelessness, could not have come from the right source.

An action that leads to lovelessness, has definitely come from a loveless center.

So, do mind the results.

The results will tell you where you are standing right now.

Much later will you come to a point, from where you will not need to bother about the results.

That is liberation!

25.

Man is really not born to go beyond.

Going beyond, is the highest, and the most exquisite pursuit.

If you don’t pursue that path, you are not a sinner.

You are just, normal.

If you not spiritual, you are not a sinner.

You are just normal!

26.

Spirituality, is a most exquisite pursuit.

It is only for those, who are not at all contended with, what the world can maximally offer.

Not only are they not contended with what they already have, they are not contended even with the best, what the world can potentially offer.

Those are the ones, who must take the spiritual path.

Others must satisfy themselves, with the worldly beauties.

27.

Most people are condemned to, almost succeed in the world.

The misfortune of most people is, that they never get beaten up so soundly, that they will see the futility of the world.

So they should remain well-adjusted and compromised. They should continue with the worldly life.

They should not, unnecessarily, invite the spiritual trouble. You know, for the sake of it, just because some great names have talked of spirituality, you too start dabbling.

And then, you burn your fingers.

Spirituality, is for the ones, who are ripe enough.

28.

The first thing that is needed is, viveka (discretion).

The second thing that is needed is, vairagya (dispassion).

The third thing that is needed is, shad sampatti, the six qualities (shama, dama, uprati, titiksha, shraddha, samaadhaan).

And finally, and most importantly, you need, mumuksha(desire for liberation).

When you see that you have all these, only then must you turn, a seeker.

29.

Science is fully contained in spirituality.

Spirituality, that does not contain science, is superstition.

However, science is too small, to overlap with, all of spirituality.

But one thing is certain, when you are scientific, you are spiritual as well.

However, all spirituality, is not science. Spirituality goes, way beyond science.

Spirituality begins, when you have a strong feeling, that things are not the way they must be.

30.

The effect cannot be dimensionally, beyond the cause.

Which is to say – the fruit of the action, cannot be dimensionally superior to the action.

Which is to say – the fruit of the action, is actually just the quality of the actor.

The result is dimensionally the same as the action, and the action is dimensionally the same as the actor.

Therefore, the result is in the same dimension as the actor.

~ Excerpts from ‘Shabd-Yoga’ sessions.

Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00

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?


 

Understanding is awareness

You cannot become aware. Awareness is not something that you can achieve or becomes or reach. It is.

Even in the moment of your death, you can be still, composed, calm; that is what is meant by the inviolable certainty of awareness. That stillness is awareness.

Mathematics is knowledge; understanding is awareness.

Awareness is so total. Knowledge is always small, little. That is why those who live in knowledge never find peace. They keep hunting for more and more knowledge.

The illiterate tribal, in his own way, knows Love, that is awareness.

There is no road to awareness and there is nothing in between. All roads are in awareness.

Awareness proceeds very subliminally. Thought will not know awareness. You cannot keep an eye on awareness. You cannot watch awareness. You can only surrender to it. You can let it to do what it does, without making any, stupid attempts to rein it in.

Levels of consciousness are there. Levels of awareness are not there.

You suffer. All spirituality starts from that point. Why am I suffering? Is it necessary to suffer?

And mind you, awareness is not there in every being. Every being is there in awareness. What you call as every being, is a figment of consciousness.

Awareness cannot be there ‘in’ you because what you call as yourself and the world is just consciousness.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti Unbecoming unaware


 

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


 

The centered mind

Bother fully, plan fully and execute fully with all your mind but remember fully that neither the action nor the result of the action, can mean much to you. Neither can it reduce you, nor can it enhance you.

What is the fun in playing the game if you are not playing wholeheartedly?

 

My task is to disappoint you.

You will not get it there. Not because it is impossible to have it but because you already have it.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: The result of action can neither enhance you nor reduce you

Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: Why was the Serpent not given a chance?

Poster 5

Jesus said to the Serpent:

“We have given Adam and Eve the chance to still live without eternal perdition, contrary to the way it was done to you.”

Acharya Prashant:

The first question is from Nimisha.

She says:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam.

Jesus said to the Serpent “We have given Adam and Eve the chance to still live without eternal perdition, contrary to the way it was done to you”.

The context is that Adam and Eve made a mistake. Disobeyed the advice that was given to them. Became too attracted to the fruit of knowledge and hence were punished, and Jesus is saying that the punishment is given to Adam and the Eve is smaller than the punishment given to the Serpent who has been now sentenced to live in eternal perdition, which means eternal spiritual ruin.

So, Nimisha is asking:

Why was a chance given to an Adam and Eve and not to the Serpent when all are children of God and belong to the one?

Nimisha, a good parent will send many of his children to the playground, and once they are playing he’ll not interfere to violate the ‘laws of the game.’ The law of the fruits of action, the law of karmphal(fruits of the doing) is inviolable. Even God does not grossly interfere with that. You get rid of the fruits of your action only if you are deep in prayer, deep in surrender. Deep surrender means that you have surrendered the very depth of your ego, and then you are no more the same person who was. The doer himself is changed, is gone.

So, obviously now the fruits of the doing cannot apply to him. Only in this particular condition is the ‘law of Karma’ breached. Otherwise there are no exceptions. Adam and Eve had a decision to make a choice. The Serpent too had a choice. We all have a choice. While there is all the freedom in making the choice, you can always say yes to the Truth, or no to the Truth. You can always say, ‘yes’ to temptation, or ‘no’ to temptation. You can depend on God or you can depend on the Serpent, that freedom is always there.

Parallely, one also must bear what comes along with that freedom – the consequences of one’s actions. Adam and Eve were tempted. So they were expelled from the great garden. They allowed temptation to get hold of them. So they were discarded, expelled to earth that does not mean that their punishment is over. On the earth again a million temptations lie. The situation of Adam and Eve can still be worse than that of the Serpent. If they continue trusting knowledge, and personal intelligence more than divine advise, then the worst hell is possible even on earth.

Read more

Jesus is a lover of youth

Aloneness is an elusive mirage for mankind.

Real aloneness is a prerogative only of the Buddhas.

 

We are always related.

We always find our identity in the other through the other.

 

We exist as someone with respect to something or somebody or this or that, that is not the best way of existing, but that’s the de-facto mode of our existence.

 

If we are in a crowd, we are the crowd.

The crowd is such a refuge.

 

To take a bath you must, first of all, dislike the stink. Shouldn’t you?

 

Spirituality is the art of breaking up.

God doesn’t come to those who are already engaged.

 

Spirituality is hard and tight, not soggy.

It’s not spongy. It’s upright, not flaccid.

Especially if you are coming to Jesus.

 

Jesus is a lover of youth.

His retinue didn’t have old and the aged.

All relatively roaring, green ones.

 

Don’t you see it’s just Maya,

and she knows when to strike?

Read more

Dancing emerges from nothingness

The dance of the jungle, the dance of the waves, the dance of the stars, the monkey’s dance, the elephant’s dance, the dance of the toddler that is the dance that a Rumi loves.

When a movement, when an action arises from nothing in particular, then it is called dance.

Dancing emerges from nothingness.

Perfection is not something that you aspire for or wait for. Perfection is not the opposite of imperfection. If perfection to you is the opposite of imperfection, if perfection for you is the end of imperfection or the transcendence of imperfection, then you can keep waiting for perfection as long as time lasts. Perfection is there in the middle of imperfection. In life as it is, nothing that appears, nothing that happens would ever be perfect. Now that can either make you cringe, or you can still dance in the middle of the disorder.

To dance in the middle of the disorder you must be able to look at the essence of things directly. Things are imperfect, their essence is perfect.

Imperfection if seen from the heart, if seen from clarity, itself shines as perfection.

Dance in the middle of chaos. Dance in the middle of deprivation. Dance in the middle of death and destruction. Dance exactly when there is no reason to dance.

When Shiva dances the world collapses.

Real dance then is so similar to madness.

Stay with the truth and know that the world, the situations, howsoever good or bad they are, are nothing but an expression of the truth.

The existence of a thing indicates truth. The existence of the opposite of that thing also indicates the truth.

In imperfection lies great beauty.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: Dance amid your own blood!

 

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

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?

A sage is not sage if it does not look like an idiot

Do not take all these words as separate. Self, God, Awareness, Pure-consciousness, Samadhi, Turiya, Guru – they are all one. If you bring in too many words you are just creating confusion for yourself, you are just giving mind more toys to play with; you are just giving an erratic machine more fuel.

Simplify it, it is very easy to make things complex. To be spiritual is to see the simple reality even in all complexity. The worldly mind respects complexity, the spiritual mind loves simplicity. And, if it is the Truth, it is simple; as simple as a naked child – direct, forthright, not cunning, not manipulative, not hidden, not skimming, blunt, obvious, present, straight, here, not something to be attained, not something to be known, not a secret, not a mystery, not a puzzle, not a code.

Have you ever looked into the eyes of a child, do you think there is a puzzle there? You must have a very complex mind if you see a puzzle there. That’s the Truth; there is nothing there. When it is nothing there then that is called innocence. When it is something there that is called cleverness, that is the difference between cleverness and wisdom. In wisdom, there is nothing in your eyes, empty. In cleverness, there is a lot there.

Ever seen a clever face? How does it look? How does his face look? Like a face of an idiot, or, the face of a sage, both are one. A sage is not sage if it does not look like an idiot, if you are not compelled to call the sage an idiot, believe me, he is no sage. A sage, who talks very wisely, is always correct, right, and proper, He is a very ‘cultivated sage’. He is a manufactured sage, coming from the assembly line, probably branded as well and packed nicely.

The real sage is a wild flower, untouched by man’s hands, untouched by fertilizers and pesticides, arising straight out of the heart of the earth.



Read the complete article: When you are helping without reason, it is compassion

There is only conditional love, there is nothing called unconditional love.

You said that the love of the mother to the newborn baby is unconditional. In no way, in no way. And it should be apparent. Does the mother love the baby of the neighbor? And, is this not the condition that I will love the baby only if she is my baby? This is the biggest condition that there can be.

Unconditional love means, my love is totally free of all kinds of terms and conditions. I am not setting any boundaries. The baby is there and it doesn’t matter whether the baby belongs to me, or to the man next door or to somebody from an adjacent country. The baby is lovable.

And, why must only the baby be lovable, why must not the same quality of love extend to grownups?

Why must only human grownups be lovable, why must not the same love reach out to plants, animals, and birds, and insects?

And, why must only be the sentient beings be lovable, why must not the same warmth of love envelopes trees, and mountains, and rivers, and sands, and the entire universe?

And, why must one stop at one universe then, why must not all universe – real, imaginary, substantial, or conceptual be loveable?

So, never say that the love of a mother to the baby is unconditional. Of course, not. There are huge conditions attached. And you remove those conditions and the love will vanish. Tell the mother, the baby doesn’t belong to her and see what happens to that love. In fact, the love to the baby varies with the gender of the baby. Don’t you know that? Don’t you read that daily? How do you call it unconditional then?

How exactly?

There is only conditional love, there is nothing called unconditional love. And that doesn’t make conditional love despicable. That doesn’t mean we are labeling it as inferior, or aberrant. We are only seeing things as they are, we are only seeing facts as they are. And the fact of our humanness is, everything about us is conditional. Simply, because we too are products are conditions. The one who is a product of conditions, how is he going to know un-conditionality? Are we not products of conditions?

We are products of evolution, we are products of climate, we are products of our economic situations, we are products of religion, our upbringing, our education, our knowledge, the times we live in, our age, our gender. All about us is just conditional. So, there is no surprise in it that our love is conditional. And let love remain conditional. Man falls in love with woman; why only woman? Don’t you see this is such a huge condition?

Woman falls in love with man, and that too man of a certain age bracket. Don’t you see this is a certain condition? And this condition will remain, there is no need to call it foul. Are you seeing this? Till the child is of a certain age, mother loves him or expresses her love in a certain way. The child reaches a certain age or adolescent and a way of relating changes. It must change, let it change. Or, will we say that the love was false, and hence it has changed with time?

Just as everything about us is conditional, our love too is going to be conditional, let us not cultivate a utopian belief in unconditional love. Many spiritualists tend to do that. They say that unless love is unconditional, love is rotten. And we don’t want to have any of that. That will only lead to hypocrisy because you will never be able to come to achieve unconditional love.

Love will always be conditional and at the same time, you are saying conditional love is poor. So, you will be doing two things parallelly – one, engaging in conditional love, and second, calling conditional love as poor, or unconditional. Which will result either in hypocrisy or in loss of self-worth. Hypocrisy would mean I am labeling my conditional love as unconditional. And, loss of self-worth would mean I know that it is conditional and I would fall in my own eyes.

I come to know that my love is conditional and my self-worth drops. None of them is needed, neither of this is needed. Neither do you need to lose self-worth, nor you need to engage in hypocrisy.



Read the complete Article: All love is conditional

Do we seriously want love?

Do you love from the heart? And if you love from the heart then you’ll not really come to know that you love. Man is strange, his take is more in knowing, knowing as in ascertaining, validating, certifying. Man’s take is more in certifying than in getting. It is as if a hungry man wants to be certified that he is full. He does not want food, he wants the certificate that he is…Full.

If a hungry man does that you’ll call him just mad. But that is what the entire mankind has been constantly doing. When you are hungry, we do not look for the real thing- the food. We look for certification, the thought, the inner validation that we are full. You do not look for love, you look for impressions of love, you look for behavior that confirms one’s images of love.

Do we seriously want love? No. Do we seriously want innocence? No. We want behavior that looks like love. We want behavior that looks like innocence. And if from a loving heart, behavior comes to us that does not comply with our images and expectations of love, we go as far as to say that this is not love and love at all. We say, “This fellow, is not love,” because he loves only when he comes to me with such and such behavioral patterns. Only when he smiles at me would I agree that he loves. Only when he gifts me, Only when he says sweet things to me, would I say that he loves.”

We don’t have love. We have stuff that looks like love. If we don’t get that stuff we feel severely disappointed.

We don’t know innocence. We have images of innocence.



Read the complete article: We don’t want love, we want behavior that looks like love

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

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?

 

It is predictable, it is programmable, and it is called conditioning.

Material changes into material. And material changing into material is a certainty which is very much predictable. You very well know what will happen to a water molecule upon electrolysis. You very well know, what happens when Sodium and chlorine are put together, right? The effect is known, even before the cause. It is predictable, it is programmable, and it is called conditioning.

There is nothing of the unforeseen in it. There is nothing unpredictable in it. The flower goes up, the flower has to come down. Sodium and chlorine meet each other, there has to be a certain reaction. Hormones rise, there has to be a certain activity in the body. Certain juices are secreted, the body will react in a certain way. Some stimulus is applied to the brain, the brain ‘will’ respond in a certain way.

All of this is material cause and effect. There is certainty and security in it, but hardly any fun. Why is there no fun? Because repetitiveness bores down everybody. Whatever I do this (tossing up a flower), this keeps coming back to me, and in the same fashion and in the same time. Come on, this is so boring. Whenever hormones rise, the same thing happens. Whenever age increases, the same things happen. Whenever glucose levels in the body fall down, the same thing happens. Whenever somebody calls me an ugly word, the same reaction comes from me, and that is so boring.

Who wants to live like that?

I very well know what will happen to me whenever I come upon a certain name. I very well know what will happen to me, whenever somebody calls my nation a bad word. I very well know what happens to me whenever someone appreciates my looks. I very well know what happens to me when someone condemns me, and all of that is just material cause and effect, driven by bodily juices.

There is nothing ‘wrong’ with that. Except that it tires one down. There is no delight of the new in it. One remains caught and stuck in the same cycle. Flower goes up, flower comes down, flower goes up, flower comes down, and then one day, this body falls apart. Having been in the same cycle of cause and effect, cause and effect, the body expires. This is fate as seen in the context of the material.



Read the complete article: Destiny and fate

No knowledge is ever going to deliver the goods for you.

Knowledge has no stickiness of its own. It is the mind that is sticky. It is the mind that feels that it is incomplete and hence must have knowledge to feel complete. As soon as that stickiness, that incompleteness that blank that is eager to contain something, as soon as that is given up, then knowledge falls off on its own.

Do you keep things in your house that have no utility? Or, do you just go past them? If you actually come to see that most of the knowledge that you have has no utility, you will find it dropped. Knowledge exists because the ego takes pride in accumulation. Even if it is actually adding nothing to my life, even if it is actually just making me more miserable, yet I can at least claim that I am knowledgeable.

You know so much of history, you know so much of what is going on in the neighbor’s house, you know so much about what is going on in the political circuits, you know what is going on in a particular football league. How is that really giving you love or peace or stillness? You know of things that have so little real value for you. Why don’t you forget them?

You don’t forget them because they help you feel as if you know. They help you be able to claim that you are THAT. Drop the knowledge. That doesn’t always mean that you have to be free of memory. It may sometimes just stay in the memory, but the memory need not be something squabbling, active, trying to gain attention, trying to come to the forefront of conscious thought. Let it stay behind.

It doesn’t matter what the quality of knowledge is. No knowledge is ever going to deliver the goods for you. Never. It does not matter what the genre is. You may say, “I was reading fiction or science or technology or romance and now I have elevated myself to spirituality and now I am ordering more and more spiritual books.” It does not matter, books are books.



Read the complete article: Only That can say, “I am That”

What does it mean to be free from both happiness and sadness?

What does it mean to be free from both happiness and sadness?

It means being free from obligations to label happiness as joy.

It means being free from obligations to label sadness as loss of self-worth.

When you say, “Happiness, is happiness,” then you are free from happiness. When you say, “Sadness is just sadness,” then you have gained freedom from sadness.

Being free from happiness and sadness does not mean that you will prohibit yourself from experiencing happiness and sadness.

Let happiness come. And when happiness comes, you must allow its unrestricted entry. This boldness, to not to restrict happiness is the Truth. It is unconditional.

When happiness has notions attached to it, then happiness is no more happiness. When happiness becomes significant to you, when happiness means much more to you, then it is no more happiness, happiness becomes a proxy for joy.

Spirituality means to know happiness just as happiness.

Spirituality means happiness is not a proxy for joy. So, I do not need to label the conditional as unconditional. So, I do not need to label the changeable as unchangeable. So, I do not need to label happiness as contentment.



Read the complete article: How to be free of happiness and sadness?

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?