Spirituality is not delinking yourself from the world || Acharya Prashant(2018)

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Spirituality is not delinking yourself from the world

Question: Given that all our relationships seems to be arising purely out of a sense of imagined need, is it possible to have any other kind of relationship?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Those who are free of the world, are free to relate with the world in a healthy way.

And those who are dominated by the world, have no real relationship with the world.

Given that all our relationships seems to be arising purely out of a sense of imagined need, is it possible to have any other kind of relationship?

Given what we are, we would probably, quickly, want to say, “No, if I do not need the other, why would the other have a place in my life?” Because that is what we see all around.

“The other has to serve some utility; he has to provide me financial security or physical pleasure, or has to be related to me by way of memory, and if neither of these are applicable, then why at all would I bother to have a relationship?”

Yes, you are right. Our relationships are just a bother. If the things that I mentioned do not hold, then you would not bother to have a relationship, then you would not really be constrained by your relationship.

It is possible to relate without having the need to relate.

It is possible to have a totally purposeless and aimless relationship.

We are trained in usefulness, we pride ourselves on deriving uses out of even seemingly useless things. That is what we call as ‘innovation’. That we also call as ‘human creativity’.

“You see, this was just sand and we made a nuclear bomb out of it. Look at our creativity.”

But unless one learns the art of uselessness, his life will remain a perennial search; and that is not a good life to lead.

When one is not related to the other by way of habit or expectations, then there is complete freedom in the relationship.

Then one does not accept limitations or obligations, and nor does one impose obligations on the other.

It is really a healthy relationship, because then it is real, and present, moment to moment.

You are not obliged to carry forward the past. You can really know who the person standing in front of you is. You can really talk, you can really relate.

Once I told somebody, “Let’s say a stranger knocks at your door and before opening the door, you look at him. You at least pay some attention. You want to see what that person looks like, what his eyes are saying, what his purpose might be. But when the knock on the door is by your father, or by your friend, or by your husband, you don’t even bother to look at the face of the person, because you are carrying forward a lot of past.”

You say that you already know. How can there really be a relationship now? One can look sharply at the faces that appear in the magazines and in newspapers, but one hardly ever looks sharply at the faces and the eyes of the so-called ‘loved-ones’. For that matter, one does not look sharply even at his own face.

Only the man free of others, can have loving relationship with the others.

It is only when you do not really need the other, that there is a possibility of really relating with the other.

You want to know the health quotient of your relationships? It’s easy! Just investigate your relationships for dependency. Are you dependent on the other, in any way – physical, psychological, material, immaterial? Is the other dependent on you?

Where there is dependency, there would only be violence – not love.

You need something, you are dependent on it, would you bother for its freedom? The thing says, “I want to go away,” but you need it, would you allow it to go away? And dependencies can be very subtle.

Good news is: it is possible to relate totally and freely without being dependent.

Spirituality or wisdom is not about cutting off your links from the world, rather it is about relating completely and fully.

However, the main objective is never to relate with the other. The main objective is to remain centered in oneself. Relationship with the other comes as a by-product, as a surprise gift.

“I am immersed within myself. And strangely, surprisingly, pleasantly, I find that the whole universe is a friend. The universe was never my pre-occupation, I was not thinking about the universe, I was not so bothered about the universe. And if I am very bothered about the universe even if in a so-called ‘well-meaning’ way, the universe would not be good towards me and I would not be good for the universe.”

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Excerpted from an article published in one of the leading newspaper website on 5th Dec, 2018. Read here.

Edited for clarity.


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If one is Brahm, why does one work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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If one is Brahm, why does one work

Question: If I keep remembering that – ‘I am Brahm’ – then why should I work?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Then you won’t work, Brahm would work.

If you do not know that you are ‘Brahm’, then you work.

And you work, in your own little and illusioned ways.

When you know that ‘you’ are not, only Brahm is, then Brahm works.

And Brahm works a lot, without breaking a sweat.

Look at the entire universe. There is so much happening. Who is the worker? Do you know how much works it takes to keep a planet in it’s orbit? You want to launch a little satellite into space, and you keep crying about fuel.

The engines are not yet ready, the fuel is not compatible, and what are you trying to deliver into orbit? Just a little satellite. And here you have millions of planets, and suns and stars, all fully established. And black holes, and supernovas. Who is working so hard? Who is working so beautifully?

You cannot run one nuclear reactor properly. There are accidents, and you think of a million safeguards. And have you looked at that nuclear reactor that gives you light everyday? Who is running that nuclear reactor? And He runs it without a blemish. And it’s a very small sample of all the nuclear reactors that he runs.

Let something beyond you, work through you.

You will be amazed, you will be thrilled.

You will then know what it means to really live.

If you are living only for yourself, if you are so afraid that you cannot give up your control of yourself, then all you get is – ‘yourself’.

And are you happy with yourself?

Are you somebody whose company you would enjoy? If you have only yourself to talk to, would you prefer that? No. The proof is that you keep looking for others to talk to. You aren’t happy with yourself, and the proof is that you want to change and improve. Don’t you? And still you want to follow your own whims and desires. Isn’t that stupid?

If you are so established and arrived, and wise, then why do you want to change? But you want to change all the time. Don’t you? ‘How do I become better?’ – That’s the question you are always asking. Which means, that you accept that as you are, you are not quite alright. If you are not quite alright, why do you chase directions dictated by your own desires?

Question 2: Acharya Ji, I don’t know what the ‘other’ here is. The ‘other’ might be my boss. So, should I allow myself to be completely dictated by him?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When you do not know the ‘other’, would you ever cede control to him? When you say that you allow yourself to be dictated by your boss, is that dictation, or is that trade. Have you not deliberately decided that?

You have decided that you will let your boss control you, so that you get paid with money. Now have you really lost control of yourself? You are still very much in control. You are taking a decision. You are saying, “By letting him control your labor, you will earn money.” So have you still given up control?

Giving up control happens, when you see that all such agreements, deals and decisions are stupid.

When you see that whether you allow the other the to control you, by ‘other’ I mean, the other that you choose. Whether you allow the other to control you, or whether you control yourself, in both the situations you are just ending up as a loser always.

When you are honest enough to admit that, then you just say, “Enough of this. I give up.” Spiritually, that is called ‘surrender’. That is called ‘surrender’. But that happens only to those, who are firstly intelligent enough to see that they have been stupid and secondly, loving enough to see that they have been cruel to themselves.

If you have neither intelligence, not love, you will have a very strong desire to live life your own way.

And that is the worst violence you can inflict on yourself – to live as per your own personal desires and dictates.

Question 3: Acharya Ji, we are sitting here in an air-conditioned room. Had somebody not felt uncomfortable with the conditions, why would somebody invent it?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Has the fan helped you understand what I am saying? You are sitting near the Television, but do you still understand what I am saying? What is of more value to you – the television, the air-conditioner, or what I am saying?

You are wearing this suit which is a product of technology, and human development. Has it helped you understand anything? And if you could not understand anything, irrespective of this watch and this suit, what is the worth of all this?

I will switch-on the air-conditioner. How will that help you know? And if you can’t know, what do you live for? The air-conditioner? You live to be cooled? You live to wear this watch, when you do not know ‘time’? All you know is that it is 2 p.m., but you do not know what ‘time’ is. What will you do with the watch?

It’s better to get out of that suit, be naked and understand.

You do not live for all this – the air-conditioner, the television, the fan. All these are there, so that you can understand. Unfortunately, they become the end, rather than the medium. That which should have helped you understand, becomes the obstruction to understanding.

There is this mobile phone in front of me. And somebody can get so attracted to the mobile phone, that he loses track of me. That is what happens to the man obsessed with this and that.

Getting it?

Kabir puts it very beautifully. He says, “Hunger is like a bitch. She starts barking when you are sitting still in peace and devotion. And she disturbs. So you better throw a bread towards her, better throw a piece or a loaf of bread towards her, to keep her silent.”

That is the purpose of earning bread. To keep the bitch silent. But if your life becomes devoted to the bitch, rather than to the Silence, then you have lost it totally.

Earning bread is necessary, to keep the bitch quiet. But how do we live? Wedded to the bitch. That’s too bad. She deserves a bit of attention, so that she may be quieted. She can’t become the objective of your life. Can she? And if you want to bake the bread, you require some technology. Right?

Now do you see what is the rightful function of technology in life? To give you that, and only that much which will keep the dogs and the bitches away and silent.

If you just keep on cooking, and cooking, and cooking, then you don’t know what’s cooking.

(laughter)

The fan is wonderful, if it has brought some clarity to you. Of course, the fan cannot bring clarity. But the fan can ward that off, which could have distracted you from clarity. Had you felt a lot of heat, then it would have been like the bitch barking. So the fan is there.

That is the purpose of all technological advancement – to keep physical distraction silent, so that you may attain to the purpose of your life.

And the purpose of your life is – freedom.

Instead, what happens in all cases, except a handful, is that man’s creation, man’s work itself becomes the barrier and the bondage. It was there to get you relief from bondage, and what it has instead become? The biggest bondage itself.

You must know the medium and the end, and you must know them apart.

Otherwise, this little and precious life, will be spent chasing the unworthy.

As happens in most of the cases, unfortunately.

You will die in a super-speciality cancer hospital, getting cutting-edge treatment, and you will die unfulfilled. Now will that cutting-edge technology help you, if you are dying unfulfilled? Yes?

Do you know what it means to live and die unfulfilled? Go into that? Do you know what it means to live and die love-lessly? Go into that. The A.C. will not help, the bed will not help, if you don’t have love.

Strange are man’s ways.

We have people who make love to A.Cs., and they call it ‘cool’.


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

Watch the session video: If one is Brahm, why does one work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Why help others be liberated? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Why help others be liberatedQuestion: Dear Acharya Ji, Pranaam!

You have told that individual liberation is not possible. Either we can go together, or nobody can go. So we have to help others to cross-over. Acharya Ji, I can’t even help the people close to me, they are caught up either in routine work, or they indulge in entertainment. No time for enquiry or devotion is left for them. And there are others, who say that they are not interested in spirituality. I feel helpless.

There are billions of people on earth. Even if they all get liberated, miraculously, then these monkeys and chimpanzees, may evolve into human beings, and it is going to be a never ending process, until the final destruction.

It seems we all are going to be stuck here forever. I know I am asking something childish, but this is how I am thinking. Please give clarity Acharya Ji. Thank you.

Acharya Prashant Ji: So, tonight’s query is: If all are to be liberated, for the liberation of one single individual, then what about the chimpanzees? By the theory of evolution, it seems one day they too will evolve into human beings, and so work will remain pending. Total liberation is still not there. What to do?

Parmeshwari (the questioner), liberation of everybody is not like vaccination of the entire population, where you have to have a head-count. As they used to say in anti-polio campaign, “No child left.” No we are saying, “No chimpanzee left. All liberated.”

There is no such equivalence.

Are you getting it?

Now, how do I explain, because you have quoted me fully correctly. These words are actually mine. But the meaning you are drawing from them is not mine. I will credit you with quoting without a flaw. But this is not what I intended to say.

What does ‘liberation’ mean? Let’s start from basics. What does ‘liberation’ mean? What does one liberate herself from? What is ‘bondage’? If you are talking of liberation, it is always in the context of bondage. What is ‘bondage’ first of all? What is human bondage?

Acharya Ji: Suffering. Expand on that.

What is ‘suffering’ related to?

Listener 1: Sorrow, pain.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Sorrow, fear.

Proceed, give me more words.

Listener 1: Shame.

Listener 2: Desire.

Listener 3: Death.

Acharya Ji: Which is fear.

Listener 4: Grief.

Acharya Ji: Which is sorrow.

Listener 5: Jealousy.

Acharya Ji: Which is comparison, and limitation.

Listener 6: Resentment.

Acharya Ji: Which is insecurity and resistance.

And more….Talk of time. Let me drop a hint. When we say, “The mind has to be liberated,” the mind has to be liberated from…?

(Chuckling) Time, time.

Expand on that. What in ‘time’?

Listener 7: The past and the future.

Acharya Ji: The past and the future. With respect to the past, the mind has memories.

Listener 8: Sorrows.

Acharya Ji: Not only just sorrows, one could have had pleasurable experiences as well. So, the mind has to be liberated from memories. And, with respect to the future, the mind has imaginations. And…..

Listener 8: Hope.

Acharya Ji: What was that word? Hope.

So when we are saying that we must be liberated, we are saying that we must be liberated from – hope. If you are to be liberated from hope, can you hope for liberation? Parmeshwari (the questioner), can you hope for liberation? And if you are not to hope for liberation, why are you becoming hopeless?

What is ‘liberation’ then?

Liberation lies in not even wanting liberation.

Liberation lies in not wanting, even liberation.

Not wanting even liberation – and that is the ‘desireless action’ of Krishna.

And that is the love of the Saints.

You work not so that you would be somehow benefited from the work. You work, because you love the other. Even to work for the other, with the expectation that by working for the other, your own liberation would be facilitated, you are just playing in the hands of hope.

So, Parmeshwari, though you have quoted me right, but you have got me wrong. I did say that unless all are liberated, the individual cannot be liberated. But I did not say that this should be the reason, why you should work for the other’s the liberation.

The reason has to be – self-love, desire-less action.

Do you get the difference?

If you work for the liberation of the other, hoping that the liberation of the other would help in your liberation, then you would work for the other, only as long as you are convinced that the liberation of the other would in some sense, help you.

If somebody comes and convinces you that the liberation of the other has no bearing upon your liberation, then you would just drop the other, very cruelly. Because why were you helping the other in the first place? So that you could be benefited, in turn in your liberation. So if you know that helping the other, is of no consequence to you, then your help would freeze.

But it is very different in love.

In love, you continue to help the other, irrespective of the consequence it would have upon you.

Do you see the difference in these two approaches?

Yes it is true that yours and the other’s liberation are one, but that does not mean that you help the other with the intention of gaining your liberation.

Because if you are helping the other, with the intention of gaining personal liberation, it means that you still see a difference between yourself and the other.

The intent is still personal. Is it not? If the intent is still personal, then are you really one with the other? Then this is very selfish help, very self-centered help. And self-centered help would only reinforce the help, not liberate the self. Would it?

So do help the other, but without any desire for result or success.

We do not know how really the other would be helped.

We can atmost do our best.

You do your best, and that is enough for someone up there, to smile and do some magic.

That magic does not occur because you did wonders. That magic occurs because someone has smiled at your childlike labor, like the little squirrel, that was trying to help Sri Ram build the bridge to Lanka.

Could she have ever succeeded? Could she have? But the Lord smiled at her. Do your best, that’s all that He wants from you. You cannot cause the liberation of other. It is the ego that believes in causing things. Liberated ego-lessness lies in just doing in love.

Often times, knowing fully that what you are doing is materially inconsequential. Materially inconsequential, not actually. In material terms, it can cause no difference at all, like the few particles of sand carried by the squirrel. What material difference can they cause to the building of the bridge? But actually, mush difference is caused.

Similarly, being the little, limited self, the little person that you and I are, obviously our help cannot reach to many people. But still, let’s do our best. That’s liberation. To be liberated of hope, to be liberated of a desire of a response of the other. To be liberated of the demand for a positive result. Just do your best.

And also, one more clarification. When I said, “All will be liberated together,” I included Chimpanzees. The Bodhisattva ideal is: “Till the last blade of grass remains in bondage, I will not cross the river.”

So forget about the Chimpanzees, it’s worse. You have to take into consideration every single little blade of grass as well. And you are liberated, if this piece of news does not disappoint you. You just say, “My task is to help. Rest is upon the Lord.”

What more can this little woman do?

She has to help, help and help to the best of her capacity.

And if her capacity is limited, how is she to be blamed?

But what is certain is, that she will be truthful.

Till her last breath, she will stay put.

She will not desert the battle.

Till even the last bit of energy is in her, she will keep dedicating it relentlessly, religiously to the sacred mission of liberation.

And nothing else. And nothing else.

That’s what is to be done.

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

Watch the session video: Why help others be liberated? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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The real meaning of Vipasana || Acharya Prashant, on Mahatma Buddha (2017)

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The real meaning of Vipasana

Question: Acharya Ji, does meditation help?

Acharya Prashant Ji: What you call as ‘meditation’ does not help. What you call as ‘God’ does not help. What you call as ‘religion’ does not help.

Meditation helps, God helps, Religion helps.

But, God is not what you think God to be. And mediation is not what you think make of meditation. And Religion is not what you ideated it as.

Whenever you say ‘meditation’, you are so badly conditioned now, you start thinking of a man sitting on some pose with eyes closed, ‘trying’ to be silent.

Meditation is about opening your eyes, not closing your eyes.

Do you get it?

When ever you see a man meditating with his eyes closed, rest assured that he is fooling himself. If you cannot meditate with your eyes open, how will you live in this world? With eyes closed? Whenever a life situation will confront you, what will you do? You will close your eyes?

Meditate with your eyes open, meditate when you are driving, meditate when you are eating, meditate when you are talking – that is ‘real meditation’.

(Referring to a portrait of Goddess Kali hanging on the wall in front) The deity has her open, surely she does not meditate, according to your benchmarks. Kali has her eyes wide open. Have you seen the eyes of Kali? Wide open. Surely she does not know meditation, according to you. Can you imagine Kali, sitting peacefully with her eyes closed, while Mahishasur (the demon) is prowling around? Kali’s meditation lies in the trouncing of Mahishasur. When she is killing Mahishasur, she is meditating. That is ‘meditation’.

The right action, the right center of operation- that is ‘meditation’.

Kali would never waste herself with her eyes closed, learning some trick at your Yoga ashram.

Questioner: So, Acharya Ji, what is that, which Patanjali explains, and Lord Buddha used talk of as ‘vipassana’?

Acharya Ji: All that Lord Buddha is saying is, “Watch your breath.” He says, “Watch everything that is in motion.” One must have intelligence to decipher the code.

There are idioms in language, there are metaphors. Things are said figuratively. You must know their real meaning. Buddha is saying, “Watch your breath.” He is saying, “Watch your relationship with the world.”

What is the breath? Your relationship with the world. See how things are going in and coming out. See how you are absorbing the conditioning and see how you are shaping the world. That is what is meant by ‘ watching the breath.’

‘Vipassana’ – ‘passna’ means watch. ‘Passna’ means – watch. Watching is the real thing, not breath. Watch everything. Breath is a useful thing, because it is always with you. Therefore, easy to watch. But the breath is not at the center, watching is at the center.

‘Vipassana’ – watch.

But watching is out, breath is in.

(laughter)

If you learn to watch, would you watch only breath? Breath is a reminder. Breath then becomes a token of the Guru. Breath is like then an alarm clock, somebody by a side to always nudge you – “Are you watching? Are you watching? Are you watching?”

You might do something, or not do something. But what is certain is, that you are always breathing. So the breath is a reminder. And it’s not only Buddha, Kabir constantly talks of  watching the breath. Have you not heard of him constantly talking of ‘Saanson ki maala'( The necklace of breath)?

Have you not heard him say that one day will not only the ghar ki nari (the wife), but also the shareer ki nadi (the body), will desert you? ‘Shareer ki nadi’ means the nadi in the body – breath. So these are things that every master says. He hopes that you are intelligent enough to decode his words. And his words are simple. There is no great codification or mystery there. But we are so stupid that we take everything on face value.

The Buddha says, “Keep yourself clean,” and what do we do? We wash our body. What’s going on?

The Scriptures very clearly say that the biggest fools are those, who try to practice Samadhi. These are the words of very wise ones. These are the words of Rishis. And some of these words are directly attributed to Shiva. Now, what would you do? Where would your entire city go? That city (the city of Rishikesh) is built in the name of Shiva, and Shiva is saying, “The biggest fools are those, who try to practice Samadhi, who try to come to Samadhi through certain practices.”

Now what will you do?

All the holy massage is gone!

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

Watch the session video: The real meaning of Vipasana || Acharya Prashant, on Mahatma Buddha (2017)

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Why does the wind blow? Why does man live? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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Why does the wind blow Why does man live

Dhhoop Malaaanalo Pavan Chavaro Karae Sagal Banaraae Foolanth Jothee ||1||

The fragrance of sandalwood in the air is the temple incense, and the wind is the fan.

All the plants of the world are the altar flowers in offering to You,

O Luminous Lord. ||1||

~Aarti, Guru Granth Sahib

Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji. In the given verse, what is the ‘burning incense and the whisk’ mentioned by Guru Nanak Dev Maharaj Ji. Could you explain the essence of the verse?

With deep gratitude!

Acharya Prashant Ji: Everything that is there in existence, whether prakritik or man-made, is nothing but an oblation to the Lord. That is the essence of this verse, Alok (the questioner).

“The plants are an offering of the flowers to you, my luminous Lord.”

The plants are not man-made. They are the offerings of prakriti to the Source of prakriti. That’s how the devoted saint sees it. And why does he see it this way? You have to understand.

He has come to see his own prakritik body, as nothing but an offering to the Lord.

He has realised that the only purpose of this body, is that it is offered in the service of the Truth.

The body is not to please itself or the ego. The body is not for any miscellaneous purpose.

The body has only one purpose – devote it to the Truth, spend it in the service of the Truth.

Burn it in the fire of Truth.

Reduce it, lose it, bleed it, in the war of Truth.

That is the only purpose of the body.

And what is ‘body’? Prakriti.

Similarly, he see that the entire expanse of prakriti, is nothing but an offering to the Lord. Why does he see the flowers on the plants, as an offering to the Lord? Because he sees his own hands, eyes, the entire physical system, as an offering to the Lord.

As you are, so you see.

And it is not also just a matter of saint’s perception. It is actually so.

Prakriti itself is on a journey of liberation.

Prakriti itself is trying to achieve liberation through time.

What else is Prakriti doing?

It is moving round and round, and on and on. Why?

Because Prakriti itself seems eager to meet Purusha.

And it is trying everything. It is trying creation, it is trying dissolution. It is trying flowers, it is trying animals, it is trying insects, it is trying mammals. It’s trying intellect, it’s trying emotions. It’s also trying, survival of the fittest.

What is Prakriti upto? It surely wants something. Why is there so much movement in Prakriti? It is as if Prakriti too wants to meet the husband, Lord. That’s what the Gurus are clearly seeing.

The Flower does not bloom for nothing, the Sun does not rise for nothing, Man does not live for nothing. A new Child is not born for nothing. There is a purpose. The entire prakritik movement has a purpose. And the purpose is to meet the Lord, to be devoted to the service of Lord.

Now, there is another aspect of existence. And what is that aspect? Stuff that is man-made.

So, what is the saint seeing? What are the Gurus realizing? They are realizing that the prakritik aspects of the body, are for the service of Truth. And also for the service of Truth, is the intellect. So, all the things that man creates through intellect, are actually created just to achieve God.

And that is absolutely so.

Why else does man create this and that, using his intellect? Because he wants Peace. Doesn’t he? When you say, “We want progress and development, and science and technology, and discoveries and inventions, and we want to explore outer space,” what do you want?

What have you wanted all this while when you have created hospitals and schools, and public systems and social institutions? All of them have been a result of the intellect. Why has man created and built so much using the intellect? Because he wants Peace and ‘Peace’ is another name for God.

Man wants progress, and ‘progress’ means – an ascension, an elevation. It is as if, man wants to be elevated to some high sky. That’s what you say, “I am rising up. I am progressing.”

What is the intention to keep progressing? The intention is to progress, and arise and arise, and then just disappear in the sky. Move so further up, move so high up, that you lose almost all connection with gravitation. That you lose the bondages, and the compulsion to be bounded to the earth. That alone is ‘gravitation’.

You want to rise, rise, and rise. You very well know that as you rise, the force of gravitation upon you mitigates. It is proportional to 1\r(sq).

Man wants to rise, up and away from all the bondages.

That’s why he builds.

That’s why he invents.

That’s why he writes and sings.

And that’s why he worships.

(Tweet this quotetwitter)

Are you getting it?

So, on one hand you have the plants offering themselves to the Lord. On the other hand ,you have the incense, and the wind from the hill, and the fragrance of the sandalwood trees. And you have the imagery, that the wind is the Chavaro, the fan.

All that is there in prakriti, whether man-made or purely prakritik, is nothing but an offering to the Lord, a movement towards the Lord.

As if everything exists, just to reach out to the Lord.

Be it a mountain, or a hundred-storey man-made skyscraper, both are longing for the One.

Both were created with the same purpose.

Both exist with the same intention.

Getting it?

——————————————————————————————————————————

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

Watch the session video: Why does the wind blow? Why does man live? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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The pitfalls in the practice of mindfulness || Acharya Prashant (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

 


Question: You are holding a rabbit in your hands. What else is there except sensory perception? Why must there be anything beyond sensory perception? Just look at the creature, look into his eyes. Let the perception be total, and you will realise what is beyond perception. But that comes as Grace.

I am not able to see the difference between this example, and the philosophy of being mindful towards activities like eating, walking etc. In one of your talks, you have discouraged the practice of mindfulness, and mentioned that observation means – ‘Am I with the Beloved or not?’

It is observation of the inside. Please help me understand this better.

Acharya Prashant Ji: I have said repeatedly, that you cannot be purposelessly mindful. Consciousness is anyway very-very burdened. Man’s mind is a storehouse of all kinds of stuff. Man’s mind is already full. You do not want to load it with more sensory objects.

So, when you do look at something, when you do admit something into your mind-space, there must be a strong and valid reason.

In other sense, mindfulness has to be very-very purposeful.

Nobody should be allowed to gain entry into your mind, unless the entry serves a clear purpose.

That’s why I talked of the ‘rabbit’ here. I didn’t talk of anything in general. I said, “Look into the eyes of the rabbit.” Now, there is a purpose there, there is a gain there. I am not talking of admitting just anything into your consciousness. I am talking of admitting that ,which will you insight. Insight about what? Insight about your own situation.

When you will look at the rabbit, you will know who you are. The eyes of the rabbit specifically, will tell you of your own longing. When you will look at that animal, you will see something that will tell you – who you are- and will not allow you as a bonus, to kill and consume the rabbit.

So if there is something that really benefits you with insight, then be mindful of it.

Then allow it entry into your consciousness.

Otherwise, just being conscious of every little, trivial thing and object that is in you, around you, will leave you nowhere.

There you actually have to be dismissive, regardless, oblivious.

Contemptuously oblivious!

Purposeful, purposeful. You must know why you are looking at something. And the question then is, if you have listened to those videos carefully: ‘Am I with the Beloved or not?’ That is the only question that must constantly occupy your mind-space.

So, be mindful of stuff that helps bring back this question to you, and be totally dismissive of other stuff.

Just randomly and purposelessly counting the number of steps that you take from the kitchen to the washroom, is no good. It’s a random and dull practice. It will further burden and dull down your mind.

And when the mind becomes dull, then there is temporary relief from suffering. Active and searing pain, turns into dull ache. And many people prefer that. But the pain has not really gone anywhere. It has just become subsided, hidden, more palatable.

You are troubled by something as most people, most of the times are. You can occupy yourself with any random activity, as a solution. And you will see that when you occupy yourself, then your troubles fade away for a moment.

But is that a solution?

You have to ask the important and central question. “Given who I am,” and who are ‘you’? The longing consciousness. “Given who I am, why am I doing anything including observation?” That’s the thing to be asked.

“I am somebody who is in need of healing. Given who I am, why am I counting the steps? Why am I watching and counting my breath?”

Nothing can be just a mindless practice.

Otherwise, it becomes the absurdity of mindless mindfulness.

So when you say, “Mindfulness is good,” I will say, “Fine. But be mindfully mindful. Don’t be randomly mindful. Because there is just too much filth that can fill up your mind. Why must you allow it?”

The art of living is – to not know a lot. There must be really a lot, that you must not know at all. And when I say, “Know,” I mean knowing in a way, that affects you. And we do get related to the knowledge we have. Don’t we? And then the knowledge becomes burden.

Before you count something, ask yourself, “Why am I counting it?” If the man who is counting currency notes all the time, does not ask himself, “Why am I counting it?” then he is condemning himself to deep suffering. And if you do not know why you are counting, then there is not much difference between counting currency notes, and counting the number of steps that you take as you walk from point A to B.

We are quick to point out the fault with the man, who is busy counting notes all day. But we do not see that the man who is counting his steps all day, is guilty of the same fault.

Saints have constantly pointed at this trap.

They have said, “Be cautious.” There are people who use the rosary, it’s beads, as a method of meditation. There are people who keep counting the number of times they have recited a particular mantra.

And if you will go to Kabir Sahab, Nanak Sahab, or other saints, they will all tell you, “What is the point in counting till hundred and eight? What is the point in counting the number of times the rosary has gone through your fingers?” Do you really know what is going on? It is all dead practice. And it is further turning your mind dead.

What is meant by – ‘Knowing why you are doing it’? ‘Knowing why you are doing it’, is to answer the question, “Given that I am, a longing consciousness, is this activity taking me ‘there’?”

“If it is taking me there, I will count not till hundred and eight, but till hundred and eight thousands. No problems.”

“But if is not taking me ‘there’, why am I doing this silly thing?”


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

Watch the video session: The pitfalls in the practice of mindfulness || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Is the world real, unreal, both, or neither? || Acharya Prashant, on Zen Koan (2019)

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Is the world real, unreal, both, or neither

THE SHORT STAFF

Shuzan held out his short staff and said,

“If you call this short staff, you oppose its reality.”

“If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact.”

“Now what do you wish to call this?”

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! Please help understand this Zen Koan.

Acharya Prashant Ji: You have to call it both. You see, you are living as the bodied one. That identification does exist for you. Just as your material body is a fact, you cannot ignore the fact of the short staff – a short staff that a monk carries.

So you cannot say, “No, this is not a short staff.” It is.

You have to respect the fact. But you cannot stop at the fact. It is a short staff, only with respect to your body. How do you that it is short? Would a little ant call it ‘short’? Would a little insect call it ‘short’? If you were not the body, would the staff even exist for you? It exists only in the same dimension as the brain.

It is the brain that comprehends the material reality of the object.

Will any software work without it’s compiler? Here is the compiler. The compiler and the software, go together. The staff does not exist at all, if the brain were not configured in the way it is.

So even as you accept the fact that it is a staff, you also know that it is a staff, only with respect to ‘me’. If I keep saying, “It is a staff, it is a staff, it is a staff,” what does that amount to? It amounts to constantly saying, “I am the body, I am the body, I am the body,” because it is a staff, only with respect to your body.

Therefore, those who get stuck at the level of the fact, are actually getting stuck at the level of the body.

That’s the problem with science.

(Pointing at the handkerchief in the hand)

It keeps saying, “This exists, this exists, this exists.” And surely it does exist.

But this exists only with respect to my hand, my senses, my comprehension, my brain. Right? So if I keep saying, “This exists, this exists, this exists,” I am continuously saying, “I am the body, I am the body, I am the body.”

Therefore, whereas one has to respect the fact that this exists, be it a short staff, or a white handkerchief, one has to also remember that their existence is not absolute, not final. It is relative to ‘you’.

If you insist too much upon it’s existence, you are insisting too much upon your bodily self. And then you will never get freedom. So this is like your current reality, just as the body is your current reality. Right? We are currently body-identified.

Just as we are currently body-identified, so currently yes, this (the handkerchief) exists. But the story cannot stop at the fact, the story has to go beyond the fact. Beyond the fact is the Truth. You have to know both – where you are currently standing, and where you wish to be.

Currently I am standing at the level of body, and at the level of this (the white handkerchief). These two are one. This exists for the body, this is my current standing. But this is not my destination.

A point must come where it exists only with respect to the body, not with respect to ‘me’. When nobody must remain, to definitely and conclusively say, “This is a white handkerchief.” Let this be the white handkerchief for the body, ‘you’ have gone. ‘You’ are somewhere else.

That’s the way to live.

Knowing the fact, but also knowing that you do not belong to the fact.

The fact cannot be ignored.

If you ignore the fact, then you are entering the realm of superstition.

You have to live scientifically, you have to be logical.

So you must respect the fact.

The pillar does exist, the wall does exist, the body does exist. If you say, “The body does not exist,” you are being a hypocrite. Because that’s how you behave day-in and day-out, as a body. Right? Behaving as a body, and then not admitting the body, is hypocrisy.

So you do admit that the handkerchief exists, the short staff exists, the body exists, but you do not stop at that. That’s how the spiritual one lives – knowing the world, seeing the world, acknowledging the world, but not belonging to the world. Knowing fully well that his destination is somewhere else.

And that does not mean that he is dismissive of, or disrespectful towards the world.

I am repeatedly saying,”One has to respect the world,” otherwise it would be hypocritical.

Being present here, in time and space, but continuously, parallely, present elsewhere also. Or, to put it differently, being present here in time and space, but also parallely absent to whatever is going on here in time and space.

Present to the world, and also absent to the world.

Superficially present to it, deeply absent to it.

Superficially here, but deeply somewhere else.

Where? Nowhere.

But on the surface, you have to be here. If you are not here even at the surface, then that is not spirituality. Then you are a lunatic. The spiritual man is present to the world. He knows the difference between ‘red’ and ‘blue’. He knows how to drive a car. He knows which road to take.

He is present to the world, but deeply he is absent.

Deep within him, is a point that does not know the world at all.

Deep within him is a point that has no value for the world, that does not transact with the world at all.

Getting it?

—————————————————————————————————————————————

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

Watch the session: Is the world real, unreal, both, or neither? || Acharya Prashant, on Zen Koan (2019)

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Befriend the mind, and it will be your best friend || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji. Acharya Ji, you mentioned that mumuksha is what matters when we choose a path for liberation. Mumuksha is a deep desire for liberation. But the mind is always playing games. Once I do things against it’s comforts, it tries to make up stories, create random, non-existent problems for me.

Shall I listen to my mind, or should I ignore it? Should I be neutral to what it does, and just watch? Please guide.

Acharya Prashant Ji: This is how you are looking at it. You are saying that whenever you try for liberation, whenever you move towards liberation, the mind tries to disturb and distract you. You are saying, “It cooks up stories, it creates random, non-existent problems. And it starts playing various games to disturb and distract you.”

That may not really be the case.

You see, it’s like this. The mind has had experiences. It proceeds only on the basis of experiences it has had. It has nothing else. The little self, the ego is nothing without time. And what it has been doing through the course of time? It has been interacting with the world.

Time means – a relationship now, and a relationship then. Something happening right now, and something happening later on. That is ‘time’. So the mind is all full of experiences. And the mind’s experience has been such that, whenever it has wanted to quench it’s thirst, it has never had pure water available. It has never experienced pure water at all.

Probably, pure water is something that cannot be experienced. So what has the mind had? Soda water. What has the mind had? Soda water. So what has the mind learnt? That when you are thirsty, you should have soda water.

Even in soda water, what is the mind really looking for? Water. So, it brings the soda. And in the soda, what is it that it finds useful? The water. But it does not ‘know’ water. Water has been outside experience. What has been within experience? Soda water. So now the mind’s conditioning is: when thirsty, get soda water, or some coke, or some canned juice.

Now it’s ‘your’ mind, not really separate from you. I say that the mind is your own shadow. Which means, your fundamental desire, and that of the mind, cannot be two different. In fact, they are just the same.

It’s just that you exist as ‘I’, and the mind exists as the experiences that the ‘I’ has had. You, the ego exists as ‘I’. And the mind exists as the sum total of experiences that this ‘I’ has had. ‘You’ are conscious, the mind is not. Just as the man is alive, the shadow is not.

The ‘I’ is conscious, the mind is not really conscious.

The mind is a dead pattern.

The mind is mechanical.

So you may decide to move towards pure water. Consciousness gets elevated. It comes to see that pure water is what would quench the thirst, it tries to move towards pure water. It tries to move towards the pure water, the centuries old conditioned mind, obstructs the way. It says, “No, no pure water. We must have soda water.”

And then Saurabh (the questioner) says, “Whenever I try to do something good, the mind tries to distract me.” Is the mind really trying to distract you? Now you and the mind are fighting. You are saying, “Water,” the mind is saying, “Soda water.” And then Saurabh sends over the question: “The mind is so foolish and so evil. It does not let me do my sadhana. I have mumuksha, I want liberation, the mind only want bondages. I want water, the mind says, ‘Coke.'”

What you do not see Saurabh, that deeply behind whatever the mind is saying, mind wants exactly the same thing, as you do. There is no divergence at all. There is only lack of understanding. And that onus of understanding is upon you. We said, “Mind is a machine.” Can a machine understand? The machine will not understand.

You have to see that what all your conditioning, all your habits, all your patterns, are crying for, is really redemption.

It’s a strange thing to hear probably. But even your patterns are crying for liberation. It’s just that they will not spell Liberation as L.I.B.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. There spelling of Liberation is different, just as the mind’s spelling of Water is C.O.K.E.

But you are consciousness, you must understand. If the mind is saying, “Coke,” it really wants Water. If the mind is saying, “Mocktail,” it really wants Water. Instead you are complaining, “I want water, mind wants soda.” That is not the case.

The mind is really you, in a frozen form.

Mind cannot want anything that you do not really want.

It’s just that you are a bit intelligent, and the mind is dumb and frozen, and unconscious, and stupid.

Co-operate with your mind, learn to take the mind along. Mind is not evil, it’s just stupid. You cannot put somebody to the sword, just for stupidity. And how will you kill the mind? Does the mind stand independent of you? Does it?

The mind is your shadow.

If you change, the mind will change.

And that’s what I am advising you.

Prove that you have changed. If you have changed, you will be able to convince the mind. Just as the shadow changes, when the man changes. Just as the world changes, when man changes.

Don’t dismiss the desires of the mind.

Look at those desires.

Go deeply into those desires.

And behind each desire, you will find only one desire – the desire to be free.


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

Watch the session: Befriend the mind, and it will be your best friend || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Why is it difficult to explain spirituality to our close ones? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Why is it difficult to explain spirituality to our close ones

Question: Acharya Ji, I have noticed that people who know me since childhood, are now facing difficulty in understanding what I am doing. For instance, it took me two years to convince my wife and relatives etc., to even allow me to do what I am doing.

When I say, “What I am doing,” I am referring to my inclination towards spirituality. Why do our closed ones take so much time to understand us?

Acharya Prashant Ji: It is because Abhilash (the questioner), they are close to you in an un-spiritual way. So they will take a lot of time, and you will have to live with this fact.

Do not just say, “Some person is close to you.” Complete the sentence. Elaborate and clarify. When you say, “He is close to me,” how is he close to you? What do you mean by ‘closeness’? Closeness of what to what? When you say ‘close’, you mean – X is close to Y.

When you say that somebody is close to you, kindly elaborate – what is close to what? The closeness itself is quite material, or co-incidental, or social, or physical. They were close to you in a very-very un-spiritual way. In the spiritual dimension, they were not close at all.

So it is not that people who are close to you, are taking time to understand you. If you want to express it honestly, the situation is like this – people who are spiritually very-very far from you, are taking time to come close to you. And that is understandable. Is it not? They were anyway very-very far from you, so they are taking time to come close to you.

Are you getting me?

(Referring to the table placed in front) Right now, I am closer to you, or to this table? In purely the physical sense, I am close to the table. But if I start teaching to this table, will it understand? So, that’s how your question is Abhilash. “Acharya Ji, I have been close to a table since two decades. I have been very-very close to the table. I live on the table, I eat on the table, I sleep on the table, I dance on the table. Wherever I go, I carry the table on my back. But now I am teaching Bhagwad Gita to the table, and the table is not understanding.”

Sir, you have been close in the material sense. Your hand is resting on the table. There is no closeness between the hearts, there is no real closeness, essential closeness.

Two people can live in the same room for two thousand years, without being essentially close to each other.

You live in a hostel room, and four lizards also live in that room. Don’t they? And for four years that might be the case – you and the four lizzies. And you have been reciting the Upanishads for four years daily, since four years. Have the lizards understood?

But you are saying, “No, no. We were life-partners, room-partners. We shared our space. One day I found them sitting over the Gita. They were there inside even my washroom. They knew everything. They knew my body inside-out. Sometimes they would feast from my plate as well. There was a great bonhomie between the five of us. We were a family – me and the four lizards. But they are not understanding anything.”

What does physical closeness have to do with spiritual alignment, or proximity?

(Referring to one of the members sitting in the audience) Of all the people who are sitting here, Anmol is the closest, and he has been dozing. What does physical proximity have to do with understanding?

Even physical proximity helps, only when first of all, there is ample consciousness at the other end.

Then you say, “Well, the flame of consciousness is burning in the other. Bring him physically close to me so that I can give more time, more attention.”

I can wear a hat all day long, that will not tell it what is inside the brain. Or will it? If it will gather anything, it is just the oil.

And that is why, you sometimes find it very befuddling, very ironical things happening.

People who have been physically close to the Teacher since long, you find that they have totally missed the Teacher.

And then you wonder: This fellow was physically so close, how can he totally miss the Teacher? He knows nothing. Even those who are thousands of miles away, have gained so much, but this fellow- zero gain.

The reason is, physical closeness.

He was never really close. It was just table-and-hand, body-to-body, skin-to-skin.

The heart never came close.

So what will you learn?

Even right now, this session is being broadcasted live to I suppose thousands of people. And there are so many of you sitting here, physically. Is it certain that those who are sitting physically close, are getting more from this session, compared to those who are watching it online, sitting hundreds miles away, or thousands miles away?

Is that a certainty?

I know for sure that many of you are not getting anything. It is very likely, that the one who is benefiting most from the session is not even present in this hall physically.

Physical nearness to the Teacher is a blessing to the deserving one.

He relishes it.

And physical nearness is a great curse to the undeserving one.

Because by being physically close, the undeserving one gets the pride, that he is anyway close to the Teacher.

And there is no meter, no sensor, to tell this undeserving person that – “You are not close.” There needs to be some kind of a ‘proximity meter’, which should tell you exactly how close are you. And that ‘proximity meter’ will surprise and shock many students of the Teacher.

They might be physically just two meters away from me, or from anybody who can teach, but actually they are ten thousand miles away. Ten thousand miles away, yet bloated with the pride that they are close.

And when they do not learn anything, they say, “We were so close. We still did not learn anything. The Teacher must be shabby.” You were never close, not now, not yesterday.

You are only as close to the Teacher, as this hand is to this table.

What will the table learn?

——————————————————————–

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

Watch the session: Why is it difficult to explain spirituality to our close ones? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Expectations, and the parental love for kids || Acharya Prashant (2016)

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Expectations, and the parental love for kids

Question: Acharya Ji, is this possible to not to expect anything from child and let him do whatever he wants?

Acharya Prashant Ji: First of all please see, that we are not talking imaginary stuff here. Given the way we are, can we let our kids live without expectation? We expect value even from half a rupee we spend. That’s how we are. But you are saying, “If we let the child be free,” is there anybody that we can let free?

Is there anybody we may not expect anything from? Do you know what it requires to let anybody free? Do you what it requires to not to expect anything in relationship? You are saying this, as if it is a choice, as if you can do that remaining what you are.

So you are saying, “No, no. It is possible, I can do it. It is within my control. I just have to flip a switch, or push a button. But you know, I am not doing it.” Do you have it in you to do that, first of all? Do you have it to let the loved one fly free? Do you have it to not to expect anything? Do you have it to not to be greedy in a relationship? Do you have it to give, without asking for returns?

But we don’t look at that.

We say, “You see, if I do that then it won’t be right.” The question is not about – ‘if’ you do that. The question is – can you do that? Given what you are, can you do that? But look at the misplaced confidence.

“O! Of course I can do that. Of course, of course. I am not doing it, because it is not right.”

“Of course, I can do this. Of course.”

Try giving even one rupee to a beggar, without expecting gratitude. Try!

It’s not so much about the kid, it’s about you.

If you are right, then most of these questions themselves would vanish.

Your obligation is not, to expect. That is your compulsion, that is your inner compulsion. How do you like it when people demand returns from you? Do you feel loving towards them? Is this not obvious? Someone serves you a glass of water, and then serves you the bill, do you give him – ‘I love you’- in return?

And then you are using words like ‘ancient traditions’, ‘soul’, ‘masters’, ‘new humanity’. Why don’t you simply talk of a fearful mind? But that’s what our condition is, right? Look at the whole mass of words tossed – ‘this soul’, ‘that soul’. What ‘soul’? Where ‘soul’? Just say, “I am afraid.”

Question 2: Acharya Ji, is there something called ‘hidden love’, means the parents are loving but still they are not doing the benefit of the kids?

Acharya Ji: No, not at all. You very well know what you were doing. You may name it as ‘love’. Somewhere, you very well know that it is all deception. And the proof of that is – that you run away when that deception is being exposed.

Had you really been confident that what you are exhibiting is ‘love’, then you would have stood for it, then you would have confidently faced any questions about it.

But you don’t face them.

Whenever those questions are raised, you repress them.

And that proves that you know, that you are living in the false.

You are afraid that the falseness might be exposed, so you avoid those occasions, those people who question your ways.

You dislike them, don’t you?

And it’s a very popular excuse, don’t fall into it. That – “You know his or her intentions are loving. It’s just that the fellow is not aware, but his intentions are good.” No way. The intentions have been ‘named’ as ‘good’, they ‘are’ not good.

Nothing except the Truth is good.

Just because you name something as ‘love’, it does not ‘become’ love.

You may tout it as ‘love’, you may sell it as ‘love’, it does not ‘become’ love.

———————————————————————

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

Watch the session: Expectations, and the parental love for kids || Acharya Prashant (2016)

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Is enlightenment gradual or instantaneous? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Is enlightenment gradual or instantaneous

Question: Acharya Ji, we have heard many stories of kings getting enlightened in one moment. So, is enlightenment gradual or instantaneous?

Acharya Prashant Ji: It’s like a jigsaw puzzle. (Pointing at the arrangement of posters on the wall) Do, You see this arrangement there? Let us say that this is the arrangement that is called ‘completeness’ or ‘totality’. Nothing is missing here, right?

Now, in the king’s life, this particular poster is missing. (Reading out the quotation written on the poster) “As you minimize the role of planning in your life, your freedom increases.” So one day, this poster comes floating upon the wings, and somehow gets fixed here on the wall. And now, the pattern is complete. Now the thing is – Total.

This is the way, it becomes Total for the king, because in the king’s story, in the king’s life only ‘this’ is missing. ‘This’ has no special relevance, except that in the king’s particular, personal story, ‘this’ was missing.

Therefore, the appearance of ‘this’ thing has no special relevance for you. You find out what is missing in ‘your’ life.

The king saw a dry, yellow leaf floating upon the winds, and he was immediately enlightened. That might be, because the king has brought everything else, assembled everything else, that is needed for Totality except – detachment.

Now when he sees that the tree has given up on the leaf, and the leaf is no more attached to the tree, and the leaf is freely floating – that completes the story for him. Now, what completes the story for the king, will not complete the story for Parmeshwari (the questioner), because in the king’s world, only ‘this’ was missing.

In Parmeshwari’s world, this-this, and that are missing. So a floating leaf will not help you. So, what is going to help you? May be a talking parrot, may be a dancing frog. May be some tea.

You have to see what is missing from your Totality, therefore stories about others’ enlightenment must be read with caution.

You specially have stuff like this in Zen.

“So the monk was walking on the street, and he found a dog sniffing into the garbage pile, and the monk was immediately enlightened.” If you try the same thing, all you will get is some infection, not enlightenment.

(laughter)

The monk had already come to a particular stage, where all that was missing was already there, except that missing piece. And the moment that came in, everything else was already ready. Everything else was already, only this much was missing. So, as they say in a proverb, “The last straw on the camel’s back.”

That does not mean that enlightenment is a product of the last straw. That only means that the fellow is so thoroughly prepared, the fellow is so absolutely ready, that one small incident, and the so-called event precipitates.

Are you getting it?

When the car is fully assembled and well-fueled and totally ready, then you just insert the key and ignition happens. If the car itself is in shambles, and has no engine, what is the point in talking of the key again and again?

In the case of the zen seeker, enlightenment happens at the turn of the key. How does that happen? Because the car is already raring to go. And so much effort has happened in assembling the car.

But the story won’t talk about the effort that went into the manufacturing of the car. The story simply says, “And the monk went in, and with one slight twist of the key, he flew away.” And you say, “Wow! Is that how it happens?” No, it won’t happen that way for ‘you’. You have to first assemble the car and then, there might be one point or one touch, and – Start! Not before that.

Question 2: Acharya Ji, what is the purpose of Zen stories then?

Acharya Ji: To see that someone can be so thoroughly prepared.

The point is not to lure you with the prospect of instant liberation.

The pint is to communicate to you, that your own preparation can be so very rigorous, so thorough, so complete, that after the preparation even an ordinary event can precipitate your – total Liberation.

An ordinary event. There is nothing special about the event. That event could as well be, walking of the monkey that just went by this place. And the story would say, “With one eye, Anna(the questioner), looked at the Master, and with the other eye she looked at the monkey. And then both the eyes were together and simultaneously liberated. And gone was the ‘I’.”

Question 3: Acharya ji, does enlightenment happen on its own?

Acharya Ji: No, it requires your conscious preparation.

Unconsciously, you anyway, always clamoring.

Your deep unconscious self is always yelling for Liberation.

What is missing is the co-operation of your conscious self.

Deep within, each one of us is beating our fists. None of us is contended. But at the conditioned-thought level, at the conscious-determination level, we do  not commit ourselves to Liberation.

So, a conscious commitment is needed.

It’s like the body being fully ready for the bath, but the ‘person’ not being ready for the bath. You know how it happens, right? It’s winters.

(laughter)

The body is clamoring, “I need Liberation from the non-sense that is sticking to me.” But the conscious mind is not agreeing.

A conscious commitment is needed.

Deep within, you are already ready.

———————————————————————

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

Watch the session: Is enlightenment gradual or instantaneous? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Do you really need to know the source of thought? || Acharya Prashant, on Raman Maharishi (2018)

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Do you really need to know the source of thought

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! I want to know the source of thought.

I remember Ramana Maharishi’s words,

“I is the root of all thoughts because in the end very though occurs to the ‘I’.

So, first try to get hold of who this ‘I’ is, which will lead the enquirer dissolve and merge in the source.”

Whenever I enquire, I cannot dig deep. There is no intensity in the digging. How to get that intensity in the enquiry?

Acharya Prashant Ji: What enquiry do you want to do Ashish (the questioner)? Why do you want to know the source of thought?

Why is an enquiry needed at all?

Don’t you directly see where your thoughts are coming from? Don’t you know ‘desire’? Don’t you know ‘jealousy’? Don’t you know ‘competition’?

Where else are your thoughts coming from?

That which is directly available to be known, must not be unnecessarily made mysterious.

You are saying, “Whenever I enquire, I cannot dig deep. There is no intensity in the digging.” You cannot dig deep because there is nothing to dig at. Only the Truth is deep, and you cannot dig your way down to the Truth. When you will dig, you will come to your own, personal center. And that’s all. And that center is shallow, so how deep can you dig?

Your digging cannot take you to Atman or Truth, please.

As long as the digger is there, as someone separate from the Atman, as long as there is someone doing the digging, how are you going to reach the Atman? The very act of digging, will keep the digger intact. The very act of trying to know the source of thought, will keep the striving one, the effort-ful one, intact.

You want to know where your thoughts are coming from?

Your thoughts are coming from the same point, from where the desire to know the source of thoughts is coming.

“From where are my thoughts coming?” Exactly from the same point, from where this question is coming. Where is your question coming from, Ashish (the questioner).

Where is your question coming from?

It’s life that is giving rise to your question.

It is the sum total of all biological process, and the social influences, that is giving rise to this question.

It is the material present in your consciousness, it is the material absorbed by your consciousness, that is giving rise to this question, this enquiry.

I am asking all enquirers: What happens to your enquiry when you go asleep? Please. What happens to your enquiry, the moment you fall asleep? Don’t you see your enquiry is just a wave with a crest and trough – rising and falling.

You want to know – ‘what is thought?’ I am asking you to find, what is this ‘enquiry’. This enquiry is nothing but ‘thought’. So here we have thought trying to know the origin of ‘thought’ – a dog trying to catch it’s own tail.

How aesthetic or successful that can be – ‘a dog trying to catch it’s own tail’?

Are you always enquiring? Yes, enquiring can be successful if you are always enquiring. But look at your enquiry. You enquire for half an hour a day, two hours a day, when you find the moment opportune. And then? So, your enquiry is nothing but a figment of your mood. Your enquiry is subservient to something else.

The situations are good, you say, ” I want to enquire right now.” Would you enquire when there is a fire in the house? You don’t. And if you can understand what this thing called ‘enquiry’ is, you will also understand what all your thoughts are. And vice-versa.

“We identify ourselves with this body, the Guru appears in a physical form, but his work lies in spiritual realm.”

~ Ramana Maharishi

Question 2: As the disciple is not aware of this dimension, how to be aware about Guru’s Grace?

Acharya Ji: Why do you want to be aware about Guru’s Grace? What will you do with that? Why do want that knowledge? Remember that knowledge means power, and power means control.

You are not asking: “How to be recipient of Guru’s Grace?” You are asking: “If the work of the Guru lies in spiritual realm, how do I know that work? How do I know the dimension in which the Guru is operating?”

What will you do with that?

Go to your question itself, therein you will find the questioner. And that’s who you are. Rather, that’s what you take yourself to be.

It’s very important – what you take yourself to be. Because if you do not know what you are taking yourself to be, then you will never know the falseness of what you consider yourself.

Let the Guru do, what he would.

There is no need for you to know.

Your ‘knowing’ would be an interference.

———————————————————————-

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

Watch the session: Do you really need to know the source of thought? || Acharya Prashant, on Raman Maharishi (2018)

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Once there is Love, there must be a roaring declaration || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Once there is Love, there must be a roaring declaration

Question: Acharya Ji, in one your videos you have mentioned that everybody gets to experience Him, in few small moments, sometimes by luck, by chance. One has to maintain that. It is not like that once one has reached there, one will remain there forever. If one breaks attention, and gets back to the world, one loses it.

You have also said that during your Satsangs, we are able to reach there. My question is: if one is actually there, why is one not able to recognize that? Why is that Joy not so big, that we are able to recognize it?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You have to declare that it is ‘big’. It sounds absurd, but that’s what.

We are people of definitions and declarations.

What matters is not really the fact, but the declaration of the fact.

Till yesterday, the man and the woman were strangers. And today, the priest says, “I declare you husband-and-wife,” and everything changes. So you have to declare yourself ‘wife’. Otherwise, things will remain the way they are. You will stand right in front of the man, the declaration won’t come, and you will find yourself receding.

Love requires that you finally give it your respectful consent.

You have to say, “I do.”

Even to God, you have to say, “I do.”

‘Say’ means – actually, literally, physically, mentally. Say.

You have to commit yourself, in whichever way you can.

You have to physically hold the hand.

Otherwise, there would be closeness, and separation.

Questioner 1: In acknowledging,  it is some….

Acharya Ji: Acknowledging and declaring it to yourself. Truth is Freedom, and Freedom does not enforce itself upon anybody. It waits for your free consent. So, in all your freedom, you have to declare your consent.

“Yes, as a free being I declare that I am in love, and committed.” Unless that declaration is there, the inner thoughts and intentions, this-this-this, they will amount to something, but nothing much.

Questioner 1: So, we actually are going through these moments of Truth. But since we are not acknowledging it, we don’t really explain the mind that …..

Acharya Ji: You have to withdraw from yourself, the right to pull back.

As long as you keep vested in yourself the right to pull back, you will keep pulling back. And it is your sovereign right. Nobody can take it away from you. You will have to very freely, very willingly, abjure that right on your own.

Even God waits for you. He won’t impose himself.

It’s a strange thing you know – how we are all creatures of flesh and blood, in all ways of life we live as the body, we talk of ourselves as the body, we very well know how the bodily and material things matter to us, but when it comes to love, we are so quick to say, “O! Love is in the soul.”

What about the body? What are you saying, that your soul loves something or somebody, but your body and mind are committed to something and somebody else? This deception, this inner treachery is so much suffering. Is it not?

And don’t you come across so much of this?

“My soul is in love with God. And I am in love with the devil.”

What is this? Put your body, put your mind, where your so-called soul is, and declare it. because these things are a matter of declaration. The body by it’s material presence at a place, at a physical place, declares something. Does it not?

You are making a declaration by being materially and physically present here. It’s a declaration. And when you will go away, you would be making another declaration.

Are you getting it?

The mind makes a certain declaration, by wearing a certain identity.

Let the mind make the right declaration.

Otherwise, we all have just one identity – the identity of the ashamed lover, the coy lover, who loves but doesn’t have the guts to come out with his love.

And this he covers up by saying, “You know all delicate and true things must be kept secret.” Look at the pretense – “The thing is so delicate and pure, that I cannot expose it socially.” If you cannot expose it socially, then the society will take control of you.

And then why do you wonder, why you regress after every contact with the Truth? Because you are not declaring something socially, because you are not coming out in the open. And that itself is the signal available to the society, that you are yet available to be possessed. Had you really been sold out to the Truth, you would have clearly told the society – ‘Not for sale’.

But that board has yet not come up. That board has yet not come up, so the society knows very well that you are still available. So the buyers come over, and they quickly take you home. Why do you get surprised then?

In India, there is a custom that married women wear some mark of their commitment. That keeps the society at bay. “Hands-off,  she is taken.” But we want to love secretly, and not wear the mark. And then if those goose and hoodlums chase you, why are you surprised?

Your lover(God), happens to be the strongest one in the world, and yet you are being chased by the gully-goons. That’s because you don’t want to display that you are taken.

One wants to remain available. One doesn’t want to close the various options.

Questioner 1: So, even now there appears the pull….

Acharya Ji: That you will never have. That you will never have, till you wear the mark. What do they call it in English?

Questioner 1: Vermilion.

Acharya Ji: Vermilion.

Questioner 1: If I declare, does it mean that I am married to Truth?

Acharya Ji: Not a mere declaration would do. Once there is Love, there must be declaration. A declaration without love, means an arranged marriage. That doesn’t help.

Question 2: How to do this declaration? What do we mean by ‘declaration’?

Acharya Ji: Wo to gali,gali hari gun gaane lagi (She started roaming in the streets, singing in the praise and glory of Lord). Mahlon pe pali, ban ke jogan chali (She was raised in palaces, she left everything for God).

This is what is ‘declaration’.

Meera rani deewani kahani lagi (Meera is known and called as a ‘lover’).

Not like this deception as – listening to the Satsang in the closed room here, and then hide this or shy away  from sharing, and declaring, after moving out of the room.

(laughter)

No camp has ever happened, in which one or two participants have actually hidden it from their family, that they are attending the camp.

Questioner 2: If the declaration is a bad thing, then this ….

Acharya Ji:

Live as His bride.

You don’t merely have to love Him deeply, secretly, internally.

You actually have to live like His bride.

———————————————————————–

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

Watch the session: Once there is Love, there must be a roaring declaration || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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What is forgiveness? What is compassion? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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What is forgiveness What is compassion

Question: Dear Acharya Ji, Pranaam! Today I was reading about brain and conditioning. Our brain is affected by moment-to-moment experiences. These experiences, put the brain, in a certain form. And these experiences, also bring about certain deformities, in the brain.

I have some memories of people in my brain, that do not allow me to feel free. I feel a certain uneasiness, when I think about them. What is ‘forgiveness’? What is daya, or ‘compassion’? Kindly show me light on this.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Parmeshwari (the questioner), ‘forgiveness’ is – not having the need to forgive. Forgiveness is – to not having the need to forgive. As long as there is a need to forgive, it means you are still sticking to the small things in the brain. Hurts, distortions, you are still talking about those little things.

You feel offended. Because you feel offended, so the question of forgiving the other person, arises. “Should I forgive? Should I not forgive?”

Real forgiveness is, when you have gone beyond the little things of the brain, and have totally forgotten the hurt.

That which you are calling as ‘permanent distortion in the brain’, is nothing but the attachment of ‘I’ sense, to all the little taints. The distortion does not just stay on. The distortion stays on, because you get attached to it.

It’s like something is staining your cloth, or your skin. Do you know how the stain happens? Something in the cloth, reacts with the spoiling agent, the dirt. Actually, a friendship happens. If I put some grease on this Kurta, the grease is different from the Kurta. They are two different entities. How does it happen that the grease meets the Kurta, and then the grease does not come-off? How did the two, become one?

The two become one, because a bond develops. It’s a chemical bond. Actually, chemistry takes place. They become brother and sister, or friends, or mother and son, or husband and wife. That’s how the cloth gets distorted. That’s how the brain gets distorted. The brain develops a friendship with, non-sense of the past. A chemical bond develops.

On one side of the chemical bond, is the memory of the past. Who is on the other side of the bond? You, the ‘I’. The ‘I’ is getting bonded with, attached with, that memory. The ‘I’ has developed a definition, with respect to that memory. So now, the memory will gain life. It will become a permanent taint on the brain. Otherwise, the memory will just wither down, fall-off, go away.

If some totally non-reactive material, comes to this cloth, would the cloth still get stained? No, because there will be no reaction. Putting any material, whether reactive or non-reactive, comes to a cloth, that is made of a non-reactive material, would the cloth ever get stained?

If my Kurta is made of a material, that cannot react, will the Kurta ever get dirtied or spoiled? No, becaue there will never be any reaction. This Kurta is never going to attach. It doesn’t react. It has no need for company. It does not form any bond with anything.

You have formed bonds, with all the little things here and there – past, future, wherever. How to get rid of those bonds? Let’s go back to Chemistry. Tell me how does the soap function? Because the bond between the cloth and the dirt, is there. Now, how does the soap function? Soap comes, and offers a reaction, an energy, stronger than the energy between the cloth and the dirt.

So, the cloth says, “I do not want the dirt. Where is the soap?” The dirt also wants the same thing. Depends on the type of soap. There are many kinds of soaps. The dirt also says the same thing. “Better than being with the cloth, I want to be with the soap.” So, the bond between the dirt and the cloth, is broken.

Spirituality is disruptive.

Spirituality definitely implies – breaking of bonds.

What else is Freedom? Breaking of bondages.

When you address it fondly, then you call it a ‘bond’.

When you look at it really, then you call it a ‘bondage’.

They are the same.

So, don’t worry about the reaction between the cloth and the dirt. That reaction has already happened. The bond is there. Now you have to bring in the soap and the water. Don’t talk too much about the dirt. Now, move towards the soap. Remember the definition of the ‘soap’. Something so important, so reactive, so full of energy, that it disrupts the existing and ongoing chemistry.

Your ongoing chemistries, have to be disrupted.

Your existing patterns have to be broken, with something, that has higher energy than your current patterns.

That is the only way.

That is real forgiveness.

The stain itself is gone.

In general, when we say, ‘forgiveness’, what do we mean? We mean – ‘the stain is there, and I forgive you for staining me.’ That is very bad kind of forgiveness. You are telling him, “You know, the stain is there. But I forgive you.”

Real forgiveness is, when the stain itself is gone.

Now, the fellow may come to you, and say, “Please forgive me,” and you will say, “For what? The stain itself is not there, there is no problem. You haven’t committed any crime. May be you tried to hurt me, I didn’t get hurt. So, there is no question of forgiveness.”

Similarly, you have asked, “What is daya (mercy), or compassion?” First of all, compassion is not daya (mercy. Compassion is – karuna (Hindi word for ‘compassion’). Daya is – mercy. Very-very different. I have spoken a lot on it.

What is then ‘compassion’? ‘Compassion’ is to see that people are needlessly walking around, in spoiled Kurtas. Compassion is to become a soap-seller.

So, Parmeshwari, when is your laundry coming up?

The fellow comes to you, saying, “Ah! My cloth is spoiled for forever, and ever.” And he is weeping. “My fond Kurta, my fond Kurta, my jhini chadariya (pure blanket), my jhini chadariya, gone. Gone. Totally gone. Jake babul se nazzrein milaaun kaise, ghar jaaun kaise (How do I face my father? How do I go home?). All is gone. Laga chunri mein gaad chupaaun kaise (My pure blanket has been tainted. How do I hide these stains?).”

And he is weeping buckets.

And you know that you have the soap in your pocket. So, with a mighty swag, you are looking at the fellow and saying, “Now, you. Needlessly you are crying. Come over! Just hand over the cloth to me.”

That’s compassion – to not to become a participant in the other’s dirt, and filth, and tears.

Instead, help him out, by cleaning him up.

What is mercy, or daya? “O! It’s too bad. Too bad. Your Kurta is gone. So bad. You know it happened with my cousin also. Just two years back, he lost his Kurta. Here, come over. Weep! My shoulder is there. Kandha (shoulder) is my name.”

When you are very merciful, then your name is Kaandha. When you are very compassionate, then your name is Kaanha(Lord Krishna). Get the difference? Just too many people are Kaandha. When you want to cry, you go to them. If you don’t cry, the relationship is gone.  In Dharamshala, we were talking a lot about agony-aunts. There sole purpose in life, is to help others cry. That is ‘mercy’. A very ugly thing.

Compassion is – to not to weep, but to apply the soap.

You can either weep with others, or you can clean them up.

Decide!

————————————————————————-

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

Watch the session: What is forgiveness? What is compassion? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How to go to God’s place? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How to go to God's place

Question 1: Dear Acharya Ji, Pranaam! So far I have asked so many questions, and patiently you have answered all. I have made sincere efforts to walk in the direction shown by you, as much as possible. Now, no question bugs me, except the same, old one – what do I do, to go to God’s place?

Whatever I do, seems to increase the restlessness and thirst. I feel, as if I am somewhere hanging between the Earth and the Sky. Sorry to be a laggard student, troubling you always.

With love and Gratitude!

Acharya Prashant Ji: You are asking Parmeshwari (the questioner), “What do I do, to go to God’s place?” God does not have any place. You have a place, God has no place, right?When the saints talk of God’s abode, or God’s country, they don’t literally mean it. Do they?

So, God has no place, specifically.

God has no, particular place.

Which means, that these places that you see around you, are all God’s places, potentially.

Potentially, every place is God’s place, provided the one living in that place, the one at the center of that place, is Godly.

You will have to work in this Earth, upon this Earth, with Godliness in your heart, and then this Earth itself will be God’s place.

With godliness in your heart Parmeshwari (the questioner), work on this Earth, and then you will find, that God’s territory is here. But work you must. Otherwise, the potentiality, will remain just a potentiality. Earth will just remain, potentially God’s place, not actually.

A lot of hard work is needed.

Not so much to change the earth, but first of all, to change yourself.

If you are changing, then parallely, concurrently, you will start seeing a change in earth.

The more your inner self becomes Godly, the more this earth will appear Godly, like God’s place.

Work! You must know what the characteristics of Godliness are. Right? You know of – ‘Sat, Chit, Anand‘. So, you see around you, when I say, “Around you,” I mean in the physical territory around you, whether there is sat, whether there is chit, whether there is anand. And if, it is not – work. Work hard to bring these about.

You know of characteristics of Godliness. You know of Freedom, you know of Truth, you know of Simplicity, you know of Love, you know of Non-violence. Look at the world around you. Do you find these prevailing? If not, the work. Work very hard to bring them to Earth.

This very Earth, I said, can be hell, or potentially God’s place – heaven.

Depends on you.

But then, don’t be confused. When I say, “Change the earth,” I repeat, that the change that you see in the Earth, would always be commensurate with the change that is happening inside you.

Work!

Wherever you see filth, wherever you see darkness, that’s where ‘work’ lies.

Fight it! Dispel it!

There is no other way.

Darkness is, what is shrouding the Light.

Man believes so much in his own places, that he is missing God’s place. You cannot reach God’s place, by avoiding the Earth, or escaping the Earth. There is no vehicle to launch you into the outer space.

God does not live, elsewhere. Either he would he ‘here’, or nowhere.

And you will have to dig Him, out here. You will have to carve him, out here. Work is needed. God, potentially, exists here. It’s like stones potentially exist here. But the deity has to be carved out.

Work is needed.

Cleanliness potentially exists, even in the filthiest of places. Isn’t it? But the filth has to be broomed-out. So, work is needed.

Question 2: Acharya Ji, I was reading Ashtavakra Gita. On the same page, two verses were written. One verse said, “Sadhana needs to be done.” Another verse said, “You have already arrived.” I am confused.

Acharya Ji:

Sadhana needs to be done, to reach a stage, where you can see that you have already arrived. Without sadhana, you will never know that you have already arrived.

Without sadhana, are you ever in rest?

The common man, undertakes no sadhana, how is he? Restless. Does he ever believe that he has finally, ultimately, irrevocably arrived? So, the faith, that one has arrived, is not really common, among human beings.

What is usual and common? That we have – not arrived. This belief. What do you usually find among human beings? The belief that one has, not arrived, and that there is a fair distance to go.

Sadhana is needed, to rid oneself, of this misplaced, and painful belief.

——————————————————————————

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

Watch the session: How to go to God’s place? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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When are you God? When are you not? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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When are you God When are you not

He himself acts, and he himself contemplates.
He Himself is the Master of both worlds. 
He plays and He enjoys; He is the Inner-knower, the Searcher of hearts. 
As He wills, He causes actions to be done. 
Nanak sees no other than Him. ||2|| 

Tell me – what can a mere mortal do? 
Whatever pleases God is what He causes us to do. 
If it were in our hands, we would grab up everything. 
Whatever pleases God – that is what He does. ||3|| 

~Guru Granth Sahib

Page: 277

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! I am reading Guru Granth Sahib, and loving it. Strangely, I agree with what is written there, but disagree with what it implies. In some of the lines, it is stated that He wills, contemplates, acts, and causes actions to be done. It is also said that there is no other than Him.

These are harmless and acceptable assertions. However they imply that there is no suffering, and hence no ‘I’. I resist this implication. Is it His will that ‘I’ exists, ‘I’ resists, and ‘I’ claims to be suffering? Am I, Him?

He cannot be suffering. What I believe is, that I am suffering.

Please resolve this paradox.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

That which makes you suffer, the ‘I sense’, the ‘I sense’ too comes from Him. The ‘I sense’ is the suffering. The ‘I sense’ makes you suffer. In other words, the ‘I sense’ makes itself suffer.

That too is coming from Him.

So, all the actions that are generally attributed to the ‘I’, the saints say, that they actually come from Him.

There is a reason.

Does the ‘I’ really know what it is doing? If the ‘I’ is the originator of action, then it must know what it is doing? Does it really know? If it does not know what it is doing, then surely the action does not originate from the ‘I’. It originates from some where else. That ‘somewhere else’ is ‘God’.

The day the ‘I’ starts really knowing what it is doing, why it is doing, and who it is, then there is no difference between ‘I’ and ‘God’.

‘I’ exists as a separate ‘I’, as a separate doer, only as long as it does not know what it is doing.

It claims that it is doing something, without really being the doer. It says, “I am thinking,” but does it know why it is thinking, what it is thinking? An impulse arises, and the ‘I’ says, “I am feeling in a certain way.” It can say what it is feeling. But can it say where the feeling is coming from?

So, the saints have said that the ‘I’ feels like being the doer, but is actually not the doer. It’s just a  puppet. If there is a puppet, then they say that let’s call the puppeteer as ‘God’.

That’s what is being implied here.

Am I, Him?

You are Him, when you know who ‘you’ are.

You are ‘yourself’ as long as you do not know who you are.

As long as you are acting in your darkness, you are ‘yourself’.

When you start acting in Light, you are Him.

So, you have the option to be either. You can be ‘yourself’ or you can be ‘God’. Who gave this option? You never wanted this option. You cannot do away with this option. Which means that you are not the progenitor of these options.

Where are they coming from then? Wherever they are coming from, let’s call that point as ‘God’.

That’s the philosophy.

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

Watch the session: When are you God? When are you not? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.


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How to help one’s child learn great values? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How to help one's child learn great values

Question: Acharya Ji, I have a kid, who is six years old. What are the things I should provide to my kid? How can I help my child learn values?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You will need to provide yourself to him. Not toys, not books.

Questioner: I am doing that. One of the things that I also understood from the discussions done with you was, you advised me to break certain patterns of mind. Should the kid also break certain patterns?

Acharya Ji: Obviously.

See, the kid will learn much more from your life, than from your mere words, or toys etc. you bring for him, or the facilities you provide to him.

It’s very subliminal.

The way you look at the kid, your presence is, in the house – the kid absorbs from everything.

The TV is on. The way you respond to a certain scene or sound. The way you respond to a certain thing from the news channel. To you, it is an instinctive reaction. But the kid is watching. And you cannot always be cautious that the kid is watching.

The way you really are, would come out, and reveal to the kid. Your prejudices, your beliefs, your excitability, your weaknesses, your fears, all will stand exposed. Because home is the place, where the tendencies of a person, get a free run, to express themselves.

You might wear a garb, in the office or in the street. But when you are at home, you say, “I feel free to be myself.” And when you are being yourself, the child is watching.

Often parents think, that the kid is so small, what would he anyway understand? So, a lot of discussions, and quarrels, and ugly spats, all happen in front of the kid. And the assumption is that, the kid is not comprehending anything. But those are the moments, when the kid is absorbing stuff, fast and thick.

If the kid has observed half an hour of a fight at home, then he has probably absorbed more than he usually absorbs, in a week’s time. The fights are usually not, in the service of divine matters.

Are they?

You fight for the sake of money. Or, you fight because you are jealous. Or, you fight because of unmet desires, sexual needs. So, while it is important to think of the kid, it is a little more important to take of oneself, as a parent.

Even without any conscious knowledge, you would be helping the kid, a lot with just your presence, if you are an evolved being.

You won’t need to explicitly train the kid.

Everything amounts to teaching – your glance, the pitch of your voice, the loudness, the way you construct your sentences, the way you relate to the kid and others around. 

All of this, is a form of teaching.

And when you know, what is good for you, you would also know, what is good for another human being, which the kid is.

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

Watch the session: How to help one’s child learn great values? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Concentrate on the real battle, and ignore the random ones || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Concentrate on the real battle, and ignore the random ones

Question: I get very tensed whenever I face any conflict. I find that definitely there is an underlying fear that I will lose something, which causes anxiety. But, just being able to pinpoint doesn’t help much.

Very often, my mind says that I should let go of, whatever I am afraid of, and get rid of that anxiety. But another part says that doing so is cowardly, and I should fight. This feeling that I am acting as a coward, does not leave me.

Kindly guide me on, how to go about the situation.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Bravery is not about fighting against just any random thing, or obstacle. If I go about banging my head against this pillar, determined to bring the pillar down, is that bravery?

Bravery is when, you have a Real Battle to fight, for a real end.
The real end, really is – the annihilation of your own self.
Therefore, bravery does not lie in fighting against this or that.
Bravery actually lies, only in, conquering the self.

Don’t pick random battles. Don’t just pick arbitrarily, clashing here and there. If you set wanton goals, and keep running after them, and then you don’t want to give up the chase, because you don’t want to be declared a ‘coward’, then this is merely egoistic hesitation, and clinging.

You are clinging to something, because you do not want to be seen in other’s eyes, and in your own conditioned eyes, as someone who could not make it. This is ‘cowardice’. Continuing a useless battle, might look like bravado, but is actually a very cowardly thing to do, because you should have quit. You should have escaped away.

But you are continuing, just because you are afraid of falling, in other’s perception. Or, in your own perception, which is greatly influenced by others.

If you are going down the wrong road, there is no bravery, in continuing in the same direction. You cannot say, “What will people think?” Or, “What will happen to my self-esteem? I gave up.” Who said that giving up, is an act of cowardice? ‘Giving up’ requires a lot of courage.

Real courage, is needed, only when you fight the Real Battle.

And the Real Battle is, against yourself.

Not all problems are worth facing. Most problems, you must totally avoid. Even if that means, that you will be called a ‘coward’ by others.

Not all battles are worth fighting. In most situations of conflict, just bow down. Just retreat. Even if that means, that you are not being hailed as a belligerent hero. Fight only the right battle. And there, you must not surrender. There, you must not never give up. Only this is ‘courage’.

So, courage lies as much in not fighting the wrong battle, as it lies in fighting the right battle.

Both are expressions of courage.

We think that fighting, and continuing to fight, is the mark of valor. Right? Equally the mark of valor and courage is – not fighting the wrong battle.

If you get tempted by every voice that shouts at you, to come over and fight, then not only are you not brave, you are actually and certainly, quite stupid.

So, be very-very guarded against empty and idiotic expressions of courage and bravery. When you know that the issue is trivial, feel no hesitation or guilt, in just letting-go.

Let the other person win. The matter itself is trivial. Even if he wins, what will he gain?

Trivia!

Why do you want to fight over trivia?

——————————————————————————-

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

Watch the session: Concentrate on the real battle, and ignore the random ones || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How can one help in Acharya Prashant’s mission? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How can one help in Acharya Prashant's mission

Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji. To me personally, the most recent Vishranti Camp was special,  because among other things, the Master spoke of one of the main projects of this life, and extended an open invitation towards work, that came straight from the Source.

Ever since that camp, one of the main things, that has been playing on my mind, is – how can I be of help, in this socio-spiritual revolution, that you spoke of? What next? What are the challenges involved? Where do we start from?

This goal is super audacious, but can only be tackled, with clarity of a living Master. Is full-time involvement in the work, a must? Or, can i get started for now from a remote place, and then later on, convert into a full-timer?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Ashwin (the questioner), start-off. Start-off immediately. With your limits, with all your limitations and situations, start-off.

Strength does not lie, in starting out in a big way.

Strength lies in starting out, right now, even if in a feeble way.

Don’t wait.

Part-time, full-time, these are not very important questions. What matters is, your commitment, that cannot bear to wait.

There has to be a ferocity, in devotion.

There has to be a sense of urgency, if you really appreciate, what this work is all about.

If you really see the urgency, then you will say, “I have to do something. I cannot wait for a better day. I cannot wait to get better, and then begin.” And as you take the first step, the next one will become clear. And as you take the second step, you will come to know of the third.

You know what we are up against, so in a sense, you know the destination. Once you know the destination, all you need to know, is the one step that you need to take, right now. What would that step lead to? That you don’t need to bother about.

If the first step is genuine, even if it is small, it will lead to the next one.

Begin!

There is a little group of people, I suppose eight-ten, or fifteen people are there, associated with the work of the foundation, in your vicinity. See what can be done. We have discussed the pressing issues at length. Start-off.

As you start-off, the enormity of the challenge, will reveal itself to you, even more.

Prick the monster a little, so that it shows it’s face and might to you.

Then you will know what you are up against, and then you will have more clarity. And therefore, lucidity about the next step.

———————————————————————————-

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

Watch the session: How can one help in Acharya Prashant’s mission? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.


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Watch your pleasures, see how they stain the mind || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Watch your pleasures, see how they stain the mind

Question: Acharya Ji, Charan Vandan! How are you doing? It is getting hard these days. I keep remembering you every moment. First of all, it is difficult for me, to realise that I was wrong in so many aspects. But, there is no option, so I am working on it.

Secondly, you taught me to take responsibility, and take care of my friend. I am doing that to the best of my ability. But, the response is not very encouraging. Often, I feel like giving up on the responsibility, you encouraged me towards. But then, I remember your words, and stay put.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Stay put, Kapil (the questioner). Lot of it will go towards your cleansing.

You have had pleasures, haven’t you? And if pleasures are not properly watched, if they are not under the illuminated scrutiny of wisdom, then they have a tendency to taint the mind. In fact, most of the taints on the mind, are residues from our episodes of pleasure.

I understand you are having a difficult time. I understand your friend too, is having a difficult time. But if, you can pass through it with patience, and wisdom, and equanimity, both of you will be changed people.

This turbulence that you are facing, is an inner ploy, to maintain the status quo.

There is something sitting within, that says, “If you will try to change, and change towards Light, then I will create trouble.”

So, the troubles are a ploy, to keep things as they were.

But, you very well know that things cannot be kept as they were. Things have to change. So, you will have to bear the turbulence.

Be gentle, be patient, and be very-very firm. Be full of compassion. But don’t compromise, even a bit, on Truth. And these two have to go together – compassion, without compromise. Even as you want to give the best to the other, remember that – falseness is a poison.

Even if someone thinks that falseness is the best for him or her, this ‘thinking’ does not change the nature of poison.

Do not compromise on Truth.

You are probably going through much. You will probably go through, even more. I am with you. And even as I stay with you in your heart, remember that – you have to face it. Nobody else, can face it for you.

I cannot go through that pain, on your behalf.

You will have to do it yourself, like a man.

———————————————————————————–

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

Watch the session: Watch your pleasures, see how they stain the mind || Acharya Prashant (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.


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