Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir: Forget God. Who are you?

SR Generic_ Englishपानी बीच बतासा संतों,

तन का यही तमासा है।।

क्या ले आया, क्या ले जाएगा,

क्या बैठा पछताता है।।

मूठी बाँधे आये जगत में,

हाथ पसारे जाता है।।

किसकी नारी, कौन पुरुष है,

कहाँ से लगता नाता है।।

बड़े निहाल, खबर ना तन की,

बिरही लहर बुझाता है।।

इक दिन जीना, दो दिन जीना,

जीना बरस पचासा है।।

अंतकाल बीसा सौ जीना,

फिर मारने की आसा है।।

ज्यों-ज्यों पाँव धरो धरनी में,

त्यों-त्यों यम नियराता है।।

कहै कबीर, सुनो भाई साधो,

ग़ाफ़िल गोता खाता है।।

Seen a bubble in the Sea, that is our story

You came with the hands empty, empty.

And nothing will you carry.

So why caught in misery

Make merry, make merry.

Who is your family?

Who is a lover really?

You are deep in illusion, happily, happily.

Fooling yourself with books, sex, and brandy.

Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty.

The clock is ticking and you are tipsy.

You breathe so you think that you are alive.

But dead are your face and dead is your eye.

Your mind is dreamy,

The world is the sea. Wake up or you sink,

That is Kabir’s prophecy.

~Guru Kabir

Acharya Prashant: Especially those who are serious about their spiritual pursuit, must look very carefully. There is a very important lesson to be had here. See, and tell me, what is it that you do not find here? The art of seeing is not merely about seeing, it’s also about seeing what is not to be seen. What is it that is missing here? This is supposed to be Kabir’s composition, right? Kabir the king of spiritual compositions. Much more voluminous, spiritual, devotional literature than any other author, poet, composer, in the world. Still the most widely quoted spiritual author across the world. Even more quoted than Rumi. Read more

One has to be deeply in love with oneself

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

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

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

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



Read the complete article: Is suffering necessary for awakening?

Is suffering necessary for awakening?

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Question: When intense suffering is created, that usually wakes up people. But is it possible that one can wake up without suffering, living very comfortable life?

Listener: For example, if I am fed up with my husband, I just wake up. But that situation doesn’t come!

Acharya Prashant: You see, only the sleeping one can wake up. Please understand!

To wake up, there is a precondition. And that is that you must be?

Listeners: Sleeping.

AP: And if you are sleeping, then you would be suffering. So, to wake up, it is necessary, it is obvious that there would be suffering involved in the process of awakening. Otherwise, what are you awakening from? If there is no sleep, where is the question of awakening? Then you are abiding in your Buddha Nature. Fine. There is no question of any further awakening. And if there is slumber, and ignorance, and sleep, then it is always accompanied with?

Read more

Laughter is wonderful when it is reasonless, purposeless, detached

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Read the complete article: Learning the best laughter

Learning the best laughter

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Question: When I think about the sense of humor…

Acharya Prashant: Sense of humor (smiling).

L1: Why people laugh?

AP: Why people laugh? Like anything else about life, this too is a good point, to begin with. Since the root of everything is the same, hence it doesn’t matter which leaf you put your finger on. If the inquiry is genuine, you will reach the root.

So, let’s begin with you my laughter, why do people laugh. Why do people laugh? Just like anything else that we engage in, that we do, laughter too can come from two very distinct points within us. There is a laughter which arises when one is pleased when one’s desires are fulfilled. Have you seen this kind of laughter? You wanted something you got it. You say, “You are happy, pleased.” And then you laugh.

And mostly it is this way that we laugh, that people laugh – The satisfaction of desire, there is a definite reason now behind the laughter – the fulfillment of the ego. The ego was feeling heart pressed, incomplete, not satiated and something happens, which at least temporarily gives an impression to the ego that it has attained fulfillment.

Read more

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

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

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

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

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



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

Why does defeat bother the mind?

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Question: Why the lingering effects of defeats or so-called perceived defeats stay in our mind for a long time? How can we shut it away?

The more you desire victory, the more will the effect of defeat linger in your mind. When you are fighting from the right place for the right cause, then comes a point when victory and defeat become inseparable. You have given so much of yourself to the great cause that now there remains nothing, nobody to get hurt or defeat.

There has to be somebody remaining to get hurt, right? There is a house, and the people in the house are warriors. And the house has given itself completely to the war, every member has gone out to fight. So completely have they devoted themselves to war. Now the enemy comes and demolishes the house, who gets hurt? Who gets hurt? They are not there. They have given themselves totally to the war, so nobody gets hurt.

Read more

Are you able to listen to your own love song?

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

“Jis tan preet na sanchare so tan jaan masaan,

jaise khaal lohaar ki saans let binu praan”

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

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

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

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

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

Check! Check! Check!

 Are you able to listen to your own love song?



Read the complete article: The song of the Heart

The song of the Heart

BFB1 Hiding in this cage of visible matter

is the invisible life bird.

 Pay attention to her,

She is singing your song”

~Saint Kabir

 

ACHARYA JI:  The invisible is difficult to be attended to. How many of you have ever looked at the invisible? How many of you ever touched that which cannot be touched, or heard that which cannot be heard? But if there is something available to be touched and seen and smelled, it is within your province. You would have some experience of it.

We like to live in the dualistic domain, the dualistic domain is a domain of comfort, the dualistic domain says “I can know and experience while remaining myself.” Read more

The difference between realization and escapism?

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Acharya Prashant: Escapism is – I am moving from city to village, from wife to mother, from job A to job B, from office to ashram, from object to object. Realization is from object to the core. In both, there is a movement involved, there is no doubt about it. And the movement sometimes is physical also. May or may not be physical, but it can be physical. So, there is a movement involved but if the movement is from one object to another object then you call it escapism. If behind the movement is something else, then it is not escapism. Is this clear? The difference between these two? Moving from tea to coffee is? Read more

You cannot have a spiritual culture

You cannot have a special land that enables the coming of the spiritual mind. You cannot have a spiritual culture, where it is easier to be spiritual. But for sure, you can have a mind that is attentive to its own falseness. That you can have! Not something definitive or particular, like a culture. Not something positive and affirmative. But, rather something reductive and destructive. Getting it?

“You know, nothing can lead me to God, let me just find out what keeps me away from God.” That kind of an approach.

Instead, we have cultures that claim to lead you to God. And that’s what all God-men do, right? They say, “I’ll take you to God.” The approach must be! You cannot be taken to Truth or God. You only need to find out what keeps you away. What makes you think that you are away. That kind of a thing can be there. That rigor, that…you can even equate it to the intellectual rigor, so it is not really intellectual. That rigor, even if it is found, even if it has been found in India, has been found only intermittently and that too very privileged and very tiny pockets.

You know, the people from whom, this…from whom the holiest…why even call them holy? Let’s call them “Intelligent Scriptures”. From whom these books came, they were in extremely tiny minority and most of them were not socially absorbed. We cannot even call them a part of society or a part of India. The fellow is living on the top of the hill. He has nothing to do with the country, nothing to do with the society. Would you call them belonging to a certain nation? He doesn’t even know whether nation exists, or has been conquered, or an earthquake has wiped out the entire population. He is so absorbed in his own meditation. So, he hardly has a nationality.

And those numbers, they were  extremely small, very-very small. The common masses were doing what they were doing. They had nothing to do with all this. In fact, even in India today, you see, all kinds of spiritual myths are popular. But if you go to somebody and you ask him to name even one Upanishad, one out of hundred people can do it. There are more than 200 Upanishads but when you do the general survey on the streets of India, and ask them to tell the name of even one of the Upanishads. I might be over-estimating in saying one by hundred.



Read Complete article: There is no such thing as a spiritual place or spiritual land

There is no such thing as a spiritual place or spiritual land

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Question: Do you think that with this modernization of INDIA, this global modernization or to say Post Industrial, so called Post Industrial!, is in a way destroying Indian culture? At least our Spirituality or its health?

Acharya Prashant: You see , no culture is spiritual. Indian, Western, Martian, no culture is spiritual. Spirituality has nothing to do with culture. All culture is just a social phenomenon. Spirituality doesn’t have much to do with that. India is said to have had so called spiritual culture since centuries as you have gone about. Is it your first visit to India? Read more

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

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

What are we?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The right relationship tells you about yourself

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Question: Acharya Ji, J.Krishnamurti says, “In a right relationship, you come to know yourself.” Please explain.

Acharya Prashant: The question is, Krishnamurti says, “In the right relationship, you come to know yourself.” So, how does one know himself?

That which you have quoted, is in itself the solution. He is saying, “You know yourself in relationship.” What is it meant, when it is said that you know yourself in a relationship?

We always exist as somebody related to something. You take away everything outside of yourself, and it will become impossible for you, to say even one sentence about yourself. Everything and anything that we utter about ourselves is related to the world. And the world is supposedly, outside of yourself, is it not? Read more

All knowledge will come only from the outside.

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

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

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

Are you getting it?

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

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

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

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

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



Read the complete article: The elimination of false knowledge

The elimination of false knowledge

Question: Acharya Ji, what is ‘elimination of false knowledge’ that Ramana Maharishi talks of when he says, “The individual is miserable because he confounds the mind and the body with the Self. This confusion is due to wrong knowledge. Elimination of wrong knowledge is alone needed. Such elimination results in Realization.”

So the question is what is the knowledge that should be eliminated?

Acharya Prashant: All knowledge that we have, comes from the world. The world gives us knowledge in various forms, ways, structures, fields. But, whatever be the structure of the knowledge that is provided to us by the world, there is one underlying theme always common in all knowledge coming to us from the world through our senses.

What is that common theme? Read more

While talking of the Buddha, keep eating your sandwich

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Acharya Prashant: Mind of the so called ordinary Sansari (worldly man), is full of thoughts about obtaining power, prestige, comforts, money and such things. And often the mind of the so called spiritual seeker is filled with thoughts of obtaining liberation.

Right?

The concept of liberation is such that it stands with the concept of addition and subtraction, which is the law of mind, and stands against certain other concepts. For example it says that if you have to obtain enlightenment then you have to drop certain things.

Gaining enlightenment, dropping certain things, are said to go together. Gaining enlightenment and dropping certain things have one thing in common: gaining and dropping. What is often ignored is that gaining and dropping are very well within the purview of mind. The mind  actually loses nothing, by adding another concept or by declaring another concept to be false. Read more

The Real Saint looks like a heretic or a lunatic than a saint

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The myth of the Saint, the Saint!

And with, the myth of the Saint we would be able to touch many associated myths. Like the myth of the respect: respectability rather, the myth of godliness. And of course Love!

When we use the word “Saint”, we use it obviously, inevitably in the same frame of mind. From the same center, as we use many other words.

Our language is a language of objects. Any and every words that we know refers to something; something that can be thought of; something that can be touched, conceptualized, seen, felt, hurt; something that is within the domain of the mental activity.

So the obvious result is that even when we use words like saint, God, Truth, freedom, joy, love they turn into objects due to the sheer fact of verbalization. Because you have put them into words, you have willingly or unwillingly turned them into objects. The same thing happens when we refer to the word “Saint”. Read more

You are the salt of the earth

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“Ye are the salt of the Earth; but if the salt have lost his savour,

Wherewith shall it be salted?

It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out,

And to be trodden under foot of men.”

-Mathew 5:13

AP: What does earth represent? And what does the salt of earth represent? Earth represents the material. Salt of earth represents the essence of the material. When you look at the earth, what do you find? Stone, soil, dirt, dust, sand. Do you really find salt somewhere? Have you ever been able to go and just pick up salt? No. salt lies embedded, deep within. So salt here, stands for something that is a little inside. That lies at the heart. Inside! That which is the essential.

Earth represents the body, salt of earth represents the Atman, the Self, the core, the heart. It is being said you are not the earth really, you are the salt of the earth. You are not the body really, you are the pure Self. And then he is saying that if you are someone who has distanced himself from the Self, the Centre, then he will only be trampled under the feet of man. He will have no value. He will live a joyless life. Read more

Gratitude and Surrender

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Acharya Prashant: Among the Indian saints, in the whole galaxy of the saints of the World, Kabir is delightfully special. It is said that he was born a Hindu, but because he was born of a widow, so out of social shame the mother went and kept the baby Kabir by the side of Ganga in Varanasi. A Muslim couple, Neeru and Neema, found the baby by the side of the river and picked him up, raised him. They initiated him into their family profession, which was weaving. Kabir, thus grew up in a Muslim family. Folklore says, he did not study much. He was fortunate to have a Guru, and was initiated by the Guru.

All his life, he lived simply as a weaver. The whole day he would weave, in the evening he would sell his stuff, and even as he would keep weaving, he would keep talking to people. He wrote nothing. All that we have as Kabir’s works, were actually collected after him. In fact it is said that he was illiterate. That may not be true. But what is certain is that he himself was never interested in writing. Kabir was there in the Varanasi of 14th century India, a hotbed of both Hindu and Muslim orthodoxy. And his courage and genius, lies in the fact that he unabashedly attacked both Hindu and Muslim traditions. Read more