Going with the flow, and being a lazy loser || Acharya Prashant(2016)

Going with the flow, and being a lazy loser

Question: How to differentiate between and recognize, whether one trusts in the universe to unfold one’s destiny, and goes with the flow, and allows the life to unfold, and being the one who is a loser, who is lazy and doing  nothing?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

The lazy one, does a lot. The lazy one is lazy and inactive, only externally. Internally, he is very active.

Please appreciate this.

The ones we call as ‘lazy’, are not lazy at all. They may not move their limbs, but their minds are very active. Absolute laziness, is a supreme virtue. Sages like Ashtavakra have sung greatly in praise of ‘Divine laziness’.

‘Divine laziness’ is – a total stopping of all movement.

Coming to that point within, where nothing moves at all.

That’s why is is being called as ‘lazy’.

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The utility of Yoga and methods of meditation||Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir(2016)

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Question: Why do people practice techniques like ‘Yoga’ and ‘Meditation’? Do you think they are necessary?

Acharya Prashant Ji: They have their own place. But, one should be very clear about the place that they have. What you usually call as ‘Yoga’, the kind of Yoga that is prevalent in this city(Rishikesh), is good for the body.

But do not take it as a means to salvation. If it is being sold as something mystical, or spiritual, then it is not. In fact, to try to achieve salvation through Yoga, is just an exhibition of the ego. The ego is saying that-  “By doing this or that, or by stretching my limbs, or sitting in a particular posture, I will reach God.” You sit in whatever posture you like,  you do whatever you want to do with the breath or the body, you will not get God.

Questioner: But, as I can see, one can calm the mind, by doing these asanas, these postures?

Acharya Ji: You can calm the mind, and believe that ‘you’ calmed the mind, you can calm the mind, and believe that ‘you’ calmed the mind, and in the process, cause greater agitation to yourself.

There is no method, except ‘surrender’ – direct, unconditional surrender.

If you know that your mind is calm, because the body is feeling better, and ‘you’  are the one who did something to make the body feel better, then that is just an extension of the ego.

The real happens, never, due to your planning, or your effort.

Because the real never ‘happens’.

It is already there.

It does not need to ‘happen’.

It is the only ‘happening’, how can it happen anymore?

But we are all, intent upon, somehow making the real ‘happen’. “I will go and try so hard, that I get the Truth.” Is Truth an apple or something? You don’t often get even apples due to your efforts. You can’t even get apples when you want, how will you get the Truth?

But yes, it has a certain value. When the body is fit, there is no doubt, that the mind has to think about it. So, in that space, it has a certain value.

Questioner: Does it mean that it is out of man’s control – the matter of Truth?

Acharya Ji: Yes, and the ego does not like this statement. The statement is – “This proves that it is out of your control, the matter of Truth, whether you get Truth or not.”

Yes. Please realise this, as soon as possible.

The Truth won’t come to you, because you tried this way, or that way.

It comes to you, because you see the futility of all your actions.

From morning to evening, whatever you are doing, when you see the futility inherent in them, that is the Truth.

That Silence.

And mind you, from that Silence, great action emerges. It is not as if, no action would happen. Your heart would come to ‘no action’, and the body and the mind would act vigorously.

A ‘Spiritual man’, cannot be a saint, who does nothing but eats all day, and keeps getting fat. And then everyday in the morning, he lectures for two hours. A ‘Spiritual man’, is an intense actor. He does not live as somebody, who has nothing to do with worldly concerns.

Kindly get rid of the image of the saint. In fact, if you come across any such person, who does nothing, except lecturing, and is getting fat, out of lecturing too much, then avoid him.

The ‘Spiritual man’ is a warrior.

He is one, who belongs to this  world.

He is one who partakes in the concerns of this world.

He lives life fully.

It is not that he has shed all experience. In fact, he has become more open and sensitive to experience – this happiness, this sadness, this pleasure and pain.

He is the man of the earth.

You will not find him on some great throne, somewhere. He must be someone, who moves through the streets – a commoner. He is not a general who hides in the castle. He is a foot soldier, out there in the battlefield.

Are you getting it?

Truth is not about renouncing the world of something. The man of Truth, I repeat, is a man of great action. And if you see someone, whose life is dull, lukewarm, incapable of action, then you should just know that his life has not been touched by the Truth.

Truth makes you go wild.

It does not allow you to sleep.

The dance of Truth, is a mad dance.

It is a dance of the destruction.

It is a dance in which you come alive!

You do not just sit in saffron, and say, “Hari Om.”

Kabir Sahab, never made preaching, his profession. He was a weaver, and he remained a weaver. You must ask, all the so-called spiritual ones, “What do you do, except wagging your tongue? And how do you know, anything of life, if you are not living it anymore?”

“You do not meet the commoners. You do not earn anything. You live on donations. You do not go to the markets to sell anything. You don’t but anything, because all is bought for you, by your followers. You don’t mingle with women anymore, because that destroys your reputation. Now, how do you know anything about life?”

If you are a man, and if you are not meeting women, as a man anymore, what do you know about life? From where else does anyone know about life? Does some great Truth descends from heaven? One knows the Truth, only in these simple, daily experiences of everyday living. And if you have blocked-out these everyday experiences, then how are you in touch with the Truth anymore?

How? 

Kabir’s life is a message. In continuing his life as a weaver, Kabir Sahab is saying, that professional preachers should be rejected, precisely because they are professional preachers.

You must ask the so-called spiritual ones, “Is there anything else that you do?” Your words must come out of your life, not out of some book or something. You should have gone have gone to the market, you should have seen something there. And then you should be talking, from there. 

You should be able to say that yesterday, this is what I saw, and hence we should talk about it. When Kabir Sahab talks, he makes the entire world, his instrument. He uses ‘thread’ as a metaphor, he uses the ‘loom’ as a metaphor. He uses the ‘color’ as a metaphor. He uses the ‘selling’, as a metaphor. 

There is nothing in this world, which Kabir Sahab does not use as a metaphor. Even dogs. This means that – he is a man, who is living really, intimately, with life. He is not just talking, some great high-flying theory.

Deep Awareness, Pure Consciousness – Kabir Sahib will never talk of all that. Because he is a real. He is not coming from a book, or tradition. He is not coming from rote learning. Whatever he is saying, it is arising from his heart, and hence so practical. 


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir: The utility of Yoga and methods of meditation

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Those who want to silence the mind will keep wanting|| Acharya Prashant

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Those who want to silence the mind will keep wanting

Question: Acharya Ji, how to attain stillness of the mind?

Acharya Prashant Ji: ‘Stilling the mind’, or ‘Stopping the mind’, are very popular and lucrative catchphrases. There is a small problem. The problem is – for the mind, everything is a verb. Everything is a verb. Everything denotes action. So when the mind says, “Stop,” even that means – ‘do’ the act of stopping.

Mind only knows movement. Mind does not know anything called ‘stillness’, or ‘stopping’. So we may find it tempting, to talk of stopping the mind. But the moment yo usay, “Stop the mind,” you have started a new action.

Do you get this?

The moment you say, “Stop the mind,” you have just started a new action. Now it doesn’t matter whether you want to make the mind ‘do’ something, or whether you want to make the mind come to a pause. Essentially, you are doing the same thing. You are ‘doing’. Essentially you are doing the same thing, which is that you are ‘doing’.

In making the mind run to a particular place, you are ‘doing’ the running.

In making the mind stop, you are ‘doing’ the stopping.

So, this stopping is no stopping, and hence all attempts of stopping the mind, or stilling the mind, are necessarily going to go waste.

For the mind, even ‘silence’ is something, even ’emptiness’ is something. Even ‘nothing’ is something. So, language is not very useful here. Language may lure us into believing, that we are stopping the mind, but all that we are doing is that, we are still ‘doing’.

That is why, methods that aim at stopping the mind, tricks, techniques, that all fail, because they are all actions.

And no action is going to lead to non-action.

It is not possible, to run harder, to stop. Yes, you may get exhausted and fall down, but the tendency to run, will remain. It is possible to keep chanting a particular phrase, for hours and hours, for many years. And that may make the mind, so exhausted and bored, that when you enter into that activity repeatedly, it just stands in one place, out of frustration and boredom. But that does not mean, that it’s tendency to run around has stopped.

The moment it gains favorable conditions, it will again start running. That is why effects of traditional meditation, do not last. That is why you have to repeat the practice, over and over, and again and again.

One must ask a basic question: what kind of peace it is, that comes and goes? Is it peace at all? That which comes and goes, necessarily has to be a movement, a  wave, an action. Only ‘something’ can rise and fall.

How can peace rise and fall?

Peace, by definition, is an absence, a nothingness.

If you have to exert yourself, again and again, in order to retain your peace, it only proves that it is not peace at all.

It is some kind of enforced silencing, of the mind.

Like kids, that hush down on seeing the teacher. Would you call that silence? That is mere temporary wordless-ness. Out goes the teacher, and out goes the so-called silence.

Do you get this?

So, first of all, one has to drop this belief in one’s capacity to silence the mind, or even in the concept of a ‘silent mind’. There is nothing called ‘a silent mind’. There is something called ‘Silence’ which is beyond something-ness, which is an absolute, which cannot be used as an adjective, to describe something else.

Are you getting it?

You cannot have a ‘silent mind’. Mind, when silent, dissolves in the Silence. All that remains is Silence. What do you mean by a ‘silent mind’ then?

But we want to believe, and we have a stake in believing, that just as we, the ego-sense, try to control its destiny, through a thousand ways, through ten kinds of efforts, through multiple attempts arising from doership, it would also attempt to, and succeed in, controlling the mind, or silencing the mind.

What is the mind? Some kind of an object? Who would control the mind? Who are you who would whip the mind in submission, or trap it, or seduce it, or counsel it? Who are you, who is stalking? When you say, “I will silence the mind,” who is this ‘I’? So, even after silence, this ‘I’ would remain. What kind of silence is this?

Is it not obvious?

Silence and Mysticism, Spirituality and Mysticism, they are one.

They go together.

And Mysticism, is about being comfortable, with the unknown.

Not having that urge, to be in control.

Not trying to be a master of your destiny.

“I do not know whether the mind can be silent, I do not know whether any method will succeed. I do not know whether there is this thing called ‘silence’. But I will honestly know that, which is in the purview of knowledge. I will know that which can be known. And beyond that, I will not venture. It is not my province. Why should I dare enter forbidden areas?”

“And it is not even about forbidden. It is not as if I have the capacity to enter it, and I have been just outlawed from there. I do not even have the capacity to enter it. I do not even have the capacity to imagine entering there. I do not even know what lies there. I do not even know whether actually, there is any place called ‘there’.”

This, crudely, is the beginning of Mysticism.

There, you do not claim to be knowledgeable.

There you do not claim to be the doer, or the master.

There you just submit yourself.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Acharya Prashant: Those who want to silence the mind will keep wanting

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What is desireless action? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is desireless action

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Question: Acharya Ji, how will I get motivation to do some work, if I am not attached to the result of the work?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When you come to this hall, you are probably prompted by some desire, aren’t you?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya Ji: There are desires, there are calculations, there are pluses and minuses, you probably weigh the pros and cons. All those things are there. Sometimes there is a nagging question you want to get rid of, therefore you come. That’s how the thing mostly starts. That’s how the thing mostly starts. So this ‘sakaam karma’(the desire-oriented action). Your movement in this hall is motivated by a desire.

You want something, therefore you ‘do’.

This is the common ‘sakaam karma’.

You ‘do’ because you want.

So, the action is a means of fulfilling the desire.

This is normal ‘sakaam karma’.

That’s how things are at Twelve Noon. You are sitting ready to fire your questions. You have a purpose in being here. What is the purpose? – ‘I want my questions answered.’ You have a definite purpose. That’s Twelve noon.

Now, how is it like at 1:30 p.m.? You came with a question, but the question has not reached here. You do not even intend to ask the question anymore. At Twelve Noon, when you were listening, you were listening with an objective. What was the objective? The resolution of the query. And how are you listening at 1:30 p.m.? You are ‘just’ listening. You are ‘just’ listening.

Something is still happening. But the objective is lost. Now the ‘happening’ itself is very juicy. Now the ‘happening’ is not means towards an end. Now the means itself has merged with the end. It is as if, the means has moved into the end, or the end has come to the means to bless it.

Now there is no distinction. Now you are not saying that let the others’ questions be answered fast, so that the speaker may take up my question. Hence now, there is no gap. Hence now, there is no waiting for the result. Hence now, time has stopped for you.

This is ‘nishkaam karma(desireless action)’ – the ‘doing’ is not for some objective outside of itself.

The ‘doing’ itself is the objective.

What do you work for? You work for satisfaction. Call it ‘deep contentment’. Right? You work, for the sake of that. And therefore, work is never very satisfying, because work to you is not the last thing. Work is just a middleman, for the sake of a result. Therefore, work is just a necessary evil for you.

Had it been possible, you would have removed the work, the process, the time interval, from between, and you would have said, “Is it possible to come directly to the result?” And that is why man wants to keep gaining in efficiency.

Man wants to keep gaining in efficiency.

Do you see what is this continuous movement towards more and more efficient processes, machines and systems? It is because man works for a purpose. It is because, the work, and the time invested in work, is itself, not very likable. So man says, “Minimize the work, and maximize the result.”

‘Nishkaam karma(desireless action)’ means – work is life.

Work is life, anyway.

Even when you ‘think’, you are not working, you are actually working. So, no point fooling oneself, with the effort to minimize work.

Even when you ‘think’, you are having leisure, you ‘are’ actually working.

Therefore, why not work in a way, that transcends work.

That is ‘nishkaam karma’.

Work cannot be avoided. Life is work.

You are working, even when you are sleeping. You are working, even when you think, you are relaxing. Why not choose work, with such deep discretion, that work does not remain a load that you have to reduce, work no more remains something that you want to outsource?

Why not come to a situation, where you are no longer seeking happiness, in the reduction of work? Have you seen how the common man celebrates, when his work burden is reduced? That is ‘sakaam karma’.

Have you seen how students like to achieve results, without working? Were it possible to achieve hundred percent marks, without laboring at all, students would have been the happiest? Because as a student, or as a worker, you find no joy in the process. For you, joy is a destination, mostly. For most people. That is ‘sakaam karma’.

Now, we will come to the more horrifying part of it. Whenever, work is a means to an end, ‘the end’ is never really achieved. Ha! We are beaten both ways. First of all, we expended a lot of time, trying to reach – an end. And even if we somehow manage to reach that end, what do we discover? – ‘Is this where I wanted to reach?’ And then you proceed towards, other destination. And that is what is called, ‘the vicious cycle’.

So, those who work towards ‘an end’, find that they are defeated both in the work, as well as in the end. Double defeat. And those who work, without ‘an end’, those who work, because the work itself is service, devotion, they win doubly. First of all, work is celebration. Secondly, work is the end. So, you are celebrating your way to the success. 

You are dancing towards victory. You are not dancing ‘towards’ victory, you are dancing, ‘in’ victory. You are continuously victorious, and you are continuously celebrating.

Any takers?

And compare this to the picture of the one who is striving, toiling, fighting, with the dream of some distant success in his eyes. Remember that the success that he dreams of, is merely his concept. It is an image, because he has not yet come to it. Therefore, the success that he is talking of, is merely an image.

When you come to it, you find that it simply does not match your expectations. Double defeat! First of all, you are striving, toiling, and making life hell for yourself. Though with the pride, with the vanity, that you are a fighter. That you are a warrior. You will have that satisfaction.

So, it may keep egging you on, for a very long time. Probably, even for the entire lifetime.

Listener 1: So, it is all about the journey, and not the destination?

Acharya Ji: The destination is everything, but the destination cannot be distant. The destination has to be the first step in the journey. It is not as if, it is only about the journey, and not the destination. Obviously, the destination comes first. The journey begins, upon reaching the destination.

So, reach the destination first, and then keep traveling. Destinations, upon destinations. Do not travel as if the destination is elusive, and faraway.

Listener 2: Acharya Ji, how to make my work devotion?

Acharya Ji: The work has to be worthy of devotion, first of all. Therefore, choose your work very, very carefully, everyday.

Listener 2: Is it a matter of discretion?

Acharya Ji: Obviously, it is a matter of discretion. Obviously.

It is not ‘the work’, it is the destination that is commanding the work.

It is the destination that is commanding the work.

So, what is ‘the work’ that you are talking of? – That’s what you must look at.

The destination has to be absolutely compelling.

So very compelling, that you cannot even entertain the ‘thought’, that is is distant.

If you want something really desperately, do you want it five years hence, or right now?

Listener 2: Right now.

Acharya Ji: The destination has to be that very attractive. Not only attractive, it has to be that very indispensable.


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

Watch the session:  What is desireless action? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Gems from Articles, April’19

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1.

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

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

Time has brought you to your current condition.

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

2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.

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

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

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

4.

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

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

Not that time is a necessity in the process.

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

5.

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

6.

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

So ours is a funny situation.

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

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

7.

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

We defy the command of our own hearts.

8.

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

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

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

9.

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

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

Complex!

10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So work on yourself.

11.

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

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

12.

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

13.

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

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

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

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

But, he is taking a very wasteful route.

14.

See, what do most people feel?

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

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

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

15.

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

You are hurt. because you are available.

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

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

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

Why are you jobless?

16.

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

What is that job?

The life-long mission of liberation.

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

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

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

Your theft costs you very dearly.

17.

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

Otherwise, life will beat you down, very badly.

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

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

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

18.

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

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

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

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

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

Otherwise, you cannot suffer.

19.

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

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

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

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

20.

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

You ‘do’ a lot to stick to the body.

21.

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

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

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

22.

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

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

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

23.

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

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

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

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

24.

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

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

So, do mind the results.

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

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

That is liberation!

25.

Man is really not born to go beyond.

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

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

You are just, normal.

If you not spiritual, you are not a sinner.

You are just normal!

26.

Spirituality, is a most exquisite pursuit.

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

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

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

Others must satisfy themselves, with the worldly beauties.

27.

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

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

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

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

And then, you burn your fingers.

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

28.

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

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

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

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

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

29.

Science is fully contained in spirituality.

Spirituality, that does not contain science, is superstition.

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

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

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

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

30.

The effect cannot be dimensionally, beyond the cause.

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

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

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

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

~ Excerpts from ‘Shabd-Yoga’ sessions.

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Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)

Is willpower really needed

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Question: Acharya Ji, how to improve willpower?

Acharya Prashant Ji: So, what has Aditya (the questioner) asked? “What can we do, to improve will power?” Right?

What is ‘willpower’, and why do we need it? What is ‘will power’?

Listener: To have determination.

Acharya Ji: To have determination. Determination, for what?

Listener: For our goal.

Acharya Ji: For our goal. To ‘do’ something. Right? To ‘do’ something. You need willpower in order that, something happens, that something gets done, right? Now, why does something, not get done? We often find that we are unable to act, to ‘do’.

Why are we unable to act, and ‘do’?

Listener 1: Because of fear.

Listener 2: Because of restrictions.

Acharya Ji: Fear. Restrictions.

If fear is there, if restrictions are there, and you give them importance, then obviously you cannot act. And when you cannot act, then you get up and say that you need willpower.

So, willpower is needed, only when you feel fear, only when you feel restrictions.

In order to overcome them, you need willpower. And that is what you are asking – “How can I enhance willpower?” What could be a better question?

Would it not be a better question: How not to be afraid? How not to be restricted?

Are you trying it, with me? We say, “We need willpower.” What if the willpower is actually not needed? What if you are fighting imaginary demons? You say, “You know, I require a lot of willpower, to enter that room, because in that room, there are ghosts, are there are demons?”

And as long as you believe, that there are ghosts, and there are demons, what will you require? Will power.  Willpower, motivation, somebody to give you courage. Somebody to pump you up. What if you come to see that there are no ghosts, and there are no demons? Would you still require willpower? Would you still require willpower?

(Pointing at one of the listeners) You are shaking your head, would you require willpower, to shake your head? You are again shaking your head, do you again require willpower? You are saying, “No, Sir,” do you require any willpower to say, “No, Sir”?

You just know, and out of that clarity, a simple action is happening. There is no willpower needed. But, if you are told that the fellow sitting in front of you, is a maniac, and the moment somebody shakes his head, nods his head, he shoots from the podium itself, then you will need a lot of willpower, to nod in ‘Yes’, or ‘No’. Right? Otherwise the action is simple. If you have to enter a room, you have to just step in. If you have to shake your head, you just shake it. A simple nod.

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

When we look into these obstacles, we find that they are only, as long as, we believe in them.

Then, you do not need willpower. Wisdom is enough.

Then, you do not need courage. Clarity is sufficient.

But, instead of asking for clarity, we often ask for courage. Now, courage is not needed, clarity is needed. Instead of asking for wisdom, we ask for will power. Will power is not needed, wisdom is enough.

If you are deeply afraid, and you believe that everybody will laugh at you, when you will ask a question, then you will need a lot of willpower. But if you are wise, and you say, “First of all, not many people are going to laugh. Secondly, even if somebody laughs, how does it matter to me?” then, will you still need will power?

You don’t need willpower. You need willpower, only as an antidote to fear. Where there is no fear, there is no need of willpower. So, don’t ask me, “How to enhance will power?” The more afraid you are, the more will power you need.

Is that not so?

Listeners: Yes, Sir.

Acharya Ji:

The more restricted you feel, the more willpower you need. Is that not so? Just open your eyes and see, that there is no restriction, except those, that you subscribe to, except those, that you willingly self-impose.

Then you will say, “Well, willpower! Who needs it?” When you are enjoying a particular sport, then you run around a lot. You expend a lot of energy. Do you need willpower? Do you need willpower?

Listeners: No.

Acharya Ji: But you will need a lot of willpower, if you are told to go jogging, and if you don’t enjoy jogging, then jogging even fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, you will say, “O my god, I am just dragging my feet. Give me some willpower.”

When you are really into something, when there is no fear, who asks for will power?

It is not needed.

Are you getting it?

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

Watch the session:  Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)


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How to unburden the mind? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

How to unburden the mind

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Question: Acharya Ji, I just keep feeling burdened most of the times, and to escape this burden, I keep racing all day long. But I find myself feeling heavy again. Please help me unburden myself.

Acharya Prashant Ji: You are burdened, that itself is the proof of the burden. The burden surely does exist, otherwise, why would there be a burdened one. So, you are burdened, and you are moving. That movement, you are describing as a race. Great!

If you are burdened and troubled, then surely you must move.

But if you are burdened and troubled, but your movement has to be, with the intention of, and in the direction of, un-burdening. 

If I am burdened, and as a result of the burden, I run, then the purpose of the run should be to un-burden myself. So, it’s great that you are running everyday. Now, what remains to be asked, is the question, that whether your race is helping you to be unburdened.

You wake up in the morning, and the entire day you have been running, has this running helped you by the evening? If it has helped you, congratulations! Again tomorrow, run more, run faster. Running is exactly what you need. But, if it has not unburdened you, then all your running has been in vain, and it has been a stupid thing, to run without knowing the destination, or the purpose.

I am a great supporter of movement. If one is at the wrong place, one must move, and one must move fast. One must run indeed. And one must energetically run. I seriously support action. But action ought to have a purpose. The purpose is decided by the state of the actor. 

If the actor is in bondage, then the sole purpose of the action has to be, the liberation of the actor. Now, are you acting towards your liberation. Look at your daily actions. Are they contributing to your liberation? Or are you rather acting to enslave yourself, even more deeply?

Action is good, action is inevitable. But what is your action leading to? Run, run fast. But run in the right direction. Sometimes we run so fast, and in such scare, and with such blindness, that we become incapable of knowing where we are going. Then, a second of rest, helps. A bit of a pause, brings in some sanity.

You can even ask yourself, “What am I doing? What am I expending precious time and energy towards? While it is a matter of celebration, that you are capable of running, capable of energy, it is an equally serious concern, how you are expending yourself? Because time and energy won’t last forever.

Today you are able to run. Tomorrow? As long as you can run, make good use of the running. A day will come, when the running will anyway cease. Is it too much to enquire into? “Am I getting any better, by doing what I am continually doing?” Is this too difficult a question to ask.

“This is what I am doing everyday. The same pattern, the same repetition. Is it taking me anywhere, or I am just feasting on blind hope?”

Today, somebody quoted me on one of the groups. I was told. Many years back, maybe five, six, or seven years, I had said that had Kabir Sahib been alive today, and looked at the railway station, and the railway engine and the train, then he would have spontaneously uttered something. This was long back.

So, jokingly I had said, that Kabir Sahib would have said, “Dhak dhak dhak engine chale, chalta chati phod. Sahib maarg jaane nahin, jaayegaa kis or. (The engine is running, and running, making a lot of noise, and moving with so much power. It has no clue of route to God, where will it lead itself to.”

So you are a very powerful engine, and you are running your heart out. “Dhak dhak dhak dhak engine chale, chalta chati phod.” That’s probably the state of most middle-class hard-workers. See how hard they work. Look at the roads at 8:30 a.m. every morning, congested with all the hard-workers. And then look at the roads at 8:30 p.m. every night. Again congested with all the hard-workers. Obviously they are working very hard.

Had they invested even a quarter of their time and energy towards liberation, they won’t have needed to congest the roads anymore. Our energy is going towards self-destruction. And our energy is going towards fattening our slave masters. You work so very hard, and who reaps the benefit of your labor? Some fat man sitting at the top of the food chain, right?

Sometimes you don’t even know of his name. And it would be extremely rare, if you have ever met him. And he is real recipient, of the fruit of your labor. What you get, by way of salary, a profit, is so meager. But still you do get something. That is sufficient to meet all your expenses. You are also able to save a bit for the rainy day.

And given the kind of life that you are leading, obviously cancer is not very far away. Everything that you are doing every day, every hour, is an invitation to cancer. But don’t worry, you will have savings.

In your last six months, you will duly transfer all your savings to the hospital, the fruit of your hard work, all your life. And you will feel vindicated. You will say, “See, I knew I will have cancer. And therefore, with great responsibility, like a good citizen, I kept saving every month. And all those savings, are standing by me now. Otherwise, what would have I given to the hospital?”

And not even once do you realise, that your cancer, is nothing, but a product of your hard work – the kind of life that you have lived. Look at your statement – ‘I get up every morning, and I feel burdened, and then I race through the entire day, and I repeat the vicious cycle the next day’.

Do you really think that this kind if lifestyle will spare even your physical health?


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

Watch the session:  How to unburden the mind? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Past life karma, goal of life, and liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Past life Karma, goal of life, and Liberation

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Question: Acharya Ji, do you believe in past life?

Acharya Prashant Ji: That is irrelevant. Will I find you after your death? Will even you find yourself after your death?

Listener: I may be in a different body.

Acharya Ji: In a different body, will you have the same psyche, the same identity? You are a ‘person’, and a person is driven by identities. Forget about having a new life after death, even in this life, if I give you the option that your personality will be totally wiped out, your memory will be totally wiped out, your body will be totally changed, and you will be taken to a different place, a different planet, will you still say that you are ‘you’? Will you still say that you are ‘you’?

Even in this life, if your memory gets wiped out, do you remain what you are? Then why do you talk of ‘past life’, and ‘future life’?

Even in this life, if somebody strokes your head with a hammer, and your memory is totally gone, which means your identities are totally gone, you are as good as dead. You are no use to anybody then. You do not remain. You have disappeared, because you are a man of identities, because you are a personality. You live in a personality. And once the personality is gone, once the ‘person’ is gone, you are no more.

‘Eternity’, and ‘continuity’, is a word for those, who do not live in the personality.

If you live in the personality, you need not wait even for your physical death. You are dying continuously. Even tomorrow, you will not be who you are today, then how will you continue to be the same, in your next birth?

Even today you are not, what you were, fifteen years back, are you? Then how will you continue to remain, two hundred years from today? But, it is such a stupid thought, still very common. Do you feel one, or identified with, the self that you were, when you were ten years of age? Go into this!

You, as you see yourself, were once ten years of age, right? Today do you find much in common with that ten year old kid? Today, in fact, ninety percent, is not common, with that ten year old kid. Right?

In the same life-time, you are almost a totally different person, are you not? Then how will you remain the same after death, even if there is a rebirth? So what is the point in talking about this and that?

Listener 1: So, thirtieth birthday means, thirty years of death?

Acharya Ji: Yes, nice. Good.

Listener 2: Acharya ji, we said that memories being wiped out, is equivalent to you not being there. Now, this is a bit confusing, as we talked about we not being the body.

Acharya Ji: But, are you the Atman. I said that ‘Eternity’ and ‘Continuity’ are words applicable only to those, who live as the Atman. Do you live as the Atman? If you live as the Atman, then you will not talk of this birth and the previous birth, because the Atman never really dies, so how can it take the next birth?

To take the next birth, something must firstly die. Atman is eternal, it does not die. How can it take a new birth?

Question: Acharya Ji, many religions like Hinduism, Jainism, they talk of past lives and rebirth. You do not want to be consistent with them.

Acharya Ji: What do you want?

Listener 3: I just want……

Acharya Ji: Those who just want anything, do not get anything. Talk of one thing that you want, and then don’t talk of anything else.

Listener 3: I want the Truth.

Acharya Ji: Yes. So, Truth is – freedom from the false. See what all is false, in the way you currently live. Currently live. Currently live. Two things – ‘currently’, and ‘living’. Go into your life, right now.

How do you spend your day?

Where do you eat?

Where do you earn your money from?

These are the questions that should bother you. Not fancy intellectual questions.

Listener 4: Is it part of spirituality, the worldly matters – what I do, and all that?

Acharya Ji: What do want to do with ‘spirituality’ and ‘worldly matters’? The one who is in trouble, wants freedom from trouble. If the name of that freedom is ‘spirituality’, fine. If the name of that freedom is ‘worldliness’, fine. What the person wants is – freedom.

If I am thirsty, I want want water, you want to call it ‘jal’, ‘ambu’, ‘waari’, anything, I do not mind. Give me that, which will quench my thirst. Full stop.

Question: I have the same question related to thoughts. He said that thoughts increase the level of concentration. How can we manage that level of concentration?

Acharya Ji: Goal.

Listener 4: How to magnify and amplify that goal?

(laughter)

Listener 2: I am not even asking about amplifying the goal. In the example that you gave, when we were playing football, you mentioned that there was a clear distinction, that each team knew where their goal post is.

In real life, there are ten goal posts being shown, and each one is trying to instruct that this is where you have to reach. Unfortunately, sometimes the goal posts look similar also, and one gets confused.

Acharya Ji: Who is suffering?

Listener 2: I am suffering.

Acharya Ji: So who will know, whether or not you are getting freedom?

(silence)

Who is suffering?

(silence)

It is like this – “I am thirsty, one guru tells me to put water in this hole(the ear). Another guru tells me to put water in this hole(the mouth). Another one talks about the other holes of the body. Who is thirsty? You are. Don’t you know when your thirst is going to be quenched. Why are you acting so ignorant?

Don’t you contact with your own thirst, with your own suffering? Don’t you know when it is being quenched?

Listener 2: I have not even reached the level where my thirst is being quenched.

Acharya Ji: At least you know when it is not being quenched. This much, at least, you know?

Listener 2: Yes.

Acharya Ji: Next time, don’t put water in your ear. Reject the guru who teaches you to put water in your ear. At least this much you can do? Do this much.

Listener 2: But the problem is, I will give a parallel example. When one is thirsty, it is the water that one needs. When one gets a cool drink near by, one is tempted to take it.

Acharya Ji: Try it, immediately.

Listener 2: You are already thirty or forty years old, or may be, twenty-five. How many more trials do you need? Have you already not given everything a shot? Are soft drinks, or ice creams, or petroleum, new things to you? You have already tried them a thousand times. Are you still not fed up?

If you are not fed up, give them one more chance. And then, be absolutely fed up. But please, at some point, learn to be honest. Learn to quit. Learn to honestly face the mirror, and tell yourself, “I have been cheating myself all my life.” If you don’t do that, there are thousand kinds of fluids in the universe.

You will keep trying them endlessly.

Water is simple water – pure, direct.

I have no issues, if you want to give various things, various methods, various means, various books, various teachers, a chance. Please do that. But do that with all honesty. Having given the chance, ask yourself, “Is the thirst being quenched?” If ‘yes’, then stay put. Then don’t budge at all. If ‘no’, then you have no business looking at that face, ever again.

Man is strange creature, you know. He develops a stake, even in thirst. If you have conditioned yourself, to find pleasure in thirst, in suffering, in non-sense, then…

Question: Acharya Ji, what is the significance of sleep? What really happens in sleep? What is the spiritual significance of the sleep?

Acharya Ji: Are your problems in your sleep time, or are your problems related to your waking state? Just don’t be interested in miscellaneous knowledge. Focus on the goal. Any kind of knowledge that does not lead you directly towards the goal, is merely a burden. Disregard it.

If you have genuine problems, sleeping disorders, then talk to me about sleep. But if your problems are related to your life, stuff that you think of in your waking state – your relationships, your transactions, then why be interested in sleep?

I can speak for fifteen minutes on sleep, but that will not help you.

Be direct, be honest.

Question: Acharya Ji, why is mu mind constantly trying to become something?

Acharya Ji: Everybody is trying that, because nobody is contended with the current state.

The only problem is – you want to change, but you want the changed state to be a derivative of current state.

You want the changed state, to be organically linked to your current state, which means that you really don’t want to give up your current state. So, all ‘becoming’ fails. All change is defeated.

It’s like just changing clothes. That will not cure you of your lung cancer. It’s like wearing make-up. That will not fundamentally cure your any skin disorder.

Change is wonderful.

When you want change, see what you really want.

Don’t change halfheartedly.

Change fully.

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

Watch the session:  Past life karma, goal of life, and liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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When to think and when to act? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

When to think and when to act

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Question: Acharya ji, all my thoughts are unable to come to expression because of fear of judgement or social restraints. Should I free them only by deeds? Kindly throw light on this.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Yes, Parmeshwari, of course. There is no more a final arbiter than action, deeds, life. What else is life? A continuous flow of actions. One finally has to give oneself the liberty, to do it. Talking, as a precursor to doing, is alright, acceptable. But, talking as a substitute to doing, is evil.

If you want to use talking, or thinking, or discussing, as a preparatory method, before leaping into action, it is okay. Sometimes, the beginner needs that. Sometimes, everybody needs to think a little, before one takes a leap.

Sometimes one needs to talk to herself, sometimes to others. All that is understandable. But, if one becomes a professional thinker, specializing in nothing but thought and deliberation, and therefore vacillation, and therefore inaction, then it is merely self-deception. Also, I must warn you against the temptation, to be fully sure at the level of thought.

No absolute clarity is possible, at the level of thought.

Thought can bring you a certain level of clarity.

It would be a relative level.

So, if you insist that unless you are totally clear with your thoughts, you won’t move, then you have ensured that you are never really going to move. Then you will always have  a reason to think a little more. Because thought by it’s very design, can never be fully certain. An iota of doubt would always be residually present. And you can very well exploit that last iota, to keep stretching the thought.

This is where Faith is important. Faith is needed so that you can act, without being fully certain even at the level of thought. Thought is still, raising it’s habitual objections. But you say to thought, “You might not be clear. I am clear.”

Have you ever found thought coming to a final conclusion? That which appears like concluded today night, reopens for discussion tomorrow morning. Because final conclusion would mean the death of thought. So, why would thought ever lend itself to conclusivity? Thought would always leave a little scope for doubt to remain. And then based on that doubt, that uncertainty, more thinking can be justified.

So, think, if you must.

But never expect thought to come to a solution.

Thought is useful.

But in matters of living, loving, and Truth, the utility of thought is limited.

Do not try to over exploit thought, you will end up being exploited. And Parmeshwari, if you are saying that social restrictions etc., are preventing you from enacting what you you know, then you will have to weigh the security that you get from social conformity, against the suffering that you get from this willing avoidance of your destiny.

What is bigger – your demand for security, or your love for Truth? This answer will determine your life.

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

Watch the session:  When to think and when to act? || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)

 

Begin from where you are and what you realise

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Question: Acharya ji, I am only a beginner on spiritual path, and my experience complicates things. Which tool can I adapt for myself, to take the right decision?

Acharya Prashant: The response is hardly spiritual in the classical sense. I will not say that for life’s decisions, kneel down in front of the unknowable. I will not say that what you need, lies beyond the grasp of your mental faculties.

I am saying – live by what you already know. First of all, you have no other option. Secondly, what you already know, is very sufficient, to make a beginning. And you said that you are a beginner.

The trouble with most of us, is not that we do not know some transcendental, ecclesiastical Truth. The trouble is: we just don’t live by that which is within our mental province.

It is not as if we have come to the boundary of our knowledge, and our limited realisation. We haven’t. If we come to our own boundaries, then the beyond, cannot be far enough.

The boundary of the little self, is where the Truth stands to greet  you.

So you don’t have to really search for the Truth.

You just have to come to the boundary of your own province. 

Come to your own boundary, and there you will find something, of the beyond.

But, do we care enough to come to even our own boundaries? I am not telling of leaping out of your self. You don’t need to leap out of your self. But, at least, putting in a very cliched way, do the best you can.

If you cannot go beyond your self, at least, do the best you can. And when you have come to the utter limit of your personal resources, there you find something, a bit magical happening.

Our situation is strange! We do not do, what we can. We cannot challenge ourselves enough. We do not make the best, utter, and desperate use of our own, personal, limited resources. But we want some kind of a helping hand, to descend from the heavens.

It won’t!

And this is good news. Because it means that each one of us, as he or she is, is fully capable of helping herself or himself. May be we cannot see, beyond the hills. But there is nobody who does not see clearly enough, to take even the next step. And that is all that you need. 

Inspiration, energy, and clarity- just to take the next step. What after the next? That’s not our business to ask. Sitting where we are, let us not demand the whole blue-print, the road-map of the entire state. Then we are transgressing.

One step is sufficient.

And that one step, each one of us, is endowed enough to take.

That one step happens to be so simple and obvious, that it does not appeal to us. We want things – big and glamorous. Just as in the material world, size and shine appeal to us. Similarly, in the spiritual domain, we want things – colossal, magnificent, sensational, to happen.

Instead of those things, if we are advised to take, one little, baby step, it appears like a bit of let down.

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

Watch the session:  Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Does love lie in action? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Does love lie in action

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Question: Can love be in action?

Acharya Prashant:

Actions can be in love. Inaction can also be in love.

Love is far bigger than action and inaction.

In love you act, in love you don’t act.

In love you act in one way, in love you act in totally different way.

In love, you sometimes act as Shirin(the questioner). In love, you sometimes act as somebody else.

In love it is not your name that is important. In love it is love that is important.

Sometimes you are a lover, sometimes you are a nanny. Love plays dice with your identities. Love makes a mockery of your names.

Somebody agrees.

(laughter)

Now, you are a learned scholar, and after a while you are a caretaker. Who are you? Love does not allow you to remain anybody. Love remains, all else is negotiable. Sometimes you move left, and immediately you move right. Which action are you talking of? Any particular action? No, love is not there in any particular action.

Love is there, only in being particular about love.

That was some applause! So, yes, love shines forth in action, but not in any particular action. Neither in any particular action, nor in absence of action. In love, anything is possible, and to anybody, because you are no particular self, in love.

To be in love, is to see your face changed, and distorted, and beautified, in the mirror, a thousand times a day. As if  a smoke shield is covering your face, and when again that haze clears-off, you see a different face. Who are you in love? Nobody, but the lover.

All other names come and go. All other actions too, come and go, because actions too are a function of the actor. When the actor himself is appearing and disappearing, how can actions remain constant, and consistent. Therefore, love appears like such a big madness. Not only are the actions changing, even the actor is changing.

But, deep in the heart of these actors, is the one desire, called ‘love’. The faces are changing, the Heart is the same.

Some people mistake the changing faces, for disloyalty. Good luck to them!

Some people mistake the constancy in faces, as fidelity. Good luck to them as well!

What is it about faces that obsesses you so much? How will you then love the one, with no face, no particular face?

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

Watch the session: Does love lie in action? || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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What is luck? How to get lucky? || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

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आयहू हर रस कर्मी पाइआ सतगुर मिलाई जिस आय

~तिलांग, पहला महला, शब्द हज़ारे ( नितनेम)

The Essence: Name of the Lord, His love, is obtained by good luck, good deeds, when the True Guru: the True Master, meets and tells you to recite the Name of God.

~ Tilang,1st Mehla, Shabad Hazzare (Nitnem)

Question: Pranam Acharya Ji, can you please help me understand what does ‘luck’ mean, and what role it has in our life?

Acharya Prashant: The use of the word ‘luck’, merely means – something that is beyond cause and effect chain. When you do something, and you get something as a result of your doing, then you do not call it ‘luck’, do you?

Then you claim ownership, and therefore is ‘Ego. The ego loves the cause and effect paradigm. The ego says, “The effort is preceded by a cause. So, if I can cause something to happen, I will get the desired result.”

“I can cause the effect,” says the ego.

‘Luck’ or ‘Grace’, or as some people may call it, ‘randomness’,

lies outside the cause-effect framework. 

Therefore the word has been used here. The Ego will not get it, using its doership. That which, a thing brings, cannot be of a quality, dimension-ally superior to the thing itself.

Please understand this.

The effect cannot be dimensionally, beyond the cause. Which is to say – the fruit of the action, cannot be dimensionally superior to the action. Which is to say – the fruit of the action, is actually just the quality of the actor.

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

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

But the ego does not want to believe that. The ego wants to believe that all the possible dimensions, are contained in its one little dimension. So it keeps hoping, its entire little life, that it will be able to obtain, something of the beyond, while just remaining itself.

It feels that it can remain, continue to remain, in it’s own lowly dimension, and yet through its actions and cleverness, and manipulations, obtain something of the beyond. That’s the false hope of the ego. But the ego does not see it as false.

The ego says, “I can remain earthly, but through my clever tricks, I can attain the sky.” The ego does not want to leave the earth. It is scared and attached. But, it also has the longing for the sky. It is stuck. The ego says, “I would remain on earth, but I will devise a trick through which I can also have the sky.”

That is not going to happen.

Now you see, why the word ‘luck’ is used? Your actions, your plans, your cleverness, your manipulations, all will fail, in getting the desired result, because that which you truly desire, is beyond you. Whereas, your actions, and your plans, and your thoughts, would always be..? Just like you.

Are you getting it?

You want to get Him through your actions, but your actions are just like you.  And what is it that you want? A beyondness from your self. You want to go beyond your self, being yourself. That won’t happen.

“How does it happen then?”

“Who knows. Let’s call it – luck.” It’s very difficult for the ego to submit to this statement.

“How does it really happen?”

“Neither do I know, nor can I ever know. It is not merely unknown, it is unknowable.”

The ego does not want to accept that. So it continues with its blind efforts, gets tired, and expires. And expiry does not mean liberation. For the ego, the expiry means – re-birth. Re-birth not in the sense of assuming another body, re-birth in the sense of just coming back, as another type of ego. Ego in another name.

Old wine in new bottle, that’s what re-birth is all about. Re-birth is not about the Atman in a new bottle. People often say that this(the body), is the ghat, the bottle. And the Atman moves from bottle to bottle. No!

The Atman does not move from anywhere to anywhere.

It is achal, it is unmovable.

Re-birth is – the rotten old wine, in an apparently new bottle. And then, another cycle of effortfulness starts. The ego again says, “I will cause the effect.” What is the effect that it wants? Liberation. What is the effect that it wants? God. But how does it want to have that effect?

Listener: By  doing something.

Acharya ji: It does not want to surrender to that effect. It wants to cause that effect. In other words, the ego wants to cause God. Whereas God is the one, who is utterly uncaused, unborn.

The ego in wanting to attain liberation, is wanting to give birth to God. If you can cause something, you are it’s father, aren’t you? If the ego can cause liberation, then ego becomes the…? Father of liberation. Such is, the ego of ‘ego’.

(laughter)

Such is, so deep, the egoistic darkness. It wants to cause Liberation. It wants to cause Godliness.

Can it be caused? No. It just happens. And therefore, it is referred to as – luck.

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

Watch the session:  What is luck? How to get lucky? || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)


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Worrying about results of work? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Worrying about the results

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Question: Acharya ji, what does it mean when you say, “Do not worry about the results”?

Acharya ji: Satyam, when I say, “Do not bother about the results,” I am saying that, with the condition, that you are already, assuredly, doing the right thing.

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

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

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

Jesus very clearly says, “A tree is known by the fruits, it has.” You might by thinking that you are doing something selflessly, but how much do you know yourself? You are assuming that you are doing something selflessly, that your action is right. That is your assumption. It is needed that you must check this assumption, is it not?

Do you not want to enquire the veracity of your assumption? And how do you enquire into your assumption? By seeing what actions are leading to. Are you getting it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can deceive yourself, about the source of your action, because only you know the source of your action. You are the declaring authority, and you can declare anything. You can commit the foulest of crimes, and say that this is being done with a holy purpose. In fact, the foulest of crimes, have been mostly committed, citing holy purpose only.

And it cannot be cross-verified. Nobody can peep into your interiors, and prove to you that you are operating from a wicked center. It cannot be demonstrated, because it is an internal thing, right?

What is it, however, that can be demonstrated, rather that which is not going to remain hiding the results? So, look at results. Even if you have successfully deceived yourself about the source of your action, the results will demonstrated to you, what the real source of your action was.

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

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

So, do mind the results. The results will tell you where you are standing right now. Much later will you come to a point, from where you will not need to bother about the results.

That is liberation!

Then you just are. Doing what the Heart commands. And the Heart knows no future. And you are fully and firmly, settled in the Heart, so you too know no future.

But look at your current condition. Right now, are you someone who knows no future? No. Right now, you are not there.

So, do mind the results.

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

Watch the session: Worrying about results of work?|| Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Acharya Prashant: What is effortless action?

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Acharya Prashant: It is true, where there is no action, there is no effort, but is it also true where there is no effort there is no action?

Is that true as well?

There is something called effortless action as well.

It is true where there is no action there will be no effort. True, that is right because effort itself is an action; because effort itself has born out of thought, and that thought itself is an action, whether or not it translates physically, but is it so that for action to happen there must always must be accompanying effort?

Is that so, if that is so then life is hell, because life is then labour. Life is action, and if action is effort then all the time you just have to keep labouring.

There is effortless action, what is effortless action?

It happens, happens without your planning, without your intervention, without your ownership. That is the fun of life, we don’t even know whether it is complete or incomplete, we don’t bother to give it a name.

Simple and direct, just like a raindrop falling down. Somebody has said like a flower opening in the morning. It is nothing but the mind and body expressing the Source.

Where there is mind there will be action.

Action in the form of movement in space, what you call as physical action.

So mind and body exist to act. That is the only way they know of being, action. So if they want to be in service of the Self — we talked of a faithful mind right — what can a faithful mind do?

Act in the service of the Self, act to express the Self, act as if it is the Self.

The mind has just become like the Self, the body has just become like the Self.

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Acharya Prashant on Upanishads: Either go completely through the pain, or simply disown the pain

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Acharya Prashant: This is from the Avadhuta Upanishad, ‘When the results of actions set in motion are exhausted, the habitual usage also ends. This will not cease even with repeated meditation unless such actions are exhausted.’

So, the question is, ‘Is there no way out? What is meant by exhausted?’

Exhausted means that all the pent up, suppressed energy comes into motion, takes a release but this is the most painful, mechanical and time-consuming way of getting rid of your burden, the Prarabdha Karma (result of past actions which is ready to come in effect).

It is like saying that your palm is kept over a burning piece of coal and you can get relief only when all the latent energy of the coal is exhausted.

Most painful, unintelligent and time-consuming way of coming to end of suffering. And even in this process, coming to the end of suffering, coming to exhaustion is possible only if no fresh fuel is added to the fire.

It is possible only if one has the patience and the faith to bear all the results of his previous karma without creating new cause-effect cycles; without adding to his inventory of more unspent fuel. If the fellow has so much intelligence and patience and discretion that he can sit through the ordeal of the coal consuming his hand without creating more ripples and fresh karma-phal (result of actions).

And, if the fellow actually has so much patience and intelligence, then why would he sit through the torture?

He would rather get up and walk away!

What does it mean to get up and walk away from the unexhausted fuel, from the unspent residue of your previous karma? What does it mean to do that?

It means that you’re no longer attached to the coal.

Remember, the coal does not come to burn your palm. You’re the one to go to the coal, keep your hand over it, grab it and allow it to burn you, pierce you, torment you.

Walk away from the coal. That’s an easier way.

Why wait for the coal to get exhausted?

It can be a pretty big lump of coal. It can take a pretty long time getting exhausted. Do you want to wait and keep suffering?

Just walk away.

But walking away would mean giving up the coal. Coal is attractive. It looks almost like a burning cherry. It beckons. It tempts, and it has energy, it has power. Something seems happening there. We are attracted towards it. Additionally, the coal is yours. It does not belong to anybody else.

My burning coal!

My glamorous hot little cherry!

Who am I?

The lady with the lump of coal.

Who am I?

The lady with fire in the belly and fire in the palm!

It becomes difficult to walk away, right?

‘A fiery lady, am I. And this is high quality coal. It helps me maintain my standard. See, everybody is burning. So, burning is a given. It is a common denominator. What separates one being from the other is the quality of the burn. I’ve a superior burn. Mine is not low-grade coal coming from an inferior mine. Remember, pieces of coals come from mines. No mine. No coal.’

What all is mine?

Whatever is mine, is the unexhausted piece of coal piercing myself.

To walk away from that burning mass is to walk away from your very being. Your very identity. So, it is upon you, you can either wait with all your patience, with all your intelligence for the coal to get exhausted or you could simply discard the coal. Reject the falseness of its association with you and walk away.

And no method is better than the other. It totally depends on your mood. If you’re in a mood to suffer, welcome! Exhaust the karma. If you’re in a mood to not take the suffering anymore, walk away. Let go. Drop it. Renunciate!

How many lumps of coal in your pocket?


Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant on Upanishad: Either go completely through the pain, or simply disown the pain


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Thought is not bad

There is the mind, and the mind has the ability to think. The question is not whether you are thinking or not. The question is, who is the thinker? If the thinker is devoted to the Truth, then thoughts are just like the dance of Shiva.

Is the river of your thoughts pure enough to allure Shiva to dance in it? And Shiva will not dance in a stream impure.

There is understanding without thought and there is understanding with thought as well. Just as there is Truth, formlessly, and there is Truth, formed as well. There will be occasions when the Truth will strike you like a thunderbolt, like a flash of lightning. And understanding will be complete in a split second. And there will be occasions when you will be required to think.

But I understand your predicament. All the spiritual masters are treating thought as the worst offender. As if thought has brought in sickness and disease to your life. Not really. Thought is your expression, just as action is your expression. As you are, so your thought is. In fact, thought is so very helpful. You cannot look at your tendencies, your vrittis, directly. But thought is gross, palpable, definite, it can be watched.

When you think, you come to know of yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have known. The thought of jealousy or the thought of fear arises, it helps you know that deep within somewhere, you are? Afraid.

Thought is not bad. ‘Useful’ or ‘Useless’ is the place, thought is coming from.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Is physical proximity to the Guru necessary?


 

Acharya Prashant: Is physical proximity to the Guru necessary?

Acharya Prashant: The next one is from Roosmarjin, from the Netherlands. And she has tried the devanagari script today. That’s what I say, you Love playing games. And you keep trying your games upon me as well. I too am a sportsman. Right? If you offer me a game, I won’t refuse.

So, yes Rosie, let’s have a ball.

“Acharya Ji pranam.” Rosie ji, “Pranam.”

Freedom is compulsory.” Of course.

“At a grace given moment, no thoughts come up in the mind any longer. I want to do or drop, whatever it takes in order to not resist the process. Day by day, the pull to be in physical proximity with you and devote my life to you, the Truth, grows stronger. Most of the thoughts that are in my mind are related to moving to India, to be in your physical proximity. Only if it would be wanted for the sake of the mission at large, will I stay there? But the thought of not coming to live close to you literally makes my heart contract. Maybe this message is not suited for the class, but it is ‘the one thing’ I am serious about. If you don’t stop me, I will come. Please tell me, what is being wanted.

Yours Roosmarjin”

[Holding a cat in his hands and showing the cat towards the screen] Say “Hi” to Roosmarjin. So what do you want from her (asking the cat), she is the Oracle (referring to the cat). So, what do you want from Roosmarjin?

Silence.

Yes, Oracle, speak !  (still holding the cat)

Nothing. Please. Just a meow would be enough. Say something, say something!

She is not refusing. She is not even saying, that consent is needed. She wants to sleep (lets the cat off his hands, and while she goes, comes a meow). And to this, she said, Yes.

A few things you have said.

You have said, “at a grace given moment, no thoughts come up in the mind any longer.” When you were here in India, I had spoken about this, I will repeat!

It is not at all necessary or advisable, to target a state of ‘no thoughts.’ To extend the metaphor of the last answer, will the Sun ever be without its radiance? It’s rays? Will the ocean ever be without its waves? Will there ever be God, sans godliness? Will there ever be the creator, without the creation?

Thoughts are like waves. And waves only give dance to the substance of the ocean. If the ocean itself has somehow become contaminated or spoilt or corrupted. Then the waves too would have that corruption.

There is the mind, and the mind has the ability to think. The question is not whether you are thinking or not.

The question is, who is the thinker?

If the thinker is devoted to the Truth, then thoughts are just like the dance of Shiva.

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Absence of action

Attentiveness is not a separate activity in itself. You do not do attentiveness.

Attentiveness is not something to be done. If you are doing something that becomes another ‘action.’

Attention is the complete ‘absence of action.’

You are free, to see what is happening. Just see, not do anything. This seeing not doing. Don’t burden yourself with it.

Knowing is ‘just’ knowing, It is not any separate activity.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Is witnessing a hindrance to living?


 

Acharya Prashant: Is witnessing a hindrance to living?

Question: Kabir is saying ‘attentive at a time.’ I can either be gossiping with my friend or watching that I am gossiping. How is it possible to be attentive and watch all the impossible to be doing both, right?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, it is a bit difficult because we have been in practice of inattention since very long.

Attentiveness is not a separate activity in itself.

You do not do attentiveness.

This question is would I be doing one thing and also doing attentiveness simultaneously.

Attentiveness is not something to be done.

If you are doing something that becomes another ‘action.’

 

Attention is the complete ‘absence of action.’

Attention is not doing another thing that I am already doing five things and I started getting another six things and that six thing is attention. If that is attention that will add further to the chaos. If that is what we understand by attention then this kind of attention will act further to the chaos. You see my mind is already divided in doing this thing, that thing, and that thing. And there is the fourth string that sums-up by the name of attention. And then, of course, we are already so busy and then we add attention to work to do list. There is a lot to do throughout the day and there is one more thing, ‘attention.’ So, chaos can only magnify from that. Am I right?

Do you understand this?

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Truth is not the thought of truth

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

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

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

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

Gratefulness means not having any sense of like or dislike.

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

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


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