In going close to problems one gets strength to go beyond problems || Acharya Prashant on Vivekananda (2018)

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The world is great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.

~ Swami Vivekananda

Acharya Prashant: By being in the world you reach the source of all strength, what happens in the gymnasium by being in the gymnasium? Where do you reach?

To your strength.

The implication is, the world is a gymnasium that will facilitate your access to the source of all strength. The source of all strength is the Self, the Truth, the Atman, you are anyway in the world, you have to go to the root of the world, and there you find the Truth, the source of all power.

Which means you cannot really avoid the world, which means you cannot avoid your situations, you have to acknowledge them, and you have to understand them, you cannot escape away, you must know what is going on, and to know what is going on, first of all, you must honestly admit to what is going on.

If you keep giving it false names if you keep calling attachment as love, then what will you come to know? You have already said it is love. You have to, first of all, see what your real life condition is, in seeing that you will only see how powerless you are, how weak you are; that seeing is the key to strength.

This is strange!

When you see that you are weak, the seeing is the strength. When you see that you are conditioned, that seeing is the freedom from conditioning.

When you will look at the world, you will only see a lot of chains, bondage; but that seeing is the freedom from bondage.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Will living without ego cause one to starve?

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Acharya Prashant: The question is how do I fill this stomach if I don’t have an ‘ego’?

Firstly, you must see that you are deeply afraid. You are deeply afraid that if you don’t follow the orders of this ‘other’, that that other could be society, friends, family, corporations, the entire trend of career making. You are deeply afraid that If you don’t follow ‘that’ then you will end up starving. You won’t have enough eat.

Now, is this fear yours?

Even, this fear has been instinct to your mind by ‘that’ other. Don’t you see how cunning that other is? He repeatedly tells you that unless you become my slave, you will starve. But is that the Truth?

Is that the Truth?

Would you really starve if you don’t toe the others line? If you don’t develop an ego, that is If you don’t develop a sense of ‘Self’ dependent upon the other. You won’t.

I Invite you to find out whether you would really starve. The world will always have enough for you to eat. You won’t starve but you may not be able to fulfill these ambitions.

The funny part is even the ambition has been given to you by outside. So there is nothing lost if you can’t fulfill it. You don’t lose anything at all if you don’t meet your ambitions. Remember, there will always be enough to meet your needs. And a free man will always find enough to meet his needs. Because his needs are always so small.

You don’t need too much but yes, your ambitions depend upon your subservience to the society.

Needs don’t make you a slave, ambitions make you a slave.

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Acharya Prashant with Students: The real use of ambition

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Questioner: Why are we running when we don’t have anything to achieve in life?

Acharya Prashant: Ofcourse, when you don’t have to achieve anything in life then you don’t run; but are you that person who doesn’t have to achieve anything? The one who doesn’t have to achieve anything, ofcoursem doesn’t run; but are are you that person who doesn’t have to achieve anything?

You aren’t, so you are running.

Q: But what is the use of having ambitions in life?

AP: The use of having ambitions in life is that they prevent you from looking at your current state, you see there is that quotation that, ‘I might be lying in the gutter but still I am looking at the stars’, that’s what ambition is.

I am not doing anything about the gutter and stink that I am in, I am preoccupied looking at the stars; ambition takes you away from the present, that’s the use of ambition.

The use of ambition is: It takes you away from the present moment; it takes you into a dream future; it helps you avoid effort, if I live in the present then I have to be acutely aware of my situations right now, and I’ll have to act right now, ambition is a dream that helps me comfortably avoid the present.

Ambition is a plan about the future, something you want to happen in the future, and it is a beautiful thing, beautiful device, tool of the cunning mind is to be ambitious.

Q: Sir, but ambition helps us to act in the present because we know that we have something to achieve in the future so we act in the present moment to get that…

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Acharya Prashant: The purpose of life is to come to purposelessness

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Question: What is the purpose of human life?

Acharya Prashant: See, we ask this question assuming that there is a purpose.

We ask this question assuming just as everything about us is purposeful so life must also be purposeful. Is there any validity to that assumption?

Purpose means a finality, it means an end. But if we begin right from where we are, then we always feel a purpose, don’t we?

Because we feel a purpose, so we want to know what is the right purpose. Correct?

That is our situation.

None of us is ever without a purpose, we may be confused about the purpose — and that is another matter — but a purpose or bag of purpose is always present. The challenge then is not knowing about whether there must be purpose, the challenge we face is determining the right purpose from many that we imagine.

What about freedom from this confusion?

What about not having to choose at all?

Maybe, that is the purpose of the life. Maybe, all our purposes, this entire bag is an unnecessary load, hence, maybe the purpose of the life is to come to purposelessness.

Of course, that is not something that we can absorb here from the speaker. We all carry purpose, maybe, it is far more important to see the limitations of those purposes. The very recurring cycle, the infinite loop those purposes are. Does any purpose ever end fully? Or does it simply makes way for another purpose? Have you ever had a goal which was the final one? Have you ever had a purpose the fulfilment of which will bring all the purposes to an end?

Yes?

Have you ever had a destination beyond which you would not need to travel?

Now that invalidates the very definition of purpose.

Purpose by itself means something which when attained would give us a sense of completion, fulfillment. You would say that the purpose has been fulfilled. But where is the fulfillment? In fact, the more you go on conquering purposes, the more purposeful you feel; because more your confidence grows that purposes can give you something.

You feel that you have not achieved that something yet, and your next conclusion is purposeness is not giving me something, so let’s try hard enough; it is not as if the very premise, the very assumption is flawed, it is just that I am lacking in effort so let me put in little more efforts; let me set the next goal even further.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: You are the mother of all importance

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Acharya Prashant: All your student life, you have been talking and studying about this and that. The languages, Science, Social Sciences – History, Geography, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry. Now, Technology.

But there is one entity that you have forgotten so much, that it is very difficult at this moment, to even remind you of that entity. That entity has never been in the domain of your education. You have studied about a lot of things, but there is one entity that you have never studied about. Never bothered to attend to.

What is that entity?

Listener: Personality.

AP: Personality?

You will get to study a lot of Personality.

In fact, you have been studying about nothing but ‘Personality’!

‘Personality’ by definition is nothing but what you gather from outside.

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Acharya Prashant, with Students: Should one start early to achieve in life?

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Questioner: Should one start early to achieve or excel in life?

Acharya Prashant: Siddharth, you don’t need to agree with me. You only need to understand what is being said. Agreement and disagreement come out from your conditioning. I am not looking for that. I am asking for your intelligence, so that you can understand what is here. And after understanding, you are totally free to reject it.

Who taught you that one must achieve in life?

The very foundation of what you are saying is that life must be an achievement. What you are saying is there must be targets and goals and life is a process of attaining them. Where are your goals coming from?

Don’t you see the entire process of conditioning that is behind it?

Do you see what is being said?

What is being said is, there must be a goal, there must be an effort in attaining that goal and to attain that goal one must start early. That is the line of argument that is being given. I want you to understand the basis of it.

The fundamental assumption is that life is nothing but an achievement, but mind you, all achievement is in the future. You have been told that life is something that is divided between success and failure. Do you really think that this is your own understanding?

No.

This comes to you from education, media, family, society. Since childhood you have been goaded to attain this, attain that, X percentage, Y percentage, clearing the JEE, getting a job and how has that process proceeded?

Through greed and fear.

If you attain something, there will be an external reward. If you do not attain it, there would be an external disincentive. So, what is happening?

A goal is being set from the outside. A reward is coming from the outside. All disincentive is coming from the outside.

Is there any bit of you in all this?

But because it is happening over a long period of time, you have started thinking, in the delusion that these are my goals that I must attain and to attain them I must prepare.

Are these your goals at all?

The goals are coming as a result of your conditioning, and all conditioning is nothing but a lack of understanding. All conditioning is making somebody a slave. So, it is like this, that I am a slave and I want to make the slave do a lot of things. So, I condition him thoroughly and I condition him so deeply that he starts believing that what he is doing is his own desire.

The slave starts believing that what he is doing is his own desire whereas what he is doing is only what he has been programmed to do. It’s like a computer starting to believe that it is functioning on its own. No, it is not functioning on its own. It has been programmed to function in a certain way.

And if the computer gets up and argues that, ‘Well Sir, I have certain goals to achieve, certain things to excel in, so I look towards the future’. And the one who has programmed him is standing by and smiling at the success of his programming.

I just invite you to look at your own minds and thought processes. Every goal is a desire, you understand that? How many of our goals are really ours? There would be so many amongst us who are sitting here purely because somebody else wanted them to pursue engineering. There would be so many here who need a particular kind of job because somebody else expects them to get that kind of job. There would be so many here who would be pursuing MBA after engineering purely because there are a couple of MBAs in their family. How many of your goals are yours? You can understand that only when you become attentive to the processes of your mind and when become attentive to the processes of your mind, of all that which happens in this moment, and in this moment you find there are no goals.

It is alright once you have understood what you are doing, after that if you want to pursue it with all the vigor, effort and planning you are most welcome.

Firstly, for your own sake, see what you are pursuing. Is it really yours? For a five-year-old kid, it is understandable, he has not yet developed the physical framework in which intelligence can prosper, but you are around 18 years, 20 years old. If you claim that you do not understand what is happening in your life, then you must understand.

It’s high time you understand because it is you who has to live your life, not the one who is conditioning you, not the one who is influencing you. You and your intelligence, that’s it, nothing else. These are not two things but one.

~ Acharya Prashant speaking at KEC, Ghaziabad on 24th August 2012


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

Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant on Gurdjieff: Man is a machine

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Acharya Prashant: Ambition and anger

Acharya Prashant: What is your name?

Listener: Kshitij Aggarwal.

AP: The question asked by Kshitij is why do needs often dominate ambition?

And he surely thinks that it is quite unfortunate that needs to start dominating ambitions. The reason is simple, he probably gives a lower priority to needs and higher priority to ambitions because he thinks that the ambitions are his. He has kept ambitions very close to himself. He believes that they are his own.

So, he deeply wants the ambitions to be fulfilled. But finds that instead, something else has to be done, first of all, we will understand this conflict. And we all face this conflict, this conflict is not only in Kshitij’s mind, this conflict in the mind of every single one of us. But we are all confused, we rarely know, what to do. There are always one or more options in front of us, and we are unable to see clearly which one is suitable. Right?

This happens not only once in six months, at the time of admissions or at the time of choosing a job, it keeps happening daily, day in and day out. What is this conflict? you will have to understand.

Kshitij,

Our mind is dominated by ‘external influences’ which we have so far called is the development of ‘Ego.’

Our mind is not our mind, our mind is a collection of all external influences.

Our mind is divided into many many segments and many parts, and there are so many different forces that are controlling these separate parts. So, one part is being controlled by parents, one part is being dominated by media, one part is being dominated by society, one part by peers, one by corporations, one by thoughts of career, one by XYZ, and very very large number of parts.

Now, these different parts are your different masters. It’s like a person is tied to fifty different ropes being pulled by fifty different people in fifty different directions. Will that person be able to move towards any definite direction, any one direction.

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Just grows

Whatever you think you are, is one identity that you are carrying. And that identity can have no possibility of any Love. So, forget it that there can be any ‘self- love’! No self-love is possible. ‘Self -love’ is an oxymoron.

The Great man is not a Great man. That Great man has to be Great, every passing moment inattention.

The Great man, retains his understanding of himself, as somebody who is different from his concepts. He does not get identified with his thoughts.

A cancerous cell is very very ambitious! It multiplies like hell. That’s ambition. A normal healthy cell, does not grow out of ambition. It just grows. Just grows.

Growth is your very nature. It happens spontaneously out of understanding. It does not require ambition. You don’t need to be ambitious in order to grow.

There is no target, no ambitionThis is Self-love.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Self-love, and difference between self and the Self


 

Acharya Prashant: Self-love, and difference between self and the Self

Acharya Prashant: What is self? Me, I.

This thing that you refer to as the self, is not one thing. Understand this.

Let’s for the purpose of understanding, call it, self with a small ‘s’ and Self with a capital ‘S’. Understand this!

This is what you think you are (pointing at the ‘self’). This is what you are (pointing at the ‘Self’). We operate incessantly with this only (‘s’). With our thoughts. And here, there is no possibility of any Love. Just ruled out.

So, when you say self-love, it’s actually a redundant term. If you are dealing with yourself in this (‘s’) domain, Love is anyway not possible and this (in the domain of ‘Self’) is nothing but pure Love. Not the kind of Love that you know of while sitting here. This is an unknown thing to you, a totally unseen beast, of which you have no idea presently.

Here, nothing called self-love can be possible (in the domain of ‘self’). Here, only tension, frustration, attachment, obsessions are there. It’s another thing that you name them Love. You can call your pre-occupations as Love, you can call all your desires as Love, you can call your attachments as Love. You can call all your dependencies as Love, you can call all your possessiveness as Love. This all, what you call love is only going to give you trouble. It would be narrow, it would be jealousy-ridden, it would be insecure. And it would be of no avail at all. Are you understanding this?

But, unfortunately, this is the Love that we know of. And this operates only here (in the domain of ‘self’). What is this self that you know of?

Listeners: With a small ‘s’

AP: This is that self in which if I ask you now, that write ten statements starting with ‘I am’ which all end in some kind of noun, you will easily write them. What would you write?

You would write, “I am a daughter”, “I am a son”, “I am a student”, “I am an Engineer”, “I am an aspiring professional”, “I am an Indian”, “I am a Hindu or a Muslim”. “I am a North Indian”, “I am a male”, “I am a female”. “I am smart”, “I am intelligent”, right?

“I am thin”, “I am long”, “I am fat”, “I am suave”, all such things? Correct?

All these self-concepts, belong to this (indicating at ‘self’). Because this is what you think you are! Are we together till this point?

Whatever you think you are, is one identity that you are carrying.

And that identity can have no possibility of any Love.

So, forget it that there can be any ‘self- love’!

No self-love is possible.

‘Self -love’ is an oxymoron.

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To be alive is to be working

To be alive is to be working. You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.” Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

If the first category is where you belong to, then work is sufficient. The return, the reward, is contained in the work. If the second category is where you belong to, then work is not sufficient. Then work, plus, rewards is what you are looking for.

The salary is not contained in the work. The salary is an output of the work. This is the second way of living.

Man is the only one, who has to support his ambitions as well. Man is the only one, who has to support his psychological self as well. Then obviously, supporting yourself becomes a burden. Then obviously, just carrying on with life, becomes a burden. Because life is demanding so much.

Do not live a life that tries to escape work, and also do not live a life that uses work as a medium for psychological aggrandization.

Work must always be there as an expression of your Heart.

Action is always happening. You cannot avoid action. Even avoiding action is just another action. So, action will happen.

Fight hard and then let what is going to happen, happen. Do not worry about the result. Just say, that I did what I had to, and I have now devoted the result to you(Krishna).



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?


 

Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?

Question: What does Khalil Gibran mean, when he says, “He who works in marble and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.”

Acharya Prashant: What is Work?

All work involves action. 

As human beings, we are beings of action. We have limbs, senses, mind, all configured to act. So, action is inevitable. One cannot avoid action. So, workers we all are. There is nobody who does not work. The one who is professionally working somewhere, works. And so does the one, who is professionally unemployed. Both of us, both of them, are workers, irrespective of whether or not they are formally working somewhere.

To be alive is to be working.

You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

Then the question is of the quality of work. How does one work? From where does the work arise? Khalil Gibran takes two images and contrasts them.

First image, is of the man who is working with material, but his work is essentially an expression of his being, his center, his Self. He might be working with marble, but actually it is his soul taking shape as marble. Marble is now not only marble. Marble is now not only material. Marble is an expression of what he is. This is work of one kind.

And then he says, there is another one, who looks at soil, just as soil. For him, work is something outside of himself. I go somewhere, and I work with material. I work with material, probably, so that I may get some returns, some reward. He is not directly and organically ‘connected’ to his work. His relationship with work is transactional. I work, I put in some hours, and in return I get paid. Are you getting it? So, there is you, there is work and then there is a business like relationship between ‘you’ and ‘work.’ This is the second way of working.

The first way of working is,

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.”

Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

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The World will take back, what it has given

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


 

Acharya Prashant: How to completely drop fear?

Question:  We understood in our HIDP class that ‘fear’ is a ‘state of mind.’ But Acharya Ji, different kinds of fear generally arise in a human. It is natural to a human. For example, fear of getting low marks or fear of losing our near and dear ones. So Acharya Ji, can we completely come out of these fears ever in our life or is it not at all possible to come out of it?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Questioner: Nitesh.

AP: Nitesh, the different kind of fears that you are talking of are just like different leaves of the same tree. It’s a very horrible tree. The tree of fear. Now, you can either keep plucking each single leaf and there are thousands and thousands of such leaves.

You can either keep plucking each single leaf, trying to get rid of, trying to destroy the different kinds of fears

or you can strike straight at the root.

And remember even if you keep plucking the leaves, leaves have a way to emerge again, as long as the root is there. Right? One leaf is gone, two leaves are gone and you find four new leaves have arisen. What is the root of fear, let’s look at that.

All fear arises from a sense of cultivated incompleteness. Will you attend to this phrase, ‘Cultivated incompleteness?’ All fear arises from a sense of learned inadequacy. Both mean the same, cultivated incompleteness and learned inadequacy.

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

We want to keep acquiring these in order to fill an assumed inner incompleteness. All the urge to achieve is based on an assumption. That assumption is, that I need to achieve.

Do you see this?

The urge to achieve, accomplish, acquire, become something, that is based on an assumption that I need to achieve, I need to become. We never question, enquire or challenge that assumption.

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Man is the only creature that has imposed norms upon the body

Man is the only creature that has imposed norms upon the body. The only creature who thinks that he’s so intelligent that he will be able to decide whether this system is alright or not. He thinks he can mess with it in the name of improving it.

The human condition is such that if it were in our hands, then hard working and ambitious people would simply not allow sleep to come. They would say that we are still working if twenty-four hours are given to us, why waste even two hours in sleeping? And there are certain section of the society so very prude that probably women would not allow their periods to come, this is something ugly and something to be ashamed of, why let this happen?

Man imposes himself firstly on himself and then upon the entire world. If man is cruel and violent toward the entire existent, it is firstly because he’s cruel, violent, and restrictive towards himself. If man resists everything, and when I say ‘man’ I mean mankind, which includes women if man restricts everything that happens around him, there’d be hardly any unconditional acceptance, just filters of progressing resistance. It is because first of all, he’s very very resistant towards himself.

The one thing that we all share as brothers and sisters in mankind, is that none of us unconditionally accepts himself or herself. We all have a certain grudge towards ourselves. Why are we not something else? Why are we not this way or that way? A feeling of not yet being there. A feeling of imperfection, incompleteness, inferiority not only keeps haunting us but actually becomes our driver. If you look at your actions over the last one day or last one year, as long as you can remember, you will be amazed to see how much, how many of your actions are driven by this urge to better yourself. And there is hardly any action that comes from a feeling of already being alright.

You want a better job, why? So that you may be better. “I’m not yet alright. I’d find out something outside of myself that will help me become alright. Want to change my house, want to get married, want to travel abroad, want to have a holiday, want to study more – all in this quest towards betterment. And how do I decide that I’ve indeed become better? The more I am able to conform to the standards that were doled out to me, the more I feel that I’m a better one now.



Read the complete article: The tragedy that is man

The tragedy that is man

SR Generic_ EnglishL: Sir, why is it that we cannot suppress the nature’s call but we keep on suppressing our expressions for lifetime. Is it that the body has a separate consciousness that cannot be held on?

AP: No, we suppress all that as well. It is just that in the physical system there are certain things that are designed to be totally involuntary. And it’s a great mercy, a relief, that they are involuntary. The heart beats without our consent. We experience fatigue without our consent. Sleep comes and demands relaxation without our consent. We start feeling hungry without our consent. Oh, we may decide not to have food for a while, but hunger expresses itself without our consent.  Read more

Do we seriously want love?

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

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

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

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

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



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

We don’t want love, we want behavior that looks like love

SR Generic_ EnglishQuestion: Acharya Ji, what is the difference between ‘conscious innocence’ and ‘innocent consciousness’?

Acharya Prashant: If you are consciously innocent, or if you are consciously loving, or if you are consciously truthful, or if you are consciously simple, or if you are consciously religious, then all your religion, love, truth, simplicity, innocence is just thought. Because you are conscious about it because you are doing it consciously.

To do something consciously is to act from the center of the little self the ego. So, conscious innocence is no innocence at all. Conscious truth is no truth at all. Conscious living is no living at all. Conscious spirituality is no spirituality at all. Then, it is not the real thing. Because consciousness does not live in reality.

Consciousness lives in duality. Consciousness lives in images. If you are consciously innocent, then you’ll have an image of innocence and you’ll try to comply with that image. Then the image of innocence will predate innocence itself. Not only predate but also dominate. Then your innocence will not be rooted in Truth, then your innocence will be an idea of behavior, of action, of personality, and you will just try to abide by that idea.

Not only will you try to abide by that idea, you’ll also assure yourself, console yourself, that in behaving as per the idea of innocence you have actually become innocent. Consciousness equates reality with the image of reality. And, because reality, the non-dual reality is beyond dualistic consciousness, hence consciousness always makes do which images themselves.

Consciousness has a great stake in avoiding the real. Because, where the real is there dualistic consciousness itself will evaporate. So, how can consciousness be fond of the real? When the real arrives then consciousness with all its dualistic insistence, sings, settles into silence, into just pure awareness. An awareness that has no object, an awareness that does not want to do anything, an awareness that does not know anything. So, it cannot be called awareness in the usual way we use it in language.

Now it’s an opportunity for all of us to figure out whatever we are is it consciously that. You say, for example, that you love someone, all that someone loves you, hmm. Is not our love a very conscious attempt at loving? And when we want to ascertain whether or not we are being loved. Don’t we do that with consciousness? Consciousness is mind, with all its impressions.

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

Listeners: Full.

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

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

We don’t have love. We have stuff that looks like love. If we don’t get that stuff we feel severely disappointed. We don’t know innocence. We have images of innocence. The proof is, if I say innocence, and if I say kindly say something about innocence, all of us will have something to say. If I say, draw innocence, you’ll be able to draw innocence. If I say, give me an image of Truth, you’ll be able to give an image.

If 10 paintings are put up here, and you are asked to say which of these differs to The Truth, there would be nobody who would say how can image differ to the Truth. You’ll be able to point your finger at something. You would not be pointing your finger at the Truth. You would be pointing your finger at your version of the Truth, at an image of the Truth. To you, Truth looks like that.

And that is what we’ll be happy with. Getting what we feel is our version of Truth. And, that is why most of us live totally truthless and loveless lives. Because love is something we anyway in our want. What do we want? We want stuff that…

Listeners: Looks like love.

AP: Looks like love. We want happenings that we have been told are love. Somebody comes to you with a bouquet of red roses, it is…

Listeners: Love.

AP: Somebody is chivalrous enough to open the car gate for you, that is…

Listeners: Love.

AP: Somebody doesn’t say bitter stuff to you that is…

Listeners: Love.

AP: Somebody notes your mistakes that is..?

And if the opposite of this starts happening, you’ll waste no time in saying that the fellow is loveless and the relationship os loveless. Is that not so? Because for us everything is conscious. Conscious means thought out. Conscious means living in images. Conscious means mental creation.

Then, the second phrase used was ‘innocent consciousness’. His question was, “What is the difference between ‘conscious innocence’ and ‘innocent consciousness’?” What is, ‘innocent consciousness’?

Innocent consciousness is a consciousness innocent of the ego. Innocent means free. Innocent means not guilty. Innocent means not corrupted. Innocent consciousness means a consciousness that is not been corrupted by the ‘I’ center. So, thought is still there but the thought is not to worry about the self.

One might be thinking, but one is not necessarily thinking with the objective of self-preservation. One’s thoughts are now not in the narrow direction of furthering one’s self-interest. And, if and if they are then one’s self-interest have now not been narrowly defined to mean the personal self. That is innocent consciousness.

A consciousness that is not full of fear, insecurity, ambition, violence, that is an innocent consciousness. That is an innocent mind.  That innocent consciousness will show up not in the quality of thoughts, but obviously in the quality of entire being. An innocent consciousness radiates as innocence in the whole personality. Your eyes, your walk, your living your talking, your holding, your touching, your eating, your breath, your touch. All have a very special quality about them that cannot be captured in images.

You cannot put your finger on it and say, “This is innocence,” yet it is there. It is not something that can be perceived with senses, it is not something that can be named with the worlds yet it is there. You will never be able to categorically defined it yet it is there. How do you come to know of it? Well… you cannot tell that. But you do know of it. That is innocent consciousness. Yes?



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: We don’t want love, we want behavior that looks like love.

Connect to Acharya Prashant:
1. Advait Learning Camps (ALC): Advait Learning Camps are monthly 4-day retreats under the guidance of Acharya Prashant in the Himalayas. To participate in the camps, Contact Sh. Anshu Sharma: +91-8376055661 or Sh. Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998

2. Course in Realization (CIR): Course in Realization is a seven-day scripture based learning program led by Acharya Prashant. To join, either physically or online, contact Sh. Apaar: +91-9818591240

3. Month of AwakeninG (MAG): Attend Satsangs from Home! MAG is an online series of discourses on handpicked topics by Acharya Prashant on practical and relevant topics like Love, Fear, Achievement etc. To join the online discourses,contact: Sushri Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917 +91-9818585917

4. Meet the Master (MTM): Meet the Master is an opportunity to meet and seek detailed guidance from Acharya Prashant, either in person or online. Contact: Sushri Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

5. Blessings from Beyond: Weekends with Acharya Prashant brings you the unique opportunity for a 2 day 2 night stay with the Master every month. It involves two mystical days of dynamic activities, explorations of the self, sports, meditative reading, deep reflections, midnight walks and more.

Contact Ms. Anu Batra:+91-9555554772

Venue: Advait Bodhsthal, Greater Noida, India.

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To register yourself, to spend the day with the Master, send in your request atrequests@prashantadvait.com
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Then why are you doing it? Just for fun.

We say, “If I am already fulfilled, why would I work at all?” No, there is a quality of a free, intense and a passionate dance in this kind of work. I want nothing, there is nothing that I want to get from what I am doing and yet I am doing it with all my energy, devotion and passion. I am almost worshipping what I am doing. What will I get from all these? Nothing. What is there in it for me? Nothing. Then why are you doing it? Just for fun.

Why does the river flow? Why does the wind blow? Am I not allowed to dance? Am I not allowed to love reasonlessly? Must I follow the prevalent dictates of cause and effect, of success and failure, of action, accompanied by the fruit of action? Can’t there be something called desireless action? There can be such a thing, it is not a hypothesis. In fact, if that thing, that quality of mind is not there then life is not worth living.

If we work only to get something, if all our actions, if all our relationships are just for the sake of achievement, if whatever we do is a calculated action, then the mind only knows transactions and business, it knows no love. Such a mind would forever be in a state of loveless desperation, crying for relief.



Read the complete article: To be free, first discover the nature of your bondage

To be free, first discover the nature of your bondage

21762214_1227353527370622_921021697824714700_nQuestion 1: What is success in life?

Acharya Prashant: What is success in life? What-is-success-in-life? Let me say, I am in a dream. In the dream, I am finding myself surrounded by all kinds of enemies and other hostile forces. There are demons, there are enemies and I want to fight them.

So, I ask a question, “What is the best way to fight them?” I ask a question, “When will I know that I have succeeded in defeating them?”

I repeat I am in sleep, I am dreaming, and in my dream, I am seeing the world as a dangerous place, as a competitive place, as a place where achievement is necessary. So, again and again, I ask the question, “What is the meaning of success? What is required to fight my enemies?” Would you answer this question? Read more

False completeness will not allow you to look even into the world.

I don’t know what’s worse, incompleteness or false completeness?

In the eyes of the person who is falsely complete, you would never find wonderment. You know what is wonderment? When you come upon something new! He would always look at you as if he already knows you, “Ha! I know.” Because within himself, he is possessed by the thought that he knows all. He is a Master of his kingdom, the God of his territory. His eyes can measure but never worship. In fact, he knows no sacredness, for him nothing is sacred. That is one quality of the man complete within himself. He knows no sacredness. He has no feeling for the beyond. He can utilize everything. Instead of a four-session series, it has become a five-session series – Incompleteness, Defeat, Shame, Lifelessness, False completeness.

Incompleteness now appears almost a virtue. Incompleteness, at least makes you look into the world, if not into yourself. False completeness will not allow you to look even into the world. You are your own world. You will have no liking for facts. You will have no interest in what’s going around. Why do you need to know about what’s happening in Europe or America, or in Amazon’s jungles? When you are so complete and comfortable within yourself, why do you need to have knowledge? Knowledge can disturb, “Why do I need to know what’s happening? The animals of the Arctic. When I have an entire Universe, within myself! I am occupied, I am busy, and I have important matters to take care of.”

But, howsoever, much you live in defiance of facts, facts have a way of affecting you, making their presence felt and troubling you. This self-contained man, copes with facts, by deliberately not putting them in perspective. You know what is perspective? Having a thing, belong to where it really belongs. Putting things in their proper place, that’s perspective. The self-contained man has an aversion to perspective. If he comes to know of a thing, he will make sure that he puts it in the wrong place. Deliberately puts it somewhere else, so that he may not have to face the import of the fact. So that he may not have to accept the full force of the fact.

If he goes to a temple and he is asked to put his footwear outside the premises of the temple, he will say, “Why? Don’t the feet and the footwear belong to God?” And he is right. You cannot quarrel with him. He is perfectly right. But, by raising, an impertinent argument, where there should be none, he has allowed himself sufficient disturbance to escape sacredness. Now, he has set his own terms. The temple could have turned him meditative, and in meditation, he would have seen all his falseness. But by bringing in an issue, which is actually a non-issue, he has successfully managed to subvert the real issue.

It’s like you receiving your medical reports from the pathology, and you start discussing the quality of the paper the report is printed on. And not only you are discussing, you are actively complaining, why is it not 80 gsm. By giving prominence to a non-issue, you have successfully diverted attention from the real issue, and the real issue is that the reports are declaring that you have Cancer. You don’t want to talk about that, so you are talking about the color and the weight of the paper.

Even if this self-contained stubborn man is in the most sacred of environments, he will find some way to somehow escape sacredness. He is like the fly in the temple. What does the fly in the temple do? From somewhere it finds filth and goes and sits on the filth. And by sitting on the filth it is successfully able to declare that the Universe is filthy. And even if it’s the cleanest of temples, the fly will manage to find filth. And create an alternate perspective, an alternate story. The priest will have one story to tell about the temple, the devotee will have one story to tell about the temple, and this self-contained man will have an entirely different story. That’s called lacking in perspective, or having a totally false perspective.



Read the complete article: Laziness is a dirty trick to defy the Truth