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.

Read more

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.

Read more

If anger besets you, look at your entire life, the full spectrum.

If anger besets you, look at your entire life, the full spectrum. Nothing short of that would do. Anger is not a disease in itself. Anger is an indicator. And, anger is a very powerful and gross indicator. Anger becomes necessary so that you may see how bad your condition is. Subtle signs of discomfort and bad living are always there, but one misses those signs. Because you miss those signs or ignore them, hence your system has to forcibly show you that there is something wrong with you, hence you erupt.

When you erupt then you cannot miss what is happening with you. It is so violent, so loud, so apparent. You might get slapped. How will you miss the marks on your face? Something this gross has to be done because you are not ready to read the fine print, the subtle message. Are you getting it?

Anger is a message. Anger is not a message that the twenty-fourth hour is misplaced, or infected. Anger is a message that the entire spectrum of twenty-four hours is going wrong. You are not living rightly. You are just not living rightly. If there is sugar in your urine, do you start treating the urine? You are not eating rightly. The malaise lies elsewhere. Don’t take a canister of urine to the ICU. The urine is merely an indicator. You are living wrongly.

What is it to live wrongly? There cannot be anger without the frustration of desire. You cannot be angry if your desire has not been defeated. Anger is an upsurge of energy. Do you see what happens when you are angry? What happens? There is a rush of adrenaline. Your limbs start shaking with energy. Your eyes lit up. Your cheeks get flushed with blood. You are all ready with more energy to do something. Do what? Have you never noticed?

It’s like this, you have a desire to reach there and there is an obstacle in the way. Now you are angry, now there is so much of energy and it is needed to overcome the obstacle. That is why anger provides you with so much energy, so that you may defeat the obstacle and fulfill your desire. Where there is frustration of desire, there is anger. Do you get it? Whenever you would place your desire outside of you, you would find that there is an obstacle.

Do you know what is that obstacle? That obstacle is yourself. All anger in some way, therefore, is against yourself and hence is self-destructive. Are you getting it?



Read the complete article: Is anger really the problem?

Is anger really the problem?

SR Generic_ EnglishQuestion: “How to overcome impulsive feelings, like anger, and how to increase tolerance?”.

Acharya Prashant: Why do you want to overcome anger? Why do you want to overcome anger?

L:  Because you are insufficient and you feel incomplete.

AP: That looks like an academic explanation. When you say you don’t want anger, why don’t you want it?

L: That is not my nature.

AP: Is that so? After, a bout of anger, after an upsurge of anger, after a violent episode of anger, you say, “I shouldn’t have done this. I shouldn’t have been angry.” Why exactly do you say that? Go into it. Go into such moments when this might have happened. Why do you regret being angry?

L: Because it caused me a certain loss.

AP: Right. You did something in that moment which caused you loss. Right? So, there are the twenty-four hours of the day, and in half an hour of anger, you did something that impacted the remaining twenty-three and a half hours. Correct? Your reputation got spoiled, or a relationship got hurt, or you broke something, or you took a bad decision. All of which impacts the remaining twenty-three and a half hours. Right? Read more

Are you able to break out of the circuit, or are you energizing the circuit even more?

Please understand something about duality and non-duality. The dissolution of something does not lie in its opposite. Something appears uncontrolled, you control it, you have just taken a phenomenon to its opposite, to its mirror image. You are going left, now you are going right. That is not dissolution. That is a continuation in duality. And, that is the mistake we make so often. We go for the opposite of something when we are tired of that thing.

Tired of left, you go to the right. Tired of the first floor, you go to the basement or to the second floor, or sometimes to the 50th floor. Tired of the metro, you go to the hill station. Tired of the car, you take the bike. Tired of animals in the office, you go and visit a zoo. Is that not how we live? And, we think this is change. Hopping from one pole of duality to the other pole, we think this is change. Traveling from the North Pole to the South Pole, we feel that we’ve overcome the gravitation of the earth. How does it matter that you have swapped poles?

Firing energizing emotions is one thing, and letting that same energy direct and control emotions, is just the same thing. You are just naming it differently, you are just naming it as the opposite. And the change in name will not help here; you need a change in the whole game. Is it not a part of being emotional that you must not be overly emotional? So, one is emotional and is angry, and suddenly he remembers that he must not be angry and he gets even more angry at having forgotten that he must not be angry, “How could I forget that I needed to control anger? Control yourself. Don’t be so excited.”

Are you able to break out of the circuit, or are you energizing the circuit even more?



 

Read the complete article: How to control emotions?

How to control emotions?

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L: Sir, how to control our emotions?

Acharya Prashant: So, Shantanu is talking about controlling emotions. Let’s say Shantanu is driving his car. Do you drive your car in a controlled way or in an uncontrolled way? Obviously in a controlled way. Now, what is all control about? You are taking your car to the right, and because you control it you decide that you will not take it to the left. What is all control about?

When you say that your emotions are running amok, uncontrolled, then that is movement, right? Something is happening. And when you say that you the emotional one is now controlling emotions, what is really happening? In the name of control, you are continuing. The driver controls the car; does the car, or the control change the driver? You are the controller; you will change the direction of the car. But, changing the direction of the car is not going to change you.

Read more

How to relate better to one’s wife?

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Question: If there is a fight going on with my wife, and she gets angry, and I too get angry. Won’t that create more friction?

Acharya Prashant: You know what, you don’t get angry when fighting with your spouse, because you assume that she is not as strong as you. Do you see that? You say, “She is the weak one, so let her be angry. I am the more responsible one, so it is upon me to not to get angry.” Is that not what the assumption is? Now see what is actually happening. You are assuming her to be weak and she is controlling you. So, who are you? Weaker than the weak. Do you see this? Read more

Don’t suppress. Just understand

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Question: Sir, there is something negative in our mind. And the more I suppress it, it keeps on increasing. So, what’s the way out?

Acharya Prashant: The only reason, why negative feelings keep on increasing, is because you want to suppress them. There is a great pleasure in suppression of negative feelings. You see, whether you enhance the feeling or suppress it, ultimately you get a sense of power. The ego says, “I am suppressing”, or “I am being entertained”.

A far better thing is to just see, what that feeling is all about. You have a healthy mind. Look at that feeling. Why do you repeatedly keep getting this feeling? What does this feeling say? Ask the feeling, “What do you want? What really is your demand? Why do you keep coming again and again? And you are welcome, it is not that I want to expel you from my house. I Am not suppressing you. But I want to know that why are you a recurrent visitor to my home?” Ask it. And to ask that, you will have to be friends with that feeling. Not thinking that, that feeling is your enemy.

Because, a thousand feelings will come to you – envy, jealousy, fear, hatred, competition, ambition. You cannot fight them all, and there is no need to fight them. What to do with them?

Listeners: Forget about that, ignore, you can say to yourself that it is not compulsory to think about them.

AP: All these things that you said, in all those cases, are you really friends with the feelings? If you are friends with somebody, do you ignore them? Do you forget them? Do you say that, You are not compulsory?

All these three responses that you gave, they came from fear. You are afraid of that feeling and that is why that feeling keeps on coming again and again.
Have guts, be courageous. When that feeling comes, say, “Ah! the feeling has come again, right. Let us sit down like friends and talk. Miss feeling, what do you want?”

Why ignore it? And can you ignore it? Are you actually ever able to ignore it? It destroys your mood. And if something is able to destroy your mood, are you actually ignoring it, or becoming a victim? You are saying, “Forget it.” Are you able to forget it? There is no way you can forget it.

L: Just like killing our enemy, we ourselves become an enemy. We should change that enemy.

AP: And that thought is you. At that moment, that is what your real identity is. It is like trying to defeat one hand with another hand, which hand will win? Using one thought you are trying to conquer one thought with another thought. And both the thoughts are in your mind. Which hand will win? No hand will win, you will be defeated. You will be exhausted.

So, first thing, accept yourself.

Drop this approach that something needs to be controlled. Nothing needs to be controlled; it is all fine, good, alright. Nothing needs to be controlled. You only need to understand, not control.

Understand, not control.

The urge to control comes from a moralistic mind. It comes from a violent mind. It comes from a mind that has already been tutored that something is good and something is bad, something needs to be controlled. Nothing needs to be controlled. Everything is alright. There is nothing in existence which needs to be controlled.

Everything just needs to be? Understood.

And to understand something, you need to be friends with it.

L: Sir, please explain with an example, like Anger?

AP: So, how can you control Anger? You look at people, are you able to find them able to control Anger? People flare up at the flimsiest of reasons. Sometimes, there is no reason to get angry and people are so angry. And you are looking at them and wondering, what is wrong with him? And after two hours, you are in the same shoes – Getting angry for nothing. (Smiling)

Who can control anger? When anger comes, tell yourself, “I am getting angry again and this anger is because I wanted something, I did not get it.” The expectations are being hurt, so anger is normal.

But to do this, you will have to have two things. One, honesty. Second, courage. Why honesty? Because you know, we get a certain pleasure in anger, have you experienced that? You are frustrated. And then when you are able to shout at somebody, a certain pleasure. It is because of this pleasure that you want to be angry. And then you ask me, “How to control anger?” Isn’t it so that you want to be angry? And that is the reason why, after you have been angry, you sometimes feel peaceful, nice, good. The ego has had a massage. I was able to shout at him. So, I am feeling good. Because there is a pleasure in anger.

So, be honest that I am the one who is nurturing anger all the time. That is the part about honesty. The second part is about courage. When anger comes, I am repeating, be friends with it, not enemies. Anger is there, alright anger is there. What is the big deal? It is there with everyone. Why get all worked up about it, “I am angry, I am angry.” Changing your Facebook status, “Angry”, why? It is alright. Anger is not something alien.

L: Sir, do you get angry?

AP: Anger comes, there is no doubt about it. Now, whether I get angry or not, that is another matter.

L: Sir, how to understand it, through questions?

AP: By being aware that it is coming. Let it not enter like a thief. You don’t even know and it has made some kind of a backdoor entry. Anger has come, you stand upon the door, and say, “Welcome Sir, again you have come. All the time you want to come.” It comes. Till the time, there are situations, there is a body, there will be reasons for anger to come, but there is no reason, for you to be dominated. Let it come and when it comes, don’t feel small. Don’t feel as if something very bad has happened.

Breath goes in and goes out. Hunger comes, fatigue comes, tears come, anger too can come. What is the big deal?



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Don’t Suppress.Just understand



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How to deal with emotional outbursts?

Acharya Prashant: Emotional outbursts to settled living.

What do you see in the topic itself? “Emotional outbursts to settled living.” What is happening here?

What is happening here is that the mind is desiring the movement from one place to another place. From place A to place B; emotional outbursts to settled living. What is place A?

“Emotional outbursts to settled living.” There is a journey involved in the topic itself. We are moving from A to B. What is A?

Listener: Disturbance.

AP: Disturbance; right? “Emotional outbursts”- a state of disturbance. A is where we are. B is where we want to be. You see everything about humanness is a journey. Man has been a traveler. That would be a very apt way of defining and summarizing mankind. We are travelers. In everything we do, in all our efforts, there is a sense of movement involved. We are hardly ever contended with where we are. We want to reach somewhere. We want to undertake a journey. There is some other place that we must reach. Read more

Being non-resistant to anger

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Question: Well how to be in a crowd but not get lost in maintaining yourself in a crowd?

Acharya Prashant: There is very little that you can do, when you are already in the middle of a crowd. Stimuli are raining upon you from all sides, responses are demanded. Every sound, every touch, every situation is a challenge asking for an adequate answer. So at that moment, you just have to be immersed in the happening.

It is just so that the whole life must be soon that you have a deep affinity for peace. And when you have a deep affinity for peace, for silence, and even when you’re in a crowd the taste of silence keeps calling you. Which means that if the noise becomes too much then you know that it is time for you to move. But how do you know that the noise has become too much, what is it within you that determines that it is now beyond an inner permissible limit, it is your affinity to peace.

Unless you are someone who loves peace and has been living in peace, you’d be very easily activitised to the crowd, you would be very easily co-opted by the crowd, taken by the crowd. You must have a certain point within which is not crowded, which is not a thing of the crowd and that point within is something that you have to remember and nourish, and what I’m saying is a little paradoxical here because neither can it be remembered really nor is it something that requires nourishment really.

Yet you have to nourish that part of yours which moves towards silence, yet you have to remember that it is important to move towards silence. So live a life of peace and silence. When you have been living a life of peace and silence you would also know what to do in a crowd. 

There is no method or formula that is applicable directly to specific situations. Right response is not a matter of tricks, formulae, methods or mantras. Right response comes from right life. So when 24 hours you are living rightly, then you also know how to respond rightly to specific life situations. They are not in isolation.

Often, we make this mistake of compartmentalizing life. We ask, “what to do when life poses challenges, when life gives us pain?” But you will never be able to respond rightly to pain if firstly you have not been responding rightly to pleasure. So don’t divide, don’t compartmentalize. Living rightly is one integrated whole, one single unit. If you can sit rightly on this terrace right now, then you would also know how to walk down the street, then you would also know how to sit watching a movie in a theatre, then you would also know how to sit in a stadium, you can also know how to sleep, how to live and how to die.

The desire to compartmentalize is the desire to protect. We say we don’t want to touch certain sections of our life because we are attached to them, because we are identified. Because that’s where our identities find nourishment, so we don’t want to touch those parts. They give us pleasure but then there are certain parts which are a cause of pain and we want to eradicate them.

All ends of duality go together. Live rightly at the grocery shop and you would also live rightly with your kids. Live rightly in the kitchen and you would also live rightly in the bedroom. Live rightly with animals and you would live rightly with human beings. 

Listener2: Sir, what you say, how do you define to live rightly in a few words?

AP: Living rightly is not a matter of set principles or images. It is easier and more useful to ask what is living wrongly. Just be alert and sensitive to living wrongly and that is sufficient. What is it that you do not like? Fundamentally what is it that you dislike? What is it that any human being dislikes? Does anybody like being disturbed? Does anybody like being hated? Does anybody like being afraid?

So living rightly is to not to promote, encourage, energize a life which involves fear, hatred, insecurity, division, violence, bondage, lovelessness, complexity, and that is so obvious to sense, because whenever that happens, whenever there is fear in life, complexity, insecurity, you get a headache, don’t you? Forget the mind, even the body feels heavy. 

So you don’t even have to try to identify whether it is wrong or not. The body, the mind, your entire personality cries hoarse. You know that it is not right and when you know that it is not right, don’t support it.

If it involves fear, it cannot be right for you. If it involves greed and ambition, it cannot be right for you. If it involves losing your freedom, it cannot be right for you. So when you tick all of these off, what you are left with is the right life. Strike out whatever is wrong, be intolerant towards whatever is obviously wrong and the right is available at all times. Just don’t patronize that which is unworthy of being patronized. Don’t stand by it, don’t take its side.

Does it require a great trick to figure out that you are afraid? Does it require a special skill to see that you are acting from insecurity? Does it require great insight to see that you are being calculative? When you see that happening, don’t let that happen. That’s all.

L3: Sir, practically I understood what you said, practically if I feel some ego problem because the more I spend some time to observe myself on my faults, and the more I see when some people are a bit, I got some kind of jealousy, I feel things like jealousy, envy, anger, even if I don’t want to, it does not come under my control..

AP:  yes.

L3: So you say, do not accept it?

AP: No, I am not saying that, I am saying not to energize it. You energize it by rejecting it, a bit strange but it must be understood. When you do not resist it, then it comes and passes away but when you resist it then the energy you lose to resist it becomes the energy of the anger. When you’re angry and parallely you are also resisting the anger, then the anger gains in energy. Apparently it will be suppressed but it will find expression in many other ways.

It will appear as if you have been able to put a lid to the anger, as if you have been able to bottle it. But you know of that Genie. You put it in a bottle and sooner than later it emerges from the bottle and it is this large. So when anger comes, you let anger come and you do nothing with anger.

Whatever you do with anger would only give fuel to anger. You don’t condemn anger, you don’t support anger, you don’t accept it but you also don’t resist it. You’re all right with anger, you’re alright with it.

Whenever as an angry being you want to do something about anger remember that you are furthering the actions of the angry one.

You are angry and now you want to do something. Now all your actions at this moment are coming from anger. Whatever you will do will carry the imprint of anger on it. Even if you talk softly, it would be soft anger. Even if you talk peace, it would be an angry peace. So at that moment just be, just be. There is no need to commit yourself to any action because any action from that point, I repeat, will be a furtherance of that state.

You’re angry, alright yes, there is anger, there is anger and anger gets burned down, it gets exhausted in its own little energy. All that you have to do is to let it be exhausted by itself. You don’t need to participate, you don’t need to do anything about it. I repeat, if you say that anger is bad then you are again acting from the point of anger. You don’t say it is good, you don’t even say that it is bad, and this, remember is applicable not only to anger but even to delight and pleasure.

It is only a point of silence which is a worthy point of emergence of action. Any other mental state if you act from it, would get continued and extended just by the virtue of the action. When you’re silent then act vigorously and when there is vigorous movement in the mind, then stay silent.

L4: But on this one, sometimes particularly with anger, trying to think, sometimes it’s hard to distinguish what is letting go and what is  suppressing, you know what I mean? Where is the line that?

AP: Neither do you suppress nor do you let go. Anyway anger is doing what it wants to do. You don’t have to do anything more. When anger comes, it is coming with all its waves, disturbances, this and that. It is already creating a whole cyclone in the mind. With so much of movement, why do you need to add to the movement?

L4: There is the thing, because sometimes I don’t really know, am I suppressing it by thinking I’m not acting, you know what I mean? It is not always easy to distinguish between the ‘not acting’ and when I am suppressing. It is not always easy to see.

AP: Whatever you can think of, here is a certain hint, whatever you can think of is always an action. A non-action is also a non-thought. If you can think about something, you may think about not acting, but if you can think about not acting, then even this not acting is an action. Whatever you can think of is always an action.

So, if you are able to think of suppression, suppression is an action. If you are able to think of letting go, letting go too is an action, and whatever will come out of your thought in the moment of anger, remember, will be coming out of an angry thought and hence cannot be right. So whether you call it suppression or whether you call it dropping or renunciation or letting go or calming down, all of it will just be a manifestation of the angry one.

The angry one can act respectable and cover his actions in beautiful names. He may shout and say, ‘no no this is just catharsis. You’re angry and you slap somebody and when he says, ‘What are you doing?’ You say, “No, this is just catharsis, an internal cleansing of the neurosis, this is a kind of meditation’. You can drop a hammer upon somebody’s head and when he asks ‘What are you doing?” you may say ‘I am just letting go of the hammer’, that it is nothing but a spiritual activity. Whatever name you give it, it will just be anger and violence in fancy names, violence in acceptable and respectable names.

So, be cautious of anything that you feel like doing in any mental state. The only mental state which is worthy of giving rise to full action is not a state all. It is an emptiness, it is a silence. When you are in that state, then there is the complete freedom to engage in whatever you like to. Otherwise desist, hold your energy. Don’t support yourself so much.

When you are light, peaceful, joyous, then enter into whatever you want to. Initiate a new action, carry on an old action, meet somebody, do not meet somebody, walk, climb, write, design, play, swim, eat whatever you want to do. All your desires are then beautiful desires. But when there is agitation in the mind, then do not give more energy to agitation. Hold yourself. Do not actively get into anything in that state.

The funny part is, in that state you will feel the most like getting into something. You will have a great desire to jump into something or the other and in silence there will be no such great desire, yes, there will be playfulness which is a gentle urge and not an overwhelming desire. It is only in anger and other kinds of mental excitations, that you have overpowering desires.

L4:  Then there is feverishness, vindication too, just to let go.

AP: Yes, but in that feverish state you will find that you have a great inner urge to do something.

 L3: Okay, if you are acting in anger, what happens then?

AP: Nothing, the anger continues. The anger gains validation, nothing else.

L4:  And you will become easily angry again.

AP: Anger gets your support, it gets your gratification, it gets the identification and ultimately you become attached to anger. Ultimately you start defining yourself as the angry one.

L4: I know such people.

AP: It becomes their personality: Who am I? The one who is always angry. In fact the build an entire lifestyle around anger. Their photographs will be angry, even their kids will be angry, they’ll find a way to make anger their blood stream, which is all very destructive.

L4: Are you doing some karma because of that, is it karma?

AP: Whenever you will act in furtherance of incompleteness, the incompleteness will be furthered into time, into future.

L4: Whenever you react, in fact I think then you’re doing karma.

AP: Which means that the incompleteness of today will remain incomplete even in future and hence keep demanding completion, and that is the law of karma.  You’re carrying forward the past, you were angry today and you didn’t let the anger get exhausted so it is still burning. It is still burning and ten years later it is still demanding that somebody extinguishes it. So the past is being carried forward, asking for completion.

Whatsoever is not complete in the past will keep sticking to you. The residues have to be burned down. In fact it is the residues of the past that become our mind stuff. Whatever is complete get dissolved, disappears. Whatsoever is incomplete remains, persists, nags, troubles and asks for completion.

L2: When I feel anger, I just like to observe it in silence.

AP: When you feel anger, allow yourself to be angry. Hold no position with respect to anger. Have no opinion about anger, honestly and bluntly just say I am angry. Completely act as the angry one. I am angry and when you allow yourself to really act honestly as the angry one you find that there is not much action possible. It is only when anger masquerades as morality, as duty, as responsibility, as righteousness, that anger gets the energy for action. When you say I am the angry one and I want to manifest my anger, then you find that the anger is exhausted.

Remember anger feeds on your resistance. Anger is so helpless that it can’t even walk on its own legs. It requires the legs of something else. If you are shouting at someone you can’t even tell him directly that you are shouting because you’re angry. You would say, “I am shouting because I’m hurt. You would say- I am shouting because you did something wrong.” You would say, “I am shouting because it is my responsibility to guide you.” You never simply say that I’m shouting because i am angry. Such is the lameness of anger. It can’t even call itself by its true name. It always takes on the name of something else. Getting it?

So the moment you say I’m acting because I’m angry with nothing against anger, neither support nor condemnation, then you are allowing anger to run its course and evaporate. But if you hide, deceive, give it a more beautiful sacred name, then you are extending the life of anger, then you are extending the unfulfilled state. Most people don’t even admit that they’re angry. First thing when anger comes, admit that you are very angry. Admit that there is anger that you can see and there is anger that is hidden. Admit it, acknowledge it, bring it in front of your eyes honestly.

Don’t be afraid that by acknowledging it you would be accepting yourself to be a sinner or something. No, it is there, now, how can you not acknowledge it is there, so acknowledge it. Like a wave it comes and like a wave it will pass away.

L2: So from where does this anger appear?

AP:

Anger comes from frustrated desires. You have a mental model of the world. You have your expectations and you want the world to act as per your expectations. You have a set of beliefs and you want existence to abide by them. It doesn’t turn out that way. Existence has its own plans that don’t necessarily correspond with yours, and when there is a mismatch, then you’re angry.

L2: So you must be free-falling?

AP: yeah.

L4: Today a small situation with anger, when I was in a cafe, I was trying to login to see my bank account and it didn’t work because of the changes in site and it was hard to find the login. Sometimes these small things can bring more anger out in need and big things like when somebody obviously. And you know anger came and then I did, like this, I mean I cannot scream in the internet cafe right, it hurt. I was feeling relief. So what do you think about like let’s say let’s call it spontaneous breathing techniques, techniques dealing with anger, what do you think?

AP: Even those techniques will be applied for you firstly if you acknowledge that you are angry if you have an attitude towards anger, if you consider anger as sin then even applying those techniques will become difficult.

L4:  Yes, I had this issue for some time like, “Oh I’m meditating, I know I should be wise.”

AP: Now you have been meditating since years. First of all it is a kind of internal shame to accept that you’re still angry. Now if you cannot accept that you’re angry how will you apply any method?

L4: I had to, I needed time to realize. My intellect knew this but you know my emotions were- ‘Oh you have to be a meditator’. I read one.

AP: Yes, so acknowledge that you’re angry and then a lot of methods are applicable, a lot of methods. You can look here and there, gaze at the stars, breathe out, breathe in, play with a puppy, play with your palm, log on to  a different site, play a video game, get some fruit juice for yourself, anything.

L2: Aggression is about the fears. It’s about the fears we have inside and how to act in that situation and solve our fears?

AP: Then again, the same thing as fear, as anger rather. When fear is there, any decision that you make at that moment will be a decision in fear. So what will be the quality of that decision? It will involve fear and it will further fear, it will have fear written all over it. That fear can take different names, I do not deny that. We require to give decorated names just to hide fear. But essentially all those names will just be fear. So it is important to not to get engaged with fear.

Let fear come, run its course and dissolve away. Even if you say that you’re observing fear, there is a catch there because observation requires a hands-off approach in the name of observation you never know how you would suddenly become a participant. It’s like you go out to a shopping mall saying that you’re just there to observe the people, the  shops, the wares, the merchandise, all the decorated windows and what do you find  yourself doing very soon?

L4: Planning what to buy.

AP: Planning what to buy and actually buying. So observation is a very tricky thing. You set out to observe and very soon you become a participant. So don’t be too insistent even upon observing. What do you want to observe? It is there, it is obvious. Now does it need any special observation? It is there, it is there now let it be there and have faith that if you do not add your energy to it then it does not have  much energy of its own. Yes it creates a lot of noise, but it’s like, that’s like the thunder of clouds. Don’t we say that clouds that roar the most are the least likely to rain? Same case with fear, anger and the rest of them.

Watch their energy, watch their movement and for a while their energy and their movement  is so intensive that it does appear as if a lot is about to happen, but it’s precisely because they exhibit a lot of energy that their energy gets burnt out  to soon. Anger displays so much energy that very soon it loses all its energy, provided you are not providing energy from behind, you do not conspire against yourself. Anger is like fire, it requires fuel and the more fiercely it burns, the more quickly it exhausts. So let it burn fiercely.

More important is to ask the question – ‘How to live a life in which there is not much need for anger?’  People mostly ask, “what to do once you are angry, what to do once you are angry?” Why don’t you ask why must one be angry? What kind of life would it be in which anger really finds very little space? Why not live that kind of life? Why ask a small question? Why ask a divided question?

L2 :  Okay, what kind questions need to be asked?

AP: What kind of life would it be in which anger finds little space? You tell me. If you can ask a question that comes from me then I can repeat an answer that comes from you. We just discussed from where anger arises right? From where does it come?

L4: From unfulfilled desires.

AP: So what kind of life would it be in which anger really finds little space?

L4: Or if all the desires are fulfilled which is impossible and insane.

AP: So either all desires are fulfilled…

L4: Or they are not important because you are already fulfilled from inside.

L2: Have no plans, be flexible.

AP: And that is far more important than countering anger; that is far more important.

L2:  Okay so if we take not anger but fears?

AP: I am again asking, do they exist independent of each other?

L2:  yes.

AP: Are they?

L2: Maybe I am wrong.

AP: Can you be angry without being afraid? Are they not two names, two expressions of the same unfulfillment?

When you feel that something has been taken away, you are angry and when you feel something will be taken away, you are afraid.

L2: I am talking about fears like, you know of wild animals.

AP: So the wild animal will take away your life. Somebody comes and hits you and gives you a cut here, you’re angry. Some physical damage has already been done and that is anger and the wild animal may cause such damage in future and that is fear. The wild animal may cause a similar cut in the future and that is fear. Both involve anticipation or confirmation of loss, both take loss as real, both are validations of unfulfillment, are they not?

L4: But I would say this kind of fear you’re talking about its useful I mean nature gave us this kind of fear for our protection. This animal in the jungle could kill me, so don’t go in the jungle too far, isn’t it? I mean we’re talking about psychological fear about things you don’t really have to be afraid but yeah.

AP: Mostly when you are afraid of wild animals the fear is for nothing. How many times have you found a dog really attacking you and how many times have you been afraid of dogs? How many times have you been afraid of cows coming towards you and how many times have cows really attacked you? And how many times have you experienced fear? So mostly even this fear is just psychological and has no real basis to it.

I am repeating this – when you get the knack, the taste, the hang of living in fulfillment, the more you encourage and promote that life. The more you live in surrender, the more you become allergic towards unfulfillment. The more you become intolerant towards mental agitation, you immediately recoil. You find yourself stuck in a place that agitates, excites, and disturbs. You won’t be there for long, you won’t punish yourself, push yourself, persuade yourself to continue to be there. You will not call it a responsibility or obligation to please anybody by continuing to show up in such situations or at such places.

You will then know that your primary obligation is your own peace, but for that you first have to fall in love with peace. You will have to give yourself the opportunity to live in peace. If peace remains a stranger to you, even if an intimate stranger then you’ll have not much problem living in disturbance and which is a big problem. If you do not find disturbance, problem anymore and if you have become so habituated, so adjusted, then you are in trouble. Have you not seen people who become so habituated to noise, who become so acclimatized to violence that it does not mean anything to them?

They might be living in a din, and corpses might be falling all around them and for them it is life as usual. Don’t become one of them. Have a great sensitivity. Reject falseness, reject agitation and pay the price. Sometimes you have to pay a price for rejecting all that. Pay the price whatever be the price. If your workplace is full of chaos, you don’t have an obligation to be there. If your social circle is full of disturbed people, you don’t really have to become disturbed by living in midst of them.

Only if you secure your peace, that you can bring peace to others, but all of that firstly requires that you get in love with peace, a hang of peace which means that you should lie down and watch the stars, or play with animals, do all kinds of unreasonable things, waste your time by the river, allow yourself to be called a useless wanderer, a loafer and all that will  bring you in such touch with peace that now you’ll say, “Oh no, disturbance? Who wants to take it? I’m too much in love with peace to accept any disturbance now. I’m too much in love with peace to go back to noise now. It is irreversible.” Come to that point where it becomes irreversible, where there are no U-turns possible anymore. Close all the exit doors.

L4:  I found you said something very interesting, when you said sometimes you have to pay a price, I was feeling that about two years ago, I noticed some, let’s call it part of my personality  that resists the change you know. The part of the personality that wants to be unhappy, that wants to be agitated, now I want to be angry at this and that, and then I had to consciously let go and it took time. Sometimes I had to go through some suffering, if you can call it that but this part of me are now much more and not so powerful anymore. I would call it a sacrifice.

AP: See there is pleasure in anger and that is why we sustaining anger but when you recognize that there is a much deeper pleasure of an entirely different dimension in peace, then you prefer that pleasure over the pleasure of anger. One gets into anger not for the sake of anger. Even in anger we are searching for joy.

L4: Yes, like excitement.

AP: Yes excitement. So instead of searching for joy through anger, why don’t you go directly to joy? And when you go directly to joy then you do not require anger as an intermediary. Then you say, “Oh! This middleman exacts too much of a price and also does not bring me the real thing. He promises joy but brings only agitation. So, I would rather now go directly to joy, to peace.”

L4: Some Buddhist schools of thoughts are saying that the desire to be happy and fulfilled should be dropped at the end to come to the real thing. What do you think about it?

AP: See as we are talking right now, I really do not have a desire to be fulfilled and this in itself is quite fulfilling. As I’m speaking, I’m speaking out of fulfillment so there is no question of desiring anymore fulfillment. You have all the right to be as fulfilled as your deepest desire of fulfillment. You in fact have a right to be fulfilled beyond your deepest desire of fulfillment and when you are that fulfilled, who wants fulfillment anymore?

To want fulfillment is to be unfulfilled. Fulfillment is an infinite cup from which you can drink as much as you want to and then one sip more.

Now who wants to crave.

Still we keep craving.



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Being non-resistant to anger

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Connect to Acharya Prashant:

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What is this thing called enlightenment that you are chasing?

Acharya Prashant:  She said that she feels worst today. She told that she came to India in 1989. Experience creates respect for her, the kind of commitment she has shown, the devotion she has put in all these years. And at the same time I found it quite tragic that someone should waste an entire lifetime chasing enlightenment. What you have to say about it?

Listener: I don’t feel it’s wise sincerely. Today I spent some time reading a poet named Rabia. I read about her life that she has been sold to sex trade and being forced to work as a sex worker for so many years and in that time yearning so much for union with God and upon fifty years old she finally got released from this and went on to become a very renowned saint who writes some of the most amazing poetry I have ever seen. I was reading some of the poems in which she speaks about her faith in God and describing reunion. I see her getting her reward.

AP: For the sake of solutions is it great to create problems? What is the problem of enlightenment? If you are chasing something it is surely a problem for you. What is this thing called enlightenment that you are chasing? Read more

On Anger, observation, middle path, and right action

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Question: It is said that the sage doesn’t get angry for long time. Can you talk about this?

Speaker: Do you bother about how other people love? If you have a real relationship with anybody; with a child, with a dog, with a woman, do you bother about how other people love? Why must you bother so much about how that particular sage was behaving or acting or performing miracles? You have your own heart, and your own God, your own lover. Why don’t you look directly at Him? And if you are really a lover, would you look directly at your beloved or would you look around?

There is a beloved and you are experiencing a distance between you and Him, and that distance is your only desire. You want to get rid of the distance. Your eyes are set on your beloved. Now would you talk about this and that? Would you talk about what is happening in the neighbour’s house? Would you talk about how they behave and perform and talk? Tell me. Would all of that be of any importance to you?

Read more

To change your relationships, let yourself change

Acharya Prashant (AP): One does not live with family, one lives in relationships.

Please understand this.

The son or the wife — as physical entities — can remain the same, yet the relationship can be different. So, one need not physically move away from them but the relationship has to be changed. Otherwise, the anger will not go.

Till the quality of my relationship with the world is the same, my quality of anger will remain the same.

Listener 1 (L1): But, my question is: the moment I am deliberately trying to change the relationship, just for example, somebody you think is a burden on you and that gives you anger. Now, one way of looking at it is move away from that, which you said that’s not the solution because you are seeing him as a burden in the relationship, that’s what is making you angry. There are many burdens in my life which I basically look forward as a pleasant experience, for instance when my child wakes me up in the middle of the night, I don’t get angry. It’s also a burden but I wake up with a whole lot of concern, good feeling and a fatherly love. So one way is changing myself from an old man to old man, to a man looking at an old man as a child, and changing that relationship. Maybe that is one way of doing it but then in that case, again, I am actually taking the help of another illusion to get out of it.

AP: No, not really.

L1: I am just thinking aloud.

AP: Yes, I am getting the gist of it.

Nobody will sustain a burden without getting something in return from the burden. One never gets angry at the other because he is a burden, it feels as if he is a burden on me, so I am getting angry at him  — it never really is the case.

One gets angry on himself for tolerating that burden.

And why does one tolerate a burden?

Because one is expecting something in return. There is some kind of a hidden greed. And, one gets angry at the greed. If the greed is not there, then the burden will also not be felt and the relationship will take a more healthy color. Why am I going to tolerate a burden? If something is a burden, I will drop it. But I never want the company of the person, I want something from him which I may not be getting, then the person becomes a burden. In a loving relationship, obviously, there can be no burden.

Now, what does it mean to change a relationship?

It does not mean to change something in the other person because the relationship is my relationship. So, my relationship cannot change without me looking at my mind. When I look at it, then my quality of relating with you changes. When I see that even as you are sitting here, somehow I am planning to get something from you, then I cannot continue with that kind of planning anymore. Are you getting it?

Being aware of oneself, one is able to bring about a mysterious change in oneself, an unplanned change, and that brings about change in relationships. What we always forget is: every relationship is my relationship. My relationships will only have the quality which is the quality of my mind. If I am violent, the fact will be that all my relationships will have a taint of violence in them — explicit or implicit.

First of all, I have to look at the quality of my mind, then the relationships change. Have you not seen this: ‘violent people are violent towards everybody’? They are not only violent towards their neighbour; they are also violent towards their dog or kid. And loving people have a quality that fuses out love not only to their wife but also to the entire world. You already know that. Right?

We have seen that and heard stories about that. We have also experienced it in ourselves at times, have we not? When occasionally you feel light and joyful, then don’t you feel like hugging even a stranger? Has it not happened to you?

L1: The world lits up!

AP: Yes, beautifully said. And when you are gloomy, then the entire world is dark. Even the most decorated places are simply dark. And that is spirituality — To look at oneself.

L1: It is a continuous twenty-four-hour self-correction.

AP: No, not self-correction; just a faint impersonal awareness. You cannot be doing it actively. If you say it’s a distillation, then one feels as if there is an entire system of process at work; it has to be very subtle.

L1: But that subtleness has to come from somewhere. How?

AP: That is a matter of Faith. That ‘somewhere’ is already sitting in our heart. It will come from there.

L1: So, this violence will go?

AP: This violence will get dropped. Not only will this violence go, the entire family of other attributes related to this violence will go. For example, there can be no violence without expectation. So the entire family of mental diseases related to violence will just become ineffectual. You will lose interest in them. You know, violence stays because you clutch to it. You lose interest in clutching to violence.

L1: What you are saying is that there is an analysis, which every time is releasing me from the clutch.

AP: It is not analysis; it is just a direct understanding; it’s like just seeing the Truth of it without analysis, without comprehension.

L1: Then how can I practice that? How can I be that? If Truth comes on its own and hits me, it depends on the Truth and not on me.

AP: That is very very accurately put — It depends on the Truth and not me.

You know how peaceful this statement is? Let Truth do what it wants to do, let it not depend on me. So I can only surrender to the Truth. It depends on the Truth and not on me. So I can only just surrender. And that is Peace. What you are thinking of as a statement of misery is actually a statement of deep liberation.

L1: Every word of yours is very disturbing; it is neither giving me peace of mind, and it is a very elusive thing. Ever since I sat for the first session without even hearing properly, not engaging myself, then automatically some engagement happened! I was feeling sleepy.

AP: It happened without your wish. So it depends on the Truth and not you.

L1: Only in the second half, I started asking you questions.

AP: And now we have the third half, so to say. So it depends on the Truth and not on us. It is not our deliberate desire that we are sitting here. There is some other grand plan at work. Has to be.

L1: I wanted to go home!

AP: And I didn’t know I would be sitting under this tree.

Worries. Huge worries. You talked about anger, I really do get angry. It’s not that intense anger; it’s just that, there is something that remains even when the anger is there and that is everything. I am very sure of this: even in the deepest anger there is something that remains.

That is good.

Then anger is alright.

There is that untouched spot which anger cannot really spoil.

Anger is not an expression of That. In fact, anger is purified by its touch.

L1: What I have realized is that: ninety per cent of anger is really helplessness.

AP: Personal helplessness.

L1: It’s basically insecurity.

AP: What will happen to me? Why didn’t my desires get fulfilled? And there is another anger.

There is another anger: Someone is sleepwalking on the road and trucks are approaching him. And, with great energy and intensity, you shout out. You actually don’t shout out, you go and punch him in the face. That is another quality of anger. And you are angry but this anger is not personal. Nothing of your self is at stake. This anger has a different quality altogether.

L1: The Guru’s anger is a corrective anger. How can somebody be so stupid so as to not see that this is good for them? So Guru comes and hits and he hits deliberately sometimes.

AP: The Guru can be angry at himself also. How could I forget? How could I get displaced? Even that is possible; there can be a disappointment but whatever is happening is happening in a different space; not in a personal space full of personal insecurities, ambitions, and such things.

The entire story is being played out somewhere else. It is a story. It is a story played out by greed, anger, lust, envy, jealousy and the rest of it. Everything is there but the entire environment is a little different.

Spirituality, rest assured, may or may not bring about directly perceptible changes in somebody’s life; it does happen with some people that either they begin with something new, or drop something old, so it is quite dramatic. With some people, nothing really changes on the surface. They continue living, working, sleeping the way they were doing it earlier as well. But something else happens, minor tweak.

And that minor tweak changes everything.

It is a juice of life!


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: To change your relationships, let yourself change

 


 

Further Reading:

Book of Myths:

myth-for-blog

This is the most challenging book one can ever come across. It will questions all the popular beliefs one harbours. Never imposing itself on the reader, at the same time the book facilities a thorough enquiry of popular knowledge which is blindly accepted as an obvious fact. It demolishes our so called holy concepts.

If you are someone who has read anything on self-help or on spirituality this book is a must for cleaning of spiritual information.

Paperback: https://goo.gl/VVD8Yg

Kindle: https://goo.gl/VsIucH

 

When you are sure of yourself, you feel less angry at others

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Listener (L): Sir, there are certain reactions within that I can see but cannot control. For example, whenever my wife speaks anything about business, I just go mad. I’ve tried to look at it also and at times, I see that and I relate that to she feeling that I am incompetent but somehow I am not able to help it. That reaction is so instant that the moment she says something about business and I just shout, I just scream.

Acharya Prashant (AP): When you feel more sure of yourself, then this tendency will reduce. Read more

Deploy the anger rightly

Anger is nothing but the expression of your own frustrated energy.

You know the direction to go, and you are not going in that direction, that energy will accumulate and spill over.

This is called anger.

Move.

Deploy that energy rightly.

Anger will no longer be there.

Anger cannot be right in isolation

Anger cannot be right in isolation.

If everything else about you is wrong and petty, then anger too is bound to be wrong and petty.

Do not be too bothered with the problem of anger.

Do not try to look at the one fragment of mind and quarantine it.

Whatever is the quality of your life that is also the quality of your anger.

When life is genuine, then anger is also genuine.

When life is fake, then all you have is fake anger.

When life has depth, then anger too, has depth.

When life is shallow then anger is just, as we said, poking and pinching.

Anger is often just an impotent and deceptive escape

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Anger

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, “You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

~Jesus, Sermon on the Mount Read more

A relationship based on emotions is a relationship based on ego

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Question: What are emotions?

Acharya Prashant: How do we identify emotions? If I am saying emotions, if I am using that word, how do you know that you are emotional?

L1: You feel it. Read more

With all your imperfections, you are Perfect

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Question: We are looking only from our own sensory experiences and conditioning. Then, how do I look?

Acharya Prashant: Continue to look from there. Continue to look from where you are looking. You do not require changing even that. Just honestly acknowledge, that looking from there makes you feel uneasy. Had you felt easy, you won’t have asked, “Sir, how do I look?” The question itself reveals that you are not convinced that you are looking rightly. So, continue to look the way you are looking because you have no option. Continue in your ways, but be honest to acknowledge. Simple, basic honesty is needed. Just acknowledge that this is not quite right. When you acknowledge that this is not That, then you don’t identify with it, then you don’t associate with it. Read more