On distraction of mind || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2019)

On distraction of mind

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Question: Acharya ji, I am unable to concentrate on anything. For e.g., I get easily distracted while studying my Maths book, and get attracted to playing online games.

What should I do then?

Acharya Prashant: You see, two types of things attract us.

One – where the attraction is tremendous. And the attraction is so tremendous, that you get totally lost in the thing that attracts you, and you are left with no space, or desire to enquire further.

Now something really spectacular, something really eye-catching, something really interesting, is attracting you. This attraction becomes so dominant on us, that we do not even want to ask that what that thing is, and why this thing is attracting us. And whether that thing holds any importance in our lives.

What the eyes see, becomes so heavy, that it totally occupies the mind. And the mind is then not free at all, to ask any questions. You could even say that we become dumb. We become dumb. But it’s a very pleasurable dumbness, because we are, as we say, enjoying that state of being attracted.

The one who is getting attracted, is getting totally lost in the thing, that is attracting him. And because he is totally, completely lost, therefore nothing is left of him, to make an inquiry, to ask a question.

What question?

“Why is this thing is attracting me?”

“Is it really important for me?”

“What would this give me, after the initial period of attraction?”

“Would I be left with anything substantial, for five minutes, or let’s say five months?”

“There would be a lot of pleasure, but what after these five minutes? What after these five minutes, and what was before these five minutes? What really happened, that this thing became so tremendous on me?”

These are important questions, but we are left with no space to ask these questions. Because the thing, the attractive thing, or thought, totally overpowers us. It overpowers us, it controls us. It has taken us in it’s arrest.

Now, we are left with no capacity to ask an intelligent question.

These are the first kind of things that we come across – attractive things. Attractive things, where the possibility of asking question, or inquiring, is impeded.

And, in contrast, there are other kinds of things, that do not look attractive on the surface at all. The moment you look at them, the moment you hear of them, the moment you think of them, no interest arises within. In fact, a disinterest may arise.

You may say, “O! What is there in it?” Or you probably don’t say anything, and just want to ignore that object. You would say, “It’s not exciting.” And now, what happens in this case? Please see.

It’s a step-by-step thing. It’s a scientific thing. Because you have already said that this thing does not interest me, therefore you are left with no possibility of asking a question. The matter has been closed, so why ask a question?

In the first case, why was no question asked? Because the thing appeared so attractive, that you were left with no time, space, or desire, to ask the question.

You didn’t ask, “What this thing really is?”

“It appears nice and beautiful, but what is it really, and what would it give me?”

“Am I being intelligent, by getting attracted towards it? Probably I am. Then I will allow myself to be attracted even more. But if I am not being intelligent by moving towards this thing, why should I hurt myself?”

That was the first case. In this case, again there is no inquiry. In the second case, why there is no inquiry? Because the thing appears so unattractive, that you say, “Oh! C’mon. Move on. I don’t want to look at it. It’s not exciting, I don’t like it. There is nothing in it. It does not arouse me, so I will not ask any question.”

Here again if you could ask, “What is in it for me?,” then the picture would change. You say that when you are with your Maths book, then you do not feel any urge or attraction. Then do something else. What is it that you must do?

Ask yourself, “In the first place, why am I with this Maths book? Why am I holding it at all? Is there a reason? What is the importance of this book?”

If this book really has some importance, then you will find that you are compelled to read. And if it has no importance, then you will throw away the book. Let’s see whether the book has some importance? All that you need to do is, ask a sincere question. Whether it’s the Maths book, or some online game, that is attracting you. Ask the same question.

“What is in it for me? What will I really get from this?”

“After the five minutes, or fifty minutes of interest, or disinterest, what would I be left with?”

Ask, “Is it so that I am being cheated? Is it so that somebody is making a fool of me, and exploiting me by giving me, a little dose of excitement?”

There answer would sometimes be ‘Yes’, and sometimes be ‘No’. We need not predict the answer. Let it emerge. Just as when you conduct an experiment, in a science lab, the result, the observation, emerges. You don’t want to predict it.

And you don’t want to conclude beforehand. You want to see what is happening, don’t you? Similarly, just ask this question, and see what happens. You may find that magic is happening.

Before you accept or reject something, before you get wildly drawn to something, or before you just ignore something and move on, pause for five seconds, just five seconds, and ask, “What is in it for me? What is the real importance it holds?”

Do not be carried away by emotions. Do not be carried away by thoughts. Do not be carried away by impulsive conditioning. Just wait for five seconds, and ask,”Is it important?”

And that is the most important question, most life-giving question to ask.

“Is it really important?”

You will find that you are able to avoid a lot of trash.

And you will find that now you are able to love and respect, a lot of valuable things, and people, in life.

The moment you ask this, “What is this thing, this person, or this activity, bringing to me?”

Would you do that?

The Maths book is not just a Maths book. It stands for something. There are benefits from reading, and there are repercussions of not being with it. Dwell over them. “What is Mathematics? Why should I read it?” May be you will find that Mathematics is nothing, that it is a foolish thing to read Maths. And if you find that, then feel free to throw away the Maths book.

But, in case you discover, that the thing, the person, or an activity, is indeed important, then obviously, we are all honest people. And having discovered that something is precious, we will want to keep it.

Having discovered that somebody is lovable, we would want to be with him. Having discovered that the field of study, is indeed important, we would want to pursue it, right?

Five seconds.

“What is in it for me?

“How does it hold any importance?”

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

Watch the session:  On distraction of mind || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2019)


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Acharya Prashant: About changing one’s religion for love

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Question: Can I change ‘my’ religion for the sake of someone I Love?

Acharya Prashant: What do you mean by religion?

If religion just means following a particular code of conduct, if it means that I am loyal to a particular book, if it means that such and such will be my pilgrimage centers; If that is what is religion, then this religion is just something that you have been conditioned to believe in, it is just a belief system! And belief systems come and go.

Today you can believe in one thing, tomorrow you can believe in something else. These beliefs anyway have no permanency. They don’t have a deep root. Because these have been externally implanted. They are not coming from a very depth, the very soil of the mind. So, they can change. That is how people keep on changing their religions. Every year, lakhs of people change their religion. These religions that can be changed, they anyway don’t have any worth.

But that is not the true meaning of religion.

Real religion cannot be changed.

What you can change is your cult or your sect, ‘panth’, that can be changed. ‘Dharm’ cannot be changed.

Because there are no different religions.

True religion is just one.

How will you change it? There is no second religion.

Where will you go? Yes, there are many sects. There are thousands of sects, but there is only one True religion. And that religion is not about the following something. That religion is not about visiting a temple or a church or a mosque. That religion is not about being loyal to a particular book.

Read more

Who would believe in poor Jesus?

When you follow even without understanding, that is Surrender.

That is what Surrender is. You do not know what the whole thing is about and yet there is something that tells you, to just go along with it.

AP: You have a beautiful body; how will you use it to make people come to you?

L: Display it.

AP: Now look at Mahavir and Lalla. If you want people to listen to you, they must first of all be present in front of you. Why not attract them this way?

Stories have no use, in fact, those stories must be dropped, after a point. After a point, if you are really wise, you will see the foolishness and the falseness of those stories.

L: Why are Miracles added to all the stories?

AP: We need them.

Otherwise, who would believe in poor Jesus.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on a Sufi story: The obvious falseness of our stories


 

Acharya Prashant on a Sufi story: The obvious falseness of our stories

Mojud – The man with the inexplicable life

There was once a man named Mojud. He lived in a town where he had obtained a post as a small official, and it seemed likely that he would end his days as inspector of weights and measures.

One day when he was walking through the gardens of an ancient building near his home, Khidr, the mysterious guide of the Sufis, appeared to him, dressed in shimmering green.

Khidr said, “Man of bright prospects! Leave your work and meet me at the riverside in three days’ time. ” Then he disappeared.

Mojud went to his superior in trepidation and said that he had to leave. Everyone in the town soon heard of this and they said, “Poor Mojud! He has gone mad.” But, as there were many candidates for his job, they soon forgot him.

On the appointed day, Mojud met Khidr, who said to him, “Tear your clothes and throw yourself into the stream. Perhaps someone will save you.”

Mojud did so, even though he wondered if he were mad.

Since he could swim, he did not drown, but drifted a long way before a fisherman hauled him into his boat, saying, “Foolish man! The current is strong.

What are you trying to do?”

Mojud said, “I don’t really know.”

“You are mad,” said the fisherman, “But I will take you into my reed-hut by the river yonder, and we shall see what can be done for you.”

When he discovered that Mojud was well-spoken, he learned from him how to read and write. In exchange, Mojud was given food and helped the fisherman with his work.

After a few months, Khidr again appeared, this time at the foot of Mojud’s bed, and said, “Get up now and leave this fisherman. You will be provided for.”

Mojud immediately quit the hut, dressed as a fisherman, and wandered about until he came to a highway.

As dawn was breaking he saw a farmer on a donkey on his way to market. “Do you seek work?” asked the farmer, “because I need a man to help me bring back some purchases.”

Mojud followed him. He worked for the farmer for nearly two years, by which time he had learned a great deal about agriculture but little else.

One afternoon when he was baling wool, Khidr appeared to him and said, “Leave that work, walk to the city of Mosul, and use your savings to become a skin-merchant.”

Mojud obeyed.

In Mosul he became known as a skin-merchant, never seeing Khidr while he plied his trade for three years.

He had saved quite a large sum of money, and was thinking of buying a house, when Khidr appeared and said, “Give me your money, walk out of this town as far as the distant Samarkand, and work for a grocer there.”

Mojud did so.

Presently he began to show undoubted signs of illumination. He healed the sick, served his fellow men in the shop during his spare time, and his knowledge of the mysteries became deeper and deeper.

Clerics, philosophers and others visited him and asked, “under whom did you study?”

“It is difficult to say,” said Mojud.

His disciples asked, “How did you start your career?”

He said, “As a small official.” “And you gave it up to devote yourself to self-mortification?”

“No, I just gave it up.” They did not understand him.

People approached him to write the story of his life.

“What have you been in your life?” they asked.

“I jumped into a river, became a fisherman, then walked out of his reed-hut in the middle of the night. After that, I became a farmhand. While I was baling wool, I changed and went to Mosul, where I became a skin-merchant. I saved some money there, but gave it away. Then I walked to samarkand where I worked for a grocer. And this is where I am now.”

“But this inexplicable behavior throws no light upon your strange gifts and wonderful examples, ” said the biographers.

“That is so,” said Mojud.

So the biographers constructed for Mojud a wonderful and exciting story: because all saints must have their story, and the story must be in accordance with the appetite of the listener, not with the realities of life.

And nobody is allowed to speak of Khidr directly. That is why this story is not true. It is a representation of a life. This is the real life of one of the greatest Sufis.

~ Idries Shah.

Tales of the Dervishes.

Acharya Prashant: When it comes to you, it is never the output, of anything. It is never part of story. No story can ever explain. Why things happened? Why the real happened? You may as well say, “I climbed a tree, I feel down a tree, I chased a dog, I hopped on to a bus, I ate a fruit, I slapped a stranger and it happened.” That’s the most logical, it can get. This is what happened. Now, real is not happening because of any of these, it just happens. And mind you one is not allowed to talk of Khidr directly. How do you, narrate the role that Khidr has been playing in your life.

Khidr is?

Listener: Truth.

AP: Grace. Yes, Truth, Grace whatever.

And how do you tell someone, how and when Khidr comes to you and what he says? Because even you do not understand. How can others understand?

When you follow even without understanding,

that is Surrender.

Read more

Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: The beautiful woman who shows no discretion

8“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful

woman who shows no discretion.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 11:22)

Acharya Prashant: Tarun has asked me to speak on two verses, and I’ll pick the most spicy one of the two.

“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 11:22)

There is that which has been given to you, and then there is that which lies at the center of all that which has been given to you. You can not only gift a pig with a gold ring in her snout but actually drape her with all kinds of gold fineries, ornaments, in fact, gold clothing. Now all around the pig is gold. And what lies at the center of all the gold? ‘The pig.’ So, there is gold all around, and within the gold is the pig. Yes, Tarun? All around there is the gold. Over the legs, over the back, on the snout, on the forehead, even the tail is covered in gold and at the center of the gold is the pig.

Similarly, there can be talents and attractiveness and proportionate body all around somebody, and at the center of all the attractiveness is the pig. So lovely eyes outside, lovely body outside, fair complexion, proportionate limbs, glowing skin, flying hair, shining teeth, lovely elocution, banks of knowledge, praises and, praises, all-enveloping somebody. What is inside the envelope? ‘A pig.’ It’s a beautiful envelope, lovely eyes. What nose, what curves, the most curvaceous envelope you’ll ever see, and you come close to the envelope and open it, and out jumps the pig. The face was so beautiful that you went close and close and looked little behind the face, and you saw that the pig was searching for some shit.

Man’s talents, man’s intellectual prowess, man’s knowledge, man’s accomplishments, man’s senses, man’s ability to analyze, memorize, compare, contrast, conclude, all of these things are given to man. All of these things are given to somebody that somebody must not be a pig. What will a pig do with gold? You must have heard the story of the monkey who got a sword. What did he do with the sword? He only brought misery to everybody around him and to himself. In fact, there was a monkey, it’s another story, who loved his master greatly and the master had a gun. And once when the master was asleep, the monkey picked up the gun, aimed at some place and fired, and he fired as monkeys fire.

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The moment you think about it, you have lost it.

You have to already be there to reach there. Those who travel a lot, they never reach. Those who are already there, they keep reaching again and again and again. But when you are getting it again and again and again, then there is no verification of the happening, then there is no satisfaction in the happening because then there is nobody to tell you that you are accomplishing something. So, now you cannot be proud. Now you cannot say that an achievement has happened.

You wanted to say that you achieved. But, the ones who really achieved are the ones who are continuously in achievement. So, they cannot claim any achievement, which brings us to something interesting.

We do not want salvation. We want the thought that we are salvaged. We do not want enlightenment. We want the thought that we are enlightened. We do not want the Truth. We want the thought that we now have the Truth. So that is the reason why you chase so much, why you miss so much because ultimately you want to have the credit that you succeeded in your chase. You will never succeed.

The one who has it does not feel great about it. That which you really want is very simple, very present, very much within reach, but it is not at all the way you probably imagine it to be. The ones who have it they do not find it special at all.

It is there, all right, nothing special about it. Neither is there anything special about that which is wanted nor are those in any sense special who have it. And that is another reason why you miss them because you are looking for special people and special places and special occasions. You have it and let that remain a secret. The moment you talk about it; the moment you disclose it, the moment you think about it, you have lost it.



Read the complete article: Nothing

Nothing

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Acharya Prashant: Topic in hand is ‘Nothing’.

It is remarkable that just as other words have a certain call — because they mean something because they point at an object — the word ‘Nothing’, too attracts. When Kunal (one of the listeners) said that the topic right now would be ‘Nothing’, was it totally disappointing? Did you feel like ringing your hand and saying that, well there ought to be a substantial, material topic? How can the topic be ‘Nothing’? Did that happen? Even ‘Nothing’ arouses a certain curiosity; it has a certain pull, a certain charm.

What is it that happens to the mind when it hears the word – ‘Nothing’? When the mind first hears the word ‘Nothing’, it is just language. A word in the language has come to the mind, the word is ‘Nothing’. The specialty of this word is that unlike other words, it does not point at something substantial, something positive, rather it points at only at an absence, there is nothing. And ‘Nothing’ means that, which usually won’t be there. What is it that is usually there? We are talking life, as we always do. We are not talking some high flowing, esoteric spiritual concepts. We are talking life. The life that you and me, everybody experiences.

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Attraction towards flesh and attraction towards gold are one

When Ramakrishna says ‘woman’, what he means is ‘Prakriti’ – everything that appears, moves, can be seen, can be touched. And when he says ‘you must be cautious of women’, what he means is that you, the one you are, the individualized eye, has the tendency to ‘not to watch Prakriti’, ‘to not to have a healthy relation with it’ but to rather acquire it and exploit it. This tendency is called LUST.

Lust is the tendency of the individualized self, the ego, to seek salvation in the material world. The material world is being referred to as woman by Ramakrishna. So, woman is not really a gender here nor is the woman a danger! Neither is woman a danger nor is even the Prakriti or the material world a danger.

What Ramakrishna is repeatedly warning against is our own tendency, not somebody outside of us. He is warning us against ourselves. He is not warning us against somebody else. He is warning us against our desire, our inclinations to be attracted to Prakriti, which is material, which is world, which is flesh, in the hope that we will get peace there. Seen in that light, woman and gold are one. When the ego is attracted to material flesh, then it is attraction to women. When the ego is attracted to insentient material, non-living material, then it is attraction towards gold.

Fundamentally, attraction towards flesh and attraction towards gold are one and the same thing. The incomplete ego raises a hope, builds a story that something outside of it, something visible, something material, something sensual, will give it peace, will give it completion.



Read complete article: Why have some sages advised caution against ‘woman’?

Why have some sages advised caution against ‘woman’?

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Question: Acharya ji, what is meant by ‘woman’ when Shri Ramakrishna says, “Souls enmeshed in worldliness cannot resist the temptation of ‘woman and gold’ and direct their minds to God, even though these things bring upon them a thousand humiliations.”

Acharya Prashant: It is not possible to go through this reading and not be astonished as to what Ramakrishna really means by ‘women’. In our time and age, it comes as a bit of a shock that a holy man, a wise man, is nullifying one particular gender, right?

But that is not really the case.

When Ramakrishna says ‘woman’, what he means is ‘Prakriti’ – everything that appears, moves, can be seen, can be touched. And when he says ‘you must be cautious of women’, what he means is that you, the one you are, the individualized eye, has the tendency to ‘not to watch Prakriti’, ‘to not to have a healthy relation with it’ but to rather acquire it and exploit it. This tendency is called LUST.

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The Fundamental Attraction

In ordinary attraction, you want to consume the other one. It becomes an object of consumption. In love, you want to surrender to ‘That’ which attracts you; which means that Real love is possible only with ‘That’ which is so immense that you feel like bowing down to it; that you feel like being devoted to it, being surrendered to it.

You cannot ever love the petty, the small; that is not your nature. If there is something petty and small in front of you, it can probably be used. But it is not something to which you can kneel down. It is not something to which you can surrender.

Real love is possible only with an immensity, an absolute totality, which is sometimes called as ‘God.’
You are attracted to that which is limited;
and you love that which is unlimited.
Your attraction to the unlimited is called love.
We all have that attraction to the unlimited.
Who is satisfied with small and ordinary and limited? Don’t we all have that urge to find something that is so absolute, so large, so relaxing, so immovable that we can quietly relax in the fold of ‘That’ like a baby? Sleep peacefully without a concern, without a worry.
That is the fundamental attraction: The mind wanting peace; the confused intellect wanting clarity.
These wants are love.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

We all are Lovers!

There is nobody who is not a lover. Your love may make you run in different directions but that does not make us separate, or different beings. One may seek satisfaction in reading, the other may seek satisfaction in drinking, the fourth may seek satisfaction in travelling, the fifth in raising money, the sixth in carnal pleasures, the seventh in meditation techniques, the eighth in something else — that does not make these eight fundamentally any different from each other.

We all are just the same; we all are lovers. To love is to search for that final Peace. To love is to look for that ultimate full stop. And unless that full stop comes, we will not stop.

Obviously, that’s the definition of full stop. Unless that full stop comes, we will keep limping, and we will keep running because it is hurting. It is hurting quite bad. Man’s life is nothing but this movement from place to place, from person to person.

If you look at the smaller picture, you’ll feel that one is caring for his family, you may feel that one is studying to gain a degree, you may feel that one is a responsible employ, you may feel that one is an inspiring sportsman, you may feel that one is a good writer, or painter, or artist, or doctor, or architect, or an engineer. You may feel that one loves to travel, so one is going from country to country, you may feel that one has thirst for knowledge, so he is reading book after book, but behind all this there is just the thirst of mind waiting for its final redemption.

Unless its final redemption comes, you can keep travelling to all the countries of the world, visit all cities and villages — large and small, have relationships with all men and women, and animals, and places, cultivate all kinds of fancies that you can, but you will not stop. No man will be the last. No woman will be the last. No ideology will be permanent. No state will last. You will remain, forever, a searcher; an anchorless wanderer.
Loneliness is Love. To be lonely implies that you are being pulled. To be lonely implies that loneliness hurts, and if it hurts, you want to cure it, you want to get rid of it. This want to get rid of loneliness itself is Love.
I repeat: I asserted, “Loneliness is love,” but that assertion is of no use unless loneliness is understood. Loneliness might be love, but it would remain a love unfulfilled, unless loneliness is understood, unless one has the fearlessness, and the faith to go into direct contact with the feeling of loneliness. “Yes I am feeling lonely, and I will not run away from it. I may shiver, I may tremble, I may feel a great discomfort, yet it does not pay to escape this.” ‘Love’ and ‘loneliness’ are together, but love would reach its climax, its finality, its dissolution, only if one understands his loneliness.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page


Whenever you are attracted, remember one thing

Whenever you have an attraction towards anything, please know who is really calling.

Person is not calling you, Peace is calling you. And the person is useful only as long as he is a harbinger of peace. Otherwise, the person has no value. Person carries no intrinsic importance in himself. The importance of a person in your life is only as much as he enables you to find your Real nature; which also means there can be no other rightful intention in relationship. Any and every relationship, if it’s a genuine relationship, it has to be a relationship that enables you to be Yourself. Which means if there is a relationship where you have to act fake, you have to pretend, you have to wear a mask, then that relationship is not for you. Kindly get rid of it. Which also means that if there is a relationship in which the other, the friend, the partner, the lover, the associate makes you feel more like a person then that relationship is not for you, kindly drop it.

If somebody causes turbulence in your mind, excitation of any kind, pleasure is great excitation, great disturbance. If somebody becomes a source of pleasure for you or somebody uses you as a source of pleasure for himself or herself, kindly avoid. It’s titillation, it’s disturbance, it’s agitation, you are going away from the center, from Peace. If in the company of somebody, you start feeling more like a man or a woman, more like a mother or a father, then that person is pushing you in identities, kindly avoid.

The only Real one for you is the one in whose presence you feel just light, just free, just nobody. You don’t feel a wife, you don’t feel a mother, you don’t feel a husband, a father, a friend, an uncle. Find that one out. A person is worth being with only if you can be nothing in his company; absolutely light! Absolutely alone! Free of responsibilities and obligations, free of identities – that is the right one.

You come in contact with him and you forget all the stuff that you have been carrying. You come in contact with him and all your stories lapse for a while. You sit in front of him and time stops. You are with him and worries have ceased. You are with him and then there is no universe. That is the right one. Take him as the one sent by fulfilment itself.

#DailyExcerpt


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

Love and loneliness

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Love and loneliness will actually go together.

You see, love is forever a movement. Love is an attraction, a pull. We all feel that irresistible urge and it is so quick, spontaneous, and comes without preparation, planning or warning that we hardly have the time to know about its origins, or about the possible expanse it may take. It just happens.

Often you know the source of the attraction. Often it is not so mystical, often it can be resisted. Yes, it does happen that way too, but then the next wave arrives. If you get over one attraction towards anything-anybody, the next round of attraction starts. Objects keep varying, the tendency to be attracted remains. Are we one on this? Has this been your experience? Read more

Acharya Prashant on his book ‘The Lover you have been missing’

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Listener: Sir, I was reading about love and attraction in your book  ‘The lover you have been missing’. So, could you talk more about it?

Acharya Prashant: Love too is an attraction. 

We must understand the difference between what we call as ordinary attraction and love.

Ordinarily, when the ego is attracted to something or somebody, the ego is attracted for its own ends, for its own purposes. You are attracted to food because food gives you nourishment. You are attracted to a person because the person gives you security or company or pleasure. You are attracted to an idea because that idea stimulates you mentally. That is your normal attraction. In this, that which you are being attracted to is just being serving as a provider of your need. The ego is using the object of attraction as a servant—I am coming to you so that you can do something for me. Read more

Love and images of Love

Question: Would you please talk a little more about love? You have spoken a lot about love as helping. But just love, what’s that?

Acharya Prashant: Oh yes, but I could have talked about love had we been really ignorant about love. The barrier that this speaker faces while talking to anybody is that people are already very knowledgeable. There is hardly anybody here who would not write an entire book on love given the chance. If I circulate sheets of paper and say, “Kindly write a paragraph or two on love”, is there anybody who would say, “Sir, I know nothing, I cannot write anything, I haven’t ever even heard the word.”? Anybody? Read more

The fire of Love is stoked only by the oblations of mind and body

All the false notions of myself

That once caused fear, pain,

Have turned to ash

As I neared God.

Love is

The funeral pyre

Where the heart must lay its

Body.

~ Hafiz Read more

True Love always involves three

I want both of us
To start talking about this Great Love
As if You, I and the Sun were all married
And living in a tiny room.
Helping each other to cook,
Do the wash,
Weave and sew
Care for our beautiful
Animals.
We all leave each morning
To labor on the earth’s field.
No one does not lift a great pack.
I want both of us to start singing like two
Traveling minstrels
About this Extraordinary Existence
We Share,
As If,
You, I, and God were all married
And living in 
A Tiny
Room
~ Hafiz

Read more

Is the river really flowing?

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Shri Prashant: What is a flow? A flow implies change. Yes, the river indeed does look like a flow, change. But is there any ‘real’ change? Water is being substituted by water, but it looks like flow, and if one thinks that there is ‘change’, then that is good entertainment for the mind, is it not?

One could keep saying – the thing is changing, and when it is changing, something ‘else’ is coming – ‘else’ by definition, must be ‘new’. If the ‘else’, the substitution, is the same as what it substitutes, then there is no change, right? Read more

In the bright light of Truth, the falsenesses and ignorance of the past lose their charm

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अंगना तो परबत भयो, देहरी भई विदेस।
जा बाबुल घर आपने, मैं चली पिया के देस।।

अमीर खुसरो

(Translation)

Angana to parbat bhayo, dehri bhai vides

Jaa babul ghar aapne, main chali piya ke des

Amir Khusro

When one sees the Real, the Truth, then the attachment to one’s conditioned past disappears. In the bright light of the Truth, the falsenesses and ignorance of the past lose their charm.

Khusro uses angana, dehri – parts of house – to denote the structures that confined you in the past. He says that they no longer attract. You once thought of this confinement as your own house, but now you realise that you actually belong elsewhere.

Similarly, Khusro uses babul – the biological father- to denote the worldly relationships. He says that parents of the body, relationships of the mind, are false. The real belonging is with the Supreme Beloved, whom he has found, and all must find.

The pointer is towards finding the Self, which necessarily means that the unreal and the false lose their sheen. The one who finds the Real precious Self is unable to hold on to all that now appears worthless.

Acharya Prashant

(17th Jan, 2013)

Love, take me to the Heart!

Speaker: Every single line here makes use of characters, objects, metaphors, images, that is the only way language can proceed. That is the tool of language as well as the limitation of language. It will have to talk about something. Whenever you will use words, whenever you will use language, obviously, you would be talking about something or somebody. Read more