The relation between religion and spirituality || Acharya Prashant (2018)

The relation between religion and spirituality

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Question: Acharya ji, my sister believes in Christianity, and she has also changed her religion. Now, she says that I am on a wrong path. What is the right path? How are religion and spirituality connected?

Acharya Prashant:

When the subtle becomes gross, rather the subtle is turned into gross,

then all these religious prejudices are born.

So, when someone says, “Jesus,” then someone must ask, “Who is ‘Jesus’? What do you mean by ‘Jesus’? The son of Mary? Who is ‘Jesus’?” When somebody says, “I have found my path,” the question to be asked is, “Whose path?”

From the gross, the inquiry must move to the subtle.  And that is also the relation between Religion and Spirituality. The Truth is subtler than the subtlest.

Spirituality is subtle, Religion is gross.

We get attracted to names, forms, conventions. Jesus is not the name and form of ‘Jesus’. Who is ‘Jesus’? And if you look at the Bible closely, then there is enough in the Bible, to clearly see, and demonstrate, that those who are ardent evangelists, are the ones, who have probably missed Jesus the most.

There are two kinds of missionary zeals. One is – when you have really dissolved, really found, and then what you have found, disseminates itself from your being, or rather non-being. This is Love. You are like the Sun, you must radiate. This first form of zeal is Love.

And then the second form of zeal is, when you have not found, and you know that you have not found, and because you have not found, you are insecure, and to cover-up your insecurity, you want to gather numbers around you. Because insecurity requires a crowd. Insecurity requires that there must be more like you. Insecurity has a need to prove itself.

So, to convince yourself, that you are not as much in a debauched state, as you really are, you turn outwards. This is ‘evangelism’. You are trying to convert the other, because you are yourself not converted. And there is a great difference between love and evangelism.

In Love too, you bring something precious to the other. But, in Love, you bring something precious to the other, for the sake of the other. In evangelism, you bring something to the other, for your own sake, because you know fully well that you are insecure. Because you know that you are stuck somewhere, and are lonely.

“I am the only one who follows a particular religion in the family. So, won’t it be great if I have some support? Won’t it be great if my numbers multiply?” The question to be asked is, “Do you have the real thing?” And I am not saying that one has to follow only path to get to the real thing, or for that matter one has to follow any particular path to get the real thing.

So, it’s not the question of paths, it’s the question of whether you have IT. If you have IT, then your approach, then your relationship with the entire family, would be very different. And if you don’t have IT, then you are just acting as an enemy, by trying to convert someone to your side. 

It’s not then about Christianity, or Hinduism, or Theism versus Atheism. It’s simply the question of whether one has it. Do you have it? And if you have it, then please tell me what does ‘Jesus’ mean to you. Who are you? Who are you?

When you say you have found your path, whose path? This question of identity, will befuddle and anger, many a zealous evangelists. When they say that they have found God, the only question that you have to ask is, “Who has found what?” And this will irritate them so much.

When Jesus says, “I am the life, the light and the way,” what does Jesus mean by ‘I’? Does Jesus mean, the body of Jesus? Then what does Jesus mean by ‘I’? In fact, the best way to tame a Christian , is to read the Bible. The best way to show to a Hindu, that he is ignorant, is to read the Gita. 

Chances are, the Christian would be the one, who has no relationship with the Christ, whatsoever. The Hindu would be the one who has no relation with Krishna, in any way. So, when they say, “Come to Jesus,” say, “Yes, I will come to Jesus, directly, through the Bible.” And go to the Bible, and meet Jesus.

And I assure you, Jesus is tremendously beautiful. But when you will really be with Jesus, then Christians will not like you, because they do not want you to be with the Christ. They want you to be a Christian.

And there is tremendous difference, in being with the Christ, and being a Christian.

So, how to deal with your sister? Go to Jesus, he will tell you. Your sister wants to take you to Jesus, I too am encouraging that. Kindly do go to Jesus, but go directly. Go to the Bible.

Yours truly too has spoken a lot on Jesus. Why don’t you share one of those videos with her? Support is available. Fire!

Listener: Some say that even Christ was not a Christian.

(laughter)

Acharya ji: Jesus is beautiful, Krishna is beautiful. Go to them.

Listener: Are they not same?

Acharya ji: In form and name, obviously not. In essence, obviously yes.

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

Watch the session:  The relation between religion and spirituality || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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The real meaning of devoting one’s action to Shri Krishna || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Questioner: Dear Acharya Ji,

As you always mentioned, one must perform his actions, while remaining established in Ram, who is the essence of all actions. Your teachings have given me clarity that selfish motives behind my actions strengthen the ego. Knowing this, I practice paying little attention to my motives. And I try to work to offer everything to divine. This also reminds me of Shri Ramakrishna.

‘As long as we are continuously battling the ego, it is never going to vanish. Stop pedaling this, it will travel some distance and eventually stop.’

~ Shri Ramakrishna Paramhans

Is practice useful?

Is this the practice that Lord Krishna teaching to Arjuna through Karma Yoga?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, practice is useful. And yes, I can without consideration or analysis or any thoughtfulness, say that this is what Krishna is teaching to the Arjun because the Truth is one.

There cannot be a central difference between what Ramakrishna says and what Krishna says. And even at the level of fact, Shri Krishna does recommend to Arjun, the importance of abhyas. And abhyas is practice.

What is the practice that you have taken upon yourself?

Your practice, as you have said, is to pay little attention to your selfish motives. And you try to offer everything to divine. This is what you practice. As far as the practice of not giving importance or weight to one’s desires or motives is there, it is a good practice. One has to treat oneself a little casually. One cannot take himself seriously. Nobody deserves to be taken seriously, at least not by himself. Others might be deluded because they don’t know you. Others may take you very seriously but how can you take yourself seriously?

You know, who you are. And by that I do not mean Atman or Brahman. You know, you are the one who keeps itching at all the wrong places. You know, you are the one, who is so frequently visited by all the base desires.

You really want yourself to take seriously?

It is a great spiritual practice to not to take oneself seriously.

This practice is needed because desires are anyway visiting you. This practice is needed because, you are continuously being told by someone, to give great value and importance to yourself. So, this practice is needed as a resistance. This practice is needed as a counter. It is a good practice.

Now, we come to the practice of offering everything to the Divine. This cannot be a practice, Ashish. As long as you are not doing it for yourself, it is sufficient.

Now, do not start doing it for Krishna. I know Krishna tells Arjuna to offer all his actions to the Lord i.e. himself, Lord Krishna. But you must understand a little, you must understand the essence of what Shri Krishna is saying. When Shri Krishna is saying offer your actions to me, all that he means is do not offer your actions to yourself. Do not act for your petty personal motives.

You will ask me, ‘What is the difference of not offering one’s action to himself and offering actions to Krishna?’

There is a great difference. When you say that you are not offering your actions to yourself, it is a pure statement. This is you, the entire expanse of the petty you, and you are saying whatever you will do, the cause and the effect, will not be for yourself because that is silly.

In contrast, when you say that you are doing something for God or for Shri Krishna, then who is this God or Shri Krishna, that you are talking of or devoting to?

Is he again not a construct of your fertile imagination?

So, it will be dangerous.

Truth is formless.

Krishna really is nirakar (formless). The saakar (embodied) Krishna that you have seen in forms, and in deities, and in paintings, and statues is a Krishna belonging to a particular century, a particular era. He is not the nirakar Truth. He is Truth, as the Truth express itself in a particular time, at a particular place. That time, that place are gone.

You are separated from those times, and those places by countless miles, and countless years. The Krishna in flesh and blood, who appeared before Arjuna, and talked to Arjuna will not be very useful to you today. But if you will imagine Krishna, you will imagine Krishna only in a particular way. You will imagine Krishna as the one, with the crown on his head, with the flute in his hand, the blue colored one, the beautiful one, the one with the peacock feather, the one on the Arjuna’s chariot, the one who spoke Sanskrit, the one who wielded the Sudarshan Chakra (a kind of a mythical weapon).

I repeat, this Krishna that you are thinking of, and imagining is a particular expression of the Nirakar Brahman in a particular century at a particular place. That expression, if conceived today, will not be very useful. But when you will conceive, you will conceive only that. The result will be that your imagination will not be very useful. As imagination always is, useless.

So, don’t devote your actions to Shri Krishna because Sri Krishna that you are conceiving, imagining, is not the real Shri Krishna.

The real Shri Krishna has no form, or the real Shri Krishna has great great form.

Even Arjuna needed, mystical eyes, to know the real form of Shri Krishna. And you know, what that real form was, it was so immense that you can call it formlessness. So, it is enough that you practice to not devote your actions to yourself. Do not practice to devote your actions to the Truth, to the God or to the Lord or Shri Krishna.

You are too small to conceive or imagine who Sri Krishna really is. How then will you devote your actions to him?

You want to devote your actions to an object and Shri Krishna is so large that he cannot be objectified. How then, will you devote your actions? To whom? You can only devote something to an object, and the real Shri Krishna is not an object.

So, limit yourself to just practicing a certain casualness. A certain beparwahi. You must be able to laugh at yourself. You must never accord too much value to your desires and opinions. Do not think too much of yourself.

Take yourself as a bubble.

And if possible, crack a joke or two upon yourself.

It’s great to be the butt of one’s own jokes!


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

Watch Full Discourse: The real meaning of devoting one’s action to Shri Krishna || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Series of great miracles

The subtle can be perceived only by the subtle.

We talk as if miracles happen sometimes. ‘Time’ itself is a miracle.

To believe in miracles is to believe in your personal helplessness. To believe in miracles is to accept that the center of doing is not you, that what is happening is not really your accomplishment.

The miracle tells you that neither have you done it nor do you understand what has been done that is too much for the ego.

You will never be very open to believing in miracles. To believe in miracles is to believe in grace. ‘Grace’ is a miracle. To believe in miracles is to believe in love, truth. You would much rather believe in yourself; Love, truth, grace, they obliterate you. The work of God is miraculous. The work of God is not something that the human mind can make sense of, and that is a miracle. But as we just said, if you cannot make sense of something you feel humiliated. There is another mind that feels delighted when he sees something of the beyond happening. He has faith.

The very existence of Jesus is a miracle. No other miracle is needed.

Life is nothing but a series of great miracles.

The very existence of the Jesus is a miracle. Obviously, everything that happens through him is bound to be a miracle.



Read the complete article:  Acharya Prashant on Jesus – What does it take to believe in miracles

On Jesus: What does it take to believe in miracles?

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Acharya Prashant: The next question says:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

After reading the story of Lazarus, this is what comes to the mind. We all want to see miracles in order to believe in the existence of a God. Something that is magical or out of the ordinary. Most of us have witnessed those moments at some point in our lives. Yet those moments pass and we go on with our normal lives as if nothing has happened. So what does it then take to believe fully and completely? And why do we find it so difficult?

‘Miracles’ are continuously happening Nimisha. But to whom are the miracles happening? Who would perceive the miracles as happening? The one who is to perceive is lost in the gross material. He can perceive nothing but that which is loud, sensory, material.

The subtle can be perceived only by the subtle.

That is the reason why blunt demonstrations like the one in the case of Lazarus are talked of. That Lazarus loved Jesus was in itself the highest miracle. But that miracle would not be appreciated. It would not even be called a miracle because we are gross people. We have lost the sensitivity, the receptivity to perceive, record, register the little, the faint, the delicate and that is the reason why we talk only of some miracles. We do not talk of a continuity of miracles.

We talk as if miracles happen sometimes.

‘Time’ itself is a miracle.

Read more

Identify with God

When Jesus is acting and he is doing, then it is not arising from a motivation to serve his own personalhood. He has already arrived. He is home. He does not want to go anywhere or reach or become better. He is now merely doing. He is not aspiring. He is the doer, not someone who wants to be transformed through the doing.

 

When you just do then you have the right to call yourself the doer.

 

You are not discontented, your tendencies are discontented.

 

Fear is subjugating you. Fear has dominated you to the extent that it has stolen your identity. So in spite of you not being the doer, fear being the doer, you identify with the doer because you’re identified with the fear. You are not getting mad in lust, it’s your deep latent sleeping tendencies that are so lustful.

 

But because you in your ignorance, in your childish cleverness fight the truth, so you have no option but to identify with lust. And when you identify with lust, the doing of lust becomes your doing.

 

Very often you have to pay the price in spite of you not being the culprit.

 

What does it mean to identify with God? It means to identify with completeness.

Identify with God.

 

Give yourself up, and if you cannot do that then submit yourself as you are to the truth, that’s what the devotee does.

He says accept me as I am, O Lord! I’ve given myself totally to you. Good or bad I’m yours.

I’ll not even try to improve myself. I’ll not even try to correct myself.

I’ve lost all doership. Even to improve myself I must be left with a modicum of doership. I have no doership left at all.

If I am evil, cunning, ugly, deceptive, I’m giving myself to you. You take care of me. I’m nobody to improve myself.



Read the complete article: On Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: Don’t accompany the thief!

On Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: Don’t accompany the thief!

 

Poster 5

The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of the poisonous snake.

To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith. Be joyful.

Ashtavakra Gita

(Chapter 1, VERSE 8)

Acharya Prashant: Ashtavakra Gita has been quoted.

“The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of the poisonous snake. To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith. Be joyful.”

Ashtavakra Gita (Chapter 1, VERSE 8)

The question says “The Ashtavakra here is saying that doership is sin. But Jesus says ‘Let me do it. I’m the doer’. So why is there this contradiction? ”

Obviously there can be no contradiction. If Ashtavakra is saying that doership is sin, and Jesus is saying that He’s the doer, then obviously Ashtavakra and Jesus are not talking about the same entity. When Ashtavakra says doership is sin, he’s saying let not the ego act. Only the ego is interested in claiming doership. Only the ego is interested in creating and maintaining a divide in which one part can do something to the other.

The doership of the ego is always an exercise in fear, incompleteness and exploitation. Therefore, Ashtavakra is saying that doership is sin. When Jesus says in many place, on multiple occasions that He is the doer or the knower, he’s not talking as a limited person. He is not talking because the talking would gratify him, inflate him, magnify him, or help him become something. His doing is no doership at all because the common doership that we see is always the doership of fear and faithlessness.

When Jesus is acting and he is doing, then it is not arising from a motivation to serve his own personalhood. He has already arrived. He is home. He does not want to go anywhere or reach or become better. He is now merely doing. He is not aspiring. He is the doer, not someone who wants to be transformed through the doing.

Read more

You don’t really want lust, you want love

You think that lust will provide for your deepest spiritual need. You think that by getting a woman, you will get some kind of liberation. Don’t you see how mad you are when mortal love strikes you? Do you see how ecstatic you feel when that happens which you call as falling in love? No, it is not merely the arrival of a new woman that has made you go bonkers. The woman has come with the hope, with a promise, the woman has come as God to you.

It is not the arrival of the woman that you are celebrating, it is the arrival of Godliness that you are celebrating. That is why you are taking lust as you friend. Lust brought the woman to you and you are thinking that now through this woman you will get some peace and that is why you celebrate that woman. Later on of course you discover that no man or woman can give you peace. So, your hopes are dashed.

But in the interim you get some opportunity to keep wallowing in your misplaced hopes. Krishna wants to liberate us of our misconceptions. So, he says that these are enemies -anger, lust, attachments. All of them bring false promises to us. All of them, in the garb of bringing us closer to the goal, to god, only keeps us separated. That is why, lust has to be called an enemy. When you stop looking at lust as a friend, then lust is neither a friend nor an enemy. Then you are free of lust, then lust is free of you.

Free of lust, you are relaxed and beautiful. Free of you, lust too is free and beautiful.

You had asked, “How to have love rise from lust?” By seeing that you are in lust not for the sake of lust but for love.

Objects just attract each other. The ego is not really attracted to objects. Objects attract only each other. The ego is attracted only to the one who would really bring contentment to the ego. But the ego uses objects as means when you can see that all your lust is for the sake of love. You are using lust just as a means. You don’t really want lust, you want love. Lust is a means. Then you can let lust just be and move directly to love. When you see that it is not at all effective to use lust as a means of fulfillment then you leave lust in its own place and you move on. Rather, you move back to your own place.



Read the complete article: Can love arise from lust?

Can love arise from lust?

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श्रीभगवानुवाच:

काम एष क्रोध एष राजोगुणसमुद्भवः

महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणं 

The Supreme Lord said :

It is a lustful desire & resulting anger born of Rajas, which is sinful & all- devouring; know this as your true enemy in the world.

Bhagvad Gita, 3.37

“Love has to arise out of Lust. If you avoid lust, you will be avoiding the whole possibility of love itself. Love is not lust; true but love is not without lust – that too is true.”

Osho

Question: Lust is said to be an enemy in the Bhagvad Gita, but Osho says that out of lust love arises. How to have love arise from lust? Read more

Anything that promises to make you better is an allegation upon you

To be in Yoga is to not touch anything, anybody, any situation that causes a sense of littleness in you. Even if that littleness is induced in you in a holy pretext. Even if it is induced in you as an ostensible means of welfare. You refuse to admit it in.

Somebody may come and say, “You need protection.” You quickly see through what he is saying. You realize that what he is saying that I am weak. If I am not weak, why would I need protection? You refuse to entertain the advice. You refuse to take that person seriously, this is Yoga. Somebody comes and tells you, “You need God and God is all that you need.” You refuse to entertain this person. Because if he is saying that you need God then surely he means that you do not have God. He is proving that you are God-less. You refuse that person.

Somebody comes and says, “You need a lot of self-enquiry.” You immediately refuse this person because if you need to look, see and discover then surely first of all you must believe that you do not know that you are ignorant, which you are not. To be in Yoga is to refuse everything that keeps you little and limited. Littleness would not come to you as littleness. Littleness would come to you as friendly advice. Littleness would come to you as brotherly concern. Littleness would come to you as the sermons of a teacher. Littleness would come to you as a promise of security.

Had littleness would be honest enough to admit its real name, you could have easily refused it. But littleness rarely admits its real name. Littleness comes, wearing the mask of things that appears nice and sweet and promising. Be very cautious of all this stuff that is always ready to enter your mind. Anything that promises to make you better is an allegation upon you. Why is it an allegation? It is an allegation that you are currently not alright.

Anybody who offers to improve your life or help you realize that which you do not know, is actually proving to you that ignorance is what you are. The advertiser who is telling you that the next home or the next position or the next car will add something to your life, is actually causing Viyoga in you. Because he is proving to you that unless you have that house or that car, there is something missing in life. And you buy that in. Why do you buy that in? Arjuna too must have bought a lot of those things!



Read Complete Article: Action without attachment is Yoga

Action without attachment is Yoga || Acharya Prashant on Bhagwad Gita (2016)

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योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि संग त्यक्त्वा धनंजय |

सिध्यसिध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ||

~श्रीमद भगवद गीता

//2.48//

Perform your actions, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna),

Being established in or integrated with Yoga,

Abandoning attachment and

Remaining even-minded both in success and failure.

This evenness of mind is called Yoga.

~Bhagwad Gita

Acharya Prashant: The science of uniting the individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness, this equanimity is known as Yoga. Which equanimity is he talking of? Becoming equipoised in success and failure. Could you get a more concise and direct definition of Yoga? Perform your activities, giving up attachment and become equipoised in success and failure – this is Yoga.

What does it mean to remain equipoised in success and failure? Read more

If you are an Arjuna, then there has to be a Krishna for you

Arjuna is nothing but a flow of thoughts. Krishna is an inviting stillness. Till the time thoughts keep flowing you will try to be your own master. Till the time you want to live life based on your planning, you will never be able to know the right action for you because the right action cannot come from planning. The right action cannot come from the memories of the past or fear or hope of the future.

If Krishna is a man then there is no possibility for you to know and be guided by the Krishna, because the Krishna who spoke to Arjun in the bodily form is long dead. So are you so unlucky. Was grace reserve for Arjun? No, if you too are Arjun then there has to be a Krishna for you, as well. You surely are Arjun because Arjun’s dilemma is your dilemma. If you are Arjun, there surely will be Krishna in your life. That will not be evident to you if you in anyway want to appropriate this beautiful words of Krishna, leave them untouched. Do not interpret them using your little intellect. You will only come to wrong conclusion and all conclusion anyway that you have are wrong.



Read the complete Article: Krishna is the heart of Arjun

Krishna is the heart of Arjun

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Acharya Prashant: The ‘Bhagwad Gita’ discourse, the form of a dialog, commences in the theater of Kurukshetra. The first thing to be understood is that when a wise man, a sage, a prophet speaks, he is not really aiming to communicate concepts. It is just the limitation of the listener that he must be spoken to in words. A deep emptiness, a vast field of clarity is sought to be communicated. Words are just a medium. The immediate context is just that, a context, a pretext.

The Krishna-Arjun dialog apparently is about a particular situation, a particular man, his relatives, but really it is something else.

Arjun represents the mind. Krishna represents the center, the “Aatman”. The mind is lost as it always is. Read more

If you are the one who is doing the Karma, you would always be the one who would worry about the results of Karma.

Anyone who says that Krishna has said that, act and don’t think of the results, don’t worry about the results, does not understand Krishna. He is saying, “Let action happen, Karm hone do tum karta mat bano. Let action happen, you don’t become the doer, let the doing take place.”

Not pushing things, not blocking things. Letting existence flow. Neither am I trying to make things happen, nor am I trying to stop things from happening. There is a particular symphony, a particular arrangement, a universal order, it will take its own course.
Gita is talking of effortless action. Action is happening, there is no one who is making a mental effort. That’s the message of Krishna.
If you are the one who is doing the Karma, you would always be the one who would worry about the results of Karma. Freedom from the results of Karma is possible only when you do not become the Karta(doer), only when you know that this is happening through me, not by me.
Krishna is saying, “Let the game play you, you don’t play the game. Let the game play you, the game very well knows how to play you.” There is a universal order, the game knows how to play you. If the game could give birth to you, if the game could give sunlight and fresh air to you, if the game could make you breathe and digest and grow, then the game surely knows how to play you, you don’t need to worry and be tensed, you don’t need to think about the future.
Be absorbed within, stay centered and let the happening happen.
The simpler word is let it. Let it, don’t block it, don’t push it, you get out of your way, that’s​ how Zen puts it. Get out of your own way, you will flow, life will flow, you are the one who is blocking the flow. Get out of your own way and that is what Krishna is also saying the same thing that Zen says.

Read the complete article: Let action happen, you don’t become the actor

Let action happen, you don’t become the actor

 

himalaya1

Question: Sir, it is written in Bhagwad Gita and is often quoted by wise “Karam kro, fal ki chinta mat karo” (Act and don’t think about the result.), so my question is that in this contemporary world, is it really possible for any one of us to do our jobs without expecting any result?

Acharya Prashant: So, first of all what you have quoted is not at all correct. Anyone who says that Krishna, what’s your name?

Listener: Mayank.

AP: Mayank, sit. Anyone who says that Krishna has said that, act and don’t think of the results, don’t worry about the results, does not understand Krishna. Krishna is not saying Karm karo (Do the action). He is not at all saying, ‘act’. He is saying, “let action happen”. He is saying, “Let action happen, Karm hone do tum karta mat bano. Let action happen you don’t become the doer, let the doing take place.” Read more

Yoga is freedom from that which you think yourself to be

 

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न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्ध : कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ।।

श्रीमद भगवद गीता (४. ३८)

(Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge.

A man who has become perfect in yoga, finds it within himself in course of time.)

Acharya Prashant: Krishna, brings us to Yoga, along with certain words – Knowledge, time, the self. Let us discover, what Yoga is, and what is the relationship of Yoga to knowledge, to time and to the self.

न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

“Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge” – It is always, easy to misinterpret, misunderstand a Krishna, a Buddha. They speak from their highness. We listen from where we are. And they too are confined by language. Though they are artists of language, though their language plays around, though their language breaches the  of usual boundaries of meaning. Still, language is language, something man-made. And whatever is man-made, will always struggle is fully carrying the import of that which is beyond man, which is not man’s creation.

So, Krishna says, “Nothing purifies like knowledge.” In the world of Krishna, ‘Knowledge’ has a very special meaning. The word, ‘Gyana’ there, does not refer to the usual, sensual, memory based knowledge, that we are accustomed to. When Krishna says, “Knowledge”, he means, that which helps you see the limitation of what you generally call as knowledge.  Krishna says, “Knowledge is a great purifier.” But for most of us, knowledge, is the prime agent of corruption. For most of us, knowledge is the greatest bondage. Knowledge is, what keeps us heavy. Elsewhere in classical literature, The Shiv Sutra, very crisply put it in two words, “Gyanam bandhah”, Knowledge is bondage. Read more

The Myth of Yoga || Acharya Prashant on Bhagwad Gita (2016)

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Acharya Prashant: So, what is the setting of the Bhagwat Gita? The Bhagwat Gita is a part of the epic, Mahabharata, which is a story of princely clans, running over many generations. So, one side, one group of allies by the name of Pandavas, are ranged against their cousin brothers, by the name of Kauravas. The setting is a battlefield. Krishna, is the Charioteer, of the lead warrior amongst the Pandavas, his name is Arjun. We must go deeply into the setting, first of all.

There is a conflict, in which, brothers, relatives, acquaintances, have all been set up against each other. Arjun’s great grandfather is on the opposite side. Many of Arjun’s friends, are on the opposite side. Hundreds of his cousin brothers are on the opposite side. The teacher, who taught him all his martial skills, is on the opposite side. The teacher’s son too, is on the opposite side. Read more

In the name of spirituality, entertainment sells, titillation sells, pleasure sells

Question: Do you believe in [Censored]?

Acharya Prashant: What is [Censored] I have not read any such thing. Do not quote this and that author here. We are talking real stuff, not entertainment. If you know, this particular author that you are talking of, for sure you will not know Dattatreya.

L1: Who?

AP: That’s what. The result of knowing such pop authors, is that you do not know the real ones. You will be able to go to the real one, only if you get rid of the popular ones.

L1: Finally, if they are all saying the same thing. Ramayana says the same thing, Mahabharata says the same thing, [Censored] says the same thing. They are all saying the same thing. They all mean the same thing. There is nothing different. I mean, nothing different in anyone. The question was asked because there is a confusion in my mind…

AP: If they say the same thing, why are you confused? Could they say the same thing, that same thing would have cut through all the confusion? You can have billions who are saying the same thing, does that matter? Does that matter?

Read more

A Course in Realization: Bhakti & Purushottam Yoga from Bhagavad Gita

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Reading scriptures on a regular basis is most central to spiritual growth.

Ancient spiritual texts like the Upanishads and Gita are more relevant today than they were ever before.

To spend a lifetime without the words of the saints, the avatars and the gurus is to lose a lifetime.

Today, if mankind seems to be nearing catastrophe — if climate change, social injustice and violence have become the norm — it is because man’s mind has gone astray.

A Course in Realization, a classroom-based learning program led by Acharya Prashant, is a humanitarian initiative towards disseminating clarity and intelligence in the world.

The methodology of this program is to engage in an in-depth and rigorous examination of scriptures by relating them to the everyday realities of life. Relevant sections from scriptures like Srimad Bhagawad Gita, Upanishads, Brahm Sutras, Ashtavakra Gita, etc. are studied to unpack the ancient mysteries contained in them. Sessions are conducted by Acharya Prashant himself at Advait BodhSthal, Noida.


Course Title:
Bhakti Yoga and Purushottam Yoga from Bhagavad Gita

Dates:
6th March onwards

Time:
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Venue:
Advait Bodh Sthal, G-39, Sec. 63, Noida, U.P.

Total duration:
840 minutes

To register, send an email to requests@prashantadvait.com
Or contact, Sh. Apaar @ +91-9818591240

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On Ashtavakra Gita and Bhagawad Gita: The man beyond the world

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There is no aggression nor compassion, no pride nor humility,
no wonder nor confusion for the man whose days of samsara are over.

Ashtavakra Gita (Chapter 17, Shlok 6)

Acharya Prashant (AP): Whose days in Sansara are over.

Must be closer to death, some terminal disease. Must be dying.

It is a good point to begin with. It’s a good word to use. Live in the world, don’t be worldly. When Ashtavakra says that his days in the world are over, all he means is that his worldliness is over.

There is no aggression nor compassion, no pride nor humility, no wonder nor confusion for the man whose days in Samsara are over.      Read more

The real meaning of Mauna (Silence)

(Speaker in conversation with Shri Edson Mattos from Brazil)

Mattos: Thank you for allowing me to attend this session. I’ll be very quiet and just observe.

Speaker: In fact it would be even better if you speak. When we meet in our office, which happens twice a week, our discussions or deliberations center around life, mind, and the way we look at things, how we perceive what we perceive, what we want, illusions, facts, the light of Truth and then to aid us in these discussions we take texts from all times and places. We pickup stuff from the Oriental traditions, we have the Vedantic tradition, the Buddhist tradition, the Taoists. We also take stuff from the Abrahamic traditions, so the Sufis, the Bible. That is how we proceed. The clarity sessions happen twice a week in the office.

And occasionally, once a month or so we go out to a bit of a remote place for a period of around a week and we organize our learning camps there. We intend those places to be very secluded, man-less, civilization-less, almost like a jungle.

Mattos: Do you practice Silence?

Speaker: The emphasis is on the essence of things. So, Mauna (Silence) at the surface level is just wordlessness, which is good initially as a tool because the mind’s tendency is to remain busy and act. Words are a form of acting. So, to go against the tendency is to size up the tendency but that is all. If Mauna (Silence) means wordlessness then that is all one can do. It always remains on the surface; though it is useful. When we take up Silence we try to let the inner Silence let us know the real meaning of Silence. What really Silence is.

Mattos: To live Silence.

Speaker: Yes, to live Silence, and the living of Silence may actually involve lots of words. One may speak the Silence within, and that is beautiful. The entire rainbow is available, emanating from the core of Silence. Hardly have we ever practiced Silence, yet Silence pervades everything that we do, all that we talk of. Be it Silence or self-inquiry or Love or Truth, those old culprits, the spiritual subjects, Joy, Freedom.

The emphasis is on coming to the essence rather than just the functional aspect of it. What happens is that when one is looking for something then it pleases the mind if one gets that thing quickly in a form, in a way that is apparent to the eyes and rest of the senses. It pleases the mind because it is an indicator to the mind that the search has fructified. Let’s say I am looking for Love and I come across a person who promises me love and that is happening all over the world with the young and the old alike. It pleases the mind that I was looking for Love and I got love, in a form, visible, in a way that I can touch and feel. I will be quickly impressed and I will want to state and declare to myself that I have been successful, that my search has yielded results. I am not really wrong; it’s just that there is much more to it. The form is always a fraction of what the formless has to offer. Even to say that it is a fraction is to bring the form to the same dimension as the formless. So, we can’t even say that it is a fraction.

Mattos: It is impossible to speak of the formless.

Read more