Without an inner firmness, does one even exist? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Without an inner firmness, does one even exist

Question: Acharya ji, you said earlier, that whatever emotions one goes through, like – anger, greed, sadness, jealousy, anything that we go through, one must examine it. I am examining it, in relation to, whichever object in front of me, it is arising. Is this, what is – the observer, the observed, and the process of observation?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Explain.

Questioner: So, I see a luxury car in front of me, and there is greed, arising out of me. I see, a woman who is conventionally considered to be pretty, and there is lust arising out of me. Each of these emotions, that are coming out, is in relation to the objects in front of me.

So, my understanding of this, and going more and more, in depth of this, is that how it is going to work? And, do I have to apply this to more and more objects?

Acharya Ji: The more you apply it, the more continuously you apply it, the more you see that you exist only in relation to objects. Eureka!

The girl turns you a man, the car turns you a consumer. Who are you?

Questioner: In that moment, I am what that object turns me to. But that is not what – I am.

Acharya Ji: How do you know?

Questioner: I am – Atman.

Acharya Ji: How do you know?

Unless you come to a particular firmness, the Atman is just fiction. Is it not?

Questioner: Yes.

Acharya Ji: So, instead of dabbling in fiction, it is far better to acknowledge, that – ‘I am just nobody. I am almost like a public space – available to all, open to all, being used and misused, and trampled by all.’

‘The girl uses it, the car uses it. I am nobody, I belong to nobody. I have no identity. I am a public good. The car uses me, to run over the place. The kid uses me as a playground. So many use me, as an open space for waste disposal.’

‘I have no firm name, or identity. I become what the other wants me to become.’

‘The car manufacturer, wants me to be buyer. So, I look at his car, and turn into a prospective buyer. The woman, consciously or sub-consciously, wants me to be an attending man. And I turn into an attending man, as per her dictate.’

If you can realise, and come to this utter helplessness, you will revolt against yourself. You will say, “No more of this.” You will then realise, that all these inputs are actually, assaults and invasions. And had you really been nobody, you wouldn’t have felt bad about it. A stone does not cry against slavery, or does it?

If the fact of your enslavement, curdles your blood, it means there is free-spirit in you.

But that free-spirit gets invoked, only when presented with the fact of slavery.

If you do not know that you are enslaved, your free-spirit remains dormant. Or, if you keep presenting slavery itself, as the free spirit, even then the free-spirit remains just asleep, peacefully.

For the free-spirit to rise, and act, and rebel, you have to first acknowledge to yourself, that you are neck deep in slavery.

And then there is a contradiction between – the freedom of your spirit, and the fact of your slavery.

Now there is a conflict.

You need this conflict to arise.

You need an inner war.

Peace is great, but false peace, is deadly.

The seeker of peace, must be present and ready, to forego false peace, and experience disquiet and turbulence.

Questioner: That’s tough.

Acharya Ji: Awakening begins with suffering.

Obviously, it is not going to be pretty, when moment after moment, you are bombarded with the fact of your impotency and helplessness. Is it going to be pleasant? Not at all. You would want to resist the fact, deny the fact. You would squirm and cringe.

But the fact is, for real, and therefore must not be denied. And when you admit and acknowledge that fact, there is bound to be an inner strife.

By spirit, you are free.

And in life, you are in bondage.

These two cannot go together.

Let there be a war.

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Without an inner firmness, does one even exist? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00

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

How to unburden the mind

Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

coverpage

Acharya Prashant on Upanishads: The limited, the limitless, and the dance

(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opporunity to connect to him directly, click here.)

Acharya Prashant: Hema, is saying, “Good, bad, evil, are all reflections of our inner-selves. How do we understand the limitless, with our limited mind?”

As long as you keep calling yourselves limited. You will continue to have a fascination towards comprehending the limitless.

You must ask, “Why does the infinite, the immense, appeal to you so much?” It appeals to you only because you have fundamentally defined yourself as limited.

What is bondage? Except the word ‘bondage’. The moment you say that there is a word called ‘bondage’, you have brought something fictitious to Life. The moment you call something as a bondage; you have called yourself a limited entity, vulnerable to bondage. Is the limitless susceptible to bondage? Just by talking of a few things, or even by seeking solutions to a few problems, you needlessly substantiate those things and problems.

You are saying, “How does one understand the limitless, with the limited mind?”

It’s exactly the other way round, Hema. You are asking, “How does one understand the limitless, with the limited mind?”

You know how it works?

You understand the limited because you are limitless.

Obviously the limited cannot comprehend the limitless.

But the limitations can be comprehended.

By whom?

By the limited one? Obviously not!

The limitations can be comprehended, because ‘you are unlimited’.

The unlimited one is not to be comprehended. The unlimited one is the one shining behind all comprehension!

How are you able ‘to know anything’? All things are limited. But if the knowing of the thing is also limited, would you ever ‘know’ really?

The ‘thing’ is limited. The ‘knowing’ of the thing, the ‘understanding’, is never limited.

Read more

Far better than introspection is attention.

Attention says, “Whatever is happening, be in that, be alive, be present.” Give everything to ‘what is’ and forget everything else. Let all your concerns disappear, Let all miscellaneous thoughts disappear. Let all planning, all worries disappear. Nothing, no movement in the mind at all. A complete disappearance of all disturbances. Just presence, this is attention. And when you are attentive, after that introspection will appear foolish. You will say, “What should I introspect?” The event is done, the game has been played, the rock has been walked, the food has been eaten, now what is there to introspect?

And when I am introspecting about the past, I am losing out the present. Every second that I am ruminating about the past is a second that I am losing out in the present. So the general meaning of introspection is very misplaced. Very misplaced. It is just as we said, a ‘Postmortem’. The event has been done and now you are uselessly thinking about it.

Far better than introspection is attention. Attention says, “When the event is there, let the event be there and nothing else, let everything else disappear, dive into the event, give everything. And when the event is not there, then forget the event. Then there is no need to think. When you are awake, be fully awake. and when you are asleep, be fully asleep. When you are asleep, don’t keep thinking about the day. Don’t keep having bad dreams. When awake, fully awake, when asleep, fully asleep.”



Read the complete article: Past, future and introspection

Past, future and introspection

SR Generic_ EnglishQuestion: Sir everyone says that introspect yourself, realize your true potential. I have failed to do that.

Acharya Prashant: There is no need. Actually what you are calling as introspection is usually a post-mortem. What people typically call as introspection usually means that “Once the event is done, now think about it” and that is only wastage of time. That is only wastage of time. Attention is something totally different.

Sitting over here if you are introspecting, you are wasting your time and my time. Why? because you will be introspecting about something that happened in the morning. Now, is it morning right now? But you will be introspecting. And all introspection is about an event that has gone by or is the past. Attention is something totally different. I ask for attention. Read more

All knowledge will come only from the outside.

One contrary piece of information can prove all your accumulated knowledge wrong. Can it not?

One little evidence piece of evidence can prove all theorems of Physics wrong. One little bit of information can destroy all your trust in whatever you trust. A fifty-year old relationship can be shattered by just one bit of news.

But, that knowing that arises from heart is not so weak. It does not crumble so easily. It has a great certainty about it.

Are you getting it?

You come to a scripture, and you have never read that scripture before. It may not even belong to your organized religion. Nobody has ever recommended it to you and yet you read it, and you know that something worth worshiping is in front of you. You meet someone and you just fall in love; nobody tutored you to fall in love. And ostensibly there is nothing in that person which is very attractive. You do not know what pulls you there, and you are not an ignorant being, you are not drunk, you are awake in your senses, and yet you know what is happening is not sensible.

If someone asks you to explain, you will not be able to explain but deep down you know that you are doing the right thing – causeless, proof-less, and yet certain. This is the quality of knowing. Now phased with this knowing, all the knowledge that the world gave you, appears so weak and trivial and also deceptive because it had been lying to you all this while. What was it that the worldly knowledge was suggesting to you? That all knowledge will come only from the outside. All knowledge will always have a cause, that all knowledge will be something that can settle in the memory, all the worldly knowledge was always memory-to-memory transfer.

And here, neither is it arising from memory, nor is it going to the memory. It is so subtle that sometimes even consciousness even fails to detect it. How will it then move into memory?

When you live in such a way, where there is grace, where there is love, where there is a reason-less devotion, then you are free from the bondage of worldly knowledge.

 This is what is being called by Ramana Maharishi as the elimination of false knowledge.



Read the complete article: The elimination of false knowledge

The elimination of false knowledge

Question: Acharya Ji, what is ‘elimination of false knowledge’ that Ramana Maharishi talks of when he says, “The individual is miserable because he confounds the mind and the body with the Self. This confusion is due to wrong knowledge. Elimination of wrong knowledge is alone needed. Such elimination results in Realization.”

So the question is what is the knowledge that should be eliminated?

Acharya Prashant: All knowledge that we have, comes from the world. The world gives us knowledge in various forms, ways, structures, fields. But, whatever be the structure of the knowledge that is provided to us by the world, there is one underlying theme always common in all knowledge coming to us from the world through our senses.

What is that common theme? Read more

Has there been something about this day which did not belong to time?

Time, as human beings have it, has only one proper function – to take you into the timeless. If time is able to take you into the timeless, then time is properly spent. Then you can say that you have lived a nice life; your life has not gone wasted. But if time has had everything related to time about it, and not the touch of timeless, then your time has been just…

Wasted.

It’s not only about a lifetime. It is about every interval of time.

So,

This day, today’s day, whether or not it has been of any avail, can be known only by one parameter-

Has this day had a touch of timeless?

Has there been something about this day which did not belong to time?



Read the complete article: How do I ensure that my life is not going waste?

How do I ensure that my life is not going waste?

Presentatio2

 “When the day is done and the light has failed,

I searched my pockets but not a cowrie find:

What shall I pay for ferry fee?”

~Lalleshwari

Acharya Prashant: What does going back mean?

Listener: Freedom from  birth and death.

AP: But if you have a desire to go back, then it requires something more than just sudden chance. Coming happens in sudden chance. It happened, right? None of us had — as we are at least consciously — wanted to be born. It happened. But liberation wouldn’t just happen. Birth, just happens. Death, just happens. But liberation, does not just happens.

Read more

Ignorance is misplaced knowledge, not a lack of knowledge

28930455673_eca9656f77_o

Knowledge is Bondage

~Shiv Sutra(1.2)

Acharya Prashant: Second sutra says, “Knowledge is bondage.” To know too much is hell!

Listener 1: Ignorance is bliss!

A.P: Ignorance does not exist; only knowledge exists. Great knowledge is called ignorance. When you know a lot, then you are called ignorant. There is nothing called ignorance. It is just your knowledge which stands between you and the Truth; hence it is called ignorance.

Never think that ignorance exists. Only knowledge exists. Abundance of knowledge is called ignorance. You will never meet an ignorant man. You will only meet a man too stuffed with knowledge. And he will be the most ignorant man you will ever meet!

That is why it is being said that,”Knowledge is bondage.”

How does this Sutra show up in our daily lives?

Read more

Enlightenment is the most fundamental myth

29552870395_31bbf16891_o

Question: What is the most fundamental step in the liberation of the Self? Is liberation of the Self a gradual process or is it instantaneous like switching on a light?

Acharya Prashant: It is neither. Liberation is just another name for the Self. The Self by nature is liberated. Hence there can be no liberation of the Self. One is already and always liberated.

Liberation is what you really are. Even in the moment of your deepest apparent bondage, you are liberated. Even if you believe yourself in all kinds of chains, you are still liberated. Bondage is just the thought of bondage.

And pay attention: bondage is equally the thought of liberation.

Slaves are those who believe they are slaves and slaves are those who believe they are free. The beliefs themselves are the bondage, it does not matter what you believe in.

Read more

How I yearn for freedom, how I love my slavery

Question: “How I yearn for freedom, and how I love my slavery!” It’s a quotation by you, what does it mean?

Acharya Prashant: On one hand we keep saying that we want to be free. On the other hand, we say that ‘we’ want to be free. We say, “I want freedom.” Now ostensibly it looks as if ‘freedom’ is the most important word in this statement. We are looking at that statement in the poster which says, “How I yearn for freedom, and how I love my slavery.” So when we say, “I want freedom,” apparently the most important word here is freedom.

It looks as if freedom is the most important thing that we want. But you know really, among these three words, ‘I’, ‘want’ and ‘freedom’, if you are asked to leave one, which is the one you would most readily leave? Quite prepared to leave? It would be freedom. You would find leaving your wants a little more difficult. And which is the entity that you would find absolutely difficult to leave? ‘I’. So really the most important word in the statement, ‘I want freedom’, is ‘I’.

Read more

International Women’s Day: Together they suffer and together they will celebrate

WhatsApp-Image-20160603 (1)

There is nothing called woman’s liberation in isolation.

Woman is oppressed and the man too is oppressed, albeit in a different way.

Woman’s liberation is man’s liberation.

They will always be together.

Together they suffer.
And together they will celebrate. Read more

Love is intolerant, love interferes

IMG_4876

Acharya Prashant: I see that I am in peace, but my neighbour or the other one is living in violence, then I just won’t say, “It’s none of my business.” I will interfere!

Love is not a peaceful coexistence with violence.

The question is why one must interfere?
If one is already at peace, then why must one interfere? Read more

Acknowledge your bondage!

The scriptures lay down very clear conditions for the one who must proceed with reading them. They say one of the conditions, very clear condition is a deep burning desire to be liberated. There cannot be a deep burning desire to be liberated unless you are acknowledging that you are in bondage! So, those of us who feel that they are not in bondage, they are free individuals, the scriptures are not for them; spirituality is not for them. For them, there is this world, you go and have a good time as long as you can, there are many who are out there, remained out there their entire lives, and then they die.

It’s alright.
For liberation, there has to be bondage, so the desire is to get rid of all this. Of course, it is powered by the Truth. It is driven by the Truth, the Truth within, but it cannot be of the Truth because Truth cannot be an object, not an object that your mind can fancy or conceptualize.

If you are in a burning house, your desires cannot be of serene meadows. Caught, trapped in a burning house, will your desire be of the Himalayan snows? What would be your only desire? To somehow escape the burning house.

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

India and Tolerance || Acharya Prashant (2017)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here

Acharya Prashant: We are here together and this meeting, the togetherness, is the central thing. Today happens to be Ramana Jayanti, an auspicious day. And on any day, what matters is the closeness, the meeting. For name sake, we always have a certain topic to discuss. It’s a kind if an entertainment: the name, the topic. How does it matter what we discuss? That we are really talking, is what matters. We could discuss this or we could discuss that. Someday, I might just forget and I would really like to forget the appointed topic for the day. I may just come here and be with you and say anything on any topic or not say anything on any topic. How does saying matter? But anyway, since its a ritual to speak and speak on an honored topic. So we shall dutifully follow the order and talk about the topic at hand. What does it happen to be?

(Smiles)

Good that you too are forgetting, or you don’t know at all. Knowledge is anyway always a burden. Forgetfulness keeps all of us much lighter. May we forget more and more. But I know, inspite of our forgetfulness, we are very vigilant beings. So we remember. So what do we remember about the topic for the day? What is the topic?

Listeners: India and tolerance.

AP: India and tolerance.

Words are words. Aren’t they? Words are words. What is India? Another word. Just like so many words that we utter every day morning till sleep, India is another word. The meaning is supplied to the word by the utterer of the word. Is it not so? What does food mean? Or love mean? Or the river Ganga mean? Or a person mean or a place mean? Nothing. The meaning is supplied to the word by the one who utters the word. Otherwise, a word is a word.

And what kind of meaning will I fill any word with? I am the one who fills meaning in a word. Don’t I? A wall means so many different things to different people. An animal or a mountain means entirely different things to different people. And even to the same person, it will mean differently at different times and in different situations. Wouldn’t it? So I am the one who supplies meaning to the word ‘India’ as well.

What kind of meaning am I going to imbue this word with? What is the meaning that I impose upon anything in the world? What does that meaning depend on? I call something a car; I call something a tree; I call something a women; I call something money; I call something God; and when I call these things with these names, I am the one who supplies meaning to them. What kind of meanings will I supply? How will I fill up these words? What does that filling up depend on?

Listeners: Value system, mind.

AP: Yes. Well said! You said my values system, you said what’s going on in my mind. Could I just say, “What I think of myself? What I take myself to be?” Depending on what I take myself to be, I paint the word with a thousand colors. The entire pallet is available. I pick up the colors according to who I think I am. If ten fellows look at a woman, they would look at her so differently depending on who they know themselves to be and this ‘knowing’ is what they ‘think’ themselves to be. Right?

You look at a child, you look at a temple or a mosque, and the meaning that you supplied to it depends on who you are, and that is one thing that must be remembered. When you are talking of India, when you are talking of tolerance, you are not talking of anything external, you are talking of yourself because to any word, you are the one, we are probably repeating it for the sixth time, you are the one who will supply the meaning to it and the meaning will depend on what I think yourself to be.

Now, for the sake of convenience, let’s just say that man thinks himself either as material or as material. That is only way you can think of yourself — either as material or as material. Sometimes, you think yourself as gross material and sometimes as subtle material. Gross material is things, body, material that you can hold and touch and watch and smell — perceptible with the senses. So, this kind of man is a body identified man; the one who identifies with body. He thinks himself to be body, his entire mind, his whole sight is obsessed with material, gross material.

There is another kind of man, who thinks of himself as subtle material. And I repeat, whenever you will think of yourself, you will only think of yourself as material. Thinking of yourself as any other thing is not possible because thought itself is ‘thing. The one who identifies himself with subtle material is the mind identified person. He thinks of himself in terms of ideas; that is subtle material. The one who is body identified, the one whose thought is gross, when he will utter the word ‘India,’ what will he think of India as?

L: Geographical boundaries.

AP: Geographical boundaries. Simply, a land, a territory, a geography, a space limited by boundaries. That would be his definitions of India. The moment such a person, such a mind, utters the word ‘India’ what comes to him is a flashing map of the political country. ‘India’ means the territorial map of India, to such a mind. Whenever you come across such a mind, and it could unfortunately be your own mind, that equates ‘India’ with the map of India, you should know something not about India, but about that man.

What do you immediately come to know about the mind?

That this fellow is terribly body identified. Because he think of himself as body, hence thinks of India as a ‘landmass’. Now every thing that he does with the body, every way in which he relates to his body, would also be the way he would relate to India. The body wants to preserve itself and expand and this mind will say, “let the country expand.” This is the mind of the ‘king,’ who fights wars to enhance the boundaries of its territory. Just as the body draws its sustenance from the world, and is concerned firstly about its own survival, such a mind would want that his country extract resources from wherever possible in the world, and be bothered principally with its own survival and continuation.

We know the games of the body. Don’t we? We have seen how two male animals fight for the female and that is not very different from how two countries would fight for a coveted resource; if that is the definition of country — a piece of land — India or any other country. There is bound to be body-centered strife. Every disease that plagues the body would then also plague the country. There would be the fear of extinction, there would be deep insecurity, the world would appear hostile, there would be a particular date when the boundary would come into existence and there would be an inevitable lurking certainty that one day these boundaries would be no more. And when these boundaries would be no more, I would be no more, the country would be no more. Hence, the relationship with the world would be of strife, conflict. Living would be continuously  under the shadow of extinction.

Then, there is the one who identifies more with ideas.

He says, “I am not a layman, I am not a common patriot, I am not the zealot, I am not the one becomes who become overly enthusiastic, I am not the chauvinist; I am an intellectual, I live in my brain, I live with thoughts, and ideas and concepts.” For him, India is a concept and we have often heard this phrase: ‘The idea of India’. Have we not? For this fellow, who thinks of himself as subtle material, who is mind identified, who lives in ideas, everything is an idea. Even India, for him, is an idea and he very proudly and assuredly claims that India is an idea. And as far as he goes, because for him, he himself is an idea, so surely India is an idea. India is as much an idea for him as is his wife, as is his world, as are all his relationships, as is his car, as his life; even life is an idea for him.

This fellow would be plagued by all the diseases of the mind. He would not overtly display conflict. He will say, “You know! I am an civilized man,” and civilization is an idea. So “I am going to tolerate. We will not fight with guns; we will debate.” But in that debate, what he wants to maintain is an opinion. He is prepared to modify his opinions, no doubt about it, but even that modification must be first approved by him. He says, “I will decide what my beliefs are going to be; I am the master of my beliefs. But one thing is certain that I do not know anything except beliefs. So, let us come to a truss: you enjoy your beliefs, and I will enjoy my beliefs, and we will call it peaceful coexistence. We will call it mutual tolerance.” And what is he doing? Look at the cunning game. He is saying, “Let your ego exists and let my ego exists because ego thrives on ideas. Let both of us feel safe in our respected domains.”

And then there is the third mind.

This third mind thinks of itself neither as gross material, nor as subtle material. Then what does it think of himself? Because all thought is material, so it does not think of itself at all. It feels no need to give itself a definition. It is so innocently, joyfully, immersed in life that such questions appear meaningless to it. He has no conception about himself. Such a mind feels no need to give a limit to itself. When asked, “Who are you?,” such a mind does not reply with anything. Silence.

“Who are you?” Well! Not even Shivoham; not even Soham. Only silence. For such a mind, India cannot be an idea. For such a mind, India can be only the mother of all religion. Religion arising from nowhere because if it arises from anywhere, that anywhere is bound to be from man’s mind and religion that arises from man’s mind will be as petty as man. This third mind that does not think of itself as anything looks at India not as a landmass, not as a political unit, not as an idea, but simply as the fountainhead of spirituality.

So is it about India or is it about the way the mind identified itself?

L: The way it identifies

AP: The way it identifies. The second word that happens to be there in the topic for the day is tolerance. We say it is not so much about India, it is more about identification. Where there is identification, there is conflict. That conflict is very tangible, very material, when it comes to the body identified mind. If there are two body identified fellows, then their conflict will be visible as a street fight. They would be hitting each others bodies. I am a body, and you are a body and where there are bodies, there are bound to be conflicts and because you are a body and if I want to hurt you, I will hit your body.

So, fists, and punches would be landing. A very explicit fight will be taking place; and you can surely call it violence. Violence, conflict is the result of the identification. Where there is identification, there is bound to be conflict. This conflict can be called as explicit gruesome violence when two body identified person are fighting. When two mind identified persons are fighting, then this conflict is called as debate. This debate is nothing but a clash of ideas. When two mind identified persons are together, then their togetherness is a conflict which is called as tolerance. Tolerance only means, “I am somehow bearing you.”

The word has a shadow of intolerance.

Tolerance is not love. Or is it? Do you tolerate in love? But because I live in ideas, because my ego is connected to ideas and I am so poor that I know nothing beyond ideas, so for my survival, it is important that ideas must survive. “I cannot allow myself to be called a bigot. I cannot let people say that I am rigid about my views and opinions. So, I am open to talking. I am open to what is called an exchange of views; what I will call as a healthy debate.” But have you ever seen people becoming free of ideas after a debate? What happens after a debate?

Yes, in worst of cases, both parties stick to their grounds. In the best of cases, somebody says, “Well, listening to you I have gained some new beliefs and I am modifying my position.” But have you ever seen anybody become position-less after the debate? Does debate ever lead to meditativeness?

When noise meets noise, can it ever lead to silence?

But the intellectual, the thought identified man, will very proudly claim that there must be  healthy debate. And what will be the output of that debate? More beliefs. Not only more beliefs, more beliefs in your beliefs; because now you are saying that “My beliefs have been purged by open debate.” You are saying that, “You know, I have gone to the market, I have exposed my beliefs and my beliefs are now a synthesis of the best that the world’s highest intellectual have to offer. Hence these beliefs must be the Truth.” 

That is the bane of the intellectual — He equates beliefs with Truth. And if you tell him beliefs are not truth, then he will say, “All right! I am prepare to modify my beliefs; tell me, what is the Truth? I will start believing in it.” His handicap is that he is prepare to change his beliefs but not ready to go beyond beliefs. Getting it?

The mind that does not think of himself or of the world or India as a material, or as a thought or anything will be bothered only with the Truth. When you are bothered only with the Truth, then there is no conflict. We have said conflict takes the shape of explicit violence when it comes to the body. Conflict takes the shape of argumentation and debate  when it comes to the mind. But when you are a nobody, then there is conflictlessness; because whatever you are, is the source of all conflict.

With Truth, there is love.

It is important to understand the difference between love and tolerance.

Tolerance implies separation, distance. “You remain in your province, as you are, I will remain in my province as I am. We both are entitled to our views, and that is called freedom of thought.”— This is tolerance. Is that not the definition of tolerance? “Both of us are entitled to think the way we want to, and both of us are entitled to express ourselves, we want to.” This is what you called as tolerance. This is what you called as democratic liberty.

The spiritual mind does not caught in this trap. He knows that you are only talking the language of ego. To maintain your opinion is to just maintain your ego. To ask me to maintain my opinion is to just safeguard your ego and my ego. Even when you say that you respect my opinion, you are respecting my opinion only so that your opinion does not get threaten because if you will attack my opinion, then you are also exposing your opinion to threat. So he will say, “Well, you know, unity in diversity” he will not say that all diversities are false, because you are a creature of the mind and mind lives in diversities. The nature of the mind is fragmentation; fragmentation is diversity. So you will use all these nice sounded phrases. You will say, you know India is like great Indian Thali, in which there are theses bowls of various kinds. You will say India is like kaleidoscopic; you will say India is like rainbow but you will be very particular that the differences remain. Because you are identified to differences, your very life will be threatened if somebody shows that all differences are false because all differences just sustain the ego. You will say, ‘you know, it is the greatness of my country that everything is varied, and different here; it is the land of contrast. You will fail to see the underlying nothingness beneath all contrast; the non-duality below all pairs of dualities. That you will not even talk of because that scares you that takes away your very belief in yourself.

In love, you do not tolerate the other. Love and Truth are one. The duty of love is to bring the Truth to other. If I live in love and I see that you are living in opinions, or if I see that you are living a body identified life, then I will not say that, that is your fundamental right or that is your personal way of living. I will not say that I respect the way you live. If I live in love and I see that you are living in violence, then I cannot say that this is your particular choice, your way of life, your tradition, so I am not going to interfere.

I will interfere! Love is not passive. Love has great energy. It is very-very active force.

In love you do not tolerate. I am repeating this and this must be deeply understood.

Love is not about peaceful coexistence.

This statement may shock many of us. But please understand this.

Coexistence means ‘you’ and ‘me’ living separately. Love is not peaceful coexistence. Wherever is co-existence, it cannot be peaceful. In coexistence, there will be tolerance but not love. In love, there is just existence — total, one, undivided. Love will not say that, ‘You may be my neighbor and I see that your life is mired in all kind of rubbish, yet I’ll keep at an arm’s length from you.’ Love will not say that, ‘I might be seeing that you may have created hell for yourself or your family members, for your entire community, but I am not supposed to interferes because it is your community.’

Love interferes.

Love takes risks.

And love has no regard for your ideas or what you call as the freedom of thought because there is no freedom of thought.

What you call as a freedom of thought and expression is a misnomer. Where there is thought, there is only bondage. But if you are an intellectual, you have nothing more than a thought. So, even freedom, according to you, is the freedom of thought. If you are an intellectual, all that you express is your conditioning, your experiences, and your prejudices. So freedom according to you is just the freedom of expression.

Love has no patience with all this rubbish.

Love says I cannot let you rot; because I cannot let myself rot. If you rot, then I rot. You and I are one. We are not just coexisting; we are one. I want you to change because if you do not change, then I am suffering. Your suffering is my suffering. I am in love with you. And just as I insist that you go beyond your beliefs and thoughts and enter silence, I too am prepared to go beyond beliefs and thoughts and enter silence.

If I am asking you to totally give up your beliefs, it is not so that you may take up my beliefs. I am just asking you to give up and take nothing as a substitute. Become empty. And this call for emptiness is not coming from my beliefs about emptiness, it is my own emptiness which is calling you to become empty. It is not as if I have a belief about something which I want to maintain. But when it comes to you, I am insistent that you must be beliefless. No. I am only asking you to taste what I am tasting.

Freedom from beliefs is a nectar of life.

I have tasted it.

And you and I are one. You too must taste it!

This is the action of love. This is the force of love.

So we wanted to talk about India and tolerance but we saw that it doesn’t make any sense to just take up any two words and talk about them. We talked rather about identification and conflict. What India is, is decided by what you are identified with. And whether it is explicit violence or the violence of argumentation, is decided by the level of conflict but when there is no identification, there is no conflict and what we have is love.

I will not ask you to choose between kinds of conflict. Surely, there can be a conflict free living. Can we live without conflict? The great action of love, the great insistence of love has great energy. It can even lead to bloodshed. Your blood may flow and the others’ blood may flow but still it is conflict free. Kindly, do not equate peace with the word-less-ness of the graveyard. Peace may imply a lot of apparent strife. If you are on the side of peace and peace and love and Truth are all one. If you are on the side of peace, you may actually have to enter a lot of noise and chaos because the action of peace is to spread. Spread where?

The action of the light is to dispel darkness.

So, light will have to meet darkness and when peace meets noise, there can be bloodshed.

Do not be scared of that.

Remember all fear arises from the need for self-preservation.

All fear is ego. Only the ego is scared and wants to preserve itself.

If you see that your brother is suffering, first of all, look inwards. See, whether you have come to a point that is free of suffering. Your first responsibility is towards yourself. But when you look at the other in compassion, and at yourself in attention, you find that you have already come to that point that is free of suffering. Now it is your responsibility to act. You may even call that action as interference, but that interference must happen.

What else is Krishna doing?

It’s a matter between brothers. Let them decide whether they want to fight or have a settlement. What else is Krishna doing? He could have said, ‘Well! Arjun, go and speak to the other party. It’s an intra-family thing.’ But he decides to interfere. He is poking his nose.

What else is Jesus doing?

The Jews are all happy. Living the way they are, they are happy. But out of love, you must interfere. But remember, only out of love. Your interference must not be a decoy, you cannot camouflage yourself. Ego loves to call itself love. It is just that I want to impose my beliefs upon you, so I am saying that it is my duty in love to interfere. No! Not that kind of a thing.

First thing: Discover the Krishna, the Jesus sitting inside you.

Second thing: :Let the Krishna and Jesus act.

A Jesus does not tolerate. A Krishna, does not tolerate. Muhammad didn’t tolerate. Saints do not tolerate. Prophets and Avatars, do not come to this earth to tolerate. You too are an avatar. Why must you tolerate? If you will tolerate, what will you tolerate? What do you see around you? What do you see? Is it worth tolerating? You really want to live with all this? You want to allow it to continue? Is that your responsibility towards yourself and the world? To tolerate this non-sense, this rubbish, this violence, this needless suffering. Yes?

Somebody is butchering an innocent animal, must you tolerate that in the name of personal freedom? Must you? In the neighborhood, next door, the father is crippling the mind, the freedom, the being of the daughter by imposing beliefs and a particular life upon her. Will you say it is their family matter, who am I to interfere? If you are really a loving being, would you tolerate? Would you give precedence to your personal security? Would you say, ‘Why must I run into personal trouble? I don’t need to stick out.’ Yes?

(Silence)

In this world, where you can breath today, just reach the lowest ebb which we have filled up with eight billion people, which has weapon enough to destroy the world thousands of time over; is tolerance a virtue? Can you say that people are happy doing what they are doing? Somebody’s religion ask him to live in a particular way, I must let him live that way. Somebody’s conditioning, somebody’s thought, somebody’s upbringing commands him or suggests to him to live and act in a particular way. I must respect that way. Would you say that?

L1: Sir, can we do anything on actual basis? It is happening all the time?

AP: You are talking about acting. You are saying, ‘what can we do?’ Action follows realization. How will you act if you do not realize? How will you know that you need to do something about the world when first of all, you have not known what you need to do about your own life? Yes! I did say that a Krishna, does interfere. But he interferes when he is a Krishna. So the first thing is to discover your own Krishna nature. Have you looked at your own life? And you say that there is so much going on in the world and there is a balance between good and bad; first of all, have you realized who you are? Is that not the foundation on which we are basing the entire session; that words are words. You are the one who supplies meaning to them.

When you know what to do with yourself, then you also know what to do with the world.

Where would you get energy from?

We are so dull.

Obtuse in realization and dull in action. That’s what we are.

When you do not understand anything about your life, how will you take responsibility of the world? I do not know what prompts you to go from this place to that place, then what right do you have to suggest to anything to anybody? You do not know how should you be living, then who are you to interfere in somebody else’s way of life? You do not why you are married, you do not know why you took up a job, you do not know why everyday you perform a particular ritual, then what right do you have to go and suggest something to your neighbor? And even if you try to, on moral grounds, even if you try to, in an attempt to look and sound good, you will find that you re afraid, you will find that you lack energy; you will find that you lack that deep spiritual conviction. Because that deep sureness comes only out of living rightly.

When you are living rightly, only then you get the license to poke your nose; only then you get the license to not to tolerate. You are tolerating all your own beliefs, you are tolerating yourself everyday; you are very accommodative towards your own rubbish, but when it comes to others, you go and say, “No! You must drop your beliefs.”

That is just hypocrisy.

L1: Who is this judge to decide that you should interfere?

AP: You are the judge and if you lack energy, then the judgment is clear. You need not judge even on subjective grounds. If you find that you lack energy, if you find that you lack passion, if you find that you feel like leaving the world to its fate, then the judgment has already been pronounced. This lack of energy comes only from not living rightly.

The one who is living rightly cannot allow others to fall, to get killed, to suffer.

When you are attentive towards yourself, then you are compassionate towards the entire world.

We must seriously ask ourselves, beneath all the verbiage — the thing about tolerance, is it not just indifference? Is it not just insensitivity?

Be active, interfere. Don’t just tolerate me.

(Laughs)

Fight, quarrel, engage.

L2: What I am thinking that when a person is tapped with the source or non-duality, then the person cannot talk about anything else. You are doing the same thing.

AP: It depends on how you are listening and if you can listen that way…

L2: I think that way.

AP: No, You are listening that way. If you are listening that way, then it tells more about you than me. If you can listen non-duality in what I am saying, then you are established in non-duality and that is such a wonderful thing.

L3: Sir, can we boldly say that we wish India to be non-tolerant. How will you make people understand that?

AP: It is not a question of sermonizing. It is the question of the understanding, the realization, showing up in our action.

What is India?

What you do, if you do it from your deepest understanding, you are India.

You are India!

That is the only befitting definition that we can give to the word, ‘India’. The source and the center of all understanding. I had said, (India is) the mother of religion. That is the only worthwhile definition of India. Everything else is so disrespectful. So disrespectful!

L4: Sir, just like to share something. I had met a Sanskrit scholar, who used to say that every word has a meaning in Sanskrit and a meaning, which is very well defined. So, once I asked him, “What is the meaning of ‘Bharat’?” He said, ‘Bha’ in Sanskrit means ‘Bhram’; ‘rat’ means who is involved with bhram. So, ‘bhram-rat’ is Bharat. That was his interpretation. I do not know if that is true?

AP: No, you see sir, we said that any word has a meaning only in context to what you are. If you come to me and ask me, “What is Bharat?” I will not reply. I will wait to catch you in your particular moment of immersion or love. I will wait to catch you, looking deeply immersed towards a mountain, or a river or a butterfly and then I will say, “That! That! That which is just now happening to you is ‘Bharat’ because that is the only way I can tell you what is Bharat?” I cannot tell you ‘What is Bharat?’ by referring to the etymology of the word.

If you ask me, “What is love?” It will be foolish of me to say, ‘L-O’ means this; ‘V’ means this; ‘E’ means this. If you ask me, “What is love?” I will wait for you to taste love and in that moment, when you would be in love, then I will say, “That! That is love!”

So, if you’ll ask me, “What is Bharat?”

I will wait for you to look at the snow capped Himalayas. And then, when your eyes would be shining with wonderment, then I will say, “That is Bharat!”

Or when you would be reading The Upanishads, and your mind would suddenly be getting lighter and your face would have a sudden radiance and you would have felt for yourself, deeply in your heart what it meant to say, Poornamidah – poornamidam’ (Opening prayer in Upanishads)

Then I will say, “That! That is Bharat.”

Otherwise what does ‘bha’ and ‘rat’ means? Nothing.

All this is just word play.

The word ‘That’ is of tremendous significance. ‘That’; ‘Tat’; ‘Tat- Tvam – asi’.

‘Tat’ — ‘That’ is ‘Bharat’. 

Just as we formally began this session, formally we have to close it as well.

But really, it is about being together and close.

And ‘that’ cannot be closed.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: India and Tolerance || Acharya Prashant (2016)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.


Support our work:

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00

What is passionate living? To sit in a movie theatre as you sit in Satsang

10

Listener: It is disappointing to see that the way I sit in your session and in a movie theatre is predetermined and hence conditioned. And that affects the learning.

Acharya Prashant: And then your learning would remain incomplete because a movie has as much to teach as a session like this. How will I speak in this session if I don’t watch movies with attention? I can speak here, in the same way, I watch movies. I speak here in the same way as I am when I am playing with you, or sharing a joke or performing in a play or just shouting at someone.

If you divide, if you say, ‘No, this one is a more serious, holy occasion. It has to be kept on the holy pedestal’, then you are missing out on something which is very important, which is the wholeness of life, which is the oneness of life. Read more

Rebel deeply

When you rebel superficially, then your rebellion is a very tempestuous rebellion.

There is a lot of sound and fury in it, there is a lot of shaking up and agitation in it.

But when your rebellion is really really deep, then it becomes a very peaceful rebellion.

Your rebel, you rebel deeply because you are so convinced that you cannot be defeated,
so there is no agitation in your rebellion.

Your rebellion is not that of the servant against the master;
your rebellion is the command of the master himself.

You are not rising against something;
now your rebellion is just a rising.

Try breaking free and you will realize the depth of your bondage

Till the time you are drunk and half-asleep, you won’t even feel that you have been held captive.

You will feel that everything is alright.

But try breaking free, and then you will realize the depth of your bondage.

How deeply you have put yourself in muck is revealed only when you try to come out of it!

Ego plays a game of self-delusion.

Ego will never directly choose freedom.

It will just choose more bondages as means towards freedom.

Ego plays a game of self-delusion.

It will cry aloud, ‘I want freedom’, and will determinedly latch on to bondages.

Whatever you will choose, you will choose just to escape from that which is worthy of being chosen.