How to identify the right company for oneself? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

right company

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Question: How do we know, with whom to stay and whom not to stay?

Acharya Prashant: Whosoever makes you feel free, must be there in your life. Whosoever brings freedom, must surely be in your life and whosoever creates bondages upon you, bondages of any kind either implicit or explicit, must not be welcomed at all.

Even to see whether what you are doing is in awareness or lack of awareness, you require freedom. Bondage cannot be a route to freedom, and remember this cannot be said to an 8 year old. An 8 year old sometimes requires to be told, to be lead but none of you is 8 years old. At your age, bondages have no place in life, at your age, the biggest disservice that can be done to you is to impose a particular code upon you. The only way you can be helped today is by setting you free, and whosoever does not set you free is not your friend but your enemy.

That enemy might be a hidden enemy, it may contain a name of a beautiful relationship, it may even appear to be sacred but it is an enemy nevertheless. Remember, no body accepts the bondage if he/she knows that it is a bondage. Nobody would accept to be chained if he knows that these are chains.

Why do we accept to be chained?

It is because chains come in lovely names.

Can a person sitting far from you create chains? Only the person very close to you can be your enemy. The person who is far away from you cannot put you in bondage. If I tell you I am going to enslave you, you will resist and run away with all you power. But you will not resist if I say that I love you and I am coming to you for emotional and sentimental reasons. Then all of you would willingly become slave, and that is the most deceptive and dangerous slavery; because you are willingly accepting, the slave will not even know that I am a slave. He will not realize that he is a slave and continue with the bondage.

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Acharya Prashant: Real communication can happen only from the Heart


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Questioner: I want to increase my communication with my mom and dad or with my friends; because this is what which is trembling me: They want something from me, and they think I think only of myself, but I am not able to do either of them. What to do?

Acharya Prashant: When an insecure mind talks to another insecure mind, anyway there is no communication. There is only an apparent exchange of words.

Only the heart can talk, only the heart can listen, so conversations are either genuine or they are not. Fake communication is no communication. So, when you say that ‘I am afraid of consequences, how do I act because my parents might feel bad, how do I take them into the loop?’

Please understand, the situation is already very bad and whatever else happens will be better than this. The key to improvement is to realize that you are already at the rock bottom. Things cannot go any worse, we keep waiting for more damage, we say this much damage is acceptable.

You know, that is the nature of mind, everything in the mind is limited, so even your perception of the damage being done to you is limited. You can never know the full extent of your loss. In the domain of mind everything has boundary, so when it rises to figure out how much it is losing, even that has boundary, so it says I am not losing anything beyond that. No! You are losing a lot! And when you see that then these inhibitions and concerns become very petty then you say how can I stop because of these hindrances.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: The need to impress

Acharya Prashant: How many of you see, this, a very important factor in your life? Actually, we have been able to look at the issue right in the eye then we say that we need English to impress others.

Someone talked of communication. ‘Communication’ is an expression, right? And that’s a pure thing. Uncorrupted, unadulterated. But when ‘expression’ becomes a desire for ‘impression’, then are we really aware of what is happening?

You have the photographs and words of this man (Sh. APJ Abdul Kalaam), all over this place. Have you heard him speak? If not, look at some of his videos on youtube, expression is happening, communication is purely happening. But is there also a desire to ‘impress’ anybody? Did he proceed with a particular kind of accent? Does he proceed with great fluency?

Listeners: No.

AP: Is ‘communication’ happening or not?

L: Yes.

AP: And is communication happening with great felicity or not? ‘Felicity’ means, ease, smoothness. Is communication happening in a very smooth and spontaneous way or not?

L: Yes.

AP: But is he also inflicted by a desire to impress somebody?

L: No.

AP: And what would have happened, had there been a desire to impress the audience? What would have happened? Let’s try to understand, what might have happened, had there been a desire to impress the audience?

L: The pitch goes high and higher.

AP: What have you printed here? His accent or his words, his content?

L: Words, content.

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We use words not to communicate, but to avoid communication


Question: You said that assigning words means that we are giving a meaning to something. So is it that a desire to communicate or a need to communicate the perfect barrier towards attaining meaninglessness?

Acharya Prashant:

You do not communicate through words; you use words to avoid communication.

That is why when you are really communicating, then words become so peripheral. That is why those who are really listening will not be paying much attention to my words. I often tell my friends, simply keep forgetting what I am saying. Simply keep discarding what I am saying. If you are really listening, then you do not need my words. Words are just some kind of pretence. At best you can call them, a vehicle. They are carrying something. Take what those words are carrying and leave the vehicle outside. Read the love letter and discard the envelope.

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The silence of wisdom is not a product of civilizational noise


Questioner: Sir, who is the uncivilized one? Whom is it that the civilization disowns and calls it savage?

Acharya Prashant: Civilization is a product of man’s fight; it is man-made. The uncivilized-one runs counter to civilization. What is man-made will be countered by something which again is man-made. So there is somebody who is behaving in a very predictable way — arising from the set patterns. It is easy to see that the fellow is conditioned and that conditioning is man-made.  Read more

Love and loneliness


Love and loneliness will actually go together.

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

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

Words don’t breathe, words don’t love

Words don’t breathe, words don’t love.

Keep saying, “Love, Love, Love…” one thousand times, you will come no closer to loving.

Keep parroting, “Truth, Truth, Truth, Truth,” you will still be sitting in your lies.

What does it mean to act energetically?


Question: We do something that gives us energy or we do something that puts our energy down. Can this be an indicator of what should be done or not?

Acharya Prashant: You look at the case of a terrorist or a serial killer or a mercenary, he surely has a lot of energy because event after event he is continuing with his gruesome acts. So it is not as if he doesn’t have energy. So, energy is no indicator.

Have you ever seen a violent man, drunk and violent, going around, creating chaos, does he not have energy? He has more energy than probably you have. Read more

What is meant by genuinely speaking and hearing?


Acharya Prashant: What is going on, when apparently this process of speaking and hearing is happening? What is really going on? Obviously, someone is talking and someone is receiving the sound, but what is really going on?

Listener: An interaction, an exchange.

AP: If it is really a good interaction, then it is a change in the quality of mind itself. The way the mind is conscious, that changes directly. Sitting there, you are transported to another place. One can equally say that one is brought back to That place. Both are right ways of expressing it.

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Only Silence communicates fully; let words come from Silence

Question: (Referring to a text) Sir, it is written here, “Silence is ever speaking. It is the perennial flow of language.”  How is ‘Silence’, perennial flow of language?

Speaker: What is language?

Listener 1: Language is a medium of communication.

Speaker: Communication. What is the use of communication?

Listener 1: To convey ideas or concepts, from one person to another.

Speaker: A deeper use? Why do you want to convey anything to anybody?

Listener 1: So that they can understand.

Speaker: What, if they understand something? What will happen? What will happen?

Listener 1: They may be able to do something, which they were not able to do.

Speaker: What does that mean to ‘you’?

Listener 1: They will become more useful, in some form.

Speaker: How does that help ‘you’? What does it mean to ‘you’?

Listener 1: It means that they will become more in line with my thoughts.

Speaker: What does that mean to ‘you’? Why do you want to have them aligned with your thoughts?

Listener 1: Sometimes it is because, we want someone to understand.

Speaker: That you have said. So we don’t want to run around in circles. You have said that you want them to understand you. Why do you want anybody to understand you?

Listener 1: Because there is something within us, it may be a collection of emotions or feelings, which is seeking an outlet.

Speaker: Alright. What if that fellow doesn’t understand you?

Listener 1: Then we will not feel very right about it.

Speaker: How will you feel?

Listener 1:  We will feel misunderstood. I will feel misunderstood.

Speaker: So that will keep you…?

Listener 1: In tension, or anxiety.

Speaker: So you communicate, so as to…?

Listener 1: To release that inner tension, or inner anxiety.

Speaker: So you communicate for Peace.

Listener 1: Yes.

Speaker: Language is communication. Communication is for…?

Listener 1: Peace.

Speaker: (Referring to Ramana Maharishi) What is Maharishi saying there?

Listener 1: Maharishi is saying, “Silence is ever speaking. It is the perennial flow of language.”

Speaker: Silence is language. And we just said, “Language is communication. Communication is Peace.” So all that he is saying is that, “Silence is…”

Listener 1: Peace.

Speaker: Clear? That which cannot be expressed through words, is expressed in Silence. And That which cannot be expressed in words, is immensely important. You require a special language, because that deserves a special language. That special language is Silence. Hence, Silence is the most eloquent expression.

That day I was saying, “If you want to say something, then use words. But if you want to say everything, then remain silent.”

Words can only communicate this much, a small portion. They can never take the totality of your Being. You are too large, and words are too small. Have you not seen this happen, that in moments when the ego is sublimated, overpowered, dissolved in tears, you find yourself tongue-tied, you can’t speak? Have you not had experiences like these?

Listener 2: This Silence is not only this – not-talking, because I can be silent, and yet my mind can totally be running around.

Speaker: Mostly it happens this way. When you are not talking to others, you are busy talking to yourself.

Listener 3: That’s why I am not talking, because I am thinking.

Speaker: In fact, usually, when you are not talking to others, the purpose itself is to talk to yourself. Don’t you say, “Give me a minute, let me collect my thoughts. Let me make up my mind”? What are all these?

Listener 2: Self conversations.

Speaker: It’s an internal dialogue. Let’s call it, a multi-logue’. Mind is a chatterbox.

Listener 4: Sir there was a statement in this statement, “Spiritual activity is will asserted, and re-asserted.” I could not understand this.

Speaker: When a saint talks of ‘will’, he is not referring to ego’s desire. He is referring to ‘free-will’. Free will is not yours. Spiritual activity is Grace shining upon you – that’s all that is meant. Spiritual activity is the will of the beyond, otherwise you can’t move into spiritual activity. You can move into lots of other activities – eating, sleeping, all these things you can do out of your own desire. But you cannot go to the scriptures, or to a Guru, out of your own will. For that, divine Grace is needed.

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

Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi on Raman Maharishi: Only Silence communicates fully; let words come from Silence

 Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: All internal voices are from fragments of the mind, the Total calls only in Silence.

Article 2: The mark of a good word is that it takes you to silence.

Article 3: What is silence?

Truth is in the quality of your mind

Question: “Listening without effort, and if there is truth in what you hear, there is change and transformation. And then Truth becomes the master.” Sir, is that so?

Acharya Prashant: There is hardly ever any Truth in what you hear, Gunjan (addressing the questioner), hardly any Truth in what you hear, because hearing is your own domain. Hearing is your own personal and private area. How can the Truth lie there? You can hear only words.

Right now as I am speaking, the same words are coming to all of you. Do you really think everybody is in Truth? For one person, these words can be very calming, very soothing, relaxing, source of peace; the other one may be agitated, and panicking within, cringing; that too when both of them are hearing the same words. What is there in words?

Truth is not in words. Truth is in your own quality. Truth is in the quality of your own mind. Yes, what can happen is that if the words that you hear, are themselves emanating from the right centre, then it becomes more possible for you to surrender to them.

But even then, what you hear is your own domain. Whether have you decided, is your own discretion. You see, the Buddha had said, “The spoon in the soup lives all its life in the soup, and yet it never tastes the soup,” because ‘tasting’ is your own domain. The soup is all the time available, but you are closed, what can the soup do? What can the soup do?

And look at the irony, the soup will be brought to others by that same spoon. That same spoon will bring the soup to others, but itself it will never be able to taste the soup. Can there be a bigger misfortune? You have to decide, you have to give permission.

One of the things about Truth is, it is not interested in anything; it is not even interested in your enlightenment. It will not force you. It will say, “You take as much time as you want to. I will come to you only when you are ready, I will come to you only when you say that I am ready. I will stand at the door, waiting patiently. For an infinite time, I will wait, but I will come only when you open the door.”

You have to open the door. That is your domain, your area. Otherwise, even the most sublime words are of little use. And the more you open yourself, the more you will find that your need for words is reducing. The more you open yourself, the more you find that your need for words is reducing.

Why does a Master speak? He speaks because you cannot hear his Silence. So it’s a compulsion that he must speak. Could you listen to him, without his words, he would not want to speak, because he is the first one to know that words do not matter much.

masterBut you need arguments, you need words, you need a particular structure, so he would speak. Do not think that there is Truth in his speaking. There is Truth in his presence, that much is alright, but not in the words. And that presence is not bodily, that presence is not sensually appreciable. You cannot say, “This body is That.” Your eyes cannot see him, your ears cannot hear him.

The word that is used traditionally, is Satsang. You see, sat-sang does not mention speaking or words at all. It only says, “The right company, being with the Truth. Being immersed in the Truth is Satsang. Sat-sang, Sat is – that which IS, Truth. Sat means – that which IS, the Present, the Truth. Being with That is enough.

Satsang is not Samvaad, Satsang is not an exchange of words. Satsang is just being together, that particular quality of intimacy which does not require the use of senses.

The ones who can read, read from life itself. You are talking of the Master. A life of the Master is available, if you could read it. His every moment is available. But because you refuse to read it, so he speaks. Otherwise, it’s there, in his everything, in his every breath.

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

Watch the session: Prashant Tripathi: Truth is in the quality of your mind

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: The simple words of the Teacher are not understood by a complex mind

Article 2: The Teacher is the voice of Truth, not the man behind the voice.

Article 3: The mark of a good word is that it takes you to silence.

The difference between belief, fact and Faith

Question: Trust is the foundation of all relations. Where does trust come from?

Speaker: Write down:

Belief – Imagination
Trust – Fact
Faith – Truth

All of these three words, belief, trust and Faith, pertain to ‘being’. They pertain to reality. Essentially all these three words are saying, ‘something is there’ or ‘something exists’ or ‘it exists’. Though when you say, “I believe this” Or “I trust this” or “I have Faith in this”, apparently you have an object to which the statement is directed. But really, you are talking about yourself and that remains hidden because that ‘I’ appears to be constant. You are saying, “I believe this”, “I trust this”, “I have Faith in this.” In all these three statements, because the ‘I’ is apparently the same, it appears as if you are talking only about some object that you are believing, trusting or having Faith in. But really, all these three statements pertain to the ‘I’. They pertain to what you know yourself as.

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The mark of a good word is that it takes you to silence

Question: When I talk about it, it is easy and understandable. But when the real moment comes, every part of the body feels fear. Is talking anymore important for me now? Do I need to be just there and not deviate when the moment comes? Read more

Only light can illuminate others

The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

– Lao Tzu

Speaker: Nothing can be looked at in isolation. (Pointing at the photo of a candle) You have a flame on the cover page of that calendar there.There is that flame.Lao Tzu Flame What else do you see there? There is a book, there is light falling on the book, and there is space around the flame. Right? And there must be other candles as well. Right? Read more

Relationships are not ‘give and take’

Question: Sir, my friends, family and relatives condition me. Do I also condition them ?

Speaker: It’s a network. You see, there is no point in blaming anybody. Those who condition you, are conditioned to condition you. Are you getting it? Those who condition you, are not really villains or evil-doers. They themselves do not know what is happening. No one has planned it. All are victims.

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You cannot guess the ways of God

When your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the Earth a successive authority.”

They said, “Will You place upon it one who will cause corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?”

God answered,” Indeed, I know which you do not know.”

– Quran Read more

How to help others see the truth?

Question: Sir, is it possible to help those who are deeply blind, even if they do not agree or acknowledge that they are blind? Is it possible to help such people?

Speaker: Alok is asking that is it possible to really help blind people, people who are not prepared to acknowledge the fact, people who are not seeing the reality. Obviously, here he is using ‘blindness’ as a metaphor. Read more

When you listen to me, you listen to your Self

Question: These days I feel like running away from Advait. I feel that I am not going to gain anything here. But, at the same time I find myself pulled here yet again. I know what you are saying is true and that you mean well for me, but I am not able to trust you. I have never really been able to trust anyone. Why is this happening to me?

Speaker: Neither do you come here to me, neither are you running away from me. I am inconsequential, I do not matter. It is because you are ‘you’, so you think of me as some person who says a few things, and to whom you come. Read more

What is Prayer?

Hari ke jan satigur, satpurkha binau karau gur paasi.

– Shri Guru Granth Sahib, 10

{O humble servant of the Lord, O true Guru, O true primal being, I offer my humble prayer to you, O Guru!}

Question: What is prayer? Is there a need for another thing or another body separate from you for praying?

Acharya Prashant: The word ‘praying’ is beautifully understood when you also take its counterpart in Sanskrit Praarthna.

Arth means desire. Whenever you usually pray – and we all keep praying – our prayers are to the world, our prayers are to people, to situations. Whenever we normally pray, there is a desire behind it: arth. The desire is obviously a product of conditioning; it is obviously material, as all desires are bound to be. It is about a thing, a person, or an idea. Read more

Let the other never cloud your mind

Speaker: The question is: why does my confidence get low while speaking to others? I feel I have the required knowledge, yet when it comes to dealing with others, communicating with others, I find myself helpless, I find myself unable to put things across, unable to articulate, unable to communicate.

There are two things in this question. One, my knowledge: the content of my mind, what I claim that I know. And the second factor is the presence of the other person.

We need to carefully investigate where the problem lies. Is it the lack of knowledge, or is it the presence of the other which is causing all the anguish?
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