Don’t imagine solutions

Answers are not there. Only questions are there. Understand the question and that is it. This question-answer format has been given to you by the society only. That there is something like a question and then there is something like an answer. No. Only Inquiry exists and resolution of inquiry exists. There is nothing like ‘answer’ in that.

Don’t imagine solutions. Don’t imagine that if I do like this, then that would happen. Do it first.

This is what you need to observe. While walking, roaming, eating, whatever is happening, just observe that and you will understand! Truth is not far. Just that is what you have to see.

As a boss, if I am sucking Life out of my employees’ life, is that not violence all the more.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Ask till you drop the mask


 

Acharya Prashant: Ask till you drop the mask

Acharya Prashant: Ask absurd questions. People would say, he has gone mad. But, ask absurd questions.
Why should something like a ‘home’ exist? Have you ever asked this question? You go back home everyday, have you ever asked this? Why should anything like a home exist? I mean, why can’t we just be, wherever we are! Why do we always need to go somewhere in the evening? Why can’t I just be? You are there, I am there. And we are enjoying. We are here the whole night, spend the rest of the day, and we will leave when we feel like, then we will go another place. The whole world belongs to us! What is this concept of a home?

Ever thought? Ask. This is called Inquiry. What is this game about Mummy-Papa? One male, one female, sitting together in a home. What exactly is going on? And these people are supposed to be special. And the whole of religion, and the whole of society, and everything telling me that I must respect, Love them. What exactly is going on? Let me understand it, let me understand it. What is this thing called siblings? What are brothers and sisters? What is this thing called society? What is this thing called religion? What does one mean by religion? What is this thing called a normal life?

What is this thing called progress and growth? That one must progress in life! What is this thing called progress? Have you ever asked yourself, about this thing called progress? Papa, why do you keep chanting, progress, progress? What is meant by progress? A little more money? Why do you need more money? What would you do with it? Are you using all the money that you have? You are using only ten percent of the money you have, rest all is in the banks! So, what will you do with more progress? First, finish the money that is there in the banks! I already have so much, first let me finish it up. What happened to the money in the bank? Is it all finished?

These are absurd questions but ask them. Understand, how the minds of the people function.

When you see the roads in the mornings, full of traffic; Ask, what is this going on? Where are these people going? Why? Look at their faces! People are coming back home in the evening time, in traffic, look at their faces. Ask them, is this what life and work are supposed to be? That they have made faces like that! People who are returning back around 7.30 – 8pm, have you ever focused on their faces, expressions? They are driving a car, there is peak traffic hour, and they are stuck in long traffic jams! Have you ever looked at their faces? Look. Look closely, inattention. And ask yourself, is this what I am preparing myself for? I am paying fees in Lakhs so that my life becomes rubbish like this? I am paying to get assaulted?

Listener: Acharya Ji, asking questions, will we be getting the correct answers?

AP:

Answers are not there. Only questions are there. Understand the question and that is it.

This question-answer format has been given to you by the society only. That there is something like a question and then there is something like an answer. No. Only Inquiry exists and resolution of inquiry exists. There is nothing like ‘answer’ in that.

L: But when we will inquire, won’t we be thinking?

Read more

All suffering is false

That’s what the Aatma does. It keeps relaxing, in its seat.

All suffering is false. So, where is the question of tragedy?

Complain, and you lose even what you already have. Be grateful, and you get more than what you are grateful for.

When you are being the most serious, the Truth pokes fun at you. In fact, your seriousness is the biggest joke.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Katha Upanishad: Why do the wise call the Aatman, ‘the enjoyer’?


 

Acharya Prashant on Katha Upanishad: Why do the wise call the Aatman, ‘the enjoyer’?

Question: Acharya Ji, why do the wise call the Aatman, ‘the enjoyer?’

Acharya Prashant: Enjoyer, in the sense of the watcher. Just as in the cinema hall, you enjoy the show. How do you enjoy the show? By leaping into the screen? In Cinema Hall, how do you enjoy it? By relaxing, in your seat.

That’s what the Aatma does. It keeps relaxing, in its seat.

Listener: That means, enjoying our sufferings.

AP: Yes.

Don’t you enjoy even tragic scenes, on the screen? That’s what the Aatma does. For Aatman, there is no tragedy. We talked of it yesterday, right?

All suffering is false. So, where is the question of tragedy?

Reminds me of my college days. So, you know, young students, how they are? Brash, hard, mocking at everything sentimental. That’s the environment in hostels. Nobody likes sissies there. If you are a mama’s boy, if you display lot of emotions, then you become a butt of lot of jokes.

So, it was an inter-hostel dramatics competition. And one of the hostels was trying to enact a sentimental play, in which one of the characters was particularly sentimental. So, with due respect, the student crowd tolerated that play and that expressive actor for some one-minute twenty seconds. And then, we all as part of the audience came into our own! Now, this sentimental actor, playing an even sentimental character, is wailing, weeping, sobbing his heart out. And the more he is crying on the stage, the more is the audience laughing! Can you visualize? He is screaming with pain, and the public is going mad with laughter. People are rolling down the aisle. And hearing a lot of commotion in the audience, he is thinking he is being applauded. So, he is beating his chest, even more ferociously. And now, the public has started throwing their clothes and stuff. After around three or four minutes of such rioting, the actor finally realized that something is wrong.

That is how the Aatman probably watches us! That is why the Katha Upanishad is saying that the Aatman enjoys! We are such stupid actors. It becomes obvious that the suffering we are displaying on the stage is a false suffering. How can any intelligent watcher empathize with us? The more you cry, weep, shriek, the more the Aatman enjoys!

That is why all the Buddhas of the world, have a great time. That is why the first thing he said was, “the world is suffering.” What you missed seeing, is his faint smile, (chuckles) when he said that. Why else do you think is he smiling all the time? When the world is suffering, why else would he smile? Because even your suffering is so imperfect, fake, superficial. The actor on the screen is beating his chest, and the audience too is beating their chests. That is how the Aatman enjoys.

Read more

An idiot, even if he gets God, remains an idiot, with God.

An idiot, even if he gets God, remains an idiot with God. Because the idiot was anyway never prepared to change himself. Remaining himself he wanted God. He got what he wanted. He remained an idiot and he got God. So, now he is an idiot with God.

And we have lots of idiots with God. You will find it mesmerizing how you can obtain almost everything that is obtainable, and yet remain yourself. You can even obtain a lot of peace and yet remain an idiot. You will then be a peaceful idiot. All the qualities and virtues that are associated with God, can possibly be obtained without affecting your artificial core. You can start talking wisdom. Now you are a very wise idiot.

By practicing a lot of yoga you can have a glow on your face, now you are a glowing idiot. Or, you can have a well-sculpted body, now you are a well-sculpted idiot. Have you not seen people who are doing all these godly things since years, so their face is radiating, a divine bliss, locks, and hair are bouncing, there is spring in the feet, tummy is nicely tucked in, not even a trace of fat in the body. Divine idiots.

You can remain an idiot irrespective of what all you have obtained, and you can really obtain a lot. Obtaining anything, and obtaining everything, will have no effect upon what you are determined to remain. Determined to remain an idiot, you can still obtain everything. You can obtain all the knowledge of the world, knowledgeable idiot. You can even start acting in the most loving of ways, a very loving idiot.

When the removal of idiocy is a process of removal, then how can addition lead to removal? There is this tumbler kept on this table. I may add five more things to this table, will that lead to the removal of this tumbler? Removal is simply removal. Addition of thousand things will not lead to the removal of this one thing. So you can keep adding things to the mind that will not lead to the removal of idiocy.

The idiot remains an idiot irrespective of what all he has gathered, be it supreme bliss, be it all the divine knowledge, or anything else. So, never judge a man by what he has, see what he has not. As Chuang Tzu says “Whether or not his boat is empty?”



Read the complete Article: What is Shame?

What is Shame?

gen 1Question: What is shame?

Acharya Prashant: What is shame? Can shame exist without ideals and comparison? Does shame cure and heal? Is there shame in love? Does shame lead to betterment? These and more are the questions we want to talk over.

Man is the only creature that experiences shame. It is a simple and direct fact that reveals so much about the nature of shame. Man is the only creature that experiences shame. Which means that there can be no shame inherent in the biological scheme of things. The child is not born with shame. Shame is a taught phenomenon. And like everything else that is taught, shame too is taught with the purpose, with the hope that it will lead to betterment. Read more

You have no obligation to win, lose or even participate.

Even when you are identified with being a winner or the loser, still there is something within you which can neither be a winner nor a loser. I just called it the third state. It is not the third state. It is your fundamental nature. It is your fundamental nature that gets hidden when you are obsessed with winning and losing. The fact is – deep within, you don’t bother and that’s such a relief, such a mercy.

Fact is, after the greatest victory, when you go to sleep, the victory is gone and the victor is nowhere. And after the greatest loss, when you again go to sleep, you are neither the loser, nor is the game anywhere. And you like it. Don’t you?

Is there anybody who hates himself sleeping? IS there anyone who says, “No, it’s such a bad day. I cannot go to sleep.” Sleep is always relaxing; always because in sleep you are neither one nor two. That is the secret of sleep. That three is always there. Just don’t push yourself too hard. Don’t be too severe with yourself.

You have no obligation to win, lose or even participate. In your sweet will, in your innate joy, you may decide to participate, in your playfulness, you may even decide to go for a win; in your love, you may decide to lose. But none of that must matter too much with you. Your essential freedom lies in your ability to walk in at any point and also to walk away at any point.

Join the game, leave the game. Join the war, leave the war. Join the war without bothering about what can befall you, what kind of harm, what kind of wounds or what kinds of glory and victory and leave the war without wondering what the others might think of you and what are the opportunities that you are squandering?

Your freedom does not merely lie in not playing the game.

Your freedom also lies in joining the game as and when you please. And the one who is able to join the game as and when he pleases, is also the one who will be able to leave the game as and when he pleases.



Read the complete Article: How to be free from this rat race?



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How to be free from this rat race?

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Question: Acharya Ji, the results of class 10th and 12th are out. And the parents of children who have scored high marks are shouting over the roof top. Entire social media is filled with such declarations.

My first question is: What does it do to their children and other parents and children who may not have scored that well?

And the second question is: Even if as a parent, we do not do so, isn’t there a problem in the system? What should we do as a parent and the current ecosystem?

Acharya Prashant: We come to notice these things only when they present themselves in the loudest manner possible. We talk as if the problem lies in a certain event. We say that the results have been declared and the parents are now behaving in a particular way and that is the problem. Is that the problem?

Have the parents and the kids suddenly converted into believing that it is important to be ambitious, it is important to be competitive and to be a high achiever? Is this something that has suddenly happened? Or was it always there? On the other hand, I would also want to ask: Why does it really hurt when somebody shouts from the roof top, as you said? Is it not so that it can hurt only when you too wanted your kid to do equally well, whatever that means and now that your son and daughter could not be that big achiever, so it hurts when somebody else rub salts into your wounds by openly proclaiming his or her daughter’s achievement.

These are the two things we must go into. Read more

To know why a man and a woman are in conflict is to know why world is in conflict

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Question: I want to know why the world is at the moment so harsh?

Acharya Prashant: There is nothing that one group, one community or one person experiences that the other has never experienced or is not experiencing even to the slightest degree. Fundamentally we are all one. As human beings, we all perceive the world through our senses, we all operate through language, we all think and our basic tendencies are all the same.

The same urge to have security, the same urge to find love, the same repulsion from the feeling of termination, of disappearance, the same attachments and the same kinds of identifications. We’re all very much one and the oneness becomes more and more apparent as we go deeper into our psyche — the mind. As we go deeper into the mind, the similarities become very apparent. Read more

Work and Immersion

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Listener 1: Last time we had talked about freedom. I had said that I find it easy to say, “No”, but I don’t know what to say, “Yes” to. It is difficult. You had advised me to do Neti-Neti and proceed. This need to immerse fully was coming from my present job, where the feedback I get is that I am not immersing myself fully. And I relate it to my conditioning, in the past, the bitterness that I hold, due to which I am saying no to a lot of things now. But you had said something later on, “The need to immerse fully is just a commandment of this industrial age, please remain doubtful.” Now when you say this, what emerges is that this in itself comes in the way of immersion, perhaps. That means I have not understood it fully.

Acharya Prashant: You see, immersion is not a cultivated thing. Of course, we all know immersion. It is something so simple, so ordinary; like holding a baby in your arms without any tension, there need not be any separation between you and the kid. That is immersion. The child may even be naked, even physically there is no separation, you too might be a mother, not wearing anything, and you are holding the baby to your chest; it is so simple, extremely obvious. Read more

The Elusive Search

The various religions are one of the major reasons why man’s search remains elusive; and when I say ‘religions’, I do not mean only organised religions. Whatsoever tells you about the fundamentals of life comes in the purview of religion.

So, if parents are trying to tell the kid about the importance of grades, about the importance of getting more marks – this is religious education. If peers are trying to tell a child, how absolutely critical it is to clear a competitive examination – this is religious indoctrination. If a particular employer is motivating his employees to forget everything else and focus on sales targets, and he is saying, ‘Forget everything else, this is what you need to do!’ – This very much religious activity. This is religious activity because it is attempting to tell the listener that by undertaking this activity you will get That which you really want.

The man who is telling a woman that she should come with him and he will give her the highest happiness possible, is making a religious promise. He will never say — and romance hardly ever looks like religion, but the promise is essentially religious — he is promising God to her, he is saying, ‘Come to me, I will give you fulfilment! ’ It is another matter that he will never be able to keep his promise. All such promises get broken, all such affairs fail. The shopping mall that is telling you that you can get enjoyment by visiting it is again making a religious claim.

All the institutions that the society has set up, that promise deliverance, completeness, satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment, are all trying to do something religious. When there is so much of purported religious activity being attempted, it is obvious that getting lost would be the easiest thing to do.


~ Excerpts from the article, What is religion?

Forecasting future is one thing and desiring future is totally another

We all have the ability to forecast. Forecasting is one thing and desiring from the future is another thing. Based on how economy is going, the economist can forecast how the economy will grow in the next year, that is also looking into the future but that is not the same as being future-oriented.

If I have the capacity to project the future, that is one thing, but to be obsessed with the future is the entirely different thing. To make the future the centre of your action is totally different.

There can be two ways of acting: one is that I am acting right now and the other is that I already have the image in the mind and based on that image I am working for the future. Unfortunately, ninety nine percent of us work according to the second order.

See, the first model says that, “I am in love with my books and studies in the present and because I study well in the present, so I will do well in the examination, which is in future.”

The second model says that, “When the examination will be announced, when the exam date-sheet will be put up, then to do well, I will start studying. To do well in the future, I will start studying. Future comes first for all.” That is our model. That is the way of life for ninety-nine percent of the people.

Future comes first for you and then the present comes. You are reversing the flow of time. In our minds, future comes first. “I want to succeed in that examination, so today I must study”. The appropriate sequence is, “Because I am studying, hence I will naturally do well in the exam. I am not studying for the sake of exam; I am studying because I love to study.”

Would it not be beautiful if you live this way? Then marks would be a by-product. Marks will not matter, what will matter is the time that you spend with your books; the joy, the fun with the books, that is more important.

Feel free, let it come. Fearlessly, let it come. Let there be faith that, “I am capable of handling whatever will come. I can take it. I will not be scared. I will not shiver. I will not be afraid. Just bring it on. I have a way to respond to it. My intelligence is adequate. There is a challenge, I will respond. The world is not a threatening place.

Existence has given all this to you, how can existence be hostile towards you? The past was not hostile, the present is not hostile. How can future be hostile?

Essentially, all planning for the future is planning of the present.


~ Excerpts from the article, Plans of future come from fears of past

The mind which is always competing becomes diseased

What is a mind that is always competitive and that is always thinking in relation to the other? Such a mind is an afraid mind. Such a mind does not look at itself because it is so busy looking at the other, it’s life, all its activities. All its thoughts are determined by what is happening on the outside. So, if someone else is running at a particular speed, this mind might say that I have to run harder. If that fellow starts swimming, then this might say that I have to swim harder. This mind has nothing of its own. Somebody else dictates what it does? And it is always afraid. It is always afraid because its sense of accomplishment comes only in relation to others.

If you are not available to what is happening right now, if you are not available to what is happening in this moment, and you mind is thinking of future, then your life will be boring, dull. The real moment is right now. But if your mind keeps thinking of the future, it will miss life now. Then the life will be boring for you. When life becomes boring, you start finding it valueless. Then studying becomes unimportant, results become important. Then studying a particular course becomes unimportant, getting a job becomes important. The result is that we live very superficial lives.

Our actions lack depth. You have heard somewhere that there is a lot of competition and to survive in it one needs to do a lot of planning, without understanding what is ‘career’, without understanding that the mind which is always competing becomes diseased. Without understanding all this, you have jumped into it because you are afraid. Even this fear is not yours. This fear has been implanted in your mind, by your family, by the society, by the media, by your education. You have imbibed this fear. This fear cannot help you. Go deep into what is available to you. Go deep into your mind.

Understand the mind, understand the world. And then you will yourself come to know what is worth doing. You will yourself know what kind of career will give happiness. You will not be lost. Then, you will not study engineering because somebody else suggested. Then whatever you will do, that will come from your own understanding. So, do not be in a hurry to take any decisions. Observe the mind, understand the mind. Observe the world, understand the world. Leave aside your fears and observe. Everything will be clear!

If you are fond of playing the game of Love, then come over

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जउ तउ प्रेम खेलण का चाऊ।
सिर धरि तली गली गेरी आउ।।
इतु मरगि पैर धरीजै।
सिर दीजै काणि न कीजै।।

गुरु ग्रन्थ साहिब

__________

jau tau prem khelan ka chaau

sir dhari tali gali geri aau

itu margi paer dharijae

sir dijae kaani na kijae 

Guru Granth Sahib

__________ Read more

Our education fills us up with external knowledge, leaving us ignorant of ourselves

Question: Sir, what made you to leave your corporate job, and start this whole different line of work?  

Speaker: There was a lot that was asking to be changed. Leaving the corporate was not really an objective. I wanted to do something, and if it could have been nicely done from within a corporate, I would rather have done that. In fact Advait is still a private limited company. So, it is not that I opted out of corporate, but as far as the mission is concerned…

You know there are things that people are doing; there are things that I could have done, but a lot of people could have done them as well as me. There were things that I could have done and somebody else could have done them in a better way but there was something that I saw, that I was seeing and that cause was really crying out, it needed to be taken up, but very few people were attending to it. So, (Smilingly) just opportunism. It is something important and somebody needs to take it up, so I said, “Why not me?”

Listener 1: Sir, would you like to elaborate on this topic a bit more?

Speaker: You see, all of you sitting over here, are quite knowledgeable people. Right? Even the reference made to us is, ‘Knowledge workers’. Right? That’s how we are referred to. ‘White-collar jobs’. So we know a lot, or at least a little.

Our knowledge is, in some areas, pretty detailed as well and it’s quite amazing, the extent to which human intelligence has gone and created this knowledge and other human beings have absorbed it and are putting it to use. Now, having known this much, is it not strange, what you read in newspapers? “Man quarreling with man, nation quarreling with nation, husband quarreling with wife, neighbor quarreling with neighbor, man quarreling with himself!”

When we find nobody else to engage, we are busy fighting ourselves. And we know so much.

Anu_KnowWe know so much. Yet basics of life – jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, small happenings in our environment seem to shake us up. Does that happen or not? One piece of news regarding the market, or regarding the changing company policies, or regarding the changing environment within the organization and suddenly we feel as if the ground under our feet is slipping. Is that not so? And we have so much of knowledge! All of us! And there are people who have much more knowledge than us. The thing is, their situation too is just the same.

So, this interested me. I asked, “Why is knowledge, why is all our progress not helping us lead more secure and composed inner lives?” You know, you look at a illiterate man, then you look at somebody who could not go beyond class tenth, then you look at somebody who has done his B.Tech, and then at a post doctorate, and tell me, are they really, internally, any different?

It is equally probable that all of them might be suspicious of their wife, authoritarian towards their kids, aggressive towards their neighbor, jealous of their colleague; is it not equally likely? By doing a PhD, does the probability that you will be worried, does this probability decrease?

Chances are, it increases. So why is our knowledge not helping us be…. Ultimately we have to live with ourselves. Right? Why is our knowledge, not helping us, simply be more centered?

So this brought me to the question of – What kind of knowledge do we have?

The knowledge that we have all pertains to something external. We know about this, we know about that, we know about cooling technologies, all kind of electronics, optics, the world, Mars, other galaxies, we have collected so much knowledge about them but our education, in schools and colleges, and our training, as professionals in corporate, simply does not touch upon ourselves.

Anu_WithinYou know, we have been educated probably from some of the premier institutions and then our training has continued in the places that we have worked in, but somehow, nowhere have we being sensitized towards our own mind. Our education and training is such that, it never asks us to turn within with the result that even the most knowledgeable man, is actually so infantile, and immature. He may be forty years of age, he might be earning a lot, but in his psyche, he is still a baby; somebody who can have a nervous breakdown any time. Somebody who just can’t get along with his wife. Somebody who just can’t stop himself from competing, he competes with everybody. And he says that he is in a leadership position! He says, he is leading X number of people.

The fault does not lie with this man, the fault lies with the way we have been brought up, educated, and continuously trained.

So, full of knowledge about this and that, but largely ignorant of the self. Unfortunately, nobody lives with his knowledge. You live with that feeling in your mind. Don’t we?  We all know that. We know what I am talking about. Right? You know when you are not alright. And I know that nobody wants to feel not alright. Anybody here, who is interested in feeling not alright? Anybody here who likes that feeling when your legs are unnecessary shivering? And we all have experienced that, have we not? You have just appeared for an interview, and you are awaiting that call from HR, and that call comes, you recall that experience? Some of us might be having it pretty frequently. There are professional job hoppers.

You recall that experience? That call comes and how your fingers simply can’t stop their SHM (Simple Harmonic Motion). Now, what is the worth of your knowledge? What is its worth?

Yes, others might think that you are somebody. Given your knowledge, your experience, your professional advancement and probably your bank balance. But is all of that, of use to you, beyond a point? These were the questions that I was struggling with. And I thought these are important questions. And I could see that these are important things that not many people are really prepared to attend to. So I thought, well, let’s go into it.

I have been lucky that I have had many other people who have seen the importance of this over the years, who came to me, who joined me, assisted me in this journey and are still coming. And you would understand that this is not something which is a main-stream career option. So only those who really see the worth of this work, they come and join. Thankfully there are a few such people. You too are welcome. Devesh ji knows the address and the rest of it.

Look at this for an example. Had I been sitting here to talk about some technology, give me the name of a latest technology that people here might be interested in?

Listener 1: Cloud.

Speaker: So let’s say I am an expert in Cloud Computing, and I have come here to talk. A lot of us would have a lot of questions to ask, especially if we had only ten or fifteen minutes. Right? But when it comes to speaking about ourselves, we are simply lost. We don’t know what to say. And I understand our predicament, what I am saying might sound interesting to you, but what do we talk about? Yes, nice, right, alright, but what is in it to talk about?

There is a lot, incidentally, but this is such an unknown territory, our own mind is such an unknown territory to us. And in spite of seeing, getting a hint, at least, that there is something in it.

That’s the story with every walk of life, you know, I am sure many of us are friends here, with each other. Right? We talk about so many things, don’t we? But do we really talk about the Real? Not that we want to hide this. But there has been something in the way we have come up that we have become experts in remaining engrossed in the trivial. But when it comes to the Real, we become a little tongue tied. Don’t we?

It’s not something that is happening only in your relationship with me. Parents and kids, how authentic is their conversation? I need not talk about bosses and subordinates; that is not even supposed to be authentic. But what if, even a husband-wife conversation is rarely genuine? Rarely Real? Yes, we can talk about the furniture, we can talk about what is happening in the neighbor’s house, we can talk about the new restaurant down the road but do we really talk about that which matters? That, which matters. That which really keeps us off-center. Do we ever talk about it? We have been trained to slip it under the carpet. I thought why not bring the few skeleton out of the cupboard, just for fun.

Think of all the people you have been in touch with since years, and think of whether you have had a single genuine conversation with them. It is amusing, and at the same time, horrifying. Even the ability to look at each other directly in the eye! Have you seen people, who just really don’t want to have any eye contact? And it’s not their fault. It’s nobody’s fault. But somebody needs to do something about it. It’s a worthy cause, right? A few people must take it up. Should they not? What do you say?

I invite people. I say, “Let’s look at facts, let’s not talk dream stuff.” I say, “Look at all the mails that you have written in the past six months. Not the strictly professional ones. All the mails that you have written, to your friends, relatives, acquaintances,” I say, “Now, read them again. And read them very directly, very objectively, very honestly, and then tell me, how much of it is Real?”

Of course, I am not talking of mails relating to a sales pitch, or such stuff; they are not suppose to be Real. Are they? But what about the mails written to your friends, to cousins, even to parents? What is happening? We are intelligent people all of us, at least to the extent that intelligence is synonym of knowledge. We are quite intelligent. So, what’s going on?

I still don’t know, what’s going on. I am exploring, I mean, I no wise in that sense.

Ok, try this, a small experiment. A small experiment. Just walk up to somebody, not causally, walk up to somebody as if you really mean it; looking straight in his eyes, take his name or her name, and say, “I want to talk to you.” Not so melodramatically, but with sincerity, just with sincerity and you will only see scare in his eyes. “Oh my God! Is something Real going to come up?” As long as you are casual, and you just walk past people, tapping them on their shoulders, “Hi John, what’s up? How’s the hotdog?” The Yankee thing, as long as that is happening, we are friends.

But if you give the slightest hint to the other person, that you mean to open your heart up, instead of feeling gratified, he will feel terrified. Try this, its fun. Good fun. And after you see him trembling, tell him, “No I don’t mean anything, it’s casual”.

We are afraid of everything that is not really false. For the years, I have been surprised to see how much we are really afraid of intimacy, I am surprised because ostensibly we all says that we want intimacy, we want closeness with somebody. But when intimacy really beckons or knocks on our door, we retract. We don’t have the guts to embrace it. You must have seen such people, they are so insecure they can’t let anybody come close. Because somebody coming close is a threat to their entire mental structure. They’ll have to accommodate him, their structure will need to change. That structure, by the way, is also called as ego.

We are young people here, and I am not talking of physical intimacy. We understand that, right? So that’s what the whole game is about. Complex, challenging, but fun!

~Excerpts from a guest talk. Edited for clarity.

View the session at: Our education fills us up with external knowledge, leaving us ignorant of ourselves

Read more on this topic:

Article 1: How important is education of the self?

Article 2: Why is education not helping the world?

Article 3: Solve your mind, all your problems will be solved

Standing still, I move so fast

Unmoving, the One, than the mind is swifter.

The senses fell back as ahead It speeded.

Though standing, It passes all others running.

The air by Its presence supports the waters.

 

It moves and yet It does not move. It is far and also near.

It is found within all this and also outside can appear.

Ishavasya Upanishad (4-5)

Speaker: “Unmoving, the One, than the mind is swifter”, that is swifter than the mind. “The senses fell back as ahead It speeded”, its speed is greater than that of the senses. “Though standing, It passes all others running”, shows no movement yet He passes all those who are displaying any movement. “The air by Its presence supports the waters”. Then, “It moves and yet It does not move. It is far and also near. It is found within all this and also outside can appear”.

So, to say that this, all this (Referring to the world), is not the Truth would not be proper, but also to say that this alone is the Truth, too would not be proper. “It (Truth) is within all this (the World) and outside all this.” This is also how they put it across in Zen – “It is not what it appears but It is also nothing different from it.” All objects arise in It and are due to It but It cannot be objectified. Everything arises in It, due to It and goes back to It but ‘It’ is not a thing. Because It gives birth to everything, so whatever qualities they possess come due to It the One, the Brahm, the Truth. But It is not the sum total of the qualities of any object or all objects taken together. All objects along with their respective qualities of movement, speed, colour, form, whatever qualities there might be, arise from It. So obviously It has the potential for all those qualities, that is why they appear from It. But at the same time those qualities do not account for the potential that It has. So, there is the potential from which all the qualities appear but even if you take all the qualities together, if they could be taken together, still the potential would be left out. So It is within it and also outside it. Getting it? Within it and outside it. No scope is left for any kind of debate here.

Read more

The hurt mind demands caution and restriction

Question: Sir, we talk of the highest negotiation or interaction, the Love, which is basically completely forgetting our self and seeing the other person’s interest.

So, I would like to ask you that is it really practical in this real world? Is it really fruitful in this ever going competitive world to completely forget our self and look at other person’s interest?

Speaker: Sonakshi, at this moment do you really remember your ankle? (smiles)

I remember my shoulder, it is hurting. I was driving up the hills, riding my bike, it slipped, hit me here and it is still hurting and it is constantly reminding me of itself. Does your shoulder remind you of itself?

Listener: No Sir.

Speaker: What if you have a headache? Will the head make its presence felt? It would constantly be reminding you of itself. You said, “The third kind of negotiation is healthforgetting who you are”.

Do you see when you can forget something? You can forget something, especially yourself, only when you are completely healthy. Read more

Why do I keep repeating mistakes?

Question: Why do we keep repeating the same mistakes again and again?

Speaker: There must be some pleasure in repeating those mistakes. Otherwise, why would you want to do it again and again? It’s just for namesake that you are calling it a ‘mistake’. Actually, it is not a mistake at all for you. It is a pleasurable activity, may be even some kind of an accomplishment. Had it really been a mistake, would you have allowed it to be repeated?

It is just to keep a good social face, that we call it a ‘mistake’. “Dhokhe se ho gaya” (Happened by mistake). And now we are preparing for it to happen again.

(Sarcastically“Such a nice mistake. May I be mistaken again and again.”

Read more

How do I get rid of my restlessness?

Question: Restlessness doesn’t really leave me. Why am I so restless? How can I get rid of my restlessness?

Speaker: Cars these days come with the auto-pilot feature. You can put the car on the cruise mode, especially on long drives, and the driver can relax. There was a research conducted on the vehicles that have this auto-drive feature.  It was found out that people who buy cars having this facility do not really use it. Read more

Why do I get jealous?

Question: Sir, when two people are at a same level, and if one of the two moves ahead, the other is mostly not comfortable of this fact. Whereas had the same person, been a stranger to him, the second fellow would still have been comfortable. Why is it so that knowing someone, leads to problems including jealousy?

Speaker: There is very little left to be answered here. The fact has been rightly stated. It is just that you have known the fellow since a period of time, and now the fellow is changing. Obviously you cannot ignore the fact that you have known him. Obviously there are images from the past, and compared to those images the fact of today is different.

I am not asking you to forget the images of the past, I am not asking you to look at that man in a new light, I am not asking you to look at him as if you are looking at him for the first time today, because that is probably not possible for you. You have been too close, too intimate for too long to look at the man afresh. Yes, you have a past, and yes the changed man is standing right in front of you. Now if you really love the man is not this a cause worth celebrating? Isn’t this a development to be rejoiced!

Do not forget that earlier he was with you. Because you will not be able to forget! But today, if he is unlike you, should you not celebrate this fact? Or would you rather mourn and complain and be jealous. If jealousy is arising in you, it’s a fair opportunity to reflect on the quality of the relationship that has already been there. jealousyI have been with somebody, and I do not like the fact that he is refining. Now has this a relationship been of love? Had it been of love, I would have been happy. I would have said, “Great that you are moving ahead. I love you even more now. I loved you then, and you are far more lovable today!”

Or would you rather regret and rue? Your child gets seventy marks in one examination, and in the next examination he gets eighty, do you feel disappointed? What do you say? It’s great that he is improving. Then why do you feel disappointed when your spouse starts getting ten percent more in the exam of life? He is improving, he is a better man. Celebrate!

But you can celebrate his refinement, only if first of all you value refinement. (Sarcastically) “I loved you for your crudeness, I loved you for your ignorance, I loved you for your violence, I loved you for your servility, and I do not value freedom, refinement or wisdom.

When I do not value refinement or wisdom or freedom, how will I love a wise, refined and free man? How will I love?”

Somebody getting ten more marks is a very gross event. It is obvious and visible that from seventy, there is an increase to eighty, and I wanted that increase. Right? But if you don’t want that increase, then that same increase can be a cause of regret. “Oh, I didn’t want that increase, it has increased.” Marks increase from 70 to 80, you celebrate! But if your weight increases from 70 to 80, you don’t really celebrate that much. It’s a question of value. You value marks but you do not value weight. You start calling yourself ‘overweight’.

Do you value ‘wisdom’? Do you value ‘peace’? Do you value ‘understanding’? Do you? And if you don’t value these things for yourself, obviously you cannot value these for your husband. First of all you have to value these for yourself. A wise woman would thank the heavens that the husband is gaining in wisdom. A free mind would fill up with gratitude that the partner too is gaining freedom. So, remove the spouse from the question, remove the other person from the equation. Look at yourself. “What do I value? What have I labelled as important in life?”

When you would be rightly valuing, not somebody else, first of all yourself, when you would be rightly knowing what is valuable, then you would value all the right things, all the right people, and all the right developments. Then you would not resist them. Then you would not wish that things would have been better, had this not happened. “Oh, you were better off earlier, why don’t you become the same old man? I miss what you were one year back.” Then these things will not come to your mind.

Have your heart at the right place. When somebody is waking up, and you are really friends with him, then wake up along with him. That is the only way to keep company, that is the only way to maintain the friendship. There can be no friendship between the running and the limping.

Listener: What if there are two people, both at the same level. One person who is known to me and if this person rises up, it causes a wrath of jealousy in me. However, the other person is not known to me, and if he rises, there is no jealousy. I even think that probably he deserves it. I might even be happy for him.

Speaker: Factually unfeasible. Movement means ‘comparison’. Movement is always from A to B. If you are saying that this person is showing a movement it means that you have known him in the past. You cannot say somebody is improving without having a standard to compare him against. How do you know somebody is improving? Only by knowing firstly what he has been. Do you understand what I am saying?

Listener: What about the relationship then?

Speaker: Ah, attachment!

It’s alright. Be attached, but to what? What are you attached to? I will not just announce that attachment is bad. I am saying that it is alright, be attached, but what are you attached to? There is something about the man that was there in him two years back that you are attached to. What is it that you feel attached to? His ignorance or his love?

If you are attached to his love then he is becoming all the more worthy of love, kindly be all the more attached. Wonderful! Divine attachment! But you will have problems if you are attached to his darkness. And what gets attached to darkness? Does light get attached to darkness?

It is your own darkness that is fond of darkness. So I’m saying, forget the other person. Look at yourself. Dispel the darkness within and then you will value all that is light. Being dark within, how will you value light?dispel darkness

If there are people in your life who are not happy with the fact that your eyes are opening up, that you are able to look at the world clearly then please know that this resentment is not coming from their light. It is coming from their darkness and hence this resentment cannot be made important. If your friends taunt you, when you turn up for the clarity session, then they are not your friends in the first place. Please understand this.

Friend by definition is a well-wisher. A friend by definition is a man who would celebrate if you are improving. Not a man who would be jealous and irritated seeing you walk the path of liberation. He is not a friend at all. But don’t condemn him, because if he is not a friend to you, firstly he is not even a friend to himself! He is his own enemy, how can he be a friend to you?

We make friends with so many people, without even asking, “Is that fellow a friend to himself first?” He is his own enemy, how can he be my friend? The one who does not know what is good for him, how will he know or like, what is good for you? He is bound to resent it. How can you give importance to their resentment?

– Excerpts from a Clarity Session held at AdvaitSthal. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Why do I get jealous?

Read more article on this topic:

Article 1: Ego will not understand this world, but will demand a Reality beyond
Article 2: Place of ego either at the Master’s feet or in the Master’s embrace
Article 3: The ego hates light and truth