Suffering and Courage || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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

Suffering and courage

Question: Acharya Ji, as you said that the realisation, the understanding, or seeing, frees us, as a spontaneous action. How does it arise? Whatever I understand, through my thinking, analysis, knowledge, I understand a bit. But that understanding, does not free me of my habits.

So, my question is: how is ‘my understanding’ is different from ‘the understanding’ that you are talking about? Is it also born out of knowledge?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

It is born out of suffering. There is no other transformative force. You do not need to transform, if you are not suffering. If you are already alright, do you need to change? So, all spirituality, springs from there.

Wisdom, and realisation, and understanding are needed, because man is not alright.

So, you have to come face-to-face, with the fact of your inner disquiet.

And that requires courage.

That requires a dedication to peace.

Why does it require courage? Because disquiet does not live within us, carrying the name of ‘disquiet’. ‘Disquiet’ lives within us, carrying very lovely, and sacred names. Names in which in which we have made a lot of investment. Therefore, to call disquiet as ‘disquiet’, is a courageous decision. It means mentally writing-off, a lot of your investments. Giving up on a lot of your assumed receivables.

Hence, courage is needed.

Disquiet hides within us, as love. And it requires courage to confront the fact, that that which you have been calling as ‘love’, is not love at all. It is just noise. And why does that require courage? I repeat, because in that so-called ‘love’, we have already invested a lot. So, when you acknowledge, that ‘love’ has not been love at all, you are mentally writing-off all the resources, that you have so-far invested in ‘love’.

And mind is greedy, it doesn’t want to easily write-off any money. Do we want to write-off things easily? We want to cling to hope. We want to keep hoping, that an investment will come good. That some money, that others owe to us, would be returned to us, sooner than later.

It requires courage, to firmly write something off. It requires courage to realise that hope is useless, that you have invested in the wrong places. And that by sticking to hope, you are only turning the condition worse.

Sometimes, the situations force us to confront the facts. Mostly, we do not allow the situations to go so bad, specially in the modern-age. There is so much money, and so much technology, and so much entertainment, one can remain gladly absorbed in one thing, or the other. Science and economics, and social security, all are there to serve us. So, they act as a buffer against sudden shocks of realisation.

All the security that we have built around us, acts as a shock-absorber. It doesn’t allow the shocks of reality to reach us. So we remain comfortably insulated. This gives us an even more allowance, to continue in our dream world.

We never face the full consequences of our actions. And even if we face them, we don’t face them in one go. We never get to see a big wound in the chest. Instead of the big wound, our security systems ensure, that we have hundred little cuts. Now, hundred little cuts can never all be seen together, in one go. So, we live under the delusion, that there is only a little bit of bleeding.

Had there been a single big wound on the chest, then we would have been forced to realise, the extent of our suffering. But, we don’t have that one big wound. We have arranged to turn that one big wound into, several small ones. And even those several small ones, don’t occur to us, parallely. They come to us in installments.

And that gives us enough allowance, to keep deceiving ourselves. And keep telling ourselves, that all is alright. It’s the credit-card age you see. If you don’t want to know, you will never come to know the full face of your indebtedness. You just keep paying the monthly dues. You will realise, that you are neck-deep in trouble.

One has to then sit down, and say, “I want to know. I want to know the facts of it. I want to know the Mathematics of it. Give me the right number. I really want to know how deep the trouble is. I can’t shy away from the facts any longer. I want to know what the thing is really like. I will ask the right questions. I must begin the right conversations. The facts must be exposed, even if they are highly inconvenient.”

But, this is the age of convenience you see. You can shy away from anything, that is not convenient.

Questioner: I don’t work towards it. I just get stuck. I realise that this is where I am. What should I do next then? I don’t get that courage, to let it go.

Acharya Ji:

Be in the company of somebody courageous.

Sometimes it happens, that a little initial push, is needed from the outside.

And then the power of your self-observation, is enough to keep propelling you.

If you are continuously in an environment, in the company of people, who would not move towards, or for the sake of realisation or liberation, then you too would find movement difficult.

But such difficulty, is only initial.

Once you move a little bit, then you will start finding the movement – natural, spontaneous.

To begin the movement, just seek a little help from outside. A little help. Not too much.

Don’t become dependent.

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

Watch the session: Suffering and courage || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)

Is willpower really needed

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Question: Acharya Ji, how to improve willpower?

Acharya Prashant Ji: So, what has Aditya (the questioner) asked? “What can we do, to improve will power?” Right?

What is ‘willpower’, and why do we need it? What is ‘will power’?

Listener: To have determination.

Acharya Ji: To have determination. Determination, for what?

Listener: For our goal.

Acharya Ji: For our goal. To ‘do’ something. Right? To ‘do’ something. You need willpower in order that, something happens, that something gets done, right? Now, why does something, not get done? We often find that we are unable to act, to ‘do’.

Why are we unable to act, and ‘do’?

Listener 1: Because of fear.

Listener 2: Because of restrictions.

Acharya Ji: Fear. Restrictions.

If fear is there, if restrictions are there, and you give them importance, then obviously you cannot act. And when you cannot act, then you get up and say that you need willpower.

So, willpower is needed, only when you feel fear, only when you feel restrictions.

In order to overcome them, you need willpower. And that is what you are asking – “How can I enhance willpower?” What could be a better question?

Would it not be a better question: How not to be afraid? How not to be restricted?

Are you trying it, with me? We say, “We need willpower.” What if the willpower is actually not needed? What if you are fighting imaginary demons? You say, “You know, I require a lot of willpower, to enter that room, because in that room, there are ghosts, are there are demons?”

And as long as you believe, that there are ghosts, and there are demons, what will you require? Will power.  Willpower, motivation, somebody to give you courage. Somebody to pump you up. What if you come to see that there are no ghosts, and there are no demons? Would you still require willpower? Would you still require willpower?

(Pointing at one of the listeners) You are shaking your head, would you require willpower, to shake your head? You are again shaking your head, do you again require willpower? You are saying, “No, Sir,” do you require any willpower to say, “No, Sir”?

You just know, and out of that clarity, a simple action is happening. There is no willpower needed. But, if you are told that the fellow sitting in front of you, is a maniac, and the moment somebody shakes his head, nods his head, he shoots from the podium itself, then you will need a lot of willpower, to nod in ‘Yes’, or ‘No’. Right? Otherwise the action is simple. If you have to enter a room, you have to just step in. If you have to shake your head, you just shake it. A simple nod.

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

When we look into these obstacles, we find that they are only, as long as, we believe in them.

Then, you do not need willpower. Wisdom is enough.

Then, you do not need courage. Clarity is sufficient.

But, instead of asking for clarity, we often ask for courage. Now, courage is not needed, clarity is needed. Instead of asking for wisdom, we ask for will power. Will power is not needed, wisdom is enough.

If you are deeply afraid, and you believe that everybody will laugh at you, when you will ask a question, then you will need a lot of willpower. But if you are wise, and you say, “First of all, not many people are going to laugh. Secondly, even if somebody laughs, how does it matter to me?” then, will you still need will power?

You don’t need willpower. You need willpower, only as an antidote to fear. Where there is no fear, there is no need of willpower. So, don’t ask me, “How to enhance will power?” The more afraid you are, the more will power you need.

Is that not so?

Listeners: Yes, Sir.

Acharya Ji:

The more restricted you feel, the more willpower you need. Is that not so? Just open your eyes and see, that there is no restriction, except those, that you subscribe to, except those, that you willingly self-impose.

Then you will say, “Well, willpower! Who needs it?” When you are enjoying a particular sport, then you run around a lot. You expend a lot of energy. Do you need willpower? Do you need willpower?

Listeners: No.

Acharya Ji: But you will need a lot of willpower, if you are told to go jogging, and if you don’t enjoy jogging, then jogging even fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, you will say, “O my god, I am just dragging my feet. Give me some willpower.”

When you are really into something, when there is no fear, who asks for will power?

It is not needed.

Are you getting it?

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

Watch the session:  Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)


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Acharya Prashant: Is plunging into sex a method to gain freedom from sex?

Question: Acharya Ji, you have said in a previous session while discussing the attraction towards sex, that one does not need to get entangled even to overcome or suppress. One rather needs to leave sex behind. One should seek that for which one is really eager. All the energy should go in that direction.

One is not rejecting sex, one is just prioritizing correctly. One is saying that the one that has a lower priority must wait because there is something immensely more important that is higher up the priority. That which is higher up the priority is so immense that it would never get completed, never get over. So the one who is waiting for his turn, the one who is lower down the order would just keep waiting.

He would not need to be killed, he would have just been permanently postponed. And she says that, in the same session, Acharya Ji has said “In the subconscious, there is a lot that terrifies you and you try to escape that fear by not trying to know more about it. When you first enter, you will find ‘that’ will scare you but if you stay with it courageously you will meet the one that delivers you from that fear.

If a person doesn’t meet ‘that’, which scares him and how you meet the one that liberates from the fear. Therefore, on your way meet all your imperfections and impurities and it is only after that you will meet the one that purifies, perfects and completes you.

So having quoted these two excerpts from a previous session, the question is, In the context of the pull of Maya and the worldly, here relating to the pull of the sexual energy, does one acknowledge it  and transcend it by focusing on the ‘Ananth’ or God ? or does one drop the defences against Maya, go through the worldly and only then arrive at the door of the Ananth.

Thank you.

Acharya Prashant: So, two excerpts have been quoted and apparently the two excerpts are in contradiction. The first one says that you do not need to get entangled, and the second one says that you need to meet all your fears, all your impurities, all your imperfections head-on.

So the questioner is a little confused and she is asking what to do? Does one seek to cleanse herself or does one need to plunge into her own conditioning? I will repeat the question for you. In the context of the pull of Maya and the worldly, here relating to the pull of the sexual energy, does one acknowledge it and transcend it by focusing on God ? or does one drop the defenses against Maya, go through the worldly and only then arrive at the door of the Ananth?

Read more

Thought is not bad

There is the mind, and the mind has the ability to think. The question is not whether you are thinking or not. The question is, who is the thinker? If the thinker is devoted to the Truth, then thoughts are just like the dance of Shiva.

Is the river of your thoughts pure enough to allure Shiva to dance in it? And Shiva will not dance in a stream impure.

There is understanding without thought and there is understanding with thought as well. Just as there is Truth, formlessly, and there is Truth, formed as well. There will be occasions when the Truth will strike you like a thunderbolt, like a flash of lightning. And understanding will be complete in a split second. And there will be occasions when you will be required to think.

But I understand your predicament. All the spiritual masters are treating thought as the worst offender. As if thought has brought in sickness and disease to your life. Not really. Thought is your expression, just as action is your expression. As you are, so your thought is. In fact, thought is so very helpful. You cannot look at your tendencies, your vrittis, directly. But thought is gross, palpable, definite, it can be watched.

When you think, you come to know of yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have known. The thought of jealousy or the thought of fear arises, it helps you know that deep within somewhere, you are? Afraid.

Thought is not bad. ‘Useful’ or ‘Useless’ is the place, thought is coming from.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Is physical proximity to the Guru necessary?


 

Acharya Prashant: Is physical proximity to the Guru necessary?

Acharya Prashant: The next one is from Roosmarjin, from the Netherlands. And she has tried the devanagari script today. That’s what I say, you Love playing games. And you keep trying your games upon me as well. I too am a sportsman. Right? If you offer me a game, I won’t refuse.

So, yes Rosie, let’s have a ball.

“Acharya Ji pranam.” Rosie ji, “Pranam.”

Freedom is compulsory.” Of course.

“At a grace given moment, no thoughts come up in the mind any longer. I want to do or drop, whatever it takes in order to not resist the process. Day by day, the pull to be in physical proximity with you and devote my life to you, the Truth, grows stronger. Most of the thoughts that are in my mind are related to moving to India, to be in your physical proximity. Only if it would be wanted for the sake of the mission at large, will I stay there? But the thought of not coming to live close to you literally makes my heart contract. Maybe this message is not suited for the class, but it is ‘the one thing’ I am serious about. If you don’t stop me, I will come. Please tell me, what is being wanted.

Yours Roosmarjin”

[Holding a cat in his hands and showing the cat towards the screen] Say “Hi” to Roosmarjin. So what do you want from her (asking the cat), she is the Oracle (referring to the cat). So, what do you want from Roosmarjin?

Silence.

Yes, Oracle, speak !  (still holding the cat)

Nothing. Please. Just a meow would be enough. Say something, say something!

She is not refusing. She is not even saying, that consent is needed. She wants to sleep (lets the cat off his hands, and while she goes, comes a meow). And to this, she said, Yes.

A few things you have said.

You have said, “at a grace given moment, no thoughts come up in the mind any longer.” When you were here in India, I had spoken about this, I will repeat!

It is not at all necessary or advisable, to target a state of ‘no thoughts.’ To extend the metaphor of the last answer, will the Sun ever be without its radiance? It’s rays? Will the ocean ever be without its waves? Will there ever be God, sans godliness? Will there ever be the creator, without the creation?

Thoughts are like waves. And waves only give dance to the substance of the ocean. If the ocean itself has somehow become contaminated or spoilt or corrupted. Then the waves too would have that corruption.

There is the mind, and the mind has the ability to think. The question is not whether you are thinking or not.

The question is, who is the thinker?

If the thinker is devoted to the Truth, then thoughts are just like the dance of Shiva.

Read more

Life is not that tragic

The mind is like that. It has no independent existence of its own. It lives only in relation. Only in comparison. If it cannot relate something to the past it will not be able to make any sense of it.

It derives its very existence from a relationship with knowledge. The thing must already be there in the mind by way of knowledge for it to make any sense to you. So that’s all the mind can do.

Life is not that tragic. The new is there, every moment is new. We are leaving continuously in the new but the faculty that will know the new is not the conditioned.

The only way to come close to the happening is by way of direct approach. Comparison is indirect approach and you have the capability to approach rife directly.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Why does the mind compare everything with the past?

Acharya Prashant: Why does the mind compare everything with the past?

Listener: Why does my mind compare everything with the past?

Acharya Prashant: What else can it do? Do you want to think without having a benchmark? That’s impossible.

The mind is like a ‘businessman.’ It weighs everything. And have you seen weighing scale? It always has two parts that are weighed against each other. Have you ever seen a weighing scale that does not compare? That does not have a standard or a benchmark?

The mind is like that. It has no independent existence of its own. It lives only in relation. Only in comparison. If it cannot relate something to the past it will not be able to make any sense of it.

Assume I utter word right now that you cannot relate to your past, will your mind make any sense out of that word? If you have never heard that word before. Would that word be meaningful in the language of the mind? Yes? So, that is the all mind can do. Compare.

It derives its very existence from a relationship with knowledge. The thing must already be there in the mind by way of knowledge for it to make any sense to you. So that’s all the mind can do.

If it says something is good it is because it has been made to believe in the past that such are the benchmarks of ‘goodness.’ If it says something is moral or ethical then it is because it is made to believe that such are the standards of ethics otherwise it hardly knows anything.

So if your question is why does my mind compare anything and everything with the past? Then the answer is because that’s the only thing it can do nothing else is possible for the mind.

The question now needs to be broadened. The question must now be – “Do I need to know everything by way of comparison?” Alright!  the conditioned mind will only know something by comparing it. Right? The conditioned mind will only know something by comparing it. But will I also know everything by comparing it?  Is that an obligation upon me as well? No, that’s not really an obligation upon you. That is an obligation upon the conditioned part of the cells. But not really upon you. If that is an obligation upon you then, Life will become very terrible. Because it would imply that there is no possibility of any ‘newness.’ Only that will come to me that has a relation to the past. So, nothing new then can come to me. That is a terrible thing to happen.

Read more

Is love a trick of physical nature?

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Question: It’s something very strong as love. Love for that seems to be shown to me with another person and talk about it. I mean I can but I, it’s pretty convenient deceptive or maybe it is you know I don’t understand how we’re using the word love as an aroma of the infinite and what we experience is it a trick of nature?

AP: It’s mostly a trick of nature, physical nature.

Love really is, when it empowers you to discard, discard, discard. To love is to be pushed towards something and if you are really being pushed towards that one thing, which is really a non-thing, then you will have no business fiddling with other things. You will then get all the courage and detachment to leave everything else behind.

It is that, that I’m looking at and everything else is inconsequential, so what do I do with it? I leave it behind. Read more

Feel grateful when your confusions get exposed

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Question: It has been a long time that I have been listening to you and I have been engaged with a lot of words and everything. And so many words and so many misunderstandings have come and gone but still, the restlessness remains; but still, the will to consume remains. Like I am sitting here right now, it is of great disturbance to me that I am thinking that I want to eat a burger.

Acharya Prashant: Is this the first time that you have wanted to eat a burger? Read more

How can I know the Truth?

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Question: How can I know the truth?

Acharya Prashant: It is not very important. Far more important it is to see that you take a lot of things as the truth. You already take too many things as the truth. To begin with, don’t you take yourself as the truth? Is there anybody who says, “I am not”? Everybody says, “I am.” So when you say you are, obviously you mean that you truly exist. So you are the truth.

Begin from there. There is so much that I take as the truth. Now, is that really truth? A few hints from the scriptures may be helpful. The scriptures say, “If it is prone to disappearance and appearance, it cannot be the Truth. If it breaks your trust, it cannot be the truth. If it has an opposite somewhere, it cannot be the truth. If you can think about it and talk about it, it cannot be the truth.” Read more

On Ashtavakra: The real man stands innocently naked, free of all virtues

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Question: Ashtavakra talks about being desireless, dispassionate, and egoless. A wise man is defined to possess all these virtues. But how?

Acharya Prashant: See, look at the wordings. You are saying Ashtavakra talks about being Desireless, Dispassionate, and Egoless. Mind these three words. The conclusion being drawn by the questioner is – A wise man is defined to POSSESS all these virtues. Now, when is Ashtavakra saying that? Read more

Fun-filled practical Spirituality

~ Fun-filled practical Spirituality ~

It was my first camp and I had hardly known Acharya Ji except seeing him at the clarity sessions. We had just reached Nainital, not at the place of our stay, we were at some lake and it was early morning, and Acharya Ji instructed us to go into the water; it was quite amazing to see Acharya Ji who seemed to be quite serious had this side but more was yet to come. Read more

God has blood on His hands

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Question: The outcome of outer events still affects me. I shiver in fear, I become excited in happiness, but there is a voice that says, “I don’t care!”.

This scares me terribly. What is this voice? I feel unsafe with it.

Acharya Prashant: There is nothing more “scary” than the Truth. The Truth has been called as that which terrifies you beyond limit. In the narrative of the Gita, when Krishna reveals his real form, the Truth, to Arjun, he shivers; he trembles. He says, “I am going to faint!” Read more

To have no method of meditation is to have an infinite variety of methods

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Question: What’s your opinion on spiritual techniques which are supposed to make us confront ourselves?

Acharya Prashant: Which are supposed to make us to?

L1: To confront our issues. Like a lot of Osho’s practices are like that. Would you say we are still running from something, even though we say we are trying to get in touch with our fear or conditioning? Read more

Joy is the taste of Ultimate madness

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Acharya Prashant: Sagar is asking, ‘Will we have to leave all our relationships?’ Then you are inviting me to speak on relationships, and what kind of relationships do we have?

L1: The question is related to my personal life, like as I am becoming fearless, I am losing my peer group, I am losing my friends. So shouldn’t I take that into account?

AP: So are we saying that we cannot have a fearless relationship with our parents? Read more

How to get the courage to live by the Heart?

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Question: How to find the courage to live by the Heart?

Acharya Prashant: First of all, you tell me, how do you not have that courage? Even the birds live by the Heart. How is it possible that you have lost that courage? The question of re-finding it is a secondary question. First of all, you must figure out, where that courage was lost. Read more

On Upanishad: Me and Time

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Acharya Prashant: So we are talking about the Self and Time, which is obviously an interesting subject. Isn’t it great to know how our lives are in time, governed, bounded and dictated by time and seems to be the very stuff of living – so much so that we take it as a given, as a reality, even as a truth. It appears so clearly obvious that there seems no point in inquiring about it, in questioning it. Even in education, we express other quantities in terms of time – be it power, force, distance, movement. We calculate time, we express other things in terms of time. But rarely do we ask “What is Time?” We do ask “What is the time?”, but rarely do we ask “What is Time?” Read more

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

If you live as the body, you will value only that which is related to the body

Question: Morally, we are supposed to obey our parents for several reasons, we owe them a lot. Is there any point where it is okay to defy them and take an independent decision going against their will and liking, when does this realization come?

Acharya Prashant: See, it all depends on how one looks at herself.

Parents, spouse, relatives all are representations of the body in the world. Whose parents are we talking of? We are talking about parents of the body because that is what they give birth to — the body! Read more

Gems from the ongoing ‘Myth Demolition Tour, Dharamshala’, April-May, 2016

Some excerpts from the ‘Interactive Evening Discourse’ – 26th April 2016

“Faith is to trust most deeply without a reason”

“If you are talking of Faith, then you are prolonging the fear.”

“Reasonless courage is Faith.” Read more