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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Honesty- a direct uncorrupted movement from Self to action

Speaker: When you say ‘honesty is the best policy’ to a kid in school, you are validating honesty but more than honesty you are validating policies. You are on the side of honesty; that is obvious. You are saying ‘honesty is the best policy’; so you are advocating honesty. What we do not notice is that simultaneously we are also advocating…?

Listener 1: Policies.

Speaker: Yes and what are policies?

Listener 1: Man-made, rules and regulations.

Speaker: Policies are alternatives, policies are choices. I may do this or I may not do this. All policies are decisions and you have made honesty into a…?

Listeners (in unison): Policy.

Speaker: Decision, and the moment you say it’s my decision to be honest, you are saying that I am bigger than honesty. I am choosing honesty and I reserve the right to…?

Listener 2: Not to choose honesty.

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What is depression?

Question: My question is about depression. For quite some time I have been observing that the mind is like a sine curve. There are highs and there are lows. But the lows are more frequent and wider than the highs. Why it is so?

Speaker: Lows are lows. The problem arises when the highs are also lows. Then all that you get is only lows. In a sine curve you ought to have lows and highs. Now lows are lows, but it becomes tragic when the highs are also lows. What is sad and depressing is indeed sad and depressing, but what was supposed to be exciting and wonderful, that too turns out to be sad and depressing. Then it is a betrayal of hope. Then it is indeed twice depressing. Read more

Why can’t I leave my comfort zone?

Question: When I look at what I am doing, and why I am doing it, honestly, it gives me fear. I don’t want to take action, because of the fear of the new.

Speaker: There is no fear of the new. There is only the fear of leaving the old. The old is giving you comforts, and it is as basic as that! It is so obvious, direct and ground level, that no explanation can be given or needed. It is the most gross thing that is there. It has to be obvious. Read more

Self-awareness is not self-stalking

Question: I seem to be moving from the so-called liberal, open to a highly moralistic type of woman. It is a movement from one end to the other. But nothing has changed actually. I may just be repressing myself, and keeping more watch on myself. What is happening to me?

Speaker: Do you want to ‘know’ what is going on, or you want to change what is going on? What is the intention?

Listener 1: Both. 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

Whose desires are you chasing?

Question: What is the proof that we are still evolving?

Speaker: Who says that it is not happening anymore? That process takes millions of years. There is enough proof. If you go hundred years back, the human brain has become larger. The overall size of the body has decreased because we have moved from an agrarian society to a society that is service-based, doing far more of intellectual work than mechanical work. Do you know what is happening? Across the world, babies are being born with bigger brain and smaller body. Evolution is at work all the time. Because your life span is only eighty to hundred years, you never see that. It takes place across centuries. You never see a monkey changing into man overnight. Read more

Where is the Real Me?

Speaker: ‘It has been told to us that there exist two centers. How do I know that I am living out of the right center?’ I suppose this has been told to you very recently. Right? He says, ‘How does a young man know whether he is being made a fool of? That the ego is not taking him for a ride. How does a young man know that?’

You cannot know the truth, the reality what you call as ‘right’ unless you first know what is called as ‘false’. And that must be the first step. You cannot directly jump onto the truth. The reason is simple, our life, our minds are full of the false. You say, ‘Ego-the false center’. Do you know what ego is all about? Ego is about acquiring an identity given by the external. Someone comes and tells you that you are brilliant. This is a statement made by an external agency. You are brilliant. And what do you do? You say, ‘I am brilliant.’ This is what ego is, internalizing an external influence. Do you see that? Yes.

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Of Confidence, Falseness and the Idea of Perfection

Speaker: The question is, “How do I know whether I am confident or overconfident? One is considered positive, the other is considered negative.” I ask you again. How can I declare a quantity ‘x’ to be positive or negative if I do not know that quantity. I must know something about it in order to understand it as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. Do I understand what is ‘negative’ or ‘positive’?Do I understand what this confidence thing is? You will go back to your home, most of you, after few hours. When you are with your parents, let us say with your mother, sitting in a very relaxed way, do you really require confidence to speak to her? Do you really require courage to speak to her? It’s a natural, smooth, free flow. You do not require any confidence. Right? But when you have to speak in front of an audience, when you are standing on the podium, then you require a lot of confidence. Right?
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Love scares the ego

Speaker: The question is a very significant question, provided you see how deep it is. It is a question about love. What is meant by love? What is its relationship to ego? The issue of sexual attraction is also asked.

Now, what do we know love as? Is love fulfillment of a physical or mental need? Is love, ‘I am needy, so I approach somebody’? This is the language of a beggar. ‘I am feeling insecure or lonely, so I go to somebody. I am in search of somebody, a desperate search.’ Is that love? No. What I call as the object of my love, I possess it. I say, ‘This is my pen, or my wife, or my bike, or my house, or my career.’ Is this love or possession? What is love then?

Listener 1: Love is that which makes us feel good.

Speaker: What will make a terrorist feel good?

Listener 2: Killing people.
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Freedom from ego is freedom from fear

Speaker: What to do when you encounter a person with lot of Ego? He has used two words: High ego, and bad ego. Lets understand this. When you use the term, ‘bad ego’ you necessarily mean that there is something called ‘good ego’ as well? Correct? Logical?

What is this Ego? And can it have these two varieties, good and bad? What is the Ego?

Listener 1: Ego is when you put yourself above someone, when you think yourself to be superior  than other.

Speaker: Is that the Ego? You are putting yourself above someone. What if you necessarily put yourself below someone? What if you are habituated to saying that I am the worst of all? Your conditioning and culture have told you, that when someone says that I am best of all, you immediately say that this fellow is egoistic. I am asking you, ‘What if someone says I am the worst of all’? Is this not a statement of ego?

A common misconception that many of us have is that ego is pride. You often equate ego with pride. Let us be very clear on that, ego is far more than pride. Ego is far more pervasive than pride. Ego is not merely pride. Ego expresses itself in a thousand ways other than pride. The ways of the ego are very settled, and they are to be seen everywhere. You do not keep expressing your pride every time. Your mind is not filled with thoughts of pride every time. But even the other thoughts that you carry, most often are thoughts of ego.

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Only the society says the society is supreme

Question: Sir, we are social beings. If we want to act freely, intelligently on our own, then rest of the society goes against us. Sir, is it morally correct to follow our intelligence or being conditioned according to the society is correct? I don’t think it is morally correct to…

Speaker: You are saying that going against society maybe wrong. And who told you this?

You have the answer. Someone has said that the brain told me that I am the most important organ in the body. Then I realized who was saying this.

Who is saying this?

Listeners(everyone): Brain

Speaker: If the society itself has told you that remain my slave, then why should you be bothered?

Listener 1: Sir, but then it implies that absolutely there is nothing right or wrong.

Speaker: Obviously! The only right is to act as per your intelligence; the only wrong is to lead an unconscious and78 (2) wasteful life. Nothing else is right or wrong, nor those ethics and codes of conduct that you have been taught. They all are means to keep you chained.

Your first obligation, your first and only obligation is towards yourself. Even if you want to help others, can you help them when you are asleep? Can a drunkard help others?

Can he?

Listener 1: No sir!

Speaker: If you yourself don’t know, can you tell others?

First obligation is towards yourself. Wake up! Understand.

Listener 2: Sir, according to this principle, we say that society is our master.

Speaker: There is no principle in this.

Listener 1: You just said that our friends and our relatives condition us to do some favourable things. But do we ourselves condition others?

Speaker: Yes! Wonderful. Very nice.

Listener 2: Can there be anything that we should do to stop ourselves from being conditioned?

64Speaker: It is a network. You see there is no point blaming anybody. Those who condition you are conditioned to condition you.

Those who condition you are not really villains or evil doers. They themselves do not know what is happening. No one has planned it out, all are victims.

Everybody is a slave, slaves are enslaving others. In fact, only a slave can enslave others. A free man will never make slaves because he loves freedom. He loves his freedom and the freedom of others as well. If someone wants to make you a slave, then understand that he himself is a slave. What else can he do? Poor man, he himself is a victim.

Yes! It’s a mutual network where everybody is victimizing everybody else. That’s what is happening. I said that you get rid of your friends. And if I meet your friend, I will tell him you get rid of that fellow (you).

Both of you need to get rid of each other because both of you have conditioned each other.

-Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Only the society says the society is supreme

Read more articles on the topic:

Article 1: Reclaim your mind from the society

Article 2: Fear of society is the importance of society

Article 3: How to gain freedom from the society?

Awakening begins with suffering

Speaker: The question is that why good people have to suffer the most? How many of you think that it is so or how many of you have seen this happening in your surroundings that good people suffer?

(Few in the audience raise their hands)

Alright, so there are few others besides her.

Kirti, man can exist, all of us can exist in three distinct states. The first state, the lowest state is that of a stone that has zero consciousness; absolutely no understanding of what is going on. It understands nothing, none at all. And it does not suffer at all. Are you getting it?
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The personality is not your essence

Question: Sir, how do I respond when someone asks me to describe my personality?

Speaker: This question is the gateway to the mind. Let us understand this.

Why must I ask this question? Because I am concerned with what others think of me. So, you see, you lost the battle at the outset itself. You are so bothered about what others would be thinking of you. Do not ask me that how should I respond when someone asks me to describe my personality. Instead, you should ask, ‘What is personality?’ That is sufficient.

Do you understand the difference between these two questions? The first part of the question, the way she has put it, is other-centric. ‘Sir, what should I tell him when he asks me about my personality?’ Forget about ‘him’! The more genuine question would be, ‘Sir, what is personality?’ If you know what is personality, then it is obvious that you can tell it to anybody when asked. But you see that’s the way we have lived; other-centered.

We do not really bother whether we know, even when we claim that we want to know. We want to know so that we can tell it to somebody. Look at the way you study. You don’t study because you want to know. You want to study so that you may write in examination paper, so that the examiner can read it. You study for the sake of others. You don’t ask this question because you want to understand the term ‘personality’. You ask this so that you can listen to this answer and quote it in front of somebody else. ‘Sir, how do I respond when somebody asks me that what is personality?’ Why is that ‘somebody’ so important for you? Your own understanding is far more important. If you understand, then of course you can tell it to anybody, if needed.

020815-1Why is it so important to you that what the examiner thinks of you? But that’s the only thing that is there. You don’t study out of love, you study out of fear. The examiner can fail me. That ‘somebody else’ may not approve of what I am writing. And then there is no life in that knowing.

So, first, we are inverting your question from the point of view of the self. The question now says, ‘What is personality?’ Now, what is personality? We have talked earlier that how we borrow our sense of self from outside, how we borrow our very identity of who we are from outside. The expression of all those identities is called ‘personality’. So, the personality is anyway a borrowed thing. Anybody who is interested in your personality is anyway not a wise fellow. It is like meeting somebody and becoming too interested in his clothes. This fellow is either a clothes merchant or a mad man. This fellow either runs a garment shop or is a lecher.

Personality is like your clothes, an outer covering, an outer layer that has come from the outside. Personality is not what you are, personality is what you wear. Wear, not in the sense of clothes. Wear, in the sense of putting upon yourself.

Personality is your external layer. Why must I be interested in your external layer? Why must anybody be interested in the external rather than the internal? A person who is interested in external has surely no eyes to look into internal, to look into what is essential. But that is the way we live. And that is the way we have been taught to live. We have been told that the man is judged by his appearance. We have been told that all that is, is by appearance. We have been told that ultimately what counts is success. We have been told that you must have it by hook or by crook. ‘Get it, wear it and display it.’ That’s the way we have been brought up. That’s the way we have been taught. So, personality has become very important in this blind world because this world has no eyes to look into the essential. All of you are young and you have life to live. How can you spend your life like a blind man?

You must know the essential, and the personality is not the essential. Are you getting it?

Personality is what you wear. Be more concerned with what you are. And what are we? Move a step behind. As far as we know ourselves, we are just thoughts. Be very-very mindful of your thoughts.

An obsession with personality means that I do not care about what is going on here in my mind, because it is not visible. Expressions are visible, my clothes are visible, facial colour is visible, words are visible, my way of walking is visible, but my thoughts are not visible. So, I won’t bother about them. That’s what an obsession with personality does. It makes you forget what is more important than your personality, the content of mind.

So, first thing: become more concerned with what is going on in your mind. We think that nobody knows what is going on here(pointing at the head), so we think that this mind is our kingdom. Anything goes. We think that we are thinking but nobody knows what we are thinking. ‘Let me think, let me roam around anywhere. Let me harbor any kind of thought, let me be worried, let me be lustful, let me do all that which is otherwise permissible to be done in action. If I kill someone then I will be arrested, but at least I can think of killing that person and derive pleasure out of it.’ Now, nobody can see the thoughts so its alright. Keep thinking about killing that person and that gives us a certain satisfaction.

Law surely cannot punish you for your thoughts but life and existence will surely punish you for your thoughts because all your thoughts become your mind itself. They cause a permanent change, a permanent deformation of the mind. Are you getting it?

Please have some sensitivity towards yourself and be much more bothered about what you are doing to yourself. Your thoughts punish you. Or we can say that to have thoughts is a punishment itself. You do not require any external agency to punish you. Look attentively at your beliefs. See how you have allowed yourself to borrow the idea of success from others, the meaning of career, and so on and so forth. These are the deep-seated beliefs in the mind. How come I have just borrowed and accepted the meaning of the word ‘life’? How come others have written a script for me and I have internalized that script? Be much more concerned about that.

Look at the contents of your mind, forget the personality.020815-2

‘How am I living my life? I sit just as the way others are living? Why is my life so predictable? Why am I afraid, desirous? Do I know love?’ Be much more concerned about these questions and when these are taken care of, then intelligence shines. That is the very function of intelligence. And in that intelligence, personality is automatically taken care of. An intelligent man will know by himself what is the right kind of clothing and appearance for an occasion. He will not need to be told. That is a very minor thing or secondary thing. Be concerned with what is major, what is primary.

I repeat: You are the content of your mind. Personality is just an appearance that you wear.

Be bothered with what you are, not what you wear.

– Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at:  Prashant Tripathi: The personality is not your essence

Article 1: Why do people find personality important

Article 2: Let personality be an expression of your essence

Article 3: What is a good personality

There is nothing called ‘my success’

Questioner: Isn’t there something called an individual business effort, not conditioned by others? Is it not possible that a business or entrepreneurship effort could be free of society and based on one’s own mind? We are all students of social entrepreneurship.

Speaker: Is there something called business untouched by society? The real estate business, or pharmaceutical business, or the business of selling shoes or software — if one enters into these, with the ambition of success, then it is already a social phenomenon. Real estate is not significant. What is significant is that the individual is entering with a view to earn success. Remain with that: from where does your motion of success and failure come? If somebody wants to prove himself, don’t you see the mental game of success in his desire?

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Freedom begins with a ‘No’

Speaker: Karan has asked that he is unable to say ‘No’ and that often lands him in trouble, gives him a lot of problems. Are there others who face this problem?

Listeners: Yes.

Speaker: Alright, so this question then comes from all of us. Let’s understand this question. I am unable to say ‘No’. Now why I am unable to say no? Obviously, there is some fear that holds me back. If I say ‘No’, then obviously such and such will feel offended, if I say ‘No’ something may happen, if I say ‘No’ I may lose a relationship, if I say ‘No’ the other person may harm me. Read more

Truth is not for those who sell their Freedom

Question: Why don’t we have the courage to speak the truth, to show the truth to anybody?

Speaker: It is because we have traded away our freedom to speak the truth. There is no problem in speaking the truth to anybody, there is no limitation at all. The only limitation is that you are afraid that you will lose your conveniences. You are afraid that if you speak the truth, then that person will take away all the privileges, luxuries and conveniences from you. That is the reason that you do not speak the truth. That is the reason that you can’t be yourself.

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Gratification would be; contentment is

Speaker: Should we delay our gratification? If yes, then to what extent and how long?

By delay, you mean time, to put it ahead in time. Man uses time itself for gratification. When you say delay gratification, you only mean, that I am expecting more gratification by the use of time. If I do it now, it may be one unit of pleasure, if I do it six days later, it may be six units of pleasure. So, all delay is undertaken with the goal of maximizing gratification. Whatever involves time, would always be a trick of the mind, and the mind wants nothing but gratification. So to say that I am delaying my gratification is a paradox of sorts. You do not delay gratification, you may give yourself the illusion of delay, but all this delay is so that the gratification can be multiplied manifolds a little later. You are using time; just using time. The real does not involve the use of time.

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On why we are materialistic and how we miss being human

Speaker : So what are your eyes telling you? What are you seeing through your eyes?

Listener : Objects.

Speaker : What kind of objects? Material or immaterial?

Listener : Material.

Speaker : Material objects. So all your eyes can show you is the material objects. We said the child is bound to remain the machine till the age of…?

Listener : Twelve.

Speaker : Twelve or fourteen. Now we are saying that this machine works through the senses. The senses can show you only material. We looked at one particular sense, the eyes can show you only material. Now look at the another sense, ears. What do the ears do?
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Sense gratification is lack of gratitude for the one beyond the senses

Speaker: What is sense gratification?

There are these senses; Eyes, Ears and all. Sense gratification is to provide the senses with what pleases them. The eyes like to look at pleasing figures, forms. The ears want to hear what they are programmed to be pleased with. The tongue wants to taste something that it likes. That is sense gratification. Right?

The question is philosophers, scriptures they all seem to be against sense gratification. And in general, it is related that sense gratification and indulgence in sex, in all kinds of pleasing and gratifying activities, they all go together. So in general it is assumed that sense gratification is a thing to be condemned. But the questioner is saying that I want sense gratification.
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