Why are we not fully devoted to ourselves? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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

Why are we not fully devoted to ourselves

Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji. The Yogi worships with one-pointed mind. But I worship with a hidden desire, and a hidden self-interest. Is my devotion wrong? What is one-pointed devotion?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Parul (the questioner), it is not about ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. It is about settling down with a little, when a lot is available. When you go to God, for fulfillment of ‘your’ desire, then at most what you will get is the fulfillment of – your desire. That is the maximum.

And let me tell you, that is not much. The maximum that you can think of, desire of, conceive of, is not much at all. Not only is it not much, it may actually not be much beneficial. If you were wise enough, to know what to ask for, then why would you ever ask for anything?

So, when you ask for something, then you are making either both, or one of the two mistakes. Either you will ask for little, in the name of much, or you will ask for something, that does not serve you, and instead harms you. Why do you want to make these mistakes?

But the ego goes on making this mistake, because it has a great, and misplaced  and stubborn belief in – itself. So, it says, “I know what is good for me. Now, God’s role is limited to fulfilling my self-appointed wish.”

“I will not tell God – ‘You do what is best for me.’ I will tell God- ‘I know what is best for me. And now I am dictating to you what is best for me. And your little role is to just do the bidding.'”

“Go, obey my desire.” That’s what we tell God in the name of – prayer.

Isn’t how we pray? We decide our desire. As great sovereigns, as autonomous persons, we decide what is good for us. And then we instruct God in the name of prayer, or pleading, “Please do this.Please do this.” Is that devotion? I don’t know.

What I know is, if your desires would have gone fulfilled in some other way, you wouldn’t have gone to God. I don’t know how that can be called as ‘devotion’. What I know is that had you not been suffering, or feeling guilty, or sad, or sorrowful, or jealous, or fearful, you wouldn’t have gone to the temple. I don’t know whether that can be called as ‘devotion’.

You have seen all these crowds, and queues in front of these places of worship. If people were not terrified or greedy, how many of them would have been still found there? I don’t know whether all that can be called as ‘devotion’ or ‘surrender’.

So then, what really is ‘devotion’ or ‘surrender’?

It’s fundamentally about seeing what you are doing to yourself.

It is fundamentally about expressing the courage to face the bare facts.

It’s about not being so afraid, or arrogant.

It’s about seeing how futile and foolish are one’s desires.

And how will you see the foolishness and futility of your desires? By seeing what your desires have brought upon you. For that you have to admit that your condition is really-really pathetic. But that hurts. And hurts very badly, especially if you have been an achiever or something.

That is the reason, why devotion is so difficult, for the so-called achievers. Because, to be devoted, first of all, you will have to admit that all your achievement is – nonsense. All your achievement is just an albatross round your neck. That you have gone badly wrong.

But if you admit that, then it pinches. Everybody is saying, “You have done well.” How do you now go out and say, “I am a failure”? Very difficult. Now, even if internally you keep crying, you cannot admit or express that.

There is one man who decides to fast, within his room. And there is one man who fasts publicly, and publicly he declares it too. Do you know whose fast is going to last? The one who has declared it publicly. Because now he is being garlanded, and people are coming and touching his feet. And the newspapers are writing about him, and he is being heralded as a great achiever in some sense.

Now, how does he admit that he is burning from inside. He will say, “No, it’s all so blissful.” And he will maintain an artificial and contended face. Whereas his heart knows that he is living in a hell.

Devotion is easy, when you see that you are stupid.

And devotion is extremely difficult, when you are a man of high self-esteem.

‘Self-respect’ is such a burden.

——————————————————————————————

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

Watch the session: Why are we not fully devoted to ourselves? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Quotes, February’19 – March’19

1.

We all are bleeding in the fight

We all are fighting tirelessly.

The pity is:

We are all fighting the wrong battle.

The wounds are there.

The blood is there.

The sweat is there.

The tiredness is there.

The battle is wrong.

2.

Conserve your energy,

Train your thoughts,

Discipline your little self.

Time is precious, attention is precious.

To waste time, it is not necessary that you must do something wasteful.

It is enough to just worry.

3.

Humbly go

to the root of the mistake,

without feeling ashamed,

without a great self-image.

Look at yourself laughing,

as one looks at a joker,

laughing

at his own jokes.

Now you see

the mother mistake.

Seriousness is the mother mistake.

Don’t take yourself so seriously!

4.

This is happening, that is happening…

But whatsoever is happening is not big enough to trouble you.

That is Samadhi.

5.

Beware the man who thinks he understands.

6.

There is nothing called

self-purification

and self-improvement.

There is only one I,

and it cannot be improved upon.

And even if the false I gets improved,

only the false benefits.

How do you get better

by decorating your shadow?

Don’t improve the false,

just disown it.

7.

Was the thing the same before you perceived it?

If yes, why does the thing appear different every time you see it?

Was there a thing at all before you perceived it?

8.

Is spontaneity wonderful?

The spontaneous utterance of a sage is musical,

The spontaneous utterance of a fool is abusive.

Like everything else in life, the value of a thing or action depends squarely on where it is coming from.

9.

If you love, you want to help.

If you want to help, you will have to more clearly know the one who needs to be helped.

When you clearly know the one you want to help, there arises disgust.

That’s the challenge of love: to keep loving the one who provokes revulsion in you.

10.

Isn’t it a spell?

When you are out of it, doesn’t it all look clearly stupid?

Don’t you then curse yourself for being so blindly spellbound?

Obviously stupid it looks, but only after you’re out of it.

Why make basic freedom distant by giving it a fancy name like enlightenment?

11.

When you know

what is going on, then

you are liberated from that which is going on.

12.

It is not given to me to lie still.

The only way to see me still

is to match pace with me.

13.

The Truly spiritual man

is young in action,

and eternally old in realisation.

At the centre,

he is completely still,

like Shiva in mystical stillness.

At the periphery,

he is a lover and a fighter,

like Shiva in existential dance.

14.

What is commitment?

If I am not fit to get what I want,

then it is the ‘I’ that must yield, adjust, disappear.

The want cannot be compromised with. The want must, and will, remain.

It is the want that will shape, discipline and dissolve the I.

Commitment, Devotion, Surrender.

15.

When You are gone,then nothing matters. Body sans Heart.

When You are here, then nothing matters.

We then just casually play.

Will it matter if we win?

Well, not much.

Will it matter if we lose?

Well, not much.

The game is not meant to be won, it is meant to be played. Together.

16.

To touch

without leaving your fingerprints

– That’s the mark of

the shrewd criminal,

or the wisest saint.

17.

When you are one with the object of your consciousness, then there is just one entity, neither you nor the world. Both you and the world disappear.

This disappearance is the end of duality and end of consciousness.

A lightness free of consciousness remains, and this is awareness.

18.

If you find yourself stuck with suffering, ask: Is suffering sticking to me? Or am I sticking to suffering?

One sticks to suffering by sticking to the same breakfast, same friends, same cap, same habits.

When everything in life is being kept the same, how can life itself change?

19.

Just reading the Guru helps little.

You’ve to be near.

Physically as you live, you’ve to be physically near.

Even being within the seeing range of the Guru won’t help.

You’ve to be within smelling range of the Guru.

Actually, you’ve to be within slapping range of the Guru.

20.

We have a tremendous potential to suffer and a tremendous resistance to call our situation as suffering.

We name our situation as ambition, hope, desire, duty, passion, love, but never give it the right name:suffering.

We laugh aloud among others, and suffer quietly in our loneliness

21.

Even when you are totally drenched in melancholy,

You are able to cry only because you are still healthy.

22.

The best gift you can give to others is your own freedom.

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait

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Why does spiritual sadhana take long to complete? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: Pranaam Acharya ji. Why does spiritual saadhana take long to complete?

Acharya Prashant Ji: The condition you have come to, is not sudden. It has taken millions of years of evolution, for you to come to this state. It’s a very, very old habit. It is like dust, that has settled over something, since centuries, millennia, aeons.

Time has brought you to your current condition. And that which time has given you, takes time to go away. After all, whose liberation are you talking of? In your question, when you say that I want to dissolve and live as Truth only, whose dissolution are you taking of?

The one whose dissolution you are talking of, is he the Truth? Obviously he cannot be the Truth. Why would one demand the dissolution of the Truth? Why would one think that the Truth can be dissolved at all?

So you are demanding the dissolution of the one, who is not the Truth. Who is he then? He is a product of time. Truth is not a product of time, and therefore Truth does not bother you. and therefore, you are not demanding the dissolution of Truth.

You are demanding the dissolution of that which is, false. Now see, now see. You are demanding the dissolution of the false. Just as it is silly to demand the dissolution of Truth, isn’t it equally silly to demand the dissolution of the false.

Truth cannot be dissolved, because Truth is timeless. And false cannot be dissolved, because the false does not exist at all. But surely, you are asking for the false to be dissolved, which means you take the false to be…..Truth.

Because you take the false as Truth, therefore you stumble, and get deceived, and get hurt. The false one, is too accustomed, to its falseness. The false one, is too sure about himself. He is right now, not in a condition, to immediately, spontaneously declare – I am false. If you could do that, then liberation would have been instantaneous.

But, you are in no position to immediately declare that you are false. You are in no position to declare that the one, who is feeling the hurt, actually does not exist. To you, he exists, which means that to you, the false exists as the Truth.

Such is the condition of the one, who is asking this question. Even asking the question proves that you identify with the false, and therefore, you are asking for the dissolution of the false.

If you identify with the false, is a quick movement into the Truth possible? No. It will take time. ‘Saadhana’ is the way. You will have to be constantly embattled against yourself. An you will have to be constantly engaged with the ones, who appear closer to the Truth. These are the only two ways of saadhana. There is no third way.

Fight against yourself, and side with the Saints – both are needed. In fact, just proceeding on one leg of the saadhana, without bothering for the other, is more dangerous than not beginning with saadhana at all. You have to fight both against yourself, and side with the Saints.

If you side with the saints, without fighting against yourself, then you will use the Saints, to fatten yourself. And if you fight against yourself, without siding with the Saints, then you will go mad, because you will keep destroying who you are, what you are, without finding anything.

You will keep declaring all is false, without getting a glimpse of the Truth. This will wreak havoc on you. This will disappoint you so much. This will turn your life so dry, that you will lose all the courage to fight any further. And you will just go bonkers.

You need to have both – a determination to defeat yourself, and devotion to be with the lovers of Truth.

And both these things take time, because you are firmly convinced that you are a product of time.

Not that time is a necessity in the process.

It’s just that you have declared yourself at a position, that makes time a necessity.

If you could change your declaration, then time would no more be a necessity. But your very declaration is that – you are the false one, posing as Truth. With that position, with that identity, you are going to take time. And time you have. what else is this life for? Time you have, just invest this time rightly.

What does this mean, when I say, “Invest the time rightly?”

Invest that time in two things: in fighting against yourself,

and in being in the company of Saints and lovers of God, Truth.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session:  Why does spiritual sadhana take long to complete? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)

 

Begin from where you are and what you realise

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Question: Acharya ji, I am only a beginner on spiritual path, and my experience complicates things. Which tool can I adapt for myself, to take the right decision?

Acharya Prashant: The response is hardly spiritual in the classical sense. I will not say that for life’s decisions, kneel down in front of the unknowable. I will not say that what you need, lies beyond the grasp of your mental faculties.

I am saying – live by what you already know. First of all, you have no other option. Secondly, what you already know, is very sufficient, to make a beginning. And you said that you are a beginner.

The trouble with most of us, is not that we do not know some transcendental, ecclesiastical Truth. The trouble is: we just don’t live by that which is within our mental province.

It is not as if we have come to the boundary of our knowledge, and our limited realisation. We haven’t. If we come to our own boundaries, then the beyond, cannot be far enough.

The boundary of the little self, is where the Truth stands to greet  you.

So you don’t have to really search for the Truth.

You just have to come to the boundary of your own province. 

Come to your own boundary, and there you will find something, of the beyond.

But, do we care enough to come to even our own boundaries? I am not telling of leaping out of your self. You don’t need to leap out of your self. But, at least, putting in a very cliched way, do the best you can.

If you cannot go beyond your self, at least, do the best you can. And when you have come to the utter limit of your personal resources, there you find something, a bit magical happening.

Our situation is strange! We do not do, what we can. We cannot challenge ourselves enough. We do not make the best, utter, and desperate use of our own, personal, limited resources. But we want some kind of a helping hand, to descend from the heavens.

It won’t!

And this is good news. Because it means that each one of us, as he or she is, is fully capable of helping herself or himself. May be we cannot see, beyond the hills. But there is nobody who does not see clearly enough, to take even the next step. And that is all that you need. 

Inspiration, energy, and clarity- just to take the next step. What after the next? That’s not our business to ask. Sitting where we are, let us not demand the whole blue-print, the road-map of the entire state. Then we are transgressing.

One step is sufficient.

And that one step, each one of us, is endowed enough to take.

That one step happens to be so simple and obvious, that it does not appeal to us. We want things – big and glamorous. Just as in the material world, size and shine appeal to us. Similarly, in the spiritual domain, we want things – colossal, magnificent, sensational, to happen.

Instead of those things, if we are advised to take, one little, baby step, it appears like a bit of let down.

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

Watch the session:  Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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What is devotion? Do observation and devotion go together || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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devotion-and-observation.jpg

Question: What is real meaning of ‘devotion’ in spirituality? How can devotion help one to reach the Truth? What is the path of devotion? How to prepare oneself for devotion? Which one is greater, observation or devotion?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

‘Devotion’ is a million times more powerful than ‘observation’. With devotion, if you are uttering the name of ‘Ram’, or saying, “Om Namah Shivaya,” with genuine heartfelt love and devotion, then forget everything about observation. Observation will happen on its own.

That which is precious, is observed. Full stop. The mind is the road to Truth. And only the mind can be the road to Truth, because you have no other road. May be after a point, the road too disappears. But till that point, you do walk on that road, don’t you? Then the mind will be obviously observed, if you love the Truth.

Love for Truth, or God, comes first. Observation then is a petty thing.

It just happens. Just happens.

You are in so much love with cleanliness and purity, that any rubbish shows up on its own.

That is observation.

Obviously, observation cannot show the Truth to you. What do you see in observation? All the falseness.

Why would falseness ever become noticeable? Falseness becomes noticeable, only when you are in love with Truth. Otherwise, falseness passes of. Otherwise, falseness is just everyday stuff – agreeable, acceptable. Those who are on the path of observation, very well know that all the blemishes show up.

All the falsenesses, the biases, the inaccuracies, the prejudices, the attractions, the attachments, they are what is seen, right? Why must they become noticeable?

On the wall, why must a certain spot catch your attention? It does, when you want the wall to be clean, and pristine, and white. And then that little blemish is observed. Truth cannot be observed, obviously.

Love comes first. And where there is love, attention becomes compulsory.

Attention is an immediate obedient to Truth.

What is attention? Attending. Attending. Attending to whom? The Truth. That is also the only difference between focussing and observing. And also, it is the only difference between concentration and attention. In concentration, you want some little object, so you are pointing at it. And if you want a little object, you remain little, which means you remained secured, because little you already are.

In attention, you want something big, really big. And that is love. And if you want something really big, you cannot afford to stay small. And that is one very unfortunate tragedy. We want the big, remaining small. And then we curse the big that it doesn’t come to us.

“O! you don’t come to me!”

“How will I come to you? You are so small.”

But then, the argument is superb. You say, because I am so small, so you should come to me. The Truth responds. It says, “I can begin to come to you, because you are small. But if I come close to you, and you are still determined to stay small, then I cannot come any closer.”

“Little girl, how will you put an elephant in your little pocket? I am an elephant, and your pockets are so small. And you refuse to grow up. So, I have no option, but to watch from a distance.”

In attention, it becomes mandatory for you to grow up, or dissolve. Concentration does not change you. That thing, that you are concentrating on, is small. So you too can remain small.

In attention, you are targeting something bombastic. Boom! So, you better be big. And why will you target something so big, and therefore so very distant?

Love, love.

Devotion.

Attention is possible only if you are devoted to the Truth.

Otherwise, why would you attend to the Truth? Why would you become an attendant, a servant of the Truth? Why? Without love, attention is tension, a lot of tension. A tension. And you already have so many tensions.

Will you remember that? Without love and devotion, attention is just another tension. And there are so many who think that they will be able to be attentive, without being devoted. They end up turning very, very dry. Very dry.

I have come across so many of them. They keep uttering – observe, observe, attend, attend. And ‘surrender’ and ‘devotion’ are words they are allergic to. The moment you utter the word ‘surrender’ to them, the moment you utter the word ‘surrender’ to them, it’s like they have been pricked by a pin at their backside. They jump up.

“Ha! Surrender. No, don’t talk of that. We will observe. Let’s observe. No devotion, just observation.”

Very sorry samples, they turn out to be. They can’t sing a crazy Kabir Sahib, or a Bulle Shah Bhajan, Kaafi, Sakhi, Wakh. They can’t. When a Meera is dancing madly, they will say, “I am observing.” When a Bulle Shah has gone crazy in the love of his murshid, they will say, “I am listening. I am listening.”

And all that is so idiotic. That pretense of intelligence.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

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

Watch the session: What is devotion? Do observation and devotion go together || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Should one want liberation? || Acharya Prashant, on Vivekachudamani (2018)

liberation.jpg


Mumukshatva is the burning desire to free oneself by realising one’s true self from all bondages, from that of egotism to that of identification with the body, which are bondages imagined due to ignorance.

~ Vivekachudamani (Verse 27)

Questioner:Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam. Desire seems to the root cause of misery. Should we even desire for Liberation, Freedom and Guru?

To have the right intention in conscious and to remain surrendered in everything we do. Is it right? Is Liberation even possible without Grace?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Anoop, it is not a matter of whether you should desire for Liberation. It is a question of whether you ‘do’ desire for Liberation.

Desire for Liberation cannot be a teaching. It cannot be an idea implanted in your head by somebody else. It has to be your current, rather than pre-existing state. Spirituality doesn’t mean that you will go to someone and he will put an idea in your head.

And how have you come to him? As a tourist comes to a watchable place.

You don’t go to a Guru so that he may provoke you to get liberated, so that, he may indoctrinate you in Liberation. You go to the scriptures or the Guru, when you are already burning for liberation.

If you feel satisfied, contended, alright, then, I seriously advise you to not to be here.

Spirituality is for those, who are already sensing that the life is going waste.

If you are not sensing that, then continue on your paths, long enough and intensely enough, to get an experience to what hell is like.  

And then you will run to be rescued.

Spirituality is, when you already see that you have unfortunately, probably inadvertently, created a mess.

And if you have created a mess, why would you ask, “To have right intentions and conscience and to remain surrender in everything we do?” If you are stubborn, that you will continue to do, what you are doing, then do you realise the mess? How has the mess been created? By doing, what you did, by choosing what you did.

And people come and ask this same question. They say, “But so many teachers are saying that wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, be surrendered to that.”

I said, “What if you are a blackmailer, or a terrorist, or a serial-killer?” Then you should continue doing, what you are doing with great devotion? And that’s what most of us are. We are caught in corrupt professions. Doesn’t matter, whether you are in analytics, or sales or marketing, you know very well that your profession is corrupt. It relies on cheating, deception and violence. Without deception or fear and violence, your profession would crumble in a day.

But people come and say, “My Guru told me to continue doing to what you are doing. Just be devoted to Krishna.” I said, “Did Krishna advise that to Arjun?” Krishna said, “You must fight.” Did he say, “If you don’t want to fight, don’t fight”?

Just keep chanting, “Krishna, Krishna!” Is that how the Gita was born?

Did Krishna tell Arjuna, “Continue doing what you want to do, if you want to run away from the battle, run away. But as you run away, keep chanting”? So, imagine, Arjuna running away and chanting, “Krishna, Krishna, and Krishna!”And Duryodhan is having a good laugh, “See the bugger, the best warrior of the world! Chanting Krishna, Krishna and running away.”

It’s not about – doing whatever you do.

It’s about doing the right thing, and stopping doing what you do.

Spirituality...

I don’t know how this unfortunate idea came into circulation, but this idea is very-very prevalent now – ‘Just do whatever you were doing, but do it with faith’.

Great! Now – ‘I am a pick-pocket, and now I will steal with faith.’ That’s amazing!

“Just do what you are doing, but remember Krishna. You don’t need to leave thing, continue running your fake shops, continue with your fake profession and fake life, just be a little devoted. Do thirty minutes meditation in the morning, and a bit of yoga.” That’s not what Spirituality is all about. Yoga, Dhayana and the shop!

It’s not this way!

Spirituality is living the right life.

It is not about decorating your already existing ways.

Spirituality is not a pain-killer.

It is the eradication of the disease.

But most people are looking for just pain-killers, and therefore, there are so many shops selling pain-killers. Spirituality scoffs at pain-killers. Spirituality says, “If you are taking a pain-killer, you are worsening the disease.”

Spirituality rather says, “Let the pain be exposed.”

And that’s what the right Teacher does. He exposes your pain, he sensitizes you to your pain. But the result is, you say, “The right Teacher has given us pain.” And so you run away.

You run away to a shop, where you are given pain-killers because all that appears to be very pleasant. You came with pain, and now you no longer consciously experience pain. Your pain has been subdued.

“Should we even desire for Liberation, Freedom and Guru?”

Don’t desire, if it is in your hands!

Spirituality starts, when you see that all your attempts to deceive yourself have finally failed. As long as you can curb and subdue your sobs, like this (covering the face), Spirituality will not start.

When you are sobbing just a little, what do you do?

And you have been able to convince yourself, that matters are not very serious or bad. And then comes a point when this (covering the face) does not work. And then comes a point that you are compelled into acknowledging that yours is a miserable state. That’s when Spirituality begins.

And we are masters at covering the face, and at (wiping the tears). The proof of suffering dismissed with disdain.

“No, I am not weeping at all.” Go to the kids, they do that. You say, “Why are you weeping?” They say, “Who is weeping?”

That’s the situation of mankind.

“Who is weeping? I am not weeping?”

Because, if you accept that you are crying, then you will have to accept that your life, and decisions have been wrong. That’s too much for the ego.

“Should we desire for liberation?”

My question is – Do you desire for liberation? And if you don’t, then don’t!

Desire for liberation cannot be induced in someone. It is either there, or not there yet. And if it is not there yet, then wait. Who has said that Spirituality is compulsory?

Wait.

Your time will come, may be a year from now, may be a century from now, may be a millennium from now.

Time is infinite.

Wait.

———————————————————————————————————————-

Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: Should one want liberation? || Acharya Prashant, on Vivekachudamani (2018)

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The real meaning of devoting one’s action to Shri Krishna || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Questioner: Dear Acharya Ji,

As you always mentioned, one must perform his actions, while remaining established in Ram, who is the essence of all actions. Your teachings have given me clarity that selfish motives behind my actions strengthen the ego. Knowing this, I practice paying little attention to my motives. And I try to work to offer everything to divine. This also reminds me of Shri Ramakrishna.

‘As long as we are continuously battling the ego, it is never going to vanish. Stop pedaling this, it will travel some distance and eventually stop.’

~ Shri Ramakrishna Paramhans

Is practice useful?

Is this the practice that Lord Krishna teaching to Arjuna through Karma Yoga?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, practice is useful. And yes, I can without consideration or analysis or any thoughtfulness, say that this is what Krishna is teaching to the Arjun because the Truth is one.

There cannot be a central difference between what Ramakrishna says and what Krishna says. And even at the level of fact, Shri Krishna does recommend to Arjun, the importance of abhyas. And abhyas is practice.

What is the practice that you have taken upon yourself?

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Acharya Prashant on Saint Lalleshwari: Who needs devotion and who does not?

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Life is given. Nothing is earned.

So, learn to serve others, not your own desire, greed and ego.

They steal your energies.

Whereas devotion builds your strength and protects the intelligent flame that leads to the Truth within.

~

Saint Lalleshwari

Acharya Prashant: So, Kamlesh is asking, ‘Is the intelligent flame vulnerable? Does the strength fade away too? Is Truth a by-product of devotion, intelligence and strength? Can I not be in Truth prior to it? Are devotion and serving others necessary stepping stone?’

Kamlesh, it is not a question of whether and if and assumptions. If one is firmly established in Truth, then one does not need devotion. The establishment is devotion.

If one is Lalleswari already, to the extent that one has given up identities with all sheaths, just as Lalleswari had given up her identification with the social regiment, clothing, then obviously serving others as a tool is not needed, then serving others is just an expression of who you are.

But one is not there. One is at a distance from one’s own heart; and therefore tools and methods are needed.

The distance is both an illusion and a reality. Absolutely seeing, no-one is ever at a distance from Truth; because Truth is the only reality, where else will you go? But relatively speaking, looking at oneself from one’s own eyes, from one’s own deluded eyes, one is obviously at a distance.

One does not look at himself as the absolute Truth. One looks at himself as a limited person. This limited looking and subsequent conclusion that I am this person, leading this life, mired in such responsibilities, troubled by such fears, hoping for such gains. This limited person needs that flame of intelligence. Needs the help of devotion. The limited person needs all the help possible.

Yes, later on a point may come when the transformed person may say, Oh! All that was not really needed! Oh! All that was just a game! But the fellow who says is not the fellow who is deluded right now. For the deluded one, help is needed. Methods are needed.

~ Acharya Prashant speaking at a Shabd-Yoga Session at Advait BodhSthal Ashram, Greater Noida on 1st October 2017


Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant on Saint Lalleshwari: Who needs devotion and who does not?

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To be alive is to be working

To be alive is to be working. You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.” Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

If the first category is where you belong to, then work is sufficient. The return, the reward, is contained in the work. If the second category is where you belong to, then work is not sufficient. Then work, plus, rewards is what you are looking for.

The salary is not contained in the work. The salary is an output of the work. This is the second way of living.

Man is the only one, who has to support his ambitions as well. Man is the only one, who has to support his psychological self as well. Then obviously, supporting yourself becomes a burden. Then obviously, just carrying on with life, becomes a burden. Because life is demanding so much.

Do not live a life that tries to escape work, and also do not live a life that uses work as a medium for psychological aggrandization.

Work must always be there as an expression of your Heart.

Action is always happening. You cannot avoid action. Even avoiding action is just another action. So, action will happen.

Fight hard and then let what is going to happen, happen. Do not worry about the result. Just say, that I did what I had to, and I have now devoted the result to you(Krishna).



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?


 

Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?

Question: What does Khalil Gibran mean, when he says, “He who works in marble and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.”

Acharya Prashant: What is Work?

All work involves action. 

As human beings, we are beings of action. We have limbs, senses, mind, all configured to act. So, action is inevitable. One cannot avoid action. So, workers we all are. There is nobody who does not work. The one who is professionally working somewhere, works. And so does the one, who is professionally unemployed. Both of us, both of them, are workers, irrespective of whether or not they are formally working somewhere.

To be alive is to be working.

You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

Then the question is of the quality of work. How does one work? From where does the work arise? Khalil Gibran takes two images and contrasts them.

First image, is of the man who is working with material, but his work is essentially an expression of his being, his center, his Self. He might be working with marble, but actually it is his soul taking shape as marble. Marble is now not only marble. Marble is now not only material. Marble is an expression of what he is. This is work of one kind.

And then he says, there is another one, who looks at soil, just as soil. For him, work is something outside of himself. I go somewhere, and I work with material. I work with material, probably, so that I may get some returns, some reward. He is not directly and organically ‘connected’ to his work. His relationship with work is transactional. I work, I put in some hours, and in return I get paid. Are you getting it? So, there is you, there is work and then there is a business like relationship between ‘you’ and ‘work.’ This is the second way of working.

The first way of working is,

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.”

Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

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Beginning itself is wrong

Defeat is hardly ever to be measured in terms of the events that happen outside of you. Defeat hurts exactly because defeat happens inside of you.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning. When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

You might be a great driver, but if you do not know where you are coming from and where you are going, then your driving skills will only take you quicker to the wrong place.

What has begun wrongly cannot be corrected by the finesse involved in the process.

And one feels bad about his condition only when he strongly identifies with his condition.

Defeat is not the end of the war. Defeat is not in the end of the war. Mostly defeat lies in the beginning of war.

The more you pick unnecessary battles, the more you will feel defeated. The more you will feel defeated, the more will be the urge to fight another unnecessary battle. It’s a downward spiral. Once caught you remain caught.

Willpower, commitment, determination they are of so little use because they are extremely superficial. One can be a very committed person and yet have a very petty mind because one is needlessly committed. Committed to the wrong thing from the wrong center.

Efficiency or discipline or determination or commitment make sense only when the fundamental has been taken care of.



Read the complete article: Forget winning, first choose the right battle

Forget winning, first choose the right battle

Question: “What are the reasons due to which we remain trapped in defeat? We continue with our irregularities, knowing fully well that we are not doing justice to ourselves. At times there is a strong feeling to do better, but this feeling or commitment does not last.”

Acharya Prashant: In the right battle there can be no wrong result. Defeat is possible only when one is fighting the wrong battle. If you find yourself defeated, and defeated regularly, just know that you have picked up a battle that you should never have been fighting in the first place.

Defeat is hardly ever to be measured in terms of the events that happen outside of you. Defeat hurts exactly because defeat happens inside of you.

How is it possible for any movement outside of you to hurt you? That is the reason Kabir had to say, “Mann k haare haar hai, mann ke jeete jeet”(You lose, if the battle is lost in the mind). Mind is shaken up, impacted, and hurt by an external happening. This is what we call as defeat. Did this defeat happen when a particular event took place? Is this defeat the result of an action? No, every defeat is a defeat right since the inception of the action that at some point hurts.

If you are fighting a battle, if you are involved in something, and somewhere along the way that thing, the process, the result of an action, starts hurting you, it only means that you started from a position of inadequacy, incompleteness in the very first place. That is why this session on defeat comes after the last session on incompleteness. You start from a point of incompleteness and you fight, you strive, to somehow get over the incompleteness.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning.

When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

You are proceeding with the wrong idea. You are proceeding with an assumption. You’re driving from the wrong place with the wrong map. Now even if the process of driving is immaculate, yet it would not help.

You might be a great driver, but if you do not know where you are coming from and where you are going, then your driving skills will only take you quicker to the wrong place.

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Fight for the right cause and let it consume you fully.

In the real defeat, everything that you have has been offered, sacrificed, surrendered. Now, what is the point in crying? Nothing better than this could have been done. Now, what to cry about? What grief? I have already come to the end of myself. I have already come to the end of efforts. What do I cry for? Isn’t that beautiful? You are fighting a war that cannot result in a defeat. If the result is a defeat there is nobody to receive the result. Great. Equally, if the result is a victory there is nobody to receive the result. That’s the right war.

Fight for the right cause and let it consume you fully. That is the only way of living life. Fight for the right one and devote yourself totally to him. That is the only way of living and fighting. Give yourself up so totally that you cannot now be blamed with having reserved anything for your personal self. Don’t cut corners. Don’t hold back. Don’t be compartmentalized between personal life and professional life. Devote the last ounce of yourself, your energy, your flesh, everything. That is the only way to ensure that you never are defeated.

It’s simple. Death will be with my defeat. Defeat will happen with my death. So, who will be left to grieve over defeat?

You understand death? We are not talking of physical death. The death that I am talking of might include physical elimination, but not necessarily. We are talking of death of that which we call as ourselves, that which is always hungry, begging, wanting, possessing, and still hungry. That is what we have to sacrifice. That is what we have to offer to the deity.



Read the Complete Article: Why does defeat bother the mind?

Why does defeat bother the mind?

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Question: Why the lingering effects of defeats or so-called perceived defeats stay in our mind for a long time? How can we shut it away?

The more you desire victory, the more will the effect of defeat linger in your mind. When you are fighting from the right place for the right cause, then comes a point when victory and defeat become inseparable. You have given so much of yourself to the great cause that now there remains nothing, nobody to get hurt or defeat.

There has to be somebody remaining to get hurt, right? There is a house, and the people in the house are warriors. And the house has given itself completely to the war, every member has gone out to fight. So completely have they devoted themselves to war. Now the enemy comes and demolishes the house, who gets hurt? Who gets hurt? They are not there. They have given themselves totally to the war, so nobody gets hurt.

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Is enlightenment more difficult for women?

 

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From The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

“In the World, ‘women and gold’ is the covering of Maya.”

 

Acharya Prashant: He is talking to a man. Most of the World’s spiritual literature, is addressed to men, though Truth has nothing to do with gender. But the approach to it, depends upon on who is walking? Because, historically, it is mostly the men who have shown an urge, an eagerness, via the scriptures. So, the scriptures are mostly addressed to men. That has to be kept in mind.

L: Is it right – For women, the condition is, women are helpless, hopeless, in field of spirituality.

AP: When most of the medicines are targeted at men. Does it mean that women are exceptionally sick? Read more

What is the Self and the non-self?

Slide1Question: All that exists in this world of forms is nothing but the self, and the self alone. How then shall the infinite worship itself. Shiva is one, undivided, whole. So, all that exists in this world of forms is nothing but the Self. Please explain these lines.

Acharya Prashant: These lines are not uttered by the common mind, the one we see all around us. Dattatreya is saying, “All that which exists is the Self.” The mind is programmed to see diversity. The mind is programmed to see differences. When you open your eyes, and look around, there is no oneness that you see. You open your eyes, and all that you see is different forms, different colours, names, things, and objects. The entire world in which things are known is only because they are different from each other. That’s why it is the world of duality. Read more

I WILL NOT DIE TILL YOU COME BACK!

Mohan-Ji, a vendor at Rishikesh from past 35 years, has been meeting a lot of Gurus, including some of the biggest names, had met Acharya-Ji last year at the ‘Myth Demolition Tour’ in Rishikesh.

On seeing Him, his eyes gleamed in contentment and he said: ‘I have waited so long for You. Each day of my 35 years of life was spent for this day to come.’

On the last day of his meeting with Him, he uttered: ‘I will not die till You come back’.

This year too Acharya-Ji reached Rishikesh. His kindness went to meet him. Seeing Acharya-Ji, tears ran down his cheeks and at the first glance he bowed and uttered: ‘Now I can die peacefully’.

Now he is eagerly waiting, like hundreds of other genuine seekers, for the arrival of Acharya-Ji at Rishikesh for the completion of 6th ‘Myth Demolition Tour’ on 22nd and 23rd of March.

Blessings to Mohan-Ji.

 

Daily, the genuine seekers send their love notes to Acharya-Ji, expressing, how His calming presence has transformed their lives. Seeing that, the volunteers at PAF have started the ‘Meet the Master’ program, so that the genuine seekers can directly come in the presence of the Master.

 

The program can be joined by sending a request at: requests@prashantadvait.com

_________________________________________________________________

Love,

Acharya Prashant
PrashantAdvait Foundation

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What does it mean to be devoted to the Truth?

In the world, we have two kinds of movement: One is the movement towards Truth, powered by the Truth. The other is the movement when we see something in which we do not see the Truth, yet we see it as attractive. Does it not happen with us?

You see something, and you don’t see the Truth in it, and yet you find it attractive.

To be devoted to the Truth means: “I will not give value to this attraction.”

And you cannot use this as a formula or a principle. Not giving value to something, is something very intrinsic, it happens. It happens when you see that, that which you are pursuing, is something that you have been pursuing relentlessly since long, since centuries, since the beginning of time. And it has only given you suffering. And then your steps freeze. Then you do not want to proceed. Then you see that this particular chase is no different from the chase of yesterday, which was in its turn no different from the chase of day before yesterday. And all these chases have only resulted in a situation where you need to chase more and more.

If you need to chase today, and if you were chasing yesterday, was yesterday’s chase of any avail?
Had it be of any consequence, would you be left to chase even today? Chasing yesterday, if you have to chase even today, it only means that these chases are generally futile, and lead to the suffering. Lead to this stage where you have to chase even more. And then your steps freeze. And that is devotion towards the Truth.

Man is not born to adjust and compromise and somehow tolerate his seventy, eighty years and then at the end of the journey say, “Thank God the seventy years are over. It was a nightmare, glad, I am out of it. Death is such a nice thing.”

When you die at eighty, you say, “Mercifully I am out of it.”

That is what we are heading for. “Thank God we are out of it, such an ordeal”
What to do with life? Bear it? Tolerate it?
Look at the child, look at the animal; they love themselves, at least they don’t hate themselves. We have our two dogs and you may cajole them, temp them but if they don’t want to eat something they will not eat it even if it breaks your heart. You may give them the best of dishes right from your own plate and if he doesn’t want it, he will not take it. He will say “My health comes first. Your love is alright, thank you. I don’t want to take it, too oily for me. I don’t want to become like you!”
The child knows self-love — he will never harm himself to please others, never. “Why should I force my bladder? Your bed sheet is not more important than my bladder. I will do what I want to do. You may have bought a rupees-three-hundred ticket for the movie; I want to enjoy in my own way, not your movie, not the movie of the entire audience present in the whole theater, nobody is more important than my urge to shout out. I want to shout out, I will shout out. I don’t bother, call it selfishness if you want to, I am selfish.”
But then somebody has taught you to not to be selfish and that translate into not having self-love. So you will bear anything; bear.
The child does not want to please anybody and that is innocence. He is not requesting favors from anybody — that is innocence. We want something from somebody that’s why we keep tolerating that’s why you keep tolerating; greed. You want something from somebody, so keep tolerating.

Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

A Course in Realization: Bhakti & Purushottam Yoga from Bhagavad Gita

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Reading scriptures on a regular basis is most central to spiritual growth.

Ancient spiritual texts like the Upanishads and Gita are more relevant today than they were ever before.

To spend a lifetime without the words of the saints, the avatars and the gurus is to lose a lifetime.

Today, if mankind seems to be nearing catastrophe — if climate change, social injustice and violence have become the norm — it is because man’s mind has gone astray.

A Course in Realization, a classroom-based learning program led by Acharya Prashant, is a humanitarian initiative towards disseminating clarity and intelligence in the world.

The methodology of this program is to engage in an in-depth and rigorous examination of scriptures by relating them to the everyday realities of life. Relevant sections from scriptures like Srimad Bhagawad Gita, Upanishads, Brahm Sutras, Ashtavakra Gita, etc. are studied to unpack the ancient mysteries contained in them. Sessions are conducted by Acharya Prashant himself at Advait BodhSthal, Noida.


Course Title:
Bhakti Yoga and Purushottam Yoga from Bhagavad Gita

Dates:
6th March onwards

Time:
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Venue:
Advait Bodh Sthal, G-39, Sec. 63, Noida, U.P.

Total duration:
840 minutes

To register, send an email to requests@prashantadvait.com
Or contact, Sh. Apaar @ +91-9818591240

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Do you know the difference between a scholar and a devotee?

Have you ever wondered why we call God as big; bigger; biggest? It is because the universe that we perceive is big and so we have come to have a respect for the word “big”.

When we say, when we use big as a respectable word, we are actually respecting the universe, because the universe is the biggest fact that we know. That is the difference between the ordinary one and the devotee. The ordinary one would conceptualize God as a large-ness, as a beyond-ness, as something transcendental. Something so huge that it cannot even be imagined. I repeat, what else is so huge that you cannot even imagine it? The universe.

It is because we have so much respect for the universe – which actually is fear – it is because we are so afraid of the universe that we conceptualize God as the big one. When the universe is not very important for you, then it is no more needed to think of God as the big one; then God can be your size; then God can be even smaller than you; then God is approachable. You can hold God in your arms. Then the relationship with God is not that of fear or greed. Then you do not say that a religious man is God fearing. Then the relationship between you and God is that of Love. Now, God is as lovable as an infant. You can hold God in your arms. Would you say that you are infant fearing? Then why do you say you are God fearing? Why does that word even exist in the dictionary?

For the devotee, God can be a small kid. You are holding the kid in your arms. And somebody like Hafiz is not going to stop at that. He is not just saying that you are holding God in your arms. He is saying, ‘You are actually nursing the kid’. And it’s so wonderful that in nursing the kid, you are nursing the entire creation.

Bliss! Marvelous!

One can only settle in Silence.

Nursing God; nursing God as an infant.

Not God – the father;

not God – the immense;

not God – the Protector;

not God – the Savior;

God- the little one.

You can kiss him, cuddle him, and his skin is so soft.

And his face is so small.

And his nose!

That is only for lovers of God. Not for those who fear God. Not for those who think that God does justice; God keeps a record of your good and bad actions. Not for those who come up with theories and stories like God created the universe, God may dissolve the Universe.

The Real lover has nothing to do with the past – he doesn’t worry whether God created the universe and when and how. The Real lover has nothing to do with future– He is not bothered whether and when and how the universe will be dissolved by God.

He just Loves.

And love is not a thought, love is not a hope.

Love is a reality.

He loves God right now.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page