Acharya Prashant, with students: How to be contented in life?

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Acharya Prashant: Ishita asks, “What is contentment and why do we run behind it?”

Ishita we never run behind contentment. We run behind another thing called ‘satisfaction.’ Contentment is not a goal to be achieved. Contentment is right now. Contentment is our intrinsic fullness which opens up in the absence of any desire. When there is no desire, then you know everything is alright! That is contentment. That is intrinsic fullness, you don’t run after it to get it.

But yes there is another word. You know the dictionary would say these two are synonymous contentment and satisfaction. But in lives, these two are poles apart. Very-very different. We run after satisfaction. What do we say? We say that if we get that then we will be satisfied. That which you are after is always ahead. Always in future. Am I right?

Listener: Yes, sir.

AP: Do you ever say that in this moment if I get something I will be satisfied? Because if you say this moment, then by the time you say this moment this has already become a time. Become past. So, defacto you are always aspiring about the future. A hope into the future. If I get that then.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: How to have confidence in oneself?

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Question: I don’t have confidence in myself. How to gain it?

Acharya Prashant: The question comes from an extreme – “I do not have confidence in myself.” But surely, this question addresses a pain that all experience in varying degrees, on various occasions.

There is nobody who does not feel short of confidence at one point or another. There are many, who keep feeling perpetually short. There are others, who feel confident most of the time, but find that their confidence is deserting them often when they need it.

You say you want ‘confidence’ in yourself. You want confidence in yourself only when you are in doubt. When things are just flowing smoothly, is there need for confidence? When there is no fear, is there need for confidence?

Confidence is a medicine.

Confidence is not your natural state.

Just as, medicine is not health. When you feel sick, then you ask for medicine and the role of medicine should be to make itself unnecessary. You do not want to have a medicine that you will perpetually need. What you must rather perpetually have, is a normal and ordinary state of health. What you must normally have is a state of fearlessness, in which confidence is not needed at all.

If you are requiring confidence, it means that something has already gone wrong.

Now, do you want to cover up what has gone wrong? Or do you want to directly address what has gone wrong? Because if the wrong stays wrong, then you will keep on needing confidence more and more, and more frequently.

When you are addressing your friends, do you require confidence? No! But when you are making a public presentation, then you require confidence. Do you notice that? When you are with your family members, do you require confidence? Hardly ever! But when you are in front of an interviewer, then you say that you require confidence.

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Acharya Prashant: The fallacy of expression of love

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Acharya Prashant: In matters of Love and all these things, you want the other person to be ‘nice.’

We are such idiots, we want the other person to be ‘nice.’ And if the other person is not nice, we feel, there is no Love.

We have no capacity to see where the whole thing is coming from. We do not see anything. We do not understand anything. And by anything, I mean absolutely anything. Black is white and white is black.

We are ready to give up our Life probably somebody comes and says two sweets words to us. Oh! he is my friend. Why? Because he talks sweetly and we do not realize that the sweet talk maybe so poisonous because we see only the actions, because we see only the actions, the words. He comes and hugs me and then he says, ‘baba how are you? Nice!’

And because I am already living at the surface, I am alright with that. I do not want to offend him. And he asks something, I will give.

But there is another one who admonishes, who chastises, who calls a spade, a spade, who is terribly real. And I’ll say, this fellow is my enemy because he tells me that I am an idiot. You have cancer. The doctor is telling you, you have cancer. Is he your friend or enemy?

Listener: Friend.

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Acharya Prashant on Avadhuta Gita: Why does mental disease exist?

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Question: Manish Bansal has asked, Acharya Ji, The Avadhuta Gita says, “svarupa-nirvanam anamayoaham”, then why do we get hurt? Why do we get sick?

Acharya Prashant:

The fundamental does not get hurt and the fundamental does not get sick.

That in you which is central, fundamental, incorruptible, unbreakable can neither get hurt nor sick. That also tells you about the nature of all hurt and sickness. They don’t occur to the real you and therefore as they run their course, it is possible to let them run their course and yet be aloof.

There is something in you that just cannot get sick. There is something in you that just cannot get hurt. If you feel that your entire existence is reeling under the impact of hurt then you have not looked at yourself carefully.

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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.

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Truth is not the thought of truth

Who is a sage? A sage is the one who is extremely sensitive, who is able to catch even that which we normally ignore.

The saint is one who has realized that life is not also hell but just hell.

Because in thinking and concluding thus, you’ve missed the happening.

Gratefulness is not the thought of gratefulness. Joy is not the thought of joy. Truth is not the thought of truth.

Gratefulness means not having any sense of like or dislike.

The spiritual man is neck deep into action. He is not an escapist.

Because all your imagination proceeds from the centre of what you currently have made yourself to be, what you currently are.


Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?


 

Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?

Question: Explain ‘bad.’

Acharya Prashant: OK. Let’s take something which you call as ‘bad.’ We will begin with that. Tell me anything which you call as ‘bad.’

Listener: Inadequate idea.

AP: Too abstract. I’ll then have to make it more abstract and Do you call a disease as bad?

L1: Yes.

AP: OK. A disease is bad only when you experience the pain and suffering associated with it. Only when a disease shows up in medical report. Let’s say there is a wound here. The wound has become infected and it is oozing puss. Now, you’ll say this is bad. Won’t you say that? Don’t be so guarded as if you want to block my next step.

L1: I just…one might say it’s bad, yes.

AP: What would you call as bad? Because I have to start from there. What do you see all around that you would call as unacceptable? Is there anything that you dislike?

L1: I’m just grateful.

AP: Then, then everything is alright. You are home.

L1: I’m celebrating.

L2: If I see somebody beating a child, I call it bad.

AP: Yes, yes. I like honest statements. He’s saying he’s grateful when somebody beats up a child.

L1: I’m not saying this, I never said that

AP: Then, why not say that when you find somebody raping somebody you don’t like it. Do you like it?

L1: I don’t like it.

AP: Yes, just say that. See, living in the fact means an honest acknowledgment of what life for you really is like. Do you really like it if you’re beaten up? Then why not simply say that. Why put it in abstractions?

So, you don’t like it when somebody beats a child right, Okay? Now, beating the child is a gross act. It is visible. Let’s say somebody is carrying a cane and spanking the child with it. It is visible. Stay with this…so, it is visible when the child is being beaten and these eyes can look at that visible, material act. Something goes up, something comes down, somebody cries. You can look at that, it’s a gross thing. It’s very difficult to miss it. Now, make it more subtle, bring it down a level. Suppose the violence is not so gross. It’s a more subtle violence. What happens in a more subtle violence? Come on, speak.

L3: Shaming.

AP: Shaming. So, now he’s not beating. He’s just accusing. He’s making the child feel ashamed using words. Now, words are also gross. A little less gross than action but the words are also gross because sensory mechanism can catch them. So you still call it violence. If you’re sensitive enough you still call it violence but somebody might say that no… no… no, beating was violence, this is just counseling. Right? You make it even more subtle. Now, the violent one is neither using a cane nor is he using words. He’s just using..?

L2: Ignoring.

AP: Ignoring. Wonderful. So using nothing or just using a glance. Now, it’s very subtle. Now, only the sensitive mind will say that it is violence. If you’re not sensitive, you’ll not even know that it is violence. But violence is continuing. Violence is continuing. It is just that now you are not calling it violence. Only 1% people are now calling it violence. What have you done? You’ve done nothing. You have just been apathetic to the child. Make it even more subtle.

L4: Thinking.

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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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Freedom is Health

Love is a relationship. A healthy relationship is LoveAny healthy relationship is Love, and a healthy relationship is possible only when you are healthy.

What is healthy being? A healthy being is one who is not restless, who is not continuously suffering, whose mind is not continuously wandering in tension, in misery.

You don’t need to become healthy, you are healthy.

What does Health mean? Health means that which you are without any education.

Even in your worst situation, even in your darkest hour, even in your last breath, you will not be able to force yourself to like slavery. It is impossible.

Freedom is Health.

Nobody can lose his or her NatureYou are Healthy.

Becoming is alright in small matters but in essential matters of life, becoming is a disease, unnecessary disease. A disease that is just an assumption but such a deep assumption that it ruins the entire climate of the mind.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: The relationship of the healthy being is Love

Acharya Prashant: The relationship of the healthy being is Love

AP: It’s so simple that you’ll be disappointed actually. It is not jazzy to hear or glamorous to look at.

Love is a relationship.

A healthy relationship is Love.

Any healthy relationship is Love, and a healthy relationship is possible only when you are healthy.

So, the relationships of a healthy being are called Love. The definition is so simple. You don’t find anything very embellished about it.

What is healthy being?

A healthy being is one who is not restless, who is not continuously suffering, whose mind is not continuously wandering in tension, in misery.

When you are settled within and you have a sureness within, then in all your relationships, this sureness, this power, this peace, this completeness shows. What I have that reflects in all my relationships. If I’m healthy then that health shines in all my relationships. That health is called Love.

Listener: Acharya Ji, I saw a video of you – only a healthy mind can enter into a friendship. So, how can we become healthy? What are the ways in which we can have healthy mind?

AP: Do you know what does this question imply? I want to become healthy. Are you sure the question is valid?

Listener: Yes.

AP: What’s your name?

Listener: Priya.

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Confidence is a disease

In fear, you feel that it might be lost. In confidence, you feel that there is no threat of it being lost.

Fear is the stage when the root has become a full-grown tree but the root of both ‘confidence’ and ‘fear’ is the same, giving importance to external attainments.

The question of confidence arises only when you are afraid. You see the linkage between ‘fear’ and ‘confidence.’ The one which is confident is surely afraid just that he is not realizing it at that point. If there is no fear, there is no need of confidence.

Confidence is the shadow of fear.

Confidence is a disease.

Don’t ask for confidence, ask for fearlessness.

The more the world will mean to you, the more afraid you will be.

Unfortunately, confidence is no treatment for fear.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Don’t ask for confidence, ask for fearlessness


 

Acharya Prashant: Don’t ask for confidence, ask for fearlessness

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Question: If a person has stage-fear, how can that person enhance or extract the ‘Inner-confidence?’

Acharya Prashant: Sit. See ‘confidence’ and ‘fearfulness,’ ‘confidence’ and ‘fear’ these two are actually the two names for the same state of mind. Fearfulness says, “I’m at the risk of losing something important that something important can be anything – money, security, respect whatever relationship.” Confidence says, “these things are important but I’m not at the risk of losing them.” What is common in between confidence and fear?

I am repeating, pay attention now! Fear says, “what I have from the world is important and is at a risk of getting lost.” Confidence says, “what I have from the world is of course, important but it is not at the risk of getting lost.” Now, what is common between ‘confidence’ and ‘fear?’

Listener: Acharya Ji, the dependency on the world.

AP: Both says, “what I have from the world is surely important.”

In fear, you feel that it might be lost.

In confidence, you feel that there is no threat of it being lost.

But remember, this feeling of no threat depends on time. What is not threatened right now, will be threatened after five minutes or after five days. Confidence will surely turn into fear because you have already made the basic preparation to be ‘afraid.’ The basic preparation to be afraid is, the thought that what the world has given to me is, ‘important.’

The root is there. Confidence is the point when the root has yet not expressed itself into the tree. The root is there. The tree is invisible. It has yet not come forth.

Fear is the stage when the root has become a full-grown tree but the root of both ‘confidence’ and ‘fear’ is the same, giving importance to external attainments.

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Pure giving

The ego is interested in its own nourishment.

Because the ego wants only that what the ego values, not which is absolutely valuable.

Getting tired of getting hurt is a rare happening. Man is extremely resilient. We keep on getting hurt again and again, at the same place and yet we are hardly ever tired of repeating the same processes, the same actions that bring us to hurt.

You can call it a stage of demolition. The old patterns are seen as worthless and hence given up.

In the first level, the ego gives, and this giving is of a nature that strengthens the ego. In the second level, the ego gives up its trust in itself and hence gets diminished.

In the third stage giving up does not happen. The third stage is of pure giving.

You just give. Meaninglessly, purposelessly, reasonlessly. You don’t even give, you are just being what you really are.

And when you just start giving, since you are giving to yourself, you start receiving a lot.

Tremendously bored we are with everything, that even an invitation to get rid of boredom sounds boring.

Your mind is already afraid of death, and Rumi is just exposing, or at worst exploiting that fear.

Given the way we are, fear is our reality. Wherever there is body identification, there would also parallely be the fear of the loss of the body.

Everything is done for a purpose, for a reason, with the expectation of gain. And where there is the expectation of gain, there is also the parallel fear of loss.

Because an action that arises from fear can never eliminate fear.

Take care of the ‘first’ in the ‘first place.’ Do not let the disease guide your actions. Rather, the first action should be to eliminate the disease. And these are the only two ways of living.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving

Fight against your lazy self

Laziness means a refusal to do, a refusal to do the right thing, a refusal to change. Laziness means that one wants to remain where one is and as one is.

Because we are not total, so even our stupidities are not total.

The Buddha is alright whether he is sleeping on a bed or on a thorn bed. But this lazy man feels alright only if certain conditions are met.

Choose the right death, please. Give death to your laziness. Give death to your ego and self-preservation. Don’t protect laziness and give death to yourself. Don’t do that. Fight against your lazy self. Don’t side with it. If you don’t fight your laziness, your laziness will give you a death that you can’t even imagine.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: What does the lazy self want?

Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: What does the lazy self want?

“The craving of a sluggard is a death of him because his hands refuse to work.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 21:25)

Acharya Prashant:

Nimisha has sent something, it is not a question. I’ll read it aloud, that’s my answer.

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranaam. I want to thank you deeply for reconnecting me to the Lord. The love and connection I felt for him as an innocent child got diluted along the way. I am rejoicing in that regained love now. Jesus was always very special to me. My first love you could say. Then one grows up and starts questioning things, doubts arise, resistance occurs, and one loses that innocent reasonless love once felt. Jesus showed me the way back home through you.

In gratitude, Nimisha.

When all is alright then there is no need to speak. Yesterday, I said – “don’t fix that which is not broken.”

 

James has sent two questions from Russia. Maybe I’ll read both of them, or one of them.

Jesus says “The craving of a sluggard will be death of him because his hands refuse to work”.

The question is:

Jesus is saying that the desires of a lazy person will be the death of him because he’s saying that his hands refuse to work. He just desires but his hands say we do not want to work. So the enquiry is, what does a lazy person crave for if not work? And also, which work is Jesus referring to?

Jesus has pointed towards the special case of a lazy person. This lazy person has all the desires, great desires. But one thing he’s very clear about, ‘I will not work.’ So, James has wondered that what does he crave for if not work? And what is this work that Jesus is referring to? Is he talking about plumbing? Writing? Carpentry? What work is referring to?

Who is a lazy person? A lazy person is one who has a tremendous ego. Only the ego is lazy, and the ego is bound to be lazy. In what sense is the ego lazy?

Laziness means a refusal to do, a refusal to do the right thing, a refusal to change. Laziness means that one wants to remain where one is and as one is.

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Acharya Prashant: Thought and the thinker are both not needed

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Acharya Prashant: Azaz is saying, “I think a lot in relationship, no matter whom I am related to. Even when I am sitting here, I am thinking a lot about how to frame a question. How to know the right response while being related? How do I know my right response while I sit here? Why is there so much thinking in me?”.

Thought arises as a conscious mechanism to solve something, that is not quite conscious. Thought is like a skin ointment, applied to a heart problem. Thought is a superficial way to solve a problem that is deeper than the surface. Thought always proceeds with images about the world. Thought always tries to find a solution, in the domain of space and time, reasoning, cause and effect, planning, events, addition, reaction, movement. Thought is like trying to find a solution through the leaves when the root is diseased. Read more

Anything that promises to make you better is an allegation upon you

To be in Yoga is to not touch anything, anybody, any situation that causes a sense of littleness in you. Even if that littleness is induced in you in a holy pretext. Even if it is induced in you as an ostensible means of welfare. You refuse to admit it in.

Somebody may come and say, “You need protection.” You quickly see through what he is saying. You realize that what he is saying that I am weak. If I am not weak, why would I need protection? You refuse to entertain the advice. You refuse to take that person seriously, this is Yoga. Somebody comes and tells you, “You need God and God is all that you need.” You refuse to entertain this person. Because if he is saying that you need God then surely he means that you do not have God. He is proving that you are God-less. You refuse that person.

Somebody comes and says, “You need a lot of self-enquiry.” You immediately refuse this person because if you need to look, see and discover then surely first of all you must believe that you do not know that you are ignorant, which you are not. To be in Yoga is to refuse everything that keeps you little and limited. Littleness would not come to you as littleness. Littleness would come to you as friendly advice. Littleness would come to you as brotherly concern. Littleness would come to you as the sermons of a teacher. Littleness would come to you as a promise of security.

Had littleness would be honest enough to admit its real name, you could have easily refused it. But littleness rarely admits its real name. Littleness comes, wearing the mask of things that appears nice and sweet and promising. Be very cautious of all this stuff that is always ready to enter your mind. Anything that promises to make you better is an allegation upon you. Why is it an allegation? It is an allegation that you are currently not alright.

Anybody who offers to improve your life or help you realize that which you do not know, is actually proving to you that ignorance is what you are. The advertiser who is telling you that the next home or the next position or the next car will add something to your life, is actually causing Viyoga in you. Because he is proving to you that unless you have that house or that car, there is something missing in life. And you buy that in. Why do you buy that in? Arjuna too must have bought a lot of those things!



Read Complete Article: Action without attachment is Yoga

Action without attachment is Yoga || Acharya Prashant on Bhagwad Gita (2016)

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योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि संग त्यक्त्वा धनंजय |

सिध्यसिध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ||

~श्रीमद भगवद गीता

//2.48//

Perform your actions, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna),

Being established in or integrated with Yoga,

Abandoning attachment and

Remaining even-minded both in success and failure.

This evenness of mind is called Yoga.

~Bhagwad Gita

Acharya Prashant: The science of uniting the individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness, this equanimity is known as Yoga. Which equanimity is he talking of? Becoming equipoised in success and failure. Could you get a more concise and direct definition of Yoga? Perform your activities, giving up attachment and become equipoised in success and failure – this is Yoga.

What does it mean to remain equipoised in success and failure? Read more