Gems from Articles, April’19

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1.

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.

2.

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.

3.

If you identify with the false, is a quick movement into the Truth possible? No. It will take time. ‘Sadhana’ is the way. You will have to be constantly embattled against yourself. And 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 both – fight 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.

4.

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.

5.

Invest that time in two things: in fighting against yourself,  and in being in the company of Saints and lovers of God, Truth.

6.

It is very difficult to break away from the Truth, and habituated as we are to ourselves, it is probably equally difficult, if not more difficult, to overrule ourselves, and leap directly towards the Truth.

So ours is a funny situation.

Can’t go away, can’t directly come close. And at the same time, we want to tell ourselves, that we are busy and occupied, and doing something constructive. So we start with the merry-go-round, maintaining a safe distance from the center, as if that safety is any less discomfiting, than a total separation from the center that invites us.

This is complexity, and this is dishonesty – the in-between-ness, the safe, middle path. The position, the movement, the locus that convinces us that we are not totally dishonest.

7.

You see, without a love for honesty, there can be nothing called ‘dishonesty’. Obviously, we love that which is real, that which will not deceive us, that which we eagerly want. But in spite of our love, in spite of our deep, and true desire, we still deny ourselves, we defy ourselves.

We defy the command of our own hearts.

8.

Dishonesty is – to not to see what you are seeing, to not to get what you want, not to be what you are, not to live by what you know.

If you don’t know, you cannot be dishonest.

If you don’t love, you cannot be disloyal.

9.

It’s absolutely fantastic, that we know, we want, we love.

And it’s equally tragic, that in spite of, knowing, wanting, loving, we somehow still choose to remain deprived.

Complex!

10.

The more certain you are, that you are approaching the person, with the only intention to show him the light, the easier the process will be.

If the intention is pure, then the process is quicker.

And this empowers you a lot, because now you have something to work upon.

If you just say that the other person does not listen to you, then you are helpless, because you anyway have no control over how the other person thinks, and responds, and reacts, and lives.

But once you know, that the other person’s response, is dependent on purity of your intentions, then that enables and empowers you, because now you can work upon yourself.

And by working on yourself, you can cause a quicker change in the other person.

So work on yourself.

11.

in the mind, there is nothing without a purpose, or a reason.

And as that reason or purpose gains purification, the place of that person in your life, that is your mind, changes. And then, working becomes far easier, with respect to that person.

12.

You have to be absolutely certain, that it is only because of love, and only because of kindness, that you want to bring the light to the other.

13.

The world is a habit, but drugs are a worst habit.

At least when you are free of drugs, then you can look at the facts. Under the influence of drugs, you cannot even know the facts. And I have repeatedly said that – the facts are the door to Truth.

If you do not know even the facts, then you are one step further away from the Truth.

The one who is finding refuge in drugs, is fed up of the usual stuff of consciousness. That is certain.

But, he is taking a very wasteful route.

14.

See, what do most people feel?

They feel a particular type of universe, just because they live in a particular type of consciousness.

They feel the universe, in a particular way, all the time. So, they start taking the universe, as Truth.

After all, what is Truth? That which does not change.

15.

Dedicate your time to something sublime, and then you will not be available to get hurt.

You are hurt. because you are available.

Why are you walking around with free mental space, and spare time?

Be fully dedicated to something worthy, then all these little bruises, and wounds, and rubs, will not bother you.

Life hurts, and wounds, only those who are jobless.

Why are you jobless?

16.

To be born, is to be born into one great job.

What is that job?

The life-long mission of liberation.

You have to be fully employed there. It’s a full-time job, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three sixty five days a year.

But you do not do justice to real occupation, you steal time.

And then your punishment is, that the world will hurt you.

Your theft costs you very dearly.

17.

Be fully consumed in the one, great, divine mission.

Otherwise, life will beat you down, very badly.

You have been entrusted with time, not so that you while it away.

You have been entrusted with your fifty, or eighty years, so that you make the best use of every second. Your time is not your personal property. It has been entrusted to you.

You better use it for the designated, and assigned purpose.

18.

If you are suffering, there is nobody, but you, who is responsible.

Unless you fully accept this responsibility, there is no freedom.

If your suffering is just incidental, then how can there be freedom from it, because incidents can happen any way, any day?

You have to first of all clearly realise that suffering cannot come to you, without your consent. Not only your consent, but your active participation is needed in your process of suffering.

Not only your participation, but your active doership is needed, for you to suffer.

Otherwise, you cannot suffer.

19.

Any bit of suffering, is a clear indicator that you have been messing up with somebody’s trust.

You know whose trust I am talking of? The one who gave you time.

He gave you time, trusting that you will use time piously.

He didn’t give you time to smoke it away.

20.

You don’t have to ‘do’ anything, to escape from body.

You ‘do’ a lot to stick to the body.

21.

I say, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the result.”

I am saying, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the results.”

But to those, who are not doing the right things, I say, “Look at the results of your actions.”

22.

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’ – is the utmost and final condition.

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’- that condition is possible only to someone, who is already liberated of the future.

But those who are not liberated, those who have even an iota of doubt, about the center from where their actions are arising, must use the results of the action, to know the source of the action.

23.

The source of the action, and the result of the action, correspond with each other.

If the action comes from the center of holiness, then the results are bound to be – holy.

If the actions come from the center of nothingness, then the results are bound to be – nothing.

Similarly, if the actions come from the center of vice, or deception, then the results are bound to be distressing.

24.

An action which has led to peacelessness, could not have come from the right source.

An action that leads to lovelessness, has definitely come from a loveless center.

So, do mind the results.

The results will tell you where you are standing right now.

Much later will you come to a point, from where you will not need to bother about the results.

That is liberation!

25.

Man is really not born to go beyond.

Going beyond, is the highest, and the most exquisite pursuit.

If you don’t pursue that path, you are not a sinner.

You are just, normal.

If you not spiritual, you are not a sinner.

You are just normal!

26.

Spirituality, is a most exquisite pursuit.

It is only for those, who are not at all contended with, what the world can maximally offer.

Not only are they not contended with what they already have, they are not contended even with the best, what the world can potentially offer.

Those are the ones, who must take the spiritual path.

Others must satisfy themselves, with the worldly beauties.

27.

Most people are condemned to, almost succeed in the world.

The misfortune of most people is, that they never get beaten up so soundly, that they will see the futility of the world.

So they should remain well-adjusted and compromised. They should continue with the worldly life.

They should not, unnecessarily, invite the spiritual trouble. You know, for the sake of it, just because some great names have talked of spirituality, you too start dabbling.

And then, you burn your fingers.

Spirituality, is for the ones, who are ripe enough.

28.

The first thing that is needed is, viveka (discretion).

The second thing that is needed is, vairagya (dispassion).

The third thing that is needed is, shad sampatti, the six qualities (shama, dama, uprati, titiksha, shraddha, samaadhaan).

And finally, and most importantly, you need, mumuksha(desire for liberation).

When you see that you have all these, only then must you turn, a seeker.

29.

Science is fully contained in spirituality.

Spirituality, that does not contain science, is superstition.

However, science is too small, to overlap with, all of spirituality.

But one thing is certain, when you are scientific, you are spiritual as well.

However, all spirituality, is not science. Spirituality goes, way beyond science.

Spirituality begins, when you have a strong feeling, that things are not the way they must be.

30.

The effect cannot be dimensionally, beyond the cause.

Which is to say – the fruit of the action, cannot be dimensionally superior to the action.

Which is to say – the fruit of the action, is actually just the quality of the actor.

The result is dimensionally the same as the action, and the action is dimensionally the same as the actor.

Therefore, the result is in the same dimension as the actor.

~ Excerpts from ‘Shabd-Yoga’ sessions.

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The greatest dependence is psychological dependence

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future? Tell me?

To look towards future, one would have to take his attention away from the present, right?

Your goals cannot be bigger than your awareness. Goals will just be within the circumference of what you know.

Life is the present moment, there is nothing else. If you are free right now, there is no need to become enslaved the next moment. Why do you want to pretend that we are slaves? You are not! You are free this moment!

And remember, financial dependence is not a great dependence. Even physical dependence may not be a great dependence. The greatest dependence is psychological dependence.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting


 

Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting

Question: Acharya Ji, we should have future plans also. What should set that in our minds that what we are going to be in future!

Acharya Prashant: Alright, that is a very sensible question. What’s your name?

Questioner: Aanchal.

AP: Right. Aanchal, suppose if one day, you give one of your friends a call. And say, tell me, which road goes to Chandigarh? How do I reach Chandigarh? And you are feverishly asking her. How do I reach Chandigarh, tell me, how do I reach Chandigarh? If your friend is sensible enough, what is the question she is going to ask you?

Listeners: Where are you, now?

AP: Where are you right now? To reach anywhere, shouldn’t you firstly know where are you right now? To talk about future, shouldn’t you firstly know what the present moment is? And if the present moment is known, is Chandigarh too far away?

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

And right now means exactly right now! Are you aware of how your thoughts are wending? Are you aware, from where are these questions arising? Are you even aware, why there is incessant thirst for the future?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future?

Tell me?

Have you noticed? Have you been attentive to the fact that when is it that you really start thinking of the future?

When you are? Insecure. When you are insecure, and tense and anxious, that’s when your mind rushes to the future.

Read more

All suffering is false

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

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

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

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



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


 

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

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

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

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

Listener: That means, enjoying our sufferings.

AP: Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

Limitation itself is the sin

Who are we?

Limited beings with their limited desires, limited scope, limited understanding, limited vision.

The limitation itself is the sin.

 

A Jesus is there to help you get rid of your incompleteness.

But instead of thanking Jesus and living by his word, you choose to crucify him.

Remember the crucifixion.

Because if you forget the crucifixion, you’ll also forget your immediate reality.

The immediate reality is important.

 

One must know where one is standing.

Where one ought to be, or where one must reach comes later. And man does not stand at the perfect spot.

 

The one who is lost must know that he is lost. If he starts believing that he is home, then he will remain forever lost.

 

Only the healthy one has the right to say that he is healthy.

Only a Jesus has the right to say that he is the son of God.

 

Where there is ego, there is bound to be fear.

 

Fifty types of fears just pop up.

Fear is going to be there, choose your type.

Which fear do you prefer?

 

The superficial desire is actually a product of the deep desire. But the irony is such that the superficial desire, though arising from the deep desire, actually works against the deep desire. 

 

The ego is always God loving at the core, and it is great when at the core the ego is God loving and on the surface the ego is God fearing.

 

Be a lover of God in your heart, but your mind must always be afraid of God.

 

One must be afraid of himself.

Being God-fearing means being fearful of oneself, and being fearful of losing God.

 

One must be very very alert to these tendencies;

One must be very very watchful.



Read the complete article: On Jesus Christ: Lover at heart; disciple from mind

On Jesus Christ: Lover at heart; disciple from mind

Poster 5

The fear of the Lord adds length to life

but the years of the wicked are cut short.

BIBLE (PROVERBS 10:27)

Acharya Prashant:

“The fear of the Lord adds length to life but the years of the wicked are cut short.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 10:27)

Nimisha has quoted from the bible “The fear of the Lord adds length to life but the years of the wicked are cut short”.

Then she says:

Dear Acharya Ji Pranam, having studied in a convent school, I was exposed daily to the teachings of Lord Jesus and stories from the Bible from a very young age. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the Christ. His warm compassionate gaze and loving demeanor were so comforting. However, one thing that tainted this was the continual reminder that we are all out of sin and need to repent and fear God as well as feel guilty about Christ’s crucifixion. That we are incomplete and need him to redeem us. Something within me rejects this theory of incompleteness. Why do we need to fear the Lord? Why can’t we love him unabashedly?

Thank you.

Nimisha you’ve written that something within you rejects this theory of incompleteness. Look into this statement carefully. Something within you rejects this theory of incompleteness that something, as you say, is within you that something is not the whole of you as you are. That something might be your heart, might be your core, but you are not always and fully abiding as the heart, as the core. Otherwise you would have written ‘I reject this theory of incompleteness’. No, you don’t fully reject it, and that is why this incompleteness is something that we must not turn our backs to. This incompleteness is not something to be swept under the carpet. This incompleteness has to be talked about. It has to be addressed. It has to be healed. We are strongly identified with the ego, with the incompleteness. We live as that.

When you say that in the convent school there were continuous reminders that man is born out of sin and needs to repent, and fear God and feel guilty, it is very much all right. The assertion is well placed. The one who is being referred to is indeed born out of sin.

Who are we?

Limited beings with their limited desires, limited scope, limited understanding, limited vision.

The limitation itself is the sin.

And man is born limited. Would you deny that? Man is born limited, the limitation itself is the sin. Christianity asks man to repent. The word repent is quite subtle with meaning. It means to go back, to return to home. As man is born, man is born as a wanderer, as a homeless recluse.

Somebody who has a continuous thirst to return to the home. But the thirst finds expression in a million ways except the direct way. And that is why repentance is very useful as a tool because it helps man remember that he is indeed incomplete as he is.

There is no point talking of completeness as an abstraction. There is no point talking of completeness as a concept and believing in it. Look at mankind, look at the daily life of man. Do we live in a sense of fulfillment? Every sense, every feeling, every thought that we have is a thought of incompleteness. We want more, and we want to get rid of stuff that we do not want.

Read more

I will not become a slave to my opinions.

You are standing at a crossing and you do not know whether you go right or left? Because you are clueless, you start walking towards the left. That is some kind of an opinion, alright let’s go to the left. It may come from your past experiences, it may come from the condition of the road, it may come from something that you see towards the left or towards the right, so you start walking. But you go a little distance to the left and you discover that you should have gone right, then you immediately turn around. That is what is meant by being opinionless.

I will not become a slave to my opinions. The moment I discover, that something else needs to be done, I will oblige, I will comply. There will be no resistance, there will be no inertia. I’ll be a slave to the Truth. I’ll go in the direction it commands me to. I’ll not take even one-second dithering over what to do. The moment it is seen that I should have gone to other direction, I’ll correct my course. I’ll not say that I have invested so much in walking towards this direction. How do I, now suddenly take a U-turn? I’ll suddenly take a U-turn. Irrespective of how much I have invested in my current opinion. I’ll give it up.



Read the complete article: What does it mean to be opinion-less?

What does it mean to be opinion-less?

21125331_1485233508231414_8341813784503617778_oListener 1: Sir, what is the meaning of being opinionless?

Acharya Prashant: It is not the same as being shirtless. When you are shirtless, it means you are not wearing shirt at all. And if you do that we’ll object to it.

Being opinionless means not taking your personal opinion seriously. Having a near-total flexibility when it comes to opinions. Your opinions must be a slave of the facts. The way the mind is, and the way one is bound to operate in the world, you will necessarily have to tether yourself to some opinion or the other, just for the sake of functioning, just for the sake of functioning. Read more

The Truth is only for those, who really really are qualified for it.

The scriptures are very clear on this. The Truth is only for those, who really really are qualified for it. And if you are not qualified for it, you must not get it even if you beg for it.

That is why such rigorous conditions have been put. You go and you first clear this test, you prove your worth in this criteria, you do this, you do that, you spend years first becoming capable of receiving the Truth. And only then the Guru will initiate you. Otherwise, the Guru will keep turning you away, go back

you don’t deserve the Truth yet. Similarly, there are so many people who just don’t deserve even facts, you are not morality bound to keep serving what they aren’t even looking for.

You give Truth to someone who is not looking for Truth, he will slaughter you. You give facts to someone who is not looking for facts he’ll call you are a liar. That doesn’t mean you have to have an instinct for self-preservation. That only means that you’ll be taking the fun out of the game.



Read the complete article: Answer the questioner, not the question

 

Answer the questioner, not the question

SR Generic_ English

Question: In daily routine life, sometimes we say we should speak the truth, and truth only, and avoid speaking lies. But once you are speaking the Truth, you are more relaxed and you don’t have to think every time what the lie was. So, should we speak the truth all the time?

Acharya Prashant: No No, see, first of all, what you are calling truth is just facts. You are asking whether you should be stating facts to someone all the time.

Read more

Laughter is wonderful when it is reasonless, purposeless, detached

Laughter is wonderful, when it is reasonless, purposeless, detached. When you can just laugh, or just smile, without having to depend on some kind of satisfaction. Now, this is laughter in gratitude. When you can laugh without bothering for your satisfaction, then you are laughing in gratitude. Now, you are saying, “I am so fulfilled that I don’t need to bother, whether I am feeling satisfied, dissatisfied, hot, cold, happy, unhappy, I am still okay.” This Okayness is then the laughter.

Mind you, there is no difference between this laughter and tears. It doesn’t matter now whether you are laughing or crying. What matters is, you are crying or laughing from the right center. It is very difficult to tell whether the usual expression on the face of a saint is that of a gentle smile or gentle remorse. It’s much the same. Whether he is smiling, or whether he is a little ponderous, a little heavy. None of these states are for himself. None of these states are self-centered states.

Smiling, he doesn’t s smile because his some needs are been fulfilled. And if he isn’t smiling, he looks a little burdened, the burden isn’t its personal burden. He is not burdened by the obligation to build a house for himself or get more respect for himself.

Kabir often says: “Bhaye Kabir Udas.” Is Kabir unhappy for himself? He is unhappy for the world. And there are saints who laughed, laughed in abandon. Were they laughing because they had obtained something for themselves? No, they were laughing because something existential was now right. As such, there is no difference, whether they laugh or cry.

There have been wise men who kept crying. There have been wise men who kept silent, there have been people who kept dancing, and there have been wise men who kept laughing. They are all operating from the same center, which was not their personal center. Are you getting it?

So, laughter is indeed beautiful but there is nothing more ugly then laughter. And crying is, of course, a matter of sadness and there can be nothing more beautiful than tears. It depends on where your tears are coming from? It depends on where your smile is coming from? There can be nothing more hurtful than a smile. With one smile, better-called smirk, you can wound and lacerate someone like anything.

Your smile can be a tremendous putdown. Without even uttering a word, you can shred someone psychologically, just by using your smile. It is such a deadly weapon. And that same smile can be a balm that heals, something that puts you to rest.

Don’t bother about what is happening through you. Just bother about where are you. If you are in the right place, then whatever happens through you, will just be the right thing.



Read the complete article: Learning the best laughter

Learning the best laughter

BFB1
Question: When I think about the sense of humor…

Acharya Prashant: Sense of humor (smiling).

L1: Why people laugh?

AP: Why people laugh? Like anything else about life, this too is a good point, to begin with. Since the root of everything is the same, hence it doesn’t matter which leaf you put your finger on. If the inquiry is genuine, you will reach the root.

So, let’s begin with you my laughter, why do people laugh. Why do people laugh? Just like anything else that we engage in, that we do, laughter too can come from two very distinct points within us. There is a laughter which arises when one is pleased when one’s desires are fulfilled. Have you seen this kind of laughter? You wanted something you got it. You say, “You are happy, pleased.” And then you laugh.

And mostly it is this way that we laugh, that people laugh – The satisfaction of desire, there is a definite reason now behind the laughter – the fulfillment of the ego. The ego was feeling heart pressed, incomplete, not satiated and something happens, which at least temporarily gives an impression to the ego that it has attained fulfillment.

Read more

You cannot have a spiritual culture

You cannot have a special land that enables the coming of the spiritual mind. You cannot have a spiritual culture, where it is easier to be spiritual. But for sure, you can have a mind that is attentive to its own falseness. That you can have! Not something definitive or particular, like a culture. Not something positive and affirmative. But, rather something reductive and destructive. Getting it?

“You know, nothing can lead me to God, let me just find out what keeps me away from God.” That kind of an approach.

Instead, we have cultures that claim to lead you to God. And that’s what all God-men do, right? They say, “I’ll take you to God.” The approach must be! You cannot be taken to Truth or God. You only need to find out what keeps you away. What makes you think that you are away. That kind of a thing can be there. That rigor, that…you can even equate it to the intellectual rigor, so it is not really intellectual. That rigor, even if it is found, even if it has been found in India, has been found only intermittently and that too very privileged and very tiny pockets.

You know, the people from whom, this…from whom the holiest…why even call them holy? Let’s call them “Intelligent Scriptures”. From whom these books came, they were in extremely tiny minority and most of them were not socially absorbed. We cannot even call them a part of society or a part of India. The fellow is living on the top of the hill. He has nothing to do with the country, nothing to do with the society. Would you call them belonging to a certain nation? He doesn’t even know whether nation exists, or has been conquered, or an earthquake has wiped out the entire population. He is so absorbed in his own meditation. So, he hardly has a nationality.

And those numbers, they were  extremely small, very-very small. The common masses were doing what they were doing. They had nothing to do with all this. In fact, even in India today, you see, all kinds of spiritual myths are popular. But if you go to somebody and you ask him to name even one Upanishad, one out of hundred people can do it. There are more than 200 Upanishads but when you do the general survey on the streets of India, and ask them to tell the name of even one of the Upanishads. I might be over-estimating in saying one by hundred.



Read Complete article: There is no such thing as a spiritual place or spiritual land

There is no such thing as a spiritual place or spiritual land

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Question: Do you think that with this modernization of INDIA, this global modernization or to say Post Industrial, so called Post Industrial!, is in a way destroying Indian culture? At least our Spirituality or its health?

Acharya Prashant: You see , no culture is spiritual. Indian, Western, Martian, no culture is spiritual. Spirituality has nothing to do with culture. All culture is just a social phenomenon. Spirituality doesn’t have much to do with that. India is said to have had so called spiritual culture since centuries as you have gone about. Is it your first visit to India? Read more

You don’t have to do anything to improve yourself

But sitting here and simply expressing that you are not born with obligations, you don’t have to DO anything to improve yourself, let the game play out.

Things change, stuff happens, what appears not good, starts appearing good.

But in the middle of all these changes, you are still perfect!

You may gain weight, you may lose weight. How does that diminish or enhance your value, your core value, does it? And have you not seen people, who link their self-worth to their weight? And the weight is a number, just as your bank balance is a number. Right? Just as your graduation degrees are a number.

In middle of all your troubles and problems, kindly do not feel small because you are NOT! Never let anything diminish you, never let anything become too much for you.  

Even in the movement of your physical death, you must know the track, “Its OK. Am I to die the next minute? Can I take a nap before that? Fine, thank you. One hot cappuccino please.”



Read Article: You were born with clothes; learn to die naked.

You were born with clothes; learn to die naked

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Question: I really believed that I had all things that happened to me, that it was terrible. Oh! that I was so unlucky. Oh! everything happened to me. I really believed that, until.

But, I mean, I still cannot not feed my mind. But I am at a point that I see that it is all fantasy, that it’s my mind. So I hope that I already make some steps. I mean, I see. You know, I say it, or go to bed and it starts again.

I don’t believe it anymore, the mind. But how to handle it? I am still learning. But I am already that I say, “Oh my God! here he is. Oh, here he is. Here he is. That little language. But now the other steps. Ya?

AP: There are no other steps. If there are five steps, you need to remember all five. Do you want to take that much of burden? Really? You want to remember steps, just as you learn the alphabet, and mathematics, and geography, and science? Do you want to remember the steps as well?

Listener 1: No, let me say…no.

AP: Then just walk around like a girl. Why not?

Listener 1: Ya…here I am OK. Ya. Let’s enjoy…life.

AP: You are seriously considering being not serious. Right?

Listener 2: Ya ya…she is on the phase.

Listener 3: Please can you repeat it.

Listener 1: Sometimes I don’t understand it. Or I don’t…

AP: I said you are very seriously considering, being not serious.

Listener 1: Ya…

Listener 3: So, where are you? Very serious!

Listener 1: Ya.

Listener 3: Ya…ya…that is the strategy for me, that’s the improvement.

AP: You know, it is the most difficult thing for us to believe. Right? If I come here, I will sit on this chair and declare that life means obligations and responsibilities. And you must do this, and if you don’t do this, you will be fried in hell. Then you find it so credible! You say, “Yes…Yes…tell us more about it. Tell us the next thing we must do.”

Listener 2: Next step.

AP: Next step…yes, yes, yes. I need to learn…yes. Is that the whole package? Do I need to do more?

Listener 3: How many hours a day? (adding to Acharya ji’s questions)

AP: Ya

Listener 1: Yeah.

AP: But sitting here and simply expressing that you are not born with obligations, you don’t have to DO anything to improve yourself, let the game play out.

Things change, stuff happens, what appears not good, starts appearing good.

But in the middle of all these changes, you are still perfect!

You may gain weight, you may lose weight. How does that diminish or enhance your value, your core value, does it? And have you not seen people, who link their self-worth to their weight? And the weight is a number, just as your bank balance is a number. Right? Just as your graduation degrees are a number.

In middle of all your troubles and problems, kindly do not feel small because you are NOT! Never let anything diminish you, never let anything become too much for you.

Even in the movement of your physical death, you must know the tract, “Its OK. Am I to die the next minute? Can I take a nap before that? Fine, thank you.”

“One hot cappuccino, please.”

Listener 3: One last cup of coffee before I go…

AP: And why one say the last cup of coffee? That unnecessarily… you know… that…that…ya…..ah… yes, yes…yes.

Listener 3: Yeah…That’s right…

AP: That makes it so very…

Listener 2: Dramatic…

AP: Dramatic, then melodramatic rather

Listener 2: Before I go…

AP: Like if I had at shows.before I go… one last one… ya. Can I have one last kiss, please? You know… like you have… you know.

Ya…one cappuccino. And you say that with…all…your verve. And if he doesn’t serve it right… you actually curse him…you better…  What do you think, I am going to die?

Listener 3: Where is my cappuccino?

AP:  So you can get away with it..eh?

NOT let even death make you feel small.

Listener 1: Even death let you feel…?

AP: Small.

Listener 2: Make you feel small (Adding to Acharya ji).

AP:  Yes?

Listener 1: Thank You…yeah.

AP: You will consider it. OK.

Listener 3: Still considering…

AP: Considering…

Listener: Ya… I am  not saying. I mean…Yeah, they told me that was going to die very soon. And I felt nothing anymore, nothing. But now — I mean — I recuperate myself. But that is what is. You know when — also did — that take you all over then all of a sudden you feel nothing anymore.

AP: You felt nothing, right? Now throw away that nothing as well.

Listener 1: But now, better.

AP: You throw away that better as well. The sun rises, the sun sets. Are you obliged to feel anything about it? Are you obliged, even to feel nothing about it?

Listener 1: No.

AP: Let it be there. Ya… fine… ya. Yes…death is coming…so what? So what? What do you have to lose?

Listener 3: Even, how you think about this, is a thought.

AP: Thought. Yes, death is there. That tree is also there. So what? Death is there and you are stupid. Both are facts. Now tell me what to do? That’s what you must tell the doctor. Right?

Death is as much of a fact, only as much of a fact as your stupidity and my prettiness. Now tell me, what must I do? Yes? Fine! Yes…you have given me two months to live. Fine. Who knows the doctor himself might pass away for two months.

Listener 1: Yeah.

AP: Remember that you were born naked.

Listener 1: That we are born…?

AP: Naked

Listener 3: Ya…nice…nice

AP: Learn to die naked.

Listener 1: Oh! Yes. Without… this. You mean …without this.

AP: In fact you must die more naked than you were born

Listener 1: Oh! how beautiful. That is beautiful what you say!

AP: We all are beautiful. Very very beautiful.

Listener 1: Oh..ya. Thank You.

AP: And let’s not make a big thing of this – thank yous’ and gratitudes’. I mean the wind blows and it pleases all of us. Does it not? So do the seagulls, the ocean.

We need not say an elaborate thank you to them. It is their nature to please…right? Yes? There is nothing extraordinary about what they give us. Do you go to the sun and thank him every day?

Listener 1: Today?

AP: The sun, you need to thank the sun every day for giving you?

Listener 4: Ya ya…I do. And it’s for some years. Every time when I am going to bed. Thank you.

AP: You know that’s just another myth that you must be full of this thoughtful gratitude…

Listener 1: Ya…gratitude…ya.

AP: The sun is you. You and the sun are together.

Now, whom are you thanking

You need not thank even God!

When we thank this way, as we have been taught to, you know what you are saying? You are saying, “You know,I was not qualified to receive your grace, dear sun…and thank you.”

Listener 1: So you say,  we just thank the God?

AP: You don’t even need to thank God.

Listener 1: Oh…oh…also not.

AP: Did you send an application to God, to be born?

Listener  4: She doesn’t remember. (Laughter) So…

AP: You don’t need to thank even God. If you live with a smile, that is the only and the biggest thank you that you can send to the entire existence.

Live well.

Live rightly.

Live in love.

That is the only gratitude you can express.

Otherwise, you keep on saying, “Thank you, thank you.” You know people come here, people sit here and there are bigger gatherings that I address, and people express their gratitude in such a profound and overflowing manner. And the next day, on the streets, they are miserable again. What is the worth of such gratitude?

In fact,

You have expressed your gratitude really, if you live as you are this moment –

carefree

light

childlike

If you can live this way, that would be the only expression of your gratitude. Otherwise, you need not express gratitude in words.

Prayer is not something you do with folded hands, “Oh lord, thank you for giving me my daily bread.” What rubbish. Are you telling him, he has an option to not to give you bread? Are you telling him that his love is to be doubted? When you really love someone, do you thank him for every small thing?

You must take God for granted, totally.

Listener 1: Oh really!

AP: You thank him or not thank him, he is anyway providing you with your breath. Now, what do you mean by thanking him?

Listener 2: You create a distance.

AP: You create a distance. You unnecessarily break away from him.

Breathe properly.

Live rightly.

Let the mind be surrendered, devoted…

Let the mind be at peace.

That is the only gratitude that you can offer.

Take care of you.

Listener 1: But I realize, the western culture is to thank everybody. You know if he only does something for me, Peter, I say, “Oh! thank you Peter. Oh! so nice, thank you so much.” Ah! that’s the western culture. Thank you. A little bit more, I go on my knees, “Thank you.” It is the western culture.  But, because we are afraid, because if I don’t thank him, next time…

Listener 3: He might not do it next time…

Listener 1: Exactly! And I thank my dear husband the whole day, “Oh, thank you. Are you there again to cook for me?” So, by today…yup… stop! (Laughter)

AP: No, seriously, only yesterday also, Kundan was saying that, all this really does not look good. This business of thanking elaborately and thanking for every small thing and pleasing and saying perfect, excellent and all that. I am not saying that it’s about one culture versus the other. I am not looking at it from the eyes of an Easterner. It simply looks so artificial.

Listener 1: Yes…

AP: You know, he does something for me, he must do it. Not for me, for himself. He loves me, that’s why he does it. Now, why must I thank him?

By ‘thanking’ him, I am only pushing him away from me. I do so much for everybody and I don’t even remember it and when you come and thank, it’s kind of…

Listener 1: Beautiful.

AP: Not beautiful. Not beautiful at all!

Listener 1: No.

AP: It is, in fact, an insult, you know.

Listener 1: I know, I understand.

AP: It is an insult. It is almost as if you kiss someone and he says, “Thank you.” What is going on?

How do you feel if after sleeping with someone, having intense, passionate sex, the fellow gets up and says, “You know what? Thank you so much. And to materialize his gratitude, he offers you twenty Euros. How really would you feel?

Listener 3: Oh my god!

AP: How? How would you feel? Seriously. What is going on?



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: You were born with clothes; learn to die naked



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It is simpler to know Upanishads than to know your thumb

Spirituality is no abstract subject. When it is said that it comes from something that you can never know, from where the words of the Upanishads came, from where all the divine revelations came, you interpret it as meaning that they must be coming from a very esoteric source, some really deeply hidden source. Yes? Is that not the interpretation? But allow me to open it up a little more for you-if it is not already opened to the maximum. It is said that the Upanishads come from a source that you cannot know, because the Upanishads really come from nowhere.

For something to come from anywhere, the source must be at a distance from you. The source must be at least a little inaccessible, a little away, requiring a little effort to reach. But when, the happening is so obvious, then you cannot say that it has come from anywhere. The Upanishads come from nowhere, meaning-what the Upanishads are saying is just obvious, is just so simple. So what to say from where they come? They are like the palm of your hand. It is simpler to know Upanishads than to know your thumb, your nails, the back of your hand.

If you can pay attention to your slippers, I assure you that they will reveal to you, the scriptures.



Read the complete article: Living in facts versus living in thoughts

Living in facts versus living in thoughts

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Acharya Prashant: Want to begin this morning by talking of living in facts versus living in thoughts.

Is not, the whole system, the being, personality, even the face, very different when you are there connected to the fact? You visit a shopping mall. Have you observed our behavior when we are there? Have you observed the expression on the face; the whole drive, the whole energy? You want it. Now you are not looking lost, wondering, assuming. Have you ever seen somebody maintaining a safe distance from the goods while standing in a shopping mall? Read more

Turiya is Atman itself, Truth itself, Shiva himself.

The worldly mind, takes this as real (pointing to the whole atmosphere) without ever wondering where does all this goes, when he goes to bed? In fact, he keeps believing, that when he is on the bed, the universe is still there. He believes that the universe is something, independent of him that it has an objective existence. And he is supported by the observation, that when he wakes up, things are more or less the same, as they were when he went to sleep. He left his pen on the table, and he wakes up and finds his pen still on the table. So, that assures him of the continuity of this perceived reality. Right, that’s how it happens.

The sage is saying, “Please understand that these three states appear to be different, they are one in the sense that these all are just states of mind. They are different states, but nevertheless still states. Just states, not reality.”

‘Fleeting states’. They go away, they disappear.

This so called world dissolves instantly, gone. And when you know that all of this is not to be taken seriously, then instead of these three, you find yourself located in the substratum of these three.

Tuirya, the word turiya literally means the fourth. Fourth, as different from these three. But it is not really a fourth, in the sense it is not the fourth state. It is forth, in the sense it is different from the three. Different from the three, meaning the background of the three, the foundation of the three.

Turiya is Atman itself, Truth itself, Shiva himself.



Read the complete Article: When you know consciousness, you are beyond consciousness