Don’t ask for confidence, ask for fearlessness || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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Don't ask for confidence, ask for fearlessness

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! My question is related to ‘confidence’. Confidence is something which is within ourselves. But there are situations, and there are circumstances, where we do not feel confident. Suppose a person is suffering from stage-fear, how can he bring confidence in himself, in such situations?

Acharya Prashant Ji: See ‘confidence’ and ‘fearfulness’, ‘confidence’ and ‘fear’, these two are actually two names for the same state of mind.

‘Fearfulness’ says, “I am at the risk of losing something important” That ‘something important’ can be anything – money, security, respect, relationship, whatever.

‘Confidence’ says, “These things are important, yes. But I am not at the risk of losing them.”

What is common between ‘confidence’ and ‘fear’?

(silence)

I am repeating.

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’?

Questioner: The dependence on the world.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Both say that 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. It 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 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 not yet come forth. Fear is the stage when the root has become a full-blown tree. But the root of both confidence, and fear is same – giving importance to external attainments.

Also, try to understand, let’s say when you are speaking to a friend, do you need confidence? Contrast that to when you are speaking to an enemy, when you are in a position where you feel that something is at risk, something is being threatened. You need confidence then, right?

You don’t need confidence in the everyday situations of your home, or with your friends. But for the interview room, everybody says, “I need confidence.” Right?

When do you need confidence?

When does the question of confidence arise?

The question of confidence arises only when you are afraid.

Do you see the linkage between fear and confidence? The one who is confident, is surely afraid. It’s just that he is not realising it at that point. If there is no fear, there is no need of confidence.

I am not at all confident, as I speak to you right now. I am just speaking simply, spontaneously. There is no confidence involved in this. When you are with a loved one, do you speak confidently? Or do you simply speak? Your presence is enough. Is it not? Or do you require confidence? But you surely require confidence when you are going to kill someone, because you are afraid.

Confidence is the shadow of fear.

But those who do not know this, they keep on saying, “You must be confident,” and now this thing has deeply entered our minds. It’s like saying that you must worship the colour white, or any other colour – yellow, red, blue, black. What you do not realise is that, for black to be visible on this board the background must be white.

White will always accompany black, that is the fundamental law of duality. No black, no White. Remove all whiteness from the world, and black will disappear. These are two faces of the same coin. You remove one face of the coin, and the other face too is gone. There cannot be coin with a single face.

Confidence is a disease, a disease that comes to those, who are basically afraid. You can put it the other way round. Fear too is a disease that comes to those who want to be confident.

Don’t ask for confidence.

Seek simple, spontaneous, unloaded being.

You don’t need to walk confidently, behave confidently, talk confidently.

You are alright as you are.

Confidence is not needed.

If you will inquire into confidence, you will see that there is a subtle aggression in confidence. Is that not so? Look at all your images of confidence, and you will see a hidden, a subtle, a fine aggression there. Which will inevitably be there, because fear and violence go together, always. Wherever there is fear, there would be aggression and violence. But our entire upbringing has been such that we have been told to worship confidence.

Don’t ask for confidence, ask for fearlessness.

Confidence and fearlessness are very-very different things.

Confidence means – fear is present.

Hence confidence is needed.

And that confidence is a false medicine.

Fearlessness is an entirely different thing altogether. Fearlessness means- “Fear is not there at all, what will I do with confidence? Fear is not there at all.”

Fearlessness, not confidence.

Do you understand this?

Simple fearlessness. And that fearlessness will come when you know that nothing important can be lost, when you can very carelessly say, “Take away what you want to take away, I will still be alright.” That is fearlessness.

As long as you keep giving importance to what you get from here and there, you will live in fear. and that is not necessary. Nobody wants to live in fear, right? Neither do you want to live in fear, nor do I want to live in fear. That is not necessary at all.

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

The more your mind is full of others, and thoughts of others, and opinion of others, want the others can give, what the others can take, what they are saying, how they are looking, how you are looking to others, as long as your mind is full of this, your face will be dripping with fear.

More is the presence of world in the mind, more is the life full of fear.

More is life full of fear, more is the demand of confidence.

Unfortunately, confidence is no treatment for fear.

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

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

Watch the session video: Acharya Prashant, with students: Don’t ask for confidence, ask for fearlessness

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Penetrate fear, a surprise is waiting for you || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Penetrate fear, a surprise is waiting for you

Question: Acharya Ji, you have said in one of the Satsangs that one has to go to the deepest fear, to find the key. I go to that deepest fear, visit there. How do I get the key? Do I get the key, do I not get the key, I don’t know. How to know?

Acharya Prashant Ji: One is never afraid of anything, except this opportunity going waste. If you will look at fear, with fear, then you will never know ‘fear’. You will have to fearlessly penetrate fear.

So, for example when you say that you are afraid of something, you will have to ask, “What am I really afraid of?” Penetrate it.

Questioner 1: There are pains. I can feel it physically. If I visit there and touch them, they go away.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Don’t just touch them, penetrate them.

Questioner 1: There are so many.

Acharya Prashant Ji: There are not so many. There is just one. There is just one, that is showing up in so many ways.

Fear tells you that something wrong is going to happen. Ask fear, “What is it that you are going to threaten me with? What is it that you see as being lost?”

Questioner 1: Acharya Ji, I don’t care much about what the fear says. I just want to go in and get it done, whatever it takes.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Get done what?

Questioner 1: Get the sukh (happiness).

Acharya Prashant Ji: That’s what the fear is saying, “You will not get the sukh.”

Questioner 1: But I don’t allow fear to not let me enter that zone.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Then fear is irrelevant. Then you would not have needed to talk about fear. Had you been the master of your fears, you wouldn’t have needed to talk about them.

Questioner 1: It’s there, but…..

Acharya Prashant Ji: It’s there for a purpose. It wants to tell you something. You must listen to all that it says.

Questioner 1: Does the fear has a message?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Obviously.

Questioner 1:

There is nothing in life, that does not have a message.

The more loudly something occurs to you, the more importantly something is related to you, the more significant is the message it has to deliver to you.

Questioner 1: But I have always known that whatever fear says is wrong.

Acharya Prashant Ji: But what does it say? What fear says is wrong, right? So how to discover what is wrong?

Questioner 1: By listening to whatever fear says.

Acharya Prashant Ji: By listening to the fear. So, that’s why you must listen to fear. May be, fear is to tell you that a lot of things about you are wrong.

Questioner 1: Yes.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Fear is never reasonless, or purposeless, or message-less.

It tells you of your insecurities.

It tells you where you are not real, it tells you of your vulnerabilities.

If you do not listen to fear, you will keep assuming that you are all solid and strong. It’s only fear that would drive a little humility into you. Otherwise, you can license yourself to keep feeling like a superman.

It’s only when the superman starts shivering, that you know that the superman is not so ‘super’ after all.

Questioner 1: There are so many fears, should we counter them one-by-one?

Acharya Prashant Ji: If you go deeply even in one of them, you will see that all of them are being engendered from the same source probably.

Questioner 1: I don’t have the intellect to go into that.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Go into just one of them.You don’t need intellect, you just need an honest face-to-face conversation.

Isn’t fear almost like a voice within – trembling, yet threatening?

Questioner 1: Yes.

Acharya Prashant Ji: So have a conversation. The voice says something, you reply to it. Probe it. “What are you threatening me about? And why the hell are you so nervous?” Ultimately the fear will say, “Such and such bad things are about to happen.” And then you must ask, “Who told you that these are bad things? How do you know that these things or events, even if they happen, will have a catastrophic impact on me?”

You don’t have to fight fear.

You just have to talk to it.

Fear says, “You will lose that.” You say, “Fine. First of all, the probability of me losing that is not great. And even if I lose that, would it really be so cataclysmic as you present it to be? Can’t I survive that loss? And if I can survive that loss, why do you behold me to it?”

Questioner 1: So this questioning is not coming out of ego?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Let it come out of genuine curiosity. You want to know. Further the fear baby is shouting so much. If you don’t talk  to it, it will fall ill.

Questioner 2: I have spoken with that fear many a times. I get to that point, that the fear is trying to tell me, “You are going to change, or not exist anymore.” That what I am right now, the attraction what I have, the attachment I have, all is going to cease.

What should I do next?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Am I today what I was ten years back? A lot has changed. In fact, the more has changed than has remained the same. And has all this change been necessarily for the worse? So if all these major changes in the last ten years, were not all reprehensible, then why must I assume that further changes in my life would be necessarily matters of regret?

And if change were really so very abhor-able, and dreadful then all of us should have remained just as we were physically, psychologically, economically at the age of five.

Who over here would want to return to his or her psychological condition at the age of five? Have you not almost entirely changed? Are you not glad that you have almost entirely changed?

You are glad that you are no more what you were at five. Then why do you secure what you are at thirty-five? Please. Let you be a totally different person at forty-five. How is that going to be a thing of dread? How?

But yes, the five year old girl, would have wept just like this, had she been told that her favorite doll is being taken away. Now do you bother for that doll? These are dolls, a doll for each age. You anyway throw away the doll on your own. Don’t you? But when somebody tells you, “A doll is just a doll, why are you so attached?” then you become all emotional and traumatised. “O! Something grievously bad is going to happen. They will take away my doll.”

Okay, nobody is going to take away your doll. Next day, what do you do? You will throw away the doll on your own. And then you don’t remember how you were in tears the previous night, holding the doll to your chest and saying, “My doll! My doll!” If the doll is so dear, never throw it away. Take it to the crematorium, and then beyond.

When Yamaraj (the Hindu god of Death) comes, then tell him that you would be tripling –  Yamaraj, you and the doll in between.

(laughter)

He is wearing a natural helmet, you would be challaned (penalised).

(laughter)

Okay, let’s not change anything in your life, for the rest of your life. Deal? That’s what you want? Daily you tell your kids, “Grow up.” Don’t you? Daily you tell your boss, “I need a raise.” On the other hand, you are so very terrified of change. So go and board the flight, and block it from taking-off.

Don’t you see the contradiction in which we live?

On one hand we are deeply longing for change, on the other hand, how much do we resist change. What if your wish is fulfilled? What if change is permanently blocked? What would you do then? Tell me.

The food will really never cook, no change will really happen. You would not be able to get up and leave from here, no change is possible. Don’t you see that we are beings of change? We require change.

And fear tells you, “Oh! There is going to be change.” So ask fear, “So? Even you were not always there. You too came to me, as a matter of change. And now you are warning me so much against change.” When the five-year old was weeping, then you were laughing at her. How would you look at yourself, when you are fifty-five? Then you will again laugh at yourself.

The problem is – the little bit of laughter that we get, is always in retrospect. We are never able to laugh in the present. Looking back, we may manage to laugh, “O, I was so stupid.” Wouldn’t it be great if you could say that in the moment, not in hindsight? And the fact is, whenever you look at yourself in hindsight, you always find that you have been stupid.

And then you can laugh at yourself. “Ah! Yes, yes. I was stupid. I was just fifteen years old, so I had the license to be stupid.” When you are fifty-five and you look at yourself as you are thirty-five, so you say, “No, no. I was still young. I was thirty-five, so I was stupid.” And then you can laugh at yourself with abandon, “O! I was just thirty-five.”

But at thirty-five, you cannot laugh at the one who is still thirty-five. You leave that to happen twenty  years later. And who will laugh at the one who is fifty-five? There would be nobody left. Don’t worry. None of you is going to live that long. It’s a very polluted earth. Seventy-five is a very far cry.

(laughter)

So, why not laugh at yourself right now?

This kind of conversation, fear cannot stand. Fear would say, “It’s extreme stupidity. I am leaving. I am boycotting this conversation.” So in indignity and humiliation, fear leaves you all red-faced. Stamping it’s feet, it goes away.

“Stupid woman, I don’t want to talk to her. All she does is laugh. All the time she is laughing at herself. I am trying to drill a bit of seriousness in her. But what does she do? She keeps laughing.”

So fear leaves. Too bad for fear, it leaves. Good for you, it leaves.

What is it that won’t leave?

Anything?

What are you afraid of?

And you know, if there is something that won’t leave you, it would become a huge burden on you.

So do keep praying that everything does leave you in due time.

Question 3: How to have the lightness of that laughter that you just talked about? And also how to balance it out with the seriousness of little things that are happening in nature, on planet earth, right now?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

You don’t have to be serious about the Earth, you have to be serious about yourself. It’s a massive delusion that you and the Earth are separate. Not only are you not separate in the physical sense, you are also not separate in the psychological sense. Man, if he colonises another planet, will no more be ‘man’ as we know him. It would be some other specie altogether.

When you are serious about the real thing, it is then that you get levity, lightness about the serious stuff.

No kind of seriousness is important, except that which is unavoidable.

A suffering one cannot say that he is not serious about his suffering, because he is. Had he not been serious about his suffering, he wouldn’t have been suffering. So there is suffering, and we have to be serious about it.

What is ‘seriousness’ then?

‘Seriousness’ is – attention.

Attention.

Attend to it.

For you, it exists. So don’t try to pretend that it is not. This is ‘seriousness’.

Attend to it, go close to it.

Don’t escape the fact of it’s existence.

And when you attend to something honestly, then you don’t let your energy be scattered.

And that is when you become casual about so many other things.

———————————————————————————————————————–

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

Watch the session video: Penetrate fear, a surprise is waiting for you || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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

Or, call the Foundation at 9650585100, or write to requests@advait.org.in


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

Is willpower really needed

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Question: Acharya Ji, how to improve willpower?

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

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

Listener: To have determination.

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

Listener: For our goal.

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

Why are we unable to act, and ‘do’?

Listener 1: Because of fear.

Listener 2: Because of restrictions.

Acharya Ji: Fear. Restrictions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is that not so?

Listeners: Yes, Sir.

Acharya Ji:

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

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

Listeners: No.

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

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

It is not needed.

Are you getting it?

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

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


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What is disappearance of the self? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is disappearance of the self

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Question: Acharya ji, what is the meaning of disappearance of the self?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Your interest in your interests has to disappear. Your interests can remain. Can this brain survive without interests? Your lungs are greatly interested on Oxygen, and they reject Nitrogen. Can lungs survive without interests?

Let the interested one, remain interested.

‘You’ have no business to be interested.

The intellect is curious by design. The intellect will remain interested. Have you not seen kids, three years olds, asking questions that grown-ups cannot answer. They will remain interested. Let the intellect, the design of the brain, remain interested. ‘You’ need not remain interested.

Let this physical system, including the brain apparatus, remain curious, interested, inquisitive, whatever. Even attached. ‘You’ stay wherever you must.

Spirituality does not entail that the lungs must give up oxygen. Renunciation is not for the lungs, Sir. Do not stretch it to absurd limits. That will give you another excuse to stay away from spirituality.

You will say, “Baba was asking me to renounce oxygen. If I have to have no relation with the world, why must I even breathe?” Because breathing is the continuous relationship with the world. And seeing is the continuous relationship with the world. So if spirituality means renunciation, even at the physical level, or at the psychological level, then you have to cease existing as an embodied entity.

Spirituality is not committing suicide, or is it? Then we do not need satsang, we need mass suicide halls. Over! It has happened, you know. There have been cults in Japan and other places, where incidents of mass suicides have been reported. They thought, that is ‘liberation’. So, 300-400 hundred people would get together, and would just breathe in some nice gas. And all are liberated. That is not spirituality, obviously!

Do not deprive the stomach of food. And do not deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Just as it is stupid to deprive body of food, it is equally stupid to deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Thought is not the enemy. Feelings are not the culprit. Your misplaced presence is the culprit. The needless presence of ‘I’ in the thoughts, is the culprit.

Be fully secure about the ‘I’, and then think as much as you want to. Feel, in whichever dimension you want to. You can laugh, you can sing, you can cry. You can even hate, or fall in love. All that is okay. All that is part of the rainbow.

Spirituality is not about banishing certain things, from your life.

Spirituality is just about seeing, that life is beautiful, and does not get any better, with the intervention of the little self, the ‘I’.

It is one thing to think, it is a totally another thing, to think with the objective of self-preservation. Can you see the difference these two thoughts? There is just thought, as is needed to solve a mathematical problem. And then there is the thought, that feeds on fear. Are these two the same?

Thought is not the problem.

Your insecurities about yourself, your utter loneliness –  that is the problem.

And that is an assumed, imagined problem.

A problem that does not exist, but is taking to be.

Now how smart is that – to be fretting over an imagined problem?

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

Watch the session:  What is disappearance of the self? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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What are honesty and simplicity? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What are honesty and simplicity

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Question: Acharya ji, please explain about honesty and simplicity.

Acharya Prashant ji: When do things become complex? When there is fear between you and the obvious. Neither can you deny the obvious, nor can you overcome your fear. Then one goes round and round.

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.

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.

So, simply put, 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.

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!

A kid would ask,”But why would you not just take it, if you want it so much? That is what I do all the time. If I want it, I pick it up.” Somehow, adults have more complicated explanations for everything.

They will say, “Well kid! You are not yet seasoned enough. With age and experience you will realise that you cannot always get what you want. There are other priorities.” But the kid will say, “Isn’t what I want, always my top most priority? And must not one always go for his highest priority?”

You will say, “Well Kid, these are complex matters. Life is not all about loving. Life is not all about knowing and realizing. One has to keep allowance for various other things as well.”

The kid will say, “No! If I want it, I will go straight at it.”

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

Watch the session:  What are honesty and simplicity? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Answer to “Acharya Ji, I am afraid of you and don’t trust you.” || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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answer

Question: Acharya Ji, I am afraid of you. The reasons are:

First reason is that of authority.  

And second reason is I want something from you and there is no total trust in you.

And I am afraid of that being found out.

Is there more to it?

Acharya Prashant: You are not afraid of authority. It’s just that you are trusting and investing in wrong authority. You have become your own authority and  that’s not really a good authority to bank upon.

It’s not authorities that you resist.

It’s just that you don’t know, who the right authority is.

Aren’t you following somebody? Whom do you follow?

There is an authority.

Is that authority trustworthy?

Inquire. Inquiry is the way. You don’t need to have trust on me or something. Just pay attention. Trust can sometimes blind people. So, better listen. I never never ask people to agree. In fact, if somebody agrees, I take that as a red sign. I just ask them to listen.

Question: It’s also a sort of admission and it has a question attached to it.

I had a insight after which any question that arises inside my head is basically exposes ego trip. Every single question is an ego trip, which prevents me from asking it. All the questions that I have asked so far in this particular camp have been largely ego trips because I want to elevate my status in your eyes and in the eyes of everybody present here.

So, I am aware of that these questions are ego trips and something inside me just says that its futile, questioning in that sense. But listening to you is a different ball game. So, how do I reconcile the situation?

Acharya Prashant: You don’t need to do anything, you are just getting unnecessarily excited. Something nice is happening with you, and that’s getting you just too excited, like a boy. A boy are you. Nice things are happening, let them happen. Why do you want to say something about it?

There is no need to say all this.

Question: Because every single thing that I do, every single thing not just questioning, the way that I am sitting right now,  whatever I do is exposes ego trip.

Acharya Prashant: That’s all right, fine. So, what?

You see, I saw a movie. There was this lady, waiting for a beloved. And she has been waiting since long, long, long. And every time, there is a faint knocks on the door, she rushes to the door and tries to see, who has come. And one night, there is this knock, she goes, and she sees that the beloved is standing, and she is so awestruck that she forgot to open the door. She is so damn excited, that she runs back to the bedroom and hides her face in the pillow.

You are just too excited.

Open the door and let it remain ajar. You have been waiting for something since very long, now that you get a glimpse of it, you are getting worked-up.

There is no need to get worked-up.

It’s easy, it could have happened anytime, it’s a coincidence that it’s happening right now. Nothing extremely special is happening.

Relax.

Question: I want something from you, and if I don’t trust you fully, I feel I have been dishonest to you.

Acharya Prashant: That’s the best you can do.

Why are you overestimating yourself?

We all want God; but do we ever trust Him fully?

But still we want Him.

That’s the best we can do. Fine.

Do you ever trust Him fully?

You trust, forget god, do you trust peace, or awareness or whatever?

You don’t. But still you want that, don’t you?

It’s ok, that’s the best the boy can do.

Do your best, and your best would be relative to yourself. In the absolute sense, even your best is no good. Your best, remember, can at best, bring you to the 99th floor. Which is ok, relative to the 50th floor, 99th floor is better. In terms of the absolute, 99th floor, doesn’t matter. It’s ok.

Do your best.

That’s is your utter honesty.

You can’t be honest beyond a point.  It’s beyond you to be honest beyond a point, and so it is alright. After all, right now you take yourself to be a creature of the floors. So, your honesty is also going to be limited. Like everything else, in the domain of the floor. Everything there is small and limited, so even honesty is also going to be small and limited. So it’s ok.

Offer ‘your’ best, offer ‘your’ best.

‘The best’ is not going to be possible for you.

Offer ‘your’ best and then probably ‘the best’ might come.

Just do, I repeat, which is ‘your’ best, which is just a relative thing. If you are on the 2nd floor, your best is to move to the 3rd floor, if you are on the 80th floor, your best is to move to the 81st floor. And that’s your only responsibility that is the definition of dharma.

If you are on the 2nd floor, the dharma is to move to 3rd floor, not top floor. If you are on the 2nd floor, dharma is to move to 3rd floor. That’s it. Full stop. So, it’s easy.

Question: Can we also say that, we are a bit selfish?

Acharya Prashant: What do you mean by that?

Question: Selfish as in if I have doubts, forget about doubts, if you know that this is going to benefit you…

Acharya Prashant: Just listen.

Doubts are neither to be patronized nor be suppressed. Just keep them aside for a while and watch.

Question: Is it so that discipline includes jap, pranayam, path seva, dhyan, and satvik aahar (Jap, pranayam, reading scriptures, serving people,attention, observation, eating good food)?

Patanjali Yoga Sutra is about discipline, it requires lot of efforts. I am more into listening and understanding. Is that sufficient Acharya Ji?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, it is sufficient. All that Patanjali says, is something that he is saying, right? And you listen to Patanjali, don’t you?

The same thing is happening here. It’s just that he presents to you, nicely, structured and codified system of teachings, so you know what he is saying, yam, niyam, dhyan, asan, pratyahar, pranayam, samadhi, you know all those things.

It’s a nice system that he has given you. Same thing happens here as well. Just as you listen to Patanjali, listen here as well.

Even with Patanjali, what would be needed?

Listening.

Similarly, listen here as well.


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

Watch Full Discourse: Answer to “Acharya Ji, I am afraid of you and don’t trust you.” || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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How to not get distracted by critics? || Acharya Prashant with Students (2013)

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Question: Acharya Ji, I don’t want to give two hoots to all these people who say things about me. How to do that?

Acharya Prashant Ji: How many of you get worried, honestly, when people say things about you, especially nasty things? So, then this question is not only Vishal’s question, but practically everybody’s question right?

Kuch toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hain kehna!
(People will say a few things, that is their job)

The problem arises when we forget that what they are saying is an opinion coming from their mind, and hence, a totally external thing. Vishal (the questioner), you can never be hurt, if you do not link that opinion to your self-image.  You can never ever feel hurt if you do not link other’s opinion to your self-image.

Then you will say, “Alright! what you are giving me is a feedback, is an information. I will accept that information, just as one accepts any other information. It’s news. But I will not mechanically let it transfer my self-image. I will not let it change my image, in my own eyes.”

The trouble is, that we do not have our own eyes. To be more accurate, our eyes are closed. Had we not had any eyes, then the act could be pardonable. But the fact is, we have our eyes and we are keeping them closed.

We are not using our eyes to look at ourselves, we depend upon other’s opinions to look at ourselves. We are not using our intelligence, our own eyes to look at ourselves, we depend upon others to tell us how we are.

Someone comes and says, “Oh, you are wonderful.” How do you feel? Nice! In that moment, you totally forget that if this fellow can make you feel nice, he can also make you feel miserable. If you accept it, when he says,”How wonderful, how intelligent, how handsome you are!”You will also have to accept it when he says, “What an idiot, what a moron, what an ugly being you are!”

But we keep complimenting people, we keep saying good things about them and we think we are doing a favor to them. No!

Are you getting it?

You will tell me, “Sir, you are speaking very nicely,”I will say, “Alright that’s an opinion.” But, should I not know first how I am speaking? We talked about observation, right? Should I not have the capacity to directly look at myself without your help? And there are a thousand things I do throughout the day, would you be able to provide me feedback about everything?

If I am to really know how I am, and who I am, then I will have to look using my own eyes. But we do not do that. We depend on others. Not only do we depend on others, we actually crave, we actually demand and desire, that somebody should come and say something about us.

Am I right? That’s why your day is made, when somebody says, “Wow!” looking at you. And your day is ruined when somebody says, “Baal kahaan se kata liye (where did you get that haircut from?” And you are finished! Now, the damn hair anyway can’t grow too quickly. You’ve just had a haircut and he says, “From where did you cut your hair?” and this is sufficient to totally spoil your mood.

Am I right? Girls? A thousand rupees spent at the parlour, three hours, plus two hours of commuting and one little comment, and you are devastated! And not only an unfavorable comment, you go and display the thing to your friend and all he says is, “It’s ok,” and this is far less than what you had expected.

“Just ok? But I was promised I would look like a barbie doll!”

And then he has had it. Poor fellow.

Don’t you have your own eyes? Didn’t this parlour have a mirror? Can’t you look at yourself? Don’t you know what you are doing?

If ‘you’ don’t know what you are doing, how will others know what you are doing?

If ‘you’ don’t know, how will others know?

People come and ask, “Did I do the right thing?” Don’t you know? How can you afford not to know? “Sir, this is a particular situation in my life. What decision should I make?”

Who’s life? Who should know?

General awareness can be taken from others.

Self-awareness cannot be taken from others.

All that the other can tell you is, “Friend, you have good, beautiful, capable eyes, of the body and the mind. Use them. Do not depend on me. You do not need to depend on me.” Instead, we have people around us who feel very good when we depend on them. Have you come across such people? There are so many people who feel very, very good when you depend on them, or when they depend on you, or when you possess them or when they possess you.

“You know my boyfriend is so possessive about me.”

And you feel glad. Are you mad? Keep the fellow away, if he is possessive. He will kill you. But we have people around us, who are experts at providing opinions : agony aunts, specialists, family members.

“Come and tell me your problem, I will give you the solution.”

You are adults, how can somebody else give you a solution?

Somebody else can at the most help you in waking up.

And when you wake up, you see through your own eyes.

The other can have only a limited role.

Yes, there can be a role, but that role cannot substitute the functioning of your own eyes, of your own intelligence.

We live in a very second-handed, very-very dependent way.  That is the reason why people are able to dominate us, sometimes even emotionally.

Somebody comes to you, listen to him, but do not allow his words to become your self-image.


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

Watch Full Discourse: How to not get distracted by critics? Acharya Prashant, with students (2013)

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All thoughts arise from external influences || Acharya Prashant, with Students (2013)

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Questioner: Most of the thoughts are coming from society and family. So, how can I judge that which thought is mine or not?

Acharya Prashant: No thought is yours; no thought is ever your own. You have very rightly said that all thoughts come from this place or that place, this influence or that influence. No thought is your own. Understanding is your own; that can be your own.

Let me give you an example: Read more

Acharya Prashant, with students: Is the ego a gift from God?

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Acharya Prashant: Himadari’s question is, “Does ego have a negative impact on one’s life?”

Himadri, we found out that ego is a disease. What effect can ego have upon you, except a negative impact? There is no positive impact that the ego can have.

We have been saying all along that ego is slavery, ego is lifelessness. Are these not clearly negative? Do you know what ego means? Ego means that you will be always afraid. Those of you who have experienced fear. Fear of any kind they must know. That all forms of fear come only from the ego.

Don’t you see directly that ego is such a terrible thing? It makes life hell. Because ego comes from the outside and you start internalizing it. You also realize that it can also go back to the outside. So, you are always afraid. You always think that someone can take it away from you. Your sense of self is given to you by a group of people. So, those group of people will become your master. You will remain always afraid because they can take back their acceptance. You are at their mercy.

When you come over to speak on a podium. Don’t you see why you are so terribly nervous? Many of you? Would you be nervous had you been told to speak in a vacant room, just in front of the mirror? You won’t be nervous. Right? But you are nervous in front of the audience. Why? Because your self-image comes from that audience. If the audience tells you, “You are wonderful.” You start believing that you are. And you are afraid that now the audience may say that I am a coward. So you start shivering. All forms of fear come from the ego. From a borrowed sense of the self. There is no other cause of fear.

Now you tell me, “Whether it is positive or negative?” Yes, what is it?

Listener 1: Sir, if it is always responsible for fear and other things. So, should one be egoistic?

AP: You tell me.

L1: I am asking you.

Read more

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.

Read more

Acharya Prashant, with students: Will living without ego cause one to starve?

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Acharya Prashant: The question is how do I fill this stomach if I don’t have an ‘ego’?

Firstly, you must see that you are deeply afraid. You are deeply afraid that if you don’t follow the orders of this ‘other’, that that other could be society, friends, family, corporations, the entire trend of career making. You are deeply afraid that If you don’t follow ‘that’ then you will end up starving. You won’t have enough eat.

Now, is this fear yours?

Even, this fear has been instinct to your mind by ‘that’ other. Don’t you see how cunning that other is? He repeatedly tells you that unless you become my slave, you will starve. But is that the Truth?

Is that the Truth?

Would you really starve if you don’t toe the others line? If you don’t develop an ego, that is If you don’t develop a sense of ‘Self’ dependent upon the other. You won’t.

I Invite you to find out whether you would really starve. The world will always have enough for you to eat. You won’t starve but you may not be able to fulfill these ambitions.

The funny part is even the ambition has been given to you by outside. So there is nothing lost if you can’t fulfill it. You don’t lose anything at all if you don’t meet your ambitions. Remember, there will always be enough to meet your needs. And a free man will always find enough to meet his needs. Because his needs are always so small.

You don’t need too much but yes, your ambitions depend upon your subservience to the society.

Needs don’t make you a slave, ambitions make you a slave.

Read more

Acharya Prashant on Brazil Elections

BE

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(Following is an excerpt from an interview conducted by a Brazilian Journalist just before the last round of voting of Brazil’s Presidential Elections, from here onwards the interviewer is being addressed as Marcos, his first name)

Marcos: So, Brazil will be voting for who will be the President, on Sunday.

Acharya Prashant: On the 28th, Yes. And that would be the final round.

Marcos: Yes, the second round. We have, on the one hand, a candidate from the worker party. The left party of Brazil. And on the other hand, we have an extreme rightist guy, who is very aggressive and who is using the ancient tactics of causing fear to give a solution. And as the leftists have been making some mistakes in Brazil – they are accused of corruption etc – a lot of people are voting for this rightist guy. So, there is a very aggressive scenario and people are beating each other on the streets. Some people have died unfortunately. And I would like to give a message, or be the translator of the message from you, of consciousness, of peace, of better understanding, of the importance of this moment for Brazil, because there is a lot of anger, a lot of chaos and a very hazy consciousness and analysis of what’s really happening.

AP: You see, rightist tendencies are gaining prominence in all parts of the world. It’s not merely Brazil, we have seen that happen in the Americas, in Europe, in West Asia, in India. And, we must go into the reasons behind this surge. When the center, or the left of the center, promises a great deal, but that great deal does not include a true sense of identification, a deep peace of mind, then there is disenchantment from the left. To understand what is happening, we must go into the mind of the human being, for the human being is the voter.

What does the human being want? Does the human being want merely bread-butter, sustenance, houses, cars? Yes, obviously we need all these things, but we also need something beyond all this. So, beyond the material, does the human being want the grand concepts of equal opportunity, liberty, fraternity, secularism, justice, and other great concepts? Yes, these principles are all needed, but even these principles are not sufficient.

The human being in his totality obviously needs food for the stomach, and shelter and education. And going ahead, human being obviously also needs a secure society. Secure, in terms of providing employment, taking care of old-age, providing medical facilities and such things. Now, obviously we all want to live in societies where there is justice, where there is no oppression, where there is no racism or misogyny. So, these are definitely needed, but, let me ask again, do they suffice? That is one question that leaders, politicians, thinkers, well-wishers, the world over, must ponder upon.

The material alone does not suffice, and what do I mean by the material? By material, I mean houses, cars, air-conditioners, jets, and bread and butter, obviously. So, not only does the material not suffice, even great intellectual and social concepts and their realisation do not prove to be the final fulfillment.

Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

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

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

Read more

Thought is not bad

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


 

Acharya Prashant: Is physical proximity to the Guru necessary?

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

So, yes Rosie, let’s have a ball.

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

Freedom is compulsory.” Of course.

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

Yours Roosmarjin”

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

Silence.

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

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

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

A few things you have said.

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

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

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

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

The question is, who is the thinker?

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

Read more

What is Godlessness?

Man in that sense is way behind words because our resistance towards free fall is both biological and social.

Even if you find discontentment in an animal’s eyes, it is just biological. Man’s discontentment is far deeper. An animal would appear frustrated if it cannot get food, or if it is physically confined. Man is frustrated for a billion more reasons, a billion more idiotic reasons.

To live in dissatisfaction is to keep crying.

Even if you find discontentment in an animal’s eyes, it is just biological. Man’s discontentment is far deeper. An animal would appear frustrated if it cannot get food, or if it is physically confined. Man is frustrated for a billion more reasons, a billion more idiotic reasons.

The skin is so protected that it cannot take any sun. However, it looks cute, like rabbit fur, feels nice and soft. You can play with the kid as if the kid is a toy and parents Love that, their personal toy. So the more toy-like the kid is, the more you feel satisfied as a parent. See, no scars and the shade is uniform. No dents. Regularly maintained and serviced. Weight is perfect. Refueling is done at regular intervals. Paint is so original.

Godlessness means Lovelessness, Joylessness, Freedomlessness.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: Fall in faith, and you will be given wings


 

Acharya Prashant on Rumi: Fall in faith, and you will be given wings

“Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall and falling; they are given wings.”

~ Rumi

Question:  Shilpi has asked, RUMI says “ Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall and falling; they are given wings.” Can you please speak more about this?

Thank you.

Acharya Prashant: Rumi says birds fall and falling they are given wings. Those wings are so perfect and powerful that birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. Birds fall and falling they are given wings. They are given wings; their fall is a Trust fall. We don’t trust that wings will be given to us, we want to earn our wings. We cannot allow ourselves to fall freely because we feel responsible for our welfare. We feel that we live in a hostile world, we have been born in an alien place, and unless we take of ourselves, we will be eliminated.

This universe, we take as a stranger. Existence, we take as inimical to us. Now obviously, then there is a constant tension to take care of ourselves. We will not let ourselves fall. What Rumi is saying must not be taken literally. It’s not as if birds fall and in the process of falling, they are blessed with wings. What he means is that there is no effort on the part of everything existential, be it a river, a mountain, a bird, a fish, an insect, and an animal. They live in a state of constant surrender. Even if they resist, their resistance is just biological. Their resistance is not social; their resistance is not one of knowledge but of instinct.

Man in that sense is way behind words because our resistance towards free fall is both biological and social.

We are born as someone who would be afraid and then we are terrified further by our social conditioning. When the child is born, the child cries. The beginning itself is not very auspicious, and to make matters far worse, the entire life we are taught to cry. Sometimes we are told to laugh, but that is the same thing. Laughing and crying are ends of the same duality.

To live in dissatisfaction is to keep crying.

That is what we are always taught, live as if you are hungry, stay hungry.

Even if you find discontentment in an animal’s eyes, it is just biological. Man’s discontentment is far deeper. An animal would appear frustrated if it cannot get food, or if it is physically confined. Man is frustrated for a billion more reasons, a billion more idiotic reasons.

The primary idiocy being, if I don’t take care of myself what will happen to me. The man extends this idiocy to others. I have to take of myself, I have to take care of him, him, him, him ( Acharya Ji pointing out to few listeners) and this we call as Love. Come all of you, my loved ones, I must save you from existence.

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Who is leading you?

There is always the threat of our self-image being lost destroy and distorted.

“If others are telling you that you are a leader then who is leading whom? Are you a leader or they are leading you into believing that you are a leader?”

The others are always dominating the mind. Ask yourself that all you know about yourself how much is first hand? Of all the identities you carry how many intrinsic all yours and how many have been supplied by external situations, society, powers.

The more you are living with a borrowed self-concept with a borrowed self-image the more you will be afraid of the world. It’s a slavery.

The more you start looking at yourself with your own eyes, the less dependent you are on anybody else. The less dependent you are on anybody else, the less is the fear of losing your self-image.

You want to get rid of fear then reduce your dependency on others. Say, I have intelligence. I have my eyes. Let me use that to directly look at things.

What most of you call as your own, has not really been your own.


Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: You will always be afraid of the world if your self-image comes from the world

Acharya Prashant: You will always be afraid of the world if your self-image comes from the world

Listener: How to get rid of fear of losing my image in front of others?

Acharya Prashant: Sit, what’s your name?

L: Acharya Ji, Prateek.

AP: Prateek is saying to get rid of fear and then he specifies the fear of losing my image in front of others. Prateek if it is really your image how can you lose it? If it is really yours is it possible to lose it? But no, we all know that we are so conscious about our images and we feel so vulnerable about it.

There is always the threat of our self-image being lost destroy and distorted.

Why does that happen? That happens because our image is not ours at all. It’s a second-hand image. We do not look at ourselves directly. We look at ourselves through the eyes of others. It is another matter that others do not have their own eyes but as far as we are concerned, we look at ourselves through the eyes of others.

We think that this is my image but it is constantly supplied to us by somebody else. I was recently conducting an interview for hiring MBA students so, one of the candidates, he comes and I asked him that what are your quality is? What do you call as your strengths?

You know candidates are very eager to spin out their strength. So, I asked him what do you call as your strength? He said I’m a very good Leader. I said how do you know that you are a good Leader? The fellow said, “This is that nothing comes out of it.” I asked him, “Young man, tell me really why have you written that you have leadership qualities? What made you believe that you are a leader? He said, “Acharya Ji, the fact is everybody tells me that you are a good leader. Lots of people have already told me that you are a good leader and you make even for a better leader in the future so I have come to believe that I’m a good leader I have leadership skills.” I said,

“If others are telling you that you are a leader then who is leading whom? Are you a leader or they are leading you into believing that you are a leader?”

He didn’t get the point so I repeated what I wanted to say twice-thrice and then something started opening up. He said, “Yes if my very self-concept comes from others then surely it’s the others who are dominating. It’s the others who are leading me. I do not know myself. All I know of myself is what have given to me.”

I come over to the podium and I say something I really have no realization of the quality of my talks. If everybody applauds I feel good I must have said something good and if I am hooted I’m jeered then I feel, Oh! I must have spoken horribly. I come to the campus and people tell me, about looking smart, handsome. I swell up that yes, I must be looking good that’s why the compliment. And the same person in the afternoon tells me you are looking so dumb. What happened to you? Why are your face so fallen and I start wondering is it that might really be so. Every bit of our self-image is acquired from others. There is hardly a thing that we know about ourselves and the more our self-image is acquired from others is dependent on others the more is the power of others to destroy it, to distort it. That is the reason that why we are afraid.

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The World will take back, what it has given

You can either keep plucking each single leaf, trying to get rid of, trying to destroy the different kinds of fears or you can strike straight at the root.

We have cultivated a feeling within us that we are incomplete and that incompleteness is to be filled with objects brought from outside, thoughts, ideologies, people, relationships, money, respect, qualifications.

Your entire sense of being, your entire self-esteem, self-worth, self-concept is now dependent upon the World. All identities are coming from outside. Everything that you think is precious is now coming from outside.

What comes from the World can always be taken back by the World.

That is the root of fear, the assumed sense of inner incompleteness.

There was nobody and there is hardly anyone today who comes and tells you that you are complete, beautiful and wonderful, as you are.

Whosoever wants to control you, can control you only if you feel small about yourself.

The disease itself does not exist! Why are you treating yourself with all these fake medicines? Ambition, accomplishment, recognition. All these are false medicines for a non-existent disease. That is fear. Something will be taken away from me. The World will take back, what it has given me.

The really important was never given to you by the World, so how can the World take it back? The really important is something so intrinsic, so innate to your being that nobody can touch it.

Those who want to live fearlessly must get rid of their dependencies. And you can get rid of dependencies, only when you first realize that you don’t need to dependent. That you are good, complete, alright. Perfect as you are. Essentially!



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to completely drop fear?