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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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? Read more

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?

T19

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

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

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

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

Confidence is a medicine.

Confidence is not your natural state.

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

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

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

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

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Acharya Prashant, 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

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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.

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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?


 

Acharya Prashant: How to completely drop fear?

Question:  We understood in our HIDP class that ‘fear’ is a ‘state of mind.’ But Acharya Ji, different kinds of fear generally arise in a human. It is natural to a human. For example, fear of getting low marks or fear of losing our near and dear ones. So Acharya Ji, can we completely come out of these fears ever in our life or is it not at all possible to come out of it?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Questioner: Nitesh.

AP: Nitesh, the different kind of fears that you are talking of are just like different leaves of the same tree. It’s a very horrible tree. The tree of fear. Now, you can either keep plucking each single leaf and there are thousands and thousands of such leaves.

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.

And remember even if you keep plucking the leaves, leaves have a way to emerge again, as long as the root is there. Right? One leaf is gone, two leaves are gone and you find four new leaves have arisen. What is the root of fear, let’s look at that.

All fear arises from a sense of cultivated incompleteness. Will you attend to this phrase, ‘Cultivated incompleteness?’ All fear arises from a sense of learned inadequacy. Both mean the same, cultivated incompleteness and learned inadequacy.

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.

We want to keep acquiring these in order to fill an assumed inner incompleteness. All the urge to achieve is based on an assumption. That assumption is, that I need to achieve.

Do you see this?

The urge to achieve, accomplish, acquire, become something, that is based on an assumption that I need to achieve, I need to become. We never question, enquire or challenge that assumption.

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Confidence is a disease

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

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

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

Confidence is the shadow of fear.

Confidence is a disease.

Don’t ask for confidence, ask for fearlessness.

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

Unfortunately, confidence is no treatment for fear.



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