Don’t imagine solutions

Answers are not there. Only questions are there. Understand the question and that is it. This question-answer format has been given to you by the society only. That there is something like a question and then there is something like an answer. No. Only Inquiry exists and resolution of inquiry exists. There is nothing like ‘answer’ in that.

Don’t imagine solutions. Don’t imagine that if I do like this, then that would happen. Do it first.

This is what you need to observe. While walking, roaming, eating, whatever is happening, just observe that and you will understand! Truth is not far. Just that is what you have to see.

As a boss, if I am sucking Life out of my employees’ life, is that not violence all the more.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Ask till you drop the mask


Acharya Prashant: Ask till you drop the mask

Acharya Prashant: Ask absurd questions. People would say, he has gone mad. But, ask absurd questions.
Why should something like a ‘home’ exist? Have you ever asked this question? You go back home everyday, have you ever asked this? Why should anything like a home exist? I mean, why can’t we just be, wherever we are! Why do we always need to go somewhere in the evening? Why can’t I just be? You are there, I am there. And we are enjoying. We are here the whole night, spend the rest of the day, and we will leave when we feel like, then we will go another place. The whole world belongs to us! What is this concept of a home?

Ever thought? Ask. This is called Inquiry. What is this game about Mummy-Papa? One male, one female, sitting together in a home. What exactly is going on? And these people are supposed to be special. And the whole of religion, and the whole of society, and everything telling me that I must respect, Love them. What exactly is going on? Let me understand it, let me understand it. What is this thing called siblings? What are brothers and sisters? What is this thing called society? What is this thing called religion? What does one mean by religion? What is this thing called a normal life?

What is this thing called progress and growth? That one must progress in life! What is this thing called progress? Have you ever asked yourself, about this thing called progress? Papa, why do you keep chanting, progress, progress? What is meant by progress? A little more money? Why do you need more money? What would you do with it? Are you using all the money that you have? You are using only ten percent of the money you have, rest all is in the banks! So, what will you do with more progress? First, finish the money that is there in the banks! I already have so much, first let me finish it up. What happened to the money in the bank? Is it all finished?

These are absurd questions but ask them. Understand, how the minds of the people function.

When you see the roads in the mornings, full of traffic; Ask, what is this going on? Where are these people going? Why? Look at their faces! People are coming back home in the evening time, in traffic, look at their faces. Ask them, is this what life and work are supposed to be? That they have made faces like that! People who are returning back around 7.30 – 8pm, have you ever focused on their faces, expressions? They are driving a car, there is peak traffic hour, and they are stuck in long traffic jams! Have you ever looked at their faces? Look. Look closely, inattention. And ask yourself, is this what I am preparing myself for? I am paying fees in Lakhs so that my life becomes rubbish like this? I am paying to get assaulted?

Listener: Acharya Ji, asking questions, will we be getting the correct answers?


Answers are not there. Only questions are there. Understand the question and that is it.

This question-answer format has been given to you by the society only. That there is something like a question and then there is something like an answer. No. Only Inquiry exists and resolution of inquiry exists. There is nothing like ‘answer’ in that.

L: But when we will inquire, won’t we be thinking?

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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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What is the difference, and the relationship between, the brain and the mind?

Question: What is the difference, and the relationship between, the brain and the mind?
Acharya Prashant: Who is asking this question? You. You are the ego, the incomplete self-principle (I-, I minus). 
What is the proof that you, the questioner, are the incomplete self-principle, the ego?
The proof is that you are asking this question. If you were not incomplete, why would you ever ask a question?
Fine. Come back to the topic. So, what is the brain?
The brain is the body. Conditioned like any other part of the body. An evolutionary product. Thoughts, feelings, intuitions, impulses, all are conditioned processes of the body. That’s the brain.
The brain projects the world. The brain, body, and world are one. So are perceptions, emotions, thoughts etc. All the same. Prakriti.
You are the ego. I- (I minus, or the ego) seeks completion. It can attach itself to the body, and then what results is the suffering mind.
I- + Brain Body World = Suffering mind (normal mind)
I- + That(Good old Brahm) = Peaceful mind (no mind)
But the question is far from dissolved:
What is this I-, or ego?
Hint: It can not be in the same dimension as Brain-Body-World, because when I- combines with BBW, the result is disastrous. First of Buddha’s noble utterances.

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Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration? Ask yourself.

Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive. Is it not?

Always remember, you will not run after something unless you are worried. All motivation has a close linkage to worry.

Always have a firm realization, let me even call it a feeling, that I am alright. I might be defeated, I might take losses, I might be rebuked, scolded, still, fundamentally I am alright. Never lose that inner faith.

No goal is bigger than you. You are bigger than anything your mind can come up with. A goal, a fantasy, an imagination, a concept, you are bigger than that.

You are not worried about goals. Goals come because you are worried. Do you get the subtle difference?

When the mind is worried, then it sets more and more goals and becomes more and more serious about them. Becomes very serious about the goals.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?


Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?

Question: Acharya Ji, my question is, “How to be free of botheration and still be focused on our goal”?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Questioner: Kumar Abhishek.

AP: Sit, Abhishek.

Abhishek is saying, how to be free from botheration and yet to be focused on the goal. Let’s examine.

Abhishek, where does the goal arise from?

You are asking, one – I need to be free from worries; parallelly, I need to be focused on my goal.

I am beginning by asking you, from where does the goal arise?

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration?

Ask yourself.

When you are Light and Joyful, are you still thinking of goals? Go to your moments, when you are free, light. Were you planning, were you concerned with goals? Were you concerned with goals?

It’s obvious that goals arise from botheration. The more bothered you are, the more is your sense of inner incompleteness, the more goals will be there in your mind. A goal is like a medicine. I am feeling sick, I am feeling sick, so I am searching for a medicine in the future. Goals are not only like a medicine, they are also a ‘False medicine.’ Because the botheration is right now and the medicine is in the?

Listener: Future.

AP: Future. It’s like saying, I have a severe headache, a migraine right now, but I have planned for a medicine that will work two years hence. What kind of medicine is this? If you have a migraine right now, when do you need the medicine to work? Right now. The suffering is right now, the botheration is right now, you need something that heals you?

L: Right now.

AP: Right Now.

Two things, One – goals arise from a sense of turbulence, from a sense of, there is something wrong somewhere, from a sense of there is something unworthy, inadequate about me and I need to make up for it by achieving something in future. I am not alright.  I will be alright when that goal is achieved. Right? That’s what the goal tells you. You will be good, admirable, lovable, adequate when you get that promotion when you have that amount of money when you earn that respectability. That’s what the promise of the goal is. And we fail to see that it is a false promise. A false medicine.

So, Abhishek you are asking for the impossible. You are saying, “How not to bother and how still to be focused on goals?” Do you see how you are asking for the impossible? Goals themselves arise from the poisonous soil of botheration. If there is no botheration, how will there be any goals either? How will there be any goals, if you are not worried?

Tha’s why you see, In many systems, in many institutions, in the minds of many people, it is essential that they keep those around them, worried. Because they know that unless you are kept worried, you will not run after goals. In many professions, the lure of incentives is given, to achieve targets, goals. Parallelly, there is a threat of disincentives. And in any case,

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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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On Jesus Christ: How to be free of envy and jealousy?

May 2018 TL_Poster 13

“Heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones.”


Acharya Prashant:

Shilpi is asking:

Namaste Acharya Ji,

The bible says “Heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones”. I see that I’m stricken with jealousy or envy for my fellow co-workers, or people I hear about in the media, sometimes even friends, as I feel like they have something I don’t. It is very draining and disturbing and I do not want to focus on this anymore. Please guide me away from this trait.

Thank you.

Shilpi, when you are alright with yourself then the way your energy flows towards others, your attitude towards others, your relationship with others, is called as Love. When you are not alright with yourself then your attitude towards others, the way your energy flows towards others, is called as envy or desire.

If you are envious that somebody has something, then rest assured, you too desire that something. So, envy and desire go together.

Unless the other has something that you too are desirous of, you won’t feel any envy.

So, the question is not about how you feel towards others. It’s not about your coworkers or the people been talked of in the media. The question fundamentally is about your relationship with yourself. When you are great with yourself, then to others you have only Love to offer, and when you are not alright with yourself, then to others you offer all the vitriol that is consuming your life. How to have envy-free relation with others? By having ignorance free relation with oneself.

The more you look at yourself in erroneous ways, the more you will be compelled to look at the world as the provider of a sucker, or as a threat to your identities and comforts. No feeling of any kind is to be promoted. I am not qualifying my statement by saying that feelings of littleness or envy or loneliness or incompleteness are to be selectively discouraged. I am saying no feeling of any kind is to be fueled.

Are you getting it?

No feeling of any kind.

All feelings are fundamentally feeling of incompleteness, of completeness, there is no feeling.

Completeness is a different entity altogether. It comes to you but not as a feeling. If I switch off all the lights in this room you will stop seeing me. When the light is switched on you’ll start seeing me. Does that mean that I have emerged from the tube light? Think of it. All the lights are switched off and you do not see me, and then you go to the button, you switch something on and I appear. Why can’t you say that I have sprung up from the switchboard, or dropped down from the tube light? Why can’t you say that? That’s the thing with completeness.

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Trying to experience the Total means you are reducing the Total to an object

Trying to experience the Total means you are reducing the Total to an object, a limited object. Whereas totally experiencing whatever is, means, you experience whatever is there, to experience. But, you have the Total behind your back, patting, touching you gently, toddling you on and saying, “Go ahead.”

Total, go ahead, experience. The world is yours.

Read the Complete Article: Do not try to experience the Total just totally experience whatever is

Do not try to experience the Total just totally experience whatever is

Acharya Prashant: Searching for Oneness?

Listener: Yes

AP: Surely you must be experiencing a lack of oneness if you are searching for it.

L: Yes.

AP: Where do you find a lack of oneness?

L: I know that, first of all, the lack of oneness when I experience it, it is in me.

AP: Is it there, or, is it being thought of? How do you know that there is no oneness? And, how do you know what oneness is, if you do not know it?

You see, I go out to search for ‘Tibba’. Now to search for ‘Tibba’, first of all, I must know what ‘tibba’ is. Otherwise, how will I find ‘Tibba’? How will I identify it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Complete Article: Action without attachment is Yoga

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

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योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि संग त्यक्त्वा धनंजय |

सिध्यसिध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ||

~श्रीमद भगवद गीता


Perform your actions, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna),

Being established in or integrated with Yoga,

Abandoning attachment and

Remaining even-minded both in success and failure.

This evenness of mind is called Yoga.

~Bhagwad Gita

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

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

Love is intolerant, love interferes


Acharya Prashant: I see that I am in peace, but my neighbour or the other one is living in violence, then I just won’t say, “It’s none of my business.” I will interfere!

Love is not a peaceful coexistence with violence.

The question is why one must interfere?
If one is already at peace, then why must one interfere? Read more

You are not Brahm, neither are you the Witness


Question: So, we are not the doer. Right?

Acharya Prashant: We are. Always. That’s what needs to be seen. We are always doing and doing and doing.

Listener 1: Yes, but we shouldn’t do. We should observe. Right?

AP: That can not be a statement of an ideal, that cannot be the desire. You have to stop at saying, ‘I am the doer’. Kindly don’t go about saying, ‘I am the non-doer, I am the non-doer, the doer is somebody else’. You are the doer, are you not?

You are the doer even when you should not be doing. So, keep doing and keep noticing that you are the one who is doing. And when you have noticed deeply enough then you will be so sick of doing that you will step back. Never say, ‘I am the non-doer, I am the witness, I am  Brahm‘ Are you? You penny pincher!  Read more

Cessation of mental suffering


Question: Sir, can you please speak on suffering and cessation of suffering?

Acharya Prashant:

Cessation of suffering is to know the suffering as false.

Cessation of the suffering is the cessation of the confidence that you place in your suffering.

Cessation of suffering is not the same as the stopping of something Real.

Cessation of suffering is just like waking up from a dream.

Cessation of suffering is just like getting rid of an imagination.

That is why the word “nirvana” is so beautiful word. It does not mean that you reach into another elevated state. It means your burning has seized. You are burning internally and now the flame is gone.

Suffering does not occur without your active consent.

Can you be happy without being full of acceptance for a situation? And your acceptance comes from your expectations. Can you suffer without being full of resistance for a situation? You suffer only when you do not want something to happen. Your resistance is the suffering and who is the one that resists? The one who feels himself to be threatened, insecure and small. So he says, “If this happens, then I am in danger. So let me resist.”  The moment you resists, suffering starts.

Suffering itself is a concept based on another concept.

The mother concept is “I am small”— a concept and hence, “I must resist.”— a concept. “I resist and I am unable to defeat that which I resist”—another concept. Do you see how the whole chain flows? At the center, of all this, lies a perception that you are limited.

Unless you are limited, you have no reason to feel inflated because of something, and hence you cannot be tied to pleasure.

And unless you are small, you have no reason to be afraid of something and hence you can have no reason to resist.

Then you stand in front of the winds, open chested, and then you say, “Come what may, I am not resisting something because nothing is so powerful that it can influence me or defeat me.”

Now you are not resisting. Now the universe is flowing into you, and then through you. You are a part of everything.

Do you see this?

I am again asking you—Can there be suffering without resistance based on self-preservation? There can be a lot of pain, we agree; But can there be suffering?

Suffering is always psychological.

Suffering is always tied to your inner sense of well-being.

Suffering is related to the question “Who am I?”

Pain is a fact.

You can be in a lot of pain but suffering is always dependent on whether you live a real or an imaginary life. The one who really lives, cannot suffer. And do not take me wrongly. Pain and pleasure will still come to him. You might find him in tears. You might find him groaning and grimacing but he would still not be suffering. Psychologically, he would still be healthy. Even in the moment of the greatest threat or in the moment of the greatest deprivation, he would still not be feeling bad about himself.

I know that’s loose language but I hope you are getting what I mean to communicate.

There is no way you can avoid pain if a rock hits your shoulder. But you very well know what it means to suffer. You can say, It’s a conspiracy of the universe against you and suffer. You can say you are especially born unfortunate and suffer. You can say your Guru has not blessed you and you got this and suffer.

And there are ‘n’ other ways.

This mind is very fertile.

It is just that it yields only one type of crop, which is suffering.

Man is a creature of imagination. That is probably the difference between man and the rest of the existence. Man alone lives in thought. Man alone is intellectual. The others live; we live intellectually.

It’s we who have a “tail”. The tail is the intellect. What do you think animals have tails? No, they just live. We live and then comes the tail. I don’t know when man will be able to drop that tail? Evolution has failed.

Listener: And people have been proud of carrying that tail.

AP: Yes. Monkeys have no tails. Man has a tail.

L: So do I suppose to live just…

AP: Even when you say supposed to, do you see the assumptions contained here? That there is some power outside you that will come and dictate, come and decree how you are supposed to live. What do you mean by supposed to live? Who is the authority outside of you that will declare how you are supposed to live?

But that is the sense of inferiority that we have internalized. We ask “Am I supposed to live this way?”  And who will answer that? But you know, this mind is dominated by the corporations, the media, religions, priests, mothers, fathers, teachers, books, scriptures, markets, ideologies; and when we say that Am I supposed to do this? It is their sanction that we seek.

Can someone bigger than me, outside of me, please approve? Can one of the holy books please come and grant their sanction? Am I aligned with one of the accepted ideologies? This is what you mean by—Am I supposed to just live?

As long as you ask this, you are not living.

Living is not a favour that somebody grants you.

By virtue of being, you are free to live.

Free to live and free to live freely.

You need nobody’s approval.

No God has the power to sanction your being.

If you are, you are.

And who can deny that?

You have become so burdened, so indebted, so differential that even to breathe, you require permission. Even to love we require somebody’s approval. Even to be, we seek acceptance in somebody else’s eye. Don’t we?

L: Sir, this quotation of yours says, “You will have to look at yourself as you are.” When I say ‘as you are’, I have an idea about myself and on the other hand, you say, ‘You are perfect as you are.’ How to understand this?

AP: Unless you know yourself to be perfect, you cannot look at yourself as you are.

You know what perfection means?

Perfection means it is alright the way it is.

And what does an idea of yourself say?

It is alright only if it is this particular way.

Perfection is very dynamic and flexible. Perfection says—whichever way it is, it is perfect. Which means you have all the freedom to be in diverse ways. And ideal says- It is alright only when it is in one particular way. Now, if you look at yourself with an eye full of ideals, then you will want yourself to be aligned with those ideals. So your vision would be compromised, manipulated. You would have a stake, you would be an interesting party.

I am saying, ‘I am looking at my face and my idea is that my face should be green.’ Now I look at my face and found my face to be blue. What would happen? The ideal says, “Unless your face is green, you are not worthy of living.” And I look at my face and found it blue. What would happen? Would I simply accept that the face is blue? I would say, “No, it is bluish-green or greenish-blue? Or it is blue turning into green.”

Do you see how I would cleverly manipulate the situations?

I will not be able to look at myself as I am. I will not be able to do that. But if I know that all is perfect, and I look at myself and found green or yellow or brown, and I have no compulsion, no pressure upon myself to manipulate or misreport, I will say, “Oh! It is violet.” It is violet and perfect. The next moment I say, “Oh! it is yellow.” Yellow and perfect because perfection is flexible.

Perfection means in this vast space, wherever you are, you are still in the space. So there is no way you can go away from home. You are always in perfection. There is no way you can be denied home. You may be a saint or a sinner, you still are perfect; you may remember or forget but you are perfect. So, it is blue and perfect. Someday, it is colorless and perfect. Now, you can look at yourself as you are and can just state it that way.

So to know a fact as a fact, first required a tremendous confidence upon yourself. Otherwise, you will not report the fact as fact. Otherwise, you will enter the zone of, what you call as, “creative journalism.” They look at something and they send back a very imaginative version of what they have looked at.

So only when you are powered by the Truth, only when you have no imagination that you have strayed away from the Truth, then you get the sureness to know the fact, to acknowledge the fact, simply and directly without a need to distort it.

L: This is also a very violent attitude towards the blue or to violet or to the green.

AP: Of course. Because you see, we are creatures of change. You are violet now, and blue the next moment and then green and then red.

If your perfection is an ideal,  it can never able to take into account your infinitely diverse nature.

The emptiness that we are, manifests itself in an infinite diversity.

If you are tied to some part of that diversity, you will miss the Whole.

Then you will say, “I am good only when I am behaving mercifully. But existence also requires you sometimes to hit really hard. Then you will reject yourself. Then you will fall in your own eyes. You will say that I am good only when I am abstaining from, let’s say, physical gratification. But existence has it, that one day you will find yourself in a physical embrace with someone. Then you will again fall in your own eyes. And then you will look for perfection. Then you will ask forgiveness from the God, which means the priests.

Do you see this?

L: If I have cancer, I could say that it is okay, and I could also say that I have cancer and I could want to change it.

AP: Yes. Of course! I am the one who wants to change it and this want is Perfect.

L: Yes. Everything is perfect and I stay there.

AP: Yes. It does not mean that you have to be a status quoist. When I am talking of the infinite diversity, that we are, of course, those infinite diversities, the various currents, keep mingling into each other; it’s a process of continuous change. And in that desire is included. So if I am desirous, it’s perfect. It is perfect. It’s a subtle thing. We must go into this.

I am desiring to change the situation, knowing fully well that the situation is perfect. Knowing fully well that the blue is perfect, today I decide that I want green. And who is anybody to tell me that I must not want that?

The green leaves, doesn’t it turn yellow and then brown? And then soil? Who are you tell the leaf that the brown is any less perfect than the green? Today green, tomorrow yellow, the day after it, it is brown and then it is a part of the soil. Change is happening all the time. But all the change is contained in perfection.

I repeat this.

You want to change something so that it may become perfect. Our attitude usually is, it is not perfect, I want to change it so that it may become perfect.

What I am saying is, everything is already contained in perfection and now, let’s change. It’s like all these posters in this hall. They are already contained in this hall. Now let’s change their location. Doesn’t matter where you put one thing or the other, it is always going to be within this hall. Doesn’t matter what you desires to change, all desires and the pre-state and the post-state, are going to be within perfection, which means I am never going to say that I am trying to make something perfect.

Do you get this?

“Oh! it’s already good. Now let’s throw it away. It’s already perfect. Now, let’s discard it totally. Let’s come out of something new.” Why? “Maybe just for fun.”

If perfection includes everything, perfection also includes the right to refuse perfection.

Blue was perfect, but now I want a little bit of yellow. May I have it please? Who are you to declare me a sinner because I want yellow? That doesn’t mean, by the way, that yellow is anymore perfect than blue. I am not saying that; not at all. Blue is perfect and so is yellow.

L: Sir, you see a pattern and you see it happening again and you are dissatisfied with it. You want to break free of this pattern. Maybe it is green and you want to go to yellow. You don’t know what the next pattern is or maybe you have a glimpse of it. So how to be contended with all this?

AP: Feel greatly contented with the pattern. With the existing pattern. there is nothing else, everything else is just an imagination. There is the pattern and there are you—the carrier of the pattern, the expression of the pattern. It’s all right.

Who am I? The one who lives in patterns.

The pattern gets energy with your resistance to the pattern.

The day and the night are patterns; such a beautiful pattern. What’s wrong with them? The child, the young man, the old man and the death, are all patterns. Are they not? To eat, to excrete, to eat again and to assimilate, are all these not patterns?

Live with the patterns. And know the pattern as a pattern.

Don’t attempt to change anything.

Change is the law of the universe.

Just as this pattern comes from somewhere, it will go somewhere.

It is held in its place; it is tied to you by your own resistance.

Resistance is attachment.

We all live in patterns.

There is nobody who here is not wedded to some kind of pattern.

What do you do with them?


“Oh, just a pattern; I realised perfectly that I live in patterns.” And be not concerned about what will follow or replace the pattern? It may be nothing; it might be another pattern. How does it matter? All is within the sky. All is within this space. All is within this hall.

You might be a very restless bird, but will you flow out of this sky? Ever seen a bird that flew out of the sky? With all your restlessness you will keep flying within the sky. All your restlessness is nothing. It’s a child’s game. You are the bird. You are the sky. Keep flying.


It is not so difficult. You will see that it is possible to be contented along with the existence of the pattern. You must not make your contentment contingent upon the disappearance of the pattern. The pattern will be there and you would still be contented—these would be parallel. It is possible.

The limited span of the wings and the infinitude of the sky, they are both possible parallelly and together.

The pattern will be there and your infinite contented nature will be there.

Both co-existing.

L: It is also that fear also prevents you from looking at the blue; looking at what you really are.

AP: Yes and the fear that we always have is the fear of an object. Our fear is never just a fear. You fear something and if you go deep into your consciousness, you will be able to dig that out. You fear the authorities who told you must be ‘green’. And hence you fear to look at yourself when you are ‘blue’.

You must be free of your investment in those authorities who keep promoting ‘part living’; who keep saying that this particular way of living is the right one. They are the one who keeps promoting the ‘greens’ and the ‘violets’ at the cost of the whole of the spectrum.

Do you see this?

Till the time you give those authorities acceptance, validation, strength, approval, the right to be an authority; till the time you internally keep bowing down to them, you will find that your life remains divided. A narrow part you accept and the rest you will reject. But who can partition the sky? Who can tell the bird to not to fly to that particular part of the sky? The bird will fly. It is the bird’s nature to fly. Then you will curse the bird, abuse the bird, and will say that the bird needs to taught enlightenment.

L: Sir even if I did not give the authority to somebody outside of me, still I have this ego. I am ego. I live with it.

AP: Where did it come from? Did it come from your core?

L: No, Sir.

AP: So you have already given authority to someone outside of you if you have given authority to the ego. The ego is not yours. The ego is the world sitting inside you. It is a dangerous thing to give authority to a person, an ideology,  a thought, a religion, a cult, or something. It is a dangerous thing to do that.

But it is even more dangerous to vest authority in yourself. Because now those things that were outside and clearly and obviously outside have made their way into your psyche. You have internalised them. You are calling them your own. And when you call something your own, you allot to it all your energy. All sense of belongingness, all sense of mine. You say, “It is mine, it is my opinion.” But it is not your opinion at all. It is somebody else’s but given that now you are embracing it. You will protect it far more.

L: Can I say that guilt is very much similar to fear?

AP: Of course. One very well knows the relation between them. One very well knows that they co-exist and that they are part of the same phenomena.

L: Sir, there is the conflict between understanding and conditioning and it is a continuous process? Every time a situation comes, there is someone who understands, okay. But conditioning always wins. It comes and hence comes the suffering.

AP: I will not say that a day will come when this will be stopped. As of this moment, as of today, it suffices to say that it is continuous. The moment I say it is not continuous, one day, the conflict will stop then you will keep looking forward to that day and that day will become the day of judgment or the day of enlightenment for you.

So, be all right, be contented, even with the conflict. There is conditioned part of you and then there is that part, which you called, the understanding part and you see them in conflict, let the conflict be there. Even with the conflict, be all right. It is not difficult. There is no method in this.

Have you ever had a bad churning in the stomach? Is it not possible to remain all right with it?

L: It is possible.

AP: Same way. There is no great way. One part of you can be up in arms against the other part and some foreign stuff too has invaded you—some bacteria or something. So, there are many parties now; it is a multipolar contest. You can still be alright, right? Let the things fight and when it is your turn to heave a  sigh; or to groan a little, do that. What can you do?

Be comfortable with not being comfortable and be comfortable when you want to challenge the discomfort.

If you are not comfortable you have only two options: Either you keep living in it or you challenge it and try to change it. Be comfortable in both the situations. It’s all right.

You are feeling restless in your stomach and you are still continuing to sit. Be peaceful in sitting. A moment comes when you get up and walk towards the loo. Be peaceful with the decision to go away. Do you get this?

You need not say only in a particular way of operating, only in a particular way of living, only by taking a particular decision, do I get the right to feel all right. You must be all right when you are sitting here and you must be all right when you get up and walk away. All of that must be happen in the sky of contentment, it is already happening in the sky of contentment. Just that we think a little too much.

L: It is so tricky to operate like this.

AP: That is tricky, only when you think about it. If you think about it, it is trickier than you can imagine. In fact, it is so tricky that you will not be able to come to terms with it. It is so tricky that you, by yourself, can never be able to operationalize it. It can be executed, it can happen, only on its own. You interfere and you will fall to the trick.

L: If I enter with an objective to implement this, then I end up becoming insensitive.

AP: The moment you enter, you enter only because you are not contented. Otherwise, why will you enter? So your entry itself is the defeat. It is not what will you do post entering will be the defeat. The very decision to enter is the defeat. Do you get this?

L: Sir, now the question is, how not to enter into this? It’s a futile question, but…

AP: It is because you are already all right, why do you want to enter? And if you must enter, enter again in peace. Alright, I have entered. I am habituated to enter. Even when I enter, I enter not with the objective to get peace. I enter in peace. Not aiming peace.

You know and you are peaceful.

You do not know and you are still peaceful.

You are highly agitated, and you are still peaceful.

Your peace is greatly disturbed and you are still peaceful.

That’s the knack.

L: It is that corner that knows agitation and that stays away from agitation.

AP: And in saying this, so cleverly, you have lost it and it is still perfect.


Do not try to conceptualise it.

You will never get on top of it.

The bird will never have the wings large enough to span the sky. Never.

L: So sir if one tries to conceptualise it and then tries to implement it, then one ends up in having an insensitive relationship with himself.

AP: You are operating, then in some other universe. You don’t have a relationship actually. If you see some kind of relationship, it is purely coincidental. It is not happening. You are assuming.

L: Basically, if I say what we are talking about is equanimity. And one’s conceptualised, it becomes completely insensitive.

AP: Yes. Equanimity would then become indifference.

L: Sir, what is this personal relation? I mean…

AP: Live it fully. Live it fully, fully. The fear that comes to you when you express that living force within you is the fear of death. You are alive so that the mind and the body can express the Self, the great core. That is the only purpose of this body and the mind—to continue to express the greatness you are. And that greatness is not a thing of concept. When I say “great”, do not start thinking of “greats”.

That which you are, continuously expresses itself. 

That which you are not, continuously strives for its life.

Live fully.

There is no reason to hold yourself back.

L: What holds us back is mainly because of fear?

AP: Only because of fear.

L: Fear and ideal, these two are related?

AP: They are greatly related.

L: Then, what is all this?

AP: Nothing. Just life. Just life.

L: How much planning is important in life? Should we forget planning?

AP: It depends. All of these things you have complete freedom to sometimes remember, sometimes forget. In all these matters, you have all the leeway to go this way or that way. See tell me, in your own house, do you think so much before entering the one room or other? If you are in your own house, does it matter to you so much? Do you seek the advice of the Gurus, “Should I enter the drawing room or the kitchen or should I stay in the hall?”

So wherever you want to go, do go. You stay within your own house. One day, you may decide to go there, another day you may decide to go there. How does it matter? Even if it does matter, you have complete freedom.

L: Sir, I am a bit confused now. There are two situations—One is when I am agitated or fearful. So there is this and then the other thing, living totally in fear in order to get through it. How does the two happen? How to operate at all?

AP: Live in fear. Sometimes fear does come.

Live in fear. Do not become fearful.

Let fear come; experience it.

Fear is nothing but the experience of fear.

Let it come.

See that in the middle of fear, you can still maintain your well-being.

L: It is very difficult thing to do.

AP: It is most difficult rather the impossible thing to do.

You place a great confidence upon yourself, who cannot be relied upon.

And you place no  faith on That which can be totally relied upon. 

So immediately you start talking the language of doing. Who will do? You?

You must have the ability to be and to operate as a healthy being even in the middle of sicknesses, difficulties, and imperfections.

And there is no limit to it. You can carry it to extremes.

L: The bigger problem than fear is: the idea that you should not be fearful.

AP: Wonderful! And that is an ideal. That is an imagination of perfection—you must be courageous.

Courage does not mean the absence of fear.

Courage means that there is something untouched by fear; bigger than fear. 

Fear is there. You might be trembling in fear. Yet there is something more important. This sense of knowing that there is something more important than all the difficulties, than all that which is going wrong, is extremely important. Otherwise, you simply lose perspective. Perspective—that’s a beautiful word. You must know what is it that is significant.

L: And for that, you require a little trust upon yourself.

AP: Of course.

L: And that wouldn’t come till the time you trust what is and you are too much infatuated about an ideal. Too much infatuation with the ideal, no contact with what is there and hence no trust upon yourself, thus resistance, thus fear.

AP: Yes. All this is one stuff.

It is not difficult. It is not impossible. You see at this moment we all know how important is to record this session. But we very well know that both of these are discharged (recorders). Nobody charged them. And nobody has taken care to put a mike on this.

But does that mean that I should bother about that? It happens, it is happening and we are all right in the middle of that. Do you get this?

It is not difficult, not impossible, in any way.

L: Sir, I suffer, and then I get to a point where I just let go and then it again starts. Again you let go and then again it starts.

AP: It will start again and again. Do not ever think that it is going to come to an end in the future.

L: It seems like its capacity is increasing. It seems that if I understand, I have to take more.

AP: Yes. That is the reward of knowing.

See, this world will remain as it is. You are a limited being, a limited body. You are aging. You are moving towards death. Are you not? All of us are. Now can there be a bigger hell than this—to be moving towards death each moment? People think that in the future lies enlightenment. For sure, in the future lies death.

Can there be a bigger hell than this? It is what it is. Now, what do you want to do? Cry hoarse? Curse the heavens? Attempt suicide?

L: Sir, once you understand this, even if you want to run away you cannot run away.

AP: Ah! It’s stupid.  

L: It’s like you are stuck in understanding; which is very weird.

AP: And sometimes you do run away, which is again very stupid and still perfect.

L: But that thing is there and it becomes a cage in a very different way.

AP: (Smilingly) A perfect cage.


Change whatever you want to and whatever you can.

You have all the freedom to go, play around and create a mess.

You have all the freedom to do whatever you want to do. It’s all yours.

At most, you will die in the mess; that you will anyway.

Let none of this encroach upon your fundamental, essential stillness. The world is a chaotically randomly moving affair. Or at least that how it appears. Some may come and say, there is a great harmony and peace. And they are equally right. It doesn’t matter how you look at the universe. One thing is certain, there is a flow. In the middle of the flow, you are still. It doesn’t matter how it flows, it doesn’t matter where it goes, it doesn’t matter from where it comes.

Stillness is the essence of the flow.

What does that mean?

That you can flow freely. When you know that stillness is the essence of the flow, then you need not arrest yourself from flowing. Then you need not dictate a particular type or kind of flow. Then you need not say that there is a virtue in one kind of flow and sin or vice in another kind. Then you give yourself the freedom, the authority, the licence, to just flow.

When you just flow, you do not know whether you are flowing or just still.

To flow freely is just the same as being absolutely still.

Do you get this?

It is your resistance to the flow, which is still all right.


L: One thing is that there is noise and when you see that what is disturbing me is my aversion to noise and not the flow of the noise. So then what you do is, you try to find peace. You do it for some time and then the noise overpowers you.

AP: You are not obliged to bear the noise. In the noise, you are all right if you bear the noise and you are still all right if you want to go out of out it.

Let spirituality not tell you that you must be in the noise and bear it and then say that you are all right with the torture. If you are in noise, you are all right. And if it happens that you get up and rebel, it is still all right.

L: For example: If you came to know that If I go to Devpryag (A place in) there will be noise and I don’t like noise. So it is like fear of going to Devpryag. You know that there is noise there and if I go there, I will not like the noise even though if I can manage or find peace. So you remain away from Devpryag? Is it okay?

AP: For a while. You see this mind is quite flippant. How long will you stay away from Devpryag? The very fact that you are thinking about Devpryag will one day take you to Devpryag. As long as you stay away, stay away not feeling bad about yourself. The day you go, go without feeling defeated.

Back yourself. Not feeling like going, not feeling like going. One day you feel like going, back yourself. Support yourself. There is no need to censor yourself for every step. You are no authority to censor yourself.  It is not that censoring itself is problematic. It is just that the entity that is trying to assume the authority of censorship has no authority at all.

“The pot is calling the kettle black.” Have you heard that?

Who are you to pronounce judgment upon yourself?

L: Like in campus there used to be some parties. So in front of me there used to be two options; whether to go and not to go? So for two years, I tried both the cases and in both of them, I feel bad.

AP: Just go, or don’t go.

Don’t vacillate. Don’t fret. Don’t hang about.

Okay, vacillate! and still feel all right.

This end is all right. The opposite end is all right and everything in between is also all right.

L: Sir in all of this it seems as if I made a decision

AP: Your decision is a decision only if it differentiates. You come and say that you are a sinner and I decide that you are all right. You come and say that you are a saint and I decide that you are all right.

Now does my decision mean anything? So keep deciding, but let the decision always be one. Decide if you are habituated to deciding.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Cessation of mental suffering

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Morality makes the mischief of the world your personal suffering

Article 2: Mercy and sympathy – agents of suffering

Article 3: Suffering is the disease in which the sickness becomes the doctor

Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant :


Joy is the love affair of life with death


Explaining the meaning of one of his famous quotations:
Joy is the love affair of life with death.

Acharya Prashant: Joy is the love affair of life with death. Who am I? I take myself to be the seeker, to be the one who really wants happiness, wants fulfillment. If I want fulfillment, if I want happiness, if I want love, then what am I taking myself to be?

Who am I? I take myself to be the seeker, to be the one who really wants happiness, wants fulfillment. If I want fulfillment, if I want happiness, if I want love, then what am I taking myself to be? Read more

You can pass through hell only if you have heaven in your Heart


Question: When you talk about fear in the process of letting go, in meditation, in awareness or when you are watching, one has a heavy reaction from the mind like a big fight that starts and then you’re so afraid of it that you just drop the inner part and you go back to the outer part.

AP: There is no method here. One has to live through it. One has to pass through this hell.

You can pass through hell only if you have heaven in your Heart.

You will have to live through it.

It is the smoke, your accumulated conditioning is burning. It is smoke, fear is the smoke. You will have to tolerate it.

Jesus said, “Only faith enables you to tolerate it.” Read more

Suffering is the disease in which the sickness becomes the doctor


Question: Sir, behind suffering there is pleasure. It is this pleasure after which we run. Is this what life is all about? 

Acharya Prashant: This feeling too is suffering.

You are saying there are three things:

  1. Pleasure.

      2. Suffering.

      3. The one who has feelings about the first two. Read more