How to let things happen? || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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

How to let things happen

Question: Acharya Ji, how to get rid of boredom?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Boredom comes only when you have an idea of what would not bore you. “I feel that the only exciting things in life are ‘achievement’, ‘video games’, and ‘sex’.” And situations have gotten me where I neither have achievement, nor video games, nor sex. Now what would I feel?

Questioner 1: Bored.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

You  feel bored only because you have an image of what would not bore you.

You decide in advance that if you can have exciting food, then it will not bore you. Now you cannot always have exciting food.

The result is boredom.

Before you say that you are bored, find out whether you have ideas about what does not bore you.

Anybody here who will keep silent when asked what is it that he finds exciting?

And if you can list what you can find exciting, why don’t you see that you have already listed what you find boring? Everything that you do not find exciting, is something you will find boring. But you will never ask, “Sir, why am I excited?” Rather, you will always ask, “Why am I bored?”

You are bored because you are excited. If you are excited, then your excitement is going to vanish at some moment. And then, what will you be left with?

Listeners: Boredom.

Question 2: Acharya Ji, then how to not be excited?

Acharya Prashant Ji: By seeing that the excitement is not just excitement. It is excitement plus…..

Listeners: Boredom.

Questioner 1: There is another side to it too.

Acharya  Prashant Ji: Yes, boredom is not just ‘boredom’. Boredom is preparation for excitement. When you get bored, obviously you jump into excitement. Now, as long as you feel like playing this game, go ahead, play this game.

But if you are even semi-intelligent, there comes a point when you want to drop out. When you say, “I cannot  allow these two to affect me. May be I can just let them continue in their way. Let them do what they want to do. But I cannot allow them to affect me deeply. I cannot allow them to become statements of my state, or my self-worth.”

“Yes, of course the movie is interesting, exciting, let the excitement be there. But I cannot allow myself to become the excited one. Even in the middle of excitement, let me just remain alright. Because the movie is going to get over. And then I will be bored. Why do I want to invite that? Why do I want to inflict that upon me?”

Question 3: Acharya Ji, does that mean that boredom is not ‘boredom’ if I can see it, and excitement is not ‘excitement’ if I can see it?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Yes.

Question 4: Acharya Ji, you just said that let the states of mind do what they want to. So, does it mean that I let all this happen?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Obviously you let this happen. And this statement ‘letting this happen’ there are two things. The wise man exists parallely at both these levels. Pay attention.

Letting things happen – now there is ‘ the happening’ contained in this, and there is ‘the letting’ contained in this.

The one who lets, is the ‘Atman’.

Where all the ‘happening’ is, that is the body, the mind, prakriti apparatus.

Both of these must be there parallely, together, concurrently.

The Center and the periphery, both.

The Witness and the world, both.

So, there is the game of excitement and boredom going on, and then there is the ‘letting’ also happening. Pay attention.

‘Letting things happen’.

Things ‘happen’ in the world, in the mind, that’s where all the movement is.

And ‘letting’ is the thing of non-movement.

Both these be together.

Are you getting it?

Is ‘letting’ an action, is ‘letting’ an activity? What does ‘letting’ mean? Does ‘letting’ mean that you are doing something? And when things happen, then there are things ‘happening’, moving. And ‘letting’ is?

Questioner 4: Opening the doors.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Not even opening the doors. Let the doors open, if they have to.

So – “I am letting myself dance.” Now there is beauty in this dance. Dancing is hardly a thing of beauty, but letting yourself dance is so beautiful. Do you understand the difference between making yourself dance, and letting yourself dance?

Questioner 4: Making is mental, and letting is…..

Acharya Prashant Ji: Natural.

There is nothing good or bad about dancing, what matters is whether you are letting yourself dance, or making yourself dance. When you make yourself dance, then dance is nothing but thought.

Question 5: Acharya Ji, when we are in utmost excitement, in the excited mental state, then how to let that natural thing happen?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

There is no method of – letting things happen.

‘Letting things happen’ means – not doing anything.

And ‘method’ means – doing something.

So there is no method involved in letting.

‘Letting’ simply means – cessation of all control.

“Ah! You are free and I am free. You are free to happen and I am free to let.”

“You are free to happen, and I am free to let you happen.”

“I am not obsessed with interfering, blocking, doing, and you don’t have to worry about somebody suppressing you, policing you, or energising you. You want to dance, Mr. legs, Mr. hands. You want to dance, you dance. You don’t have to worry about anybody sitting on top of you. You are free to dance. Both legs are free to dance.”

Are our legs free to dance? No, they are supervised by the mind.

“Are the steps following rightly? Are the hands moving rhythmically?”

“O! Is he not watching me?”

“What is she thinking of me?”

“Am I synchronised with music?”

Now you are ‘making’ yourself dance.

“How can I quit? Everybody else is still dancing. No the time to leave the floor.”

Now you are making yourself dance.

Let the body dance.

When you let the body dance, this ‘letting’ is total Freedom – for the body and for the mind.

This ‘letting’ is both movement and non-movement together.

Questioner 5: Acharya Ji, does it mean that if I let myself be excited, then I will have to let myself be bored.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Let yourself be bored.

Questioner 5: In excitement, there are chances that there are no thoughts, but in boredom there are thoughts. So, how can letting happen in thought?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When you are excited, the may be there are no thoughts, but a tendency deeper than thought.

In boredom, there might be thought.

Yes, there are times when you do not know why you are bored, and you also do not know why you are excited. You cannot place your finger on the exact cause. That however does not mean that  the cause is not there. May be you cannot however think of the cause. You cannot think of the cause because, the cause is deeper than thought. Then the cause is ‘a tendency’.

A young man looks at a young woman and feels excited. Is there a thought involved in this? It is just the deep tendency. So even if the thought is not there, it is still the same mental thing, may be deeper than thought.

Similarly, if you are bored, it is not necessarily because of thought. It may be a tendency deeper than thought.

Question 4: Seeing a woman, if there is excitement. So, when I let things happen, does it mean that I let the tendency do, what it does?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Of course.

When the tendency is totally free, then the tendency gets totally suffocated due to absence of resistance.

You need to come close to this.

All tendencies are sicknesses. They exist and continue as victims. You give them a touch of Health, they go away. You allow Freedom to the tendency, you give the tendency freedom to exist, the tendency will die of suffocation.

Because the tendency exists only as the un-free one. Having touched it with Freedom, having given it the total freedom to exist, the  tendency will have nothing to complain about. It cannot now continue as a victim.

She has come to assault me saying, “I want to kill you because you never let me do what I want to do. I have come to kill you because you never let me do what I want to do.” And what do I say, “Come, kill me.”

She will not kill me. Why?

Because I let her do what she wants to do. Now her complaint cannot survive. She is gone! But what do we normally do?

Questioner 4: We resist.

Acharya Prashant Ji: We say, “No, no, you cannot kill me.” And by saying, “You cannot kill me,” you have only validated her stand. And what has she been saying? “You never allow me to do what I want to do.” And in this moment what does she want to do? She wants to kill.

And you have not allowed her to kill you. She says, “See, this is exactly what I have been saying. You never allow me to do what I want to do.” When she comes to kill you, just say, “Okay fine, all yours. Kill me.”

Questioner 5: Acharya Ji, but it can also become a cycle. For example there is a tendency, and I allow that tendency to fulfilled. Tendency is like a desire only, an un-fulfilled deire. And if I allow that desire to get fulfilled, the cycle continues.

Acharya Prashant Ji: No, no. Don’t allow. ‘Allowing’ is not same as ‘letting’. Allowing means – “I stand as a gatekeeper. Show me your admit card. Now you are allowed in.” That isn’t quite nice. Is that?

“I stand as a policeman, show me the money. Now you are allowed to walk past.” Is that nice? Allowing?

‘Letting’ is something totally different.

‘Letting’ means – “I do not exist. I am out of your way. Let things happen?”

Questioner 3: Is it like that the more we let things happen, the more we will be more natural?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Blocking is something that one acquires.

Letting is not something that you can get used to, or learn progressively. Letting is your nature. You don’t cultivate it.

Questioner 4: If I let myself to do something which is anti-social, then?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Not in just thought. Give yourself total Freedom to indulge in what you want to, and then see. Without resisting it, without even ‘allowing’ it.

Questioner 4: So, it shouldn’t be just in mind?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Just see whether the energy to still do it, remains.

All tendencies exist to get freedom.

Having gotten Freedom, they disappear.

Ego exists because it loves the Truth. Having been touched by the Truth, it disappears.

Tendencies that are there, they are nothing but un-fulfillments.

All incompletenesses that are there.

Freedom is total completion. 

When you let the tendency be free to do it’s thing, then the tendency loses it’s justification to exist.

It’s very rationale for existing was that – “I don’t have freedom. I don’t have freedom, so I exist.” You said, “Now you have total freedom. You are totally free to do whatever you want to do.” It disappears. It disappears.

Question 5: There are times when we let things happen, but suddenly it changes to making things happen. And then there is lot of confusion.

Acharya Prashant Ji: The answer always is – Love.

Remember that whatever troubles you, essentially is in need of love.

And between lovers, force and methods do not work.

You  just have to trust that you won’t be harmed by the other.

When the lover is angry, you do not respond by defending yourself. And if you do that, that makes the other one even more angry.

That’s why I said, “When she comes to kill you, allow yourself to be killed.” That is the only way of surviving.

If you do not know that, then you won’t have any relationships.

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

Watch the session video: Acharya Prashant: How to let things happen?

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You have chosen to be bonded! || Acharya Prashant on ‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand (2012)

Fountainhead MAG

To join the powerful ongoing online course series on Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead: click here.

Question: Acharya Ji, in breaking the law, we think that we come out from our daily routines. Does our society allow us that?

Acharya Prashant Ji: How old are you?

Questioner: Twenty years.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Twenty. Most of you here would be between eighteen and twenty-one years of age. You are not eight years of age, and you are not eighty years of age, right? You are neither eight, when you don’t have your brain cells yet fully made, when you are yet dependent upon everybody else, neither you are eighty yet, when you don’t have any physical vigor or stamina left. You are young, right? You like to call yourself ‘young’. Is that a question a young man should ask?

Is that a question a young man should ask – “Will the society allow me?” (Referring to the Holistic Development Program (HIDP) conducted by the Foundation in educational institutions). Your facilitator last semester would have surely recommended one particular book to many of you, ‘The Fountainhead.’ Many of you might also have read it.

Listeners: Yes.

Acharya Prashant Ji: The protagonist there, ‘Howard Roark’, he is a student in an architecture college. Fiercely individualistic. Fiercely. He is about to be expelled from his college, because he would not subscribe to the type of designs being recommended by his professors. He says, “No, all that is outdated. Today different types of designs for buildings are needed.”

So there is this conversation between him and the Dean of the college. He has been expelled, but the Dean has called him in his office to give him another chance. He thinks that Roark will come and submit apologies, and the Dean will get a chance to forgive him, and take him in again, because Roark is otherwise a very talented student.

Now, when Dean is talking to Roark, Roark is totally non-submissive. So Dean asks him, “For all that you are saying, who will allow you to build these crazy designs?” The Dean thinks that the designs made by Roark are crazy, that they are impractical, that they are ahead of the times.

So the Dean is looking at the designs made by Roark and he says, “Who will allow you to build these designs?” Roark says, “That is not the question.” Pay attention to these words. He is a student like you. Roark says, “That is not the question that who will allow me. The question is: Who will stop me?” And that is what I call ‘a young man’.

Him I call a young man, who says, “It’s not a question whether society will allow me or not. The question is: Who will stop me? Who can stop me?”

And only people like Roark cannot be stopped, because they are so sure that they cannot be stopped.

Because they know that they cannot be stopped.

Because they know that they would rather die than stop.

But then a young man gets up and asks me, “Will society allow me?,” you have already declared the force of society over you. You have already declared that you are afraid of the society. Who is the society? Where is the society? Show me the society!

One of you sitting here is an individual. When a crowd assembles here, it starts calling itself a ‘society’. What is there to be afraid of? What are you afraid of? And if you are afraid today, when will you give up fear? When will you give up fear?

But I tell you why you are afraid.

You are afraid because society is collectivism – people collected together.

And you deeply believe in that.

Even when at this moment I am talking of fierce individuality, I can see at least five of you, not with yourself, but with your neighbor. And I blame not those who want to chit-chat. I blame those, who are willing to let their ears to their neighbor. They have already lost the battle with the society.

The battle with society, the battle for being myself, has already been lost on those who cannot tolerate being alone with themselves.

Roark is very contented with himself and himself alone, and that is why he deserves to be the protagonist of that novel. What do you think, this is what Roark does when he sits in a gathering, or when he sits in a lecture, or in a seminar, or in a Samvaad event? Would he be chatting with others? That’s what he does? No, not really.

Why think about society at all? Who can stop you? Who can stop you, unless you are prepared to be stopped? And why are we prepared to be stopped? Because we have entered into a surreptitious kind of contract with the society.

You are not afraid of the society.

You are afraid of letting go of your privileges, your emoluments that you get from the society.

Your self-worth comes from the society, so you are afraid of the society.

That – “What happens if the society takes away my self-worth?”

The society has given you your name, it gives you a certain respect, it gives you all your identities. You are afraid that the society can take all of them away. You have entered into a business contract with society. That is the reason why you are afraid. You are taking so much from them, you don’t want this to stop. You want to keep taking from them.

Students across campuses often come to me and say, “This is what we want to do. I want to do this, I want to do that, but my family does not allow me. Under pressure of these people I have given up, and now I want to do this. I really think that I love that field, but I am not really being allowed.”

And there are people in their final years of graduation, they come up and say, “Well, we are students of Electronics Engineering, but we are being pressurized to take jobs in Software and IT sector. And we do not want to do that.” And I ask them, “Why do you feel the pressure? It is alright if another person wants to exert the pressure, but why do you feel the pressure?”

And let me tell you why they feel the pressure. They feel that pressure, because all the time they are benefiting a lot from that they are taking from others. I have been a student of IIT and IIM, and a very significant number there, studies on education loans. Very significant number. Not that their parents are beggars and cannot afford their education, but they prefer to take education loans. But I have come across to any private engineering college, where not more than a quarter are studying on education loans.

How many over here are studying on education loans? (A few in the audience raise their hands). Again, not more than a quarter. See. The statistic holds good. It is further affirmed. When you are taking lakhs and lakhs from a person, now can you really think of freedom from society? Are there any free lunches in life? And then you come and cry and weep and put up miserable faces and say, “Oh, we are slaves. We are bonded.”

You have chosen to be bonded.

The same fellow who is a shopkeeper, and will not give even a two-rupee discount to anybody, you think that fellow can give ten lakhs, and forget it? The mind is the same, right? The mind is the same. From the customer it will extract cash, from others it will extract in time, if not in cash. But the extraction will happen, and that is the reason why you are afraid, because there is a lot that you are taking.

When I was studying in IIM Ahmedabad, the study regimen there was toughest amongst all business schools in the world. I am not talking of just business schools in India, but amongst all business schools in the world. Just search on Google, and you will come to learn what does it mean to be competing in that campus.

And even when I was studying there, I ensured that I was earning enough for my monthly expenditures, by going and teaching. So I would teach in a few CAT Coaching institutions, I would even teach as a visiting faculty in another MBA institution. And from that money that I would earn, I would take care of my monthly expenses, and I would even use a part of that to go to Gandhi Ashram, which is in Ahmedabad, and buy something for the kids there. I love to be engaged with the kids.

Now, when I am doing that, I am totally on my own. And of course, it was uncomfortable. Of course, there was a price to be paid. Of course, I needed to be more efficient with my studies, so that I can find out time for that as well. But that gave me freedom, because freedom was dear to me.

Now, is Freedom dear to you? I am talking of life in a campus (IIM Ahmedabad) that had an absolutely packed, tight schedule. And look at your university. Out of the 52 weeks in a year, actually the number of working weeks will be no more than 25 or 30.

When we prepare the semester-long schedule of Holistic Development Program (HIDP), we find it difficult to complete even a 10-weeks program per semester. It is difficult to squeeze out 20 weeks in a year, because the actually number of working days available are very less.

There is this much of free time available to you, and what you do with that free time? Do you use that to secure your freedom? No, you don’t use it for that. You squander it away with others, with others like you.

Is Freedom really important to you?

If it is important to you, you will secure it, you will get it.

Do you love being free?

Are you really a free bird?

No, you had accepted slavery long back.

And then you complain, and then you put up miserable faces.

That won’t do.

These are masks.

The one who wants it, gets it. 

Questioner: Acharya Ji, if we remove our mask then people will find us weak and vulnerable. And then they can exploit us.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Paras (the questioner), who told you that a particular way of behaving or being, is a weakness? Who told you that anything is a weakness? Who told you that there are parts or shades of your being that are unworthy? All of this has been drilled deeply into you. None of this has any authenticity to it. But you have been repeatedly told that – you are incompetent, unworthy, and you need to hide your weaknesses.

There is no weakness.

There is no question of hiding anything.

What you are calling as a ‘weakness’, is your own being.

This is what you are.

And if somebody calls it a ‘weakness’, tell him, “Take it or leave it. I am package, a complete package. I can’t hide one part of myself.”

Who told you that weaknesses exist? Who told you that? Others.

And the same others, then teach you, to also hide your weaknesses.

Don’t you see that the entire question is full of fear and insecurity?

“Sir, if I show them my weakness, then they will exploit me.”

Don’t you see you are already terrified? Of whom? Of others. Why have you created this monster? Why have you created this monster? All of you would have written down something on those sheets of paper, but very few of you would dare to get up and speak, even though those questions are your questions and they are important questions.

But you will not get up and speak. Why? Because you are afraid of others, and these others happen to be your own friends. You are terribly scared to rise and speak. You are terribly scared.

Last time when I was here I spoke. And after the event completed, when I was moving towards my vehicle to leave, many from the audience came over to ask some questions. And some of them asked beautiful questions, genuine inquiries. And I asked them, “Why didn’t you raise these questions in the hall during the event, when everyone might have benefited from it?” And they just hanged down their heads and said, “We didn’t dare to.”

And as I am speaking to you, you know who I am referring to. So many of you want to ask a question, but won’t do it, because you are afraid of revealing your so-called weaknesses. “If I ask this question, everyone will come to know of my weaknesses. How do I ask this question in the presence of 100-200 people that I am afraid? How do I ask in front of so many people that why I am living like this? What do I do?”

You are not even living, you are just afraid. And it is so sad, so disappointing.

One of the worst sight is to look at a young man, a young woman, who is not sure of himself or herself, who does not dare to live life according to his own Intelligence.

There are no weaknesses.

There are no weaknesses.

There is just ‘you’.

The ‘you’ in your completeness, the ‘you’ in your entirety.

Do not think that some part of you is strong and the other part of you is weak. Do not think this. What happens when you declare something a ‘weakness’? You suppress it, don’t you? You try to hide it. And whatever you suppress, gains in strength. Whatever you suppress gains in strength.

You would have noted that in the HIDP sessions, the students who are the least comfortable with coming up and speaking, are also the ones who miss the maximum of classes. They are also the ones, who when given a chance to speak, would shy away and stand at the back. They are also the ones who would take up the smallest roles in the role-play activities. Why? Because you do not want to reveal your so-called weaknesses. And then those weaknesses become more and more powerful.

The moment you look at it, and you cannot look at it till the time you are calling it a ‘weakness’.  Till the time you are declaring it to be ‘ugly’, you will not be able to look at it. Who likes to look at ugliness? Who likes to look at his own ugliness?

The first thing is – stop calling it a ‘weakness’ and look honestly, directly at it.

And let it be. Just let it be.

Don’t even try to fight it, let alone suppress it.

And in that ‘looking’, you will be the overcoming of the so-called ‘weakness’.

The weakness will not go away.

Your attitude about it will go away.

Getting?

Listeners: Yes.

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

Watch the session video: Acharya Prashant on ‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand: You have chosen to be bonded!

If you feel inspired upon reading the above interaction on Fountainhead, and wish to enrol in the ongoing online course series on the same : click here


Listen to a small clip on Ayn Rand’s Howard Roark,
in the words of Acharya Prashant Ji:

Fiercely Individualistic! 

Unshakable! Unruffled! Unavoidable! 

Meet Howard Roark in the raw, through the eyes of Acharya Prashant Ji. 

A strongly recommended online course series.


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To know Kumbh, understand struggle between heaven & hell || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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To know Kumbh, understand struggle between heaven and hell

Question: What is the legend behind the festival of Kumbh?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

The legend of Kumbh revolves around the perennial struggle between the Devas and Danavas, the resident gods of heaven, and the lords of hell, respectively.

The two keep jostling for superiority, and the demons are ever eager of defeating the gods and occupying heaven.

Even when the two once unusually collaborate to churn the great ocean to procure the nectar of immortality, the partnership goes badly sour. One of the demons makes away with the pot (Kumbh) of nectar, and as he speeds through the universe to ditch his furious brethren chasing him, a few drops of ambrosia fall at four places on Earth. Since then, says the myth, the Kumbh is celebrated at those places.

Humans of Earth get a great festival to celebrate, but the struggle between the occupants of heaven and hell continues unabated.

Demons remain both envious and desirous of heaven, forever frustrated in their attempts to conquer it.

To know Kumbh, it is important to understand this struggle between heaven and hell.

So, heaven and hell are obviously not geographies.

What is holy?

That which is unblemished, uncorrupted.

We call the pristine as ‘holy’ because there is something within us that demands cleanliness, that does not like filth, corruption and conditioning.

Something within us just does not agree with blemishes, bondages, ignorance and littleness.

It wants absolute Truth and Freedom.

We want freedom, but live a life of bondage. However, amid our bondages, there stands the possibility of coming in contact with a situation, a person, a book, or an environment, which can remind us of our essentially liberated nature.

Association with something, someone, whose presence reminds you of your own internal Truth; whose presence is proof that if liberation is possible in one case, then it is possible for you as well.

This is what gives one the courage to dream of freedom.

Otherwise, one is stuck.

There are the overpowering forces of physicality, home, family, work, society, education, economics. And there is that occasional, faint call from within, that gnawing feeling of discontent. One cannot escape anywhere else, and in the middle of his inevitable situations, one also does not feel satisfied. Stuck!

Many people take the easy way out: “Why talk of liberation? Why not just eat, sleep, drink and be merry? There is nothing more to life; don’t even talk about it, it’s dangerous.”

They say so, because they feel hopelessly stuck. There is nothing around, which offers them any kind of help. And even if they try to rise a little, there are a thousand forces to pull them down.

Association with the holy offers a helping hand.

It does not take you away to another world.

It only helps you do what you have always wanted to do in this world.

It helps you realise that your own deepest desire of freedom is attainable.

Heaven and hell are obviously for the mind. Heaven is a situation in which the mind gets what contents it deeply: a total relaxation that eludes our otherwise agitated and stressed life. Heaven is the company that relaxes you, and also gives you the courage to rebel for liberation, “I can be free! My deepest dreams were there to be realised!”

What is your deepest dream? Your deepest dream is to be free and contented. The world gives you a thousand miscellaneous desires that obfuscate this deep original dream. Heaven is where you see that this dream is realisable. You are struggling, labouring, somehow plodding along. You have given up all hope of freedom, and then, miraculously, the hope is rekindled. Heaven!

Correspondingly, there is hell: All that which convinces you that just this humdrum state of affairs is life. The company of forces that tell you not to fly too high, that compromise is the name of the game, that you must play safe and secure, that the world is a terrible place, that you must be afraid, that you are born to follow practices and patterns – the company of such voices is hell.

The world itself can be heaven. When is the world heaven? When for you the world is a gateway to the beyond. The beyond is not heaven, remember! Because beyond, there is no mind, and heaven and hell are in the mind.

Spirituality is the journey from hell to heaven, and then beyond into the absolute joy of liberation.

The very thing that was craving for heaven, the very thing that was suffering, that very thing is to be peacefully retired.

That is the climax of spirituality, and the essential calling of Kumbh.

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Excerpted from an article published in one of the leading newspaper website on 5th March, 2019. Read here.

Edited for clarity.


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

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


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Love doesn’t complain, it loves again || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Love doesn't complain, it loves again

Question: Acharya Ji, how to move towards freedom? How to overcome obstacles in freedom?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You are asking me, “How to move towards Freedom? How to answer the call of Truth? What efforts to make? How to choose?”

You have been listening to me since long. Don’t you watch me, don’t you observe what I am doing. You keep asking me the same question. What do I do? I try from ten different sides. Don’t I? So what should you do? Try in different ways.

If this, that you are asking for, is really dear to you, what would you do?

Questioner: Try in different ways, to get it.

Acharya Ji: Try this way, try that way. Come back to the first way. Jump over to the third way. But never cease trying. Do I have a ready-made way? Do I know in advance what life would throw at me? What questions the audience would have to say to me, do I know that?

What do I do?

Questioner: Face the questions.

Acharya Ji: That would be real follower-ship.

If you really want, you must want it so desperately, that you have no time left, to complaint against the results.

Before the result of one attempt is declared, you should already be invested in preparing for the next attempt.

And so when the results of the previous attempt, come to you, you hardly have any time, to cry over them.

That must be the intensity of your love.

Questioner: The situation is such that I am not able to move .

Acharya Ji: Then change the situations, or come out of the situations.

Questioner: I am not able to change.

Acharya Ji: “I don’t ‘want’ to change. I have stakes.” Never say, “I cannot do it.” When that which must happen, happens, are you able to stop it? When death will come to you, will you say, “I cannot die”?

Dharma, you must take like death.

When it comes, it comes.

Unavoidable – irrespective of the situations.

You are in the market place, death comes, would you say, “No, no. Not the right situation”? You are in the loo, death comes, would you say, “Need ten more minutes”?

If you are really in love, then you either achieve results within your situations.

Or if you find that within the situation, the result cannot be achieved, then you no more allow yourself, to be contained by the situation.

Even kids know that. And parents too know that, when it comes to kids. But, parents do not know that for themselves. The kid is unable to study at home, because the situations at home, are not conducive. What do the parents do then? They send the kid off to the hostel. He cannot study properly at home, so let him go and study somewhere else.

Parents know that very well, when it comes to the kids. Why don’t they apply yardstick to themselves? And if you find it, too big a price to pay, remember the price that you are already paying by foregoing the precious years of your only life.

One life, a few years left. And they are all drifting by. How big is this price? Humongously big. The price that you would pay, by altering your situations, is a very negligible price in comparison.

Whenever freedom starts appearing too expensive, do consider the alternative. And then you will see that freedom at all costs, is very affordable. When freedom starts appearing too expensive, just consider the alternative. And then you will see whether freedom is expensive, or the lack of it.

Are the situations arresting you with handcuffs, or are you choosing to stay in those situations? Please. Are the situations chasing you, or have you gone to those situations? And if you move out of those situations, would the situations rush from behind, and pull you back?

One thing about spiritual progress is that – one must never label her choices as her ‘helplessness’.

What you are ‘choosing’, with all due respect to your personal notion of your personal welfare, cannot be called as your ‘helplessness’.

You weighed in everything, you considered all factors, and then you said, “On the criteria of personal welfare, this I choose to be the situation, I want to be in.” So, it is a well-thought-out, well-considered, deeply deliberated, conscious decision. How do we now call it our ‘helplessness’?

All I am saying is – there is something, that one gains, by being in a particular situation. You too are gaining something, by being in that situation. There is something that one gains, by coming out of that situation.

Impartially, wisely, weigh both of these things, and see.

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

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

Watch the session: Love doesn’t complain, it loves again || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Without an inner firmness, does one even exist? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Without an inner firmness, does one even exist

Question: Acharya ji, you said earlier, that whatever emotions one goes through, like – anger, greed, sadness, jealousy, anything that we go through, one must examine it. I am examining it, in relation to, whichever object in front of me, it is arising. Is this, what is – the observer, the observed, and the process of observation?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Explain.

Questioner: So, I see a luxury car in front of me, and there is greed, arising out of me. I see, a woman who is conventionally considered to be pretty, and there is lust arising out of me. Each of these emotions, that are coming out, is in relation to the objects in front of me.

So, my understanding of this, and going more and more, in depth of this, is that how it is going to work? And, do I have to apply this to more and more objects?

Acharya Ji: The more you apply it, the more continuously you apply it, the more you see that you exist only in relation to objects. Eureka!

The girl turns you a man, the car turns you a consumer. Who are you?

Questioner: In that moment, I am what that object turns me to. But that is not what – I am.

Acharya Ji: How do you know?

Questioner: I am – Atman.

Acharya Ji: How do you know?

Unless you come to a particular firmness, the Atman is just fiction. Is it not?

Questioner: Yes.

Acharya Ji: So, instead of dabbling in fiction, it is far better to acknowledge, that – ‘I am just nobody. I am almost like a public space – available to all, open to all, being used and misused, and trampled by all.’

‘The girl uses it, the car uses it. I am nobody, I belong to nobody. I have no identity. I am a public good. The car uses me, to run over the place. The kid uses me as a playground. So many use me, as an open space for waste disposal.’

‘I have no firm name, or identity. I become what the other wants me to become.’

‘The car manufacturer, wants me to be buyer. So, I look at his car, and turn into a prospective buyer. The woman, consciously or sub-consciously, wants me to be an attending man. And I turn into an attending man, as per her dictate.’

If you can realise, and come to this utter helplessness, you will revolt against yourself. You will say, “No more of this.” You will then realise, that all these inputs are actually, assaults and invasions. And had you really been nobody, you wouldn’t have felt bad about it. A stone does not cry against slavery, or does it?

If the fact of your enslavement, curdles your blood, it means there is free-spirit in you.

But that free-spirit gets invoked, only when presented with the fact of slavery.

If you do not know that you are enslaved, your free-spirit remains dormant. Or, if you keep presenting slavery itself, as the free spirit, even then the free-spirit remains just asleep, peacefully.

For the free-spirit to rise, and act, and rebel, you have to first acknowledge to yourself, that you are neck deep in slavery.

And then there is a contradiction between – the freedom of your spirit, and the fact of your slavery.

Now there is a conflict.

You need this conflict to arise.

You need an inner war.

Peace is great, but false peace, is deadly.

The seeker of peace, must be present and ready, to forego false peace, and experience disquiet and turbulence.

Questioner: That’s tough.

Acharya Ji: Awakening begins with suffering.

Obviously, it is not going to be pretty, when moment after moment, you are bombarded with the fact of your impotency and helplessness. Is it going to be pleasant? Not at all. You would want to resist the fact, deny the fact. You would squirm and cringe.

But the fact is, for real, and therefore must not be denied. And when you admit and acknowledge that fact, there is bound to be an inner strife.

By spirit, you are free.

And in life, you are in bondage.

These two cannot go together.

Let there be a war.

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

Watch the session: Without an inner firmness, does one even exist? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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In the middle of conditioning, how do I get real freedom?|| Acharya Prashant, with students

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In the middle of conditioning, how do I get real freedom

Question: Acharya Ji, every thing that we develop, comes from conditioning, how do I then, find my real identity?

Acharya Prashant Ji: (Addressing the questioner) Pallavi, had everything been coming from outside, then this question could not have arisen.

If everything comes from outside, then we are a system, like a machine. A machine never has the urge for self-enquiry. A machine will never feel uncomfortable, or befuddled at the fact that it does not know it’s true identity. In fact, the question of identity itself, is not relevant to a machine.

So, what happens, yes we realise that a lot what constitutes our psyche comes from what we have read or heard, assimilated directly-indirectly, consciously-subconsciously. We realise that. And the more we realise, the more we become free of that which is just an external layer upon me.

How do I know?

Just by enquiring.

Just by seeing.

And this ‘seeing’, is very simple, very straightforward.

“The environment is noisy, and I find it difficult to concentrate.”

“In the morning, I get a few compliments, and my mood cheers up.”

“My favorite team loses a match, and I feel down.”

These are the simple, routine, everyday events, which if observed, give freedom from the power of the outside to control us, from the power of the outside, to become our identity.

Are you getting it?

So, no real action has to be taken. You know, you do not really need to ‘do’ something, or go anywhere, or actively negate your thoughts. You just have to be little more thoughtful, conscious, and it becomes very clear that – “O! It happened there, and it is effecting me ‘here’.”

The more clearly you see this, the more frequently you see this, it starts becoming awkward then, to let your control remain somewhere else. It won’t be very nice, right? Every second minute, you are realising, that the world is controlling you, through a remote system. Does it remain pleasant? Would you feel nice that way?

But we all, the people around us, the entire world, allows that to continue, only because, we are not present to that fact. We do not realise that. That realisation itself, is liberation. Nothing else needs to be really ‘done’. It is kind of a slight, kind of an insult, to frequently keep on seeing, that my strings are being pulled by the world in all directions. And whosoever pulls my strings, succeeds.

One does not feel good with that fact. This ‘not feeling good’, is your freedom. Because, after all, there is no real string. The string is only mental. The string is ignorance. You realise and you are free.

In a physical sense, however, that mental freedom, may take time to show up, time to materialise. You might have a physical location, you might have a concrete timetable, you might have a certain routine. Realisation does not mean, that immediately your physical whereabouts will also change.

One might be there, trapped in some kind of enclosure, practically a jail, without ever knowing that he is trapped, that he is a de-facto slave. And then, he starts seeing that, where he is, every single thought and action, is commanded by somebody else.

At the psychological level, this is instant freedom. You see that you are being commanded, and you are free from the command. However, that does not mean, that physically too, he will become instantly free.

Whatever is physical, is a result of time, comes from a process, that extends over time, and hence, the physical manifestation, also takes time.

So, do not be worried, and do not start doubting, what I just said, if you do not see your freedom, expressing itself in a very material way. That material expression may take time. For example, you might be with somebody, since years. And now, because you are with that person since years, the company of that person is meshed in your daily program.

You go and catch the bus with him, you take your dinner with him, you watch movie with him. Probably, you have a joint membership with that person, in some club. It is a result of your long standing association. Then one day you realise, that the fellow, has actually been domination you, controlling you. That does not mean, that the next day, he will disappear from your life.

There is a long past. And that long past has its own residue. It will take time to be cleaned away. But rest assured, that the process starts. And then, it also expresses itself materially.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Acharya Prashant, with students: In the middle of conditioning, how do I get real freedom?

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Quotes, January’19

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1.

Love is a vast sky, it has no opposite.

It is so vast that it has space enough for hatred.

In Love, one hates as well, and that doesn’t reduce love.

Do not feel guilty. Provided your love is vast enough.

And you can have love so vast, only for Vastness.

A Vastness called Freedom.

2.

By reasoning out

your situation,

you try to remain

what you are.

All reasons are

hidden justifications.

Realise, don’t rationalize.

3.

Having lived rightly for long, one becomes incapable of living wrongly.

Having lived rightly for long, if one even decides to live or act wrongly for a while, he will face failure in his chosen wrong action.

The reward of living rightly: failure in one’s attempts to live wrongly.

4.

Enlightenment is a series of endless enlightenments, each one being complete and final.

5.

Being so enamoured by the Sun,

You keep watching the moon all night!

That’s Love.

6.

What is the way to Liberation?

Suffering.

An honest acknowledgment of suffering,

Without trying to hide or colour or glorify or rationalise it,

Is the way to Liberation.

7.

The great Intelligence that is never touched, spoiled, created or destroyed is not personal.

The person can decide to follow that impersonal Intelligence. And the person can also withdraw from the service of Intelligence.

That choice is always available and that choice is Maya.

8.

The spiritual pursuit faces humongous obstacles. It sometimes appears the entire world is lined against you.

We all are in a big holy war.

We will definitely lose some battles.

The trick is to not to mind the defeats, and quickly get ready for the next win.

9.

Questioner: What is the definition

of ‘Stupid’?

Acharya Ji: Knowing what is right,

doing what is wrong.

10.

Your interests, your welfare, don’t depend on things.

Witnessing means not seeking interest in anything. Not attaching your self-interest, self-worth, to anything. When you are not interested, you are the knower and the master.

Here, kingship comes only to the reluctant king.

11.

She troubled him for being awake at nights, “Your eyes are full of someone beyond.”

Helpless, he kept mum.

One night a mysterious tune woke her up. Since then, she dances all night to music.

And he laughs. He has had his revenge.

Love is so foolish it knows only one revenge: Love

12.

In the mirror, he saw many faces.

One wanted food, air, water, sleep, sex.

The second one wanted prestige, power, money, happiness.

A third one just looked on sorrowfully, sometimes at the two, sometimes at the distant horizon.

13.

If not religion, who will teach you secularism?

Secularism is a new religion; just that it isn’t yet deeply religious enough.

The development of secularism depends on its ability to learn from religion the value of meditativeness, devotion, and surrender of ego to the Beyond.

14.

The new, the happiness that you are looking for,

will not come through experience.

It will not come to you via time,

It is not contained in the future.

It comes when you are a little less

insistent upon cheating yourself.

15.

You had a dream,

you came to me,

and I have not helped you

reach there.

But tell me,

are you not glad

that now you are not

what you were?

~Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait

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Quotes, February’19 – March’19

1.

We all are bleeding in the fight

We all are fighting tirelessly.

The pity is:

We are all fighting the wrong battle.

The wounds are there.

The blood is there.

The sweat is there.

The tiredness is there.

The battle is wrong.

2.

Conserve your energy,

Train your thoughts,

Discipline your little self.

Time is precious, attention is precious.

To waste time, it is not necessary that you must do something wasteful.

It is enough to just worry.

3.

Humbly go

to the root of the mistake,

without feeling ashamed,

without a great self-image.

Look at yourself laughing,

as one looks at a joker,

laughing

at his own jokes.

Now you see

the mother mistake.

Seriousness is the mother mistake.

Don’t take yourself so seriously!

4.

This is happening, that is happening…

But whatsoever is happening is not big enough to trouble you.

That is Samadhi.

5.

Beware the man who thinks he understands.

6.

There is nothing called

self-purification

and self-improvement.

There is only one I,

and it cannot be improved upon.

And even if the false I gets improved,

only the false benefits.

How do you get better

by decorating your shadow?

Don’t improve the false,

just disown it.

7.

Was the thing the same before you perceived it?

If yes, why does the thing appear different every time you see it?

Was there a thing at all before you perceived it?

8.

Is spontaneity wonderful?

The spontaneous utterance of a sage is musical,

The spontaneous utterance of a fool is abusive.

Like everything else in life, the value of a thing or action depends squarely on where it is coming from.

9.

If you love, you want to help.

If you want to help, you will have to more clearly know the one who needs to be helped.

When you clearly know the one you want to help, there arises disgust.

That’s the challenge of love: to keep loving the one who provokes revulsion in you.

10.

Isn’t it a spell?

When you are out of it, doesn’t it all look clearly stupid?

Don’t you then curse yourself for being so blindly spellbound?

Obviously stupid it looks, but only after you’re out of it.

Why make basic freedom distant by giving it a fancy name like enlightenment?

11.

When you know

what is going on, then

you are liberated from that which is going on.

12.

It is not given to me to lie still.

The only way to see me still

is to match pace with me.

13.

The Truly spiritual man

is young in action,

and eternally old in realisation.

At the centre,

he is completely still,

like Shiva in mystical stillness.

At the periphery,

he is a lover and a fighter,

like Shiva in existential dance.

14.

What is commitment?

If I am not fit to get what I want,

then it is the ‘I’ that must yield, adjust, disappear.

The want cannot be compromised with. The want must, and will, remain.

It is the want that will shape, discipline and dissolve the I.

Commitment, Devotion, Surrender.

15.

When You are gone,then nothing matters. Body sans Heart.

When You are here, then nothing matters.

We then just casually play.

Will it matter if we win?

Well, not much.

Will it matter if we lose?

Well, not much.

The game is not meant to be won, it is meant to be played. Together.

16.

To touch

without leaving your fingerprints

– That’s the mark of

the shrewd criminal,

or the wisest saint.

17.

When you are one with the object of your consciousness, then there is just one entity, neither you nor the world. Both you and the world disappear.

This disappearance is the end of duality and end of consciousness.

A lightness free of consciousness remains, and this is awareness.

18.

If you find yourself stuck with suffering, ask: Is suffering sticking to me? Or am I sticking to suffering?

One sticks to suffering by sticking to the same breakfast, same friends, same cap, same habits.

When everything in life is being kept the same, how can life itself change?

19.

Just reading the Guru helps little.

You’ve to be near.

Physically as you live, you’ve to be physically near.

Even being within the seeing range of the Guru won’t help.

You’ve to be within smelling range of the Guru.

Actually, you’ve to be within slapping range of the Guru.

20.

We have a tremendous potential to suffer and a tremendous resistance to call our situation as suffering.

We name our situation as ambition, hope, desire, duty, passion, love, but never give it the right name:suffering.

We laugh aloud among others, and suffer quietly in our loneliness

21.

Even when you are totally drenched in melancholy,

You are able to cry only because you are still healthy.

22.

The best gift you can give to others is your own freedom.

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait

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

Is willpower really needed

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Question: Acharya Ji, how to improve willpower?

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

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

Listener: To have determination.

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

Listener: For our goal.

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

Why are we unable to act, and ‘do’?

Listener 1: Because of fear.

Listener 2: Because of restrictions.

Acharya Ji: Fear. Restrictions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is that not so?

Listeners: Yes, Sir.

Acharya Ji:

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

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

Listeners: No.

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

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

It is not needed.

Are you getting it?

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

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


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Quotes, April’19

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1.

If you want to most definitely reach,

Take the most difficult route.

2.

What is It?

More than everything, in general.

Less than nothing, in particular.

3.

If your lover speaks to you in a language you cannot comprehend,

does your love diminish?

No.

You may not comprehend his words, but still, you do understand.

What do you understand ?

Nothing in particular.

Not everything has to be intellectually comprehended.

Love is enough.

4.

Freedom is the backdrop in which bondage appears as bondage.

Freedom is the Light in which darkness looks like darkness.

If there is only darkness, there is no darkness.

Darkness means anything only in the presence of Light.

To not to feel bondage is to not to be in Freedom.

5.

Grace is available to you unconditionally, but not compulsorily.

She would come to your doorstep,and knock.

She will wait,not break open your door.

Answer the knock quickly,or the knock keeps getting dimmer and infrequent.

She isn’t short of patience,but you’re short of time.

6.

Those who are winning the war, matter.

They need to be saluted.

Those who are losing the war, matter.

They need to be helped.

Those who are absentees from battlefield, do not matter.

They need to be ignored.

7.

What you collect for your security makes you all the more insecure.

8.

Except for Prakriti,

who will tell you

of all the stories of

Parmatma?

And, well,

all his secrets?

9.

What does it mean to say “God is One? Truth is One?”

It simply means: Do not allow the many to lord over your mind. The world is many things. The world is many thoughts, moods, emotions, ideologies, objects, relationships.

Do not let these turn into your gods.

10.

The lover, the mystic, looks at the moon

and knows fullness itself.

Is the material just material?

A thing is the Source behind itself.

It appears as a thing only because you watch as something.

Watch as nothing,

and the thing reveals itself as it’s own genesis.

 

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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Gems from Articles, May’19

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1.

The only problem is – you want to change, but you want the changed state to be a derivative of current state.

You want the changed state, to be organically linked to your current state, which means that you really don’t want to give up your current state.

So, all ‘becoming’ fails.

All change is defeated.

2.

Change is wonderful.

When you want change, see what you really want.

Don’t change halfheartedly.

Change fully.

3.

Love is the urge to move towards That.

Gratitude is the lightness you keep experiencing, as you move towards That.

4.

Love is what brings Sudama to Krishna.

Gratitude is what Sudama feels, as he keeps coming closer to Krishna, and as he returns, after meeting Krishna.

Out of these, obviously, love will come first.

You love Him, you move close to Him.

He showers his bounties on you, Gratitude arises.

But obviously love cannot be in expectation of bounties.

5.

Gratitude is the realisation, that you have something beyond your capacity, beyond your eligibility.

6.

Often, the time that you save, is utilised to self-destruct.

Saving time would be great, if you knew how to use that time.

7.

Time has only one legitimate purpose – to help you move into the timeless.

Invest more and more time, into the service of the timeless.

If you want to save time, then save time from all the miscellaneous non-sense, time gets spent in.

Save time from there.

Do not save time, from the Scriptures and the Teachers.

8.

Truth is – freedom from the false. See what all is false, in the way you currently live.

Currently live.

Two things – ‘currently’, and ‘living’.

Go into your life, right now.

9.

Why is your time not committed, not dedicated to a higher purpose?

If you will have free time, what will you do? You will only use that time to destroy yourself.

Your time must be a something, that you are merely a trustee of.

When you are a trustee of something, then you don’t own it. Then you just look after it.

You maintain it, you keep it.

You don’t possess it, you don’t utilize it.

10.

Given a chance to really re-live your life, you will never want to live the same way you have done.

Even the most self-assured person, would want to greatly amend his life, if allowed a chance to begin again.

Is it not true?

11.

And these two must go hand-in-hand – a universal consciousness, and local action.

You cannot say that because I act locally, so my consciousness is also local.

No!

Because if your consciousness is local, then your entire person-hood will become very-very local.

You will become, in simple words, very-very narrow-minded.

12.

One need not always ask a question.

Listening is enough.

The ego tendency is one, and therefore, fundamentally the mind of mankind, is just one.

Therefore, the question asked by one person, is in some way, the question of entire mankind.

Even if you say that your question is different, you still have a question.

13.

If you have a question, this means the fundamental tendency still stands unresolved. The central knot, is still there.

So, the knot exists in one person, the knot exists in another person.

In one person, it manifests itself in the form of one question. In the other person, it manifests itself in the form of another question. 

So it doesn’t matter what the content, or the language, or the direction of the question is, it is actually pointing towards the knot, it is actually coming from the knot.

And that knot is common to all. 

14.

Fundamental knot is the same, queries differ on the surface.

When the Teacher responds, then even to a superficial query, the answer is deep.

So, he might be starting from anywhere, but he will go right to the central knot.

And the central knot stands untied, problematic, for all.

Therefore all answers are useful, even if one just listens, benefit would follow.

15.

Questions arise, you know, when one’s pre-existing concepts are challenged.

Then there is a question.

Questions arise when one’s conceptual and imaginary world, hits against facts.

Then questions arise, then one feels woken up.

A question represents an inconsistency in your life.

Only when there is something inconsistent in your life, then you want to ask a question.

16.

One has to arrive at an inconsistency, only then a question will arise.

One has to arrive at something unusual, only then a question will arise.

If the daily life is such that, it is just a repetition of the usual patterns, then obviously no question will arise. 

A question arises, when something strange happens.

17.

Outside our little, arranged and ordered world, everything is unusual. Everything is beyond our knowledge and comprehension.

It’s just that we are not exposed to it.

New situations are needed. Extra-ordinary events are needed.

A breaking out, rather a coming out, is needed.

And then, things will happen that you would be curious about. And then things would happen, in a way, that would belie your expectations.

If everything happens according to your expectations, why would someone ever ask a question? 

18.

There is a Sacredness, a Trueness, that is at the root of the world.

The world keeps changing, coming and going, the Trueness remains.

The world is many things.

To the Lover of the Truth, the world is an expression of the Truth.

To the hater of the Truth, the world is a competitor of the Truth.

19.

Do you see how the meanings of the world can change, according to the mind, that is looking at the world?

If you are the lover of the Truth, the world is a manifestation of the Truth.

If you are a worshiper of the Truth, then the world is an offering, a gift, a prasad from the Truth.

Whereas, if you are a hater of the Truth, somebody who loves to say that, the Truth doesn’t exist, then the world is a substitute to the Truth.

20.

Those who love the Truth, their world becomes truthful.

Everything in their world, gets arranged to serve the Truth.

It comes from the Truth, it serves the Truth.

It serves the Truth, so more comes from the Truth.

More comes from the Truth, there is more to serve the Truth.

The Truth is served even more, there is even more that comes from Truth. 

21.

All this expression is material.

But that expression is merely a result of the commitment, of the expressing one, to the Truth.

It is not merely their words, that are now arranged, configured, in the design of Truth, in the light of Truth, by the virtue of Truth.

Everything, even their body.

22.

If the words are so beautiful, there would certainly be great beauty, in sitting next to the ‘person’ of Ashtavakra.

The way they wear their clothes, the way they eat, the way they work, everything would be a scripture, provided you know how to read.

It is because everything that they have, everything that they are, is first of all, an offering to the Truth.

They have not kept anything for themselves, privately, reserved, personal.

All is there to serve, the One. The One.

When all is to serve the One, then all gets arranged, aligned, in the music of the One.

It depends on what you want to do, with your earthly existence.

It depends on your fundamental concept is.

23.

On one hand you know that, on the other hand you also know that the incomplete one, does not satisfy you.

Anything that is limited, and bounded, does not quench your thirst.

So you know that you want something big.

You want something big, you have something small, what to do with the small thing that you have?

Use it to reach the big thing, that you really want. 

Logical, obvious, common sensical!

24.

Change your concept of smartness.

When your concept of smartness changes, then you know who the real dude is. That’s worship.

If you are dumb, then you will just admire a few other dumb people.

If you are intelligent, then you worship. You worship the really smart ones.

They are called ‘saints’.

That requires you to be super-smart.

25.

This is what tells you, how Prakriti fails you.

Man gets attached to continuation, and in the name of continuation, man is robbed-off the precious resources, that should have gone towards his liberation.

Your precious resources, that should have been invested towards your liberation, rather go towards your, continuation.

To hell with such continuation.

26.

My real work is not to save, for the furtherance of my physical life.

My real work is: this.

My real work is not to fill, and bloat my bank account, for the sake of my physical security, and physical continuation.

My real work is – liberation. My liberation, your liberation.

I must work for that.

27.

Life should either be a great rhapsody in love, or otherwise it is just a spell of irritating noise.

Who wants to tolerate it?

There is no valor, or pride, in continuing to live.

Finish -off your work, and retire.

Go away! Go to sleep. 

There is no great virtue in living for a hundred years, and living like a maggot.

Turtles, crocodiles, they all live longer than men.

So what? 

28.

If paani-puri becomes liberation for you, then your kidney will complain.

So, rather than regulating your food habits, you should rather ask the question: Who am I?

Once you know, that you are the one who can never be satisfied through paani-puri, you will lose all fascination for paani-puri.

You don’t need to be tutored on what to eat, and what not to eat.

All that is largely useless. 

29.

A lot of suffering is just unnecessary.

If it is unnecessary, give it up.

A part of it is necessary.

If it is necessary, go through it.

30.

Technology is good. Science has provided man with medicine. All that is not just hot air, all that is meaningful.

If you are having a great headache, don’t tell me that your peace won’t be disturbed. If modern medicine can help you get rid of physical disorders at least, that helps.

No point quoting again and again, that you are the Atman, and nothing but the Atman, so no migraine, or no headache affects you.

Those who have headaches and migraines, know that these do affect. Keeping the migraine upon you, and saying that suffering helps, and suffering cleanses and purifies, is non-sensical. Give it up!

And then there is legitimate, and genuine suffering, that comes to you, in the process of self-realisation.

You will have to go through it.

31.

The more you open your eyes in the spiritual sense, the more you realise, that you have been exploiting others, just every bit, as much as others have been exploiting everybody else.

And then, it is not pleasant to come up on this realisation.

One suffers.

32.

And, I assure you, what you call as ‘self-realisation’, is never going to be pleasant.

It’s not going to be blissful or something. It’s always a bit of a heartbreak.

One sees the futility of one’s life.

One sees that how tremendously misled, one has been. And all that hits the ego.

One gets hurt.

It is never pleasant to get hurt.

 33.

One has to let that suffering come, and one has to stand very vulnerable to it.

One has to bow her head down.

One has to say, “I see that I have been not only blind, but I have been needlessly blind. All my life, I have just deceived myself.”

One’s self-esteem falls into pieces. One has to be prepared for all that.

And all that, I said, entails suffering.

You will not reach Truth, with your ego intact.

34.

 We have been taught to look down upon ourselves.

Love yourself. Respect yourself.

And then you will not accept hurt.

And then, you will not be prone to inviting hurt.

35.

We do not have basic, simple, innocent, self-love.

We keep inviting hurt, and equally we are afraid of hurt.

36.

One of the key lessons in spiritual wisdom, is to keep imagination apart from facts, is to not take your ‘personal world’, as ‘the’ world.

It is already bad enough that we take ‘the factual world’, ‘the world’ to be real.

And it would become far worse if we started taking even our ‘personal world’, ‘the imaginary world’ to be real.

37.

The mark of the commoner is, he lives in his personal world, and attributes to it, the finality of Truth.

The mark of the scientist, is that he does not live in his world, he does not care about subjective interpretations of the world, he lives fully in facts. So his science is fully objective, and does not contain trace of personal subjectivity.

The scientist is obviously, an advancement over the common psyche.

And then the mark of the spiritual mind, is that, it does not lend veracity even to the factual world.

37.

Prove it, and any number of proofs do not suffice to ascertain the veracity of something. But one proof against the veracity of something, suffices to prove that it is false.

That’s the scientific mind.

And then there is the spiritual mind.

The spiritual mind says, “Not only is the imaginary world unreal, even this objective, factual, scientifically proven world, that you see, expanded all around you and inside you, is not quite real.”

38.

The more you live in your world of subjective perceptions, the more foolish you are.

39.

Travel helps you see that several of the things, opinions customs, mindsets, you were taking as absolutes, or general, universal, are not universal at all. 

There are alternate viewpoints possible.

There are alternate ways of living possible.

40.

A thing to which an alternative does exist, is just not the Truth.

If it is not the Truth, it must not be given the position of Truth.

It must be taken lightly, casually, with a pinch of salt.

41.

Do not be sold out to it.

Do not become a fanatic.

Do not hold your opinions, as if they are the last thing.

But, if you have seen nothing, apart from opinions of your personal kind, then you would be much more inclined to believe that you opinions are not personal, or subjective opinions of a person, or a place, but that they are the final Truth.

42.

It is always helpful to see an alternative.

It is probably even more helpful, to watch your point of view challenged, even defeated.

All of that helps you, come out of your false truths.

43.

The key challenge is not the attainment of the infinite.

The key challenge is to come out of the finite.

And that is far more difficult.

We keep talking of the immense, the great, the unknowable, the unreachable, the absolute.

But hardly do we bother to challenge all the relatives, all the littlenesses, all the subjectivities, that we so very identify with.

And not only do we identify with them, we label them as the – final Truth.

44.

Challenging your personal truths, is most of spirituality. Those are the ninety-none steps. Ninety-nine steps of the personal demolition.

And the final step, that just happens.

What is incumbent upon you, that for which you are responsible, is personal demolition.

45.

You are not responsible for attainment of the absolute Truth.

That is not at all your responsibility, because you are too small to do that.

However, you are surely, definitely, responsible to challenge yourself.

That responsibility everyone must bear. That is the basis of personal integrity, personal honesty.

46.

Personal integrity is – to not to take the ‘person’ too seriously. 

47.

When was the ego born?

When ‘I’ was born.

As long as you keep taking yourself, as the born one, as the one who took birth one day, and who would die one day, the ego is definitely going to remain.

48.

This is what is ego – a thing of time and space.

A thing that is severely limited by time and space.

And therefore suffers.

And is therefore debilitated.

49.

Do you now see what desire is?

All your desires are limited to time and space.

You could also say that, all your desires are related to your limitations in time and space.

All your desires are related to your limitations in time and space.

50.

That is why, those who have known, the saints, they have said, that it was not the great thing that happened to you – the human birth.  But now that it has occurred, you better make the best use of it.

But it would have been far-far better, had you never really been born. Now that you are born, strive to come out of this incessant cycle of birth, and re-birth, and death. In fact,  that’s what is liberation. That’s how the orient has known liberation – liberation from the cycle of birth, re-birth, and death.

Because the moment you are born, that is born, from which you seek liberation. The moment you are born, you are born along with that, from which you seek liberation.

So, why be born at all?

51.

If you are burdened and troubled, then surely you must move.

But if you are burdened and troubled, but your movement has to be, with the intention of, and in the direction of, un-burdening.

52.

If I am burdened, and as a result of the burden, I run, then the purpose of the run should be to un-burden myself. So, it’s great that you are running everyday.

Now, what remains to be asked, is the question, that whether your race is helping you to be unburdened.

53.

I am a great supporter of movement. If one is at the wrong place, one must move, and one must move fast. One must run indeed. And one must energetically run. I seriously support action. But action ought to have a purpose. The purpose is decided by the state of the actor.

If the actor is in bondage, then the sole purpose of the action has to be, the liberation of the actor. Now, are you acting towards your liberation. Look at your daily actions. Are they contributing to your liberation? Or are you rather acting to enslave yourself, even more deeply?

Action is good, action is inevitable. But what is your action leading to?

54.

You can even ask yourself, “What am I doing? What am I expending precious time and energy towards?”

While it is a matter of celebration, that you are capable of running, capable of energy, it is an equally serious concern, how you are expending yourself?

Because time and energy won’t last forever.

55.

Something that remains untouched, unmoved, only that is something, that can really look at what is trying to move  it.

56.

You will be able to ‘see’ nothing, if that which you are seeing, moves you.

That which you are ‘seeing’, must not be able to move you.

Otherwise, your seeing will stop.

57.

You do not merely ‘see’ something.

You allow the thing to influence you. You become the influenced one.

You forget that the seen thing, and the seer of the thing, are both not you.

You become one with the seer.

The seer is bound to get influenced. That cannot be avoided. What can be avoided is, that ‘you’ do not become the seer.

58.

The place where you are, is not a place of consciousness. All consciousness is in between these two – the subject and the object. You are where you always were. You are at your one unshakable position. You are, where there is no space. You are where there is no territory to run to. Now where is the question of running? Even if you want to run away, there is no space to run away.

You are at a place where space and time do not exist. All space and time is here, in the dimension of consciousness, in between these two(the subject and the object). You are somewhere else.

59.

Let the interested one, remain interested.

‘You’ have no business to be interested.

60.

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.

61.

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.

62.

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.

63.

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’.

64.

It is one thing to think, it is a totally another thing, to think with the objective of self-preservation.

65.

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.

66.

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.

67.

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.

68.

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.

69.

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.

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.

70.

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

It is not needed.

~ Excerpts from Shabd-Yoga Sessions.


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How to deal with pain and hurt?|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How to deal with pain and hurt

Question: How to deal with pain and hurt?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

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

You are hurt because you are available.

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

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

Life hurts and wounds, only those who are jobless.

Why are you jobless?

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

What is that job?

The life-long mission of Liberation.

You have to be fully employed there. It’s a full-time job, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three sixty five days a year. But you do not do justice to real occupation. You steal time. And then your punishment is, that the world will hurt you. 

Your theft costs you very dearly.

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

Otherwise, life will beat you down very badly.

You have been entrusted with time, not so that you while it away. You have been entrusted with your fifty or eighty years, so that you make the best use of every second.

Your time is not your personal property. It has been entrusted to you.

You better use it for the designated and assigned purpose.

Somebody asked the Satan, “How do you corrupt a being?” He says, “It’s easy. I just whisper into his ears, ‘Your time is your time’.” And that’s the assumption we all have bought into – ‘I have the personal time.’ Not a second of your time is your’s.

Caught in petty politics, caught in this and that, whenever you will come to me citing these things, I will have just one quick question to ask, “From where did you get time to be caught in pettiness? You thief.”

It’s like entrusting a kid with his books, and you have told him to be with his books, the mathematics lessons to be finished-off. And after a while he comes and says, “You know daddy, I got bruised in the football field. Look at my knee, it’s bleeding.” Before I offer him any first aid, I will probably offer him a question, “Why did you steal time in the first place? You were supposed to be with the book. Why did you violate my trust and run away with your brat friends? Why?”

So the band-aid will come later on.

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

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

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

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

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

You know whose trust I am talking of? The One who gave you time. He gave you time, trusting that you will use time piously. He didn’t give you time to smoke it away.

Questioner 1: Acharya Ji, while feeling pain, if we start to look at it from a distance, so who is the who is looking at the pain? Is it the ego? What should we do in such situations? Should we watch it from the distance?

Acharya Prashant Ji: If you are watching pain, then you are interested in pain. If you are not watching pain, then you are even more interested in pain.

You go to a dispensary, where kids are being vaccinated. When the needle goes in, some of them very keenly watch it. “Oh! The needle is going in.” Why? Because they are interested in the process. They feel they have a stake in the process. So, they keep watching the process. “Oh! The needle is going in.” Aghast!

And then, there are some who are so interested in the process, that they get terrified. And when the needle goes in, they start looking elsewhere. “It is such a deadly sight, we do not even want to look at it.”

Whether you are watching the needle go in, or whether you are avoiding the needle go in, you are interested in the needle in both cases. How come you have so much time to watch pain? Why aren’t you occupied with something else? I assure you right now, some part of my body is paining. Am I watching it? Not at all. Am I not watching it? Even that is not true. I am just elsewhere.

The body is where it just must be. I am where, I must be. Why are you with pain? What is the body? A storehouse of pain, what else? But if you start associating with the pain, it becomes your personal suffering. Let the pain be. For how long will you avoid pain? After all, you are a product of pain. Ask your mother.

Questioner 1: Is it some kind of escaping from body?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

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

You do a lot to stick to the body. 

I still ask you: “If you are occupied in something really worthwhile, would you really care for something like pain?”

Even an ordinary sportsperson would tell you that when you are pursuing something even as normal as, victory in a match, pain ceases to be a big botheration, unless it is crippling. Then you have to be carried on a stretcher.

(Pointing at a group of listeners in the audience) It’s noon Sun that is falling directly on them, are they bothered? I don’t think they are even taking cognizance of it. It is not even reporting, because they are where they must be.

The Sun is where it must be, the body is where it must be, why are you not where you must be? Why are you wandering here and there? Why are you so homeless?

There would never be a day when the body would not pain, believe me. And I am not talking of old-age and infirmity. Ask these young people. (Looking at a bunch of youngsters sitting in the audience) “Is there never a day when no part of your body pains for a while?”

Listeners: There is never a day.

Acharya Prashant Ji: How much do you want to concern yourself with stuff like pain? This body is anyway going to pain a lot one day, and be reduced to ashes.

Question 2: Does it mean we should never think of worst moments of our life?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You have to be busy, absolutely busy with the Absolute.

Questioner 2: And how to do that?

Acharya Prashant Ji: He will teach you.

Questioner 2: And what about life’s plans? How do we go about them?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Junk them.

Your plans are anyway of no avail.

Ask Him what to plan and how to plan.

Yes, in asking him, you can plan for little things, little things like reaching on time, so that you may ask Him.

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

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

Watch the session video: How to deal with pain and hurt? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Freedom from expectations || (2012)

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Acharya Prashant: Are we young? Are we really young? To be young means, to be energetic, means to be open. Oscar Wilde had said, youth is lost on the young. Do you understand its meaning? That we only turn young in the body. Either we remain a child throughout life or enter old age directly, bypassing the real youth.

Do I really have to go too far, to enquire why am I living like this! And ‘Why’ still comes later. First, do I know ‘How am I living?’ Why am I doing engineering? Whenever I sit in a class, why do I get bored? Are we able to clearly look at these ways of our day to day living? Am I just dancing to the tunes of the external world in this life? Is there something really mine. One doesn’t need to go and read books to see ‘How am I living?’ One just needs to look at oneself, one’s actions with clarity. You are in the second year, most of you must be thinking about the jobs, whether you will get a good one or not? Always, buffeted by doubts, queries, insecurities, confusions.

Wherever I am, am actually never there -strained between the pulls of the past and the pulls of the future. Let us first look at our life.

When I honestly do this, only then will I realize that life is precious. I am important. And it cannot be wasted away like this. There must be something more to life. But that wholeness, that completeness, which life deserves, that you can give to it only when you first realize the incomplete, the fragmented, the divided, ways in which we are living.

First, become sensitive to your own suffering. Only then there is the possibility to go beyond it and live a rich, full, joyful, energetic life.

We are getting recorded here, and if right now I ask them to record the expressions on your faces and then I show that recording to you. For a moment if you forget that these are your faces, and if I ask you are these faces looking joyful. Then you yourself will say, no, they are rather looking depressed. What has happened to them! What made them like this? These people don’t look like young, energetic youth from any angle. So, first, we have to really understand this state of ours.

But we have become so accustomed to our own misery, that we have no realization, no sensitivity left to ourselves.

My request to you is, become a little more sensitive to yourself. Don’t be so cruel. We are utterly cruel towards ourselves. We do not even know how we are feeling. Given our so-called emotions, are nothing but conditioned reactions.

Become a little more sensitive, become a little more responsive towards yourself! Yes? Would you?

Is there anybody who wants to say something?

Student: It is about expectations. People keep expecting out of us, but no one would ask our expectations from them.

AP: Meghna, These expectations are a part of a trade-off that you have agreed to. These are part of a business transaction that has your approval. This I would rather call as, ‘extracting my pound of flesh.’ You see, we know how people are, we know how society is, we know how we are, we know how the families are.

If we give just a hundred rupees to somebody, we want it back. Right? Or we want some return of some kind. Now, somebody who is spending lakhs and lakhs upon you, you are taking that money from him, right? As adults. And you are not kids, three or four years old.

You are all adults. If you are taking lakhs and lakhs from somebody, rest assured he will extract it back from you. If not in cash, then in kind. Just to maintain a facade of relationship, the fellow may not ask you to return money in cash. But then, it will have to be returned in some way or the other. It will have to be returned in some way or the other. And hence, you are pressurized to follow other’s expectations. Can a man on the road pressurize you?

Students: No.

AP: Can just anybody come and pressurize you? No. Only, the one to whom you have surrendered by way of obligations, only he can pressurize you.

I am very very surprised, in my campus happened to be one of the most prominent institutions in this country. More than half the students were studying on education loan. Not that their parents were beggars, not that they really desperately needed to take a loan. But they had taken a loan because they wanted to remain free. And when I visit colleges of your University, I do not find many students on education loan.

How many of you are on education loan here? One.

Now, is it any wonder that when you are taking lakhs and lakhs and lakhs from a person, that person automatically now gets the right to decide your future. When he is giving you so much doesn’t he now get the right to have a decisive say in the future?

Why are you doing that? All of you are adults, and we all know how much workload is there in the University! There is nothing. Absolutely nothing. But then you would go and beg for pocket money. Why can’t you do some small work, some chores and earn some stuff for yourself, at least for your daily expenditure? And then you claim that we are being pressurized! Others think that we are a slave and want us to follow their expectations.

You are the one who is making yourself a slave.

Nobody can make you a slave without your consent.

You are giving your consent to becoming a slave.

You withdraw your consent and you are free.

But withdrawing that consent would mean moving out of your comfort zone. Would mean that you do not squander away your time away, after college hours. Would mean that you actually go, work and earn something for yourself. Are you prepared?

Freedom does not come free.

Freedom has to be earned.

Are you prepared to earn your freedom?

Freedom from expectations, freedom from obligations!

Are you prepared to earn your freedom?

I do not hear anything from you. You are not at all prepared to earn your freedom. And hence you will remain slaves. You have chosen to remain slaves. Nobody has forced slavery upon you.

The day you decide, the day you see that I am free and I deserve a free life, you will actually be free. But first, let that realization come. Unless that realization comes, nothing can happen.


Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant, with students: Freedom from expectations.

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


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Acharya Prashant: What is the best thing you can get for free?

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If you can understand the answer to this question, then you already have the best free thing. The best free thing is ‘understanding’ itself. Well, just that understanding is not a thing, and the best things in life are, as they say, not things.

Think of it. Many machines, many computers can read this answer that I am writing here. But only a human being can ‘understand’ this answer. A machine can mechanically analyze, or interpret this answer. A machine can even translate this answer to a hundred different languages. But no machine can ever ‘understand’ what I am saying. For that matter, no machine can ever ‘understand’ a verse from the Gita, or a common statement as ‘I love you’.

We get that gift free, right? Understanding. But since it comes free, many of us don’t value it and don’t live by it.

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Acharya Prashant: Difference between believing and realizing?

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It is a strange thing, and paradoxical. Must be understood with care.

Is there a need to tell the free one that he is already free? It would be absurd and useless to do do.

When I say, “You are already free”, to whom do I say that? To the free one? No!

To the free one, I say nothing. He needs no advice. He can, though, give advise to many.

I say “You are already free” to the one who staunchly believes that he is NOT free. Why do I say that? The answer must be obvious.

In spirituality, no statement is a statement of Truth. Truth cannot be contained in a statement. So, statements by Teachers are not Truth, but just useful devices.

Useful devices? For what? Useful devices to cut down that which is untrue or false, and therefore damaging.

Since “I am unfree” is a highly damaging belief, so to counter it, I say “You are free”.

The purpose is not to give the listener another belief: “I am free”. So, if someone comes to me with a strong belief that he is free, I tell him, “You are not free”.

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Acharya Prashant: About changing one’s religion for love

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Question: Can I change ‘my’ religion for the sake of someone I Love?

Acharya Prashant: What do you mean by religion?

If religion just means following a particular code of conduct, if it means that I am loyal to a particular book, if it means that such and such will be my pilgrimage centers; If that is what is religion, then this religion is just something that you have been conditioned to believe in, it is just a belief system! And belief systems come and go.

Today you can believe in one thing, tomorrow you can believe in something else. These beliefs anyway have no permanency. They don’t have a deep root. Because these have been externally implanted. They are not coming from a very depth, the very soil of the mind. So, they can change. That is how people keep on changing their religions. Every year, lakhs of people change their religion. These religions that can be changed, they anyway don’t have any worth.

But that is not the true meaning of religion.

Real religion cannot be changed.

What you can change is your cult or your sect, ‘panth’, that can be changed. ‘Dharm’ cannot be changed.

Because there are no different religions.

True religion is just one.

How will you change it? There is no second religion.

Where will you go? Yes, there are many sects. There are thousands of sects, but there is only one True religion. And that religion is not about the following something. That religion is not about visiting a temple or a church or a mosque. That religion is not about being loyal to a particular book.

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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.

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Acharya Prashant: How to really listen to the Guru?

Question: In one video, you said that to listen to Krishna, you need to be Arjuna. To Listen to Ashtavakra also you need to be Janak.

To listen to you, what should the person be?

Acharya Prashant: The person should not be insistent on being the ‘person.’ That begins with not seeing the speaker as a person and not imagining the listener to be the person. If here a person is speaking sitting on this chair, then surely there is another person sitting on another chair who is listening. Now, listening cannot really happen. Because persons cannot really relate to each other.

A person is a limitation.

Limitations can associate with each other. But limitations cannot relate to become limitless.

You take one limitation and you associate it with another one, you do not get limitlessness. What you get is another limitation.

One person listening to another person will not listen to the Truth. He will come to some opinion, some conclusion, something of the mind or attitude. But he won’t come upon Truth or silence.

To listen to me you need to forget all about yourselves. And you need to forget that what you are listening to is a person’s personal viewpoints.

If you will insist on saying that what is coming to you is somebody’s personal opinion, then no person ever has the obligation to be non-resistant to another person’s opinions. Opinions by definition are meant to be analyzed, judged, dissected, then partially accepted or rejected.

You will have to see that that which speaks from this chair is the same that listens from that chair, or listening simply doesn’t happen.

Till the time there is A speaking to B, listening cannot happen.

Only Truth listens to the Truth.

Only that within you can listen to me which speaks from within me. And they are one. Which means that there has to be a certain unity between the ‘listener’ and the ‘speaker.’ I said,

to listen to Krishna you need to be Arjuna. But it’s not really Arjuna who listens to Krishna. It’s Krishna within Arjuna that listens to Krishna. No Arjuna can ever know Krishna. Even to look at Krishna, Arjuna requires eyes that are bestowed upon him by Krishna.

You’ll have to give your listening a total chance, a total freedom. And that is a very impersonal freedom. You’ll have to simply drop giving importance to all that is personal about the speaker.

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Acharya Prashant: Is liberation possible for a householder?

(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here)

Acharya Prashant: Pradeep Ji is asking, “Dear Acharya Ji, I don’t know what kind of wound I am carrying inside me, that I am having a constant feeling of ‘leave me alone’, towards the world. From morning till evening, I am running like crazy, driving to office in mad traffic, followed by corporate pressure to do things unwillingly. Bearing stupidities of people around.

I get out of the office as if I came out of a madhouse, tired and frustrated, and it’s already night. I eat and sleep. And the roller-coaster starts again. But since I need to run this crazy race, I feel that my blood is sucked by parasites, and there is a wound, a cry from inside, that I am carrying.

I cannot get rid of this wound. I want to jump off this train, but I can’t, because of these responsibilities. I feel I am a dead machine, thrown on an assembly line, or the other things inside me, drilling holes, hammering, and finally thrown out.

I can’t leave the family, as they are dependent on me. And I am too in, some or the other way, dependent.

Acharya Ji, in such a situation, what should I do?

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Pradeep Ji, the way of instantaneous freedom, instantaneous departure, is not for the householder.

The ‘Law of Karma’, and the result of Karma, ‘The fruit of actions’, always holds good. Cannot be violated. One is held to the past, by a thousand actions, memories, and the pending fruits.

Immediate and quick liberation is then possible only through total psychic departure.

A kind of a Spiritual death. That is often unlikely. Keep working, you will have to go step by step.

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Acharya Prashant: How to deal with limitations of those around you?

(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opporunity to connect to him directly, click here.)

Acharya Prashant: Shweta is saying we all are limited and we may have this interaction here but as I move into the world, the so-called real world. I only encounter limitations.

The help that we are talking of, is not always forthcoming. But then Shweta, why do I need to be dependent upon somebody else. We have said life itself is the biggest help.

Life itself is the biggest help.

Others are limited but it depends upon you, whether you allow others limitations to become your own limitations. We might be living in the world of the blinds but that does not mean that we too close our eyes. Yes, of course, there is great pressure upon us to do that.

You know there is a story. There was a village. And that village had only one well from where everyone drew water. Someone came, some mischievous fellow came and put a poisonous drug in that water and now that water became such, whosoever will drink it will go mad. Everybody in the village drank that water except for one man he looked at the people around, he looked at their insanity and he understood that drinking this water would make me insane. He said I will not drink this water.

But now everybody around him was made! Just as now you said Shweta, everybody around you is limited. All of the mad people would say, that we are fine and they made a society of normal people and of course, all these so-called normal people were mad. And this society declares there is only one mad person in the village and who is he? The fellow who did not drink the water and who was not mad.

Now, this sane fellow started facing a lot of difficulties because wherever he would go, all other madmen would treat him with disrespect and Life became very difficult for him. Life became very very difficult for him. What was the way remain in front of him? Yes…To himself drink the water. So one fine day he decided.

He said if I want to live then I have to become like them, mad. Because only a madman can survive in the society of madman. He said let me also become mad only then I can survive. So he decided that I will go the well and drink that water and become one like them.

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