Why do you want to get married? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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

Why do you want to get married

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! Currently there is a lot of pressure on me to get married. I am completely confused about this decision. I am not mentally prepared for it right now. I feel incompleteness in my life, and I want to settle things in my life.

There is a lot of pressure, but I am still holding on. This issue is taking lot of my time and attention. What to do?

Acharya Prashant Ji: 

Companionship is wonderful. Be with one person, ten persons, anybody who helps your mind be centered. Being with such a person, or a group of persons, is wonderful.

If marriage is another name for beautiful companionship, wonderful. But what matters is not the social institution of marriage, but the fact that you are with someone.

When you are with someone, the presence of that someone, will necessarily have an effect on you, and vice-versa.

You must know the effect that the other’s presence have upon you.

If someone’s effect has a becalming effect on your mind, soothing effect on your mind, illuminating effect on your mind, liberating effect on your mind, go ahead and boldly be with that person or persons, as much as you want to.

But be with them, only as long as their effect on you is liberating. And be with them only as long as you do not become dependent on them, neither they become dependent on you.

It has to be a mutually healthy relationship, not a relationship in which you enter because of sexuality, or loneliness, or social pressure.

You already have enough troubles, right? You don’t want to invite another trouble into your house, into your bedroom. Do you? But yes, if someone can bring Joy and Truth to you, invite them right into your heart. And then marriage is inconsequential.

With the right person – you marry, wonderful. You don’t marry, wonderful. With the wrong person – you marry, bad luck. You don’t marry, bad luck.

What do you think, only married people have troubles? You might be single, you might be a bachelor, and still you may have very bad company. And then you are equally troubled, as a husband and as a wife is.

It’s not a matter of being in that institution. The question is: What brings you that institution? Look around, see why people marry. Do they marry because it’s an affirmation of their divine love? Is that how it happens? Seriously?

In our country (India), most people marry because that’s the only way to get some good sex, good and assured sex. Otherwise, the fellow would have to spend a lot of money, or a lot of time, or both. And may then still return empty-handed. Isn’t that so?

Now if one marries for such a reason, or many other prevalent reasons –

“I will have someone to look after me when I grow old.”

“Muma needs someone to share her daily chores.”

“Grandpa is very fond of kids.”

“All my friends have married, now I have nobody to watch the movies with. They don’t take me along. I feel like a left-out if I am single.”

“These days they don’t allow me entry into night-clubs and pubs. Stag-entry is expensive.”

If these are your reasons, then look at your mind. Sort out your mind, and with a sorted mind whatever you do, would be right. There have been liberated ones, who have married. And there have been liberated ones who haven’t married. It doesn’t matter.

What matters is – liberation.

If you are sorted and liberated, go ahead and do whatever you want to.

And if you aren’t sorted and liberated, whatever you do would be wrong.

An action that arises from fear, will only lead to more fear.

An action that arises from conformity and deprivation, cannot lead to Freedom.

Questioner 1: Currently my feeling is that, I am in the process of sorting my mind. I don’t know whether I am right or not. But the current feeling is that, if I take some more time, my mind will get sorted out and things will be clearer to me. That’s the current state of my mind.

Acharya Prashant Ji: People who are recuperating in a hospital, can avoid discotheque for a few days.

Questioner 1: Acharya Ji, I want to ask one more question on relationships.

Some people gang-up, and when you identify that it’s a ‘gang’, you clearly avoid it. But sometimes, there are one or two people in that gang who respect you, and you too respect them genuinely.

What should be our response to them?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When they are ganging-up, in that moment they are not respectable. ‘Respect’ is not a permanent tag that you give to someone. When they are in a frame of mind that is worthy of respect, respect them. And when they have ganged-up with unworthy ones, with debauched ones, in that moment are they still worthy of respect? No.

So don’t label people as ‘respectable’ or ‘not-respectable’.

Look at their actions.

Question 2: Acharya Ji, one of my friends pushes my pain-buttons all the time. He is the most irritating person around.

Acharya Prashant Ji: And he is your friend.

(laughter)

Questioner 2: He cares for me.

Acharya Prashant Ji: By pushing your buttons?

Please sort this out.

A fellow who irritates you, and keeps your mind agitated, why is he present in your life as a ‘friend’? How exactly is he taking care of you, if his presence leads to an unsettled mind? What are these ‘tags’?

The only definition of a friend is: Someone who brings you back to yourself, to your Serenity, to your Peace.

That is the only ‘friendship’ possible.

And that is also the definition of ‘love’.

Isn’t it?


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

Watch the session video:

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How to identify the right company for oneself? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

right company

Question: How do we know, with whom to stay and whom not to stay?

Acharya Prashant: Whosoever makes you feel free, must be there in your life. Whosoever brings freedom, must surely be in your life and whosoever creates bondages upon you, bondages of any kind either implicit or explicit, must not be welcomed at all.

Even to see whether what you are doing is in awareness or lack of awareness, you require freedom. Bondage cannot be a route to freedom, and remember this cannot be said to an 8 year old. An 8 year old sometimes requires to be told, to be lead but none of you is 8 years old. At your age, bondages have no place in life, at your age, the biggest disservice that can be done to you is to impose a particular code upon you. The only way you can be helped today is by setting you free, and whosoever does not set you free is not your friend but your enemy.

That enemy might be a hidden enemy, it may contain a name of a beautiful relationship, it may even appear to be sacred but it is an enemy nevertheless. Remember, no body accepts the bondage if he/she knows that it is a bondage. Nobody would accept to be chained if he knows that these are chains.

Why do we accept to be chained?

It is because chains come in lovely names.

Can a person sitting far from you create chains? Only the person very close to you can be your enemy. The person who is far away from you cannot put you in bondage. If I tell you I am going to enslave you, you will resist and run away with all you power. But you will not resist if I say that I love you and I am coming to you for emotional and sentimental reasons. Then all of you would willingly become slave, and that is the most deceptive and dangerous slavery; because you are willingly accepting, the slave will not even know that I am a slave. He will not realize that he is a slave and continue with the bondage.

Somerset Maugham has written a beautiful novel ‘Of Human Bondage’, it is a thick volume and the entire piece is the story of how a man lives in all kinds of chains all his life without realizing it. Sometimes in the name of duty, sometimes in the name of love, obligations, responsibilities, religion, sometimes in the name of social convention and we never realize it.

We must realize the moment we talk of bondage, the first name is of parents. Now I never said that parents are putting you in bondage, and I assure you there are parents who are wise enough to not to put their kids in bondage and only they are real parents, only they are real friends of their children. Other people do not realize that they are enemies of their children. It is not that there intention is not right, but they don’t realize, they don’t have the awareness.

They are acting like the enemies of their own kids, their intentions don’t matter, and it is the intelligence what matters. Somebody has said that ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’. Intentions do not matter, what matters is that you realize, whether you are aware; and parents are not aware because parents are first and foremost conditioned persons, human beings, as deeply conditioned as anybody else.

See, today you see yourself as ignorant, and you realize that we are not aware. Now given the age group you are in, you too can become parents. One year from today, if you decide, you can have a baby in your hand. Now will that change anything?

You are ignorant today and when the baby comes will you suddenly become wise just because you have produced a child?

Every animal on the roadside is producing a child, does that makes the animal wise?

Nature brings you to a particular age and in that age every specie reproduces, including human beings. Now what is so great about parents, but then you are conditioned to believe that if somebody is a father or mother, he would be divinely great, that he would be suddenly wise. There are teenage pregnancies where 16 year old becomes mother, does this makes her wise?

They are absolutely stupid, but the kid will grow up saying, ‘This is my mother and mother is incarnation of God.’ And that will just be conditioning.

You are an adult, parents are adults, and the only healthy relationship between an adult and another adult is that of friendship.

There is a Chinese proverb which says that, ‘When the father and the son start wearing shoes of the same size, then they are no more father and son. Then they must be friends.’

Now, the mother is an adult, the daughter is an adult, where is the question of mother and daughter?

These should be two ladies talking like friends, not dependent upon each other. Relating to each other in a loving and healthy way. But we do not have love in our relationships, we have bondages and where there is bondage can there be any love?

A chain is that which prevents your fundamental nature from expressing itself.

What is our fundamental nature?

It is to be joyous, it is to be free. Do you see any blade of grass, any animal, or a human child that likes bondage? This is the nature of the entire existence is. In the entire existence, freedom prevails except in human mind.  The human baby is born free and then you teach the baby to remain in bondage which is alright, because the baby has to be a dependant till a particular age.

But the problem is most people get stuck at the mental age of 10 and 12 year old. Till 10 or 12 you remain little dependant, it is inevitable, it is obvious as the child does not know. Those who advocate bondages are mentally stuck at the age of 10 or 12.

After the onset of puberty, a different process must begin and that is the process of freedom. If the parents are really loving towards their kids they would initiate the process of freedom. Most parents do not do that, because they are not aware enough to do that. They treat their 18 year old just as an 8 year old. They think that my daughter is still 8 years old. They do not see the obvious that she is no more a girl, she is a woman and she needs to be treated like a woman.

Even the law says she is an adult, even the law allows her to elect the leader. The entire world and nature knows that you are an adult and you must be free, but parents will not see that. You have a driving licence, you are allowed to drink and marry, allowed to vote, to go abroad. In every matter of life you are now grown up and need to stand on your own feet, but parents do not realize this. Parents will not see that and the worst part is that we become so habituated to conditioning, that we start getting attached to our chains.

A prisoner who thinks that handcuffs are beautiful bangles can never be set free, who thinks the four walls of jail are walls of a beautiful palace will never go out of the jail and that is the deepest crime that can be done towards anybody.

There is only one way of looking at any relationship: Does it set me free?

When I am with that person do I get closer to myself or does he take me away?

These are the basics, whosoever is your friend will always bring you closer to yourself, your real nature of truth, of freedom and love.

Whosoever is possessive about you obviously does not love you, he does not brings you to yourself rather takes you away. Whosoever is attached to you, dependent on you or makes you dependent on himself, obviously he does not love you; because love is none of this and that person is not worth being with.

You can help that person, but that is another thing.

You cannot help a patient by becoming sick.

Our love is like ‘Gandhaari’ (a character from the Mahabharta Epic), if my husband is blind I will also chose to be blind but this is not the way.


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

Watch Full Discourse: How to identify the right company for oneself? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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We have been taught to be dependent in a thousand ways.

Our entire upbringing and education has been such that we’ve been taught to be dependent in the thousand ways. We’ve been told, for example, that we must top the class. Now remember, to top the class, you’ve to be dependent on others. How? Because not only your performance is important, it’s also important that the others perform badly than you. So, there is dependency. “I might do very well but there’s somebody else who’s done better still. I can’t top.”

“You’re good only when the entire society and the entire group of relatives say that you’re good.” So, your being good is now dependent on the opinion of so many people. There is no absolute standard, it’s all relative. If they say you’re good, you’re good. And if the neighbor comes and says, “Mr. Sharma. Your daughter is disappointing.” Then both Mr. Sharma and the daughter are gone. Their day is spoiled. The daughter does not know herself. And even Mr.Sharma does not know, neither the daughter, nor himself. Are you getting it?

Parents tell their kids, “We will be proud of you when the entire world claps for you.” Now what is this? Do you want to ruin your child’s life? “Don’t do this. What will they say?” Is that not a statement that you’ve often heard? “Duniya kya kahegi.” Now you’re being constantly conditioned to become dependent.

Entire system of education, examinations, certifications, you’re only as good as somebody else says you are. There is always an assessing body outside of you. The result has been that even in this young age we’ve lost the capacity for self assessment. We’ve lost the faculty that can look directly at itself. You know yourself only via somebody, only through somebody.

If you’re to ask yourself “Who am I? How am I? Where do I stand?”, you’ll find that you don’t have any answer. And that’s horrifying. And if you have any answer that answer would surely be an answer given by somebody else. It would have been supplied to you by somebody else. Even supplied is a very soft word, it would actually have been implanted in your mind by somebody else.



Read the complete article: The deeper is your dependency, the deeper is your fear

The deeper is your dependency, the deeper is your fear

21125331_1485233508231414_8341813784503617778_oListener: Why are we always scared? In a class if I’m sitting and I’ve to ask question to our teacher, then why do we always think that what people will think of us if I ask this question?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

L: I’m Kiran.

AP: Kiran. Sit Kiran. First of all it’s a little amusing that the one who’s confidently getting up and asking the first question is saying why am I hesitant to ask question. Kiran who’s hesitating to ask, you?

L: Now I’m confident to ask. But few years back I was not so confident. I just wanted to know that reason.

AP: Leave that Kiran. That Kiran is gone. This Kiran is no more nervous. Is she nervous? In front of everybody she’s interacting, sitting right in the front seat. The moment I say ‘Ask’, she shoots the question. If anybody is not nervous here it’s you. The others should ask, “Why are we hesitating? Why can’t we just come forth and speak?” Read more

Be a good friend of the mind.

We have been told only two things, either become the servant of the mind indulge in whatever it tells you to do or become a renunciate, a saadhak and learn to control the mind. Both these directions are directions of division, where you are dividing yourself against yourself. I am talking about something totally different. I am talking about defending the mind. And you know what defending the mind means? It means that “The book is open in front of me but the mind says, “That mobile phone is so attractive. I want to be with that mobile phone. and you say alright, you want to be with that mobile phone, let’s be with the mobile phone, let’s see what you want to do? Do whatever you want to do, I will not stop you. I will just remain present.”

Let the mind do, what it wants to do. Remain present along with the mind, do not leave it alone. Good friends do not leave each other. At the same time, they do not try to rule each other. They also don’t judge each other. Be a good friend of the mind. “You want to go there, I will come along. Whatever you want to do, do that but do that in front of me, in front of my awareness. I’ll watch what you are doing. Do what you want to do, let me just watch.” And then you will discover what the mind wants. And then you will discover why it rushes about in such a mad way, in such particular directions. And that will be a different knowing altogether. Are you getting it? 



Read the complete article: How to prevent distraction of mind?

How to prevent distraction of mind?

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Question: Sir my name is Anshul Negi. I want to ask you, Sir, How to concentrate on studies and focus my mind when it is distracted by other components and these components essentially lead to what I love to? So studying here now in modern toxic form. So, how to continue with these components and focus on studies?

Acharya Prashant: Repeat your question, please.

Question: Sir basically I want to ask “How to concentrate on Studies and focus my mind more towards it?”

AP: Anshul first of all do not give too much importance to the words ‘Concentration’ and ‘Distraction’. Your question essentially is “How to concentrate on my studies and how to prevent distraction?” Right? Read more

You don’t really want lust, you want love

You think that lust will provide for your deepest spiritual need. You think that by getting a woman, you will get some kind of liberation. Don’t you see how mad you are when mortal love strikes you? Do you see how ecstatic you feel when that happens which you call as falling in love? No, it is not merely the arrival of a new woman that has made you go bonkers. The woman has come with the hope, with a promise, the woman has come as God to you.

It is not the arrival of the woman that you are celebrating, it is the arrival of Godliness that you are celebrating. That is why you are taking lust as you friend. Lust brought the woman to you and you are thinking that now through this woman you will get some peace and that is why you celebrate that woman. Later on of course you discover that no man or woman can give you peace. So, your hopes are dashed.

But in the interim you get some opportunity to keep wallowing in your misplaced hopes. Krishna wants to liberate us of our misconceptions. So, he says that these are enemies -anger, lust, attachments. All of them bring false promises to us. All of them, in the garb of bringing us closer to the goal, to god, only keeps us separated. That is why, lust has to be called an enemy. When you stop looking at lust as a friend, then lust is neither a friend nor an enemy. Then you are free of lust, then lust is free of you.

Free of lust, you are relaxed and beautiful. Free of you, lust too is free and beautiful.

You had asked, “How to have love rise from lust?” By seeing that you are in lust not for the sake of lust but for love.

Objects just attract each other. The ego is not really attracted to objects. Objects attract only each other. The ego is attracted only to the one who would really bring contentment to the ego. But the ego uses objects as means when you can see that all your lust is for the sake of love. You are using lust just as a means. You don’t really want lust, you want love. Lust is a means. Then you can let lust just be and move directly to love. When you see that it is not at all effective to use lust as a means of fulfillment then you leave lust in its own place and you move on. Rather, you move back to your own place.



Read the complete article: Can love arise from lust?

Can love arise from lust?

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श्रीभगवानुवाच:

काम एष क्रोध एष राजोगुणसमुद्भवः

महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणं 

The Supreme Lord said :

It is a lustful desire & resulting anger born of Rajas, which is sinful & all- devouring; know this as your true enemy in the world.

Bhagvad Gita, 3.37

“Love has to arise out of Lust. If you avoid lust, you will be avoiding the whole possibility of love itself. Love is not lust; true but love is not without lust – that too is true.”

Osho

Question: Lust is said to be an enemy in the Bhagvad Gita, but Osho says that out of lust love arises. How to have love arise from lust? Read more

That which you desperately seek is made distant by your seeking

Mind makes God a problem. By keeping God away, it makes God a problem. Do you see this trick of the mind? It uses even God to sustain itself. It is such an ugly thing to do. You have made God into a problem.

You come and ask, you sit here and ask, “Sir, how to reach God?” What a problem. Now if reaching god is a problem then certainly you, the valiant one, you the intelligent one, you the heroic one are required to tackle the problem.

And then you also require some Guru or some shopkeeper to suggest the way to beat that problem. “You come, I’ll tell you how to attain Moksha in eight steps. It’s a three month course. And that’s the enrolment desk.”

Now unless there is a problem, how can a solution be sold? So if you want to sell something, first of all it is necessary to convince the other that there is a problem.

The wise ones who loved us, in their compassion have always told there is no problem, there is no separation. What are you trying all these methods, techniques, tricks, acrobatics for? They are not needed. You are making a fool of yourselves by keeping Love, God, Truth, Essence, Core – distant.

That which you desperately seek is made distant by your seeking.

Stop seeking and you are there. Instead you have been told that you must seek intensely so that you get it. I assure you that the more intensely you seek, the more intensely you remain the seeker. There is pleasure in remaining the seeker, there is respectability in remaining the seeker.

It depends on you, what do you want. The real thing, or the pleasure and respectability of remaining the aspirant.


Read the Complete Article: That which you desperately seek is made distant by your seeking

That which you desperately seek is made distant by your seeking

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“If the beloved is everywhere, the lover is a veil. But when living itself becomes the friend, lovers disappear”

~Rumi

Acharya Prashant: It is popular, conventional, and sweet to talk of the Truth, the God as the beloved and the mind, or the ego as the lover. That has been the norm in various traditions. That is how a lot of poets have expressed themselves. And the mind delights in thinking that way.

Here we are being challenged to look again and look sharply at the lover. When you say that you are the lover, or the seeker, or the aspirant, what is it that you are saying? I repeat, the lover is the one who wants it. The seeker is the one who is seeking liberation. When you say that you are the lover, or the seeker, or the aspirant, what is it that you are saying?

We like to say that, don’t we? We like to say that we are fond of the Truth, we like to say that we want the Truth. We like to say how is it possible to reach or achieve God or Truth. And that sounds nice, that sounds nice as an intention. It sounds nice. Because morality says that we are trying to do something good, we are trying to reach God; it ought to be nice. But in having that as nice, something important is being missed. What is that?

Read more

What kind of mind needs entertainment?

What kind of mind needs entertainment?

The restless, bored mind.

Now, what is important? To find a solution to the problem of entertainment or go to the root problem? ‘Why am I bored at all? Why do I need entertainment?

Obviously, I need entertainment! All the shopping malls are crowded in the weekends. Everybody needs entertainment. And why do people need entertainment? People need entertainment because they do soul sapping jobs throughout the week.

For five days I do something, I shouldn’t have done, so last two days I want to get away somewhere. They have those weekend getaways, weekend parties. What should I do in this situation? Entertain myself more or look closely at the boredom? For five days of the week I am being killed, last two days I want to drink a lot. What should I do? Drink more and more or avoid being killed? If your friends help you get more and more entertainment, are they really your friends?

If they are removed, chances are you will get the space to look clearly at the real problem.

You are stressed out because there is the possibility of the weekend. Why do I tolerate my Tuesdays and Wednesdays? It is because there is a Saturday and Sunday awaiting me. Remove Saturdays and Sundays and people will stop tolerating their Wednesdays and Thursdays. So Saturday and Sunday are the reason why all the torture of Thursday and Friday is tolerated. Remove Saturday and Sunday, and things will be alright. Nobody would then engage himself in such mindless work.


~ Excerpts from the article, ‘Friends, jobs and the need for entertainment

Read more on BOREDOM :Why is life not lively?

Free to befriend and free to offend

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Question: Sir, in the morning, we were listening to Kabir. So, there was one of the doha which said, “Na kahu se dosti, na kahu se bair” (Neither friendship nor enmity with anyone at all). Usually, when you listen to it, it feels similar to what you also say that a Real man would be dishonest. I probably felt that this is what is being said. He would not be the same always.

Acharya Prashant: His friendship would be Real. It would not be a carry-over from the past. Similarly, if he offers resistance or resentment to something, even that would be Real; born by the fact of the moment, not carried ahead as a tradition. Read more

For real action, let the Real act on your behalf

Questioner: Let’s say, you have a couple of friends, they would come, they would stay, you would sit together and you have fun. And then sometime they leave. So, for that moment you think you are right but then the things turn upside down and you start thinking that they were bad people. So, if for a moment it was right, then how can it turn so bad?

Acharya Prashant: That is the nature of our friendships and that is the nature of all our relationships.

Q:  That was just an example. You have said that when we come to know that things are right, we put a full stop and we are happy with it.

AP: No! No. The full stop proves that the thing is right.

Q: But then after sometime when things turn out to be wrong, then where does that full stop come?

AP:Here is my soul mate and this and that”.

The fact of the matter is they are still looking out. The fact of the matter is it is only a question of how big and lucrative the opportunity is. The fact of the matter is the prince charming of dreams is always illusive. And whosoever you are with, the eyes are still looking out for that illusive prince charming. And if he comes, then this current boyfriend will be out. In no time will he be out. So, the search is perpetual. The search never seizes. We know that. We may claim that, “Now that I am married, things have come to a full stop and now I am no more searching”. But we all know we are always searching, like a corporate employee. You may be in a very good job but you are always looking for the next hike. Are you not? And it all depends just on whether you get a good enough offer, a good enough hike. A good enough hike and you will quit the job that you swear your allegiance to.

Read more

How to deal with social pressure?

Question: Sometimes when I try to do the work which I really want to do, society opposes me. How can I get rid of all that?

Speaker: When you will really want to do something, then all opposition will be your fuel, the force that will be against you, will become your helper. Circumstances are just that, circumstances; thing that are on the outside. The decision to allow them to become all important is always yours. And remember you will never be found in circumstances that have nothing to do with your being. The louder you cry and complain about your circumstances, the louder rings the question, “Why are you in these circumstances”? The more you say that people around you are horrible, the more I want to ask you, “Why you are living with horrible people?” That makes you appear more horrible than those horrible people. Those people may be horrible because they do not even know that they are horrible. But you claim to be the wise one, why are you still found with them? And then you make a big show of it. And then you raise a hue and cry. You sing aloud of your providence. Read more

If others can predict you, others will enslave you

KG-10“Thus, I became a madman

And I have found both freedom and safety

in my madness;

the freedom of loneliness

and the safety from being understood

For those who understand us,

enslave something in us.

Khalil Gibran

Question:  Why is Khalil Gibran saying that those who understand us enslave something in us?

Speaker: The context, in which Khalil Gibran is using these lines, has to be seen. When he says ‘loneliness’, read it as ‘aloneness’; when he says ‘understand’, read it as ‘think of’. What he is saying is that, those who are able to know us via thought, are able to know us only in terms of material; name, form, shape, size, time, past, identities. So, those who know of us in terms of these time and space bound variables, have a relationship of master and slave with us. They act as the master and slave, and we too act as the master and slave. Only such is the quality of the relationship.

Read more

If a leader needs followers, he will never let them be free

Question: Sir, you have said that a real leader does not need followers. I want to understand this.

Speaker: To understand this statement, you will have to go into the word need.

What is a need? When does one need something outside of himself?

Followers are people, other people.

When does one need other people? What is a need?

A need is a feeling of incompletion. A need therefore is a dependency. A need therefore is a sense of being weak, of being inadequate, of being not total without something else or somebody else. And hence, to have a need of another person or another thing is a kind of an inferiority complex. If you are with this, till this point; what follows will be readily clear to you. Do you understand need? Read more

To relate in love is to relate free of experience

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Question: Sir, how can we relate in love?

Acharya Prashant: Let us take a very basic kind of example, starting from what we usually interpret by ‘love’. Suppose there is a friend, and you love your friend. She is your childhood friend, and you love her. Because she is your childhood friend, there are a lot of experiences that you have had with her. Am I right?

You remember images of her when she was three years old, six years old, ten years old, then fifteen, and now twenty. And now she is in front of you, and you are talking to her. Have you ever wondered whom do you talk to? Do you really talk to the living fact, or do you talk to the entire domain of your experience?

You have thousands of images and memories, and you talk to them. You don’t even bother to look deeply, sharply, lovingly at the living thing. Because you already have experiences. “I already know her.”

Pay attention to this.

The doorbell rings, you open the door, and your father is standing at the door. Right? When you open the door, whom do you find? Your father. Now there is another case. The doorbell rings and a stranger is standing at the door. In which of these two cases are you more likely to look sharply at the face of the person?

Listeners: In case of the stranger.

AP: That is our misfortune. Strangers, we can look clearly at. But we are so insensitive and so unloving towards our closed ones that we hardly ever look directly, carefully, sharply at their faces. Why? Because we have experiences with them. “Oh, Daddy! I already know him. He comes home every evening. What is new about his face? Twenty thousand pictures are there. I have seen his face a billion times. What is there in his face?”

But you never realise that Daddy’s face is not the same as it was when you saw him last. The face has changed. The moment is new, and he deserves that you have a new relationship with him and not a continuation of the past. You cannot say, “Another day, another evening, same Daddy.” But is that not how we live? When you go back home today, will you look at your mother as if you are looking at her for the first time? Will you do that?

(Silence)

Unfortunately, we do not do that, because we already have experience. There can be no love now. That is why when young lovers meet, initially there is a euphoria. And after one year, it’s all over. Because now there is…

L: Experience.

AP: Experience. Her eyes were so beautiful. Now it is the same. Do you say, “Such a new smile, I have never seen this ”? No. You say, (mockingly) “She is smiling daily the same way.” (Laughter)

The fact is actually the smile is different every time she smiles. But because of your experience, you cannot see that. The smile is actually different every time, but experience prevents you from realising that. So love and experience do not go together.

Next time when you meet somebody close to you, meet as if you are meeting the first time. It is no big problem if you even forget the person’s name. It is alright. You can ask the name, but it is the bigger problem if you remember everything. We remember everything. We are slaves of our memories. This incapacity to forget is a huge burden on the mind.

We live in memories, and experience is a memory. I am serious about this. Forget the name of the fellow. That is alright because the name can be known again but If you remember everything that has happened in the relationship since the last ten years, then that relationship is dead. Then it really needs revitalization.


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

Watch the session: To relate in love is to relate free of experience

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Love is not an isolated explosion, it is a continuous resonance

Article 2: If you are fond of playing the game of Love, then come over

Article 3: True Love always involves three

What is depression?

Question: My question is about depression. For quite some time I have been observing that the mind is like a sine curve. There are highs and there are lows. But the lows are more frequent and wider than the highs. Why it is so?

Speaker: Lows are lows. The problem arises when the highs are also lows. Then all that you get is only lows. In a sine curve you ought to have lows and highs. Now lows are lows, but it becomes tragic when the highs are also lows. What is sad and depressing is indeed sad and depressing, but what was supposed to be exciting and wonderful, that too turns out to be sad and depressing. Then it is a betrayal of hope. Then it is indeed twice depressing. Read more

The mark of a good word is that it takes you to silence

Question: When I talk about it, it is easy and understandable. But when the real moment comes, every part of the body feels fear. Is talking anymore important for me now? Do I need to be just there and not deviate when the moment comes? Read more

Why do I get jealous?

Question: Sir, when two people are at a same level, and if one of the two moves ahead, the other is mostly not comfortable of this fact. Whereas had the same person, been a stranger to him, the second fellow would still have been comfortable. Why is it so that knowing someone, leads to problems including jealousy?

Speaker: There is very little left to be answered here. The fact has been rightly stated. It is just that you have known the fellow since a period of time, and now the fellow is changing. Obviously you cannot ignore the fact that you have known him. Obviously there are images from the past, and compared to those images the fact of today is different.

I am not asking you to forget the images of the past, I am not asking you to look at that man in a new light, I am not asking you to look at him as if you are looking at him for the first time today, because that is probably not possible for you. You have been too close, too intimate for too long to look at the man afresh. Yes, you have a past, and yes the changed man is standing right in front of you. Now if you really love the man is not this a cause worth celebrating? Isn’t this a development to be rejoiced!

Do not forget that earlier he was with you. Because you will not be able to forget! But today, if he is unlike you, should you not celebrate this fact? Or would you rather mourn and complain and be jealous. If jealousy is arising in you, it’s a fair opportunity to reflect on the quality of the relationship that has already been there. jealousyI have been with somebody, and I do not like the fact that he is refining. Now has this a relationship been of love? Had it been of love, I would have been happy. I would have said, “Great that you are moving ahead. I love you even more now. I loved you then, and you are far more lovable today!”

Or would you rather regret and rue? Your child gets seventy marks in one examination, and in the next examination he gets eighty, do you feel disappointed? What do you say? It’s great that he is improving. Then why do you feel disappointed when your spouse starts getting ten percent more in the exam of life? He is improving, he is a better man. Celebrate!

But you can celebrate his refinement, only if first of all you value refinement. (Sarcastically) “I loved you for your crudeness, I loved you for your ignorance, I loved you for your violence, I loved you for your servility, and I do not value freedom, refinement or wisdom.

When I do not value refinement or wisdom or freedom, how will I love a wise, refined and free man? How will I love?”

Somebody getting ten more marks is a very gross event. It is obvious and visible that from seventy, there is an increase to eighty, and I wanted that increase. Right? But if you don’t want that increase, then that same increase can be a cause of regret. “Oh, I didn’t want that increase, it has increased.” Marks increase from 70 to 80, you celebrate! But if your weight increases from 70 to 80, you don’t really celebrate that much. It’s a question of value. You value marks but you do not value weight. You start calling yourself ‘overweight’.

Do you value ‘wisdom’? Do you value ‘peace’? Do you value ‘understanding’? Do you? And if you don’t value these things for yourself, obviously you cannot value these for your husband. First of all you have to value these for yourself. A wise woman would thank the heavens that the husband is gaining in wisdom. A free mind would fill up with gratitude that the partner too is gaining freedom. So, remove the spouse from the question, remove the other person from the equation. Look at yourself. “What do I value? What have I labelled as important in life?”

When you would be rightly valuing, not somebody else, first of all yourself, when you would be rightly knowing what is valuable, then you would value all the right things, all the right people, and all the right developments. Then you would not resist them. Then you would not wish that things would have been better, had this not happened. “Oh, you were better off earlier, why don’t you become the same old man? I miss what you were one year back.” Then these things will not come to your mind.

Have your heart at the right place. When somebody is waking up, and you are really friends with him, then wake up along with him. That is the only way to keep company, that is the only way to maintain the friendship. There can be no friendship between the running and the limping.

Listener: What if there are two people, both at the same level. One person who is known to me and if this person rises up, it causes a wrath of jealousy in me. However, the other person is not known to me, and if he rises, there is no jealousy. I even think that probably he deserves it. I might even be happy for him.

Speaker: Factually unfeasible. Movement means ‘comparison’. Movement is always from A to B. If you are saying that this person is showing a movement it means that you have known him in the past. You cannot say somebody is improving without having a standard to compare him against. How do you know somebody is improving? Only by knowing firstly what he has been. Do you understand what I am saying?

Listener: What about the relationship then?

Speaker: Ah, attachment!

It’s alright. Be attached, but to what? What are you attached to? I will not just announce that attachment is bad. I am saying that it is alright, be attached, but what are you attached to? There is something about the man that was there in him two years back that you are attached to. What is it that you feel attached to? His ignorance or his love?

If you are attached to his love then he is becoming all the more worthy of love, kindly be all the more attached. Wonderful! Divine attachment! But you will have problems if you are attached to his darkness. And what gets attached to darkness? Does light get attached to darkness?

It is your own darkness that is fond of darkness. So I’m saying, forget the other person. Look at yourself. Dispel the darkness within and then you will value all that is light. Being dark within, how will you value light?dispel darkness

If there are people in your life who are not happy with the fact that your eyes are opening up, that you are able to look at the world clearly then please know that this resentment is not coming from their light. It is coming from their darkness and hence this resentment cannot be made important. If your friends taunt you, when you turn up for the clarity session, then they are not your friends in the first place. Please understand this.

Friend by definition is a well-wisher. A friend by definition is a man who would celebrate if you are improving. Not a man who would be jealous and irritated seeing you walk the path of liberation. He is not a friend at all. But don’t condemn him, because if he is not a friend to you, firstly he is not even a friend to himself! He is his own enemy, how can he be a friend to you?

We make friends with so many people, without even asking, “Is that fellow a friend to himself first?” He is his own enemy, how can he be my friend? The one who does not know what is good for him, how will he know or like, what is good for you? He is bound to resent it. How can you give importance to their resentment?

– Excerpts from a Clarity Session held at AdvaitSthal. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Why do I get jealous?

Read more article on this topic:

Article 1: Ego will not understand this world, but will demand a Reality beyond
Article 2: Place of ego either at the Master’s feet or in the Master’s embrace
Article 3: The ego hates light and truth