On Jesus Christ: Why do we want to ‘see’ first and then believe?

Question:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

Thomas had a great doubt about the resurrection of Jesus. Why is it so necessary for us to see first and then believe? Then after seeing we doubt our seeing. How do we rid ourself of this suspicious attitude?

Acharya Prashant: It’s obvious Nimisha. We are people identified with the ‘body’ and the ‘senses.’ So we would believe only that which the senses tell us.

It’s not really necessary for everybody to visually, optically, see first and then believe. Such a thing is necessary only for the man who believes in his eyes. Only the man who believes in the world that he sees with his eyes would want the proof of Godliness admissible through the eyes.

He has already declared that what the eyes are showing to me is True. That’s his belief. That’s his fundamental assertion. What my eyes are showing to me is True.

So, when you would tell him that something is True, obviously he would demand that it would be visible through the eyes.

Isn’t it obvious?

He is saying what the eyes are saying is True. He believes in the body, he believes in the eyes, he believes in the world. Now, you tell Thomas such and such thing has happened. Jesus is back. He would immediately say that if he is back then my eyes should be the proof. I should be able to see him. And not only should I be able to see him, my hands should be able to feel his wounds. Because this is the man who lives by sensory experience.

He says that this is True, it exists (pointing to a glass in his hand) because the skin is offering a proof of its existence. You can feel it via the skin. So even to be certain that Jesus is back, he’s saying that I should be able to verify his existence through my skin.

The one mistake that such doubting Thomas’s make is that they do not see that what they are seeing is not really True. They do not know Trueness. Instead, they have a concept of Trueness which is ‘imperfect.’

Real trueness is time independent.

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To break-up or not to break-up? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Question: How to get rid of a relationship that gives pain in leaving?

Acharya Prashant: A few things must be clear.

One, if it is really a bad relationship, then you can have no pain in leaving it because the pain is already there.

How can there be a pain in leaving it because there is a lot of pain in living it?

You cannot have pain in leaving it; rather you are leaving the pain.

Second thing, dropping a relationship, does not mean dropping the other person. If you think that dropping the other person will lead to a change in the relationship, you are mistaken.

All your relationships are fundamentally a reflection of yourself.

You chose the other person.

If you remain the same, then you will find another person to have the same kind of relationship with.

You are a drunkard; you go to the market to fetch some liquor. If one shop is closed, what will you do? You will go to another shop, establish the same kind of relationship with that shop and get the same kind of intoxication from that shop.

You may keep changing shops, that does not change the relationship.

It is a very fine thing that you must understand. You can keep changing persons in your life, and yet you will find that your relationship is just the same because you haven’t changed. You have kept dropping the persons, you may keep changing shops, but wherever you go, you are just asking for liquor. So your relationship with any shop is just the same. Even if you are going to a shoe shop, you are asking for liquor.

That is one approach, the other approach is, “I chose the other person and if I remain the same, I will keep choosing persons of the same quality.” Why drop the person? Every person is a universe. What do I relate to,  in that person? What does that person become in my presence? Can I let the person ‘be’ and rather change the relationship?

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An unnecessary relationship

An addiction is defined as something that is external, very difficult to get rid off; nevertheless.

There are no good or bad addictions. An addiction is just what it is — “An unnecessary relationship.”

Addiction says that you need something. Need is the first addiction. Whatever you claim that you need that is your first addiction.

That which begins as ignorance and dreams, cannot end as understanding.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Man’s most fundamental addiction


 

Acharya Prashant: Man’s most fundamental addiction

Acharya Prashant: Man’s most fundamental addiction is ‘man’ himself. ‘I am’ is the most fundamental addiction.

An addiction is defined as something that is external, very difficult to get rid off; nevertheless.

One can get rid-off an addiction. This feeling of taking oneself as one takes himself to be is the most fundamental addiction — the “I’’ tendency.

We are so staunchly addicted to it that it seems impossible that there can be oneself life without our conception of the “I.” It seems not only difficult but altogether impossible. It appears so difficult only because we are very deeply addicted. It is the addiction that starts with the first breath. It is the addiction that starts probably even before the first breath.

The tendency to take oneself as a limited being, as a body, as a personality, as a set of principals and concepts, as everything that one thinks himself to be. From that addiction, the hundred other addictions are born. That is why treatment of addiction is such a difficult thing because unless the ‘mother addiction’ is treated, treating the other addictions remains a problem.

It could be addiction of money, material, person, drugs, substance abuse, all kind of mental distortions. Whatever be the specific name of the addiction it invariably arises from the central mother addiction itself. That is why you remove one addiction and man finds himself trapped into another one. In fact, often addiction therapy is just about finding a suitable addiction. Don’t you see how addictions are commonly taken to be treated? A boy seems to be taking to drugs, the well-wishers would say, “well, let him indulge in sports” or if he is a little elder parents will say, “let’s marry him off.”

Do you see how one addiction is used to counter way another? It is because Man fundamentally can’t live without addiction. Because our fundamental definition itself is based on a great ‘attachment.’ Addiction is an ‘unnecessary attachment.’ For that which we are, it is totally unnecessary to be attached to that which we think we are. It is unnecessary but it becomes the foundation of life and that is all quite unfortunate.

There are no good or bad addictions.

An addiction is just what it is — “An unnecessary relationship.”

Whatever you can do without, is unnecessary and if it persists for long and deeply, is an addiction.

There is a lot that one can do without. The more you can do without, the better you do. The more you tie your existence to stuff, the more bulky, heavy, loathsome and tired you live.

Getting it?

Addiction says that you need something. Need is the first addiction.

Whatever you claim that you need that is your first addiction.

A need implies incompleteness. That which you call as ‘ego,’ is another name for an addiction to incompleteness, you may call it addiction to incompleteness or you may just call is incompleteness, they are the same thing.

Listener: Then addiction shows someway. For example, somebody is addicted to camp?

If someone is addicted to camps than he is not coming to camps at all then he is coming to some other place of his dreams.

L1: If somebody is addicted to some particular type of behaviors, can be his behaviors develop some understanding?

AP: Addiction in the beginning itself means that there is no understanding. What you are asking is similar to asking that if one dreams of camps, then will he benefit from a  camp? If one dreams of holy-scripture, then will he benefit from holy- scriptures?

The holy scripture is secondary, what is primary is the dream. Whatever is happening, is happening in the dream state. And in a dream state how can there be any understanding? It doesn’t matter whether you break your head with a brick or with a voluminous book? If you take a thousand page bulky book and bang it against your head, will it hurt less? The beginning of addiction itself is an absence of understanding. One must clearly see that the beginning of something cannot be different from the end of it.

That which begins as ignorance and dreams, cannot end as understanding.



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

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


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Core value is ‘Clarity’

Why can’t my response to a situation arise directly of my out of my intelligence? Why do I need an ideal? Why do I need an ideal to show me the way? Why do you need to give me ideals? Don’t I have the power to understand? And can’t my action come out of my own power? Why do I need the support of an ideal? Why?

Every course of action and its opposite course of action both are alright in a different situation. So, how can there be an ideal response? 

Your very fundamental core value is ‘Clarity’ except that there is no core values.

Ideals obfuscate ‘clarity.’ So, anybody who will have ideals as core values will find that he is missing out on clarity. That clarity has also been given the name of ‘emptiness.’ Emptiness because it is clear, clear of everything. It is empty. That is the only core value. A little ahead that core value takes the shape of a few other core values. They are called Truth, Joy, Love, Freedom.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

L1: Acharya Ji, my question is on the applicability of idealism that is practicality of idealism. Basically, an idealism and practical approach both are separate, It cannot be together. But if some people try to bring idealism in the practical life. It’s always like to creates a problem. Like we all are on and off face the problem which becomes a prison for saying the Truth.

So, what my question is does idealism that applies to the practical world does it create the issue and problem that was meant to solve the issue and the problem?

Acharya Prashant: Good! Pranay?

Pranay has asked the question the gist of which is that following ideals often lands one into trouble. What to do when the situation is like this? What are the Ideals?

L2: Ideals are ethics. Just as my Life is there and there is no conflict in between me and my favorite personalities and I keep on following him and practicing him.

AP: Can you simplify it a little more? I don’t know what the ideals are. You need to educate me. What are the ideals?

L2: Which are right things.

AP: What is the right thing?

L2: Which doesn’t land us into the problem.

AP: How do you know that it is right to express your hands like this? You just did that. How do you know that it is right to look that way? You just did that. How do you know? Can you have an ideal for every situation? And life is moments and remember a moment is not a second. A moment is infinitesimally smaller than a second. And for every moment you need some kind of a response right? Some kind of a right response. Can you have an ideal to guide you?

What is an ideal answer to the question that I am posing? How do I know? How do I know that it is ideal for me to ask you this question? How do you know that it is ideal of you to listen attentively?

Ideals sound like a well-meaning word but what are they? What are the ideals?

Alright! Let me try something and tell me whether it’s okay. I am saying ideals are some kind of predetermined response to a situation. When the situation is like this you respond like this. X comes to you and your output is Y. That is an ideal, right? Input X output Y. Is that an ideal? Is that not what an ideal is?

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Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


 

Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?

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

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Questioner: Kumar Abhishek.

AP: Sit, Abhishek.

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

Abhishek, where does the goal arise from?

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

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

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

Ask yourself.

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

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

Listener: Future.

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

L: Right now.

AP: Right Now.

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

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

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

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Attention

Attention is when the mind that is split, the mind that has come far away from the home wants to return; when all these splinter elements of the mind want to get reunified and reunified at the center.

So, when you just want to know about something, it is not attention.

When you are really curious in your inquiry that is also not attention.

Attention is when you want to reach the utter depth and you will not stop at any point in between.

Attention is when you say that I have to reach the very Truth, which is at the foundation of anything.

Basic definitions of Awareness, Attention, Understanding, and Intelligence

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Acharya Prashant: Kundan (questioner) has asked for these four terms: ‘awareness’, ‘intelligence’, ‘attention’ and ‘understanding’.

The word awareness is meaningful in only in the context of the word consciousness. Consciousness is a divisive phenomenon. To be conscious of something is to be something and know the other thing. Consciousness is always in duality. You always say, “I am conscious of something.”

When you go close to what you are conscious of, when you are really inclined to know and realize the object of consciousness, then you soon discover that it is impossible to know that object without turning inwards. You have to know the subject also. The more you want to know the object the more you have to turn towards the subject. The more you turn towards subject the more you see that the subject and object are inseparable; that they are the one. If they are one, then the distance between the subject and object disappears. Now there is no telling apart, they are one and hence there is nothing. Subject and object hold meaning only when they are separate. Read more

The whole fun of wisdom

That is the whole fun of wisdom, of spirituality—certain thoughts just don’t come to you.

It is not that new thoughts of a special variety start coming to you; not at all.

It is not that a spiritual man thinks differently;
it is just that he does not think most of the stuff that you keep thinking.

It is not that there is some special characteristic about his mind;
it is just that his mind does not carry most of the diseases that your mind carries.

Spirituality simply means that most of the thoughts that are so automatic right now with you, will stop occurring.

And it is such a relief, such a mercy.

Is there anything in our living that is beyond us?

I am not denying that one needs basic sustenance, but basic sustenance has to be basic.

It cannot become the ‘be all and end all’ of life.

We need to, very honestly ask ourselves this question, “Is there anything in our living that is beyond us?” “Is there anything in our living that will outlast normal human pettiness?”

And when I say outlast, I do not say it in terms of time, I do not mean in terms of other people remembering you and raising statues in your memory. I do not mean something in terms of future, I do not mean in terms of time after your death. I am talking of a beyondness right now, not twenty years later.

As you move around, is it just a body-mind complex moving around, hunting for its needs, for food, for water, for recognition, appreciation, respectability or is there a different quality to your movement?

And if that quality is not there, you sincerely need to ask, “Why do we move around at all?”

Non-duality and duality are One

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Question: Sir, where does mind get power from?

Acharya Prashant:  Power is always in the context of doing something, achieving something, acting upon something.

What does the mind want?

Peace.

So, all the power that the mind has is directed towards getting peace. What can reach peace? Can disturbance reach peace? So, surely the mind is powered by peace itself. Read more

What is Religion?

Speaker: So, this morning we are here, trying to look at what is Religion. It would be easy to go into this deeply researched and heavily documented topic as just another objective topic, but I wonder, whether we ask ourselves some very subjective, very personal, very intimate questions. I wonder, whether we ask ourselves, “Why we wake up every morning?” I wonder, whether we have really asked ourselves, “What brings us, here, to this hall, at this hour?” I wonder, whether we ask ourselves, “What our eyes are looking for, all the time?” Very few of us would have asked themselves – “Why they feel thirsty all the time. And why there is a need to eat? And why does one feel like living on? And why do successes never feel complete?” Read more