Acharya Prashant, with students: How to have confidence in oneself?

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

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

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

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

Confidence is a medicine.

Confidence is not your natural state.

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

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

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

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

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Will living without ego cause one to starve?

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Acharya Prashant: The question is how do I fill this stomach if I don’t have an ‘ego’?

Firstly, you must see that you are deeply afraid. You are deeply afraid that if you don’t follow the orders of this ‘other’, that that other could be society, friends, family, corporations, the entire trend of career making. You are deeply afraid that If you don’t follow ‘that’ then you will end up starving. You won’t have enough eat.

Now, is this fear yours?

Even, this fear has been instinct to your mind by ‘that’ other. Don’t you see how cunning that other is? He repeatedly tells you that unless you become my slave, you will starve. But is that the Truth?

Is that the Truth?

Would you really starve if you don’t toe the others line? If you don’t develop an ego, that is If you don’t develop a sense of ‘Self’ dependent upon the other. You won’t.

I Invite you to find out whether you would really starve. The world will always have enough for you to eat. You won’t starve but you may not be able to fulfill these ambitions.

The funny part is even the ambition has been given to you by outside. So there is nothing lost if you can’t fulfill it. You don’t lose anything at all if you don’t meet your ambitions. Remember, there will always be enough to meet your needs. And a free man will always find enough to meet his needs. Because his needs are always so small.

You don’t need too much but yes, your ambitions depend upon your subservience to the society.

Needs don’t make you a slave, ambitions make you a slave.

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Acharya Prashant on Brazil Elections

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(Following is an excerpt from an interview conducted by a Brazilian Journalist just before the last round of voting of Brazil’s Presidential Elections, from here onwards the interviewer is being addressed as Marcos, his first name)

Marcos: So, Brazil will be voting for who will be the President, on Sunday.

Acharya Prashant: On the 28th, Yes. And that would be the final round.

Marcos: Yes, the second round. We have, on the one hand, a candidate from the worker party. The left party of Brazil. And on the other hand, we have an extreme rightist guy, who is very aggressive and who is using the ancient tactics of causing fear to give a solution. And as the leftists have been making some mistakes in Brazil – they are accused of corruption etc – a lot of people are voting for this rightist guy. So, there is a very aggressive scenario and people are beating each other on the streets. Some people have died unfortunately. And I would like to give a message, or be the translator of the message from you, of consciousness, of peace, of better understanding, of the importance of this moment for Brazil, because there is a lot of anger, a lot of chaos and a very hazy consciousness and analysis of what’s really happening.

AP: You see, rightist tendencies are gaining prominence in all parts of the world. It’s not merely Brazil, we have seen that happen in the Americas, in Europe, in West Asia, in India. And, we must go into the reasons behind this surge. When the center, or the left of the center, promises a great deal, but that great deal does not include a true sense of identification, a deep peace of mind, then there is disenchantment from the left. To understand what is happening, we must go into the mind of the human being, for the human being is the voter.

What does the human being want? Does the human being want merely bread-butter, sustenance, houses, cars? Yes, obviously we need all these things, but we also need something beyond all this. So, beyond the material, does the human being want the grand concepts of equal opportunity, liberty, fraternity, secularism, justice, and other great concepts? Yes, these principles are all needed, but even these principles are not sufficient.

The human being in his totality obviously needs food for the stomach, and shelter and education. And going ahead, human being obviously also needs a secure society. Secure, in terms of providing employment, taking care of old-age, providing medical facilities and such things. Now, obviously we all want to live in societies where there is justice, where there is no oppression, where there is no racism or misogyny. So, these are definitely needed, but, let me ask again, do they suffice? That is one question that leaders, politicians, thinkers, well-wishers, the world over, must ponder upon.

The material alone does not suffice, and what do I mean by the material? By material, I mean houses, cars, air-conditioners, jets, and bread and butter, obviously. So, not only does the material not suffice, even great intellectual and social concepts and their realisation do not prove to be the final fulfillment.

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Ego likes to conclude too soon

The ego likes to settle matters too soon, the ego likes to conclude too soon. Wherever there is a conclusion, wherever there is a settlement, wherever there is an ending that thought can grasp, it is a false ending, it is a false realization. I have no interest in talking about what true realization is like. True realization is anywhere not a subject matter of this course. We should rather warn of that which is false.

The ego can never be restful with loose ends, with uncertainty, with ambiguity. With things that are not beginning and not ending, with matters that seem absurd in a sequence of time, with issues that apparently do not have a cause, with actions that apparently do not result in anything, the ego will be restless with these. So, it will try to close matters, it will try to conclude, it will try to assert.

The assertion cannot be, “I do not know.” Because that is a very unstable assertion. If you do not know then responsibility upon you is to know. Sooner than later, after passing through a series of ‘I don’t know’, the ego would quickly like to come to…



Read the complete article: The mind is not your own

The mind is not your own

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Acharya Prashant: Yes, the topic is the infectiousness of boredom. Not only is boredom infectious, anything and everything that the mind experiences is contagious, infectious.

You experienced it with respect to one particular way of the mind, one particular move of the mind right now. That does not mean that only boredom is contagious, that rather means that right now there is a particular environment in which you could observe this particular infectiousness that affects the mind. It is happening at every moment.

Mind you, it has happened 300 times with you since this morning. But, you couldn’t notice it in the previous 299 occasions. So, the question to be asked is not whether boredom is infectious. Mind itself is an infection and acquisition, an import.

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Fight for the right cause and let it consume you fully.

In the real defeat, everything that you have has been offered, sacrificed, surrendered. Now, what is the point in crying? Nothing better than this could have been done. Now, what to cry about? What grief? I have already come to the end of myself. I have already come to the end of efforts. What do I cry for? Isn’t that beautiful? You are fighting a war that cannot result in a defeat. If the result is a defeat there is nobody to receive the result. Great. Equally, if the result is a victory there is nobody to receive the result. That’s the right war.

Fight for the right cause and let it consume you fully. That is the only way of living life. Fight for the right one and devote yourself totally to him. That is the only way of living and fighting. Give yourself up so totally that you cannot now be blamed with having reserved anything for your personal self. Don’t cut corners. Don’t hold back. Don’t be compartmentalized between personal life and professional life. Devote the last ounce of yourself, your energy, your flesh, everything. That is the only way to ensure that you never are defeated.

It’s simple. Death will be with my defeat. Defeat will happen with my death. So, who will be left to grieve over defeat?

You understand death? We are not talking of physical death. The death that I am talking of might include physical elimination, but not necessarily. We are talking of death of that which we call as ourselves, that which is always hungry, begging, wanting, possessing, and still hungry. That is what we have to sacrifice. That is what we have to offer to the deity.



Read the Complete Article: Why does defeat bother the mind?

Why does defeat bother the mind?

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Question: Why the lingering effects of defeats or so-called perceived defeats stay in our mind for a long time? How can we shut it away?

The more you desire victory, the more will the effect of defeat linger in your mind. When you are fighting from the right place for the right cause, then comes a point when victory and defeat become inseparable. You have given so much of yourself to the great cause that now there remains nothing, nobody to get hurt or defeat.

There has to be somebody remaining to get hurt, right? There is a house, and the people in the house are warriors. And the house has given itself completely to the war, every member has gone out to fight. So completely have they devoted themselves to war. Now the enemy comes and demolishes the house, who gets hurt? Who gets hurt? They are not there. They have given themselves totally to the war, so nobody gets hurt.

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Will donating my body parts help me in the afterlife?

Question: Donating body parts will really have any meaning in after life; negative or positive?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

L: Anubhav

AP: Anubhav is asking, will donating body parts help me in the afterlife or help someone else in afterlife, in whatever way?

The question is, ‘Do we know this life?’ We are talking about afterlife as if life itself is very clear and intimate to us. We do not know this life but we are so very interested in other life, in some other world. Do you know life? When are you thinking of afterlife? Right now in this life. Do you know this life? What do you mean by afterlife and why must the mind jump to the thought of the afterlife? Read more

Is that what is life?

Do you know what is insensitivity?

Insensitivity is a belief. It’s a belief that “I am born to be chained, that I am not worthy of love, that I do not deserve to fly.” That is insensitivity. We have been trained to be cruel to ourselves and why must you be cruel to yourself?

You deserve all and everything.

Man is not born to adjust and compromise and somehow tolerate his seventy-eight years and then at the end of the journey say, “Thank God the seventy years are over. It was a night mare, glad, I am out of it. Death is such a nice thing.” When you die at eighty, you say, “Mercifully I am out of it.”

Is that what is life?

Do you know the most dominant religion today?

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Acharya Prashant: Progress—that’s the religion of today. Everyone wants a good life, everyone wants comforts and everything. In fact, all the old religions have been defeated. Christianity has been defeated, Hinduism has been defeated, they all have been defeated. This one religion has defeated everything.

Greed is today’s religion.
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Let God be the baby in your arms

baby.jpg 

An infant in my arms

The tide of my love

has risen so high let me flood

over

You.

Close your eyes for a moment

And may be all your

Fears and fantasies

Will end.

If that happened

God would become an infant in your

Arms

And then you

Would have to nurse all

Creation

~ Hafiz

Shri Prashant (Smiles): You already know what this is, right? You just want to live in the joy of listening more about it. It’s beautiful. Read more

Greed and God do not go together

  • We like the teacher, who promises you liberation, without asking you to Surrender. We like the teacher who says, “You can be joyful, while maintaining your current patterns of life.” Look at these people who are so very famous and powerful these days.
  • They all have one thing in common. They do not ask you to demolish yourself; none of them will ask you to demolish yourself.
  • They will say, “Remain what you are, yet you can have peace and joy. I will give you some magical wand. Remain in your current job, remain with your current set of people and remaining where you are, and what you are, you can be redeemed”.
  • They will say, “You continue doing what you do. If you are a killer, continue killing. If you are a cheat, continue cheating. If you are all the time sitting in your pattern based responsibilities, keep sitting there. You don’t have to demolish. You don’t have to come out. You don’t have to leave anything, dropping is not needed. I will give you some pain reliever. You can continue with your rotten job. I will give you some kriya.So when you feel very-very stressed out, then you can do this – inhale, exhale and think of fairies and angels; imagine that they are descending from heaven, with the message of god and you will feel ‘p-e-a–c-e-ful’.” And you greatly like this message.
  • So, “I don’t have to give up my job and yet I can have peace. I can have my paycheck and I can have peace. My guru has given me a wonderful kriya“.
  • Beware of this teacher; the real teacher will not lie to you, he will not promise you something which is impossible. Peace and patterns do not go together. Greed and God do not go together.

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-Edited for clarity.

Read the post: The falseness of the so called ‘Power of Now’ | Words Into Silence

Watch the discourse: The falseness of the so called ‘Power of Now’ | YouTube

Love, Compromise, Magic, God….

Speaker: Fear, what about fear?

Listener 1:  What is fearlessness?

Speaker: No fear, simple, light, straight forward; no thought that something can go wrong.

Listener 2: It is something like karma (action)?

Speaker: Like?

Listener 2: Karma (action).

Speaker: Obviously. If you toss a ball, it will come down – cause and effect. In the world of material, there is always cause and effect, that is the law of karma (action). It is nothing but the law of material. If you throw something, it will move forward. Every cause will have an effect, that is the law of karma (action), but that law does not apply to conscious beings. Read more

The Spontaneous Dance of Intelligence

Question: Sir, does Intelligence leads to disorder?

Speaker: (Picking up a bottle which is one-quarter full of water and three-quarter empty) Let’s consider, does this bottle has water?

Student: Yes Sir.

Speaker: You see this quantity of water? Can you just estimate the number of molecules in it? Not very difficult at all. If I tell you that this weighs around 50 grams, you can easily calculate the number of H2O molecules in it. Matter of a minute. Now, it may appear to be still, if you don’t disturb it then it appears still but what actually is going on within?

Students:– Random motion

Speaker: Random Brownian motion. What are the molecules all doing? Read more

A life free of incompleteness and inferiority

Question: Sir, we have learned that we should not have ego, as it is conditioning. Ego arises because I feel incomplete within. But to fill this incompleteness is what I want in life. It gives me satisfaction in life. So, shouldn’t we be egoistic?

Speaker: What exactly is the logic? That we should be egoistic so that we continue feeling incomplete? Is that the argument?

Questioner: No sir. If ego is giving us completeness, shouldn’t we have an ego?

Speaker: It’s like saying that disease is giving me health. Is ego giving you completeness? Or is ego itself a continuous feeling of being unwell, of being incomplete and lacking and small and unworthy? How can a feeling of unworthiness give you worthiness? How can a feeling of incompleteness give you completeness?

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Standing still, I move so fast

Unmoving, the One, than the mind is swifter.

The senses fell back as ahead It speeded.

Though standing, It passes all others running.

The air by Its presence supports the waters.

 

It moves and yet It does not move. It is far and also near.

It is found within all this and also outside can appear.

Ishavasya Upanishad (4-5)

Speaker: “Unmoving, the One, than the mind is swifter”, that is swifter than the mind. “The senses fell back as ahead It speeded”, its speed is greater than that of the senses. “Though standing, It passes all others running”, shows no movement yet He passes all those who are displaying any movement. “The air by Its presence supports the waters”. Then, “It moves and yet It does not move. It is far and also near. It is found within all this and also outside can appear”.

So, to say that this, all this (Referring to the world), is not the Truth would not be proper, but also to say that this alone is the Truth, too would not be proper. “It (Truth) is within all this (the World) and outside all this.” This is also how they put it across in Zen – “It is not what it appears but It is also nothing different from it.” All objects arise in It and are due to It but It cannot be objectified. Everything arises in It, due to It and goes back to It but ‘It’ is not a thing. Because It gives birth to everything, so whatever qualities they possess come due to It the One, the Brahm, the Truth. But It is not the sum total of the qualities of any object or all objects taken together. All objects along with their respective qualities of movement, speed, colour, form, whatever qualities there might be, arise from It. So obviously It has the potential for all those qualities, that is why they appear from It. But at the same time those qualities do not account for the potential that It has. So, there is the potential from which all the qualities appear but even if you take all the qualities together, if they could be taken together, still the potential would be left out. So It is within it and also outside it. Getting it? Within it and outside it. No scope is left for any kind of debate here.

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How to get rid of fear and panic?

Questioner: How to control fear and panic?

Acharya Prashant: Obviously panic is a state when you feel…

(The questioner interrupts and completes his question)

Q: How to control fear and panic, and move towards our objectives?

AP: Ah! Now you have made it very difficult for me!

You are saying that you do not want to panic, and yet you want to keep moving towards your objective. Yes? Where do your objectives come from? From the structure of your mind, your beliefs, all that has been fed into you. That is what gives rise to your goals, and objectives, and targets, right? And where does fear and panic come from? From the same stuff that has been fed into you.

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How to cope with stress?

Questioner: Sir, how to cope with stress? I get disappointed easily.

Speaker: Is there disappointment without a specific expectation?

Listeners (in unison): No Sir.

Speaker: And when you expect, then obviously you never expect bad things for yourself or do you?

Listeners (in unison): No Sir.

Speaker: So when you expect, you expect good things to happen to you. “Good things will happen to me.” Now, just think of the good things that really happen to you or have happened to you. The really good things, not the small ones. I repeat, the really good ones. Have they happened to you because of your expectation and imagination?

Alright, let’s look at those good things. The first thing you probably like about yourself is that you are, your being, the fact that you exist. Did that happen out of your expectation?

Listeners (in unison): No Sir.

Speaker: It didn’t, right! Now, these essentials that you need for living, do they come to you because you expect them to come? And could you ever have expected them to come?

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Forget the imaginary, just attend to what is

Question: Is death, as an event, good or bad experience, if we dissolve our self in the universe after death or to the bigger Self?

Speaker: See, you are sitting here. You are writing something. You traveled a particular distance. How is all of that any less important than an imaginary moment of death? Nobody ever seems to ask, “What will happen, when I will sip the next cup of tea?” Nobody seems to ask, “What will happen when I will breathe next?” Are all these things any less important? But we all seem to be asking about death.

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The only way to help the world is to leave the world alone

Question: Sir, why should I care about global warming or any political situation in a country? If the world is unreal, then why do all these things matter?

Speaker: You don’t care about global warming. Do you?

Listener: But still, why should anyone care about global warming?

Speaker: You forget about others, because you do not know others. But you anyway don’t care about global warming, do you? So, from where is the question ‘Why should I care about global warming’ coming?

Listener: Sir, then should I forget about it?

Speaker: You have already forgotten about it. Being what you are, do you have an option? You are asking as if you can care about global warming. Who can care about global warming? Global warming, remember, is nothing to be taken care of. You stop doing what you are doing and global warming will take care of itself. You don’t have to take care of global warming. What do you take care of? You only take care of yourself. When you take care of yourself that’s when global warming happens.

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