Why does the wind blow? Why does man live? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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Why does the wind blow Why does man live

Dhhoop Malaaanalo Pavan Chavaro Karae Sagal Banaraae Foolanth Jothee ||1||

The fragrance of sandalwood in the air is the temple incense, and the wind is the fan.

All the plants of the world are the altar flowers in offering to You,

O Luminous Lord. ||1||

~Aarti, Guru Granth Sahib

Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji. In the given verse, what is the ‘burning incense and the whisk’ mentioned by Guru Nanak Dev Maharaj Ji. Could you explain the essence of the verse?

With deep gratitude!

Acharya Prashant Ji: Everything that is there in existence, whether prakritik or man-made, is nothing but an oblation to the Lord. That is the essence of this verse, Alok (the questioner).

“The plants are an offering of the flowers to you, my luminous Lord.”

The plants are not man-made. They are the offerings of prakriti to the Source of prakriti. That’s how the devoted saint sees it. And why does he see it this way? You have to understand.

He has come to see his own prakritik body, as nothing but an offering to the Lord.

He has realised that the only purpose of this body, is that it is offered in the service of the Truth.

The body is not to please itself or the ego. The body is not for any miscellaneous purpose.

The body has only one purpose – devote it to the Truth, spend it in the service of the Truth.

Burn it in the fire of Truth.

Reduce it, lose it, bleed it, in the war of Truth.

That is the only purpose of the body.

And what is ‘body’? Prakriti.

Similarly, he see that the entire expanse of prakriti, is nothing but an offering to the Lord. Why does he see the flowers on the plants, as an offering to the Lord? Because he sees his own hands, eyes, the entire physical system, as an offering to the Lord.

As you are, so you see.

And it is not also just a matter of saint’s perception. It is actually so.

Prakriti itself is on a journey of liberation.

Prakriti itself is trying to achieve liberation through time.

What else is Prakriti doing?

It is moving round and round, and on and on. Why?

Because Prakriti itself seems eager to meet Purusha.

And it is trying everything. It is trying creation, it is trying dissolution. It is trying flowers, it is trying animals, it is trying insects, it is trying mammals. It’s trying intellect, it’s trying emotions. It’s also trying, survival of the fittest.

What is Prakriti upto? It surely wants something. Why is there so much movement in Prakriti? It is as if Prakriti too wants to meet the husband, Lord. That’s what the Gurus are clearly seeing.

The Flower does not bloom for nothing, the Sun does not rise for nothing, Man does not live for nothing. A new Child is not born for nothing. There is a purpose. The entire prakritik movement has a purpose. And the purpose is to meet the Lord, to be devoted to the service of Lord.

Now, there is another aspect of existence. And what is that aspect? Stuff that is man-made.

So, what is the saint seeing? What are the Gurus realizing? They are realizing that the prakritik aspects of the body, are for the service of Truth. And also for the service of Truth, is the intellect. So, all the things that man creates through intellect, are actually created just to achieve God.

And that is absolutely so.

Why else does man create this and that, using his intellect? Because he wants Peace. Doesn’t he? When you say, “We want progress and development, and science and technology, and discoveries and inventions, and we want to explore outer space,” what do you want?

What have you wanted all this while when you have created hospitals and schools, and public systems and social institutions? All of them have been a result of the intellect. Why has man created and built so much using the intellect? Because he wants Peace and ‘Peace’ is another name for God.

Man wants progress, and ‘progress’ means – an ascension, an elevation. It is as if, man wants to be elevated to some high sky. That’s what you say, “I am rising up. I am progressing.”

What is the intention to keep progressing? The intention is to progress, and arise and arise, and then just disappear in the sky. Move so further up, move so high up, that you lose almost all connection with gravitation. That you lose the bondages, and the compulsion to be bounded to the earth. That alone is ‘gravitation’.

You want to rise, rise, and rise. You very well know that as you rise, the force of gravitation upon you mitigates. It is proportional to 1\r(sq).

Man wants to rise, up and away from all the bondages.

That’s why he builds.

That’s why he invents.

That’s why he writes and sings.

And that’s why he worships.

(Tweet this quotetwitter)

Are you getting it?

So, on one hand you have the plants offering themselves to the Lord. On the other hand ,you have the incense, and the wind from the hill, and the fragrance of the sandalwood trees. And you have the imagery, that the wind is the Chavaro, the fan.

All that is there in prakriti, whether man-made or purely prakritik, is nothing but an offering to the Lord, a movement towards the Lord.

As if everything exists, just to reach out to the Lord.

Be it a mountain, or a hundred-storey man-made skyscraper, both are longing for the One.

Both were created with the same purpose.

Both exist with the same intention.

Getting it?

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

Watch the session video: Why does the wind blow? Why does man live? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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When are you God? When are you not? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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When are you God When are you not

He himself acts, and he himself contemplates.
He Himself is the Master of both worlds. 
He plays and He enjoys; He is the Inner-knower, the Searcher of hearts. 
As He wills, He causes actions to be done. 
Nanak sees no other than Him. ||2|| 

Tell me – what can a mere mortal do? 
Whatever pleases God is what He causes us to do. 
If it were in our hands, we would grab up everything. 
Whatever pleases God – that is what He does. ||3|| 

~Guru Granth Sahib

Page: 277

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! I am reading Guru Granth Sahib, and loving it. Strangely, I agree with what is written there, but disagree with what it implies. In some of the lines, it is stated that He wills, contemplates, acts, and causes actions to be done. It is also said that there is no other than Him.

These are harmless and acceptable assertions. However they imply that there is no suffering, and hence no ‘I’. I resist this implication. Is it His will that ‘I’ exists, ‘I’ resists, and ‘I’ claims to be suffering? Am I, Him?

He cannot be suffering. What I believe is, that I am suffering.

Please resolve this paradox.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

That which makes you suffer, the ‘I sense’, the ‘I sense’ too comes from Him. The ‘I sense’ is the suffering. The ‘I sense’ makes you suffer. In other words, the ‘I sense’ makes itself suffer.

That too is coming from Him.

So, all the actions that are generally attributed to the ‘I’, the saints say, that they actually come from Him.

There is a reason.

Does the ‘I’ really know what it is doing? If the ‘I’ is the originator of action, then it must know what it is doing? Does it really know? If it does not know what it is doing, then surely the action does not originate from the ‘I’. It originates from some where else. That ‘somewhere else’ is ‘God’.

The day the ‘I’ starts really knowing what it is doing, why it is doing, and who it is, then there is no difference between ‘I’ and ‘God’.

‘I’ exists as a separate ‘I’, as a separate doer, only as long as it does not know what it is doing.

It claims that it is doing something, without really being the doer. It says, “I am thinking,” but does it know why it is thinking, what it is thinking? An impulse arises, and the ‘I’ says, “I am feeling in a certain way.” It can say what it is feeling. But can it say where the feeling is coming from?

So, the saints have said that the ‘I’ feels like being the doer, but is actually not the doer. It’s just a  puppet. If there is a puppet, then they say that let’s call the puppeteer as ‘God’.

That’s what is being implied here.

Am I, Him?

You are Him, when you know who ‘you’ are.

You are ‘yourself’ as long as you do not know who you are.

As long as you are acting in your darkness, you are ‘yourself’.

When you start acting in Light, you are Him.

So, you have the option to be either. You can be ‘yourself’ or you can be ‘God’. Who gave this option? You never wanted this option. You cannot do away with this option. Which means that you are not the progenitor of these options.

Where are they coming from then? Wherever they are coming from, let’s call that point as ‘God’.

That’s the philosophy.

——————————————————————————

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

Watch the session: When are you God? When are you not? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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Are you really so helpless? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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Mortals wander lost and confused through countless lifetimes; 
their fear of death is never removed.  
Says Nanak, vibrate and meditate on the Lord, 
and you shall dwell in the Fearless Lord. ||33||  

I have tried so many things,
but the pride of my mind has not been dispelled.
I am engrossed in evil-mindedness, Nanak.
O God, please save me! ||34||  

Childhood, youth and old age –
know these as the three stages of life.
Says Nanak, without meditating on the Lord, everything is useless;
you must appreciate this. ||35||

You have not done what you should have done;
you are entangled in the web of greed.
Nanak, your time is past and gone;
why are you crying now, you blind fool? ||36||   

~ Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, Salok Mahalla
Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 1428

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam. I have not done what you should have done. I am entangled in the web of greed. Now I am seeing this, and it is painful to watch all this evil. I love Lord, and feel like that these are obstacles, on the way to Lord. Seeing myself helpless.

Acharya Ji, please put some light on this. Thank you.

Acharya Prashant Ji: The first part that you are saying is – the pride of your mind has not been dispelled. Then you saying that – you are helpless.

Asha(questioner), one general rule is that, if one were really helpless, then one would be suffering-less as well.

Please understand this.

When you are really helpless, when you are really helpless, then there is no suffering left. Because to be really helpless, is to be with an undivided consciousness. A consciousness, with no choices, no options – that is ‘helplessness’. Suffering is there, not as a result of helplessness, but as a result of dishonesty.

The corpse is helpless, does it suffer? Have you seen a corpse? Have you seen how helpless it is? You put it on the ground, does it complain? You twist it’s arm, does it complain? You spit on it’s face, does it complain? It might be a King’s corpse, you call it foul names. Does it complain? That’s helplessness. It does not complain, and it does not – suffer.

If there is actual helplessness, it is the actual end of all suffering.

And here you are, and you are saying that there is lot of suffering in your life. There is pride, there is greed, there is pain, there is evil. There are obstacles on the way to Lord. And then you are saying, that you are helpless. You are not helpless. In fat, you are suffering because of your guilt. ‘Guilt’ is suffering.

You know what is ‘guilt’?

‘Guilt’ is when you are actually the culprit.

‘Guilt’ is when, you are doing something wrong, and you know that.

If inadvertently, totally without your involvement, or cooperation, something happens, then you are not guilty. Are you?

‘Guilt’ is when, with your consciousness, with your approval, with your involvement, you are still letting evil to happen. Actually abetting it. That is when you are ‘guilty’. And all suffering is guilt. You cannot suffer, without being guilty. Existence is not unjust, in this dimension.

If you find yourself suffering, know that you are guilty.

Don’t say that you are helpless. You are guilty. And you are willingly guilty. There is much that you can do. Alright, there is at least something that you can do, you are not doing it. Or there is much that you can stop, or there is something that you can stop, but you are not stopping it. So you are guilty.

There is something within your power, that you are not letting happen. And therefore you are being eaten away from inside. Therefore, something is gnawing at your mind. You are not able to pardon yourself. Some people call it ‘the conscience’. It is not ‘the conscience’, it is the ‘guilty consciousness’.

Even in those situations, that we call as utterly woeful, utterly hopeless, if we just do that which we are capable of doing, would there be space, and opportunity, and time, to despair? Please.

You are fighting a hopeless battle, let us say. You know very well that the result is pre-ordained. The enemy outnumbers you, thousand is to one. But, if you do, what you must, where is the time to suffer? Is there time to suffer?

In fact, the more adverse a situation is, the more impossibly adverse a situation is, the less is the time it leaves you with, to despair.

Do you see that?

If you were fighting a easy battle, probably you would have somehow manage to steal away some time, to sneak in a corner, and despair. And call yourself, ‘helpless’, ‘luckless’, and many other such things. Right? But if the enemy is overwhelming you, two-thousand is to one, will you really be, honestly able to find time, to sneak away in a corner, and weep about your fortune, or misfortune?

On the one hand you say, “The situations are very-very bad.” On the other hand you say, “O! I am suffering so much.” If the situation is so bad, it is good news. If the situation is so very adverse, it will you fully occupied. All your time and energy will be then consumed in, responding to the humoungess-ness of the situation. No!

The house is burning, do you have time to cry and complain? Do you have time? What would you do? You would be running around, doing your best, just to quell the fire. No!

Do the utmost that you must do, in any situation, and you will find that there is just Joy of right action.

Wails and tears are for those, who are guilty of abdicating their responsibility.

If you are fulfilling your responsibility, your responsibility will consume you fully.

It will extract the last bit of energy out of you.

Even to weep, you require some energy, even to complain, you require some time.

If you are really dedicating all your energy rightly, how are you left with energy to weep?

If you are managing to shed tears, it only means that you are a thief.

You have stolen away some energy, and reserved it for weeping and tears.

I know what I am saying is harsh. Here you are Asha (questioner), coming to me seeking succor and salvation. You would have probably expected some sympathy from me. Instead of that, I am labeling you as ‘guilty’. But I am interested in dousing the fire Asha. I don’t want to sit alongside you, and assist you with your tears.

The house is burning, you are busy weeping. You want me to offer you tissue paper? You want me to supply you with handkerchiefs? You want me to partake in the farce?

When soldiers return from battlefield, you know, the first thing they do, is to find out their injuries. Because if the soldier is really a soldier, it is quite likely, he won’t even know of his injuries.

You were playing soccer that day. Does it not happen, that after the game is over, you come to see that the knee has been bleeding? Did that not happen to you as kids? After you return home, having enjoyed the evening fully, in that rough and uneven patch of land, that you would call ‘the football ground’, Muma would locate you, put her hands on the mouth, and would say, “What have you done?” And you would look at her, and say, “What have I done?”

And then you would look at the place she is looking at, and then you would find that the socks are all soaked in blood. And you don’t even know that you have hurt yourself so badly, that you have been oozing blood since the last half an hour. Why? Because you were doing, what you were to do, as a committed player.

You didn’t really even know, that you are hurt.

There are so many stories, where the soldiers didn’t even know of a bullet sitting in their body. The bullet is in the shoulder, and the soldier doesn’t know of it. Obviously, if the bullet is in the brain, the soldier wouldn’t even need to look at it. But if it is in the knee, or in the leg, or in the hip, then the soldier keeps fighting on. Many hours later, he discovers that there is too much blood. What is happening?

Why don’t you fight Asha(questioner). It’s been few months now, and your posts are all full of, an assumed and probably convenient, helplessness.

Fight, and perish fighting.

If you win, glory is yours.

If you perish, at least all suffering is gone.

Is that not a great way to live?

Fight, and fight so hard, that you either win, or perish.

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

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

Watch the session: Are you really so helpless? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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Who do you think will help you? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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Who do you think will help you

In good times, there are many companions around, but in bad times,
there is no one at all.
Says Nanak, vibrate, and meditate on the Lord;
He shall be your only Help and Support in the end. ||32||

~ Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, Salok Mahalla

Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 14128

Question: Acharya Ji, it is my tendency to seek help from those whom I consider to be good and reliable. I want to know the truth of what Guru Teg Bahadur Ji is saying in this verse. Because when I seek help from others, I usually spoil and strain my relationships, and even the help does not come.

How can I see that the only genuine help is the one that comes from the Lord?

Acharya Prashant Ji: It depends on what is the quality of ‘help’, that you call as ‘final’.

There is ‘help’ that comes from the world, and there is ‘help’ that comes from the Lord. Which of these two helps do you more desperately want?

The verse that you are quoting says, “He shall be your only Help and Support in the end.” ‘End’ does not mean a particular moment of death etc. ‘End’ means – the highest. ‘End’ means – the highest.

So, it is being said, that the Lord shall be your only and final support. Now it depends on you, what is it that you consider as your ‘final support’. And what would that depend on? That would depend on, what you perceive yourself as.

Which kind of help will you value more, that depends on, which need do you experience more. Is that not true? You might have a need, for a new Kurta. And you might be needing some water too. A fellow comes to you with Kurta. Another fellow comes to you with water.

Which of the two would you value more?

Depends on which ‘need’ do you value more.

If you value the need for Kurta more, then you would be very forthcoming in thanking the one who is bringing the Kurta to you. If you feel your thirst deeply, then you will profusely thank the one who is bringing, water to you.

So, there is something that the world brings to you.

And there is something that the Lord brings to you.

You find out which one is a greater need to you.

Questioner: Acharya Ji, my need is in understanding what is going on in my life, in terms of understanding myself, and probably what you meant by ‘the highest’. But, here also I do not see the Lord, and I do not know from where the help would come.

Acharya Ji: When say that you are looking at your life, your need is to understand your life, essentially you will understand what is it that you lack. Otherwise, there is no need to understand ‘life’.

Even the need to understand ‘life’ arises from a discomfort with life, experiencing that there is something odd in life. So, there is an internal need. And therefore, one gathers self-knowledge.

What is it that you are needful of? That is to be found out. What is it that you are really needful of? And that which you are really needful of, is it being brought to you by the world, or the Lord?

Self-knowledge is in a way an understanding of ‘self’s’ needs. Some of those needs can surely be fulfilled by the world. But, are they your deepest needs?

Questioner: No.

Acharya Ji: Then what are your deepest needs? And who will meet those needs?

Questioner: That I do not know.

Acharya Ji: That is to be found out, by looking at your life.

“What am I looking for?”

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

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

Watch the session: Who do you think will help you? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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It is beautiful to earn pain || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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It is beautiful to earn pain

People make all sorts of efforts to find peace and pleasure, but no one tries to earn the pain.

Says Nanak, listen, mind: whatever pleases God comes to pass. ||39||

~ Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, Salok Mahalla

Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 14128

Question: Acharya Ji, please clarify what is meant here by, ‘earning pain’.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

The constitution of the body is such that it is – pleasure-seeking. That’s the guiding principle behind bodily actions. Bodily actions include the impulses of the brain. So that which you call as ‘natural’, in loose language, is nothing but pleasure-seeking behavior.

When you say that something is natural, effectively what you are saying is, that it is pleasure-seeking behavior. So that’s how your system is. It wants to have pleasure. It wants to have, pleasure.

What is the definition of ‘pleasure’?

That which helps Prakriti further its agenda.

‘Food’ pleases you because it gives energy to the body to continue. That’s what Prakriti wants. Getting it? ‘Flattery’ pleases you, because it gives the subtle-body the energy to continue. It will continue. It will stay motivated. It will further its goals.

Do you get the definition of ‘pleasure’?

That which agrees with the agenda of your physical constitution, is called ‘pleasure’.

Now in getting that ‘pleasure’, you get ‘pain’ as well. And that ‘pain’ makes ‘pleasure’ even more necessary. So you earn two units of ‘pleasure’, and along with two units of ‘pleasure’, you also got two units of ‘pain’. What is the inference that your system draws from this? Two units of ‘pleasure’ is not sufficient, because two units of ‘pleasure’ came along with two units of ‘pain’, and it got nullified. The net was zero.

So now your system wants three units of ‘pleasure’. But very soon your system discovers that three units of ‘pleasure’ has come along with three units of ‘pain’. So now you want four units of ‘pleasure’. That’s the cycle of human life – chasing ‘pleasure’, getting ‘pain’. And ‘pain’ spurs you on to chase ‘pleasure’, even more. This is not ‘pain’ that you have earned. This is ‘pain’, that has come as a bonus.

What did you want? Pleasure. But pain came tagged along. Had you had a choice, you would have said, “I want only pleasure. Let’s un-tag the pain. I don’t want the pain, that comes with pleasure. I only want pleasure. Can we just separate the two? No I don’t want the combo. No I don’t want the one plus one offer. I only want the one that I want – pleasure.”

So we get pain without earning it, or wanting it, or choosing it. We get it, as a compulsory attachment. We get it as a compulsory accompaniment of pleasure. Guru Sahib is talking of something different here. He is talking of – earning pain. He is saying,”You already have had enough pain. That pain came to you as a compulsion, as a helplessness. You didn’t want it, but you were subjected to it. Now can you willingly go for pain?”

What does he mean? He means something quite radical.

Your system is designed to go only for ‘pleasure’.

And if you are being told to go deliberately for pain, you are actually being told to go against your system.

In a practical way, he is teaching you a method of detachment – a way to get dis-identified with the body.

‘Deliberately go for pain’ – and this has been a method in India, and elsewhere, since long.

Spiritual practitioners those who have really wanted to know and live life fully, have invited ‘pain’. Knowing fully well that the road they are taking, would hurt them, they have still gone down those roads.

I repeat: to the common man, pain is incidental, uninvited. It comes as a surprise. “Oh pain has come. From where? I didn’t ask for it.” To the spiritual practitioner, pain is, almost a target. Pain is a value. He says, “I want it. Bring it on.”

Not that there is some great virtue in pain. It’s just that when you are going for pain, you are denying the bodily compulsion of seeking pleasure. You are getting dis-identified. And once you are dis-identified, then there is no need to seek pain either.

Getting it?

If you will see a lot of ‘progress’, even in the material sense, it happens only by inviting ‘pain’. That which we call as ‘discipline’ even in the loose sense, is nothing but an invitation to ‘pain’.

Is there discipline without pain? You have to get up at some point in the morning, doesn’t that involve pain? ‘Pleasure’ is to keep sleeping even after the alarm has rung. Is that not pleasurable?

So all ‘discipline’ is nothing but ‘pain’.

It’s very well-directed pain, it’s very discrete pain.

But nevertheless, all ‘discipline’ involves – ‘pain’.

And ‘progress’, be it in the material, or in the spiritual realms, moves on ‘discipline’.

So all ‘progress’ is nothing but the art of inflicting ‘pain’ upon yourself – wisely, not randomly.

You will get no progress by just slashing your wrist, or holding a cigarette to your arm. Random, or mindless pain will not help you. While random, and mindless pain will not help you, at the same time there can be no ‘discipline’ without ‘pain’. And there can be no ‘progress’ without ‘discipline’.

‘Pleasure’ is a pattern. In fact, all patterns become patterns of ‘pleasure’. ‘Discipline’ is the determination to go beyond patterns. So ‘pleasure’ has to be transcended. Which means – your body, your prakriti, your physical tendencies, have to be transcended.

That’s what Guru Sahib is pointing at.

Have ‘discipline’.

And what is it to have ‘discipline’?

Be a disciple. Be a Shishya (disciple).

Be a Sikh.

Who is a ‘Sikh’?

Who can wisely, discreetly, deliberately choose ‘pain’.

You cannot be a student, if you cannot bear ‘pain’.

You cannot be a student, if you say, “You know, I want to be handled in cotton and wool. I want to learn a lot from the teacher, but I don’t want pain from the teacher.” Then you cannot be a Sikh, you cannot be a Shishya, you cannot be a Disciple, because you do not have ‘discipline’.

——————————————————————————————————————

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

Watch the session: It is beautiful to earn pain || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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If God is nameless, how to continuously recite His name? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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If God is nameless, how to continuously recite His name

Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji. Nitnem continuously says that the way  to reach god, is to continuously recite his name. But, as God is nameless and formless, isN’T silence, what we need to practice?

Please shed some light on name of the Lord. Can physical recitation of mantras like ‘Ek Onkaar‘, or ‘Om Namah Shivaay‘, or ‘Raam‘, lead us to the real God? If yes, how should it be practiced?

Thank you. Love and Gratitude.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

You need to continuously utter the ‘name’ of God, both in speech and in mind, because you are what you are. You are not the silent one, are you? Had you been already silent, no sage would have advised you any ‘japa’, any recitation, any mantra. Who are you? You are the restless one. You are the loquacious one. You are the talkative one.

Who are you? You are the one who just loves to ‘Yak, yak, yak’. You are the one who is always busy, talking. If there is no other person to talk to, then you indulge yourself in some internal dialogue. You start talking to yourself, don’t you? You are always in a conversation. A conversation in which only you are there, obviously. The other doesn’t exist. That’s the kind of conversation we have.

Our dialogues are all soliloquies. Me talking to myself. The  other is there, just as a prop. Look carefully at how people converse. Are they really listening? This one is talking, and the other one is talking, and there is no relationship between the two talks.

On the surface, it looks as if one is responding to the other. Well, no. One is merely using the words of the other, to further one’s own argument. The ego is so insecure, it keeps asserting itself. In fact, man’s entire life is spent in self-assertion. Man’s entire life is spent convincing himself, that he exists. Man is so insecure.

“I exist, please look at me. If you don’t look at me, I will feel offended.” This is self-assertion.

“I exist. This is my territory. Don’t violate it. If you will violate it, I will feel I don’t exist. We will have a war if you violate it, because my identity is closely linked to that of the territory. I am so insecure. I don’t have any independent identity.”

“Who am I? The owner of the territory. Therefore, don’t violate the territory. Otherwise, I will disappear. It seems so. That’s such a great threat. It’s not the territory that you have stepped on. It’s the identity you have beheaded.”

So, the ego just keeps asserting itself. We can’t even call it ‘self-expression’. It is rabid self-assertion.

The dogs in the family, when they come to know that the family is planning an outing and the doors are being locked, and soon everybody would be out, they become very restless. They start making their presence felt.

They will go to one member, then the other. They would sniff, bark, push, pull. Tug at somebody’s clothes. Keep their paws on somebody’s abdomen. That’s how the ego is continuously feeling – “I am being left behind. Please don’t leave me behind.”

“I am, and I am making my presence felt. Don’t forget me please. Will somebody look this side. Hello, I too am.” And now you know why this ego is so attention-seeking. because it is very, very insecure about itself.

All it’s life it is never really sure, that it exists.

That’s the life of the ego.

It’s entire life, the ego is never really sure that it exists.

And therefore, it makes all kinds of attempts, to assert itself.

“I am. Well, I am. Well, I am. Please, please, don’t deny my existence. Please don’t turn back at me. Please appreciate me. I will feel I am, otherwise I am not. If you don’t validate my being, if you don’t certify my presence, I am Not.”

So, we talk. Now you know how expansive this word is – ‘talking’? ‘Talking’ means – having something in mind, to be concerned with. When you are talking to someone, that fellow is in your mind, is he not? Equally, when you are thinking about something, that too is a kind of ‘talk’. Because we indulge in such a non-sensical talk, so the saints said that you better recite the name of the ‘Lord’. And that is the technique of ‘japa’.

Because you are so stubbornly addicted to talking, because you are so very prone to be infatuated with names, you better take name of the ‘Lord’. Because names you would take anyway. Something would always be there in your mind, and whatever is there in your mind, is a ‘name’, is it not?

Is there ever in your mind, that is nameless? A ‘thing’ always has a name. So, if there is something in your mind, it has a name. There is a ‘name’ in your mind. So the Gurus have said that,

If at all you are obsessed with names, you better be obsessed with the name of the ‘Lord’, because the name of the ‘Lord’ has a special quality.

It dissolves all other names that you are fond of, so fixated with.

And having dissolved all other names, the name of the ‘Lord’ too disappears.

It’s a cleansing agent.

It just sanitizes, and doesn’t stay back.

When you take the name of the Lord, you are insured against taking various harmful names, are you not? In the time and space, that you would have otherwise misused to be bothered with, hundred miscellaneous names, you took the name of the ‘Lord’. That’s the utility of ‘japa‘. And that’s why recitation has been such a powerful spiritual method.

You get the jist of the method, Goudhaman (the questioner)?

If you will not take the name of the ‘Lord’, you would take some foolish name. If you could stop taking the foolish name, without taking the name of the ‘Lord’, nobody would have advised you to recite any ‘japa‘.

But it is your obdurate insistence, that some name you will definitely hang on to, clutch desperately at. So the saints said, “Alright! If it is your tendency to be always occupied with some name, we will give you a special name. This name has no harmful connotations. Use this name.”

Are you getting it?

A kid is fond of candies, and it is impossible to wean him away from candies. So what does the loving father do? He makes special candies. Special, nutritious, vitamin candies – sugar-free, and yet very delicious. He calls them ‘Rama candies’. And says, “If you must have candies, have these candies.”

This is the method.

These candies won’t harm you. In fact, they benefit you. Plus, these are non-addictive. The other candies, you become addicted to. The other candies, they are so specially designed, that you can never be addicted to them. They benefit you, and then they will disappear.

No addiction!


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

Watch the session: If God is nameless, how to continuously recite His name? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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The Great Magic of Scriptures || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

The Great Magic of Scriptures

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Question: Acharya ji, Pranaam! While reading and meditating on Nitnem, something happened within me, which is difficult to explain. And this happening is same, while we were reading Ashtavakra Gita, and Upanishads.

These words do not create any images, but they take away my chains, and cut me down. Whatever we see around, most of the combinations of the alphabets a-z, in this world, all that is just with an agenda – to protect our ego, or fear, or greed. But when these same letters a-z, combine, to produce the Jaap Sahib, or Ashtavakra Gita, why is there a magic?

Acharya Prashant Ji: There is just a magic, Sandeep! The ‘why’ is not necessary. But if you are asking, I will speak on it.

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.

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.

You hate the world. if you hate the Truth, you would say, “There is no Truth. there is only the world, the material world.” So what does the world become? A substitute, a competitor. It depends on who you are.

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. 

And 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.

Just as their words take you beyond their chains, even their body, their eyes, their looks, will take you beyond your chains. It is obvious, is it not? If the words of Ashtavakra have so much power, what power would be there, in sitting next to Ashtavakra? Words are material thing, are they not? And the body too is a material thing. In fact, the words require the body, to emerge.

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.

If your concept is – “I am false, because I am incomplete. I am false because my daily inadequacies prove to me, that I cannot be the Final One. My daily existence is the proof, that this little structure cannot be the finality” – if this is your concept, then you will surrender this little, incomplete thing to that which is complete, because the complete is, that which you are anyway craving for. Nobody has to teach you that. It is your basic urge. You are seeking completeness. And if you are seeking completeness, then why not submit the incomplete, in the service of the complete?

Is that not common sensical?

Your brain, your intellect, your decisions, your life, your body, your past, your experiences, your knowledge, everything keeps failing, everything is incomplete. And there are abundant and daily porofs. Are there not?

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!

You want thousand, you have hundred, what to do with the hundred? Invest it in a way, that it would become a thousand. It is a very gross way of putting it, but may be the only way it would make sense to you.

You have hundred, but you are not happy with hundred. What do you want? A thousand. What to do with the hundred then?

Listeners: Invest.

Acharya ji: Invest it in the service of the thousand. What are the saints doing? They are targeting a billion, a trillion. A billion trillion. A trillion trillion. Using just, hundred. That’s some smartness. Those are the really smart ones. Not these dudes, that are hanging around, wearing the tags of smartness.

Somebody gets fifteen percent return on his investment, and you start calling him ‘smart’. Somebody makes a million dollars, and you say, “Wow! Really smart chap.”

He is dumb.

(laughter)

“Fortune 500. It is really something big!” They have wasted it. Buggers, you have lost it! You know what, you have just lost it.

Misfortune!

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.

Dumb people will admire only dumb people!

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

Watch the session:  The Great Magic of Scriptures || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)


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

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जउ तउ प्रेम खेलण का चाऊ।
सिर धरि तली गली गेरी आउ।।
इतु मरगि पैर धरीजै।
सिर दीजै काणि न कीजै।।

गुरु ग्रन्थ साहिब

__________

jau tau prem khelan ka chaau

sir dhari tali gali geri aau

itu margi paer dharijae

sir dijae kaani na kijae 

Guru Granth Sahib

__________ Read more

Who is Kabir?

Questioner: I have a question about Kabir. As I know, he was also a kind of Sufi, not just Hindu or Muslim, he…

Speaker: See, the heart of Sufism and the heart of Vedanta, the heart of Hasidism, the heart of Christian mysticism, they are all one Heart. So, it would anyway be unwise to call anybody, any realized one, as belonging to any sect. You see, Kabir can’t be called a Hindu or a Muslim. Some people substitute it with calling him both a Hindu and a Muslim. I call him neither a Hindu nor a Muslim. Krishna cannot be called a Hindu. Jesus was even by fact not a Christian and he can’t even be called a Jew. You see, where does the Jesus lie? He revolts against Judaism, so for sure he is not a Jew, and he is not a Christian either because Christianity was not there. Read more

What is Prayer?

Hari ke jan satigur, satpurkha binau karau gur paasi.

– Shri Guru Granth Sahib, 10

{O humble servant of the Lord, O true Guru, O true primal being, I offer my humble prayer to you, O Guru!}

Question: What is prayer? Is there a need for another thing or another body separate from you for praying?

Acharya Prashant: The word ‘praying’ is beautifully understood when you also take its counterpart in Sanskrit Praarthna.

Arth means desire. Whenever you usually pray – and we all keep praying – our prayers are to the world, our prayers are to people, to situations. Whenever we normally pray, there is a desire behind it: arth. The desire is obviously a product of conditioning; it is obviously material, as all desires are bound to be. It is about a thing, a person, or an idea. Read more