Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)

 

Begin from where you are and what you realise

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Question: Acharya ji, I am only a beginner on spiritual path, and my experience complicates things. Which tool can I adapt for myself, to take the right decision?

Acharya Prashant: The response is hardly spiritual in the classical sense. I will not say that for life’s decisions, kneel down in front of the unknowable. I will not say that what you need, lies beyond the grasp of your mental faculties.

I am saying – live by what you already know. First of all, you have no other option. Secondly, what you already know, is very sufficient, to make a beginning. And you said that you are a beginner.

The trouble with most of us, is not that we do not know some transcendental, ecclesiastical Truth. The trouble is: we just don’t live by that which is within our mental province.

It is not as if we have come to the boundary of our knowledge, and our limited realisation. We haven’t. If we come to our own boundaries, then the beyond, cannot be far enough.

The boundary of the little self, is where the Truth stands to greet  you.

So you don’t have to really search for the Truth.

You just have to come to the boundary of your own province. 

Come to your own boundary, and there you will find something, of the beyond.

But, do we care enough to come to even our own boundaries? I am not telling of leaping out of your self. You don’t need to leap out of your self. But, at least, putting in a very cliched way, do the best you can.

If you cannot go beyond your self, at least, do the best you can. And when you have come to the utter limit of your personal resources, there you find something, a bit magical happening.

Our situation is strange! We do not do, what we can. We cannot challenge ourselves enough. We do not make the best, utter, and desperate use of our own, personal, limited resources. But we want some kind of a helping hand, to descend from the heavens.

It won’t!

And this is good news. Because it means that each one of us, as he or she is, is fully capable of helping herself or himself. May be we cannot see, beyond the hills. But there is nobody who does not see clearly enough, to take even the next step. And that is all that you need. 

Inspiration, energy, and clarity- just to take the next step. What after the next? That’s not our business to ask. Sitting where we are, let us not demand the whole blue-print, the road-map of the entire state. Then we are transgressing.

One step is sufficient.

And that one step, each one of us, is endowed enough to take.

That one step happens to be so simple and obvious, that it does not appeal to us. We want things – big and glamorous. Just as in the material world, size and shine appeal to us. Similarly, in the spiritual domain, we want things – colossal, magnificent, sensational, to happen.

Instead of those things, if we are advised to take, one little, baby step, it appears like a bit of let down.

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

Watch the session:  Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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In going close to problems one gets strength to go beyond problems || Acharya Prashant on Vivekananda (2018)

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The world is great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.

~ Swami Vivekananda

Acharya Prashant: By being in the world you reach the source of all strength, what happens in the gymnasium by being in the gymnasium? Where do you reach?

To your strength.

The implication is, the world is a gymnasium that will facilitate your access to the source of all strength. The source of all strength is the Self, the Truth, the Atman, you are anyway in the world, you have to go to the root of the world, and there you find the Truth, the source of all power.

Which means you cannot really avoid the world, which means you cannot avoid your situations, you have to acknowledge them, and you have to understand them, you cannot escape away, you must know what is going on, and to know what is going on, first of all, you must honestly admit to what is going on.

If you keep giving it false names if you keep calling attachment as love, then what will you come to know? You have already said it is love. You have to, first of all, see what your real life condition is, in seeing that you will only see how powerless you are, how weak you are; that seeing is the key to strength.

This is strange!

When you see that you are weak, the seeing is the strength. When you see that you are conditioned, that seeing is the freedom from conditioning.

When you will look at the world, you will only see a lot of chains, bondage; but that seeing is the freedom from bondage.

Read more

Acharya Prashant, with students: What is smart work?

Blog-6Questioner: Sir, nowadays it is said that it is not the hard work that can lead you to achieve whatever you want it is actually the smart work. What is this smart work actually?

Acharya Prashant: Jugaad! Nothing else!

That’s what the world means by smart work.

Be a little cunning, chalu, no shortcuts, have connections in the right places, that’s what the world means by a smart work. Unfortunately, choosing between hard work and smart world is like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Whichever way you go, you are doomed, hard work and smart work, what does hard work mean?

Hard work means I do not know what I am doing, why I am doing, who is doing but I have been told that doing is important so I am just doing and doing; that is hard work.

What is smart work?

I’m still doing but I have been told some efficient ways of doing that save energy and time. But I still do not know what I am doing, why I am doing, who is doing yet I am just doing and doing.

Hard work at least tires you down so you will stop at some point, a physical limitation, working so hard you got a heart attack, so thank God you can relax in the hospital!

Now, smart work, you’ll never relax! Because now you have an efficient machine, you do not know what the machine is doing, why it is doing and who is doing. The doing still just doing both these are the same kind of people the hard-workers and the smart-workers, don’t think that one is better than the other, the devil and the deep blue sea.

There is a third type of man possible, who is less interested in doing and more concerned with being.

If I’m speaking to you right now I am not really bothered about what I am saying, but I will be bothered if there is a disturbance in this room. Understand this: I am not at all watchful about my words, I don’t watch what I say, or at least I try to minimize it, let it flow, I need not measure it, but I am quite concerned about the environment in the room there should be no disturbance, why?

Listener: So, that the message can be conveyed to us.

AP: It’s not about the conveying of the message. The very emergence of the message might be hampered if there is disturbance; being is more important than doing.

The mind of the speaker that must be very-very calm for the right words to emerge. You need not bother yourself with the words but you must be watchful about the mind. The mind has to be calm. The mind has to be absolutely centered and still; so if there is a disturbance then I will want to take care of it but I’ll never take care of what I’m saying.

You’re not getting the difference, are you?

Read more

Beginning itself is wrong

Defeat is hardly ever to be measured in terms of the events that happen outside of you. Defeat hurts exactly because defeat happens inside of you.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning. When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

You might be a great driver, but if you do not know where you are coming from and where you are going, then your driving skills will only take you quicker to the wrong place.

What has begun wrongly cannot be corrected by the finesse involved in the process.

And one feels bad about his condition only when he strongly identifies with his condition.

Defeat is not the end of the war. Defeat is not in the end of the war. Mostly defeat lies in the beginning of war.

The more you pick unnecessary battles, the more you will feel defeated. The more you will feel defeated, the more will be the urge to fight another unnecessary battle. It’s a downward spiral. Once caught you remain caught.

Willpower, commitment, determination they are of so little use because they are extremely superficial. One can be a very committed person and yet have a very petty mind because one is needlessly committed. Committed to the wrong thing from the wrong center.

Efficiency or discipline or determination or commitment make sense only when the fundamental has been taken care of.



Read the complete article: Forget winning, first choose the right battle

Forget winning, first choose the right battle

Question: “What are the reasons due to which we remain trapped in defeat? We continue with our irregularities, knowing fully well that we are not doing justice to ourselves. At times there is a strong feeling to do better, but this feeling or commitment does not last.”

Acharya Prashant: In the right battle there can be no wrong result. Defeat is possible only when one is fighting the wrong battle. If you find yourself defeated, and defeated regularly, just know that you have picked up a battle that you should never have been fighting in the first place.

Defeat is hardly ever to be measured in terms of the events that happen outside of you. Defeat hurts exactly because defeat happens inside of you.

How is it possible for any movement outside of you to hurt you? That is the reason Kabir had to say, “Mann k haare haar hai, mann ke jeete jeet”(You lose, if the battle is lost in the mind). Mind is shaken up, impacted, and hurt by an external happening. This is what we call as defeat. Did this defeat happen when a particular event took place? Is this defeat the result of an action? No, every defeat is a defeat right since the inception of the action that at some point hurts.

If you are fighting a battle, if you are involved in something, and somewhere along the way that thing, the process, the result of an action, starts hurting you, it only means that you started from a position of inadequacy, incompleteness in the very first place. That is why this session on defeat comes after the last session on incompleteness. You start from a point of incompleteness and you fight, you strive, to somehow get over the incompleteness.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning.

When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

You are proceeding with the wrong idea. You are proceeding with an assumption. You’re driving from the wrong place with the wrong map. Now even if the process of driving is immaculate, yet it would not help.

You might be a great driver, but if you do not know where you are coming from and where you are going, then your driving skills will only take you quicker to the wrong place.

Read more

Our hard work is just labor, labor done to get result.

Since childhood we have been told about effort as a duty, hard work as an obligation, hard work as a result oriented investment. “Work hard so that you can have dividends later on.”

But there is another kind of hard work, very energetic hard work, which arises from your happiness, which arises from your completeness, and it’s not result oriented.

It’s like a herd of deer running in a jungle. It’s not that a tiger is chasing them, and it’s not like they are running towards a grassland. They are just running and they are running terribly hard; you can’t catch them. Have you seen? At least video recordings of animals running very very fast in a jungle, of birds soaring high, it’s not necessary that they are hungry, they are just soaring high, must have climbed to that height and that requires energy. They could have decided to sleep, why put in so much effort, why climb to that height? Why keep gliding? Why flap your wings?“No no, I am happy so I am working hard.”

Our hard work is just labor, labor done to get result. And the result that you want never satisfies you. The proof is, that you want more. At no point do you stop and say that I have had enough. And because you want more, you have to put in more labor. So, in all your life you are just a laborer.



Read the complete article: Real hard work is a result of a really happy mind

Real hard work is a result of a really happy mind

himalaya2

Question: Happiness is the only key to success, isn’t it some hard work is also required to become successful in life?

Acharya Prashant: So you are assuming that the happy one does not work hard.

Listener: We are always told that only happiness is required to become successful.

AP: Yes only happiness and happiness excludes hard work, is that so?

L: That’s what we read.

AP: You read that, happiness excludes hard work?

L: No sir, only just you need happiness to become successful.

AP: Yes, happiness is the key to success, correct, but does happiness excludes hard work? If happiness excludes hard work then all those who work hard surely must be very sad. Can’t you work hard happily? Can’t hard work emerge out of your joy? “I’m so happy that I am working very hard.” Or must you work hard only with a long face? “I am so frustrated, that I am slogging.” Read more

Be patient with the disturbance

Question: Sir, is there something within which is unshakeable that is observing the disturbance?

AP: We need not say even that much.

When you let the disturbance be, then it is proof that there is something that is undisturbed. But when you say that there is something within that is observing the disturbance then you are saying that you are observing that thing observe the disturbance. Otherwise, how would you know? So do not comment on it. Do not say anything about it.

Just be patient with the disturbance. This patience, this capacity to live in the disturbance is that unshakable thing. It cannot be known directly. You cannot talk about it or describe it. It can be known only by its fruits.


To read the complete article: How can I remain in the present without any expectations from the future?

You will never own up your mistakes

You will never own up your mistakes.

You will be brought to a point where you will have no option but to see that you have been an idiot.

You will be left option-less.

Till the time you have an option, you will exercise it.

Till the time you have an option, you will only choose the ego because only the ego has options.

What else will you choose?

Willingly, it is never going to happen.

Never, ever!

And those for whom it is happening willingly, it is not really happening.

If it is happening willingly for you, then it is not really happening.

Then it means that it is a part of your internal conspiracy.

How to be spiritual and still manage one’s job and bills?

14

Question: I like being in your Satsangs but what I want to say is, I just find it a big challenge to fly back to everyday life. You know, you’ve got a job, you’ve got to make plans and it’s tough.

Acharya Prashant: If you really like this, then why would you go back to your job? Especially if the job is of the nature that hinders this.

L1: You have to have a place to stay. You have to have food on the table.

AP: Do we go to our jobs just to have a place to stay and to have food on the table?

Or do our jobs exist to provide psychological fulfilment to us? Is it only for the sake of physical needs that we work? Our physical needs are small and few. Please, look at this closely and honestly. Read more

No need to work hard

22Question: Do goals always limit us, or can they be helpful as well?

Acharya Prashant: The method is to always ask, “Whose goals?” You have done the exercise named, ‘Who am I?’ You have done the exercise called, ‘I in identity’. You ask, “Do goals always limit us?” Do goals exist in a vacuum? Or are they always somebody’s goals? Is a goal something that is devoid of a context? Does it hang on a tree? Does it rain from the clouds? Or is it always something attached to something?

Read more

Man is the only one who has condemned himself to labor

Suppose, I go jogging in the morning and I don’t really enjoy it. It is lot of hard work for me. There is a colleague who goes along with me and has to keep pushing me all the time. When I play, be it Table Tennis, Cricket, or sometimes Soccer, I run around. I do not mind running around. I run around like a hare.

Why such a difference?

Because I am not into jogging. If you are not into it, then the mind gives a lot of resistance, that resistance is called ‘Hard Work’. Hard work is not any physical action. Hard work is the resistance that the mind puts up. My mind puts up lots of resistance even when I am jogging mildly. It says, ‘What stupidity? Why are you jogging? It is so humid, go back and sleep.’ That is hard work.

When your mind is playing all kinds of tricks and resisting what is happening, then it becomes hard work.

When your mind is not resisting, you do a lot of things, still it is not hard work. When your mind is supportive, when it is all in a smooth flow then a lot of work is happening and yet it is not hard work.

It is a deep, deep conditioning to say that hard work is necessary. Look at the entire existence around you. Do you think anything, anybody, any creature in existence is working hard? Everybody is simply partying, enjoying, celebrating, dancing. Man is the only one who has condemned himself to labor. Nothing else labors. Though they dance around with vigorous energy, but there is no labor involved in that.

Have you seen a river flowing, the way it flows?

There is great energy in that, but it is not working. It is not ‘working’. There is so much energy in a flowing river that it runs all your power plants. But is the river working? Man is the only one who has told himself that ‘hard’ work is the key to success. That is why you are asking this question that what will happen if you stop working hard.

It would be wonderful if you stop working hard. Play hard, that is important. Anything that is substantial, comes from playing hard, not from working hard. Play hard, celebrate like a mad-man.

Playing hard is purposeless. You do not want anything from it, except enjoyment. Working hard always has a target. Playing hard means that I am always happy, that I am dancing around. Working hard means that I am so sad that I must get something. They are opposites. Playing hard means that I am so contented that I can dance and play. Working hard means that I am feeling like a beggar. It means that I must work hard to attain something. They are opposites. Do you get the difference?


~ Excerpts from the article, ‘Play hard not work hard

Read more about ‘Success’: Success and Failure

On having motives in life

Question:  Sir, is it not important to have motive in life?

 Speaker: See Sana, motives are there. So the question: “Whether or nor motives are important and whether we must have motives?” is a little irrelevant because motives are anywhere there. And who is asking this question? Is it optional to have motives? If I say, “Don’t have motives”, is it within our capacity to not to have motives? The one who is asking this, will necessarily have motives. Why? Read more

Spirituality is not the renunciation of life; it is the art of living fully

Question: I am not sure about what to do in life. Whether I should go for a spiritual path and leave all material desires or do what everyone is doing. Divergence is always there in my mind. I am practicing meditations regularly, but it won’t clear my path. Secondly, how can only knowledge bring a change in me? Surely no one changes just by listening to talks?

Acharya Prashant: Why is it so that what you call as the ‘spiritual path’ must be equated with leaving something? Do you find any renunciation in existence? Do you find anything in existence that is bent upon giving up something, or dropping something? Read more

Reclaim your mind from the society

Question : I left corporate career after five years of exploitation. Day before yesterday I got a call from some company. I was somewhere out on the road. I was not able to respond to that call. I asked the caller to shut up. This made me uncomfortable till I slept. I felt as if I must switch-off my phone, must run away from this city, so that nobody can catch me even on phone, or meet me. Read more

Whatever you choose for yourself will be ‘poison’

Spontaenity

Question: While reading the various articles on your blog, I feel that they are like medicines for the mind, but despite having gone through several of them, I am still not able to cure the mind from its illness.

Acharya Prashant: You have several diseases, several illnesses, and what do you do? You go to a pharmacist. You go to a large pharmacy shop and thousands of medicines are there. Will you be cured by going to a pharmacy shop? Yes, indeed the blog is full of medicines, just as a pharmacy shop is full of medicines. And you are full of illness. So you go to the pharmacy shop, the shop is wide open to you and you have all the choice to pick anything as per your convenience, as per your likes and dislikes. And the medicines are there. These are complicated medicines. They have come after years of research. And you are standing there, all the medicines are there, and you start popping pills.

“I want that one, the deep pink! Aah! This syrup looks nice, this smells of alcohol! Give it to me!” And what will all these medicines do to you? Which medicines do you like? Do you know how these cough syrups sell? The government actually had to regulate their sales. You know people with drug addiction, they just like to taste things like Iodex, even Fevicol.

How can medicines help you when ‘you’ are choosing the medicines? All the medicines might be available, but which medicines will you choose? The one which has alcohol or the one which has the glossiest cover, or the one which is branded. That’s the one you will choose. (Referring to the questioner) So that is the reason our friend chooses to read what he chooses. That is the reason why Anshu would come here and then go back and send an article, explaining how spirituality is exploitation and how all the gurus have only exploited everybody, that too right on the day when he has been advised on closeness.

When you choose that particular article, you choose the medicine for yourself, and all the medicines are available.

I sometimes do feel that this is one of the worst injustices that can be done to mankind: to give it a free hand in picking up their medicines. When you allow just anybody to pick up a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, then you are actually harming that person. He is not eligible to read the Gita, why is he being allowed to lay his dirty hands on Krishna?

You do not know a thing about spirituality, you do not know the Guru, but with great confidence in yourself as a scholar, you are sending those mails. Pitiable, pathetic. Without a prescription, must you pick a medicine from the pharmacy? Then why do you just roam about picking up any book and reading it? You will be greatly harmed. In fact, don’t read at all, that is better. But to read the wrong book is like consuming poison. And I assure you that you will only choose poison for yourself. That’s all that you can choose.

So I will advise you . . . your life is so dry, it has no movement, no liquidity, it is like a rock, a fossil . . . so I will advise you to sing and dance and go to the saints. But you will not go to the saint, you will go to J. Krishnamurti. And there might be a superstitious fellow who is steeped in belief and he is all the time only reading Ramayana by Tulsidas, to him I would say, “Go to J. Krishnamurti.” But he would not go to J. Krishnamurti. He would say, “No. My chowpais (quatrains) are enough..  I only know Ayodhya and Vrindavan.  Radhe radhe. No Krishnamurti for me.”

The one who must not read Krishnamurti is drawn towards Krishnamurti. The one who must read Krishnamurti is drawn towards some other rubbish. Because you are so clever, you want to choose your own medicine. That’s what you do with the blog as well.

I have recently heard a very, very clever statement from one of you: “Sir, we don’t need. After all, blog is there. Whatever you will say in the camp will ultimately be posted on the blog and the blog is available.”

Have you not heard that?

“Sir, all the videos are there. Why do we need to come to the Clarity Session?” There is no need. Why travel all the way from Lucknow, Kanpur or Moradabad? There is no need. After all, whatever will be said, will sooner or later appear on the blog or on YouTube. So there is no need.”

And we will choose. We will decide what is important, what is not important.

And there are others who say, “Alright. Let him prescribe the medicines. I will not take any medicines outside the list that he prescribes. But from within the list, I will choose. So, if he tells me to do three things, I will do one, and I will choose which one to do. After all, I cannot be harmed. Had it been harmful, he wouldn’t have prescribed.”

You see, I take some Methotrexate, which is a poison. But along with that, my doctor has given me something which is a remedy to the side effects of that poison. So he has given me two medicines together, and he has cautioned me to take both of these. One will treat your illness, but will also give you a side illness. The second medicine will treat the side illness. But I am so clever. What do I do? I take only the first one and I avoid the second one. What do I say? “After all this is the real medicine. This cures the illness; why do I need the second one?” So what will I get? I will get a new disease. I am so clever.

And there are some others as well. “My doctor says, Take both these medicines, but do not take alcohol.” So, what do I do? I say, “See, I am not taking anything which he did not allow me to take. I am not going outside this list. Am I taking any medicine outside this list? No. And whatever is there in this list, I am taking. But why should I follow the other rules that he has set for me? I will take alcohol!” So that’s the kind of mind we have.

“Sir has given us certain books to read. We will read them. But why should we write daily reflections? That is not needed.”

What you do not realize is that the entire thing works together. Even if you take all the medicines and yet do not take the precautions that the doctor has advised, it will not work. The entire thing has to work in totality. But you are so clever: “Why should I do it?” And then look at your face, then look at all the sickness that is there. I am so clever. In thirty different ways you apply your cleverness, and in three hundred ways you suffer. Don’t you see?

Don’t you see? You pick up a book. The book might be by a great master, by the so-called enlightened ones. But don’t you see that you are the one who decides which chapter to read? And don’t you see that those answers were given to somebody else? Are you sure that had you asked that same question that is there in the book, you would have received the same answer?

Let’s say that you are reading Krishnamurti . . . and there is a question and an answer . . . that is the format of the book. Is Joydeep asking that question?

Listener: No.

AP: Is the answer for Joydeep then?

L1: No.

AP: Then how can you be so stupid? Is that answer for you? Look at this very venue, look at this occasion. If Manjeet asks me a question versus if Anushka asks me a question versus if Rahul asks me a question, will I give the same answer? But you record the answer that I gave to Anushka and play that answer to Rahul. What will happen? Will he be helped?

That’s what a book does to you. You don’t even realize that what Krishna is saying in Bhagavad Gita, is for Arjun. Are you Arjun? But you love the blog: “Blogs are good. I am a reader. I read so many other things as well. I am a very well-read person.”

What do you get after reading so many other things? Concept is all that you get. You become a walking inventory of medicines. You smell and reek of medicines. When you talk, you only talk of medicines. In fact, the medicines talks, you are nowhere to be seen. And it can be pinpointed that this statement is coming from this Upanishad.

Yes, speak more, “Yes! This is from the bible.” Speak a little more, “Aah! That one was from Nisargadatta.”

So medicines are talking. Where are you?

Have you seen those patients who take many medicines daily? Now, only medicines are there, like a patient on ventilator. Only the ventilator is there, the man is long gone. The ventilator is breathing. The ventilator is pumping blood. Only the medicine is remaining, you are no more there. But books are such a consolation – “I will read.”

I start feeling a little jittery when I see people who are very well-read. It is very difficult to talk to them, very, very difficult. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t read. I don’t know what you will make out from these words. Next time I advise you to read, and you will say, “Yuck! Poison”

(Laughter)

“That day you said that never read. And now you are saying read!”

L1: Sir, isn’t the choice of book related to what is going on inside?

AP: Yes, yes. Obviously. Always.

L2: Sir, I am pursuing a particular course of study. So I have to read. I sometimes feel guilty that the knowledge given in that course, is in a different light as compared to the discussions that we do here. Yesterday I was reading something, but I was not able to concentrate, because I felt guilty, because I thought that this book will only substantiate my ego. What should one do in that case?

AP: See, one does not go to a temple with the same mind that he has while bargaining in the market. You are not pursuing a spiritual course, you are pursuing a marketable course. When you are in a market, you should know that this is the market and this is knowledge. I must know what the rate of potatoes is. That is what your education teaches you. So you must know that these are potatoes, not a Shivalinga – just a potato. You cannot take it seriously. Alright, you are pursuing some academic course. Is that what you are saying? Which course is it?

L2: English literature.

AP: So all these poets that you read in your English literature course, are they Kabir or Jesus? You must know that this is something for livelihood, and there is the poet who is saying this and that. A poet is not a Rishi (Sage). Is he? So read the poet, it is alright.

Bhagavad Gita is about the mind, and so are the Upanishads. One of you is pursuing a psychology course, and that too is supposed to be about the mind. But will you pursue a psychology course assuming it to be spiritual? There is nothing spiritual about it. It is like looking at the mind just as one looks at the shop. There is no self-observation there. It will never take you to the root of the mind. In fact, it will be very difficult for a psychologist to turn spiritual.

And Bhagavad Gita too is just psychology – how the mind functions.  But you cannot take these two, try to compare them, and co-relate them, and what not. These are just toys that man has made for his entertainment –this study, that study. Let them be there. It’s alright. You must have a reason for pursuing that course. It’s alright. Pursue it, pass it, and get that degree. Don’t take the whole thing so seriously. There is no need to feel guilty about it.

There is this bread here and there is jam inside. The jam has a particular color and I am feeling guilty about the color. How can I take it so seriously? It’s alright. I may eat it; I may not eat it. In fact, I don’t want to eat it! So, it’s alright.

You eat it, it’s alright. You do not eat it, it’s alright.

You must know, what is to be taken seriously; that itself is called vivek (discretion). What is vivek?

The art of knowing what to take seriously and what not to take seriously.

L3: Then the question arises: Who is saying it?

AP: Okay, but at least in the moment of your seriousness, if this can arise, “Does it deserve it?” then there is some possibility. “Does it deserve that seriousness?” When you are fighting and quarrelling with your wife, in that moment if this thought can arise, “Does she deserve this seriousness?” Then you will just shrug the whole thing off and maybe get out of the house, take a walk, sip nice tea somewhere and come back. “She doesn’t even deserve this much of seriousness. How can I even fight with her seriously? You want to shout, keep shouting. I don’t take you seriously enough to fight with you.” This is called discretion, vivek. But obviously, it must arise at that moment, at that time.

L3: How can this arise at that moment, because at that time emotions are very high?

AP: Nothing can be done at that moment, because your mind is a product of time. So everything depends on what you have been doing in time.

On Sunday afternoons it will be difficult for you to fight with your wife, assuming that Sunday mornings are being spent here. So, what you have been doing in time, how you have been spending your time, decides the quality of your time. Are you getting it?

Spend your time wisely and then your spontaneous response will shape up. We talk of ‘spontaneous’ response. But remember, that to have spontaneous response in that moment, you must first have gone through an entire process of cleansing – cleansing in time. A time drawn process, a long process. So the response is spontaneous, but to reach that spontaneity, you must first pass through a long period of time in which there has been an effort, a devoted effort, to take care of the mind. And then you become capable of spontaneity.

L3: Sir, my looseness in this moment will welcome the trouble in the future . . .

AP: Yes, obviously. Wonderful.

That is Karma, fruit of the action.

L3: I am regularly reading Kabir. Chances are that I wouldn’t get into a fight. On the other hand, if I am reading a magazine, I would get into fight . . .

AP: Yes. So there is a man who is attending the session right now. His chances of remaining peaceful in the afternoon and in the evening today are more as compared to a man who is reading a magazine right now, or to a man who is spending Sunday morning lazing in the bed. Evening depends on the morning.

L2: Can that be sustained?

AP: Depends on how desperate you are. Depends on how much your wife has beaten you.

There can be no other answer. There can be no other motivation. You must see that you are suffering. You must clearly see, clearly realize that your ways are of blindness. That they are only giving you pain.

L 3: Sir, a few days back, I read a blog article on anxiety and fear because I was feeling anxious and fearful. Would reading that article harm me?

AP: (Sarcastically) You have already taken it. The medicine has gone in and done whatever it had to do. What is the point? It happens in families where there are small kids.

“Doctor, my son has taken in phenyl.”

“When?”

“Two days back.”

Now what had to happen has happened. Maybe it is because of reading that article that this anxiety is there.

You read something on anxiety and now you are anxious. “What will happen to me? I have read that!”

The medicine will show its effects . . .


– Excerpts from a Clarity Session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Whatever you choose for yourself will be ‘poison’

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1 : Whatever you choose will bring sorrow to you

Article 2 : Your own essence is the Guru, the essence of everything

Article 3 : Why do we choose to suffer silently?

Your ‘individuality’ is just a deceptive name given by ego to itself

Question: On one hand the HIDP tells us to be individuals, on the other hand we are being asked to read texts. Why are we not allowed to write what we think?

Speaker: What is the difference between an ‘individual’ and a ‘person’? Let us understand this. Let us depict the mind of the individual by one circle, and the mind of the person by another circle. The word ‘individual’ is linked to ‘indivisible’. That which is neither divided nor can be divided. There is no possibility. So there is this circle; the individual’s circle. And it’s an empty circle. Zero cannot be divided. There are only two entities that cannot be divided; zero and infinity. You can represent the individual by any of them. They both are indivisible. Zero and infinity. Read more

Remember by Heart, and let the memory forget

आचक्ष्व शृणु वा तात नानाशास्त्राण्यनेकशः।
तथापि न तव स्वास्थ्यं सर्वविस्मरणाद् ऋते॥

          – अष्टावक्र गीता (अध्याय-१६ सूत्र-१)

Translation: Even after hearing from many scholars or reading many scriptures, you will not be established in self, as after forgetting every single thing.

Speaker: The question is: What does ‘forgetting’ imply?

Whatever we have in the mind, is related to the world. Usually we think that ‘forgetting’ means, that what is there in the mind is no more there in the mind. It was an image of the world and the image is just no more there. In a way it has gone back to the world. It came from the world and it is no more there, so it’s gone. Gone where? Gone back to somewhere else. It’s no more in the mind. No more in the memory. It’s gone.

There is another kind of forgetting in which what came to the mind is no more there in the mind, because it has penetrated deeply to some other place. See, understand this.
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Before you chase goals, become goal-less

Impart not esoteric Truth to fools,
Nor on molasses feed an ass.
Do not sow seeds in sandy beds,
Nor waste your oil on cakes of bran.
-Lal Ded

Speaker: The question is, ‘Why is a compassionate saint speaking such words? They look more like coming from a result oriented mind.’

When you say, ‘Why is a compassionate saint speaking these words?’, who are you referring to? There is a Lal Ded that never took birth and will never die. There is a Lal Ded who is so expansive that space cannot contain her and there is a Lal Ded who surely took birth and who surely die. There is a Lal Ded who is limited in a body, there is a Lal Ded who is living, eating and breathing in achievement and there is nothing left for her to get. And there is a Lal Ded who must move around, go place to place, speak and dance. There is a Lal Ded who is pure silence and there is a Lal Ded who must deal in words. Who are you referring to? Who is the saint? When you say saint, what do you mean? What do you mean? Your query is that why is Lal Ded speaking in a language that looks result oriented?
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Let the other never cloud your mind

Speaker: The question is: why does my confidence get low while speaking to others? I feel I have the required knowledge, yet when it comes to dealing with others, communicating with others, I find myself helpless, I find myself unable to put things across, unable to articulate, unable to communicate.

There are two things in this question. One, my knowledge: the content of my mind, what I claim that I know. And the second factor is the presence of the other person.

We need to carefully investigate where the problem lies. Is it the lack of knowledge, or is it the presence of the other which is causing all the anguish?
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