How to unburden the mind? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

How to unburden the mind

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Question: Acharya Ji, I just keep feeling burdened most of the times, and to escape this burden, I keep racing all day long. But I find myself feeling heavy again. Please help me unburden myself.

Acharya Prashant Ji: You are burdened, that itself is the proof of the burden. The burden surely does exist, otherwise, why would there be a burdened one. So, you are burdened, and you are moving. That movement, you are describing as a race. Great!

If you are burdened and troubled, then surely you must move.

But if you are burdened and troubled, but your movement has to be, with the intention of, and in the direction of, un-burdening. 

If I am burdened, and as a result of the burden, I run, then the purpose of the run should be to un-burden myself. So, it’s great that you are running everyday. Now, what remains to be asked, is the question, that whether your race is helping you to be unburdened.

You wake up in the morning, and the entire day you have been running, has this running helped you by the evening? If it has helped you, congratulations! Again tomorrow, run more, run faster. Running is exactly what you need. But, if it has not unburdened you, then all your running has been in vain, and it has been a stupid thing, to run without knowing the destination, or the purpose.

I am a great supporter of movement. If one is at the wrong place, one must move, and one must move fast. One must run indeed. And one must energetically run. I seriously support action. But action ought to have a purpose. The purpose is decided by the state of the actor. 

If the actor is in bondage, then the sole purpose of the action has to be, the liberation of the actor. Now, are you acting towards your liberation. Look at your daily actions. Are they contributing to your liberation? Or are you rather acting to enslave yourself, even more deeply?

Action is good, action is inevitable. But what is your action leading to? Run, run fast. But run in the right direction. Sometimes we run so fast, and in such scare, and with such blindness, that we become incapable of knowing where we are going. Then, a second of rest, helps. A bit of a pause, brings in some sanity.

You can even ask yourself, “What am I doing? What am I expending precious time and energy towards? While it is a matter of celebration, that you are capable of running, capable of energy, it is an equally serious concern, how you are expending yourself? Because time and energy won’t last forever.

Today you are able to run. Tomorrow? As long as you can run, make good use of the running. A day will come, when the running will anyway cease. Is it too much to enquire into? “Am I getting any better, by doing what I am continually doing?” Is this too difficult a question to ask.

“This is what I am doing everyday. The same pattern, the same repetition. Is it taking me anywhere, or I am just feasting on blind hope?”

Today, somebody quoted me on one of the groups. I was told. Many years back, maybe five, six, or seven years, I had said that had Kabir Sahib been alive today, and looked at the railway station, and the railway engine and the train, then he would have spontaneously uttered something. This was long back.

So, jokingly I had said, that Kabir Sahib would have said, “Dhak dhak dhak engine chale, chalta chati phod. Sahib maarg jaane nahin, jaayegaa kis or. (The engine is running, and running, making a lot of noise, and moving with so much power. It has no clue of route to God, where will it lead itself to.”

So you are a very powerful engine, and you are running your heart out. “Dhak dhak dhak dhak engine chale, chalta chati phod.” That’s probably the state of most middle-class hard-workers. See how hard they work. Look at the roads at 8:30 a.m. every morning, congested with all the hard-workers. And then look at the roads at 8:30 p.m. every night. Again congested with all the hard-workers. Obviously they are working very hard.

Had they invested even a quarter of their time and energy towards liberation, they won’t have needed to congest the roads anymore. Our energy is going towards self-destruction. And our energy is going towards fattening our slave masters. You work so very hard, and who reaps the benefit of your labor? Some fat man sitting at the top of the food chain, right?

Sometimes you don’t even know of his name. And it would be extremely rare, if you have ever met him. And he is real recipient, of the fruit of your labor. What you get, by way of salary, a profit, is so meager. But still you do get something. That is sufficient to meet all your expenses. You are also able to save a bit for the rainy day.

And given the kind of life that you are leading, obviously cancer is not very far away. Everything that you are doing every day, every hour, is an invitation to cancer. But don’t worry, you will have savings.

In your last six months, you will duly transfer all your savings to the hospital, the fruit of your hard work, all your life. And you will feel vindicated. You will say, “See, I knew I will have cancer. And therefore, with great responsibility, like a good citizen, I kept saving every month. And all those savings, are standing by me now. Otherwise, what would have I given to the hospital?”

And not even once do you realise, that your cancer, is nothing, but a product of your hard work – the kind of life that you have lived. Look at your statement – ‘I get up every morning, and I feel burdened, and then I race through the entire day, and I repeat the vicious cycle the next day’.

Do you really think that this kind if lifestyle will spare even your physical health?


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

Watch the session:  How to unburden the mind? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Far better than introspection is attention.

Attention says, “Whatever is happening, be in that, be alive, be present.” Give everything to ‘what is’ and forget everything else. Let all your concerns disappear, Let all miscellaneous thoughts disappear. Let all planning, all worries disappear. Nothing, no movement in the mind at all. A complete disappearance of all disturbances. Just presence, this is attention. And when you are attentive, after that introspection will appear foolish. You will say, “What should I introspect?” The event is done, the game has been played, the rock has been walked, the food has been eaten, now what is there to introspect?

And when I am introspecting about the past, I am losing out the present. Every second that I am ruminating about the past is a second that I am losing out in the present. So the general meaning of introspection is very misplaced. Very misplaced. It is just as we said, a ‘Postmortem’. The event has been done and now you are uselessly thinking about it.

Far better than introspection is attention. Attention says, “When the event is there, let the event be there and nothing else, let everything else disappear, dive into the event, give everything. And when the event is not there, then forget the event. Then there is no need to think. When you are awake, be fully awake. and when you are asleep, be fully asleep. When you are asleep, don’t keep thinking about the day. Don’t keep having bad dreams. When awake, fully awake, when asleep, fully asleep.”



Read the complete article: Past, future and introspection

Past, future and introspection

SR Generic_ EnglishQuestion: Sir everyone says that introspect yourself, realize your true potential. I have failed to do that.

Acharya Prashant: There is no need. Actually what you are calling as introspection is usually a post-mortem. What people typically call as introspection usually means that “Once the event is done, now think about it” and that is only wastage of time. That is only wastage of time. Attention is something totally different.

Sitting over here if you are introspecting, you are wasting your time and my time. Why? because you will be introspecting about something that happened in the morning. Now, is it morning right now? But you will be introspecting. And all introspection is about an event that has gone by or is the past. Attention is something totally different. I ask for attention. Read more

Ambition is nothing but the great granddaddy of the desire.

Ambition is nothing but the great granddaddy of the desire.

So, desire is small, ambition is large.

There is nothing wrong with ambition except that it is not new, not fresh. Being ambitious is like asking for repetition of the past. That is the only thing wrong with ambition. You believe that you are ambitious and you want to create a new future for yourself, but that can happen only in intelligence, that cannot be a product of conditioning. That cannot be a product of conditioning. And the one who is living intelligently, anyway gets a wonderful future. He doesn’t desire, he doesn’t plan it. He just gets it as a surprise gift. A beautiful and wonderful future he gets. But not a future that has been pre-planned for him, that has already been scripted for him by others.

Ambition, firstly understand that these words belong to the same family. Ambition, Goal, Purpose, Target, Desire, they all belong to the same family. They are very closely related.  You could just say that they are just one word, Desire. And all desire comes from the past.



Read the complete article: What is ambition?

What is ambition?

 

BFB1

Acharya Prashant: What is this thing called Ambition?

Its simple, really simple. The brain only has past, correct? And the future that the brain projects is nothing but a reflection of the past. You can dream of no future except that which is already present in your past in some way.

Now, that will come as a surprise to most of us because we dream of fresh and new and beautiful future. All of us want a new future. But there is a bad news that you can never want a new future, the brain will only want that which it has already experienced. What it has not experienced, it cannot know of. It is impossible for the brain to know of something, to dream of something, to desire something that it has no experience of from the past. Are you getting it? Read more

We all keep bearing hell in the hope for heaven

We all keep bearing hell in the hope for heaven, don’t we? There is nobody here, who is not chasing a heaven. The heavens have different names, different forms, and definitions. But we all are chasing heavens, thereby living in hell. Tiredness is to see that you have chased enough. Not only have you chased enough, factually too, you are repeating your old tricks, tricks that never worked in the first place! If they didn’t worked once, how will they work now?



Read the complete article: Be fully tired

Be fully tired

Slide2

 

Questioner: Sir, if I give up myself and all that the world has taught me, all the layers of knowledge that I have gained, then how will I function in the world? Won’t it actually be a physical death than just a mental one?

Acharya Prashant: Why must you function in the world?

Listener 1: That’s what I am saying, it would be mental death also.

AP: Question is, why must you continue to function in the world?

Because we are afraid of death. Read more

Why do we often require somebody’s company?

Presentatio2

 

Acharya Prashant: Praveen is asking, “Why do we always require somebody’s company?”

Even when there is somebody who is lying on the side of the road, let’s say an accident victim waiting to be helped, we wonder whether we are the first one or the only one who would be getting involved. We think so many times before putting our foot forward. In such situations too, we require the company of somebody else, why?

Praveen, this is just one particular incident where it becomes obvious, that we are so dependent on others. Such incidents only exemplify, bring forth to light that we are very very dependent. But, such dependence is not limited to these kinds of incidents. Kindly, do not think that in other general, day to day matters of life, we act independently Read more

How to be in a peaceful state of mind?

Questioner: I am a normal working guy and I say I don’t have any question, I don’t have any goal, I am not aware of what I desire, I don’t know what I am seeking.

Acharya Prashant: Is it just a matter of merely saying, does one really have no desires. Is it just about saying a few nice things? Does one really have no desires? One has desires, one has conclusions, one also has ideas and ideals about where to go, what to do. In fact, one has very firm convictions. One starts from there. One doesn’t start from idealistic position. One starts from that which one is experiencing, that which one takes it to be his immediate reality.

So I have desires, I have hopes, fears, I have all of these. I start from there, I see what do I do to get rid of all these. I see how I try to satiate them. And I also see what comes out of that and then upon honest observation if it flashes,  if one realizes that I really do not know, then that is an honest statement. Then that is not a mere verbalization, then it has some authenticity to it.

Read more

Is there fear without thought?

Is there fear without future? Is there fear ever in what is going on? Fear is always a prospect, a possibility. And if you are someone, who must take care of the future, who lives in hopes, then you are also someone who lives in fear.

But you have been taught the virtues of hope, right? You have been said, “Never drop hope”. If you never drop hope then you also never drop fear — two ends of duality.

Aren’t there enough people who keep on telling you to remain hopeful?

That’s how fear enters you: If you hope that you will get something, then parallelly you will have to be afraid that you may not get that thing.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format, makes it even more simpler. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

How to get success in whatever you do?

Question: I want to do a few things, but I find myself enslaved in my habits and patterns, I fail again and again in doing what I want to do.

Acharya Prashant: So I say that I am failing again and again and hence I want success.

Who is it that is failing? You are saying that it is due to habits and patterns that the failure is happening. I am asking, “Who is it that is failing?”

“Is it not the patterns themselves that are producing both the cause and the effect?”

“Is the so called failure not entrenched in the mental pattern itself?”

The pattern is working, the pattern is producing a certain output and then the pattern itself is not satisfied with the output. Tell me, is dissatisfaction going to lead to any kind of progress?

It is a commonly held belief with so many of us that if you are dissatisfied with the status quo, then some change happens. We think that, don’t we? But I am asking, name the entity that is dissatisfied? The dissatisfied entity, is it not the same as the entity that works and fails and works and fails and is repeatedly dissatisfied? Is dissatisfaction emerging from looking at the failure or is it just the continuation of the same pattern of failure?

Please understand this, most of us thinks that it is because we failed that we are dissatisfied. Failure is followed by dissatisfaction, right? Is it not so? And when you have a target and you don’t achieve that target, you fail; you feel that it is because you failed that you are now dissatisfied.

I am asking you to consider whether is it really so? Are you dissatisfied because you fail or are failure and dissatisfaction necessary accompaniments of each other? Like fruits of the same tree, is one fruit giving the birth to another fruit or do they have common root? When you have two fruits of a tree, is one fruit responsible for the other fruit? Or do they have a common root? Now when you fail, there is an urge to improve, right? Is that not just a third fruit of the same tree? Or is it a result?

Things happening within a particular system will not radically transform that system. Things happening within a mental pattern, are not going to dissolve that pattern. And it is a nice pattern- desire, work, fail, dissatisfaction, desire to change, work again, fail again, feel dissatisfied again, have another desire to change things, work again – and it is within this pattern that our entire life is spent. It is within this pattern that most human activity takes place.

You do not realize that the entity that wants to improve is the same entity that failed in the first place. The urge towards progress is coming from the same root from where the reasons of failure came. In other words, the same factor that caused you to fail, is now asking you to improve.

This is quite funny – there is something within you that first brings failure to you and then brings in a hope of improvement to you. And it’s the same fellow, it’s the same entity sitting in your mind that first brings you failure and then brings you the hope that you can change and improve and succeed. And because you do not know this entity, so you listen to this fellow and the cycle continues.

 I am saying that, “Whatever be your chosen field of work, whatever be your location in life, whatever be your status in society, whatever be the direction of your endeavor, there can be no real progress if you just keep working in that field.”

A student has 65% marks and is not satisfied; a scientist is getting particular results in his laboratories and is not satisfied; a politician is getting some amount of support in the electorate and is not satisfied; an athlete is performing to a particular standard and is not satisfied and all of them want to put in more effort, all of them think that they can change through their effort and hence improvement and success can come. And remember, that in all these fields, area of work, the life activities are very different. Or it could be a relationship – two people are in relationship and they are not satisfied with the quality of the relationship so they too want to bring in some change so that there can be some progress. Nothing can happen whatever be the field, till first of all, the mental pattern is thoroughly changed.

The fellow who is getting 65% marks is not getting 65% marks for no reason. There is something within him that binds him to 65%. This 65% cannot radically change till the fellow radically changes.

Being what you are you cannot get anything very different from the figure you are already getting. Yes, 65 can become 68 or 70 or it can probably drop to 60 but if you think that you can become a 90% scorer that cannot happen. This 65% is a reflection of your being and your personality because you are preserving your being, your personality, so this 65% will also be preserved.

And that is why you would see that in overwhelming, large proportions of cases, your academic percentage in first semester will be almost the same throughout your academic career. What you get in the first semester will be maintained in the coming semesters as well with a little bit of change. Because, you are the same, your effort is not going to help.

If you put in more effort that would be like a dog trying to chase its tail or a man trying to lift himself up using the power of his hands. He is saying, “I will lift myself up from the earth using my own power.”

It is not possible because you yourself are the fellow who will cause resistance to improvement.It’s like having one foot on the accelerator and the other foot on the brake. You have two footy for no reason! The reason is duality. (Smiles)

So, you can console yourself and feel good about yourself by saying, “See, I am trying to improve.” And you conveniently hide the fact that right next to the accelerator, you are the one who is also not allowing the improvement. You will not allow.

Before you go in any kind of progress in any field of life, remember, only a little bit, marginal improvements can come through your efforts.

Your efforts will not bring about real change;  

real change in work, real change in activity comes,

when the mind really changes.

 

You are an athlete, you belong to particular category of performers, if you want to improve within that category then work hard. But if you want to rise above your category and rise to another dimension all together, then work on your mind.

You are a businessman, you are doing 10 crores, you want to rise to 12, then work on your marketing, finances and distribution, but if you want to rise from 10 to 500 then forget marketing and finance and HR, work on yourself. Because being what you are, you will not take the quantum jump from to 10 to 500. 10 to 12, you will manage and you feel very happy “20% improvement has resulted due to my hard work”. You will feel very happy and you will celebrate, “20% improvement!” but 10 to 500 cannot come due to your hard work, it can come only in a wake of utter dissolution of your personality.

A new self has to be born.

Only a new self will produce totally new results.

Does that explain why most of us struggle within our narrow brackets? But that’s a good comfort also, because the bracket, while ensuring that you cannot rise above the bracket, will also ensure that you cannot fall below the bracket. So from 65 you will not be able to rise above 70 but you will be also not fall below 60 and that’s a great comfort.

“Being what I am I will at least get 60.”

Yes, of course you would, because you would not allow yourself to not to study less than a particular limit. Being what you are, you will be so terrified, that you will go and study and you will end up getting 60. Even if you try not to get any marks, you will get 60. It is very very difficult for you to get 80 but it is impossible for you to get 40. Try!

Anybody here who says he can manage a 40? You cannot, it is beyond you. It is as much beyond you as getting 85.

Do you see where you are trapped?

In that small narrow bracket and that small narrow bracket is you. That’s what you are – the four walls of your house. That’s not where you live; that’s what you are. Your brackets are your boundaries.

And please remember, those wall have not come due to some accidents they are not there out of sheer chance. Those walls are just a reflection of your mind.  If you are just entertaining yourself with the thought that, “One day, I will be able to break away and fly free” then you are just deceiving yourself.

The world is like a mirror – it reflects what your mind is projecting.

If you see walls around you that only mean that your mind is full of walls. Your mind is projecting walls. And if the mind has walls, then even if it is forcibly made to fly away, it will carry the walls with itself and soon you will find that in the external world also new walls are surrounding you.

It is a peculiar situation. Even if your old walls are forcibly brought down you are the one who will raise new walls for yourself. So kindly do not come up with the excuse that, “You know, right now what can I do? My flight is hindered by these walls.”

Your flight! What do you mean by that? It’s just a good idea- your flight!

There is nothing called your flight; there is only something called your walls.

You are the walls;

unless there is complete demolition of who you are,

you will remain where you are.

But you are hopeful, you are carrying a dream. You think remaining what I am, the rest of the stuff of my life can change and there can be joy, there can be progress there can be freedom.

Even small kids know something very basic- good things don’t happen to a bad man. That’s a very primitive, almost crude way of putting it, but that’s it. Good things don’t happen to a bad man. And if bad things are all the time happening to you, should you feel good that “I am a nice man and the world is a bad place and the world does not know how to value and honor its variant knights like Don Qiote — the real people — the world does not value them. Or should you simply admit that if so many bad things are happening then may be the bad rests within me.

Before you forget, I am repeating one central thing — that the voice that leads you to failure and the voice that urges you to improve are one and the same voice.Both are fake; both are your enemies.

They are not different voices. Forget about them being opposite voices they are not even different. The voice that indulges you in desire and then the voice that ask you to repent are one and the same voice. But you feel that they are opposite voices, right? There is one voice that pushes you in indulgence and after you have had your way and your desire is satiated for a while then you hear another voice which says, “Bad man! You indulged, you went for self-gratification and that is not right, now you must repent.” These two are the same voices.

One of these voices is never going to cancel out the other. One of these voices is not at all standing in real opposition to the other.

There is one voice within you which says “Oh my God, I am so helpless” and there is another voice within you that says, “I want to improve, I want to change my current situation.” Both of these are the same voice. Do not think that the voice that urges you to become free is any different from the voice that tells you how helpless your situation is – they are the same voice.

But you have a wonderful notion about yourself. You think you are two selves. You think on one hand there are the external situations that are responsible for your bondage and on the other hand there is something else about you which is pushing you towards freedom. No! What keeps you in bondage is not at all your external situation, it is your own pattern and the same pattern urges you to become free. This urge is false and fake urge. This urge is just a consolation; this urge is just a method so that you continue being bonded.

Hope promises change, but is the agent of continuity.

By hoping you allow the rubbish to continue.

By hoping that one day I will be able to clear the rubbish, you are allowing the rubbish to continue. So, hope is a very deceptive thing. We all hope for change. But in hoping for change, we only allow the rubbish to continue; not change; to continue, persist.

I find it funny when you come up to me and say that, “This is wrong with me and I want to change it.”

Or, when you come up to me and say that, “I made all these mistakes, now what can I do?”

Or when you come up to me and say that, “This is the problem I am facing, how I can get rid of it?”

Because, you are the same fellow who is raising those problems, who is creating those problems and asking for a solution to those problems is a part of creation of those problems.

There is a complete algorithm of problem creation and maintenance and you are trying to co-opt me within that algorithm. You know what the algorithm is?

Create a situation.

Name it a problem.

Try to find a solution.

Go to that fellow to get a solution.

Thank him.

Do not let the solution work.

Land into another problem,

Go back to that fellow,

Get another solution,

Do not let that solution work,

Create another problem,

Go back to that fellow.

And this pattern allows your mental activity to continue. This is all that the mind wants – having something to continue; having something that extends in time.

You could say the mind is always looking for a time pass. So, this whole pattern, gives you a very convenient time pass. And you are able to spend your life with some kind of purposefulness.

“What did I do my entire life?

“I was fighting problems and I was genuinely fighting problems. See, how sincere I was. I took all the steps to improve, to make progress. I was genuinely fighting. So I am a respectable fellow. When I die, then you should offer me some tributes – he fought problems all his life; all his life he was trying to bring down the walls around him. He was a valiant soldier who kept failing.”

When you come to me, are you not the same fellow who did not listen to me the last time or have you radically transformed in the meanwhile? Last time when you came to me I said something to you, right?  You didn’t listen or you pretended to listen. You ignored it; you didn’t take the opportunity that I gave. That is what happened last time. And now you have again come to me asking the question. Are these two fellows not same? One who ignored my advice or failed to live up to it and this fellow who is again coming to me for advice are they not the same?

I am asking, “Has there been a radical transformation in the meanwhile?”

There has been no radical transformation. Then what you did to my advice last time, you will do to it this time as well. But you come up with such a genuine face, you look so innocent.

“Sir, please sir, I am again in trouble and this has happened.”

Are you in trouble or is trouble in you?

So, that is why last week I asked, “You keep asking all these questions, first of all, you tell me what happened to the answer that I gave the last time. First of all, you explain that to me. What did you do with the answer that I gave last time? And will you not do the same to the answer that I give today?”

Being what you are, you will do what you have been doing. But today your face is different. It’s just the face that is different. When you are not listening to me, you have a particular face and when you say that, “We are sorry, we are attentive; we want to listen.” then you have a different face.

These are two faces of the same bad coin. Can the coin give itself up? It probably can. But it cannot give up one particular face. Both faces will have to go.

Those who do not want to face failure again and again must give up the quest for progress.

And when you do not want to improve,

then genuine transformation occurs,

not just marginal improvement.

Please understand the enormity of what I am saying right now. When you do not want your little bit of improvement and given what you are, can you want much? Can you want the immense? You will only want a little bit, right? You will want a movement from 65 to 68. The day you stop wanting to move from 65 to 68 a radical change from 65 to 95 become possible. But you will have to stop wanting. You do not stop wanting, thinking that if you stop wanting then no progress will happen.What you do not realize is that your desire itself is preventing you from fulfillment.

The desire for improvement is an obstacle to real improvement.

It is because you want to improve and I am repeating, when you will want to improve, you will want only a little improvement. Because you are little and a little mind cannot want much.

The day you will stop desiring to improve you will not see improvement within the brackets, you will see an explosive, disruptive improvement. It will be beyond your expectation, actually beyond your expectations, because your expectation cannot be bigger than you. Are you getting it?

Your efforts will not bring about real change in you.

Your desire will not bring about real change in you.

The real change comes when you see the futility of your desire and your efforts.

When you see that the agent that is desiring and working is the same agent that is bringing you the repeated failures and suffering again, again and again.

But you are smart people. You say that, “If change has to come then it must come through my efforts, so that I can stake my claim over it. You see I improved due to my mechanisms and my efforts.”

You want to take the credit – that will not happen. As far as you are concerned, you are already getting the best that you can get. You will not be getting more than this from Existence. Existence is a very fair operator. It is already giving you what you deserve. You will not get anything more than this from existence. If right now, you are getting misery, suffering, failure you will keep getting misery, suffering and failures because that’s what you deserve.

The world is not an unjust place. There is nothing here that is oppressive or unjust.  There is nothing here that is kept pending. You have very quick transactions.

A better future is not possible for you.

The future, if at all it comes, will be just the same as your present.

You are not rising up a hill.

There is no peak that you are climbing towards.

You are already at the peak.

You cannot get any higher or any better than this. You are not going to improve. The rest of your life is going to be spent at the same level. It’s less of a mountain and more of a plateau. You can keep running on the top of the plateau, you a are not rising any higher. Are you getting it? There is no hope for you. And you better realize this – there is no hope. And it’s a fabulous thing to realize that. Because when there is no hope there is also no need for useless efforts.

 When you know you are on plateau, you know you cannot fall down. You may as well relax. The fellow on the plateau running around thinking that he can ascend the mountain; there is no mountain – so, sleep! You cannot ascend but you cannot also descend, so sleep! Your 65 will remain 65 even if you sleep. You know that, right?

The moment you realize that your effort is useless, the very agency from where your system operates changes. Now you have lost your trust in your self made system. When you loose trust in your self made system then another system takes over. It’s a miraculous mad system. And when it takes over, strange things happen. But for that system to take control of you, you must completely loose trust and hope in the system that you have made for yourself.  You must totally disown, disregard it and disrespect it. You must be able to clearly see how inadequate it is, how much of suffering it has given you and how it is deviously leading you towards more and more suffering.

You should not only be able to disregard it, you should actually find it abominable, condemn-able, a fair deal of repulsion and wonderment at how you could trust it in the first place. When you come to that point where you are wondering that, “How could I trust this system so much and for so long?”, then there is complete dissociation from your own system. Now something else takes possession of you. The man returns to his house, the tenants are out.

Let that something else take possession of you. You do not know yourself. You simply do not know your real face.

See what you are capable of, see what heights you can scale but first of all vacate the house, and first of all get rid of your self belief.

Get rid of your confidence in self.

If self respect means respecting your hollowness and ego, I am teaching you to disrespect yourself totally.

Disrespect yourself; go to the extent of humiliating yourself that even small remnant of old system does not remain with you.

It terrifies, right?

You don’t want to feel small in your own eyes, you want to feel good about yourself but this urge to feel good about yourself is the urge to feel good about the system and it comes from the system itself. You will have to see the inadequacy of your entire life; you will have to admit that you have been an unexceptional failure. You cannot even say that some part is good and the rest is bad. You will have to accept that you have been a total, complete, absolute failure because if you console yourself by saying that somewhere I succeeded then you will feel that using the same means may be you can succeed more. If success was possible once, then it can be possible again by using my same methods and mechanism.

You will have to see that whatever you call as success,

whatever you call as the shining jewels of your life, are either just deception

or stuff that Grace has given you in spite of you not deserving it.

And what has come to the system through grace is not an output of the system so kindly don’t take the credit. If by chance something nice has happened to you, it is not because you are clever and smart and effort-ful, it has just happened in spite of you. Had it been in your power, you would have done everything to prevent it. Just as we do everything to prevent ourselves from coming here but still if you land here it is not to your credit, somebody else is pulling you here. What is happening in this room is not within your system.

L2: Sir, once we know this thing that to make a real change, mind needs to be changed, how can we work upon this mind and how can we create that new self?

AP: I am asking you the same question I started off with, “Who will work upon the mind?”

And have I said that mind needs to change?

Change is such a gentle, peaceful and small word. I have not said that mind needs to change; I am saying that the mind needs to be dynamited away.

There is difference between the changing facade of a building, changing the porch or the portico and bringing the building down. I am not asking you to change the building; I am asking you to blow up the damn thing.

L3: How can the mind blow itself?

AP: For that you have to ask yourself, “How the whole thing came up in the first place? Who raised the building?”

Once you realize how the building is raised, then there is a chance of it not being raised again. Form where did the building come? Have you had it since eternity? Were you even born with it? From where does this entire system come?

Yes, I can blow it up here right now and it is being brought down brick by brick; but you repair it. If you can see who are the people and the forces, who are hell bent upon protecting your system then you will not allow them to repair the thing.

From where did it come in the first place?

It came from the surroundings and it will come again come from the surroundings, but once it has been brought down then you have greater power to defend yourself from surroundings. Use that power.

Do not just remain a nice and gentleman. Do not let your morality tie you down. You come here and coming here is like taking a complete bath. Not only the clothes, not only the body, the entire mind is being cleansed and you go out and somebody again spoils your clothes and your mind, why should you forgive him? Why should you allow him to touch you? And actually you do not.

You are wearing a white shirt and somebody puts his greased hands upon your shirt, do you take kindly to this? You do not allow him, right? You make faces, you push him away. You object to this action, don’t you?

But you go out and somebody completely spoils your mind, you do not object to this. You are receiving that phone call and that phone call is nothing short of a poison. The fellow is injecting poison directly in your ears. But because you are a gentleman enslaved by his own sense of morality, you will allow the phone call to continue. You will allow your so called friends to sit in front of you and corrupt your mind. Why must you act nice towards them? Why can’t you just get up and walk away, why can’t you walk away? That’s the question.

Bad enough, that you allowed them to sit in front of you in the first place, but worse is the fact that you don’t have the guts to walk away. But rest assure, the more your building is demolished, the more fearlessness you will have. If you just keep sitting here, if you keep being with me for sufficient time, you will find that the fears that make you kneel down in front of those who corrupt you, those fears will no longer be there.

The fear itself is the part of the system. As we will bring this system down, you and me together, when we will bring the whole thing down, then you will find it has become easier for you to not to allow the system to be raised again. Are you getting it?

It is only because just a little dent is made. It is only because just a little demolition takes place, that you are able to repair it within a week but if we can bulldoze the whole thing, raise it to the ground, then you will not be able to bring it up within a week. It is almost mathematical – Is the pace of destruction greater than pace of repair?

Destruction happens twice a week, repairing happens every moment. If you can allow the pace of destruction to be higher than the pace of repair then soon you will find that the destruction is complete. But remember, that repairing is happening every moment and destruction is happening only once or twice a week and if, even that is skipped, then there is no chance.  Repairing will be complete. You will be back to your old ways. We have people here, who are coming after 20 – 25 days, they are fully repaired. They are completely social models now.


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

Watch the session: How to get success in whatever you do?


Further Reading:

Milestones To Success

mts

While innumerable books have been penned down by contemporary motivational speakers and writers on success, ambition, motivation, positive thinking and accomplishments; very few books, if any at all, have talked of what success actually is and how it is different from a socially-defined set of parameters.

Author’s genius lies in the fact that he has very simply answered the most intricate and complex questions that arise in the mind of every student and working professional, giving clarity on success, a topic that haunts them perpetually.

Paperback: https://goo.gl/hE8Hrg

Kindle: https://goo.gl/94a09z

Ego is suicidal

Behind all our choices there is a deep desire to come to the end of choosing.

Behind every endeavour is a deep thirst to come to the end of all endeavours.

In that sense, the ego desperately wants to come to an end.

It is suicidal.

But it is not fearless enough to die.

So it just keeps hoping for a better future.

Without purpose, how will one act?

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Question: If one is living without purpose, how does one act?

Acharya Prashant: Let’s see, from where the question is coming. It only shows that so far we have acted only with?

Listener: Purpose.

AP: Purpose.

To act with purpose is to act in exploitation.
To act in purpose is to act in deprivation.

When you feel deprived, only then you want to exploit the other one. Mostly, we say that we act because we want to attain something. There is another way of living, you say, ‘You act because you are already in attainment.’ You are not acting in order to attain because you know that the Real cannot be attained by action; nothing that you do will bring the real to you.

Read more

To understand is to conquer fear

z1

Question: Sir, I am afraid of making decisions. I depend on others for my decisions. Please help me on this.

Shri Prashant: Can one really be afraid of making a decision? We are actually afraid that the decision will prove to be ‘wrong’. Is it the decision-making that terrifies us or the thought that my decision may turn out to be wrong? Read more

When you are alright, then the sound of your footsteps is compassion

Question: How to be free from this division between ‘pure’ and ‘unpure’, between ‘wise’ and ‘foolish’?

Shri Prashant: The desire is to be able to distinguish between the True and the false, the wise and the unwise, the Real and the unreal, right action and the wrong action. That is the desire. The only thing is that whatever will come out of desire will necessarily be a misplaced action. The very definition of wrong action is that it is an action coming out of desire. Now if I desire to know the right action, can I ever know the right action? Read more

Enlightenment is to be shamelessly unenlightened

(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here)

Questioner: My spiritual path is taking me very long and I sometimes feel stuck and I am a bit discouraged. If you can give me some inspiration at this point to, as they say, drop the false. How actually to drop it? It’s not happening, it seems so far.

Speaker: Let’s begin with the basics. When you say ‘spiritual path’ and when you say that it is taking too long, you surely have some idea of where you want to reach. And that is why you are able to say that you probably have not reached there and that it is taking too long a time. Now, let me say, I am standing at a point A, I am standing at point A, I imagine point B as a point of Peace or enlightenment. I imagine B, standing at A. I am not very satisfied with A, that is why I imagine some other point to be the point of Peace. But B is imagined by A. Are we together? Read more

Aloneness is the desire, destination, and death, of loneliness

“Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow.
Solitude is the ally of sorrow as well as a companion of spiritual exaltation.”

-Kahlil Gibran (The Broken Wings)

Speaker: “Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow.

Solitude is the ally of sorrow as well as a companion of spiritual exaltation.”

-Kahlil Gibran

(Referring to the questioner) So, what Sushmita is asking is, “How solitude is related to sorrow?” First thing. Second, she is saying is that what she understands from this quote is – solitude is related to aloneness.

‘Solitude’ here stands obviously not for Aloneness, but for the craving of the mind, to reach aloneness. In the sense that Khalil Gibran is talking about solitude here, solitude represents – loneliness. So, this presents us an opportunity to look into the relation between ‘loneliness’ and ‘aloneness’.

Read more

To hope is to postpone the good, and embrace the waiting

Speaker: What is ‘hope’?

First of all, it is an obvious matter to see, that hope is always located in the future. And hope is always related to the expectation of – getting something, or not losing something.

So something good will happen in the future – this is what you call as ‘hope’. Something good will happen in the future, this is what you call as ‘hope’. In other words, when the mind, shifts goodness, into time, that is called ‘hope’.

Mind wishes itself well. Mind wants to come to a full stop, a point of peace. But this ‘point of peace’, is somehow, never located by the mind, in the present, in its immediate vicinity, never. It’s quite funny. Mind wants good things to happen to it. Good things like:

“I will get ample love,”

“All the troubles in the life, will be resolved, and life will become simple, free-flowing,”

“There will be no sadness and troubles, problems will be taken care of. There would be only simple Joy,”

“There would be need of any cunningness, directness will be sufficient. Such lightness in living.”

So, mind knows of all these goodies. Mind knows that these are precious things: Lightness, Directness, Simplicity, Love. Mind knows. Pretty intelligent fellow it is, right? It knows. But strange, it never wants them, right now. That it never wants.

On one hand it is willing to toil as much in time, as can be demanded of it. “I will toil all my life.” And what does it mean by ‘toiling all my life’? Toiling in…(prompting the listeners)

Listener 1: Future.

Speaker: Toiling in time, in future.

“I will toil all my life. I am prepared for that. See, how committed I am. See, how I am willing to pay the highest price. But, one simple price I will never pay.” Which is..? To get all that, right now, specially when it is easily available right now.

So, mind says, “No, it is not easily available right now. Right now there are only problems, and complications, obstacles. The world is a bad place. Tomorrow will be better. And tomorrow will be better, with ‘my’ efforts” – that is hope.

So ‘hope’ is to postpone that, which is available, today. ‘Hope’ is to postpone the good, and embrace the waiting.

You look at the situation of the mind. It is a very peculiar situation. On one hand, it knows, that nothing less than the Total, the Ultimate, the Final, can bring Peace to it. It knows that. On the other hand, it also knows that the Total, the Ultimate, and the Final, mean the death of mind, as it has known itself. In the form it has known itself, it will be no more.

The mind is stuck.

You want something so desperately, that if you don’t have it, life is not worth living. You want something so desperately, that if you don’t have it, life is not worth living, but what you want can be had only by, sacrificing life for it. Now you have to decide – whether you want to give up life, or whether you continue living without having that, which makes life worth living.

Hope1Rock, and a hard place – choose. What to do you want? Without love, life is dry. To get love, stop living. What to choose? The good news is – when you stop living in the way you have lived so far, it does not mean ‘death’. It only means a life of the beyond, a life of the quality such that you have never known.

Ordinarily, in our dualistic world, when we say, “I shall be no more,” it means death, it means annihilation. But In the spiritual sense, in the real sense, when one dissolves, when one surrenders, when one is no more, then it is not a matter of sadness, rather it is a matter of great celebration. Because it does not mean that you have died, it means that you have come upon ‘Real’ life.

Now this is a little too fine, for the gross mind to understand.  This much it understands that – “I am stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea,” as we said, “A rock, and a hard place.” This much it understands. But the solution is quite fine, subtle. That solution is understood only by a fine mind, only by a subtle mind. And the solution is that, “Poor kid, there is actually no trade-off involved. Why are you thinking that you have to choose between this and that? You can have the best of both worlds. You can have Love, and a fresh life as well.”

How about that?

The mind is thinking, assuming, that it is very stringent trade-off. Hmm? “If I get the Ultimate, then I will have to lose the world.”

“If I earn the blessings of the beyond, then I have to leave the comforts of this world.”

The truth is different. You get the Total. And ‘Total’ means everything, not ‘this or that’, not ‘A or B’. No choosing is needed. To get That, is to get the totality of everything. The choice should be very obvious. That’s the fun of this world.

Nobody seems to be making such an obvious choice. Nobody seems to be accepting, this fabulous offer that life is giving. (Smilingly) Everybody seems to be in two minds, twenty minds, twenty-thousand minds. Everybody seems to be cursing their luck.

“Yes, it’s a great thing on offer, but you know, they are extracting such a high price. Yes I understand. Yes, yes, yes. The product is beautiful. The service that they are offering is immaculate, ultimate, but they are asking me to pay with my blood. They are literally fleecing me. Now, you know, neither can I go away, because the thing is so tempting, neither can I pay the price because the price is so high. And you know, everybody is just standing outside, wondering, and cursing.”

The product is actually free. The service is out of love. The price that you are paying, is not a ‘price’ at all. If the doctor is taking away your disease, if a friend is taking away your nightmares, is he extracting a price? Will you say that you are poorer for the bargain?

Whatever you can hope for, something higher than that is already given to you. And it is the most difficult thing to accept, because the mind has been trained in living purposefully. If you accept that the Highest has been just being gifted to you, then what do you live for? So it is very-very difficult to accept. Man lives on hope, man lives on feeling of incompleteness. And man feels grateful that there is hope, which is such a stupid thing to do, but it happens all the time.

You know, to project something is one thing – I throw a ball up, and I know that it is going to come down. Now I can project, yes. Having gone up, it will come down. I go to the railway station, in a sense I hope that it will come on time. All these things are alright. And as far as such petty matters are concerned, one can hope. The trouble starts, as we said in the beginning, when the basic goodness of life, when the basic essence, the juice of life, is turned into a matter of hope.

“I will gain fulfillment tomorrow.” Now this is problematic. “The flight will land tomorrow,” is alright. “I expect the results to be declared tomorrow,” is alright. But, “I expect bliss and joy tomorrow,” is problematic.

Do you understand the difference?

Do not live as if you are in a waiting room, waiting for some train, that actually never arrives for mankind. Do not live, as if you are in a waiting room. And even if you are in a waiting room, do not live, as if the next train will bring to you, the love of your life. Sometimes, one is, in fact, in a waiting room. Even if you are in a waiting room, you should actually be, beyond waiting.

“Whether or not, I catch the train, one thing is certain – I am not missing on life. I may miss the train, but I will never miss on…”

Listeners: Life.

Speaker: Life. And missing the train is alright. We are all entitled to our stupidities, and mistakes, and games. Once in a while, one can miss a train, or a flight. It is alright. But to wait for a train, thinking that you are missing on life, and the train will bring life to you, is a gross mistake. Do not commit that mistake.

Getting it?

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

Watch the session at: To hope is to postpone the good, and embrace the waiting

Only the ego wants to correct mistakes. The fundamental mistake is ego itself.

Question: Why is it that if we search for evil or bad things, we find that it is all our fault? What if we don’t go out searching? Then will we have a hard time realizing our mistakes?

Acharya Prashant: This option to ‘not to go out searching’ is not really available. The nature of the ego is to not to search for anything beyond itself. While it does appear that the ego is restless and keeps searching, but its entire preference is to search within its own predetermined domain. It’s a pseudo search; it’s a fake search. The ego is very, very happy in this fake search; it keeps itself occupied and it also gets to say proudly that it is searching. After all, we all do have things to search for, right?

Everybody has goals, targets, something to accomplish. None of us is sitting idle; everyone is chasing something, and we can claim that there is something that we are going after, that you are not stagnant, that life has a meaning, a purpose. But if we look closely at all our meanings, purposes and targets, they are all within the domain of our conditioning.

No target is an unconditioned target. No meaning that we ascribe to life is a para-mental meaning. All of them are coming from within a preset domain. So it’s a nice game; it’s a nice pseudo act. We can console ourselves all the time that we are doing something when actually nothing is happening, when actually whatever is happening is just happening to ensure that the status quo is being maintained. So we display a lot of activity, we move around, we run after this and that; and it’s a good act. Just a pretension, just a display to fool the world and fool ourselves. The more we move, the more we are ensuring that nothing really is changing. The more we run, the more we ensure that no reaching is happening.

So, that is the way the ego functions – a lot of sound and fury, a lot of movement, a lot of asking, searching, seeking, but essentially just the maintenance of its own boundaries: “I will run a lot within the room. I will run a lot within the preset boundary.”

So, had it been left to ourselves, we would have never really sought, we would have been happy just ‘pretending to seek’.

So, when does one start looking for the Truth?

It is not a choice; it is not an indulgence; it is never a pleasure; it is never out of great willingness. It is just that, as a natural consequence of the nature of the ego, there is suffering. Just as it is the nature of the ego to not to know the Truth to pretend a lot, to act as if it is genuinely curious, but never really to know,  just as this is the nature of ego this too is the nature of ego that it will suffer.

Nothing except the ego suffers. Nothing except the ego is deluded. 

When it suffers and suffers again and again, and yet again then it is forced to seek. Why? Again there is a reason there. Suffering might be the natural consequence of ego, suffering might be the habit of ego, but you are not only the ego. It is not your nature to suffer. The ego can get nothing except suffering and that’s when you start feeling uneasy, because it is not your nature to suffer.

You are essentially joyful; and what the ego brings to you goes against your own grain. That is the reason why anybody ever steps out to seek. Nobody steps out to seek in great happiness. Nobody steps out to seek in order to feel better about himself, or because it is a thing of pride never! Whenever seeking would happen because of a pleasure motive, it would always be within the room, and hence, it would be a pseudo search. That is the reason why most seekers never actually learn anything, because theirs is a fake, a pseudo search. They are searching within the room. The room itself is the domain the preserve of the ego. How will you get anything within it? By being within the room, all that you are doing is that you are validating the room you are confusing yourself all the more by convincing yourself that this is where you belong.

You must have heard that little anecdote about Raabiya.

She lost her small pin maybe a weaving needle or something and she started searching for it in another place and she collected the entire village.

“I am an old woman, I can’t see, help me.” Soon the entire village was searching with her. Then one man got a little frustrated and asked, “Old lady, where did you lose it?” She said “There, somewhere else.”

They said, “Why are you searching for it here then?  Have you gone totally senile?”

She said, “I might be senile, but what else are you doing! You too are searching. All your movements are a search. Wherever you go, you are going with a purpose. All of us are after something in life. But are you searching at the right place?  How will you find it where it is not?”

And there is nobody who is not after something. Anybody here who is not after anything? (Pointing towards someone in the audience.) You too must be after something. That is the way our system operates, we are always after something. And don’t delude yourself; whatever you are after is just the veneer, and the proof of that is that whatever you are after never really satisfies you. You are after something else. Whatever you are after is just a pointer you are after something else. That should be a good enough indicator to an intelligent mind, “I am not searching rightly. I am constantly searching, but probably I am searching just to maintain the search and never to find – just to maintain the search so that I can console myself and feel good about myself that I am not really idle, that I am really not good-for-nothing. So I am doing something.”

(Silence)

Lucky are those, whose eyes open up even if to just see their own wounds.

Lucky are those whose sensitivity awakens even if to just realize that they are badly hurt, because it is only then that you are forced to see the fallacy of your ways.

Otherwise nothing would ever change. We would be very happy and continue in the way we have always continued.

See, we keep on saying, “We are totally conditioned,” but that is just to drive home a point. The fact is that we can never be totally conditioned, or let me put it this way: “What is totally conditioned is not really the totality of me. I am vaster than that which gets totally conditioned. Yes, the mind-machine does get totally conditioned, but I am something beyond the mind-machine, and therein lies the possibility of my redemption. The mind is just an apparatus that does get totally conditioned, but I am something else – a little more. So, when the mind gets totally conditioned, that doesn’t match or concur with what I am, because it is not my nature to be conditioned.”

And then, you want to hit at the boundaries, to knock at the doors, to cross the limits. That’s when you challenge your patterns. Because what you are doing and how you are living is not what you are. How long can you go on violating and contradicting yourself? A point comes when you just start feeling suffocated and then things happen on their own. Never say that you have a choice there. All your choices are within the room. You will never choose to go outside it never!

Left to yourself, you will happily keep singing, dancing, eating, sleeping, and breeding inside the room. A part of you exists outside; it is that part which calls you, but you do not know that part.

It is funny, because that is the ‘essential you’ that you do not know.

That face of yourself ‘that you know’ is a very superficial face. You may as well not know it and continue no harm will be done. So, that which you know as yourself, is anyway valueless. It is another matter that you attach a lot of importance to it and you spend a lot of time and energy just trying to maintain, preserve, and burnish it.

It is like you have a diamond, and you have a diamond case, and you are spending all your time preserving and polishing the case, while forgetting the diamond, which is lying somewhere else unattended.

Even if you forget all that you think yourself to be, no great harm will be done; but forgetting that which you really are that which is lying unattended, unsought . . .  that’s a great loss!

Again, for whom is that a great loss? Only for the one who is within the room. For itself, it is never a loss, because it is not something that can be lost; it is not something to which the words gaining or losing can even be applied. It is a strange kind of thing!

Understand this: whatever I am saying right now, I am not really addressing the ‘real you,’ because that doesn’t need to be addressed.

(Smilingly) Who can teach the atman? Is there anything apart from it to teach it? And what does it lack in to be taught? So, I am not really talking to the ‘essential you’. There is no point talking to ‘it’ and there is nobody else except ‘it’ to talk to ‘it’.

I am just addressing the ego, nothing else just addressing the ego. And when you are addressing the ego, all that you can do is draw its attention to its own suffering; all you can point out to it is “Little child, you have been continuously trying and trying, and going around restlessly attempting, seeking, finding, un-finding, picking, dropping – doing all the actions that can be done.

You have been continuously doing all these things; there is nothing that you have left undone. You have seen so many colors of life, you have tried whatever experiments you could try and what have you got?

Except trying, and except an inflated sense of pride “that I have been trying” what did you get?

That is all that can be said to the ego, and then one can just wait for a bit of good luck – that is needed. Without that nothing can happen. People call it grace.

Because the ego is stubborn, you never know how much it can take. Quite resilient it is. It can suffer a lot.

We have great potential for suffering, and then denying that we are suffering.

So, you never know how much stamina is still left in your ego; it might still not be exhausted, it might still be rearing to go: “No, no, I still want to try a little more.” If that be the case then not much can be done. Then your time has not yet come. If you still have a very fit and muscular ego, throbbing, itching, running, eager, determined, then not much can be done. Your time has not come. You need a few more hits. Deep hits, bloody hits and you will get them, for sure you will get them. It’s a matter of time, you may get them in two days or in two hundred years, but you will get them and then you will see how lucky you are that ultimately you got those hits.

(Silence)

Then you really seek. Then you are forced to admit: “I am mistaken.” I am repeating these words – ‘You are forced to admit’. Nobody will admit out of his own sweet will that he is mistaken, never. It’s just that you will be battered so hard that you will be left option-less. You will be made mincemeat of. Have you heard the word kachoomar (to make mincemeat)? You will be beaten so badly that you will have no option but to accept. Out of your own false sense of pride you will have to accept: “Now I can see that there is something wrong.”

If you come across people who very easily admit that they are mistaken, if you come across people who keep smiling sweetly and saying, “You know, I have so many habits, you know I am an idiot, you know I am a slave of the ego,” you must realize that all this is just another tactic of the ego. Pretending to be egoless is such a wonderful tactic of the ego. Those who admit very quickly that we are mistaken are the ones who have co-opted mistakes. It’s a nice fashionable thing to do. Right? (Referring to his immediate disciples.) It happens with some of us here as well. You write your reflections and what do you write there? “Oh my God, I am such an idiot, I again slipped. Oh! Today I again slipped, and I realize that I am an idiot.” And the next day you again slip after realizing yesterday that you are an idiot. Great tactic: ‘own up the mistake so that you can remain mistaken’. Wonderful! Nice!

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.

(Silence)

Know that it is really happening when the ego, breathing its last breath, bleeding profusely, is still resisting it.

Know that it is really happening when you are deeply attracted to it, while finding simultaneously that you experience an aversion to it.

If it’s good, nice, honey and sweets, then it is not happening. The very phrase, ‘realizing my mistakes,’ is a meaningless phrase.

The ego will never realize its mistakes because the fundamental mistake is the ego itself. 

So how can it ever realize any mistake? But it’s fashionable for us to say, “Oh, I realize my mistake.” The more you say that you are realizing your mistakes, the more you are ensuring that you will not realize anything. In fact, more honest are those who say, “I am not realizing anything, I don’t want to realize anything.” You never ‘make’ a mistake, the mistake emanates from your very structure. The mistake is a representation of what you are.

You never make a mistake, you are just doing what you can do. Being what you are, what else could you have done? But morality has taught us that it’s nice to admit mistakes.

It might be nice to admit mistakes in order to keep the whole system, the social order, running; it might be a generous thing to do; it might appear a gentle and nice thing to do; but it’s a harmful thing to do. By saying, “I committed a mistake,” you want to say that, right now you are not committing a mistake.

You are always mistaken because a mistake is what you are.

What do you mean by realization? It’s like a mad man saying, “You know, I realize I am mad.” How does that help? I mean what has he realized? Being mad, how can he ‘realize’ that he is mad? And the day that he actually realizes that he is mad is the day when he is not mad anymore. So, don’t admit your mistakes too easily. Don’t just go around saying, “I slipped.” You didn’t slip, you have been slipping all along and you are still slipping. It is not an isolated incident it is always happening.

Humbly, go to the root of the happening; if you are lucky enough, if your time has come. Humbly, try to dig deep into it without feeling ashamed, without feeling guilty or bad about yourself. The ego likes to maintain its sense of purity and decency. If it starts admitting that it has been always slipping, then it will find it difficult to look at itself in the mirror. That is another thing with the ego, it must feel good about itself.

(Silence)

So, whenever by chance you get a feeling that you made a mistake, don’t stop there. See how the mistake is just a minor representation of your entire mental structure. Go into that. ‘The mistake is not an isolated incident,’ I am repeating. The mistake is an opportunity to look into your wider self, if you really bother. If you do not bother, then alright, you are still quite muscular, you can still take a lot of beating, you still have a lot of stamina; you are huffing and puffing and saying: “You know, I still want to try a little more.” Keep trying, it’s alright.

Without you how would lila (the cosmic play) continue? Without you how would the show run? Every good show requires a few comedians whose entire role is to keep slipping and keep getting beaten up all the time. You are that comedian! Without you the entire drama will become so tasteless, there would be nothing in it. After all somebody has to slip on the road, somebody has to step on the banana peel, so that everybody else can have a good time. You are that one!

So, don’t think of yourself as worthless. (Smilingly) You are the one who provides spice to the great show that this existence is. Without you there would be nothing to laugh at. Without you what else is left to be written about?

The Core, the Center, the atman is very intelligent, but it is also beyond the grasp of any writer. Nothing can be written about it. All that can be said is, “Nothing can be said.” About Intelligence, nothing can be said. About stupidity, a lot can be said. So, you are the one who provides employment to all the authors and writers. If you are not there then the world would be poorer, nothing would be left, nobody would be slipping on the road, nobody would be falling in the gutters, nobody would be creating a scene so that the neighbors can enjoy.

You are the color of the world, and this is not merely a satire  this is it!

When you see that you have been stupid all along, don’t feel bad about yourself. You didn’t do it, you have been made a fool of, and somebody else did it, right? Who chooses to step on a banana peel? There is no need to feel bad about yourself; there is no need to feel guilty. When by chance you find yourself making mistakes, then without any sense of remorse or self-deprecation go deep into yourself. The deeper you will go, the more mistakes and more sufferings you will come across. So, go in boldly; don’t feel bad, don’t stop, don’t feel shy, and don’t start crying that, “Oh my god! Am I such a fool?” Of course you are! What’s there to feel bad about? Whenever this so-called realization starts coming, “I have been a fool,” tell yourself that, “No, you have been a bigger fool than you can ever imagine, and it’s alright.” It’s alright because you are not responsible for the show. Right?

I didn’t choose to be a fool, I didn’t even choose to be ‘here’ (in this world) in the first place. I am on the stage, I am playing a fool, and I am on a stage I never chose to be on. Who chose to be born? Anybody here who did? So, you have been thrown onto a stage, you are there on the stage unwillingly, and unwillingly everything else is happening – the great game of maya.

There is no need to take ownership of all this; you are not responsible. You do not own your mistakes.

Now, you can clearly look at yourself. Now, witnessing is possible. Now you can observe all that is happening. Don’t feel bad.

That is your problem. You feel so bad about yourself that you observe no more. You feel so bad about yourself that it becomes impossible for you to proceed. Just as the entire world laughs at you, you too laugh at yourself. In fact, when nobody else is laughing then you start laughing at yourself, because you are the first one to know how big an idiot you have been.

It would be nice. Right? You are sitting in a bus and nobody else is laughing at you and you are laughing. People will say, “What is there to laugh at?” You will say, “Don’t you see? I am there to laugh at. I am the joke of jokes!”

Keep laughing at yourself. There is nothing dishonorable about it. You are anyway so dishonorable. (Laughingly) What can be more dishonorable than you? Don’t regret!

Then, you reach the mother mistake. Laughing at yourself you reach the mother mistake. Only when you look at it lightly, is it possible to drop it. That mother mistake thrives in seriousness. That mother mistake is seriousness itself. You take yourself so seriously. It’s like somebody taking a used toilet paper seriouslyThat is the fundamental mistake. Drop it! Flush it!

(Looking at the facial expressions of a listener.) That is better; now you are not serious. Witnessing is simple, natural. All that it requires is a bit of detachment and when you have a point to prove then you cannot be detached. When you have a face to maintain, an image to maintain, then you cannot be detached. Then you will admit mistakes, but never admit that you are the mistaken one. It is a clever ploy. It works against you . . . it does work, but against you. Don’t work against yourself. Whenever you come across mistakes just realize that it is not even the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

It is more like you are driving upon the highway and there is a bit of a stink and it is arising from the entire sewer system of the city. The stink means nothing – it is nothing, it is a small thing. You will take a few steps ahead and the stink will disappear, but the stink points out to a great accumulation of rubbish in the basement. Just below the surface lies collected heaps and heaps of rubbish. And ‘you’ are not rubbish; so there is no shame in accepting that there is so much rubbish. Be supremely confident that you are not rubbish; feel free to disown it, feel free to laugh at it.

How can you take rubbish seriously? When you don’t take it seriously there is no way you can get identified with it. Do you want to get identified with all the shit? Do you want to do that? Then why don’t you just call shit as shit? That’s our problem. We will never call shit as shit. We will acknowledge the stink but act as if there is no shit. We will acknowledge the mistake but act as if there is no mistaken one.

Yes! There is an entire ocean beneath the compost surface. That’s from where the stink sometimes arises. Disown that ocean. Laugh at it. You are not that. Nothing will be lessened from you; you only lose your heaviness, nothing else will be lost, no harm is going to come your way.

(Silence)

So, I’ve said enough, and that’s all that can be said. The rest depends on your stamina. Maybe you still want to take a few more punches. It’s alright. Somebody has to step on the banana peel. It’s alright.

Listener: If I want to see the mother mistake, then will I have to go again and again into the rubbish?

AP:  You are probably not feeling sure. Think of the man who has to take rubbish seriously and identify with it. Surely he feels very poor; surely he feels that there is not much in his life; surely he feels that life will be so harsh upon him that if he leaves the rubbish then nothing else will be there. “So better than being totally impoverished, let me at least latch on to the rubbish.”

See whether you can feel a little more certain that ‘things cannot be so bad’. See whether you can feel a little more confident that ‘even if I drop this, even if it goes away, it’s alright, I’ll live with it’. See if you can feel a little more emboldened.

Let it go! Anyway all that it is giving me is a lot of foul air. Let it go! Say: “I am prepared to take the consequences.” Feel a little more certain.

We hold on to all the rubbish in our life for the simple assumption that we have very little self-worth. We feel that if this goes away then nothing will be left. You feel, “Alright this might be defective, dead, soiled, but at least I have something. What if even this goes away? What if I am left with nothing?”

You will have to trust a little. You will have to just jump in. You will have to just hope that things will not be so bad, that things cannot be so bad. See whether that is possible.

L2: Sir, towards the beginning you said, “You have a deep belief that you still have a lot of stamina in you, and you want to keep hopping.” Sir, my condition is exactly the same. Within me, there is a strong feeling that I have to do a lot; but at the same time, there is this other side which tells me that all doing is futile.

So, what do should I do?

AP:  See, I also said in the beginning itself that you don’t really have a choice in this matter. So, even if I suggest something and you decide to pick it up, it will be you who will be deciding and hence you would also have the luxury of dropping it at your own sweet will. That is the whole problem with taking somebody’s advice. You are the one who went to take advice, you can also drop the advice.

Have you not seen people taking ‘second opinions’? Going from one doctor to the other? When you are taking a second opinion, ultimately it is your own opinion that prevails. You are the one who decide whether to consider the first opinion or the second opinion. Don’t you see? There is really no choice in this. Don’t ask, “What to do?” You are already doing a lot! Aren’t you? Go into that; if you can!

Don’t ask me, “What to do?” Aren’t you already doing a lot? And even if I suggest you a few more things to do, who will be doing them? The doer will remain the same, right? Now, if the doer is to be investigated, then why take on a new doing? You are already doing a lot, start from there and go deeper boldly, without fear or without any sense of shame. This ‘going deeper’ is not another doing. It is not another action of the same doer. It has a different quality to it.

You do ten things in a day you cannot say that attention is the eleventh thing. There are already ten things that you are doing, be attentive towards them. And that is not an eleventh action; that is like a light falling on all those actions.

Alright?

L3: Sir, if I do ten things, what gives me this stupid power to do another ten things? Succeeding in a few?

AP: The very concept of succeeding, the very hope that success is possible, that’s what keeps us going.

L3: Where does that hope come from? If I fail in all, will that hope still retain?

AP: Chances are the hope will diminish. That is why failure is often such a blessing. But again you see, one has to admit the failure. You may keep failing and keep labeling the failure as success.

Have you not seen people celebrating diamond jubilees of their marriage? Have you not seen that? (Laughter)

So failure and success are just words labels.

That deep realization has to come and that comes only when its time has come. It requires that bit of luck.

Pray, if you can!

L2: Sir, what is meant by saying that the time has not come? There are a few things that I have decided that I must do and only then the time will come, right?

AP: No, you have not done any of those things. What are you doing? What is the fact? The fact is – ‘you are deciding’. That is the doing. You have decided to do a few things, right? Have you done any of those things? What have you really done?

L2: I have decided.

AP: You have decided! Now, go into this decision and go into the decision maker. That is the real doing. Ask: “Where is this decision coming from?” Don’t go into what you have decided to do and when, and all that. You may as well never do all those things. You know the quality of your decisions, right? You decide to go left and you end up going?

L: Right.

AP: (Smilingly) Underground!

So, there is no point thinking about what goes left or right but yes, the ‘decision’ has been done, that is a fact, and that is very much an action a mental action that has been done. Go into that.

L3: Sir, while going into that, in between, one encounters, this entire thing of accepting or not accepting the rubbish. And whether we accept or deny, the ego survives in both the cases: commit a mistake and accept it or commit a mistake and deny it. How to move out of this vicious circle?

AP: The more you believe in what you have believed so far the more you will stay in the same circles. You have believed in your fears, you have believed in your limitations, you carry an entire world inside your head. At the center of that world is your own self-image.

The more you keep believing it, the more you keep feeding it, the more you keep feeling sure about it, the more things will remain the same. So try to take a few baby steps. See whether it’s possible there is no guarantee but see whether that is possible, maybe your time has come! See whether you can proceed without your self-image. See whether any harm really happens to you when you drop the rubbish. See whether you really lose something when you act in contradictions of your own assumptions. We imagine so much; see whether your imaginations actually materialize.

They won’t! See whether your own self-worth or self-image is real at all. I assure you, we know very little of ourselves, very, very little. You are not at all what you think you are. Allow yourself to come across your new face. You will be surprised. It is just like exfoliation. (Addressing one amongst the listeners.) You are a woman, you understand that, right? There is a beautiful face waiting to be discovered. Don’t be ashamed of it.

You have already decided that you are the maximum that you can be; this ‘can be’ has no limits. You can keep trying and keep moving within this so-called maxima. Limitlessly you can keep moving after setting a boundary. And in this nonsensical movement you keep missing that which you really are. Now don’t make images about it, just gather a little courage. Don’t think about it.

“What is it that I really am? What is my real face like?”

There is no need to think more. You already think so much. Just gather a little bit of courage to move into an unknown land; but that sounds scary, so I am saying, “Take a few baby steps.”

One step? At least that much can be done? Test your assumptions!

But when one is testing her assumptions, it is not tested in order to maintain the assumptions. If your assumption is that your assumptions are valid, then you are not really testing your assumptions. When you test your assumptions, then it must be done without bias, then it must be done impartially. “Let me really test.” We are so clever that in the name of testing we create situations that validate the assumptions. Don’t do that. We play so many games with ourselves. Do not do that. First of all you tell yourself that the world is a bad place and then you say, “Okay, let me test this assumption.” And then you go out and you bump into someone and he beats you up and then you say, “See I told you so, the world is actually a bad place.” Are you testing your assumption or are you going out just to reinforce it?

Don’t do that.

L3: Sir, whenever we feel light, we also find reasons that make us heavy. We do this just to ensure that the lightness does not prevail.

AP: Yes. You see we need to feel healthy, and if we can’t feel healthy, we at least need to pretend healthy.

Even if I have to slaughter somebody, it is better to do that via the court so that I can maintain my self-image. “I am a justice-loving person. I follow the due process of law, you see. I am not blindly believing in my assumptions. I tested them. So what I am saying is not an imagination; it is the fact, Sir!”

People will come and say: “I am so experienced and what I am telling you about life is not just my thoughts, it is what I have experienced.” Have you not heard this?

L: Yes.

AP: “This is my experience.” And they are not really lying; it is actually their experience. The only shrewdness there is, is that they are the manufacturers of that experience. Yes, you did experience, but who is the experiencer? When your so-called experienced people come and tell you that the world is a bad and wicked and ugly place and you need to protect yourself, otherwise a lot of harm can happen to you. They are not really lying. For them the world has actually been bad and wicked and ugly. So, they are actually not lying. What they do not admit is that they made it this way. They are the creators of their experiences that is something they will not admit.  They will not admit that.

L1: When somebody says very forcibly, “I have experienced this,” then the implication is that there is something objective there.

AP: Yes! There is nothing objective about it. ‘You’ did that.

We create situations that are conducive to our image of the world.

You hate a person and that will show up in your entire being. Now why are you surprised when the person reciprocates hate? When you look at that man your eyes are radiating hate, you words are full of poison, now is it any surprise that that person too reflects the same hate? Then you will say, “See, I told you so. That fellow is evil.” Is that fellow evil or did you make him act in evil ways? The world is your self-image, nothing more than that. It’s an echo!

L5: Sir, then experience is also a part of ego?

AP: All experience! Let experience never be a criteria. Let nobody claim that experience leads to Truth. Experience can only lead you to your own mind – that much, experience can help you. When you experience something, go into the experience, but not with an intention to know the world. Your experience will tell you nothing about the world because there is no objective world; but your experience will tell you something about yourself, your own structures.

When you hate somebody, that tells nothing about the person you hate, but it tells a lot about you. So do not make images about the person you hate. Go into your hatred; it will tell you something about yourself – it will tell you how afraid you are; it will tell you about your own insecurities; it will take you to your own basement.

L5: It will make me aware about the mechanism of my mind.

AP: And will take you to the mother of hatred.

L1: Let’s say somebody is testing his assumptions, and is doing that quite honestly. In the process, he sees that his assumptions are flawed. But since, he has been powering them for a long time, so they keep coming back again and again.

AP: See, that is why we are saying that there is no point in admitting mistakes or admitting that the assumptions are flawed; because till the time that mother is there, she will keep producing more babies.

Assumptions are not flawed, assumptions are what you are so go deeper.

Whenever you say that these assumptions are wrong, then tell me what is right? Is there another assumption that is right?

When you say, “I committed a mistake,” then tell me what not a mistake is? You must be having some image, right? That image too is a mistake.

So, it’s like a kid comes to you and says, “I have written 5+5 equals 15,” and you really scold him hard. You say, “How can you be such an idiot to write 5+5 as 15! You didn’t even know this much; you are making so many mistakes.” And ultimately you tell him, “Now, write 5+5 is 17.”

When you are declaring something to be a mistake, also ask yourself what is it that I am declaring as ‘not a mistake’? You will be surprised to see that calling something as ‘not a mistake’ is a bigger mistake.

L1: Sir, for example, the assumption is that – ‘somebody doesn’t like x,’ which is based upon x’s own inferiority complex. When x will check this assumption, it will be revealed that the fellow actually likes x.

Are you proposing that both of these aspects are equally wrong?

AP: Well said! Both are equally wrong. Neither does he dislike you nor is there anything to like. What the reality is . . . that you will never know being yourself.

The Truth is not the opposite of the false; the Truth is the absence of all that can be false.  When I say that you have an assumption that the world is a bad place, kindly do not use it to say: “Oh my assumption was invalid! The world is not really a bad, bad place; the world is actually a good, good place.”

The moment you do this, the mother mistake is smiling. Why? Because, this second assumption will be invalidated very soon, and you will have to come back to the first assumption.

So, going to something’s opposite is actually a very clever way of returning to the first thing.

The world is neither good nor bad.

‘Find out’ what the world is; why assume?

Assumption two cannot correct assumption one! So, never say, “I have known that this is a mistake.” When you say that you have known something as a mistake, you are pretending as if you know what is ‘not a mistake’. Because without having some concept, some notion, some idea of what is not a mistake, you can never say that this is a mistake. That idea too is equally wrong. Just say, “This is what I am, and I am suffering.” Now, you cannot go wrong.

Just say, “In my life, ‘5+5 is 15,’ and I am suffering.” Do not claim that you know what ‘5+5’ is. All you know is ‘5+5 is 15’. Just say, “I am holding these ideas as sacred; I am assuming these things to be true; I am living by these concepts; and what I am getting is suffering.”

These two are facts; there is very little positing here. Firstly that ‘I think,’ and secondly that ‘I suffer’. Now proceed downwards; keep going into the depth.

L5: Sir, I am suffering and I know that the mother reason of my suffering is my assumption about life. So when I see that a particular thought is arising from an assumption, I pause . . .

AP: Does that really happen that when you don’t want thoughts to come, they don’t come?

L5: Yes, it does! The other day, I was getting late for office. I stopped at the traffic signal for a minute or two and my mind started getting anxious. So I just paused and said, “Okay. Don’t let these thoughts come, reach the venue and see what happens.”

AP: If it is happening, then there is nothing to worry about. If it does happen that when you ask your thoughts to shut up and they do fall quiet, then, it’s good . . . already good.

L5: So, I don’t need to get into this assumption that certain thoughts are not good for my well-being – nothing like that?

AP: No! Where is the thought left now?

L5: It’s gone!

Sir, there are certain kinds of impulses that have gained so much momentum that it requires immense energy to dislodge them. What should be done?

AP: Take the previous example: when thought refuses to subside in spite of your telling it to shut down, then there is anyway not much that you can do – then let it continue. Don’t resist it.

You feed thoughts in two ways: from the front and from the back. From the front you feed it by asking it to continue: “It’s a pleasure to think sometimes.” You feed it from the back by resisting it: “It’s a bad thought, how can I think this way?” The moment you say this, then the bad thought intensifies. Let it continue. After all, how much can the imagination proceed on its own? How far will it go? You will assume that you will come late, alright, then? The gates will be closed, and then? And then . . . and then? Soon you will be bored.

“Alright, let’s stop.”

What is the worst that can happen? He doesn’t even have a gun license – your boss at the office.

What is the worst that can happen? Let it continue. It’s alright. You want to think? Proceed.

L5:  Yes. Then I start feeling guilty: “Why do I waste time thinking more and more about an unnecessary thing.”

AP: Never be bothered about your actions. By being bothered about your actions, you create a ploy to not to be bothered about the mother of the actions.

You meet a small kid and the kid is behaving in all kinds of stupid ways and he has acquired so many habits at just three or four years of age. He is stealing, he is cursing, he is kicking and crying – he is doing all kinds of things that kids do not usually do if they are healthy. What do you say to the kid? “Who is your mother? What have your parents taught you?” Actions are like kids. They are poor kids. What is the point in beating up the kid? Go to the mother; she is the one who is training the kid. But we bash up the kid: “This action is bad, evil!” What is the point?

You can even the kill the kid, but the mother is very fertile, she will produce more and more.

Actions are kids, go the mother of that action.

L2: Sir, but this requires subtlety of the mind. One who is very thoughtful, has not the depth to locate and scrutinize ‘the mother’.

AP: Then at least stop blaming the kid!

Can you remember this much? We have a great tendency to say, “Oh my god, I did something bad today.” Don’t we have that tendency? And all concepts of correction and repentance are based on this concept: “I did something bad.” So what am I correcting? The mistake. What I am repenting for? My action. At least stop doing this? Remember that the action can never be corrected; it is coming from a particular actor who is the mother. At least stop saying that you did something bad today; at least stop writing in your daily reflections that “Oh my god, I forgot, I slipped!”

You are not forgetting, you are forgetfulness itself personified.

By saying that you forgot, you are pretending as if you otherwise remember. You never remember.

Don’t blame yourself too much; don’t be harsh upon yourself. That’s what I mean when I am saying that don’t feel ashamed. By feeling ashamed you are pretending as if there is something honorable about you.

A speck falls off a lump of coal and the coal is regretting: “Oh my god! It’s so black.” As if there is anything non-black about it. A particle falls off a lump of coal and the coal looks at that particle and says, “Oh my god! It is so dark, so black.” Hello sir! Is there anything except blackness about you? So, what is the point in feeling ashamed? Just laugh it away: “Of course, I am all black. But when I will burn, when I will turn into ash then I will no more be black.”

Have you seen that? How coal becomes almost white when it turns into ash? There is no point regretting at your own little speck, your own baby. “The baby is so black.” The mother is an entire lump of blackness, the baby is bound to be black. Let the mother get burnt down, then things will change. Never regret your actions, never. Never feel ashamed of something you did. That’s a clever ploy against yourself. Don’t repent. Don’t try to correct your mistakes, never. You will be allowing the mistaken one to happily continue. Don’t do that.

L6: Sir, do we give value to assumptions and other things just because we are always trying to analyze situations? Like we do in a math problem – that if we don’t have a value for anything, we assume it to be something, and then derive the whole formula just for the sake of our analysis.

AP: See, there you have no option. You will have to do that because it’s a pattern. Mathematics doesn’t breathe. It doesn’t know by itself. So, if you don’t make that assumption, you will not be able to proceed at all. Life is a little different. Here, if you don’t make assumptions, you reach the solution.

Mathematics – you don’t make the assumption, you can’t even proceed to get the answer. Life – don’t make assumptions, and the solution would be obvious.

That is the difference!

(A long silent pause.)

L7: Sir, how can I call something a mistake if I have no idea of what is not a mistake!

AP: Yes, that’s what is being said. So, don’t call anything a mistake. Just say, “This is what is happening and I am suffering.” Only two things: “This is what is happening, and I am suffering.”

No point calling it a mistake or anything. There is no benefit in naming.

L1: Sir, this shameless, fearless, and guilt-free acceptance, something that is needed to see the ‘mother problem’ . . . Sir, it just does not happen to me. I stop midway. I am unable to go really, really deep. Fear, self-image, etc., stop me.

Sir, there must be something that gives the mind the courage to keep digging despite fear, shame, etc. . . .

AP: Yes. It is something very subtle, very faint. It’s a very subtle sureness. It is not a loud emotional declaration. It is not the reiteration of some conceptual knowledge – that when I feel afraid, I say, “I am the fearless atman.”

No!

It’s a very subtle sureness; not the recitation of some old mantra.

L4: Sir, this discussion reminds me of the activity ‘Mirror Identities’ we conduct with our students, which says that all identities are dependent upon each other: ‘If I am this, I am not that’; ‘if I am goal-oriented, I cannot be an aimless wanderer’.

To me, being constantly aware of the fact that I am none of these co-dependent identities, seems the only right step at any time.

AP:  Yes.

And you know, when you are taking that step . . . you see we live in closed claustrophobic rooms . . . when you just open the gate a little and take half a step outside – you know it’s new. The fresh gust of air hits your face. You know there is something new about it. You realize that it is fresh, it is new. This doesn’t happen within your circles.

L5: Sir, you talked about not resisting the assumptions, but my resistance or non-resistance is through thoughts, and when I don’t resist, thoughts become all the more powerful and shake me up from peace.

So, what is this ‘not resisting the assumption’ which will make me feel light? Kindly guide.

AP: There is Udit sitting next to you. Shake him up!

(Listener shakes Udit’s upper body.)

You could shake him up, right? Now shake up the space here! Shake it up. You can’t!

You can shake something only when it offers resistance. Udit’s weight is offering resistance that is why you can shake him up.

Understand that you feel shaken up only because you offer resistance to thoughts. That resistance itself is the energy that shakes you up. Thought comes and says, “Some great harm is going to happen! And you say, “No. No great harm is going to happen. How can it happen?”

Don’t you see that in the process of resisting the thought, you are supporting the thought?

Thought is saying, “Great harm is going to happen,” and you are saying, “Great harm is not going to happen,” but you too are admitting that great harm is ‘possible’.

Only that can happen or not happen which has a possibility of happening or not happening. When thought comes and says, (and that’s what this terrifying thought says) “Some great harm is possible,” say, “Go ahead. Let’s see what great harm is possible.”

As I said, your boss doesn’t even have a gun license. What great harm can be done?

Now thought is coming and saying, “Something bad is going to happen,” and you are getting all worked up, “No, no! That bad thing cannot be allowed to happen. It cannot happen!”

Thought is coming and saying, “You are dying! You are dying!” and you are saying, “No, no! I am not dying yet!” Don’t you see that you are supporting your thought by admitting that death is possible? When thought comes and says that you are going to die, say, “Fine, if that’s what pleases you, if that’s what makes you feel better, yes, I am going to die. Now, what next?”

Remember? You feed it from the front, you feed it from the back. Don’t feed it from the back.

“Something bad is going to happen!”

“Yeah! Something bad is going to happen.”

L2: Sometimes what happens is, this whole game of thinking gets exposed. How? Say, I am sitting and thinking, I am brooding, and I forget what I was thinking about. Then later on, I try to remember, “What was I thinking about?” And I am unable to recall it.

AP: Thought itself is such a stupid thing; you allow it to continue, it will get tangled within itself and will forget what it was all about. It is a monkey; it jumps from one place to another.

Thought is saying, “You will die! You will die! You will die!” You say, “Fine, proceed”; and next thing it will be thinking about the wood in the funeral pyre and then it will be thinking about the Himalayas and the great weather.

(Laughs)

So, from death it will, like a monkey, hop from one place to other. So, death will bring it to the wood; the wood will take it to the Himalayas; Himalayas means fine weather, so now you are thinking of fine weather. . . It’s alright.

L7: Sir, while doing tasks that ought to be done, like reading scriptures, I experience solid resistance. As per you, this resistance is a thought and need not be resisted further; but this ‘thought’ creates a lot of turbulence in my mind-body. What to do?

AP: When the thought says, “Don’t read!” Let thought say, “Don’t read!” You read.

(Laughter)

What else can the poor thing do!

L2:  Sir, does thinking differ from person to person?

AP: Oh, of course!

L2:  Like, not the thoughts, but the whole process. Sometimes when I try to cut the thoughts . . .

AP: The tendency to think doesn’t differ. That is the mool vritti (fundamental tendency). Thoughts always differ. In fact, thoughts make the person; that is why you are never the same person at two different points in time. But the tendency is the same everywhere. That’s where we are all one. We all have the same latent tendencies . . . same latent tendencies – fear, greed, lust. And at the root of these tendencies, lies the ‘I’ tendency – aham vritti (ego tendency).

L7: Isn’t that aham vritti coming from the tendency to think? As in, if we don’t think, the ‘I’ thought won’t come.

AP: Because of the ‘I’, the thought comes!

At the center of the entire expanse of thought, sits the ‘I’. You cannot think without an ‘I’. Go into your thoughts, there would always be an ‘I’ present.

So, the ‘I’ makes the thought possible.


~ Excerpts from a Clarity Session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Only the ego wants to correct mistakes. The fundamental mistake is ego itself.

Read more articles on this topic: 

  1. The unrealistic expectations of the ego from its self-created world
  2. Even when you are lost, you are already Home
  3. Why do we blame others for our mistakes

Irrespective of what we want, we all want That same one thing

Question: Sir, in the market place, everywhere, are they not selling just the ‘Identities’? For example, if we talk about a newspaper, one kind newspaper is read by one kind of intellectual people. They relate to it, they have an identity through which they relate to the newspaper.

Similarly if we talk of cars, they do not sell just a vehicle which can run at a particular rpm etc. They sell it to an ‘identity’ that if you are high-class, or you are fun-loving, or you are sportsman, then you should buy a certain kind of car. So everywhere there is a ‘hope’.

Speaker: See that’s the whole business of this world. We all are thirsty people. So what else can be sold to us, except the promise of…?

Listener 1: Water.

Speaker: Water. All that anybody sells to us is – a promise, hope, that your essential thirst will be quenched. “Come! Come! Come! Come over to my shop. Empty your pockets and I will bring fulfillment to you.” Is that not what they are saying? They might be just selling a pair of shoes, or a wrist watch, or a pen, but whatever they are selling, they are selling the same, one thing. And what is that?

Listener 1: Promise.

Speaker: Fulfillment. “You will get fulfillment, come over.” You cannot be attracted to anything else. Nothing else attracts you, remember. You might be a great materialist, you might not believe in the true Self, yet you are driven, right? Have you ever tried to see what you are really-really driven towards?

You ‘want’ something, right? You might not want to say that you want something intangible; you might not want to say that you want enlightenment or divine fulfillment, you might not want to say that you want God, but is there anybody who will say, that he does not ‘want’? We all ‘want’. And I am saying, “We all want the same One thing.”

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