How to get rid of body-identification as a woman? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Question: A woman seen just as a body, it hurts a lot. I am saying this from my own experience. How can it stop? When will it stop? How can a person be seen, just as a ‘body’? What is the root cause? Where does it start?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You answer it. You know, already. You have attended enough sessions, and you have lived through enough life, to know the answer.

Questioner 1: What is the starting point?

Acharya Ji: Beginning point is the birth of the being, driven by prakriti. So it might begin with birth, of the body, but then it is exacerbated by, social conditioning. And when there is nothing, beyond the body in your life, you have no option but to consider yourself, as the body.

The ego, needs something to identify with. Right? And if that Great, that Tremendous is available, then what else is there to be identified with? The body. And there is an incentive in getting identified with the body. The body offers a lot pleasures.

What is the solution?

You know the solution, right? Just as, a lot of conditioning, brings a man or a woman, to be more and more body-identified. Similarly, rigorous spiritual education is needed, to help get rid of body-identification. And one has to remember that body-identification is not merely a spiritual matter, it is not merely an other-worldly concern.

Body-identification is the root cause of all evils in the world.

You name any problem, and you will be able to trace it back to body-identification.

Unless there is rigorous physical education, you cannot get rid of body-identification.

One needs an identity, right? If there is no other identity, then the body is the obvious identity. You cannot live identity-less. The ego needs an address, a name. The ego has to be something, or somebody. The easy choice is – the body.

And when you are body-identified, then you have no option, but to destroy the world. Because if you are body-identified, then the only reality to you is – the world. What is it that the body perceive? The world, nothing else. And identified with the body, you are greatly hungry. You haven’t identified with the body, for nothing. You have identified with the body, for a purpose. What is that purpose? Contentment.

“I want satisfaction, through the body.” Now, what will the body do? The body will consume the world, in order to get satisfaction. But, even if you consume away the entire world, that satisfaction doesn’t come. So, we see what is happening now.

In order to get satisfaction, man has burnt down the entire world – and is still not satisfied, and will never be satisfied. Even if the entire universe is burnt down to ashes, man will still not gain contentment, because man is choosing a false route.

You can never get contentment, through the body – it is not a spiritual axiom or something. It is a matter of practical observation.

Lack of spirituality is destroying human beings, and the world.

Human beings are being destroyed from the inside, the world is being destroyed on the outside.

There is fire in man’s mind, and there is fire in the forests.

One is visible, one is not.

But both are the same thing.

Questioner 1: Body-identification starts at very early age.

Acharya Ji: It starts, even before birth. So we said that you are already body-identified ,when you are born. That is why rigorous spiritual discipline is needed, to get rid of this. Forget about totally getting rid of it, even to keep this in check, even to limit it to sane levels, you require rigorous spiritual education. Otherwise, there is just inner and outer destruction.

Questioner 1: I was thinking about the bondages. One thing that I observed is that I am afraid of losing money. I am very confident, as long as I have money. It gives me a sense of freedom that I don’t have to depend on anyone. There is nothing that I should be afraid of. As long as I have my stable income, I don’t care about anything else.

If I have to leave everything, and join some cause or initiative, I know that I will not be able to earn as much money. So, there is that bit of hesitation.

Acharya Ji: You have to clearly know how much is enough. Don’t leave it vague. The more clearly you define what is, and how much is enough for you, the easier it would be for you to act. It is great that you do not have to depend on someone. It is great that you earn for yourself. But you must know, how much is enough.

I will strongly advise you to never-never move around with a begging bowl. It’s great that you must have something in hand, and not bad if you have something in the bank as well. Fine. But how much? And as much as is needed, must be arranged.

Questioner 1: My initial thinking was that I will work for a couple of years, arrange for certain things, but then there is this confusion that by the time I arrange things, will it be too late in starting-off?

Acharya Ji: Arrange, with respect to what? First of all you have to figure out who you are, and how much is enough for you. Otherwise, the question of arrangement of a particular level of funds, would remain very open-ended, and un-answered.

If I do not know who I am, how would I ever know how much money do I need?

Questioner 2: I feel very strong pull towards something in the same direction. At the same time, it is very overwhelming. I get panic attacks sometimes, before the camp begins, or before I have to do any task.

I purposefully find an excuse to not do something. I feel overwhelmed, but at the same time there is something extremely captivating.

Acharya Ji: These two are the same thing. It is because there is something very-very enthralling, something very compelling, that is why you also feel the awe, and therefore the resistance.

Nobody likes things to go out of control. Nobody wants to be attracted without measure. One wants to be capped, controlled, limited. So when something is hugely overpowering, then one is compelled to resist it. These two are the aspects of the same thing – the attraction, and therefore the panic, and the resultant resistance.

(Acharya Ji, referring to the three-day retreat, during which this Satsang is happening).

All that is, only as long as you keep a safe distance. What if you had taken over upon yourself, the responsibility of arranging something, in the morning, or afternoon, of the first day itself? Would you have then afforded to come late in the evening? That’s what.

So, all these mental games are, only as long as you maintain an arm’s length.

Questioner 2: I feel I am doing that. I am maintaining an arm’s length.

Acharya Ji:

Sooner than later, you see, without your conscious choice, without the thing coming in your notice, you will find that you are unable to maintain that separation, that distance. Better sooner than later.

It’s anyway going to happen, not because you will necessarily choose that it happens, but because it is bound to happen that way. You cannot remain in a magnetic field, and yet afford to be stagnant for long. Especially, when the field is becoming stronger and stronger.

So, at some point, you have to get sucked in. If you know that, that is destined, then better sooner, than later. And, these are stories. If you stay away from something, what else can you have? Not facts, but stories.

The moment you join the action, all these things vaporize, because there is no space left for them. You see, there is so much to do here – after this, or rather into this, how will you manage to think about this and that?

Did this Vishranti (the three-day retreat), actually go perfectly well? It didn’t. So there was a lot to do, a lot to do. And if we get into that, then the various miscellaneous thoughts, not only go away, but also one comes in touch with a reality that is beyond our conception, our imagination.

What I am saying, and what I am up to, and what do I want, for myself and for you, that you will know in a much better way, when you are an activist, rather than a mere passive participant.

Questioner 2: But how do I overcome that fear, that I won’t be able to handle it?

Acharya Ji: Let’s try. Let’s see. How do I know that whether I will be able to handle your question or not? Look at me. Poor me! You keep throwing all kinds of things at me, and I don’t even have the option to say, “No, no. No ball. No ball. Only two bouncers allowed per over.” You can throw six bouncers, you can throw a beamer, you can bowl an underhand. You can even come right up to my nose, and throw the ball at me.

I have to play. I have to engage you. Right? I cannot declare your query, your delivery illegitimate, and walk away. So, let’s just try. Let’s see. Let’s see whether we have the appetite for it.

And I have great trust.

You know, when I invite somebody, to try something out, within I am smiling, because I know the result of the trial in advance. I know I don’t have to sell something to you. I know I don’t have to advertise, or try too hard with you. I know that I just have to get you agree to try. I don’t need your consent. I only need your experimentation.

Once you experiment with it, consent is obviously forthcoming. So, let’s try. And try with all the skepticism that you can muster. I am not asking you to try as a believer. Try as a skeptic, try as a critic.

You may even try, with the intention to disapprove me. I am okay with that. I have just too much of a deep belief in something, to be dissuaded by your lack of belief.

Try.

Let’s see.

You don’t have to straightaway take a decision and jump. Proceed as carefully as you want to – one step at a time.


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

Watch the session: How to get rid of body-identification as a woman? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Without an inner firmness, does one even exist? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Without an inner firmness, does one even exist

Question: Acharya ji, you said earlier, that whatever emotions one goes through, like – anger, greed, sadness, jealousy, anything that we go through, one must examine it. I am examining it, in relation to, whichever object in front of me, it is arising. Is this, what is – the observer, the observed, and the process of observation?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Explain.

Questioner: So, I see a luxury car in front of me, and there is greed, arising out of me. I see, a woman who is conventionally considered to be pretty, and there is lust arising out of me. Each of these emotions, that are coming out, is in relation to the objects in front of me.

So, my understanding of this, and going more and more, in depth of this, is that how it is going to work? And, do I have to apply this to more and more objects?

Acharya Ji: The more you apply it, the more continuously you apply it, the more you see that you exist only in relation to objects. Eureka!

The girl turns you a man, the car turns you a consumer. Who are you?

Questioner: In that moment, I am what that object turns me to. But that is not what – I am.

Acharya Ji: How do you know?

Questioner: I am – Atman.

Acharya Ji: How do you know?

Unless you come to a particular firmness, the Atman is just fiction. Is it not?

Questioner: Yes.

Acharya Ji: So, instead of dabbling in fiction, it is far better to acknowledge, that – ‘I am just nobody. I am almost like a public space – available to all, open to all, being used and misused, and trampled by all.’

‘The girl uses it, the car uses it. I am nobody, I belong to nobody. I have no identity. I am a public good. The car uses me, to run over the place. The kid uses me as a playground. So many use me, as an open space for waste disposal.’

‘I have no firm name, or identity. I become what the other wants me to become.’

‘The car manufacturer, wants me to be buyer. So, I look at his car, and turn into a prospective buyer. The woman, consciously or sub-consciously, wants me to be an attending man. And I turn into an attending man, as per her dictate.’

If you can realise, and come to this utter helplessness, you will revolt against yourself. You will say, “No more of this.” You will then realise, that all these inputs are actually, assaults and invasions. And had you really been nobody, you wouldn’t have felt bad about it. A stone does not cry against slavery, or does it?

If the fact of your enslavement, curdles your blood, it means there is free-spirit in you.

But that free-spirit gets invoked, only when presented with the fact of slavery.

If you do not know that you are enslaved, your free-spirit remains dormant. Or, if you keep presenting slavery itself, as the free spirit, even then the free-spirit remains just asleep, peacefully.

For the free-spirit to rise, and act, and rebel, you have to first acknowledge to yourself, that you are neck deep in slavery.

And then there is a contradiction between – the freedom of your spirit, and the fact of your slavery.

Now there is a conflict.

You need this conflict to arise.

You need an inner war.

Peace is great, but false peace, is deadly.

The seeker of peace, must be present and ready, to forego false peace, and experience disquiet and turbulence.

Questioner: That’s tough.

Acharya Ji: Awakening begins with suffering.

Obviously, it is not going to be pretty, when moment after moment, you are bombarded with the fact of your impotency and helplessness. Is it going to be pleasant? Not at all. You would want to resist the fact, deny the fact. You would squirm and cringe.

But the fact is, for real, and therefore must not be denied. And when you admit and acknowledge that fact, there is bound to be an inner strife.

By spirit, you are free.

And in life, you are in bondage.

These two cannot go together.

Let there be a war.

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

Watch the session: Without an inner firmness, does one even exist? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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In the middle of conditioning, how do I get real freedom?|| Acharya Prashant, with students

Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here.

In the middle of conditioning, how do I get real freedom

Question: Acharya Ji, every thing that we develop, comes from conditioning, how do I then, find my real identity?

Acharya Prashant Ji: (Addressing the questioner) Pallavi, had everything been coming from outside, then this question could not have arisen.

If everything comes from outside, then we are a system, like a machine. A machine never has the urge for self-enquiry. A machine will never feel uncomfortable, or befuddled at the fact that it does not know it’s true identity. In fact, the question of identity itself, is not relevant to a machine.

So, what happens, yes we realise that a lot what constitutes our psyche comes from what we have read or heard, assimilated directly-indirectly, consciously-subconsciously. We realise that. And the more we realise, the more we become free of that which is just an external layer upon me.

How do I know?

Just by enquiring.

Just by seeing.

And this ‘seeing’, is very simple, very straightforward.

“The environment is noisy, and I find it difficult to concentrate.”

“In the morning, I get a few compliments, and my mood cheers up.”

“My favorite team loses a match, and I feel down.”

These are the simple, routine, everyday events, which if observed, give freedom from the power of the outside to control us, from the power of the outside, to become our identity.

Are you getting it?

So, no real action has to be taken. You know, you do not really need to ‘do’ something, or go anywhere, or actively negate your thoughts. You just have to be little more thoughtful, conscious, and it becomes very clear that – “O! It happened there, and it is effecting me ‘here’.”

The more clearly you see this, the more frequently you see this, it starts becoming awkward then, to let your control remain somewhere else. It won’t be very nice, right? Every second minute, you are realising, that the world is controlling you, through a remote system. Does it remain pleasant? Would you feel nice that way?

But we all, the people around us, the entire world, allows that to continue, only because, we are not present to that fact. We do not realise that. That realisation itself, is liberation. Nothing else needs to be really ‘done’. It is kind of a slight, kind of an insult, to frequently keep on seeing, that my strings are being pulled by the world in all directions. And whosoever pulls my strings, succeeds.

One does not feel good with that fact. This ‘not feeling good’, is your freedom. Because, after all, there is no real string. The string is only mental. The string is ignorance. You realise and you are free.

In a physical sense, however, that mental freedom, may take time to show up, time to materialise. You might have a physical location, you might have a concrete timetable, you might have a certain routine. Realisation does not mean, that immediately your physical whereabouts will also change.

One might be there, trapped in some kind of enclosure, practically a jail, without ever knowing that he is trapped, that he is a de-facto slave. And then, he starts seeing that, where he is, every single thought and action, is commanded by somebody else.

At the psychological level, this is instant freedom. You see that you are being commanded, and you are free from the command. However, that does not mean, that physically too, he will become instantly free.

Whatever is physical, is a result of time, comes from a process, that extends over time, and hence, the physical manifestation, also takes time.

So, do not be worried, and do not start doubting, what I just said, if you do not see your freedom, expressing itself in a very material way. That material expression may take time. For example, you might be with somebody, since years. And now, because you are with that person since years, the company of that person is meshed in your daily program.

You go and catch the bus with him, you take your dinner with him, you watch movie with him. Probably, you have a joint membership with that person, in some club. It is a result of your long standing association. Then one day you realise, that the fellow, has actually been domination you, controlling you. That does not mean, that the next day, he will disappear from your life.

There is a long past. And that long past has its own residue. It will take time to be cleaned away. But rest assured, that the process starts. And then, it also expresses itself materially.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Acharya Prashant, with students: In the middle of conditioning, how do I get real freedom?

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Acharya Prashant: How to remain free from the hurt and sickness of others?

T6

Question: Dear Acharya Ji, you have said that what is healthy is forgotten, what is sick is remembered. If something is bothering me and making me restless, is it always that I am sick? Can there will also a way where I am healthy but the sickness of other person is bothering me? Can you give clarification on this?

Acharya Prashant: Sickness is always the ‘other.’ Sickness is anyway never yours. I am not merely saying that sickness belongs to the others, I am saying, sickness is the ‘other,’ and parallelly the other is the sickness. So, it doesn’t make matters any better for you.

Even it is proven that the sickness that is bothering you, comes from the other. Even if you are identified with sickness still it is the other.

Your nature is ‘not sickness. Your essence is ‘not sickness.’

So, obviously wherever whenever there is sickness, it is foreign, it is something else, it is somebody else.

You are asking what do I do if somebody else’s sickness is bothering me? If somebody else’s sickness is bothering you then you have contracted that sickness.

All sickness always comes from somewhere and starts bothering you then that sickness starts bothering you, it is the only proof that you are sick now. A virus comes from somewhere but it has not started bothering you. What is this situation called? The situation called ‘disease.’ You are infected now.

The first step in dealing with the sickness of the world is to not fall sick.

Read more

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

Question:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

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

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

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

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

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

Isn’t it obvious?

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

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

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

Real trueness is time independent.

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Acharya Prashant on Avadhuta Gita: Why does mental disease exist?

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Question: Manish Bansal has asked, Acharya Ji, The Avadhuta Gita says, “svarupa-nirvanam anamayoaham”, then why do we get hurt? Why do we get sick?

Acharya Prashant:

The fundamental does not get hurt and the fundamental does not get sick.

That in you which is central, fundamental, incorruptible, unbreakable can neither get hurt nor sick. That also tells you about the nature of all hurt and sickness. They don’t occur to the real you and therefore as they run their course, it is possible to let them run their course and yet be aloof.

There is something in you that just cannot get sick. There is something in you that just cannot get hurt. If you feel that your entire existence is reeling under the impact of hurt then you have not looked at yourself carefully.

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Just grows

Whatever you think you are, is one identity that you are carrying. And that identity can have no possibility of any Love. So, forget it that there can be any ‘self- love’! No self-love is possible. ‘Self -love’ is an oxymoron.

The Great man is not a Great man. That Great man has to be Great, every passing moment inattention.

The Great man, retains his understanding of himself, as somebody who is different from his concepts. He does not get identified with his thoughts.

A cancerous cell is very very ambitious! It multiplies like hell. That’s ambition. A normal healthy cell, does not grow out of ambition. It just grows. Just grows.

Growth is your very nature. It happens spontaneously out of understanding. It does not require ambition. You don’t need to be ambitious in order to grow.

There is no target, no ambitionThis is Self-love.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Self-love, and difference between self and the Self


 

Acharya Prashant: Self-love, and difference between self and the Self

Acharya Prashant: What is self? Me, I.

This thing that you refer to as the self, is not one thing. Understand this.

Let’s for the purpose of understanding, call it, self with a small ‘s’ and Self with a capital ‘S’. Understand this!

This is what you think you are (pointing at the ‘self’). This is what you are (pointing at the ‘Self’). We operate incessantly with this only (‘s’). With our thoughts. And here, there is no possibility of any Love. Just ruled out.

So, when you say self-love, it’s actually a redundant term. If you are dealing with yourself in this (‘s’) domain, Love is anyway not possible and this (in the domain of ‘Self’) is nothing but pure Love. Not the kind of Love that you know of while sitting here. This is an unknown thing to you, a totally unseen beast, of which you have no idea presently.

Here, nothing called self-love can be possible (in the domain of ‘self’). Here, only tension, frustration, attachment, obsessions are there. It’s another thing that you name them Love. You can call your pre-occupations as Love, you can call all your desires as Love, you can call your attachments as Love. You can call all your dependencies as Love, you can call all your possessiveness as Love. This all, what you call love is only going to give you trouble. It would be narrow, it would be jealousy-ridden, it would be insecure. And it would be of no avail at all. Are you understanding this?

But, unfortunately, this is the Love that we know of. And this operates only here (in the domain of ‘self’). What is this self that you know of?

Listeners: With a small ‘s’

AP: This is that self in which if I ask you now, that write ten statements starting with ‘I am’ which all end in some kind of noun, you will easily write them. What would you write?

You would write, “I am a daughter”, “I am a son”, “I am a student”, “I am an Engineer”, “I am an aspiring professional”, “I am an Indian”, “I am a Hindu or a Muslim”. “I am a North Indian”, “I am a male”, “I am a female”. “I am smart”, “I am intelligent”, right?

“I am thin”, “I am long”, “I am fat”, “I am suave”, all such things? Correct?

All these self-concepts, belong to this (indicating at ‘self’). Because this is what you think you are! Are we together till this point?

Whatever you think you are, is one identity that you are carrying.

And that identity can have no possibility of any Love.

So, forget it that there can be any ‘self- love’!

No self-love is possible.

‘Self -love’ is an oxymoron.

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The greatest dependence is psychological dependence

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future? Tell me?

To look towards future, one would have to take his attention away from the present, right?

Your goals cannot be bigger than your awareness. Goals will just be within the circumference of what you know.

Life is the present moment, there is nothing else. If you are free right now, there is no need to become enslaved the next moment. Why do you want to pretend that we are slaves? You are not! You are free this moment!

And remember, financial dependence is not a great dependence. Even physical dependence may not be a great dependence. The greatest dependence is psychological dependence.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting


 

Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting

Question: Acharya Ji, we should have future plans also. What should set that in our minds that what we are going to be in future!

Acharya Prashant: Alright, that is a very sensible question. What’s your name?

Questioner: Aanchal.

AP: Right. Aanchal, suppose if one day, you give one of your friends a call. And say, tell me, which road goes to Chandigarh? How do I reach Chandigarh? And you are feverishly asking her. How do I reach Chandigarh, tell me, how do I reach Chandigarh? If your friend is sensible enough, what is the question she is going to ask you?

Listeners: Where are you, now?

AP: Where are you right now? To reach anywhere, shouldn’t you firstly know where are you right now? To talk about future, shouldn’t you firstly know what the present moment is? And if the present moment is known, is Chandigarh too far away?

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

And right now means exactly right now! Are you aware of how your thoughts are wending? Are you aware, from where are these questions arising? Are you even aware, why there is incessant thirst for the future?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future?

Tell me?

Have you noticed? Have you been attentive to the fact that when is it that you really start thinking of the future?

When you are? Insecure. When you are insecure, and tense and anxious, that’s when your mind rushes to the future.

Read more

Who is leading you?

There is always the threat of our self-image being lost destroy and distorted.

“If others are telling you that you are a leader then who is leading whom? Are you a leader or they are leading you into believing that you are a leader?”

The others are always dominating the mind. Ask yourself that all you know about yourself how much is first hand? Of all the identities you carry how many intrinsic all yours and how many have been supplied by external situations, society, powers.

The more you are living with a borrowed self-concept with a borrowed self-image the more you will be afraid of the world. It’s a slavery.

The more you start looking at yourself with your own eyes, the less dependent you are on anybody else. The less dependent you are on anybody else, the less is the fear of losing your self-image.

You want to get rid of fear then reduce your dependency on others. Say, I have intelligence. I have my eyes. Let me use that to directly look at things.

What most of you call as your own, has not really been your own.


Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: You will always be afraid of the world if your self-image comes from the world

Acharya Prashant: You will always be afraid of the world if your self-image comes from the world

Listener: How to get rid of fear of losing my image in front of others?

Acharya Prashant: Sit, what’s your name?

L: Acharya Ji, Prateek.

AP: Prateek is saying to get rid of fear and then he specifies the fear of losing my image in front of others. Prateek if it is really your image how can you lose it? If it is really yours is it possible to lose it? But no, we all know that we are so conscious about our images and we feel so vulnerable about it.

There is always the threat of our self-image being lost destroy and distorted.

Why does that happen? That happens because our image is not ours at all. It’s a second-hand image. We do not look at ourselves directly. We look at ourselves through the eyes of others. It is another matter that others do not have their own eyes but as far as we are concerned, we look at ourselves through the eyes of others.

We think that this is my image but it is constantly supplied to us by somebody else. I was recently conducting an interview for hiring MBA students so, one of the candidates, he comes and I asked him that what are your quality is? What do you call as your strengths?

You know candidates are very eager to spin out their strength. So, I asked him what do you call as your strength? He said I’m a very good Leader. I said how do you know that you are a good Leader? The fellow said, “This is that nothing comes out of it.” I asked him, “Young man, tell me really why have you written that you have leadership qualities? What made you believe that you are a leader? He said, “Acharya Ji, the fact is everybody tells me that you are a good leader. Lots of people have already told me that you are a good leader and you make even for a better leader in the future so I have come to believe that I’m a good leader I have leadership skills.” I said,

“If others are telling you that you are a leader then who is leading whom? Are you a leader or they are leading you into believing that you are a leader?”

He didn’t get the point so I repeated what I wanted to say twice-thrice and then something started opening up. He said, “Yes if my very self-concept comes from others then surely it’s the others who are dominating. It’s the others who are leading me. I do not know myself. All I know of myself is what have given to me.”

I come over to the podium and I say something I really have no realization of the quality of my talks. If everybody applauds I feel good I must have said something good and if I am hooted I’m jeered then I feel, Oh! I must have spoken horribly. I come to the campus and people tell me, about looking smart, handsome. I swell up that yes, I must be looking good that’s why the compliment. And the same person in the afternoon tells me you are looking so dumb. What happened to you? Why are your face so fallen and I start wondering is it that might really be so. Every bit of our self-image is acquired from others. There is hardly a thing that we know about ourselves and the more our self-image is acquired from others is dependent on others the more is the power of others to destroy it, to distort it. That is the reason that why we are afraid.

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Consciousness is a ‘kite’

Question: How was the Ego created? 

Acharya Prashant: Ego was not really ‘created.’ Ego is being created all the time.

Ego is a belief in ignorance and hence knowledge.

Consciousness is a ‘kite’ that feels it is flying freely. It does not know that it is being controlled by the Master, sitting deeper than its flight. The controller of all thoughts is the ‘deep mind,’ the ‘latent tendencies.’

Why do different people have different thoughts upon being subjected to the same stimulus? It is because their ‘deeper patterns’ are different, it is because their ‘deeper tendencies’ have been differently created.

What is it that determines our actions, our thoughts? What is it that determines the whole movement of activity that we see around? Whenever action happens from where does it arise?



Read the complete article:  How was the ego created?

How was the ego created?

Question: How was the Ego created? 

Acharya Prashant:

Ego was not really ‘created.’

Ego is being created all the time.

Would silence ever ask this question? So ego has been given a fresh breath of Life, when one professes ‘ignorance’ or ‘knowledge.’ If you ask something about ego, if you say what is ego? The answer would be this, “the one who is asking.” The question itself is ego. How was the question created? By asking. How was the ego created? You tell me, you asked.

How did you come to believe? How does you continuously keep believing that you do not know and secondly the knowledge is important? In this moment from where did, this thought arising you that you did not know? And this beautiful moment of Silence, what makes you think that something additional in form of knowledge needs to be added?

If two people are sitting together in intimacy. Is the moment not already complete? Do they further need to beautify the moment by adding questions to it? Ego is this that which feels that knowledge is needed, that which feels that the world is incomplete, that which feels that it needs support. A beefing up, a furtherance, that is Ego. If you are silent there is no ego because you will not be asking about the genesis of ego. And remember that any question you ever ask is ultimately a question about the Self.

You may ask a question about nuclear technology but if you go deeper into it, you will discover that it was the question about the ‘Self.’ Ego is that which feels that the Self is not yet fully revealed. So, knowledge must be further used to know it, explore it, to reveal it.

Ego is a belief in ignorance and hence knowledge.

If it is not there, it is just not there. Then even the question that from where did it come is just not there. Moment this question, springs up in the mind, that is the moment the ego is born. The moment when that question receds goes off to sleep, is the moment when the ego to is put to sleep.

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An inner disorder is bound to be false

You don’t identify the false by matching it with your conception of the false. The false is identified by what it does to you.

How do you know it is false? If it unsettles you, if it leads to disquiet, it is false. If it needs protection, if it demands security, it is ‘False.’

Falseness has to be understood in the context of your nature.

Your nature is peace and hence whatever, leads to an inner derangement, an inner disorder is bound to be false.

L: Where is the mind located? AP: Nowhere, you are located in the mind.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti: How to know the false as false?

Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti – How to know the false as false

Question: Acharya Ji, what does J. Krishnamurti mean when he says, “To understand what is, is more important than to create and follow ideals.”

Acharya Prashant: Actually, the first part of that sentence, is the absolute, the second part is the actionable. Understanding what is, is not really a task. It is not even needed. What is needed is the second part.

Just stop taking your ideals seriously. Just stop having, fanciful pictures of existence. And understanding what is, the present, will then no more be needed because a need is meaningful only when something is absent and we are talking of the present. So there is no need really then. So the useful part of that sentence is just the later part. The first part you can even ignore. That’s the thing about Truth,  you can ignore it.  You can totally ignore it because you can depend on it that it will never go away. It is utterly reliable, hence, you can forget it. The first part of that sentence is the absolute so you can totally forget and ignore it. The second part is useful.

L: Related to the same, I want to ask a question, “To perceive the Truth requires the understanding of the false.”

~ J. Krishnamurti. 

I have two questions based upon it. How is one to identify the false? And if we are able to identify the false, and if you have a doubt in its falsehood, that’s the question?

AP: No. See,

You don’t identify the false by matching it with your conception of the false. The false is identified by what it does to you.

I am glad you raised this question.

How do you know it is false?

If it unsettles you, if it leads to disquiet, it is false. If it needs protection, if it demands security, it is ‘False.’

You see,

falseness has to be understood in the context of your nature.

Your nature is to be careful and whatever demands care from you, is bound to be false.

Your nature is relaxation and hence whatever demands a lot of doing from you, is bound to be false. Your nature is faith and hence whatever will demand a lot of testing and verification is bound to be false. Your nature is trust that arises from that faith and hence whatever puts you in the situation of doubt, is bound to be false.

Are you getting it?

Your nature is peace and hence whatever, leads to an inner derangement, an inner disorder is bound to be false.

In short, anything that leads to mental excitation is bound to be false. That’s how you know the false. And that is why the truth cannot be known because the apparatus that you use for knowing is the mind and if it excites the mind, it is false.  Hence, the Truth cannot be know, because the Truth will?

L: Never create ripples.

AP: If it creates ripples here, please know, that it is false. And when I say it is false, glad that, when I say, ‘it is false’ that does not mean the object outside of you is false. When I say, ‘It’ is false, I mean that, this ( points to self) and the relationship. So do not start labelling objects outside of you as false, false, false, false, false, false ( points in different directions).

You pick up a J. Krishnamurthi book and it troubles you and you say false.

L: Laughs.

AP: It’s not about that book. It’s about the book, the reader of the book and the way of reading. In fact, the way of reading can be dispensed with. Just say ‘the book’ and ‘the reader of the book.’ And even among these two, what is more relevant?

L: The reader of the book.

AP: The reader of the book. That is where the falseness lies. So, will we be specific about the application of this word now, false? Yes?

L: Acharya Ji, Psychology, and Psychiatry,  these days, try to treat the mind by giving medicines, psychiatry or by suggesting some methods or therapy. Acharya Ji, to what extent are they useful? Because they do not treat the basic.

AP: The brain can be treated. The brain is just like any other organ of the body. The brain can be treated. So if you have a tumor here or some other malfunction, and if there is, a drug available. Kindly do not say that normally, treatment of the mind is surrender so I will not take that drug.

Those who are prescribing the drugs, are not treating the mind really, they are treating the brain, and the brain is the mass of flesh, so allow them to treat the brain.

L: Where is the mind located?

AP: Nowhere, you are located in the mind.

AP: As a person, that perceives only through senses. This is the organ, that is related to the senses. The mind and the brain, really have no particular connection. It is just that because you are identified with the senses, hence, even to talk of the mind, you use the brain. Otherwise, brain and mind, have no great, in-depth relationship. If they have a relationship, that is only in context of the person. Remove the person, and you have removed the brain.

Are you getting it?

L: Yes. Krishnamurthi talks about mutation.

AP: But does he says that the mutations happen only in the brain cells? I have not looked at the brain cells of people around me but I have looked at their facial cells. That fellow, over there, does not look the way he used to look two years back. Neither does that girl here or that boy there.

Does Krishnamurthi say that the mutations happen only within the skull? I don’t know of that, maybe a doctor is more qualified to speak. But I have seen mutations happening, in the faces. And flesh is flesh. If the brain cells change, that is no more significant, than the change in the cells of the face.  And the face cannot really change without the brain changing. So that is the same thing. So don’t be particularly interested in the mutation of the brain.

The whole body, of the wise one, bears wisdom.  It is for more, abstract reasons that saints are depicted as having an aura. It is just that, we show that aura, only around the head. I tell you that that aura is there on also, on the fingers, the eyes. Your eyes are no more the same, once you have been touched.  The eye cells have undergone mutation and of course, there would be an accompanying mutation, an underlying mutation, in the brain cells also, of course, that has to be there. But why think only of the brain, it’s evident and obvious even in the face, in the eyes.

Are you getting it?

When you are relaxed, you do not sit in the same way as when you are agitated. Don’t you see that there is a mutation? Your entire, body chemistry changes, when you are, relaxed. Don’t you see there is a mutation?



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti – How to know the false as false


Connect to Acharya Prashant: 
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We marry problems

Troubles, give you so much to fill your self up.  Troubles gives you a nice identity, an identity that you can get so easily use to.

Life without problems is not possible but there can be life, beyond problems.

The moment you withdraw from the problem, the problem will fall. There is no problem that you experience that comes to you, without your consent, participation and active involvement.

We don’t, marry and get problems. We, marry problems.

To drop problems means to drop the ego, drop the troubling self.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Surely there is life beyond troubles

Acharya Prashant: Surely there is life beyond troubles

Question: Acharya Ji, can the ego ever be free of troubles?

Acharya Prashant: You need to have faith, that there is life beyond troubles; otherwise troubles are so sweet. Who am I ~ The troubled one.

Troubles, give you so much to fill your self up.  Troubles gives you a nice identity, an identity that you can get so easily use to.

I am, the one, stung by problems. I am the one, who is the victim of troubles. Troubles, problems, all of them, can so easily, give you something, to live by. You must, first of all, let yourself, acknowledge, that there can be life, beyond problems, not without problems.

Life without problems is not possible but there can be life, beyond problems.

But we have a great belief in problems. No?

In fact, you know, it is an insult to problems, that we call them problems. Our problems are our intimate friends. The proof is that you will not let them go.  Will you ever let your problems go? Even if the problem is willing to go, you will catch it, by its collar and you’ll say, no, you don’t have to.  Okay, you can go at a more opportune time.  You have been a guest here for so long and now its late at night and out there, there are thief’s and thugs so you can go in the morning.

AP: That morning never comes. No problem, I assure you, can stay with you, without your active involvement in the problem.

The moment you withdraw from the problem, the problem will fall. There is no problem that you experience that comes to you, without your consent, participation and active involvement.

L: Why we can’t see life beyond the problem?

AP: Because you have been made to believe, through the whole process of your evolution, that there is no life beyond problems and if there is no life beyond problems, then problem-lessness to you means life-lessness.  You do not want to die. You have a belief that the moment problems disappear, life too will disappear, and you do not want to die.

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Who is experiencer?

What is an experience? Experience is nothing but the experiencer.

You do not experience anything! You are the experiencer who is a bundle of his
conditioning.

Whatever you experience is not really ‘your’ experience. It is the experience that you have been conditioned to experience. But you think, Oh I am experiencing this. If your identity is changed then your experience changes totally.

The ringing of the temple bell is a delight for the Hindu and means nothing to the Muslim. The call of the Azaan is deeply significant to the Muslim but is a disturbance to the Hindu. Now, are you experiencing the ringing of the bell and sound of the Azaan? Are ‘you’ experiencing it? Or is it the Hindu that is experiencing it? Were you born a Hindu? Hinduism is something that was given to you. It is part of your conditioning. You have acquired it, you have absorbed it. Same for the Muslim. He has acquired it. Taken it in.

What is conditioning? The mind acquiring and acquiring beliefs and layers and layers of thoughts. That is the process of conditioning.

Individuality is that silence that untouched point, which can never be conditioned, which really looks and understands in an untouched way, Simple.

You need to believe when you don’t know. When you know then there is no question of beliefs. Only those who do not know, ‘they’ need to take the support of beliefs.



Read the complete article: Individuality is neither acquired nor influenced 

Individuality is neither acquired nor influenced

Question: My beliefs have come out of my experiences and my experiences have shaped my individuality. If I give up my beliefs, then I am giving up on my individuality?

Acharya Prashant: (quoting the questioner) My beliefs have come out of my experiences and my experiences have shaped my individuality. If I give up my beliefs, then I am giving up on my individuality?

If I ask you to write down what I just said in the last fifteen-twenty minutes and I say, write down in three clear points what has been said. And you write it down. And then I say, compare it with your neighbor, what he or she has written. You will be deeply surprised. You will be deeply surprised at the variation. You will look at your neighbors’ sheet and say, did he ever say this? What have you written?

Now I am one and I am saying the same thing, but all of you are experiencing different things. What is this experience? Where does it come from?

What is an experience?

Experience is nothing but the experiencer.

Kindly do not think that the experience is factual, that experience has any objective reality to it. You only experience what you have been conditioned to experience. Take a clear example. Even as we speak right now, a cricket match is going on. India versus England, right? Suppose we project the game here, live. On this side are Indians and on this side are Englishmen. And India quickly loses three wickets. What does this side experience? Gloom, disaster, three wickets in two overs, long faces. What does this side experience (pointing to the other side)? Cheerfulness, enthusiasm, right? Same happening, different experiences. Now, can these people call their experience as my own experience? Are ‘you’ experiencing it? Or is the ‘Indian’ experiencing it? Similarly, can these people call the cheerfulness their own experience? Are they experiencing it? Or is the Englishman experiencing it?

You do not experience anything! You are the experiencer who is a bundle of his
conditioning.

Born in England, you would be experiencing something totally different. You would be sitting on this side, same happening and you would be feeling glad. Are you getting it?
Listener: Acharya Ji, what is the experience

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