Are earthly pleasures a hindrance to spiritual growth?|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

Are earthly pleasures a hindrance to spiritual growth

Question: On one hand, I want to spiritually grow towards enlightenment. But, at the same time, some side of me wants to have earthly freedom, experiences, like traveling. Even though, I know, that those things won’t bring me True Joy.

Are earthly pleasures a hindrance to spiritual growth?

Acharya Prashant Ji: (Addressing the questioner) Isa, there is no dissonance between Spiritual Joy, and earthly living. The one, who is not spiritually developed, may travel to all corners of the earth, but would still remain joyless.

So, what is the point in travelling?

There is, the wandering monk. Look at his Joy. There is the Fakir(Monk) who travels from place to place, village to village. Sometimes, from country to country. Traditionally, in India, Sadhus(Monk), would forbid themselves, from staying too long, at any one place. They would just keep travelling.

Buddha and Mahavir, the great ascetics, they traveled all their life. Even Guru Nanak made voyages, long distance travels – the east, to the south, to the west. That’s one kind of travelling, in which you are already full of Joy, and you are travelling to disseminate that Joy. You are travelling, so that, even others may have that Joy.

And the, there is the traveling tourist. The average traveler. What does travel give him? Some consolation. Some very feeble support, to enable him to carry on, his otherwise wretched life. Once a year, twice a year, he saves money to travel, and not much comes out of that travel, because he is not internally complete.

Even the earth, discloses it’s real treasures, only to the spiritually accomplished ones.

To the spiritually accomplished one, the earthly living itself, is heavenly.

And that would also tell you what is ‘hell’.

The one who is not spiritually accomplished, to him, the earth itself is ‘hell’.

So it is not as if, there are two different worlds, offering two different kind of joys. That is the mental model you are coming from. You are telling me, “There is the earthly joy, which is an inferior kind of joy, but still quite alluring. And then, there is a metaphysical, transcendental joy, spiritual joy. And the spiritual joy, is quite attractive, but it seems to come at the cost of earthly joy.

No. Wrong. That’s where you are mistaken.

The ‘Spiritual Joy’, does not come at the cost of earthly joy.

In fact, there is nothing called ‘Spiritual Joy’.

All joy is earthly, because all Joy is to the one, who is the product of the Earth.

No Man, no Joy.

If there is no Isa (the questioner), who is there to be joyful? And Isa, who is she? Someone who has arisen from the earth. Who are you? You are the soil, you are the water, you are the air, you are the sunlight. Without these, would there be any human being?

So, the one who is Joyful, is always an earthly one. Therefore, there is no distance, or distinction, between these two kinds of joy. In fact, if you create two dimensions of joys, then you do not know, either of these dimensions. Any of these dimensions.

It is a very common misconception, and we all need to get rid of it.

We feel that, to have spiritual joy, we have to give up earthly pleasures. And such stories have come to us, from various sources. They continue to keep coming to us. No, not at all true.

Spirituality is Wisdom.

Spirituality is deep Intelligence.

Spirituality is to give up the inferior, in the favor of superior.

That which you call as ‘earthly pleasure’, definitely has something, which is worth rejecting, worth dropping. Therefore, Spirituality, is to drop incomplete, costly, ephemeral pleasures, in favor of an ending pleasure called ‘Joy’.

Are you getting it?

You could even say that – ‘Spirituality is the art of absolute hedonism’.

The common man, he satisfies himself with bits and pieces. Some crumbs here, some crumbs there – of little bit of happiness, of little bit of pleasure. The monk, the spiritual seeker, he says, “Nothing doing. Not only I want happiness. I want happiness Absolute.” He is ambitious. He is very-very greedy, you know. Because he is very-very greedy, so he tells you to shun normal greed. Because he is absolutely greedy, so he tells you, “Do not be a little bit greedy.”

You think that he is against greed. He is not against greed. He is against everything, that is incomplete. So, he says, “If you have to be greedy, you must be not incompletely greedy, but absolutely greedy.”

Spirituality is Absolute greed. Spirituality says, “I do not want anything small. I want now, only the infinite Ultimate.”

See, what dimension of greed it is. Similarly, happiness and pleasure. Common man says, “Give me happiness. One hour a day, please.” What does the spiritual one say, “I want the total, unending, diminishing, eternal happiness.” And where does he want it? In some other world, some other planet, some other galaxy? Where exactly doe the spiritual seeker want that?

Listeners: On this earth.

Acharya Ji: On this earth. When does he want it – after seven hundred years, after death, in seventh life, in the eighteenth life? When exactly does he want it?

Listeners: Now.

Acharya Ji: After fifty years, when he turns seventy-five, and enters the last ashram of his life? Is that when he wants it?

Listeners: No. Now.

Acharya Ji: If Joy is absolute, would you want to postpone it? It would be so very alluring, that you won’t be able to postpone it. You would want it, right now.

That’s spirituality – to have the highest happiness, and have it right now.

Here.

The highest, right now, right here.

Getting it?

Now, do you want the earthly things? Are they still attractive?

If the earthly things are attractive, then that should tell you, that you have a faculty for attraction. If even, a little attracts you, it should tell you that you know how to get attracted. And if you know how to get attracted, then how would you feel in front of the Immense?

I repeat: if even the little attracts you so much, what would be your condition, in front of the Immense?

You would go bonkers.

That’s how the spiritual mind wants to live – in an absolute craziness.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Are earthly pleasures a hindrance to spiritual growth? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Quotes, January’19

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1.

Love is a vast sky, it has no opposite.

It is so vast that it has space enough for hatred.

In Love, one hates as well, and that doesn’t reduce love.

Do not feel guilty. Provided your love is vast enough.

And you can have love so vast, only for Vastness.

A Vastness called Freedom.

2.

By reasoning out

your situation,

you try to remain

what you are.

All reasons are

hidden justifications.

Realise, don’t rationalize.

3.

Having lived rightly for long, one becomes incapable of living wrongly.

Having lived rightly for long, if one even decides to live or act wrongly for a while, he will face failure in his chosen wrong action.

The reward of living rightly: failure in one’s attempts to live wrongly.

4.

Enlightenment is a series of endless enlightenments, each one being complete and final.

5.

Being so enamoured by the Sun,

You keep watching the moon all night!

That’s Love.

6.

What is the way to Liberation?

Suffering.

An honest acknowledgment of suffering,

Without trying to hide or colour or glorify or rationalise it,

Is the way to Liberation.

7.

The great Intelligence that is never touched, spoiled, created or destroyed is not personal.

The person can decide to follow that impersonal Intelligence. And the person can also withdraw from the service of Intelligence.

That choice is always available and that choice is Maya.

8.

The spiritual pursuit faces humongous obstacles. It sometimes appears the entire world is lined against you.

We all are in a big holy war.

We will definitely lose some battles.

The trick is to not to mind the defeats, and quickly get ready for the next win.

9.

Questioner: What is the definition

of ‘Stupid’?

Acharya Ji: Knowing what is right,

doing what is wrong.

10.

Your interests, your welfare, don’t depend on things.

Witnessing means not seeking interest in anything. Not attaching your self-interest, self-worth, to anything. When you are not interested, you are the knower and the master.

Here, kingship comes only to the reluctant king.

11.

She troubled him for being awake at nights, “Your eyes are full of someone beyond.”

Helpless, he kept mum.

One night a mysterious tune woke her up. Since then, she dances all night to music.

And he laughs. He has had his revenge.

Love is so foolish it knows only one revenge: Love

12.

In the mirror, he saw many faces.

One wanted food, air, water, sleep, sex.

The second one wanted prestige, power, money, happiness.

A third one just looked on sorrowfully, sometimes at the two, sometimes at the distant horizon.

13.

If not religion, who will teach you secularism?

Secularism is a new religion; just that it isn’t yet deeply religious enough.

The development of secularism depends on its ability to learn from religion the value of meditativeness, devotion, and surrender of ego to the Beyond.

14.

The new, the happiness that you are looking for,

will not come through experience.

It will not come to you via time,

It is not contained in the future.

It comes when you are a little less

insistent upon cheating yourself.

15.

You had a dream,

you came to me,

and I have not helped you

reach there.

But tell me,

are you not glad

that now you are not

what you were?

~Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Brain and Intelligence

T5

Acharya Prashant: We can live in two kinds of worlds. How? Even as I am speaking to you, some of you are listening, and the others might be thinking and wandering and lost in imagination, Right? Do you see that? You have to be together in this. Is that alright?

So that means that it’s possible for man, and each of us is a human being right? So whatever is applicable to us is applicable to mankind in general. We can easily generalize whatever is applicable to us. So, it is possible for man to be simultaneously living two kinds of lives. One is that you are sitting here. The other is that you are thinking about something else. Correct? The very fact that which really is known as reality. Whereas that which is imagined, which is thought of, is called ‘the mind.’ Can you see this that even though you would be sitting here, it is possible for the mind to be at a totally different place? You could be in Disneyland or at your home or at any other place. Now is that for real? Where is a reality? Reality is that which is. Everything else is imagination. This imaginary aspect of us is what is the ‘mind’. Now, what is this thing called the mind? Write down. The mind is ‘brain + intelligence’.

Brain — Matter, Product of Evolution, Just like a computer hard disk, Just like a computer hard disk, Automatic, Prone to Conditioning, Like the Fan.

Brain is like the fan in the sense that it’s totally material. It is a slave to the commands of somebody else. You switch on the fan, you switch off the fan. Does the fan have any intelligence or any will of its own?

Remember it’s very efficient. It keeps working all the time. But does it work according to its own understanding? Does the fan know what is going on in its head? Does the fan understand what electricity is, what electromagnetism is, Faraday’s law, Ampere’s law, anything? Does it understand? Yet it keeps working. It keeps working according to the design provided to it by external forces.

Who has provided the design to it? Man – an external force. Not the fan itself. The Fan is a mechanical device which is a slave of others, albeit very efficient, efficient but dumb. With the result that everybody else can exploit it, can make use of it. It’s mechanical, dumb. You can write all these things for a brain. Everything that applies to the fan also applies to the brain. Alright? Except for one thing that the fan does not have a memory chip, the brain has a memory chip as well. The fan cannot really recall the events of yesterday. And that too can be done. You can have a fan with a memory chip. That’s not difficult at all. That’s not at all difficult.

You can have a fan that can keep registering what is happening day in and day out, and after one year when you will take that chip it will have all the data accumulated on it. That on which particular day how many hours of rotation was there, at what time, at what speed, all that can be done, right? That’s not at all difficult. You can do that as a project. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Are you getting it?

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Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: You know your real face, and your real home?

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“Your life, my friend,

is a residence far away from any other

residence and neighbours.

Your inner soul is a home far away from

other homes named after you.

If this residence is dark,

you cannot light it with your neighbour’s lamp;

If it is empty you cannot fill it

with the riches of your neighbour;

Were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a

garden planted by someone else…

Your inner soul, my friend,

is surrounded with solitude and seclusion.

Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion

you would not be you and I would not be I.

If it were not for that solitude and seclusion,

I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking;

Yet, if I saw your face, I would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.”

~ Khalil Gibran

Acharya Prashant: Poets have a way, of presenting the Truth. The way helps. The way is beautiful. But as happens with all ways to the Truth, the way itself is a bit of a hindrance to the destination.

What Khalil Gibran is saying here, is essentially very straightforward. The inner seclusion and solitude that he is talking of, is nothing, but your calm, peaceful, silent, immovable, center.

Seated at that center, with the calmness, the immovability, of the center, vested in the mind as well; the mind gains intelligence, the mind gains discretion.

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Acharya Prashant on Veganism: Vedas and Milk

Blog-11

Question: Acharya Ji, there are people who quote the Vedas and say “A Hindu is a good Hindu only if he drinks milk from the mother cow.” What is your take on that?

Acharya Prashant: See if you have named the Vedas, what is the central teaching of all the Vedic literature?

If you want to really know what the Vedic teaching is, you will have to go to the Upanishads. The Upanishads are called the “Vedanta”, which means the summit or the climax of Veda. And they go into the reality of man. What is the reality of man? The Upanishads are very forthright and unequivocal about it. They say, “Man is the Truth itself (Aham Brahmasmi).” Nothing else except the Truth. You are the ultimate finality. You are the total.

Now, if this is the position that the Vedic literature takes, then one cannot operate from a point of incompleteness, hollowness or desirousness. A lot of what we do, please see we do just in order to gain fulfillment. We say that the purpose of human Life is progress, don’t we? And we asses a human being according to how much he has been able to progress and contribute to progress.

And what is progress for us?
Knowing more; collecting more.

I’m not trying to unnecessarily be simplistic. Please go into it.

When you know more, when you collect more, is it something that happens only on the outside or does it also affects your self-worth? When you know more, your self-worth rises; when you collect more, again your self-worth rises. The Upanishads say, that your self-worth, that which you are, is any way infinite, you are anyway total. Now, go out and play. You are anyway perfect and complete. Now, do whatever you want to do. But do it from a point of perfection. Do it from a point of completion.

Do not do in order to gain something. Do not do in order to rise.

Act as if you are already there as if you are already complete.

That is what Vedas are all about.

Now, around this center, a lot has been said. Just a whole lot.

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Acharya Prashant: Ambition and anger

Acharya Prashant: What is your name?

Listener: Kshitij Aggarwal.

AP: The question asked by Kshitij is why do needs often dominate ambition?

And he surely thinks that it is quite unfortunate that needs to start dominating ambitions. The reason is simple, he probably gives a lower priority to needs and higher priority to ambitions because he thinks that the ambitions are his. He has kept ambitions very close to himself. He believes that they are his own.

So, he deeply wants the ambitions to be fulfilled. But finds that instead, something else has to be done, first of all, we will understand this conflict. And we all face this conflict, this conflict is not only in Kshitij’s mind, this conflict in the mind of every single one of us. But we are all confused, we rarely know, what to do. There are always one or more options in front of us, and we are unable to see clearly which one is suitable. Right?

This happens not only once in six months, at the time of admissions or at the time of choosing a job, it keeps happening daily, day in and day out. What is this conflict? you will have to understand.

Kshitij,

Our mind is dominated by ‘external influences’ which we have so far called is the development of ‘Ego.’

Our mind is not our mind, our mind is a collection of all external influences.

Our mind is divided into many many segments and many parts, and there are so many different forces that are controlling these separate parts. So, one part is being controlled by parents, one part is being dominated by media, one part is being dominated by society, one part by peers, one by corporations, one by thoughts of career, one by XYZ, and very very large number of parts.

Now, these different parts are your different masters. It’s like a person is tied to fifty different ropes being pulled by fifty different people in fifty different directions. Will that person be able to move towards any definite direction, any one direction.

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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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Core value is ‘Clarity’

Why can’t my response to a situation arise directly of my out of my intelligence? Why do I need an ideal? Why do I need an ideal to show me the way? Why do you need to give me ideals? Don’t I have the power to understand? And can’t my action come out of my own power? Why do I need the support of an ideal? Why?

Every course of action and its opposite course of action both are alright in a different situation. So, how can there be an ideal response? 

Your very fundamental core value is ‘Clarity’ except that there is no core values.

Ideals obfuscate ‘clarity.’ So, anybody who will have ideals as core values will find that he is missing out on clarity. That clarity has also been given the name of ‘emptiness.’ Emptiness because it is clear, clear of everything. It is empty. That is the only core value. A little ahead that core value takes the shape of a few other core values. They are called Truth, Joy, Love, Freedom.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

L1: Acharya Ji, my question is on the applicability of idealism that is practicality of idealism. Basically, an idealism and practical approach both are separate, It cannot be together. But if some people try to bring idealism in the practical life. It’s always like to creates a problem. Like we all are on and off face the problem which becomes a prison for saying the Truth.

So, what my question is does idealism that applies to the practical world does it create the issue and problem that was meant to solve the issue and the problem?

Acharya Prashant: Good! Pranay?

Pranay has asked the question the gist of which is that following ideals often lands one into trouble. What to do when the situation is like this? What are the Ideals?

L2: Ideals are ethics. Just as my Life is there and there is no conflict in between me and my favorite personalities and I keep on following him and practicing him.

AP: Can you simplify it a little more? I don’t know what the ideals are. You need to educate me. What are the ideals?

L2: Which are right things.

AP: What is the right thing?

L2: Which doesn’t land us into the problem.

AP: How do you know that it is right to express your hands like this? You just did that. How do you know that it is right to look that way? You just did that. How do you know? Can you have an ideal for every situation? And life is moments and remember a moment is not a second. A moment is infinitesimally smaller than a second. And for every moment you need some kind of a response right? Some kind of a right response. Can you have an ideal to guide you?

What is an ideal answer to the question that I am posing? How do I know? How do I know that it is ideal for me to ask you this question? How do you know that it is ideal of you to listen attentively?

Ideals sound like a well-meaning word but what are they? What are the ideals?

Alright! Let me try something and tell me whether it’s okay. I am saying ideals are some kind of predetermined response to a situation. When the situation is like this you respond like this. X comes to you and your output is Y. That is an ideal, right? Input X output Y. Is that an ideal? Is that not what an ideal is?

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All suffering is false

That’s what the Aatma does. It keeps relaxing, in its seat.

All suffering is false. So, where is the question of tragedy?

Complain, and you lose even what you already have. Be grateful, and you get more than what you are grateful for.

When you are being the most serious, the Truth pokes fun at you. In fact, your seriousness is the biggest joke.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Katha Upanishad: Why do the wise call the Aatman, ‘the enjoyer’?


 

Acharya Prashant on Katha Upanishad: Why do the wise call the Aatman, ‘the enjoyer’?

Question: Acharya Ji, why do the wise call the Aatman, ‘the enjoyer?’

Acharya Prashant: Enjoyer, in the sense of the watcher. Just as in the cinema hall, you enjoy the show. How do you enjoy the show? By leaping into the screen? In Cinema Hall, how do you enjoy it? By relaxing, in your seat.

That’s what the Aatma does. It keeps relaxing, in its seat.

Listener: That means, enjoying our sufferings.

AP: Yes.

Don’t you enjoy even tragic scenes, on the screen? That’s what the Aatma does. For Aatman, there is no tragedy. We talked of it yesterday, right?

All suffering is false. So, where is the question of tragedy?

Reminds me of my college days. So, you know, young students, how they are? Brash, hard, mocking at everything sentimental. That’s the environment in hostels. Nobody likes sissies there. If you are a mama’s boy, if you display lot of emotions, then you become a butt of lot of jokes.

So, it was an inter-hostel dramatics competition. And one of the hostels was trying to enact a sentimental play, in which one of the characters was particularly sentimental. So, with due respect, the student crowd tolerated that play and that expressive actor for some one-minute twenty seconds. And then, we all as part of the audience came into our own! Now, this sentimental actor, playing an even sentimental character, is wailing, weeping, sobbing his heart out. And the more he is crying on the stage, the more is the audience laughing! Can you visualize? He is screaming with pain, and the public is going mad with laughter. People are rolling down the aisle. And hearing a lot of commotion in the audience, he is thinking he is being applauded. So, he is beating his chest, even more ferociously. And now, the public has started throwing their clothes and stuff. After around three or four minutes of such rioting, the actor finally realized that something is wrong.

That is how the Aatman probably watches us! That is why the Katha Upanishad is saying that the Aatman enjoys! We are such stupid actors. It becomes obvious that the suffering we are displaying on the stage is a false suffering. How can any intelligent watcher empathize with us? The more you cry, weep, shriek, the more the Aatman enjoys!

That is why all the Buddhas of the world, have a great time. That is why the first thing he said was, “the world is suffering.” What you missed seeing, is his faint smile, (chuckles) when he said that. Why else do you think is he smiling all the time? When the world is suffering, why else would he smile? Because even your suffering is so imperfect, fake, superficial. The actor on the screen is beating his chest, and the audience too is beating their chests. That is how the Aatman enjoys.

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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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Freedom is Health

Love is a relationship. A healthy relationship is LoveAny healthy relationship is Love, and a healthy relationship is possible only when you are healthy.

What is healthy being? A healthy being is one who is not restless, who is not continuously suffering, whose mind is not continuously wandering in tension, in misery.

You don’t need to become healthy, you are healthy.

What does Health mean? Health means that which you are without any education.

Even in your worst situation, even in your darkest hour, even in your last breath, you will not be able to force yourself to like slavery. It is impossible.

Freedom is Health.

Nobody can lose his or her NatureYou are Healthy.

Becoming is alright in small matters but in essential matters of life, becoming is a disease, unnecessary disease. A disease that is just an assumption but such a deep assumption that it ruins the entire climate of the mind.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: The relationship of the healthy being is Love

Acharya Prashant: The relationship of the healthy being is Love

AP: It’s so simple that you’ll be disappointed actually. It is not jazzy to hear or glamorous to look at.

Love is a relationship.

A healthy relationship is Love.

Any healthy relationship is Love, and a healthy relationship is possible only when you are healthy.

So, the relationships of a healthy being are called Love. The definition is so simple. You don’t find anything very embellished about it.

What is healthy being?

A healthy being is one who is not restless, who is not continuously suffering, whose mind is not continuously wandering in tension, in misery.

When you are settled within and you have a sureness within, then in all your relationships, this sureness, this power, this peace, this completeness shows. What I have that reflects in all my relationships. If I’m healthy then that health shines in all my relationships. That health is called Love.

Listener: Acharya Ji, I saw a video of you – only a healthy mind can enter into a friendship. So, how can we become healthy? What are the ways in which we can have healthy mind?

AP: Do you know what does this question imply? I want to become healthy. Are you sure the question is valid?

Listener: Yes.

AP: What’s your name?

Listener: Priya.

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Fight against your lazy self

Laziness means a refusal to do, a refusal to do the right thing, a refusal to change. Laziness means that one wants to remain where one is and as one is.

Because we are not total, so even our stupidities are not total.

The Buddha is alright whether he is sleeping on a bed or on a thorn bed. But this lazy man feels alright only if certain conditions are met.

Choose the right death, please. Give death to your laziness. Give death to your ego and self-preservation. Don’t protect laziness and give death to yourself. Don’t do that. Fight against your lazy self. Don’t side with it. If you don’t fight your laziness, your laziness will give you a death that you can’t even imagine.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: What does the lazy self want?

Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: What does the lazy self want?

“The craving of a sluggard is a death of him because his hands refuse to work.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 21:25)

Acharya Prashant:

Nimisha has sent something, it is not a question. I’ll read it aloud, that’s my answer.

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranaam. I want to thank you deeply for reconnecting me to the Lord. The love and connection I felt for him as an innocent child got diluted along the way. I am rejoicing in that regained love now. Jesus was always very special to me. My first love you could say. Then one grows up and starts questioning things, doubts arise, resistance occurs, and one loses that innocent reasonless love once felt. Jesus showed me the way back home through you.

In gratitude, Nimisha.

When all is alright then there is no need to speak. Yesterday, I said – “don’t fix that which is not broken.”

 

James has sent two questions from Russia. Maybe I’ll read both of them, or one of them.

Jesus says “The craving of a sluggard will be death of him because his hands refuse to work”.

The question is:

Jesus is saying that the desires of a lazy person will be the death of him because he’s saying that his hands refuse to work. He just desires but his hands say we do not want to work. So the enquiry is, what does a lazy person crave for if not work? And also, which work is Jesus referring to?

Jesus has pointed towards the special case of a lazy person. This lazy person has all the desires, great desires. But one thing he’s very clear about, ‘I will not work.’ So, James has wondered that what does he crave for if not work? And what is this work that Jesus is referring to? Is he talking about plumbing? Writing? Carpentry? What work is referring to?

Who is a lazy person? A lazy person is one who has a tremendous ego. Only the ego is lazy, and the ego is bound to be lazy. In what sense is the ego lazy?

Laziness means a refusal to do, a refusal to do the right thing, a refusal to change. Laziness means that one wants to remain where one is and as one is.

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Man is the only creature that has imposed norms upon the body

Man is the only creature that has imposed norms upon the body. The only creature who thinks that he’s so intelligent that he will be able to decide whether this system is alright or not. He thinks he can mess with it in the name of improving it.

The human condition is such that if it were in our hands, then hard working and ambitious people would simply not allow sleep to come. They would say that we are still working if twenty-four hours are given to us, why waste even two hours in sleeping? And there are certain section of the society so very prude that probably women would not allow their periods to come, this is something ugly and something to be ashamed of, why let this happen?

Man imposes himself firstly on himself and then upon the entire world. If man is cruel and violent toward the entire existent, it is firstly because he’s cruel, violent, and restrictive towards himself. If man resists everything, and when I say ‘man’ I mean mankind, which includes women if man restricts everything that happens around him, there’d be hardly any unconditional acceptance, just filters of progressing resistance. It is because first of all, he’s very very resistant towards himself.

The one thing that we all share as brothers and sisters in mankind, is that none of us unconditionally accepts himself or herself. We all have a certain grudge towards ourselves. Why are we not something else? Why are we not this way or that way? A feeling of not yet being there. A feeling of imperfection, incompleteness, inferiority not only keeps haunting us but actually becomes our driver. If you look at your actions over the last one day or last one year, as long as you can remember, you will be amazed to see how much, how many of your actions are driven by this urge to better yourself. And there is hardly any action that comes from a feeling of already being alright.

You want a better job, why? So that you may be better. “I’m not yet alright. I’d find out something outside of myself that will help me become alright. Want to change my house, want to get married, want to travel abroad, want to have a holiday, want to study more – all in this quest towards betterment. And how do I decide that I’ve indeed become better? The more I am able to conform to the standards that were doled out to me, the more I feel that I’m a better one now.



Read the complete article: The tragedy that is man

The heart is a different sky altogether

Just because you feel like doing something emotionally, it does not mean that it has something to do with the heart. The heart is not the center of emotions. Though emotions have a tendency to introduce themselves as something very pure arising from a place very deep, emotions are emotions. They too arise from the same place as any other mental activity. Thoughts, instincts, intuitions, emotions, they all belong to the same dimension. Some are a little shallow, others are a little deeper. But, fundamentally they arise from the same space.

The heart is a different sky altogether. You would not be able to talk of the heart, just as you talk of the mind.

With the mind, there are business deals, “I do this, I get that.” With the heart, there is only surrender. You let yourself be possessed. You simply become a servant. And when you become a servant, you forfeit your right to judge and complain, you forfeit your right to choose. Now, who are you to ask, “What am I getting out of this?” You have given up your right to get anything, you are totally sold out. Now, what are you asking? You are a servant. You have given up all rights over yourself. Your welfare now no more your personal responsibility. The master will take care. You have surrendered. So, why are wondering about your welfare now if you are indeed operating from the heart?

The mind is insecure. The mind feels that it must take care of itself. The heart is not insecure. The heart says, “I have done the one right thing, I must always do. And after this one right thing, whatever wrongs fall on me are all gladly acceptable. This one right thing is a million times more valuable than whatever losses may befall.”



Read the complete article:  The Heart is enough