Why is singing of great importance in spirituality? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Kabir (2018)

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Why is singing of great importance in spirituality

Question: Acharya Ji, how is music related to spirituality? What do Bhakti Saints sing of?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Sing with a Kabir, or sing Kabir with yourself. That’s the best thing.

The best thing is to sing.

The best thing is to – sing.

But you know, we have become very-very unmusical. Our instruments have lost their tuning. We have forgotten to sing. We have lost all verse. So the fallout of that is, that your Acharya Ji has to laboriously speak in prose. And therefore he has to speak so much. Otherwise, two lines of a Kabir Sahib, are much more than sufficient.

And even after speaking so much, do I even come close to what he said? I don’t.

Sing, there is no alternative to that.

Questioner: Without knowing the meaning?

Acharya Ji: Then know the meaning, and sing. He definitely wanted you to know the meaning and sing. That’s why he sang in the language of the people. Had he just wanted you to croon anything unintelligible, then why would he compose in the everyday language of the ordinary people.

Why did he do that? Because he wanted you to also know the literal meaning of his words. if I can help you know the literal meaning of his words, good. To that extent, use me. But do sing.

Man ko maruun patak ke, tuuk-tuuk hoyee jaye,

(Let me hit hard the mind and break it into pieces).

vish kee kyaree boye ke, ab kahe pachtaye.

(After performing bad deeds, why repent now?)

~ Guru Kabir Sahib

Question 2: Acharya Ji, why do saints curse the mind so much, even though the same mind brings me to the Guru?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Then Kabir Sahib has a different couplet for you.

Kabira man nirmal bhayaa, jaise Ganga neer,

(Kabir’s mind has become pure, as the water of Ganges).

Paache paache hari phire kahat Kabir, Kabir.

(Now God runs after him, speaking aloud, ‘Kabir’, ‘Kabir’).

Not all verses of mind are applicable to all states of the mind.

Pahle to man kaaga tha, karta aatm ghaat,

(This mind was once like a crow, causing self-harm).

Ab to man hansa bhaya, moti chug chug khaat.

(Now the mind has become like a swan, chooses and eats with discretion).

So, it’s not as if the Saints have just cursed the mind incessantly. They have also praised the mind – if the mind brings you to the Guru, glory to the mind.

If the mind takes you towards destruction then, “Man ko maruun patak ke, tuuk-tuuk hoyee jaye (Let me hit hard the mind and break it into pieces).”

Depends on the direction the mind is taking.

If you will go to the Upanishads, they will say, “There is no greater friend than the mind. And neither is there enemy bigger than the  mind.”

The mind is both – best friend, and biggest enemy.

Your friend and your enemy are at war with each other. Who will win? Who will win? You are the referee. You don’t even have to choose. You have to just declare. Keep declaring the right result.

Keep declaring the right result.

Question 3: Acharya Ji, when we face reality, we feel as if we have been badly bashed. So, how should one respond in such situations?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You have to remember what I just said.

Irrespective of how one behaves, or what one says, deeply and ultimately all want – the One. So, irrespective of what your impulsive reaction is, you must also remember that nobody does anything for self-harm.

Even when a person commits suicide, he is actually trying to minimize self-harm.

Doesn’t matter whether the world is ignorant or arrogant. It doesn’t matter what qualities and characteristics are being displayed. Are they being displayed so that the one displaying them gets harmed?

You might be ignorant and you are walking towards a hole. But is it self-harm that you want? You are just ignorant. And if you are ignorant, do I curse you, or do I help you? The prakritik instinct would be to curse. Wisdom would be to helpfully curse.

So when you curse, curse in a way that helps.

When Kabir Sahib is saying, “Man ko maruun patak ke,” obviously he is cursing the mind. But look at the love. What is he scolding the mind for? He is saying, “You are the one who sowed all the poisonous seeds.”

vish kee kyaree boye ke, ab kahe pachtaye.

(After performing bad deeds, why repent now?)

Now you are repenting.

He is actually teaching the mind something. What is he teaching the mind? Do not sow seeds of poison. Like the benevolent grandfather you know, who scolds you but nevertheless helps you. And he scolds you so that the need to be helped reduces.

Saints have scolded a lot. In fact, even Buddha who is commonly considered to be the epitome of poise and compassion, has been very-very harsh in his scoldings. He has used choicest words. Sometimes he has called you ‘an ass’, sometimes ‘a pig’.

It is for the sake of compassion.

And it is because those who run from the center of fear, sometimes require fear, even to be helped.

Suppose there is a patient,  diseased one in the spiritual sense. And what is his disease? His disease is that he works only through fear. His disease is, that he knows only fear. Nothing can make him move or work, except fear.

Now, you want to take this person to a doctor of spirituality. This fellow is a sick man in spiritual sense. And you want to take him to a doctor who would cure him. And this man knows only one motivation. What is that motivation?

Questioner: Fear.

Acharya Prashant Ji: How do you take this man to the doctor?

Questioner: By using fear.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Therefore the Saints scold.

Questioner 4: Acharya Ji, I think honesty is needed to be afraid.

Acharya Prashant Ji: No, honesty is not needed. Honesty is needed to be fearless. Honesty is not needed to be fearful, it is needed to be fearless.

The ones who live by the center of fear, always live in the imaginations of feared outcomes.

That’s why they live in fear.

So, all that the Teacher then needs is a certain worldly power, using which he should be able to induce fear in the other person.

The Teacher must have a certain worldly authority as well, using which he should be able to induce fear.

But when we are talking about the worldly authority, and the intent of the Teacher to induce fear in someone, let it not go too far.

We are only talking of as much fear, as is required to bring the patient to the doctor.

Nothing more than that.

We are not talking of fear becoming a way of life.

We are not talking of fear, as the preferred instrument of the Teacher.

We are not glorifying fear.

The aim is fearlessness.

But sometimes our love for fearlessness, can get so very shrouded beneath all kinds of rubbish, that we just lose that charm. The Teacher may come and say, “You know what, you live in fear. Come with me and I will take you to fearlessness.” And the fellow would say, “Fearlessness. I don’t want that.” He wants that, and yet does not know that he wants. That’s the situation of man.

So the Teacher has no option, but to temporarily use fear.

Getting it?

That power has to be very-very discreetly applied.

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

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

Watch the session video: Why is singing of great importance in spirituality? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Kabir (2018)

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The wise one is not afraid of acting stupid

Spirituality is not about taking away your earthly nature from you. Yes, there is the sky in your heart, but the rest of you is just earth. Let the earth blossom. Do not be ashamed of your own flowers. And when you flower, then there would be relationship. When the earth blossoms then butterflies and birds come to you, and then there would be relationship. How can you say you are isolated? How can you say, “You are not affected?”

The sky in you is at least for you an abstraction. But the earth in you is your mind, your muscle, your flesh, your bone, your blood., let it take form. Let it flower. And when the butterflies come to the flower, please have a sensitive relationship. Then do not say that I’m not affected by the butterflies, I have no relationship with butterflies. Butterflies come here just to distract me. I’m a yogi, I do not look at butterflies. Love the butterflies. And if you do not know that, then learn that.

The sky contains all the butterflies. You have no right to renounce them. You have just no right to renounce them. When you see somebody suffering around you, you have no right to say that you remain untouched. In fact, such right is claimed only by those who are too afraid of being touched. Their aloneness is still very fragile. So, they think that if somebody touches it, it might be broken. So, they raise a boundary, a protective boundary around their aloneness.

They say, “No No No, I’m a renouncer. I’m a spiritual man. I’m a Sadhak, a Yogi. Do not touch me, otherwise, I will crumble.”

Are you so weak that you would crumble?

Are you so weak that you can’t even weep?

Are you so weak that you can’t even laugh?

Are you so stupid that you can’t even act stupid?

The wise one is not afraid of acting stupid. And only the stupid one feels obligated to keep acting wise all the time. You have no obligation to keep acting wise. You have all the rights to play the fool. You are so clean that you can allow yourself to be drenched in mud, and you’d still remain clean.

So, do not be afraid of the mud. You are insoluble and indivisible. The rains won’t dissolve you. So, go and enjoy the rains. Don’t be afraid of getting wet. And you are indispensable to the universe. So let yourself be put in risks. The universe cannot afford to let go of you. You will remain. You are the essence of all this. How will you go away? Have that confidence. You do not need to protect yourself because you are central to all this. I know this sound like an abstract statement. But just take it. Take it for a while. You do not need armors, defenses. Let Yourself be vulnerable. And you can be vulnerable only if you’re very very strong.

You must know that no wound can hurt you too deeply. Be prepared to take the wounds. Yes, of course, relationships have their highs and lows and relationships often tend to destroy people. Still, do not abhor relationships. Know that you cannot be destroyed. So, you can play. When you know how strong you are then you are not afraid of taking risks. And all of us are very very strong. Stronger than we can ever imagine. So don’t even imagine your strength. Whenever you would imagine you would come to a limitation. Just know that you are extremely strong so you don’t need precautions.



Read the complete article: Being one with the suffering of the world

Being one with the suffering of the world

 

21762214_1227353527370622_921021697824714700_nQuestion: I feel blessed to be a person who is already on another side. Religion doesn’t affect me. The job doesn’t affect me. The family doesn’t affect me. All the barriers, most of them don’t affect me. Only the one factor is the law of the land I live in, that affects me. I don’t treat it as a barrier for me. And I’m confused for many months, what next. Probably, I’ve got some answer to it. It will not be possible for me to explain it. But, the answer is love. Going back and giving them some guidance. I am really thankful to you.

Acharya Prashant: While it’s wonderful to not to be affected. It is even more beautiful, more humane to be affected once again. This might sound as if I am appending, inverting conventional spirituality. But, please listen to it.

To be wise, or spiritual does not mean that one becomes impervious or unrelated to the world. At one extreme is the mind that allows itself to be ruled by the world. At the other extreme is the mind that becomes insensitive to the world. And these two minds are the one. These two minds are just one. I’ll repeat this. On one extreme is the mind that is so worldly that the world rules over it. It follows the world’s trends, world’s interests, world’s religions, world’s traditions, world’s fashions. All the dictates of the world it follows. This is one extreme. Read more

Free to befriend and free to offend

tyu.jpg

Question: Sir, in the morning, we were listening to Kabir. So, there was one of the doha which said, “Na kahu se dosti, na kahu se bair” (Neither friendship nor enmity with anyone at all). Usually, when you listen to it, it feels similar to what you also say that a Real man would be dishonest. I probably felt that this is what is being said. He would not be the same always.

Acharya Prashant: His friendship would be Real. It would not be a carry-over from the past. Similarly, if he offers resistance or resentment to something, even that would be Real; born by the fact of the moment, not carried ahead as a tradition. Read more

Let life be a celebration of Intelligence

सूरा सो पहिचानिये, जू लरै दीन के हेत।
पुरजा पुरजा कटि मरै, कबहु न छाडै खेत।।

 कबीर

soora so pahichaniye, ju larae deen ke het

purja purja kati marae, kabhu na chadae khet 

Kabir

(The real warrior fights for the sake of deen – religiousness.
Even if he is destroyed to pieces, he does not quit)

Shri Prashant: The real warrior, the really brave one, is the one who lives his life based on his understanding. This sacred understanding is what Kabir is calling as ‘deen’. Read more

Who is Kabir?

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

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

Why does one run away from the Reality?

Listener: We say mind should be at the right place. What is that extent to which the mind should be at the right place? Does it vary? Sometimes it is near the right place but after two-three days it is away. And then again, it comes near the centre.

Speaker: Praveen(referring to the questioner), man as he is thinks of himself as two. Thought creates the second one. Man thinks of himself as two, thought creates the second one. The first is not created by thought. What is this two-ness in man; one that man really is, second what he thinks himself to be.

First that he really is, cannot be captured in thought and is neither a product of thought, nor can thought, know anything about it. Out of these two, the second one too has a life of its own.  Obviously it is an imaginary life because it has been created by thought. But it does have a life and this second one is very significant because, it is the second one that suffers. It is for this second one, that the Guru (Teacher) exists. You understand this importance of the second one, which is fake, illusory, just thought. It is so important that the Guru needs to help it. It is nothing yet so tremendously important. Read more

To not to be spiritual is to be a social slave

Question: A simple rejection from anybody affects me completely. How to overcome this and what causes this disappointment?

Speaker: Rejection might be simple, but do you keep it simple? Do you allow it to remain simple? Do you know what ‘simple’ means?  Simple means, direct. Simple means, it is what it is. I do not add anything to it, I do not distort it, I do not take away anything from it. Rejection is rejection. But for you is it merely rejection? You make it a part of your self-assessment. It all pertains to the question, ‘Who am I?’ When there is no clarity on that question, then that question clamours to be answered. And it gets answered in very confused ways, in very distorted ways. ‘Who am I?’ The one, who will be accepted by others. ‘Who am I?’ One, among the others. Are you getting it? Read more