Searching for the beloved? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Kabir (2018)

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Searching for the beloved

I said to the wanting creature inside me, “What is this river you want to cross? There are no travelers on the river road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or nesting?
There is no river at all. And no boat and no boatman.
There is no towel rope either and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no fort. And there is no body, and no mind.
Do you believe that there is some place, that will make the soul less thirsty?
In that great absence, you will find nothing.
Be strong then and enter into your own body. There you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully.
Don’t go off somewhere else.

~ Guru Kabir Sahib

Question: Acharya Ji, the thirst of the soul cannot be quenched by anyone. True. Yet there is hope, and longing for God. What does Kabir Sahib mean by – “Enter into your own body. Don’t go off somewhere else”?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Who is thirsty? The bodied one is thirsty. Before you look around to quench your thirst, it is important to understand the nature of this thirst. It is important to go within yourself, and know why you were thirsty at all. Who is the one who is thirsty? What exactly is the definition of this ‘thirst’? That is what Kabir Sahib is saying.

Thirst, overwhelms. It simply takes over your mind. One starts panicking. One feels a strong urge to act, because one is thirsty. Something has to be done. And what can one do? One does what one is trained to do, what one is conditioned to do. One starts running. Where? In the world, towards the world.

So, something arises within. It’s a sensation of insufficiency. It’s a sensation of discomfort. It’s a sensation of unrest. The sensation implies – “C’mon. Do something. Something is not right.” So, what to you do? You do, what you can do. And, what the man can do? Run around. So man starts running around.

That is what comes to man, as a nature of his build up.

What does not instinctively come to man, is the realisation that it is first of all important to ask, “What is this thirst? What do I want? Before I ask for a solution, should I first not understand the problem. Before I say, that this is what I want, and this is how I want to get it, should I not first ask, ‘Who am I?'”

Saints have always asked you to look at yourself.

All desires are ‘yours’. Right? It is not merely a desire. It is ‘your’ desire. Fine. Let us fulfill the desire. But let’s at least know what we want. Even when you go to a shopkeeper, you have to tell him what you want. No shopkeeper will tell you what ‘you’ want. And if a shopkeeper succeeds in telling you what you want, he is surely fooling you. You have to know, what you want.

Saints are forever encouraging you, to see from where you are making your statements.

See what you have written here – “Acharya Ji, the thirst of the soul cannot be quenched by anyone, anywhere, and at any time.” How do you know? How do you know Parmeshwari (the questioner)? At most you can say, that for you, the thirst has not been quenched so far. But how are you asserting that it cannot be quenched by anybody, anywhere, and at anytime?

That is what is meant by – going into oneself.

Seeing the structure of one’s mind, seeing how things happen there. Seeing how hope arises, seeing how fear arises. Seeing how the mind concludes, seeing how one quickly gets hurt. Seeing how demands and insecurities, are deeply related. Seeing how, that which one dearly wants, is exactly what one must staunchly avoid. Seeing how that which you want to clutch, is lost, exactly because you clutch it.

All these things are happening constantly, and they are happening with you. Aren’t you in a great position, to see that these things are happening?

Kabir Sahib is saying, “Go within yourself. Enter into your own body.”

Ya ghat bheetar sat samundar (Inside the body are seven seas).” ‘Ghat’ is his preferred word for the body. If you can know what this thirst is, you are already quenched.

Paanchee uda gagan ko, dhad rahaa pardes.
Pani peeve chonch bin, bhool gayaa va dees.

The swan flew up the unknown skies, free from her gross form.
Beak-less, she drank water there, forgetting her earthly home.

~ Guru Kabir Sahab

Question 2: What does Kabir Sahib mean by – “The swan losing the gross form, and drinking the water beakless, flewing up the unknown skies”?

Acharya Ji: You think you belong to the earth. And as long as you are the body, you are right in what you think. Yes, the body belongs to the earth. But, that is not where your thirst would be quenched.

Kabir Sahib is saying, “Let the body belong to the earth, you fly up to the sky. That is where, you will drink, without the body. There is a water, that is for the body. There is a water, that is drank through the beak. There is a water that is drank though the body, and for the body. And there is the water that is drank without the beak. It is heavenly water. It is the water of the skies.”

There is a water of the earth, that can placate at most the body. The body is thirsty, the water of the earth helps. But, you are not the body, and therefore, the water of the earth will not suffice for you. You need some other water.

So, let the one, who is really thirsty, fly over, up to the skies.

And there, he shall be really quenched.

Once, you are there, you will forget all about the earthly pleasures, and attachments.

The body will still remain on the earth, but you will remain with your Beloved.

And that’s the way of living.

Let the body belong to the earth, you stay belonging to your Beloved.

Questioner 3: Acharya Ji, Guru Kabir Sahab says in a poem, “Pee le pyala, O matwala (Being in Love, drink the heavenly nectar of Lord’s name).”

(Acharya Ji humming the song, “Pee le pyala, O matwala (Being in Love, drink the heavenly nectar of Lord’s name).”

Acharya Ji: There is the pyaala(bowl) of the earth. There are the earthly taverns, which simply inebriate you. And then there is the pyaala of the skies, which brings you back to awareness.

That is what Kabir Sahib is advising you to drink. Drink the heavenly nectar. The earthly juices, you have had enough. Already. Have they sufficed? Learn at least from your experience, if not from the words of the saints.


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

Watch the session: Searching for the beloved?||Acharya Prashant, on Guru Kabir (2018)

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

How to unburden the mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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How to bear prolonged Sadhna? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

How to bear prolonged Sadhna

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Question: Acharya ji, how to bear prolonged saadhana?

I have inertia, in moving along the spiritual path. One day I sat down to read Jiddu Krishnamurti for MAG(Month of Awakening) session, and I read him for hours. I really enjoyed, and felt at peace. Yet, I never opened it again, even though I wanted to complete the remaining chapters. Similarly, when I am feeling low, I feel like watching some spiritual videos. But I choose only the ones under fifteen minutes. I can watch five-six videos which are short, but I will never choose to watch a one hour video.

I know that I have not yet reached the state, to understand things, beyond mind. Yet sometimes I question, what exactly I am trying to achieve on this path. Please help. How should I get over the inertia, and the doubt. What should I do? I am confused.

Acharya Prashant Ji: It is not about understanding. It is also not about not knowing what you are trying to achieve. It is simply a thing of the modern, post-modern age, called ‘attention-deficit’. Nothing else.

Had you already known, what is worth achieving in life, there is anyways, no need to watch spiritual videos. So, if you do not know what is worth achieving. It is okay. The spiritual videos will help you know that. So, that’s fine.

The thing is that, technology, and development, and economics have brought us to a point, where we have everything pre-cooked and easy, and ready to be served to us. May be, one day you can be with Krishnamurti, for a long stretch. But that is not ingrained in you.

We live in an age, where the smart-phone offers us very quick gratification. We live in an age, where I suppose there is a limit of one minute on Instagram videos. So if you watch fifteen minute long videos, so it is in itself, some kind of an accomplishment. It does not have to do with your spiritual thirst. It has to do with the times we are living in.

Kids are not being tested at all. They are being promoted to the next class, I suppose, till class Eighth or Sixth. Class Eighth. So everybody has it easy. The board examination results are not as per percentages, are they? I am talking of Class Xth and XIIth examination board examinations. They are according to grades or CGPA. And everybody is a ninety-nine percent holder. If you are a ninety-five per-center, it is a shame.

Everything is easy. But the path of spirituality is one of rigor, and labor, and toil, and self-dissolution, and nothing prepares you for that. Everything is being delivered to you, on a platter. Especially if you come from a developed country.

It has been many times, over-ensured, that you do not suffer, at least materially. Unemployment, you will get benefits. Old age, you will get benefits. Medical situation, you will be covered. Why work hard? Where are austerities? What is the meaning of penance?

‘Saadhana’ has become a very unreasonable word. If everything is available at the drop of a hat, rather at the click of the button, what does one mean by ‘prolonged saadhana‘? That is why you would not want to go back to somebody like Jiddu Krishnamurti. He does not entertain you.

Once in a blue moon, he is palatable. But he cannot be a regular fare. Tell me what do you want, all is available. Amazon is there, next day delivery. What do you call it? Amazon Prime. Roads are improving, and so are cars. When I was a kid, it used to take eight hours, to reach Jim Corbett National Park. I just returned from Jim Corbett National Park, took less than five hours.

Spending time, investing time, on something you consider worthwhile, is not needed anymore.

You want to go Kailash Mansarover, there is a helicopter service available. And it used to be an excruciating pilgrimage. People even used to lay down their lives, in order to reach the Kailash Parvat, the Mansarover lake. And today, the helicopter just drops you there.

If you can reach even Shiva, instantaneously, what is the point of any spiritual journey? Why would you listen to this Acharya ji, who rambles on and on, for an infinite number of hours? You give me something that is under fifteen minutes.

And you know, you have made it up a little. You know that, right? You know that it is not fifteen minutes, it is five minutes. Anything beyond five minutes, is intolerable. It is okay. That’s the characteristic of our modern civilisation. Everything has to be a quickie. Two-minute noodles.

One restaurant, I unfortunately stepped into, was offering seven-course meals in one. I asked that why are you offering seven-course meals in one. He said, “That’s the trend. But if you want seven course meals, in seven courses, then you have to pay X. And if you want seven course meals, in one course, then you have to pay 3X, because we are saving your time.”

Kabir Sahib puts it, as only he can, “Chalo chalo sab koi kahe, mohe andesa aur. Saahab se parichay nahin, jayenge kis thaur.”

( All are rushing, and all are being told to rush, but I have a certain doubt. You do not know him, in which direction would you go?).

Yes, you are increasing your speed madly, but where are you going? Where are you going? What are you saving your time for? There is no doubt that this age offers great conveniences, and you can save a lot of time. But what for?

Often, the time that you save, is utilised to self-destruct.

Saving time would be great, if you knew how to use that time.

But I really wonder, what is going to be a valid use of time, saved from reading Jiddu Krishnamurti? You could have heard Acharya ji for one hour, instead you heard him for only ten minutes. You saved fifty-minutes. Now, what is going to be a superior use of fifty-minutes? Please tell me. Listening to a spiritual video, was obviously to you, and inferior use of these fifty-minutes. Now that you have saved these fifty minutes, aren’t you you obliged towards yourself, to put them to a superior use? What is going to be that superior use?

Time has only one legitimate purpose – to help you move into the timeless.

Invest more and more time, into the service of the timeless.

If you want to save time, then save time from all the miscellaneous non-sense, time gets spent in.

Save time from there.

Do not save time, from the Scriptures and the Teachers.

Save time, and dedicate it to the right cause. Dedicating time to the right cause, is much more important than merely saving time. Otherwise, we said, you could as well be saving time, and using the saved time to self-destruct.

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

Watch the session:  How to bear prolonged Sadhna? || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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

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Keep moving, even if it is dark || Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir (2018)

dark

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Questioner:

Pranaam Acharya Ji,

I have lived life in images. In past I have kept myself away from experiences with the excuse of not being sufficiently prepared. I realize now that all this is a myth. How can I be prepared without practice?

But I’m still afraid, afraid of losing, afraid of not having the proper logic to debate my opponents. My competitor is winning with walkovers, I’m losing respect, people, chances of a good life. I have the opportunity to save myself but instead I’m asking you what to do. Seems, I want to surrender and live like a slave. Why am I letting somebody steal an edge over me?

Is my self image so low that I’m not standing up for myself?

Thank you.

Acharya Prashant:  Abhay, this is a classical case of, ‘duvidha mein dono gaye, maya mili na Ram’ (In doubt, both are lost: the material and the Truth).

It’s a phase of transition, it’s an intermediate stage, and right now you belong neither here nor there. When somebody is in this kind of situation, I advise him to keep moving forward with greater speed, and greater determination. Don’t just stop there. And if someone repeatedly tells me that he can’t move forward, then I advise him to turn back.

There’s a city of maya, it’s a beautiful city, enchanting, appealing, bewitching but it survives on your life-blood. It gives you a few good moments but at the cost of the essence of your life. It gives you pleasure at the cost of the essential. And then there is the city of the Beyond, that city when looked at from the city of maya is not very attractive. It’s a calm, serene place but it does not have too many flashy attractions. It is the city of bliss and the city of maya is the city of bling, the city of blitz. Most of us care for blitz than for bliss.

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Acharya Prashant: Is plunging into sex a method to gain freedom from sex?

Question: Acharya Ji, you have said in a previous session while discussing the attraction towards sex, that one does not need to get entangled even to overcome or suppress. One rather needs to leave sex behind. One should seek that for which one is really eager. All the energy should go in that direction.

One is not rejecting sex, one is just prioritizing correctly. One is saying that the one that has a lower priority must wait because there is something immensely more important that is higher up the priority. That which is higher up the priority is so immense that it would never get completed, never get over. So the one who is waiting for his turn, the one who is lower down the order would just keep waiting.

He would not need to be killed, he would have just been permanently postponed. And she says that, in the same session, Acharya Ji has said “In the subconscious, there is a lot that terrifies you and you try to escape that fear by not trying to know more about it. When you first enter, you will find ‘that’ will scare you but if you stay with it courageously you will meet the one that delivers you from that fear.

If a person doesn’t meet ‘that’, which scares him and how you meet the one that liberates from the fear. Therefore, on your way meet all your imperfections and impurities and it is only after that you will meet the one that purifies, perfects and completes you.

So having quoted these two excerpts from a previous session, the question is, In the context of the pull of Maya and the worldly, here relating to the pull of the sexual energy, does one acknowledge it  and transcend it by focusing on the ‘Ananth’ or God ? or does one drop the defences against Maya, go through the worldly and only then arrive at the door of the Ananth.

Thank you.

Acharya Prashant: So, two excerpts have been quoted and apparently the two excerpts are in contradiction. The first one says that you do not need to get entangled, and the second one says that you need to meet all your fears, all your impurities, all your imperfections head-on.

So the questioner is a little confused and she is asking what to do? Does one seek to cleanse herself or does one need to plunge into her own conditioning? I will repeat the question for you. In the context of the pull of Maya and the worldly, here relating to the pull of the sexual energy, does one acknowledge it and transcend it by focusing on God ? or does one drop the defenses against Maya, go through the worldly and only then arrive at the door of the Ananth?

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Ego – A strange thing

The ego is a strange thing. When it gets hurt, then it gets bigger.

Whatever you do, even to diminish the ego, only nourishes the ego.

Nobody has lost and nobody has gained. Both have just been fooled.

The ego is an entity which increases, by any effort of yours. Even the effort, to get rid of the ego, nourishes the ego.

Non-resistance means getting rid of that ‘I’ that accepts or rejects.

Non-resistance is to drop the right to accept. If you are still accepting, you are still so strong. You are the authority. You are the authority, who accepts.

When you throw garbage out of your house, do you also throw out your television and your wife? You only drop things selectively. You only drop that, which you think is not valuable. But when the dropping happens by itself, then anything can get dropped.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: The difference between acceptance and non-resistance


 

Acharya Prashant: The difference between acceptance and non-resistance

Question: Its quite difficult to discuss about spirituality, because there are two worlds, the one we know, the spiritual one. When you say for example, in a spiritual way, when I do something to you, I do it to me because we are one. There is something, everyone experiences, When I give, for example, money to you, I am losing the money and you are gaining the money. And then we can…

AP: No… No… No…

We will proceed with this example, itself. Did we get what was said? What was said was that I had said, previously, that in the spiritual world, what one does to the other is what one does to the self, to himself.  Here, a counterexample is coming, he is saying, suppose he gives me, a coin, then I gain a coin and he loses a coin. Two different things are happening. What is happening to me is not the same as what is happening to him.  What is happening to me, is the opposite of what is happening to him. So he is saying that the spiritual world and the real world are different. They are not. This example is misplaced. We will see how.

Why do you remember, giving somebody a coin?

L: Because we are expecting something in return.

AP: When do you remember, giving something to somebody? When do you keep account and record of what you have given to somebody? Only then you remember it, right?

You are eating and your little child comes to you and you give half your bread to him, do you remember it? Do you remember it? But you are talking of this event, giving a coin, so surely you can talk of it only because you can remember it.  So when will you remember it? We are talking of the psychological happening, not the material happening. When will you remember giving a coin to somebody?

L: When it’s important.

AP: When it means something to you. So it is an act of ego, you are attaching value to the coin. The other fellow, if he too remembers receiving a coin, then what is happening there?

L: It has value for him too.

AP: It has value for him too. Now the same thing is happening, these are two ends of the duality. He is giving importance because he thought he, has lost something and he is giving importance because he thinks he has gained something. It’s the same psychological event that is unfolding itself. There, the insecure ego is feeling that it has lost something and hence puffing up. When you feel you have lost something, what happens to your sense of ‘I’?

You are sitting silently, by the river and suddenly you feel, that you have lost something, your wallet is missing. Now, what happens to your sense of ‘I’? Go into the event. What happens to it?

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Beginning itself is wrong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Forget winning, first choose the right battle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

Why aren’t you feeding the right wolf?

There is the petty within you that says that I want to dominate your life, that I want to be expressed, that I want to become your breath, your action. And there is the Great within you, which is parallelly saying, “I have a right to be expressed.” Don’t you feel the call of that great? It is impossible. 

There is so much within you that is beautiful, that is healthy, and that too wants to lead you, that too wants to take you places, that too wants to make you live an alternate life.

Why don’t you give that a chance? Why don’t you?

It’s a small beautiful story, I often recall it. So, the grandma is telling a story to the kid. And what’s the story, she says “You know what baby, we all have two wolves inside of us and they are always fighting – A black wolf and a white wolf. And they’re growling and fighting and hitting each other and trying to overpower. They hate each other’s guts.”

And she keeps on describing how they are engaged with each other in the fight. The kid interrupts and says “But granny which of these wins? The white wolf is fighting the black wolf continuously within us, which of these wins?” And grandma smiles and says, “The one you feed.”

Which wolf are you feeding? And why? Why aren’t you feeding the right wolf? It has an equal right. It is equally yours. Probably much more yours than the wrong wolf. Both the wolves are within you. Feed the right one, please. And you know which one is the right one.


Read the complete article: Just feed the right wolf

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

Just feed the right wolf

gen 1Acharya Prashant: Gangesh is asking about the various pettinesses that occupy the mind. He says these pettinesses are there, all the time there, and they demand expression. What do I do? Should I speak to someone? I can’t curb them. I can’t just wish them away, and they are always making their presence felt.

Gangesh, why are you reporting selectively? If you must talk of all that which is seeking expression, why do you also not talk of the immense within you that is trying to get expression? Is it only your pettinesses that want to get expressed? Does the Great inside you not want to get expressed? But you have not written a single word about that. Why are you taking sides? Why don’t you let it be an impartial battle? And if you have to take sides, please take the right side. Read more

The past, first of all, raises a future, then directs the mind to chase that future.

Without any self-inquiry, we claim that we are a product of our city, a product of our economic situations. And, when we say that, are we not using that statement just to hide our fear, just to remain what we are? You let yourself to be defined by your past, by your experiences, by your gender, by your religion, by your money, by your knowledge. And you will have to look at the future, the next big thing.

You will have something unended continue in your mind. You will have scores to settle. You will have an unfinished task. The past has no intentions ever of remaining a past. In fact, calling it as past is a mistake. You know what past means? Past means left behind. You say you have gone past something. The past is never left behind, you never go past it. If there is one thing which can never never be left behind, it is the past. It will continue. In fact, it will jump ahead of you. Not only will it stay with you, it would be running ahead of you.

It would be running ahead of you like a guide. A very deceptive guide. Nevertheless something, someone, that claims to be a guide. Most of us think that the past is there behind the back. No, the past is there in front of the eyes. Not only it is in front of the eyes, it is actually guiding the eyes, guiding the mind, guiding the feet. The past decides what our future would be like.

The past, first of all, raises a future, then directs the mind to chase that future. Is there anything that you think of, anything that you feel happy about, anything that you feel disappointed about that is not coming from your past? Are all our disappointments not cultivated disappointments. Had you not been told by the movies, by the novels, by family, by all the mythological stories, that this is something that you need to feel bad about, would you still have felt bad about such things?



Read the complete article: There is nothing called a new beginning

The Gita can come only from someone who understands the world.

The Gita can come only from someone who understands the world. And if you understand the world you cannot keep failing in the world. If you are proven an idiot every evening and every morning, how will the Gita come from you? How will you even understand the Gita?

Look at your life, if you are a joker, a clown, an idiot, a loser, in this world, what business do you have touching the Gita?

Do you see what is half embrace? You prove to be insufficient everywhere. You are a loser everywhere. In your relationships, you are a loser. In the school you are a loser, in the college, you are a loser. At your workstation, you are a loser, on the sports field you are a loser, and you want to touch the Upanishads? The Upanishads that are coming from the winners of the highest order. Is there any oneness between you and the text that you are trying to touch? Do you have anything in common with Krishna? How then will you understand the Gita?

Krishna was the one who brought victory when defeat looked so probable. And you are the one who will snatch defeat when victory is all yours. When it is ascertained that you are now going to win, you will still manage to somehow be defeated. And then you say, “You know what, I am not very interested in the world, Krishna calls my heart.”

You are not interested in the world? You are marginalized in the world, you are the rubbish of the world. And if we listen to Darwin then you and your ilk, wouldn’t survive for long, because you are unfit.

Even physically, have you noticed how fit most of them are (pointing towards the pictures of the Saints) and most of us are groaning, complaining? Somebody has nose pain, somebody has a headache, somebody has heartache, somebody’s back has been stolen, somebody’s stomach is exploding with gas. And look at them (the Saints). That is full embrace. And half embrace is no embrace.

The man of God is a winner in the world as well. That is full embrace. If you are a loser in the world, you do not know God. God and the world are one. It’s not just The World, it’s God World. It’s God World.

Have you seen that every living being is excellent? The epitome in its particular field. Can you beat the song of a Cuckoo? Or, even a sparrow? Can you beat the flight of a vulture, an eagle? Do you see the agility with which fish swims? They are all experts in their respective fields. I am asking you, “What is your expertise?” Even the ant is an expert. When it carries a load then the load to body weight ratio is unmatched. Compared to its own body weight, the load that a little ant can carry is unmatched.

What is your expertise?



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: The Man of God is a winner in the world

I don’t want to know whom you worship, I want to know who is it that worships?

I don’t want to know whom you worship, I want to know who is it that worships? What is the quality of the worshipper? What is your quality? Who are you? Forget God! Who are you?

Dirty hands remain dirty even if they are folded in front of a deity. Dirty hands. There is no need to fold them in front of a deity. Go to a washbasin. Use a physical soap. Metaphysical prostration will not help you cleanse your hands. Use a physical soap.

That’s what spirituality is all about and that’s why Kabir is so unique and so loveable. He doesn’t take you to a fictitious world. In the name of spirituality he doesn’t give you more dreams and more desires. He talks of your…? What is he talking of? Daily life. Everyday life: 

How are you living?

What are you doing?

What are you saying?

What’s the stuff of your day to day conversations?

What’s contained in your gossip?

To whom are you relating?

What are you attached to?

What are your real intentions?

What are you after?

Tell me, what are you really chasing?

That’s spirituality. That’s Kabir. 



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir: Forget God. Who are you?

 

There is nothing called a new beginning

SR Generic_ English

L: Can we begin from Nowhere?

AP: Can we begin from Nowhere?

L: Yes.

AP: Actually you always begin from somewhere. If you begin from nowhere, you also show no movement and you also do not go anywhere. Nowhere is not a point of beginning. All beginning implies a change in state. All beginning implies that there was no movement and then there is a movement. This movement you call as beginning. One is not moving, then one moves. And this change in state one call as the beginning – I have just begun.

In Nowhere, in that nothingness that you are terming as nowhere, there is no beginning and hence no end. And that’s a great relief. Remember, whatever begins is definitely going to end. And whatever is going to end always carries expectations and fear with it. Hence, a beginning is not really such a nice thing to have. We keep on saying, “Let’s begin. Let’s start. Let’s change. Let’s reform. Let’s improve.” All of which are names for just the same thing. The thing is Activity, “Let’s do something.”

Are we all not fascinated by the idea of changing, doing, improving, moving, reaching, attaining, achieving? All of these involve beginnings. All of these involve an apparent change in state. What is remarkable however is that, what we call as the mind, its nature is to keep changing? More correctly put its tendency its habit is to keep changing. When the very habit is to keep changing, what is new about another change?

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Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: The Man of God is a winner in the world

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“Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape.”

~Khalil Gibran.

Question: What is full embrace? How is it different from half embrace? If half embrace creates a movement of thoughts, won’t full embrace create even a greater restlessness?

Acharya Prashant: Man is caught in a very peculiar situation. Neither can he accept what he truly is. Nor can he ever run away from what he truly is. He swings. He oscillates. When he wants to come to his essence, then that which is sub-essential, or non-essential beckons him.

He feels that the juice of living is being lost. All the sensory pleasures, all the colors of the world, the music, the attractions, the emotions, the meetings and the goodbyes, all the games of time, he feels they are being lost. And when he tries to move totally into thoughts, into emotions, into the world of the senses, into that which is space-time and material, he soon starts feeling nauseatic.

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Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir: Forget God. Who are you?

SR Generic_ Englishपानी बीच बतासा संतों,

तन का यही तमासा है।।

क्या ले आया, क्या ले जाएगा,

क्या बैठा पछताता है।।

मूठी बाँधे आये जगत में,

हाथ पसारे जाता है।।

किसकी नारी, कौन पुरुष है,

कहाँ से लगता नाता है।।

बड़े निहाल, खबर ना तन की,

बिरही लहर बुझाता है।।

इक दिन जीना, दो दिन जीना,

जीना बरस पचासा है।।

अंतकाल बीसा सौ जीना,

फिर मारने की आसा है।।

ज्यों-ज्यों पाँव धरो धरनी में,

त्यों-त्यों यम नियराता है।।

कहै कबीर, सुनो भाई साधो,

ग़ाफ़िल गोता खाता है।।

Seen a bubble in the Sea, that is our story

You came with the hands empty, empty.

And nothing will you carry.

So why caught in misery

Make merry, make merry.

Who is your family?

Who is a lover really?

You are deep in illusion, happily, happily.

Fooling yourself with books, sex, and brandy.

Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty.

The clock is ticking and you are tipsy.

You breathe so you think that you are alive.

But dead are your face and dead is your eye.

Your mind is dreamy,

The world is the sea. Wake up or you sink,

That is Kabir’s prophecy.

~Guru Kabir

Acharya Prashant: Especially those who are serious about their spiritual pursuit, must look very carefully. There is a very important lesson to be had here. See, and tell me, what is it that you do not find here? The art of seeing is not merely about seeing, it’s also about seeing what is not to be seen. What is it that is missing here? This is supposed to be Kabir’s composition, right? Kabir the king of spiritual compositions. Much more voluminous, spiritual, devotional literature than any other author, poet, composer, in the world. Still the most widely quoted spiritual author across the world. Even more quoted than Rumi. Read more

One has to be deeply in love with oneself

It is not possible to be living in illusions and yet not suffer. But it is possible, to not to be conscious of the suffering. Or, to not to know that you are suffering.

One has to be deeply in love with oneself, one has to be deeply sensitive towards oneself to experience the suffering. If you don’t love yourself enough, then you will happily take suffering. And not complain.

After all, suffering is resistance towards pain. If you have no resistance then you have no suffering. Then there will be pain and yet you will not suffer.

Suffering is when you start saying, “No” to pain. When pain is welcome, then there is no suffering.



Read the complete article: Is suffering necessary for awakening?