Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti: The ego uses both sex and meditation as an escape

The ego uses both sex and meditation as an escape

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“Love is a state in which there is no ‘me’; 
love is a state in which there is no condemnation, no saying that sex is right or wrong, that this good and something else is bad.

Love is none of these contradictory things.

Contradiction does not exist in love.”

~ J. Krishnamurti

Question: Krishnamurti says that one craves sex, because in that, one finds no ‘me’, ego, and hence no conflict. And one uses it as an escape. Why does one not use, meditation too, as an escape? Is it because that one lacks understanding, energy, or is it because that the outside influences and inherent tendencies, acquired and hence biological, are too strong?

Does this call for an inner strength stronger than the outer influences? How would one describe this inner strength in words, if it exists?

Acharya  Prashant Ji: The basis of the question is, that one probably does not use meditation as an escape. But one does use meditation as an escape. One uses everything, as an escape.

One uses meditation, in precisely the same way, as one uses sex, or any other means of getting away.

Of course, Krishnamurti is spot on, when he says that, in the experience of sex, there is no ‘me’, no ego, and hence no conflict. So, there is a great peace, a silence, a touch of the beyond.

That peace, that silence, that touch of the beyond, is one’s ultimate desire.

But, is one ready to go beyond the touch? The ego is so afraid, and so stupid, that it is terrified of the one, it loves. That it wants to run away, from the same healing touch, it so craves for.

One will have ‘a little’ of it, one does not want ‘the whole’ of it. A little of it, ensures continuity of the ego. A little of it implies that one could have the healing touch, and yet remain what one is, yet continue with one’s ways. That much, is acceptable to the ego. But only that much, not beyond that.

The ego says, “My first priority, is to remain, exist, and after that comes everything else. Even the Truth must be subservient to my first priority.” So, liberation is alright, as long as, it is a second of liberation. Peace is alright, as long as, it is five minutes of peace. But, if silence threatens, to take over the entire life, if peace starts dominating noise, to the extent that noise might be completely annihilated, then the ego rejects.

The ego wants Truth, but only a modicum of Truth.

The ego wants peace, but only a sliver of peace.

The ego is foolish.

It’s first priority is always, it’s own sustenance.

So when, the ego will enter meditation, it will enter false meditation, it will enter limited meditation.

People meditate for five minutes. People set a particular time to meditate. I would ask, professional meditators, people who have been practicing meditation for so long: if you love meditation so much, why do you get up from it? If you love meditation so much, why do you limit it to half an hour of the morning time? Why don’t you let meditation, your entire life? Why can’t you live meditatively?

They would not have an answer. The answer is clear. The answer is: if you start living meditatively, rather than limiting, just isolating, relegating meditation to a corner of your daily schedule, then your daily schedule itself, would be threatened. You do not want to allow that.

The ego does not want to allow that. The ego says, “Meditation is good, as long as it is for half an hour. Then it will serve my my ends. I can become a little peaceful. Mind you, just a little peaceful. I can become a little peaceful, and then go about doing my usual, daily tasks.”

“Even if meditation has to be there, it has to be there as a servant of my daily priorities. I want to go to the same office, and continue with the same humdrum business, and to be effective in the same humdrum business, and to perform more efficiently in the same office, I want to be meditative.”

“I will not let meditation overpower me. I will not let meditation, become a canopy, over the space of my life. I will not let meditation become, a complete solution, that dissolves me away.”

“I will use meditation as a tool. I will use meditation as a tool, to remain more of what I anyway, and already am” – that is how the mind uses meditation, that is how the mind uses sex, that is how the mind uses Truth and God.

Because you are disturbed, dull, restless, after the entire day’s soul-sapping routine, in the night, you use sex as an entertainment, as a relief, as a getaway. Using sex as a relief, enables you, to wake up the next morning, and again continue with your routine, and then again hit the bed in the night, again use sex as a dissipator, again use sex as a temporary healer, and then again go back to the same shop, same work, same office, same society, same people, same routine, that disturb you.

Sex, Meditation, Prayer, God – in that sense, all of them, just are used by the ego, as enablers.

They enable the ego, to continue, as it is.

One returns to his shop, and then goes to the temple. Going to the temple, enables one, to return to his shop.

One does, what one does the entire day, and then in the evening, one wants to atone. One goes and confesses. It might be an evening, or it might be a Sunday in the church. One goes and confesses. Or one would write a letter of guilt, confession, admission, to a teacher. One would say that I wasted the entire day. One would say that I am a lousy man, an evil man. And all that confession in the evening, enables one, to conveniently again embark the next morning, on the same beaten path.

That is how we work.

We exploit even the highest.

If a prophet would come to us, we would use him to serve our petty purposes. Don’t you see, what people do when they go to holy places, to pilgrimage, to a Dargah, to a Guru? They go there, and they ask about their little things. That is all the relationship that they have, with the Guru, or the Pir, or the Granth, or the temple, or the Gurudwara.

Let everything exist, to allow me, to even help me, remain as rotten as I am. That is the world view of the ego. That is how we look at the entire universe. Unfortunately, that is also, how we look at the one, beyond the universe.

The ego is an exploitative being. The ego is a stupid being. It exploits the one, it ought to surrender to. It goes to the ocean, and asks only for two drops. And it thinks it is being quite clever, in asking, just as much as it can hold.

Can you look at the mind, the psychology of the person, who has the entire ocean available of him, and is instead asking for only as much, as his limitations would allow? Can you see that?

Sex is a window. Organised meditation too, is a window. Every moment in life, is a window. But the ego is scared of free, open, unlimited space. It would have only as much of the sky, as the window would allow. That is why one is so agreeable, to the five seconds of peace that orgasm brings, but one is not agreeable to Samadhi, because Samadhi is infinite peace.

One wants customised Samadhi. One wants temporal Samadhi. One wants Samadhi that can be used and exploited. One wants Samadhi, that would not be a total and final dissolution. One wants Samadhi, that one can be on the top of. And that is why, one never gets Samadhi.

And that is why, that which is so easily available, and one’s innate nature, remains elusive.


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

Watch the session:  Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti: The ego uses both sex and meditation as an escape


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Gatay, Gatay, Paragatay…

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Gatay, Gatay, Paragatay….

I will miss you so much,
Pardon me, I will have to die.
We played together for long,
Now I’m going home to the Sky.

I will miss you so much,
I’m going to where I belong.
It breaks my heart to leave you,
I tried hard to bring you along.

I will miss you so much,
My time has finally come.
As a friend I could not help you,
So a stranger I must become.

I will miss you so much,
But now the Sky is pulling me.
All the glorious stars are here,
I’ll miss my silly games with thee.

I will miss you so much,
Body is cold, faint is breath.
The mission I failed in my life,
Maybe will succeed in my death.

I will miss you so much,
My pain will make the stars cry.
I’ll come down in some other form
To bring you one day to the Sky.

I will miss you so much,
I am departing to settle my due.
When in doubt, you must remember,
I had to die because I love you.

~ 31st May’19


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Gems from Articles, April’19

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1.

The condition you have come to, is not sudden. It has taken millions of years of evolution, for you to come to this state. It’s a very, very old habit.

It is like dust, that has settled over something, since centuries, millennia, aeons.

Time has brought you to your current condition.

And that which time has given you, takes time to go away.

2.

The one whose dissolution you are talking of, is he the Truth? Obviously he cannot be the Truth. Why would one demand the dissolution of the Truth? Why would one think that the Truth can be dissolved at all?

So you are demanding the dissolution of the one, who is not the Truth. Who is he then? He is a product of time. Truth is not a product of time, and therefore Truth does not bother you. And therefore, you are not demanding the dissolution of Truth.

You are demanding the dissolution of that which is, false.

Now see, now see. You are demanding the dissolution of the false. Just as it is silly to demand the dissolution of Truth, isn’t it equally silly to demand the dissolution of the false?

Truth cannot be dissolved, because Truth is timeless. And false cannot be dissolved, because the false does not exist at all. But surely, you are asking for the false to be dissolved, which means you take the false to be…..Truth.

Because you take the false as Truth, therefore you stumble, and get deceived, and get hurt.

3.

If you identify with the false, is a quick movement into the Truth possible? No. It will take time. ‘Sadhana’ is the way. You will have to be constantly embattled against yourself. And you will have to be constantly engaged with the ones, who appear closer to the Truth. These are the only two ways of ‘saadhana‘. There is no third way.

Fight against yourself, and side with the Saints, both are needed. In fact, just proceeding on one leg of the saadhana, without bothering for the other, is more dangerous than not beginning with saadhana at all. You have to both – fight against yourself, and side with the Saints.

If you side with the Saints, without fighting against yourself, then you will use the Saints, to fatten yourself. And if you fight against yourself, without siding with the Saints, then you will go mad, because you will keep destroying who you are, what you are, without finding anything.

4.

You need to have both – a determination to defeat yourself, and devotion to be with the lovers of Truth.

And both these things take time, because you are firmly convinced that you are a product of time.

Not that time is a necessity in the process.

It’s just that you have declared yourself at a position, that makes time a necessity.

5.

Invest that time in two things: in fighting against yourself,  and in being in the company of Saints and lovers of God, Truth.

6.

It is very difficult to break away from the Truth, and habituated as we are to ourselves, it is probably equally difficult, if not more difficult, to overrule ourselves, and leap directly towards the Truth.

So ours is a funny situation.

Can’t go away, can’t directly come close. And at the same time, we want to tell ourselves, that we are busy and occupied, and doing something constructive. So we start with the merry-go-round, maintaining a safe distance from the center, as if that safety is any less discomfiting, than a total separation from the center that invites us.

This is complexity, and this is dishonesty – the in-between-ness, the safe, middle path. The position, the movement, the locus that convinces us that we are not totally dishonest.

7.

You see, without a love for honesty, there can be nothing called ‘dishonesty’. Obviously, we love that which is real, that which will not deceive us, that which we eagerly want. But in spite of our love, in spite of our deep, and true desire, we still deny ourselves, we defy ourselves.

We defy the command of our own hearts.

8.

Dishonesty is – to not to see what you are seeing, to not to get what you want, not to be what you are, not to live by what you know.

If you don’t know, you cannot be dishonest.

If you don’t love, you cannot be disloyal.

9.

It’s absolutely fantastic, that we know, we want, we love.

And it’s equally tragic, that in spite of, knowing, wanting, loving, we somehow still choose to remain deprived.

Complex!

10.

The more certain you are, that you are approaching the person, with the only intention to show him the light, the easier the process will be.

If the intention is pure, then the process is quicker.

And this empowers you a lot, because now you have something to work upon.

If you just say that the other person does not listen to you, then you are helpless, because you anyway have no control over how the other person thinks, and responds, and reacts, and lives.

But once you know, that the other person’s response, is dependent on purity of your intentions, then that enables and empowers you, because now you can work upon yourself.

And by working on yourself, you can cause a quicker change in the other person.

So work on yourself.

11.

in the mind, there is nothing without a purpose, or a reason.

And as that reason or purpose gains purification, the place of that person in your life, that is your mind, changes. And then, working becomes far easier, with respect to that person.

12.

You have to be absolutely certain, that it is only because of love, and only because of kindness, that you want to bring the light to the other.

13.

The world is a habit, but drugs are a worst habit.

At least when you are free of drugs, then you can look at the facts. Under the influence of drugs, you cannot even know the facts. And I have repeatedly said that – the facts are the door to Truth.

If you do not know even the facts, then you are one step further away from the Truth.

The one who is finding refuge in drugs, is fed up of the usual stuff of consciousness. That is certain.

But, he is taking a very wasteful route.

14.

See, what do most people feel?

They feel a particular type of universe, just because they live in a particular type of consciousness.

They feel the universe, in a particular way, all the time. So, they start taking the universe, as Truth.

After all, what is Truth? That which does not change.

15.

Dedicate your time to something sublime, and then you will not be available to get hurt.

You are hurt. because you are available.

Why are you walking around with free mental space, and spare time?

Be fully dedicated to something worthy, then all these little bruises, and wounds, and rubs, will not bother you.

Life hurts, and wounds, only those who are jobless.

Why are you jobless?

16.

To be born, is to be born into one great job.

What is that job?

The life-long mission of liberation.

You have to be fully employed there. It’s a full-time job, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three sixty five days a year.

But you do not do justice to real occupation, you steal time.

And then your punishment is, that the world will hurt you.

Your theft costs you very dearly.

17.

Be fully consumed in the one, great, divine mission.

Otherwise, life will beat you down, very badly.

You have been entrusted with time, not so that you while it away.

You have been entrusted with your fifty, or eighty years, so that you make the best use of every second. Your time is not your personal property. It has been entrusted to you.

You better use it for the designated, and assigned purpose.

18.

If you are suffering, there is nobody, but you, who is responsible.

Unless you fully accept this responsibility, there is no freedom.

If your suffering is just incidental, then how can there be freedom from it, because incidents can happen any way, any day?

You have to first of all clearly realise that suffering cannot come to you, without your consent. Not only your consent, but your active participation is needed in your process of suffering.

Not only your participation, but your active doership is needed, for you to suffer.

Otherwise, you cannot suffer.

19.

Any bit of suffering, is a clear indicator that you have been messing up with somebody’s trust.

You know whose trust I am talking of? The one who gave you time.

He gave you time, trusting that you will use time piously.

He didn’t give you time to smoke it away.

20.

You don’t have to ‘do’ anything, to escape from body.

You ‘do’ a lot to stick to the body.

21.

I say, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the result.”

I am saying, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the results.”

But to those, who are not doing the right things, I say, “Look at the results of your actions.”

22.

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’ – is the utmost and final condition.

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’- that condition is possible only to someone, who is already liberated of the future.

But those who are not liberated, those who have even an iota of doubt, about the center from where their actions are arising, must use the results of the action, to know the source of the action.

23.

The source of the action, and the result of the action, correspond with each other.

If the action comes from the center of holiness, then the results are bound to be – holy.

If the actions come from the center of nothingness, then the results are bound to be – nothing.

Similarly, if the actions come from the center of vice, or deception, then the results are bound to be distressing.

24.

An action which has led to peacelessness, could not have come from the right source.

An action that leads to lovelessness, has definitely come from a loveless center.

So, do mind the results.

The results will tell you where you are standing right now.

Much later will you come to a point, from where you will not need to bother about the results.

That is liberation!

25.

Man is really not born to go beyond.

Going beyond, is the highest, and the most exquisite pursuit.

If you don’t pursue that path, you are not a sinner.

You are just, normal.

If you not spiritual, you are not a sinner.

You are just normal!

26.

Spirituality, is a most exquisite pursuit.

It is only for those, who are not at all contended with, what the world can maximally offer.

Not only are they not contended with what they already have, they are not contended even with the best, what the world can potentially offer.

Those are the ones, who must take the spiritual path.

Others must satisfy themselves, with the worldly beauties.

27.

Most people are condemned to, almost succeed in the world.

The misfortune of most people is, that they never get beaten up so soundly, that they will see the futility of the world.

So they should remain well-adjusted and compromised. They should continue with the worldly life.

They should not, unnecessarily, invite the spiritual trouble. You know, for the sake of it, just because some great names have talked of spirituality, you too start dabbling.

And then, you burn your fingers.

Spirituality, is for the ones, who are ripe enough.

28.

The first thing that is needed is, viveka (discretion).

The second thing that is needed is, vairagya (dispassion).

The third thing that is needed is, shad sampatti, the six qualities (shama, dama, uprati, titiksha, shraddha, samaadhaan).

And finally, and most importantly, you need, mumuksha(desire for liberation).

When you see that you have all these, only then must you turn, a seeker.

29.

Science is fully contained in spirituality.

Spirituality, that does not contain science, is superstition.

However, science is too small, to overlap with, all of spirituality.

But one thing is certain, when you are scientific, you are spiritual as well.

However, all spirituality, is not science. Spirituality goes, way beyond science.

Spirituality begins, when you have a strong feeling, that things are not the way they must be.

30.

The effect cannot be dimensionally, beyond the cause.

Which is to say – the fruit of the action, cannot be dimensionally superior to the action.

Which is to say – the fruit of the action, is actually just the quality of the actor.

The result is dimensionally the same as the action, and the action is dimensionally the same as the actor.

Therefore, the result is in the same dimension as the actor.

~ Excerpts from ‘Shabd-Yoga’ sessions.

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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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Gems from Articles, May’19

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1.

The only problem is – you want to change, but you want the changed state to be a derivative of current state.

You want the changed state, to be organically linked to your current state, which means that you really don’t want to give up your current state.

So, all ‘becoming’ fails.

All change is defeated.

2.

Change is wonderful.

When you want change, see what you really want.

Don’t change halfheartedly.

Change fully.

3.

Love is the urge to move towards That.

Gratitude is the lightness you keep experiencing, as you move towards That.

4.

Love is what brings Sudama to Krishna.

Gratitude is what Sudama feels, as he keeps coming closer to Krishna, and as he returns, after meeting Krishna.

Out of these, obviously, love will come first.

You love Him, you move close to Him.

He showers his bounties on you, Gratitude arises.

But obviously love cannot be in expectation of bounties.

5.

Gratitude is the realisation, that you have something beyond your capacity, beyond your eligibility.

6.

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

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

7.

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.

8.

Truth is – freedom from the false. See what all is false, in the way you currently live.

Currently live.

Two things – ‘currently’, and ‘living’.

Go into your life, right now.

9.

Why is your time not committed, not dedicated to a higher purpose?

If you will have free time, what will you do? You will only use that time to destroy yourself.

Your time must be a something, that you are merely a trustee of.

When you are a trustee of something, then you don’t own it. Then you just look after it.

You maintain it, you keep it.

You don’t possess it, you don’t utilize it.

10.

Given a chance to really re-live your life, you will never want to live the same way you have done.

Even the most self-assured person, would want to greatly amend his life, if allowed a chance to begin again.

Is it not true?

11.

And these two must go hand-in-hand – a universal consciousness, and local action.

You cannot say that because I act locally, so my consciousness is also local.

No!

Because if your consciousness is local, then your entire person-hood will become very-very local.

You will become, in simple words, very-very narrow-minded.

12.

One need not always ask a question.

Listening is enough.

The ego tendency is one, and therefore, fundamentally the mind of mankind, is just one.

Therefore, the question asked by one person, is in some way, the question of entire mankind.

Even if you say that your question is different, you still have a question.

13.

If you have a question, this means the fundamental tendency still stands unresolved. The central knot, is still there.

So, the knot exists in one person, the knot exists in another person.

In one person, it manifests itself in the form of one question. In the other person, it manifests itself in the form of another question. 

So it doesn’t matter what the content, or the language, or the direction of the question is, it is actually pointing towards the knot, it is actually coming from the knot.

And that knot is common to all. 

14.

Fundamental knot is the same, queries differ on the surface.

When the Teacher responds, then even to a superficial query, the answer is deep.

So, he might be starting from anywhere, but he will go right to the central knot.

And the central knot stands untied, problematic, for all.

Therefore all answers are useful, even if one just listens, benefit would follow.

15.

Questions arise, you know, when one’s pre-existing concepts are challenged.

Then there is a question.

Questions arise when one’s conceptual and imaginary world, hits against facts.

Then questions arise, then one feels woken up.

A question represents an inconsistency in your life.

Only when there is something inconsistent in your life, then you want to ask a question.

16.

One has to arrive at an inconsistency, only then a question will arise.

One has to arrive at something unusual, only then a question will arise.

If the daily life is such that, it is just a repetition of the usual patterns, then obviously no question will arise. 

A question arises, when something strange happens.

17.

Outside our little, arranged and ordered world, everything is unusual. Everything is beyond our knowledge and comprehension.

It’s just that we are not exposed to it.

New situations are needed. Extra-ordinary events are needed.

A breaking out, rather a coming out, is needed.

And then, things will happen that you would be curious about. And then things would happen, in a way, that would belie your expectations.

If everything happens according to your expectations, why would someone ever ask a question? 

18.

There is a Sacredness, a Trueness, that is at the root of the world.

The world keeps changing, coming and going, the Trueness remains.

The world is many things.

To the Lover of the Truth, the world is an expression of the Truth.

To the hater of the Truth, the world is a competitor of the Truth.

19.

Do you see how the meanings of the world can change, according to the mind, that is looking at the world?

If you are the lover of the Truth, the world is a manifestation of the Truth.

If you are a worshiper of the Truth, then the world is an offering, a gift, a prasad from the Truth.

Whereas, if you are a hater of the Truth, somebody who loves to say that, the Truth doesn’t exist, then the world is a substitute to the Truth.

20.

Those who love the Truth, their world becomes truthful.

Everything in their world, gets arranged to serve the Truth.

It comes from the Truth, it serves the Truth.

It serves the Truth, so more comes from the Truth.

More comes from the Truth, there is more to serve the Truth.

The Truth is served even more, there is even more that comes from Truth. 

21.

All this expression is material.

But that expression is merely a result of the commitment, of the expressing one, to the Truth.

It is not merely their words, that are now arranged, configured, in the design of Truth, in the light of Truth, by the virtue of Truth.

Everything, even their body.

22.

If the words are so beautiful, there would certainly be great beauty, in sitting next to the ‘person’ of Ashtavakra.

The way they wear their clothes, the way they eat, the way they work, everything would be a scripture, provided you know how to read.

It is because everything that they have, everything that they are, is first of all, an offering to the Truth.

They have not kept anything for themselves, privately, reserved, personal.

All is there to serve, the One. The One.

When all is to serve the One, then all gets arranged, aligned, in the music of the One.

It depends on what you want to do, with your earthly existence.

It depends on your fundamental concept is.

23.

On one hand you know that, on the other hand you also know that the incomplete one, does not satisfy you.

Anything that is limited, and bounded, does not quench your thirst.

So you know that you want something big.

You want something big, you have something small, what to do with the small thing that you have?

Use it to reach the big thing, that you really want. 

Logical, obvious, common sensical!

24.

Change your concept of smartness.

When your concept of smartness changes, then you know who the real dude is. That’s worship.

If you are dumb, then you will just admire a few other dumb people.

If you are intelligent, then you worship. You worship the really smart ones.

They are called ‘saints’.

That requires you to be super-smart.

25.

This is what tells you, how Prakriti fails you.

Man gets attached to continuation, and in the name of continuation, man is robbed-off the precious resources, that should have gone towards his liberation.

Your precious resources, that should have been invested towards your liberation, rather go towards your, continuation.

To hell with such continuation.

26.

My real work is not to save, for the furtherance of my physical life.

My real work is: this.

My real work is not to fill, and bloat my bank account, for the sake of my physical security, and physical continuation.

My real work is – liberation. My liberation, your liberation.

I must work for that.

27.

Life should either be a great rhapsody in love, or otherwise it is just a spell of irritating noise.

Who wants to tolerate it?

There is no valor, or pride, in continuing to live.

Finish -off your work, and retire.

Go away! Go to sleep. 

There is no great virtue in living for a hundred years, and living like a maggot.

Turtles, crocodiles, they all live longer than men.

So what? 

28.

If paani-puri becomes liberation for you, then your kidney will complain.

So, rather than regulating your food habits, you should rather ask the question: Who am I?

Once you know, that you are the one who can never be satisfied through paani-puri, you will lose all fascination for paani-puri.

You don’t need to be tutored on what to eat, and what not to eat.

All that is largely useless. 

29.

A lot of suffering is just unnecessary.

If it is unnecessary, give it up.

A part of it is necessary.

If it is necessary, go through it.

30.

Technology is good. Science has provided man with medicine. All that is not just hot air, all that is meaningful.

If you are having a great headache, don’t tell me that your peace won’t be disturbed. If modern medicine can help you get rid of physical disorders at least, that helps.

No point quoting again and again, that you are the Atman, and nothing but the Atman, so no migraine, or no headache affects you.

Those who have headaches and migraines, know that these do affect. Keeping the migraine upon you, and saying that suffering helps, and suffering cleanses and purifies, is non-sensical. Give it up!

And then there is legitimate, and genuine suffering, that comes to you, in the process of self-realisation.

You will have to go through it.

31.

The more you open your eyes in the spiritual sense, the more you realise, that you have been exploiting others, just every bit, as much as others have been exploiting everybody else.

And then, it is not pleasant to come up on this realisation.

One suffers.

32.

And, I assure you, what you call as ‘self-realisation’, is never going to be pleasant.

It’s not going to be blissful or something. It’s always a bit of a heartbreak.

One sees the futility of one’s life.

One sees that how tremendously misled, one has been. And all that hits the ego.

One gets hurt.

It is never pleasant to get hurt.

 33.

One has to let that suffering come, and one has to stand very vulnerable to it.

One has to bow her head down.

One has to say, “I see that I have been not only blind, but I have been needlessly blind. All my life, I have just deceived myself.”

One’s self-esteem falls into pieces. One has to be prepared for all that.

And all that, I said, entails suffering.

You will not reach Truth, with your ego intact.

34.

 We have been taught to look down upon ourselves.

Love yourself. Respect yourself.

And then you will not accept hurt.

And then, you will not be prone to inviting hurt.

35.

We do not have basic, simple, innocent, self-love.

We keep inviting hurt, and equally we are afraid of hurt.

36.

One of the key lessons in spiritual wisdom, is to keep imagination apart from facts, is to not take your ‘personal world’, as ‘the’ world.

It is already bad enough that we take ‘the factual world’, ‘the world’ to be real.

And it would become far worse if we started taking even our ‘personal world’, ‘the imaginary world’ to be real.

37.

The mark of the commoner is, he lives in his personal world, and attributes to it, the finality of Truth.

The mark of the scientist, is that he does not live in his world, he does not care about subjective interpretations of the world, he lives fully in facts. So his science is fully objective, and does not contain trace of personal subjectivity.

The scientist is obviously, an advancement over the common psyche.

And then the mark of the spiritual mind, is that, it does not lend veracity even to the factual world.

37.

Prove it, and any number of proofs do not suffice to ascertain the veracity of something. But one proof against the veracity of something, suffices to prove that it is false.

That’s the scientific mind.

And then there is the spiritual mind.

The spiritual mind says, “Not only is the imaginary world unreal, even this objective, factual, scientifically proven world, that you see, expanded all around you and inside you, is not quite real.”

38.

The more you live in your world of subjective perceptions, the more foolish you are.

39.

Travel helps you see that several of the things, opinions customs, mindsets, you were taking as absolutes, or general, universal, are not universal at all. 

There are alternate viewpoints possible.

There are alternate ways of living possible.

40.

A thing to which an alternative does exist, is just not the Truth.

If it is not the Truth, it must not be given the position of Truth.

It must be taken lightly, casually, with a pinch of salt.

41.

Do not be sold out to it.

Do not become a fanatic.

Do not hold your opinions, as if they are the last thing.

But, if you have seen nothing, apart from opinions of your personal kind, then you would be much more inclined to believe that you opinions are not personal, or subjective opinions of a person, or a place, but that they are the final Truth.

42.

It is always helpful to see an alternative.

It is probably even more helpful, to watch your point of view challenged, even defeated.

All of that helps you, come out of your false truths.

43.

The key challenge is not the attainment of the infinite.

The key challenge is to come out of the finite.

And that is far more difficult.

We keep talking of the immense, the great, the unknowable, the unreachable, the absolute.

But hardly do we bother to challenge all the relatives, all the littlenesses, all the subjectivities, that we so very identify with.

And not only do we identify with them, we label them as the – final Truth.

44.

Challenging your personal truths, is most of spirituality. Those are the ninety-none steps. Ninety-nine steps of the personal demolition.

And the final step, that just happens.

What is incumbent upon you, that for which you are responsible, is personal demolition.

45.

You are not responsible for attainment of the absolute Truth.

That is not at all your responsibility, because you are too small to do that.

However, you are surely, definitely, responsible to challenge yourself.

That responsibility everyone must bear. That is the basis of personal integrity, personal honesty.

46.

Personal integrity is – to not to take the ‘person’ too seriously. 

47.

When was the ego born?

When ‘I’ was born.

As long as you keep taking yourself, as the born one, as the one who took birth one day, and who would die one day, the ego is definitely going to remain.

48.

This is what is ego – a thing of time and space.

A thing that is severely limited by time and space.

And therefore suffers.

And is therefore debilitated.

49.

Do you now see what desire is?

All your desires are limited to time and space.

You could also say that, all your desires are related to your limitations in time and space.

All your desires are related to your limitations in time and space.

50.

That is why, those who have known, the saints, they have said, that it was not the great thing that happened to you – the human birth.  But now that it has occurred, you better make the best use of it.

But it would have been far-far better, had you never really been born. Now that you are born, strive to come out of this incessant cycle of birth, and re-birth, and death. In fact,  that’s what is liberation. That’s how the orient has known liberation – liberation from the cycle of birth, re-birth, and death.

Because the moment you are born, that is born, from which you seek liberation. The moment you are born, you are born along with that, from which you seek liberation.

So, why be born at all?

51.

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.

52.

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.

53.

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?

54.

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.

55.

Something that remains untouched, unmoved, only that is something, that can really look at what is trying to move  it.

56.

You will be able to ‘see’ nothing, if that which you are seeing, moves you.

That which you are ‘seeing’, must not be able to move you.

Otherwise, your seeing will stop.

57.

You do not merely ‘see’ something.

You allow the thing to influence you. You become the influenced one.

You forget that the seen thing, and the seer of the thing, are both not you.

You become one with the seer.

The seer is bound to get influenced. That cannot be avoided. What can be avoided is, that ‘you’ do not become the seer.

58.

The place where you are, is not a place of consciousness. All consciousness is in between these two – the subject and the object. You are where you always were. You are at your one unshakable position. You are, where there is no space. You are where there is no territory to run to. Now where is the question of running? Even if you want to run away, there is no space to run away.

You are at a place where space and time do not exist. All space and time is here, in the dimension of consciousness, in between these two(the subject and the object). You are somewhere else.

59.

Let the interested one, remain interested.

‘You’ have no business to be interested.

60.

Let the intellect, the design of the brain, remain interested.

‘You’ need not remain interested.

Let this physical system, including the brain apparatus, remain curious, interested, inquisitive, whatever. Even attached.

‘You’ stay wherever you must.

61.

Do not deprive the stomach of food. And do not deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Just as it is stupid to deprive body of food, it is equally stupid to deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings.

Thought is not the enemy. Feelings are not the culprit.

Your misplaced presence is the culprit.

The needless presence of ‘I’ in the thoughts, is the culprit.

62.

Be fully secure about the ‘I’, and then think as much as you want to. Feel, in whichever dimension you want to. You can laugh, you can sing, you can cry. You can even hate, or fall in love. All that is okay. All that is part of the rainbow.

63.

Spirituality is not about banishing certain things, from your life.

Spirituality is just about seeing, that life is beautiful, and does not get any better, with the intervention of the little self, the ‘I’.

64.

It is one thing to think, it is a totally another thing, to think with the objective of self-preservation.

65.

Thought is not the problem.

Your insecurities about yourself, your utter loneliness –  that is the problem.

And that is an assumed, imagined problem.

A problem that does not exist, but is taking to be.

66.

If fear is there, if restrictions are there, and you give them importance, then obviously you cannot act. And when you cannot act, then you get up and say that you need willpower.

So, willpower is needed, only when you feel fear, only when you feel restrictions.

67.

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

When we look into these obstacles, we find that they are only, as long as, we believe in them.

Then, you do not need willpower. Wisdom is enough.

Then, you do not need courage. Clarity is sufficient.

68.

Instead of asking for clarity, we often ask for courage. Now, courage is not needed, clarity is needed.

Instead of asking for wisdom, we ask for will power. Will power is not needed, wisdom is enough.

69.

You don’t need willpower. You need willpower, only as an antidote to fear. Where there is no fear, there is no need of willpower. So, don’t ask me, “How to enhance will power?” The more afraid you are, the more will power you need.

The more restricted you feel, the more willpower you need. Is that not so? Just open your eyes and see, that there is no restriction, except those, that you subscribe to, except those, that you willingly self-impose.

70.

When you are really into something, when there is no fear, who asks for will power?

It is not needed.

~ Excerpts from Shabd-Yoga Sessions.


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Quotes, May’19

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1.

Life is sacred,

the living are sacred,

the conscious are sacred,

the unconscious are sacred,

the subject is sacred,

the object is sacred.

All sacred

just because they are false.

Falseness is false.

They are not what they appear.

They are where they come from.

The Truth. The One.

2.

The storm kept raging.

The Sky didn’t utter a word.

3.

You’ve one life

and you must

spend it rightly.

4.

Restless are those who do not have answers.

Dead are those who do not have even questions.

Better to be restless than dead.

Most people appear lifeless.

Not because they do not have answers, but because they do not have questions.

Doubt, Wonder, Ask, Question, Find.

Come alive!

5.

Gratitude is not about uttering thanks when you receive a pleasant gift.

Gratitude is about remaining thankful when you are being destroyed.

6.

Live on with the patterns of your life.

Know the patterns as patterns. Don’t attempt to change them.

The pattern is tied to you by your own resistance and attachment.

Resistance is attachment.

Leave it, it will go to where it came from.

So what to do with patterns?

Nothing.

7.

When you feel incomplete,

Kindly don’t fill yourself with rubbish.

8.

Fear is useful.

One must have the right fear.

Right fear

is when one is afraid

of losing the one thing

that cannot be lost,

and yet man loses it

again and again.

Afraid of this one thing,

now one can be fearless

about all else.

This is the key to

fearlessness.

9.

Here is the method:Every small action will tell you of your centre.

You fondly said: Come.

Whom did you call?

You dryly said: Busy.

What are you busy with?

You sorely missed something.

What is it?

You dreamily thought of someone.

Who is he?

The real one has just One in mind.

10.

Acharya ji, who is a friend?

Whose friend?

Mine.

Who are you?

(Mute)

A squirming consciousness are you, desperate for its Destination.

Who is a friend?

Who rids you of all else, and points you to the Destination alone.

Who is a foe?

Who stands between you and the Destination.

~Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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Past life karma, goal of life, and liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Past life Karma, goal of life, and Liberation

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Question: Acharya Ji, do you believe in past life?

Acharya Prashant Ji: That is irrelevant. Will I find you after your death? Will even you find yourself after your death?

Listener: I may be in a different body.

Acharya Ji: In a different body, will you have the same psyche, the same identity? You are a ‘person’, and a person is driven by identities. Forget about having a new life after death, even in this life, if I give you the option that your personality will be totally wiped out, your memory will be totally wiped out, your body will be totally changed, and you will be taken to a different place, a different planet, will you still say that you are ‘you’? Will you still say that you are ‘you’?

Even in this life, if your memory gets wiped out, do you remain what you are? Then why do you talk of ‘past life’, and ‘future life’?

Even in this life, if somebody strokes your head with a hammer, and your memory is totally gone, which means your identities are totally gone, you are as good as dead. You are no use to anybody then. You do not remain. You have disappeared, because you are a man of identities, because you are a personality. You live in a personality. And once the personality is gone, once the ‘person’ is gone, you are no more.

‘Eternity’, and ‘continuity’, is a word for those, who do not live in the personality.

If you live in the personality, you need not wait even for your physical death. You are dying continuously. Even tomorrow, you will not be who you are today, then how will you continue to be the same, in your next birth?

Even today you are not, what you were, fifteen years back, are you? Then how will you continue to remain, two hundred years from today? But, it is such a stupid thought, still very common. Do you feel one, or identified with, the self that you were, when you were ten years of age? Go into this!

You, as you see yourself, were once ten years of age, right? Today do you find much in common with that ten year old kid? Today, in fact, ninety percent, is not common, with that ten year old kid. Right?

In the same life-time, you are almost a totally different person, are you not? Then how will you remain the same after death, even if there is a rebirth? So what is the point in talking about this and that?

Listener 1: So, thirtieth birthday means, thirty years of death?

Acharya Ji: Yes, nice. Good.

Listener 2: Acharya ji, we said that memories being wiped out, is equivalent to you not being there. Now, this is a bit confusing, as we talked about we not being the body.

Acharya Ji: But, are you the Atman. I said that ‘Eternity’ and ‘Continuity’ are words applicable only to those, who live as the Atman. Do you live as the Atman? If you live as the Atman, then you will not talk of this birth and the previous birth, because the Atman never really dies, so how can it take the next birth?

To take the next birth, something must firstly die. Atman is eternal, it does not die. How can it take a new birth?

Question: Acharya Ji, many religions like Hinduism, Jainism, they talk of past lives and rebirth. You do not want to be consistent with them.

Acharya Ji: What do you want?

Listener 3: I just want……

Acharya Ji: Those who just want anything, do not get anything. Talk of one thing that you want, and then don’t talk of anything else.

Listener 3: I want the Truth.

Acharya Ji: Yes. So, Truth is – freedom from the false. See what all is false, in the way you currently live. Currently live. Currently live. Two things – ‘currently’, and ‘living’. Go into your life, right now.

How do you spend your day?

Where do you eat?

Where do you earn your money from?

These are the questions that should bother you. Not fancy intellectual questions.

Listener 4: Is it part of spirituality, the worldly matters – what I do, and all that?

Acharya Ji: What do want to do with ‘spirituality’ and ‘worldly matters’? The one who is in trouble, wants freedom from trouble. If the name of that freedom is ‘spirituality’, fine. If the name of that freedom is ‘worldliness’, fine. What the person wants is – freedom.

If I am thirsty, I want want water, you want to call it ‘jal’, ‘ambu’, ‘waari’, anything, I do not mind. Give me that, which will quench my thirst. Full stop.

Question: I have the same question related to thoughts. He said that thoughts increase the level of concentration. How can we manage that level of concentration?

Acharya Ji: Goal.

Listener 4: How to magnify and amplify that goal?

(laughter)

Listener 2: I am not even asking about amplifying the goal. In the example that you gave, when we were playing football, you mentioned that there was a clear distinction, that each team knew where their goal post is.

In real life, there are ten goal posts being shown, and each one is trying to instruct that this is where you have to reach. Unfortunately, sometimes the goal posts look similar also, and one gets confused.

Acharya Ji: Who is suffering?

Listener 2: I am suffering.

Acharya Ji: So who will know, whether or not you are getting freedom?

(silence)

Who is suffering?

(silence)

It is like this – “I am thirsty, one guru tells me to put water in this hole(the ear). Another guru tells me to put water in this hole(the mouth). Another one talks about the other holes of the body. Who is thirsty? You are. Don’t you know when your thirst is going to be quenched. Why are you acting so ignorant?

Don’t you contact with your own thirst, with your own suffering? Don’t you know when it is being quenched?

Listener 2: I have not even reached the level where my thirst is being quenched.

Acharya Ji: At least you know when it is not being quenched. This much, at least, you know?

Listener 2: Yes.

Acharya Ji: Next time, don’t put water in your ear. Reject the guru who teaches you to put water in your ear. At least this much you can do? Do this much.

Listener 2: But the problem is, I will give a parallel example. When one is thirsty, it is the water that one needs. When one gets a cool drink near by, one is tempted to take it.

Acharya Ji: Try it, immediately.

Listener 2: You are already thirty or forty years old, or may be, twenty-five. How many more trials do you need? Have you already not given everything a shot? Are soft drinks, or ice creams, or petroleum, new things to you? You have already tried them a thousand times. Are you still not fed up?

If you are not fed up, give them one more chance. And then, be absolutely fed up. But please, at some point, learn to be honest. Learn to quit. Learn to honestly face the mirror, and tell yourself, “I have been cheating myself all my life.” If you don’t do that, there are thousand kinds of fluids in the universe.

You will keep trying them endlessly.

Water is simple water – pure, direct.

I have no issues, if you want to give various things, various methods, various means, various books, various teachers, a chance. Please do that. But do that with all honesty. Having given the chance, ask yourself, “Is the thirst being quenched?” If ‘yes’, then stay put. Then don’t budge at all. If ‘no’, then you have no business looking at that face, ever again.

Man is strange creature, you know. He develops a stake, even in thirst. If you have conditioned yourself, to find pleasure in thirst, in suffering, in non-sense, then…

Question: Acharya Ji, what is the significance of sleep? What really happens in sleep? What is the spiritual significance of the sleep?

Acharya Ji: Are your problems in your sleep time, or are your problems related to your waking state? Just don’t be interested in miscellaneous knowledge. Focus on the goal. Any kind of knowledge that does not lead you directly towards the goal, is merely a burden. Disregard it.

If you have genuine problems, sleeping disorders, then talk to me about sleep. But if your problems are related to your life, stuff that you think of in your waking state – your relationships, your transactions, then why be interested in sleep?

I can speak for fifteen minutes on sleep, but that will not help you.

Be direct, be honest.

Question: Acharya Ji, why is mu mind constantly trying to become something?

Acharya Ji: Everybody is trying that, because nobody is contended with the current state.

The only problem is – you want to change, but you want the changed state to be a derivative of current state.

You want the changed state, to be organically linked to your current state, which means that you really don’t want to give up your current state. So, all ‘becoming’ fails. All change is defeated.

It’s like just changing clothes. That will not cure you of your lung cancer. It’s like wearing make-up. That will not fundamentally cure your any skin disorder.

Change is wonderful.

When you want change, see what you really want.

Don’t change halfheartedly.

Change fully.

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

Watch the session:  Past life karma, goal of life, and liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Market, Money, Food, and Liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Market, Money, Food and Liberation

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Question: Acharya Ji, which are the industries I should invest my money in?

Acharya Prashant Ji: There are two industries those are not going to fail. First one, that thrives on kids. Second, that thrives on sickness. And the two are one. The school industry is never going to starve, and they will always make very big bucks. What else do we earn for? To pay to the schools. And the hospital industry is always going to prosper, and they will make very big bucks. What have we earned for? To pay to the hospitals.

You can avoid spending anywhere else, but these two places, you will not only spend, you will always overspend – kids education, and health.

And it should be obvious to you, that these both have to do, with your deepest vrittis (latent tendencies). We began this evening, talking of what this Prakriti rely on. It relies on continuation of this body, and procreation. This body should continue, and more bodies should keep coming. So, these two are also the two ways, to loot away your hard earned money.

I recently found out, the apparels of a fully grown-up man, are only as expensive as apparels of a two-month old. If you purchase something for yourself, for two-thousand rupees, and that thing is this big, size forty-four, rest assured, if you buy something for your infant who is one month old, that too will cost equally the same.

Look at the margins. And you will not be able to question it. It’s a matter of love, you know. Don’t you love your child? Can you question the fees that the schools charge you? It’s preposterous.

Listener: It’s a matter of pride now-a-days, to say that our kid’s fees is higher than the fees of your kid.

Acharya Ji: You are being looted in broad daylight, in the name of your kid’s fees. And you will accept it, even if you happen to be the intellectually strongest person in the world. The fellow is IQ 140, emerging from the best institute of the world, a post-graduate in Astrophysics. But the moment he gets a kid, he can be looted in broad daylight. And he won’t be able to resist it. Because he is hitting you, where it hurts the most.

You might be very, very smart, but you can still be looted, because now you have a kid. Same with the doctor. It doesn’t matter who you are. If he says, “Twenty lakhs,” twenty-lakhs is ‘twenty-lakhs’. You don’t argue with him.

It’s actually not the doctor, it’s the hospital. Just as it’s not the teacher, it’s the school. If the hospital says, “Twenty lakhs,” it is twenty lakhs. It’s all spiritual, if you can see.

This is what tells you, how Prakriti fails you. Man gets attached to continuation, and in the name of continuation, man is robbed-off the precious resources, that should have gone towards his liberation.

Your precious resources, that should have been invested towards your liberation, rather go towards your, continuation.

To hell with such continuation.

I don’t even have an insurance. I have no medi-claim. I am very clear, the day she comes and says, “I have to take you away,” I will say, “Why wait? I don’t even have to pack up. Come, let’s go! I am done.” I neither have life-insurance, nor medical insurance.

For my small medical needs, I have enough. And if a giant medical need comes up, I will not meet that need. I will not allow Prakriti, to rob me, of my real occupation.

My real work is not to save, for the furtherance of my physical life.

My real work is: this.

My real work is not to fill, and bloat my bank account, for the sake of my physical security, and physical continuation.

My real work is – liberation. My liberation, your liberation.

I must work for that.

Getting it?

Listener: There is no point in living on, if you cannot live for liberation.

Acharya ji: Wonderful! There is no point in living on, even for one day more, if liberation is no more possible, or if you have no desire for liberation. Kabir Saheb has put it so succinctly, in so many verses. “Jaa tan prem na sanchare, so tan jaan masaan. Jaise khaal luhaar kii, saans letu bin praan.” (If you do not have love for Him, then your body is just a graveyard. You are breathing, but you are really not alive).”

Life should either be a great rhapsody in love, or otherwise it is just a spell of irritating noise. Who wants to tolerate it? There is no valor, or pride, in continuing to live. Finish -off your work, and retire. Go away! Go to sleep. 

There is no great virtue in living for a hundred years, and living like a maggot. Turtles, crocodiles, they all live longer than men. So what? 

Question: Acharya Ji, does poor food habit become an obstacle in the path of liberation?

Acharya Ji: In general, you eat badly, only when only food starts becoming meaningful to you. The body knows it’s food. Does it not? Do you have to teach the cow to take grass, and not flesh? Do you see any animal species, that needs to be tutored on the topic of food? Monkeys, mosquitoes, they all know the kind of food that is right for them. Why does this question become pertinent for ‘man’? Because man identifies himself with, just about everything.

Man is different from mosquitoes, in the sense, that man has more heightened desire for liberation. So he searches for liberation, everywhere. Even in paani-puri, he searches for – liberation. In titillation of taste buds, he assumes liberation.

If paani-puri becomes liberation for you, then your kidney will complain. So, rather than regulating your food habits, you should rather ask the question: Who am I? Once you know, that you are the one who can never be satisfied through paani-puri, you will lose all fascination for paani-puri. You don’t need to be tutored on what to eat, and what not to eat. All that is largely useless. 

Why do you get attracted to mithai, or pizza?

Listener: Because of desire.

Acharya ji: And desire is really for?

Listener: Liberation.

Acharya ji: And that has to be realised. “That that which I really want, will not come to me, through mithai.” And then mithai will lose its charm.

Listener: That is known, but for now instant gratification is demanded.

Acharya ji: That you have to remember, at that moment. As you said that, one has to be constantly reminded. That is why ‘ing’ is needed. You will have to create mechanisms, that will keep constantly reminding you.

Have somebody by your side, who shouts into your ears, right when you are about to pop in the next puri. This is not That. That’s the mantra that you need. What?

Listeners: This is not That.

Acharya ji: This is not That. So, you will just spoil the body, and get nothing in return.

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

Watch the session:  Market, Money, Food, and Liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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What are honesty and simplicity? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What are honesty and simplicity

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Question: Acharya ji, please explain about honesty and simplicity.

Acharya Prashant ji: When do things become complex? When there is fear between you and the obvious. Neither can you deny the obvious, nor can you overcome your fear. Then one goes round and round.

It is very difficult to break away from the Truth, and habituated as we are to ourselves, it is probably equally difficult, if not more difficult, to overrule ourselves, and leap directly towards the Truth.

So ours is a funny situation. Can’t go away, can’t directly come close. And at the same time, we want to tell ourselves, that we are busy and occupied, and doing something constructive. So we start with the merry-go-round, maintaining a safe distance from the center. As if that safety is any less discomfiting, than a total separation from the center that invites us.

This is complexity, and this is dishonesty – the in-between-ness.  The safe, middle path. The position, the movement, the locus that convinces us that we are not totally dishonest.

You see, without a love for honesty, there can be nothing called ‘dishonesty’. Obviously, we love that which is real, that which will not deceive us, that which we eagerly want. But in spite of our love, in spite of our deep, and true desire, we still deny ourselves, we defy ourselves.

We defy the command of our own hearts.

So, simply put, dishonesty is to not to see what you are seeing, to not to get what you want, not to be what you are, not to live by what you know. If you don’t know, you cannot be dishonest. If you don’t love, you cannot be disloyal.

It’s absolutely fantastic, that we know, we want, we love.

And it’s equally tragic, that in spite of, knowing, wanting, loving, we somehow still choose to remain deprived.

Complex!

A kid would ask,”But why would you not just take it, if you want it so much? That is what I do all the time. If I want it, I pick it up.” Somehow, adults have more complicated explanations for everything.

They will say, “Well kid! You are not yet seasoned enough. With age and experience you will realise that you cannot always get what you want. There are other priorities.” But the kid will say, “Isn’t what I want, always my top most priority? And must not one always go for his highest priority?”

You will say, “Well Kid, these are complex matters. Life is not all about loving. Life is not all about knowing and realizing. One has to keep allowance for various other things as well.”

The kid will say, “No! If I want it, I will go straight at it.”

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

Watch the session:  What are honesty and simplicity? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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How to convince one’s parents for the Truth? And how to convince doctors?

How to convince one’s parents for the Truth

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Question: Acharya ji, there is someone in my life, who is close to me. But, when I talk to that person, the person doesn’t listen to me. But, I know that deep down, he is a sensitive person, and wants Truth. How do I deal with this person?

Acharya Prashant ji: The more certain you are, that you are approaching the person, with the only intention to show him the light, the easier the process will be. If the intention is pure, then the process is quicker. And this empowers you a lot, because now you have something to work upon.

If you just say that the other person does not listen to you, then you are helpless, because you anyway have no control over how the other person thinks, and responds, and reacts, and lives. But once you know, that the other person’s response, is dependent on purity of your intentions, then that enables and empowers you, because now you can work upon yourself. And by working on yourself, you can cause a quicker change in the other person.

So work on yourself. May be that will have an impact on your opening statement itself. The way you said, “There is somebody in my life,” the way that fellow exists in your life…..

Listener: I am not talking about my love life. I am talking about my father.

Acharya ji: I am saying, the way that person exists in your life, itself would get modified. When we say, “There is somebody in my life,” what we actually mean is that, the person is actually in our mind. And in the mind, there is nothing without a purpose, or a reason.

And as that reason or purpose gains purification, the place of that person in your life, that is your mind, changes. And then, working becomes far easier, with respect to that person.

We must be careful that it is not for egoistic reasons, that we want to take the battle to someone. “I have known that devotion is important. You too must learn that. And if you don’t learn that, I probably take that as personal insult, or a personal defeat.” I may be exaggerating.

You have to be absolutely certain, that it is only because of love, and only because of kindness, that you want to bring the light to the other.

Listener: I have seen that in him. So, I know that it’s there. But, it’s not gaining shape.

Acharya ji: That would be catalyzed, through your transformation. May be, he simply can’t believe that there is life beyond his ego boundaries. May be he just has nothing to fall back upon. Nothing to lend credence to the assertion that transformation is possible, that real love is possible.

But if you stand in front of him, as a living, walking, talking proof, in flesh and blood, then he will have no option but to admit and agree. You see, most people, suffer from a genuine lack of conviction. I am calling it ‘genuine’, because they actually do not have any proof available in front of them.

For example, i may just hold forth on selfless love here, for two hours. And the lecture might be flawless. The statements might be immaculate. Everything might be just in place, totally in place. Yet, somebody can just stand up after those two hours, and tell me, “It does not exist. Yes, you made a great speech on selfless love, but it does not exist.”

What would convince him? What would give him conviction? Not a speech on selfless love, but actually a touching display of personal love. Display that is not merely an exhibition, that is not purposeful, but that which is the essence of the speaker. Such a display.

So if you stand in front of him, different, transformed, radiant, he will have to admit the light. He will have to say, “Ah! Now even the daughter is a proof against my beliefs. How will I refute this indisputable proof?”

Unfortunately, there are very few proofs available, therefore people are faithless. And worse happens, when those who tout themselves as proofs of the beyond, turnout as scandalous turn-coats. That dents the already fragile faith of the entire world.

Are you getting me?

The world is already struggling when it comes to faith, because there are very few proofs available. Now, somebody comes up and says, “I am the living proof. Look at me. I am the revolutionary. I am the social worker. I am the Guru.” And one day it turns out that the fellow is a fraud. Now, faith, that was already fragile, has been further attacked. And it is now shattered.

Therefore, most people find it very difficult, to believe in the beyond.

Listener: Acharya ji, I am from medical profession. It is very difficult to convince the doctors about spirituality. They don’t relate to it , at all. They ask you questions like,”Where is the soul? Where is the soul in the brain?” So, I have no answers for them. However, I do believe in spirituality.

Acharya ji: Ask them that why do they want an answer. When somebody asks you, “Where is the soul?”, ask him, “Why do you want this answer? What would this answer give you? And that which this answer would give you, show that to me, in a CAT Scan, in an MRI, on a weighing scale. Show it to me anywhere. Show it to me on any of your medical instruments.”

You ask me that where is the soul, or you ask me any question, I will give you an answer. If the answer is any thing, then it should give you some thing. Now, show me what it would give you. Show it to me using the most sophisticated medical device.

That which the answer gave you, is called ‘contentment’. And that contentment cannot be seen physically, but contentment does exist. It cannot be seen physically, but it does exist. And the proof of it’s existence is, that right now you are asking me this question, right?

Doctor, you asked me where is the soul. I do not know whether a soul exists. But I am certain that you are curious. And if you are curious, then you want to satisfy your curiosity. Your curiosity  is the proof that something beyond the physical, exists.

Your curiosity is the proof that something beyond the physical exists. And not only does it exist, it is so fundamental and important, that you are asking me this question. Had it not existed, why would you have wanted to satisfy your curiosity? It exists, and it is so compelling, that even doctors are curious.

Even doctors ask questions. Even doctors say, “I love you.” Now, show me where is love, in the body. And if there is only the physical, then doctor, please admit right now that you do not love your son, your daughter, your wife, your parents. Admit that there is no love in your life.

And if you do have love in your life, then you will have to admit, that there is something beyond the physical, because love cannot be seen in an X-Ray machine.

So, love does exist, and it is not physical – both things are certain. Love exists, because the doctor says that he loves his wife. Love exists. The doctor is the proof that love exists. And love is not physical, because love cannot be seen in any physical test, nor does it have any physical dimension.

So, something beyond the physical, not only exists. It is central, fundamental, super-valuable. This is called spirituality, doctor!

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

Watch the session:  How to convince one’s parents for the Truth? And how to convince doctors? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Happiness and self-knowledge||Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

Happiness and self knowledge

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“We seek happiness through things, through relationship, through thoughts, ideas and do not realise their impermanence. To find out the true meaning of happiness, we must explore the river of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is not an end in itself. Is there a source to stream?”

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: Acharya ji, can you please explain what JK said in the above paragraph?  JK mentioned that exploring the river of self-knowledge and happiness, is to be found where you are on this river.

Acharya Prashant: What Krishnamurti is referring to here is – Joy. Not happiness. That is linked to pleasure. So, not your usual meaning of happiness is to be applied to Krishnamurti’s words here.

I would have loved it, had he been a little more precise with his choice of words. Joy is what he is talking of. As far as worldly happiness is concerned, it is available at all points in the river. In fact, the river is flowing, just for the sake of happiness. Otherwise, why would the river flow at all? Source would have been sufficient.

So it is not really happiness that is to be found through self-knowledge. In fact, self-knowledge often is a danger to happiness.

Self-knowledge dissolves both happiness and sadness,

and you are left with nothing, but a naked and silent Joy. 

Now the next point. “It is to be found, where you are, on the river of self-knowledge.” What does ‘self-knowledge’ mean? Self-knowledge is about seeing the self in it’s activities, in motion, constantly.

‘You’ are the little self. And self-knowledge is about seeing yourself. What do you do? How you behave? What your instincts are? What your reactions are? And such things.

If you can see your self, clearly, without motivation, then the seeing itself is great fun. That I call as ‘Joy’. Just the seeing is great fun.

Nothing more than that is contained in this excerpt.

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

Watch the session:  Happiness and self-knowledge || Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

Read more articles on this topic:

Acharya Prashant: How to be free of happiness and sadness?

Acharya Prashant: Do success and happiness go together?

Acharya Prashant: Joy – absolute happiness – is possible


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Which direction to take in life? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

which direction to take in life

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Question: Acharya Ji, which direction to take in life?  

Acharya Prashant: What is it, that matters to you? The direction in which you must go, is determined, by where you will feel the pain. And if you feel no pain, no discomfort, why must you go in any direction?

You move only because your current station, discomforts you. So what is your discomfort? Your discomfort will decide, where to move to and how to move. And if you are already well-settled, and alright, then that’s samaadhi. Why must you contemplate any movement then?

I find it strange to see that why do we keep talking about moving, without caring to examine: what makes us move. Why must there be any movement at all?

You are a human being. Any movement that you make, physical, psychological, involves costs, time, resources. Every movement, is a chunk of your limited life-span. That’s why movement is life. Must you then move irresponsibly? Is life there to be wasted?

Life, as you know it, is just time. Why must you move randomly, hither-thither? Yes, there is a movement, that is aimless, purpose-less. That is just like – the dance of a child. But that movement is only for those, who are not looking to move, who have internally come to the end of all movement. Have you come to the end of all movement? No. You are still eager to move.

And if you are eager to move, then you better move with discretion.

Use your suffering, as the compass.

Your suffering will give you the direction.

Be very very alert and sensitive to your suffering. Just do not surrender at the wrong place. Do not start considering that suffering, and restlessness, and boredom, and loneliness, and fear, are the natural modes of life. They are not. Never, never allow this belief to settle within you.

If life is boredom, and loneliness, and fear, that is unnatural. Just because you see a lot of sorrow and anger, and uprooted-ness, around you, that does not mean that anger and sorrow, are our natural states. They are not.

Don’t give in. Don’t surrender.

Remain a little rebellious. Remain a little compassionate towards yourself.

If the mind remains heavy, don’t just move on with it.

Pause and ask: what’s going on?

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

Watch the session:  Which direction to take in life? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Are psychedelic drugs helpful in spirituality? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: Recently, I came across an article on psychedelic drugs. I was surprised to know that a large part of spiritual community consumes such psychedelic drugs, and claims that it has helped them immensely to remain in a peaceful state.

I was even more surprised to find that many spiritual teachers encourage their people to take psychedelic drugs, especially LSD etc. He also mentions that Osho has once said, “So, the drug opens up a door and helps you to understand that man’s life and his experience need not be confined to the ordinary, mundane world. He can fly high towards the stars. That he is capable of knowing things which are not ordinarily available. Psychedelics  can open doors, not lead you through them.”

Acharya Prashant: When you want to be intoxicated, there is lot to be intoxicated upon.

First of all understand this: that yes the mind is eager to go beyond the daily, mundane experiences, and that’s why the seeker goes to a teacher. But, if the teacher fails in bringing the seeker to the beyond, then this is the option that the teacher has.

So, recommending the use of psychedelic drugs, in fact, just tells of the inability of the teacher, to take the seeker , beyond usual consciousness, through other means.

It’s like this, that you want samadhi(peace), and instead of that, you are given nidra(sleep). There is at least something in common between samadhi and nidra. Both are removed from your usual state of consciousness.

So, having given you nidra, now the teacher can claim that he has given you something, something that was not, usually, experience-able to you. But, is this what the seeker wanted? Instead of taking him to the higher level of consciousness, you are actually lowering his state of consciousness. You are turning him unconscious.

What will be the result? He  will definitely experience a change. But, is the change for the good? Is it a change that takes you higher? No. It’s a bad change. And if this is the route that many spiritual seekers are seeking, then this route is nothing, but a verdict upon the disciple and the teacher both. Having failed in the mission, now they are using obnoxious, useless, self-deceptive means.

Osho’s statement too here is laden with danger.  Yes, when you are under the influence of drugs, then you certainly know of one thing – that the universe is not confined to, as you see it in your usual consciousness. That is alright. That is true.

See, what do most people feel?

They feel a particular type of universe, just because they live in a particular type of consciousness.

They feel the universe, in a particular way, all the time.

So, they start taking the universe, as Truth.

After all, what is Truth? That which does not change. 

So, this wall remains white and standing, and it has remained white and standing since the last twenty years. And I have been looking at it, and it has remained white and standing since the last twenty years. So, to me, it becomes some kind of a truth, because it does not change. And that which does not change is, Truth.

Now, extend this example to include the entire universe. The Moon and the Sun have not changed in the last twenty years. So, to me, they become – truth. The names of my relationships have hardly changed over the last twenty years, so to me they become – truth. And there are so many things that do not change in my little life-time. And so, it becomes intuitive for me to consider them as the – truth, when actually they are not the truth.

Now, you have taken some drug. And now, the wall, which was till now white and standing, now becomes a rainbow, and is dancing. The standing, white wall has become a dancing rainbow. And you are actually experiencing it. You are experiencing that the wall is a rainbow, that is, dancing, because you are under the influence of LSD.

So, of at least one thing you come to know – that experiences are deceptive. And the wall has no objective reality. The wall is, as you see it. You come to know of that, that the wall is not the truth. 

The whiteness of the wall was in my eyes, was in my mind rather. And my mind changed under the influence of the drugs, and now see that the wall is a rainbow. And the wall appeared stationary and standing, just because my mind appeared it that way.

Now that the mind has changed, because the brain is under the influence of stuff, so the wall has started dancing. So, this much you can infer – that the usual universe that you perceive, is not the Truth.

But, a great danger arises. Now you start thinking that the rainbow is the truth. And if the rainbow is the truth, so you want to be with the truth all the time. So, you want to be with drugs all the time. Because you have an unflinching desire for truth, you see.

The white wall was the truth until now. And if that truth is gone, you quickly want some other truth. The position of Truth cannot remain vacant. The white wall gone, now the rainbow is the truth.

It is not at all a very useful method. You are negating one thing acceptable, right? You have negated the whiteness of the wall, but you have substituted it with something more problematic.

The world is a habit, but drugs are a worst habit. At least when you are free of drugs, then you can look at the facts. Under the influence of drugs, you cannot even know the facts. And I have repeatedly said that – the facts are the door to Truth.

If you do not know even the facts, then you are one step further away from the Truth.

The one who is finding refuge in drugs, is fed up of the usual stuff of consciousness. That is certain. But, he is taking a very wasteful route. It’s like feeling cold in Delhi in the month of December, and wanting to escape away, and so you go to Shimla. That kind of wisdom

“Darling we must go somewhere. It’s freezing cold in Delhi.” So darling books the flight to Srinagar. That’s the kind of wisdom contained in using drugs for spiritual attainment.


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

Watch the session: Are psychedelic drugs helpful in spirituality?||Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Does positive thinking work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Does positive thinking work

Question: What is ‘thought’? Why is thought dualistic? What is ‘positive thinking’? Does positive thinking work? Why is positive thinking, a hype?

Acharya Prashant: Positive thought is never fully positive, negative thought is never fully negative. That is the meaning of the uncertainty, that always tags any thought.

What is ‘uncertainty’? ‘Uncertainty’ means, that when you are positive, you cannot be certainly positive. The doubt, that positivity is flanked by negativity, always remains. What do you call as a ‘positive thought’? A thought that makes you happy. A thought about your well-being, a thought that – you would be alright or better-off. A thought of hope.

But hope is not ever certain. Hope is always accompanied by fear. You hope that you might win, but somewhere you are also afraid that you might not. So, uncertainty is there. Similarly, when there is a negative thought, yet you keep hoping that the negative might be averted. Even in matters of despair, you are not fully certain. You keep clinging to some hope, howsoever unreasonable. This is what is meant, when it said that – thought is dualistic.

Total certainty is non-dual.

Non-duality is possible, only when the other side, any kind of otherness, totally ceases to exist.

When there is no ‘other’, there is no duality.

But where there is thought, there would always be the other side of the coin.

When you are being ‘positive’, then you are looking at one side of the coin, but deep within you know that the other side also exists, and is just waiting to show-up. A little flip, and everything would change, right?

So, thought never gives you total assurance. You remain a bit iffy. Everything remains dicey. You cannot fully relax. You cannot just go to sleep. It always remains important, therefore, to carry your defenses.

With thought, therefore, fear always is there. First of all, fear is there. And second, a continuation of thought is there. When something has not been concluded, it would continue. And with thought, there is never any conclusion, and therefore, an indefinite continuation is there.

You keep thinking. It is like an infinite snakes and ladders game. Just when you think that you are about to reach the conclusion, you land in the mouth of a giant snake, and you are back to square one. And now again you continue with your long, arduous journey. And back again, to the same old point, and then again, a resumption, and then again despair. But all this helps you to while away life.

Thought serves a great purpose, it eats away your time. Otherwise, time will become such a burden.

Thinking, thinking, you continuously think, and you comfortably let days, months, years, decades, slip away.  And then you are so thankful when the death arrives. Otherwise, living eighty years, and that too in awareness, would have been such a pain.

You will have, had to go through the rigors of right action.

Thoughts facilitate an avoidance of right action.

Thought is helpful. Someone comes to you and demands, “Now is the time to climb up the hill, are you ready with your trekking gear?” And you say, “No, I am still thinking.” So, all the effort and the pain, that would have come with climbing the hill, has been successfully avoided. You are still thinking.

Thinking is nice, scaling the heights is arduous.

Have you ever asked yourself – if positive thought is really ‘positive’, then why are there ever any negative thoughts, after a positive thought?

If positive thought is really ‘positive’, it should have ended even the possibility of any future negativity.

But that possibility remains, and vice versa.

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

Watch the session: Does positive thinking work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Freedom from expectations || (2012)

 

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Acharya Prashant: Are we young? Are we really young? To be young means, to be energetic, means to be open. Oscar Wilde had said, youth is lost on the young. Do you understand its meaning? That we only turn young in the body. Either we remain a child throughout life or enter old age directly, bypassing the real youth.

Do I really have to go too far, to enquire why am I living like this! And ‘Why’ still comes later. First, do I know ‘How am I living?’ Why am I doing engineering? Whenever I sit in a class, why do I get bored? Are we able to clearly look at these ways of our day to day living? Am I just dancing to the tunes of the external world in this life? Is there something really mine. One doesn’t need to go and read books to see ‘How am I living?’ One just needs to look at oneself, one’s actions with clarity. You are in the second year, most of you must be thinking about the jobs, whether you will get a good one or not? Always, buffeted by doubts, queries, insecurities, confusions.

Wherever I am, am actually never there -strained between the pulls of the past and the pulls of the future. Let us first look at our life.

When I honestly do this, only then will I realize that life is precious. I am important. And it cannot be wasted away like this. There must be something more to life. But that wholeness, that completeness, which life deserves, that you can give to it only when you first realize the incomplete, the fragmented, the divided, ways in which we are living.

First, become sensitive to your own suffering. Only then there is the possibility to go beyond it and live a rich, full, joyful, energetic life.

We are getting recorded here, and if right now I ask them to record the expressions on your faces and then I show that recording to you. For a moment if you forget that these are your faces, and if I ask you are these faces looking joyful. Then you yourself will say, no, they are rather looking depressed. What has happened to them! What made them like this? These people don’t look like young, energetic youth from any angle. So, first, we have to really understand this state of ours.

But we have become so accustomed to our own misery, that we have no realization, no sensitivity left to ourselves.

My request to you is, become a little more sensitive to yourself. Don’t be so cruel. We are utterly cruel towards ourselves. We do not even know how we are feeling. Given our so-called emotions, are nothing but conditioned reactions.

Become a little more sensitive, become a little more responsive towards yourself! Yes? Would you?

Is there anybody who wants to say something?

Student: It is about expectations. People keep expecting out of us, but no one would ask our expectations from them.

AP: Meghna, These expectations are a part of a trade-off that you have agreed to. These are part of a business transaction that has your approval. This I would rather call as, ‘extracting my pound of flesh.’ You see, we know how people are, we know how society is, we know how we are, we know how the families are.

If we give just a hundred rupees to somebody, we want it back. Right? Or we want some return of some kind. Now, somebody who is spending lakhs and lakhs upon you, you are taking that money from him, right? As adults. And you are not kids, three or four years old.

You are all adults. If you are taking lakhs and lakhs from somebody, rest assured he will extract it back from you. If not in cash, then in kind. Just to maintain a facade of relationship, the fellow may not ask you to return money in cash. But then, it will have to be returned in some way or the other. It will have to be returned in some way or the other. And hence, you are pressurized to follow other’s expectations. Can a man on the road pressurize you?

Students: No.

AP: Can just anybody come and pressurize you? No. Only, the one to whom you have surrendered by way of obligations, only he can pressurize you.

I am very very surprised, in my campus happened to be one of the most prominent institutions in this country. More than half the students were studying on education loan. Not that their parents were beggars, not that they really desperately needed to take a loan. But they had taken a loan because they wanted to remain free. And when I visit colleges of your University, I do not find many students on education loan.

How many of you are on education loan here? One.

Now, is it any wonder that when you are taking lakhs and lakhs and lakhs from a person, that person automatically now gets the right to decide your future. When he is giving you so much doesn’t he now get the right to have a decisive say in the future?

Why are you doing that? All of you are adults, and we all know how much workload is there in the University! There is nothing. Absolutely nothing. But then you would go and beg for pocket money. Why can’t you do some small work, some chores and earn some stuff for yourself, at least for your daily expenditure? And then you claim that we are being pressurized! Others think that we are a slave and want us to follow their expectations.

You are the one who is making yourself a slave.

Nobody can make you a slave without your consent.

You are giving your consent to becoming a slave.

You withdraw your consent and you are free.

But withdrawing that consent would mean moving out of your comfort zone. Would mean that you do not squander away your time away, after college hours. Would mean that you actually go, work and earn something for yourself. Are you prepared?

Freedom does not come free.

Freedom has to be earned.

Are you prepared to earn your freedom?

Freedom from expectations, freedom from obligations!

Are you prepared to earn your freedom?

I do not hear anything from you. You are not at all prepared to earn your freedom. And hence you will remain slaves. You have chosen to remain slaves. Nobody has forced slavery upon you.

The day you decide, the day you see that I am free and I deserve a free life, you will actually be free. But first, let that realization come. Unless that realization comes, nothing can happen.


Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant, with students: Freedom from expectations

 

Do not try to be aware in ‘some’ situations || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Questioner: What does it really mean to be passively aware in day-to-day life? Whenever someone tries to hit me personally, the reaction happens. But the realization that the personality is defending is not instantaneous. So, how to maintain awareness in such instances, when one feels personally attacked?

Acharya Prashant: Aparajita is saying she wants to maintain awareness in instances when she is attacked. And should I read it to mean that you do not want to maintain awareness, in instances, when you are the attacker? If you can get the incompleteness of your question, you will realize why awareness eludes you.

Awareness is in total so you cannot get it in half. You want to remain aware only in moments of crisis. You want awareness to help you out, only when you are attacked. But when you are enjoying all kinds of pleasures, then you do not want awareness, do you?

When pain hits you, then you cry out awareness, awareness. But in your moments of pleasure, you forget all about Ashtavakra, Rumi, and Acharya Ji. You say, ‘Now, we are anyway happy and aim of all spirituality is to give happiness, so why do we now need spiritual help?’

You are wrong, Aparajita.

Spirituality is not about happiness. Spirituality is not about relief from pain. Spirituality, before it ameliorates your pain, does away with your pleasures.

Read more

The real meaning of devoting one’s action to Shri Krishna || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Questioner: Dear Acharya Ji,

As you always mentioned, one must perform his actions, while remaining established in Ram, who is the essence of all actions. Your teachings have given me clarity that selfish motives behind my actions strengthen the ego. Knowing this, I practice paying little attention to my motives. And I try to work to offer everything to divine. This also reminds me of Shri Ramakrishna.

‘As long as we are continuously battling the ego, it is never going to vanish. Stop pedaling this, it will travel some distance and eventually stop.’

~ Shri Ramakrishna Paramhans

Is practice useful?

Is this the practice that Lord Krishna teaching to Arjuna through Karma Yoga?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, practice is useful. And yes, I can without consideration or analysis or any thoughtfulness, say that this is what Krishna is teaching to the Arjun because the Truth is one.

There cannot be a central difference between what Ramakrishna says and what Krishna says. And even at the level of fact, Shri Krishna does recommend to Arjun, the importance of abhyas. And abhyas is practice.

What is the practice that you have taken upon yourself?

Read more

The only solution to Climate Change || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Acharya Prashant: We all know, that the biggest threat facing this planet, mankind, today is catastrophic climate change and there are huge international conferences in which all kinds of diverse measures are discussed and then there is a slew of recommendations. Experts, the so-called most intelligent people on the planet, come together and wreck their brains to come up with solutions.

But nobody ever dares to call out the huge elephant in the room, which is, that the simplest solution to the problem of climate change is the control of human population. You don’t need to do anything fancy to check climate change, limit the number of human beings and Earth’s health will be restored very quickly.

Nothing else is needed, the biggest contributor to climate change, rather the only contributor to climate change is human beings and their consumption, quantity multiplied by consumption per head, and both go together. The very occurence of the quantity is because of a desire to consume, so it is not quantity multiplied by consumption, it is quantity squared, quantity multiplied by itself.

Limit the quantity and everything will be alright, quite simply, quite obviously, but nobody ever talks of this obvious step.

Read more

How to recover from a break-up? || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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Question: I am a person, who is very sensitive and emotional and that’s why I easily gets hurt. It’s been two months, since I have a break-up with a guy and I am just not able to move on. It’s affecting me a lot. I didn’t want this to happen even though, I never expected this from him. It has broken me completely from the inside.

I have lost myself, I have lost my mental peace and I feel so lonely and incomplete without him. And it is even more painful, when I see that guy look some other girl. I still want him in my life although, now I know that it is not possible because he has completely moved on. What should I now do, because it’s harming me and my career and my future?

Acharya Prashant: You are saying it has broken you completely from the inside.

No, you are lying.

Had you been completely broken from inside, then there would have been nobody left inside to experience the hurt.

What you call the inside, is just the ego inside. And the ego is the very magical thing. It becomes stronger, when gets hurt. It is not as if it loses its power, when it gets hurt.

The more you hurt it, the more strength it gathers. So, first of all, please understand that you have a lot inside. A lot that has become only more cemented, more solidify after this episode.  Had you been really empty from inside, who would have received the hurt. The arrow hits you, only when you block the arrow. Right?

Otherwise, it goes past you.

Read more

What I say to you depends upon who you are || Acharya Prashant (2015)

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Questioner: Sir, sometimes you say that we are completely conditioned and sometimes you say that I am much more than my conditioning. Why do you say both of these?

Acharya Prashant: I do not say both of these.

To you, I say only one statement. Which one, depends on who you are.

To Joe, I gave what must be given to Joe. To Jim, I gave what must be given to Jim.

Now why is Joe looking at what Jim has been given? Read more