When there are no questions to ask the Teacher || Acharya Prashant (2019)

When there are no questions to ask the Teacher

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Question: Dear Acharya ji, Pranaam! I know that the online sessions are interactive. A question needs to be asked, and the question will be addressed by you. Acharya ji, sometimes I desperately search for a question to ask, may be just so that I may participate, and my presence is acknowledged, but nothing comes to mind.

At other times, I feel the need to say something, but then it is all garbled in the mind. No clear thoughts emerge. It’s like a dumb person, who is trying to speak, but can’t say something. Am I not able to express myself clearly? Is something holding me back?

Sometimes these thoughts come to mind, especially when we are urged to ask questions in the sessions. So I thought I will put it out to you, to bring it to light. Thank you for your love and guidance, and infinite patience with all of us.

In deep gratitude, Nimisha, from Mumbai.

Acharya Prashant ji: Nimisha, there are many aspects to this, you see. First thing, 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.

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. 

It could be anybody’s question. You may feel that you don’t have this doubt, but still the answer will be greatly beneficial to you, because all doubts are one. It is not proper to say that half your doubts are clear. If your doubts are really clear, no doubt would remain. You cannot say that your doubts belong to another area.

One person’s doubt, is another person’s doubt. One query, is everybody’s query. And if you say that a particular query is not yours, you are actually making a very tall claim. You are saying de-facto, that all your queries have been resolved.

Do you get what I am saying?

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.

And second thing is, one has to figure out why the questions are not arising. I said that the first thing is, it is not necessary to ask questions. You may just as well listen, benefit would follow. Now I am saying, it is equally important to ask why questions are not arising.

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.

If everything appears resolved, in place, in order, squared, fair enough, explained, then there would be no questions. Now, you see, why, it may portend a danger, if one doesn’t have questions? If you don’t have a question, it may mean, that you are not really striking against your boundaries. It may mean, that you are living for too long, or too comfortably, within your confined world.

And within that confined world, everything is orderly. Within that confined world, everything stands explained, structured, resolved, refined, sorted out. And because everything sands explained, refined, sorted out, therefore there is no query at all. Now, I said, that portends danger. You know very well, why?

Because that means that you are not hitting hard enough against your boundaries. It might mean that it is quite comfortable within the boundaries. So instinctively, you are not feeling like cracking the boundaries open.

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.

The kid says, “Mumma, what is that?” No. But for the kid to raise a question, the kid has to be taken on a tour. If you are not taking the kid out on a tour, it should not surprise you that the kid has no questions to ask.

So, Nimisha, you need to take the kid out. Probably, you are being over-protective of the kid, that is you. Or you are keeping the kid too busy in homework, you know for the sake of progress or something. The kid needs to encounter something abnormal, something beyond it’s concepts. Something that it has not seen or experienced. And the whole world is full of such things.

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? 

And if everything is happening as per expectation, even expectations are being broken, as per expectations, then it means that life is just too structured, predictable, probably boring as well.

Get into new activities. Challenge your limits. Wear different caps, play different games. Test that which you might have taken for granted.

And then you will flood the session with questions!

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

Watch the session:  When there are no questions to ask the Teacher || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Acharya Prashant: How to really listen to the Guru?

Question: In one video, you said that to listen to Krishna, you need to be Arjuna. To Listen to Ashtavakra also you need to be Janak.

To listen to you, what should the person be?

Acharya Prashant: The person should not be insistent on being the ‘person.’ That begins with not seeing the speaker as a person and not imagining the listener to be the person. If here a person is speaking sitting on this chair, then surely there is another person sitting on another chair who is listening. Now, listening cannot really happen. Because persons cannot really relate to each other.

A person is a limitation.

Limitations can associate with each other. But limitations cannot relate to become limitless.

You take one limitation and you associate it with another one, you do not get limitlessness. What you get is another limitation.

One person listening to another person will not listen to the Truth. He will come to some opinion, some conclusion, something of the mind or attitude. But he won’t come upon Truth or silence.

To listen to me you need to forget all about yourselves. And you need to forget that what you are listening to is a person’s personal viewpoints.

If you will insist on saying that what is coming to you is somebody’s personal opinion, then no person ever has the obligation to be non-resistant to another person’s opinions. Opinions by definition are meant to be analyzed, judged, dissected, then partially accepted or rejected.

You will have to see that that which speaks from this chair is the same that listens from that chair, or listening simply doesn’t happen.

Till the time there is A speaking to B, listening cannot happen.

Only Truth listens to the Truth.

Only that within you can listen to me which speaks from within me. And they are one. Which means that there has to be a certain unity between the ‘listener’ and the ‘speaker.’ I said,

to listen to Krishna you need to be Arjuna. But it’s not really Arjuna who listens to Krishna. It’s Krishna within Arjuna that listens to Krishna. No Arjuna can ever know Krishna. Even to look at Krishna, Arjuna requires eyes that are bestowed upon him by Krishna.

You’ll have to give your listening a total chance, a total freedom. And that is a very impersonal freedom. You’ll have to simply drop giving importance to all that is personal about the speaker.

Read more

Acharya Prashant: Is liberation possible for a householder?

(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here)

Acharya Prashant: Pradeep Ji is asking, “Dear Acharya Ji, I don’t know what kind of wound I am carrying inside me, that I am having a constant feeling of ‘leave me alone’, towards the world. From morning till evening, I am running like crazy, driving to office in mad traffic, followed by corporate pressure to do things unwillingly. Bearing stupidities of people around.

I get out of the office as if I came out of a madhouse, tired and frustrated, and it’s already night. I eat and sleep. And the roller-coaster starts again. But since I need to run this crazy race, I feel that my blood is sucked by parasites, and there is a wound, a cry from inside, that I am carrying.

I cannot get rid of this wound. I want to jump off this train, but I can’t, because of these responsibilities. I feel I am a dead machine, thrown on an assembly line, or the other things inside me, drilling holes, hammering, and finally thrown out.

I can’t leave the family, as they are dependent on me. And I am too in, some or the other way, dependent.

Acharya Ji, in such a situation, what should I do?

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Pradeep Ji, the way of instantaneous freedom, instantaneous departure, is not for the householder.

The ‘Law of Karma’, and the result of Karma, ‘The fruit of actions’, always holds good. Cannot be violated. One is held to the past, by a thousand actions, memories, and the pending fruits.

Immediate and quick liberation is then possible only through total psychic departure.

A kind of a Spiritual death. That is often unlikely. Keep working, you will have to go step by step.

Read more

Life is not that tragic

The mind is like that. It has no independent existence of its own. It lives only in relation. Only in comparison. If it cannot relate something to the past it will not be able to make any sense of it.

It derives its very existence from a relationship with knowledge. The thing must already be there in the mind by way of knowledge for it to make any sense to you. So that’s all the mind can do.

Life is not that tragic. The new is there, every moment is new. We are leaving continuously in the new but the faculty that will know the new is not the conditioned.

The only way to come close to the happening is by way of direct approach. Comparison is indirect approach and you have the capability to approach rife directly.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Why does the mind compare everything with the past?

Acharya Prashant: Why does the mind compare everything with the past?

Listener: Why does my mind compare everything with the past?

Acharya Prashant: What else can it do? Do you want to think without having a benchmark? That’s impossible.

The mind is like a ‘businessman.’ It weighs everything. And have you seen weighing scale? It always has two parts that are weighed against each other. Have you ever seen a weighing scale that does not compare? That does not have a standard or a benchmark?

The mind is like that. It has no independent existence of its own. It lives only in relation. Only in comparison. If it cannot relate something to the past it will not be able to make any sense of it.

Assume I utter word right now that you cannot relate to your past, will your mind make any sense out of that word? If you have never heard that word before. Would that word be meaningful in the language of the mind? Yes? So, that is the all mind can do. Compare.

It derives its very existence from a relationship with knowledge. The thing must already be there in the mind by way of knowledge for it to make any sense to you. So that’s all the mind can do.

If it says something is good it is because it has been made to believe in the past that such are the benchmarks of ‘goodness.’ If it says something is moral or ethical then it is because it is made to believe that such are the standards of ethics otherwise it hardly knows anything.

So if your question is why does my mind compare anything and everything with the past? Then the answer is because that’s the only thing it can do nothing else is possible for the mind.

The question now needs to be broadened. The question must now be – “Do I need to know everything by way of comparison?” Alright!  the conditioned mind will only know something by comparing it. Right? The conditioned mind will only know something by comparing it. But will I also know everything by comparing it?  Is that an obligation upon me as well? No, that’s not really an obligation upon you. That is an obligation upon the conditioned part of the cells. But not really upon you. If that is an obligation upon you then, Life will become very terrible. Because it would imply that there is no possibility of any ‘newness.’ Only that will come to me that has a relation to the past. So, nothing new then can come to me. That is a terrible thing to happen.

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Understanding is freedom from thought.

Wisdom is not a thought.

Wisdom is to see the limit of thought.

Wisdom is to not to place needless trust upon thought.

Thought is a problem-solving mechanism. And if the problem is still continuing, how can there be understanding.

Understanding is freedom from thought.

Sure, the mind has the capability to think just as the mouth has the capability to eat. Will you keep eating? There are other organs of the body that have other capabilities. Will you keep walking? Will you keep mating?



Read the complete article: Does wisdom arise from thoughts?

Does wisdom arise from thoughts?

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Question: Acharya Ji, is wisdom a thought?

Acharya Prashant:

Wisdom is not a thought.

Wisdom is to see the limit of thought.

Wisdom is to not to place needless trust upon thought.

Thought is a problem-solving mechanism. And if the problem is still continuing, how can there be understanding.

Understanding is freedom from thought.

Sure, the mind has the capability to think just as the mouth has the capability to eat. Will you keep eating? There are other organs of the body that have other capabilities. Will you keep walking? Will you keep mating?

Read more

Every mask brings more and more suffering

What do you think, your personal life is undivided? No. Are you not one person in front of father and mother, and another person in front of friends? Don’t you wear one mask in front of your boyfriend and girlfriend and another mask in front of relatives? Is that not so? Is that distinction only between personal and professional life?

No. We are divided and divided and divided and there is no end to division.

In the office, you are claiming as if professional life is one. Are you not a different person in front of the boss, and a different person in front of the guard who sits in front of the office? Are you the same in front of all your colleagues? No, we are divided. We only live in masks. Situations change and our masks change. And every mask brings more and more suffering, more and more load within.

Don’t be divided. Remain one, authentic and Real. Why do you need to show a false face? Why do you need to hide yourself? Why are you so afraid? Why do you become a different man the moment you receive a call from your mother? This moment you are sitting here and some of you are so deeply immersed, but if your phone starts ringing, the expression on your face will completely change. And your expression on your face will be one expression if mother calls and another expression if the wife calls. All these expressions are just masks. None of them are real. They are your various false personalities. And each of these personalities is taking its toll.

If you are unhappy, if you find yourself bored, if you can pay attention, the reason is only this. You are what you are. Don’t give it a name. Don’t label it. Don’t define yourself according to a situation. Don’t define yourself according to relationships. Don’t define yourself according to your gender, or date of birth, or age, or educational qualification. Whenever you will do all that, you’ll find you are under the obligation to keep on switching faces. And that is such a burden.



Read the complete article: How to balance personal and professional life?

How to balance personal and professional life?

BFB1Acharya Prashant: Opal is asking, “What is more important, personal life or professional life? We are often split between these two. “

Opal, life is indivisible. Life does not have two parts or twenty parts. Life is one. Machines have parts. Life has no parts. Just as you are one. Are you many? No, you are one. You try to become many. But, in spite of all your efforts, fundamentally you are one. Life too is one.

This distinction between personal life and professional life is a very artificial distinction. It’s a very stupid separation created by people who have no understanding. Anybody who has ever told you that personal life and professional life are separate and must be kept separate does not know life. Forget about professional life or personal life, he does not know life itself.

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You don’t pay attention, things remain special

Practice is just remembrance. Practice is just attention. If you are attentive, then it is always there. It is not there, only when the mind is elsewhere. Even right now as I am speaking to you, what is happening, is practice. The depth of your listening right now will determine, how much more can you listen. Just like, when a man practices to run, the more he practices, the more he can run.

Similarly, the more is your attention right now, the more you will be able to listen, understand. And then, listening and understanding, become such a state that they do you remain special anymore. Then you are not asking for them.

You don’t pay attention, things remain special. Then there is the need to form an image, to chase something, to question, to desire.



Read the complete article: When you enquire into the Truth, the Truth is what makes you enquire

When you enquire into the Truth, the Truth is what makes you enquire

21762214_1227353527370622_921021697824714700_nQuestion: This word practice was quite striking for me because in the last session that happened before we left for the camp when Devesh Ji asked you that what to do when the world calls. You answered saying that why don’t you talk about that cause. Then when we talked about Ramakrishna he also said that if you talk about the free, you are free and in the same way Ramana Maharshi again said that it is also a practice that we can keep on talking more about all this.  So, its a kind of practice that you have formed.

There are two things that we have mostly discussed is, we need to be in close contact with what we are. We call it by the name observation. And the other thing is its also a practice of doing all this, that has been mentioned here.

How can we be in a constant touch with what is happening (Observing) and still do not make a practice out of it? How can these two things happen simultaneously?

Acharya Prashant: Why do you need to practice? Is it not happening right now? It is like a man asking, “How to ask?”

It is like saying that one wants to learn to breathe. Had he not been breathing, could he have asked this question?

Practice is always happening. This is what is happening, is practice. When you remember practice – that is practice. The moment when you ask, “How to practice?”, the question is redundant, because ‘practice’ is already going on. The question of practice is relevant, only when you forget that question. Read more

Real change, lets the changing one himself dissolve

We have so much trust in our imagination. If you really are able to observe yourself, you must be surely coming to a point where you are fed up with a few things. If you are fed up with yourself, then you must stop trusting yourself with change. Because if you change, you will change only in ways and directions determined by you. And they are no good. They will keep you confined within yourself.

Letting change happen is a totally different thing compared to ‘changing’. All of us want change, right? There is nobody who is contented. But the issue is, we want change directed by, guided by, ourselves. We want to change as per our own wish. Don’t we. And if you are changing as per your own wish, what has changed? ‘The wish’ is still the master. Has the wish changed?

Real change, lets the changing one himself dissolve. Otherwise, the change would be peripheral. A few things will change, clothes will change, and behavior will change. But the core of your conditioning would remain same. I am pretty sure, you haven’t assembled here this morning, just to have cosmetic change. That we anyway keep having. We change clothes every day. Don’t we? We flip TV channels every day. Even relationships keep changing. So, surely, that cannot be the objective of genuine inquiry.



Read the complete Article: Fear of one’s inner wildness

Fear of one’s inner wildness

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Acharya Prashant: The question is, “If I stay wild in the society, there would be repercussions; what to do?”

Who is thinking this? From where is this thought arising? Is this a thought coming from the unconditioned mind or is it the teaching of the society that is talking? You see, one fundamental thing about the mind must be understood. One state of mind can never know another state. It can imagine but never know. Being what we are, we try to imagine and project how would it be when we would change.

Suppose I am a constrained one. I am someone who has lived in boundations, restrains, limits, all his life. Now, who am I? I am the one who is conditioned to think in a limited way. Right? That’s what I am. And all of my thoughts are coming from the same source that gave me my limitations. So, that’s who I am.

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What are you looking for?

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Question: If I am honest, all the time I am looking for something, I don’t know why, or what. And I don’t feel good with that feeling, because all the time we are looking for outside. And I don’t know what I want to do or what I want? If you ask me that, I don’t have any idea. I don’t know what I am looking for. I want to be in peace only.

Acharya Prashant: You see, the question that we normally consider is – “What am I looking for?” In this question, the assumption is that there surely is something that I am looking for, that there exists something that I am looking for; the belief that something out there exists that I really want and that will really satisfy my thirst, my desire. So, the assumed challenge is to figure out what am I looking for.

But we never consider the question, whether I am looking for something?

We ask, “What do I want?” We do not ask, “Whether I want anything.” Do I really want it? Read more

Feel grateful when your confusions get exposed

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Question: It has been a long time that I have been listening to you and I have been engaged with a lot of words and everything. And so many words and so many misunderstandings have come and gone but still, the restlessness remains; but still, the will to consume remains. Like I am sitting here right now, it is of great disturbance to me that I am thinking that I want to eat a burger.

Acharya Prashant: Is this the first time that you have wanted to eat a burger? Read more

Had you had no false teachers, you would require no teacher today

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Question: Sir, I have come here for the first time and I want to know you better and that is why I want to ask, why do you teach?

Acharya Prashant: Why do you listen? Read more

Immortality is not a stretch in time; immortality is a depth in the moment

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Question: Is it real that human beings can live forever?

Acharya Prashant: It depends on what you think of human beings. If you think that they are born, then they will die.

L1: I mean the human body.

AP: The body never dies!

L1: The body never dies?

AP: Never dies. What do you mean by the death of something? What do you think? This(pointing towards his hand) was ever not there?  This is stardust. This was always there and will continue to be, long after you and me are gone. Read more

An accidental seeker and a true seeker

That is the distinction between an accidental seeker and a true seeker: an accidental seeker can be made to listen through a foreign influence.

It is the influence of this beautiful environment, my presence that you might be listening right now. But would you be listening after I am gone?

The true seeker listens under all conditions because his seeking is his own. The accidental seeker listens only when

The accidental seeker listens only when made to listen. Only when the situations are

Only when the situations are favourable. As long as the situation are favourable, you look towards me, you try to look towards the truth and whenever the situations offer you a little slack, then you run away. Then you do all kinds of things that you cannot do in front of me.


To read the complete article:

On Ishavasya Upanishad: There is nothing called spiritual knowledge

Mantra, Maun, Listening and Awareness

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Question: Sir, if I try to ensure to be aware of what is going on right now, it just takes me away from listening to you. Is there a fundamental mistake that I am making in understanding it?

Acharya Prashant: Not really a great mistake but still unless one reaches the last point one has not reached. There is something called mantra and then there is maun.

The thought of awareness is mantra but that is not awareness. It is still not awareness. Awareness is silence. You cannot think of awareness but you can think of stuff that takes care of rest of your thoughts. Such beautiful thoughts are the adages, the mantra, the verses, aphorisms, the words of the great Teachers. Those words by themselves are not awareness but they are the penultimate steps. They are very close to the final, to the ultimate. Read more

On Jesus Christ: What is woman? What is Adultery? What is sin?

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You have heard it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’

But I say to you that anyone who even looks at a woman with a lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in her heart.

So, if your eye — even your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

And, if your hand — even your stronger hand — causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.

For it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  

Jesus
~ Sermon on the Mount ~ Read more