Question: Why has man labelled things as superior and inferior. Why does this division exist?
Acharya Prashant (AP): This division too can be false, useless or a very relevant division. Usually tasks, activities are divided into superior and inferior based on convention, morality, things that have nothing to do with the facts of living. But there is another way, another criterion on which this division, distinction can be made, which is: “Anything that pushes you deeper in suffering is inferior and anything that brings you out of the daily heaviness and suffering is superior” — That is the only worthy distinction that can be made.
But we don’t do that. We decide on something as superior because everybody has usually taken it to be as superior. There is no sense of intelligent discrimination that we apply to it, Vivek (intelligent discretion) is missing. Read more
When you teach a child that a bird is named ‘bird’,
the child will never see the bird again.
~ J.Krishnamurti ~
Acharya Prashant: Beautiful quotation.
Because naming comes with a total bundle of association, references, memories, past, prejudices. having named something, having tagged or labelled something, you are no more in direct touch with that thing. Now, you are in touch with the name and not the thing. Getting it?
It takes a beauty; beauty that lies in mystical unknowing. Now, you know. We have 4 rabbits here (at AdvaitBodh Sthal), deliberately we have refrained from naming them, one of them carries a name but the other 3 do not have names. And it is beautiful and we often do not know who is who? They are all white, alike.
What else are identities, what else are relationships?
Names. Read more
One never understands it without living it.
It is not just a concept.
One has to pay the price and live that life.
And it is not a fairy tale or a pleasant story when you are paying that price.
Remember, that price is ‘yourself’.
One is battered, and bruised, and the being is full of wounds.
And it is only then you realise that there is a great healing power within you, which holds you together, in spite of all the wounds that you have.
When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for those two insomnias!
And the difference between them
Acharya Prashant: Insomnia is a restlessness. Insomnia is a breaking down of the regular pattern of consciousness. Consciousness exists as the waking state, as the sleeping state, as the dreaming state. Insomnia here refers to a breaking down of the regular patterns of mind, which is a kind of madness. To a mind which thrives on patterns, a breaking down of patterns appears so much like madness.
Question: How can inspiration be so effective that it changes life of a person?
Speaker: Person have no inspiration, they only have ‘expiration’. Do you know what inspiration is? That is “in spirit”, your very core; when it arises from there, only then it can be called an inspiration. In spirit! Are we ever inspired really? No. (Smilingly) We keep expiring. That is why a saint has said that “you die a thousand deaths before you physically die“, because we always expire. Inspiration means when you really know not when you have heard, read or thought about it and it has stopped at that.
The person is made up of the world. He cannot have inspiration. He has nothing actually that can take control of him and comfort him and relax him. He is always at the mercy of the outside buffeted by and in between a thousand forces.
Because a person is asking this question that is why the person is asking, how can inspiration be so much or whether inspiration can be so much? All this is the lexicon, the tongue of the person. In the wiring of the person there are only movements and processes and reaching and doubts so he will firstly ask whether and then he will ask how.
Inspiration is about being totally possessed. Inspiration is about giving your complete command to something that you are not. And when we are talking of completeness, then it cannot happen in doubt. Doubt means hundred percent cannot happen. Doubt means something will be reserved.
Inspiration is not for those who ask for why and how. Inspiration is when you drop all this mental veneer. And allow yourself to roam naked. Inspiration will not tell you what to do in your current circumstances.
Question: My question is about depression. For quite some time I have been observing that the mind is like a sine curve. There are highs and there are lows. But the lows are more frequent and wider than the highs. Why it is so?
Speaker: Lows are lows. The problem arises when the highs are also lows. Then all that you get is only lows. In a sine curve you ought to have lows and highs. Now lows are lows, but it becomes tragic when the highs are also lows. What is sad and depressing is indeed sad and depressing, but what was supposed to be exciting and wonderful, that too turns out to be sad and depressing. Then it is a betrayal of hope. Then it is indeed twice depressing. Read more
Question: I want to get rid of my bad habits. I have tried all the things to get rid of them, but I am still unable to do that. What is the reason?
Speaker: How do you know whether a particular habit is good or bad? How do you decide?
Listener 1: It has been told to us earlier, that what is good and what is bad.
Speaker: You have been told earlier that what is good and what is bad. That is the way we go about deciding everything – what is right, what is wrong, what is fair, what is unfair – on the basis of criteria that has been given to us in advance. That this is good, this is bad.
Question: I have resigned from my current job. At present I have different options from different fields, to pursue as a career. I do not know what to do next. How do I know what is my calling? How do I know that this is really my calling and not just boredom from the present job? How do I know that it is not just the tendency to escape from one thing to the other? How do I know that? Read more
तदा बन्धो यदा चित्तं सक्तं काश्वपि दृष्टिषु।
तदा मोक्षो यदा चित्तम- सक्तं सर्वदृष्टिषु॥
– अष्टावक्र गीता (८- ३)
Translation: There is bondage when mind is attracted towards any of the visible things and liberation is when mind is not attached to anything visible.
Question: It is bondage when the mind is attached to any of the sensory perceptions. It is freedom when the mind is detached from all perceptions. Everything is sensory perception. So what is freedom from sensory perception?
Speaker: When the mind is not divided, then there is a quality about it. Then you call that quality ‘one’. Somebody has said that the sum is greater than the total of the parts, or probably that the total is greater than the sum of the parts. What he has said is that two plus two is five. I want to talk about this extra ‘one’. The sum is greater than the total of the parts. Two plus two is actually five.
If you talk about this extra quality when the mind is undivided, when the mind is total, then this extra ‘one’ comes into being. When you are not divided, then two plus two fetches an extra ‘one’, and this extra ‘one’ is the juice of life. You will not get it in two, you will not get it in another two, but you will get it when there are no two’s left; when there is unity, when the fragmentation has seized. This ‘one’ is the gift. This ‘one’ is grace. But for this ‘one’ to descend, you have to ensure that two is meeting two. When two meets two, then one is given as a complimentary gift. When you are total, then mind experiences that extra-ordinary peace, that extra-ordinary sense of realization and relaxation. Words are a very poor way of communicating it or even hinting towards it.
Impart not esoteric Truth to fools,
Nor on molasses feed an ass.
Do not sow seeds in sandy beds,
Nor waste your oil on cakes of bran.
Speaker: The question is, ‘Why is a compassionate saint speaking such words? They look more like coming from a result oriented mind.’
When you say, ‘Why is a compassionate saint speaking these words?’, who are you referring to? There is a Lal Ded that never took birth and will never die. There is a Lal Ded who is so expansive that space cannot contain her and there is a Lal Ded who surely took birth and who surely die. There is a Lal Ded who is limited in a body, there is a Lal Ded who is living, eating and breathing in achievement and there is nothing left for her to get. And there is a Lal Ded who must move around, go place to place, speak and dance. There is a Lal Ded who is pure silence and there is a Lal Ded who must deal in words. Who are you referring to? Who is the saint? When you say saint, what do you mean? What do you mean? Your query is that why is Lal Ded speaking in a language that looks result oriented?
Question: Sir, is it possible to help those who are deeply blind, even if they do not agree or acknowledge that they are blind? Is it possible to help such people?
Speaker: Alok is asking that is it possible to really help blind people, people who are not prepared to acknowledge the fact, people who are not seeing the reality. Obviously, here he is using ‘blindness’ as a metaphor. Read more
Question: A simple rejection from anybody affects me completely. How to overcome this and what causes this disappointment?
Speaker: Rejection might be simple, but do you keep it simple? Do you allow it to remain simple? Do you know what ‘simple’ means? Simple means, direct. Simple means, it is what it is. I do not add anything to it, I do not distort it, I do not take away anything from it. Rejection is rejection. But for you is it merely rejection? You make it a part of your self-assessment. It all pertains to the question, ‘Who am I?’ When there is no clarity on that question, then that question clamours to be answered. And it gets answered in very confused ways, in very distorted ways. ‘Who am I?’ The one, who will be accepted by others. ‘Who am I?’ One, among the others. Are you getting it? Read more
Question: What is the difference between confidence and over-confidence?
Speaker: It seems that this question is important to many of us here. Right?
Listeners(everyone): Yes, Sir.
Speaker: What is confidence? On a normal day at home, do you require confidence to speak to your parents, to other family members? Before you speak to them, do you gather courage, do you gather confidence and then go there? No, you don’t. So, you don’t require confidence at home. You must be having some friends? When you are speaking to your friends, do you require confidence? No. But you surely require confidence when you are speaking to an interviewer. Then you say, ‘I require confidence’. Correct?
Speaker: How should we get rid of jealousy and anger? By deleting the word, ‘we’ from this. Why could not you ask, “How should ‘I’ get rid of jealousy and anger?”
Listener 1: Yes, Sir.
Speaker: Why this plurality? Why does ‘me’ become ‘we’? That is why the jealousy and anger are there. See ‘M’ and it has been inverted. The letter ‘M’ in ‘Me’ when inverted becomes letter ‘W’ in ‘We’.
And then, the entire life becomes inverted. The absence of ‘I’ is the root of jealousy and anger. This ‘we’, is the cumulative mind, the collective mind, the social mind, the comparative mind that lives in ‘we’, that lives in a tribe. Jealousy cannot be there without ‘the other’.
Jealousy is born out of comparison. Jealousy is born from a mind in which many, many are living. To say that there are many, means that they are different entities. And to say that there are different entities, means you have already compared them. Can you say that ‘X’ is different from ‘Y’ without comparing ‘X’ and ‘Y’? ‘We’ means that different entities are present. And whenever there are different things, there would definitely be comparison and hence, jealousy. Read more
Question: Sir, good afternoon. While I speak before you, I will try to choose my words very gracefully. Sir, I have many things in my life that keep me happy but it is life and we are not supposed to have everything. I have lacked something in my life that I can say as self motivation. How do I get self motivated?
Speaker: What you are really asking for is not motivation. So first of all let us make a little bit of semantic correction. Read more
Question: What is the place of knowledge in life?
Speaker: Is knowledge all about gathering information? is knowledge about what others have said, what is written in the books? Who is a knowledgeable person? There are two separate words and both should be understood very clearly.
One is, ‘Knowledge’ and the other is ‘Knowing’. Knowledge is just information provided in a comprehensible form. It comes from outside and just gets stored in the brain. All knowledge comes from others and all knowledge comes from the past whereas, knowing happens right now. What is happening with you right now, is knowing. Knowing is understanding.
Listener: Sir, I could not understand the motive of not setting a goal in my life. If I do not have an aim or goal in my life, I do not think that there is a reason or spark in my life. If I have my goals, I will put all my energy to get them. If I won’t have any, I would go through different phases, and my energy would be dissipated in different ways.
Speaker: What goals did you have when you were 3 or 4 years old?
Listener: Anything like may be getting a chocolate.
Speaker: Why did you not stay firm on that goal?
Listener: Sir, because I got it.
Speaker: So, the chocolate was achieved, yet the goal remained. Anything beyond the chocolate, that remained, constantly.
Questioner: Isn’t there something called an individual business effort, not conditioned by others? Is it not possible that a business or entrepreneurship effort could be free of society and based on one’s own mind? We are all students of social entrepreneurship.
Speaker: Is there something called business untouched by society? The real estate business, or pharmaceutical business, or the business of selling shoes or software — if one enters into these, with the ambition of success, then it is already a social phenomenon. Real estate is not significant. What is significant is that the individual is entering with a view to earn success. Remain with that: from where does your motion of success and failure come? If somebody wants to prove himself, don’t you see the mental game of success in his desire?
Speaker: Ignorance is the freedom of Truth. The Source obviously is free. When it is said that it is free, it means it is free to express itself and free to not to express, and there can be no speculation or determination of its nature by the mind; causeless freedom and causeless cessation of freedom, at least apparent cessation of freedom; free in all aspects, all dimensions. It is very easy for us to believe when it is said that the ultimate is merciful, all powerful, illuminated, remover of suffering, good, virtuous, and that is the way it has been conceived in religion and in man’s mind, that the ultimate is the wonderful entity. But rarely do we want to see that the real, the ultimate is also free to be nasty, to be mean, to be absolutely merciless, to be very non-virtuous, and to be the Satan itself.
Question: In one of our sessions we came across words, ‘seriousness’ and immersion’. Sir, there we only came to know about their surface meanings. There was no light thrown on there exact detailed meanings. What is the basic difference between them? Which one is more advantageous to inculcate and how can we enhance it?
Speaker: See, words by themselves are nothing but when we are saying that we need to differentiate ‘seriousness’ and ‘immersion’, what we are saying is that these are two distinct states of mind and we must understand what they are. Names are not important, what I will be calling as seriousness, you can call it something else. What is important is to understand that this is a state of mind. You can give any label to it. Seriousness in some senses can be a beautiful word as well. Jiddu Krishnamurti would always say ‘Be serious’.