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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Absence of action

Attentiveness is not a separate activity in itself. You do not do attentiveness.

Attentiveness is not something to be done. If you are doing something that becomes another ‘action.’

Attention is the complete ‘absence of action.’

You are free, to see what is happening. Just see, not do anything. This seeing not doing. Don’t burden yourself with it.

Knowing is ‘just’ knowing, It is not any separate activity.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Is witnessing a hindrance to living?


 

Acharya Prashant: Is witnessing a hindrance to living?

Question: Kabir is saying ‘attentive at a time.’ I can either be gossiping with my friend or watching that I am gossiping. How is it possible to be attentive and watch all the impossible to be doing both, right?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, it is a bit difficult because we have been in practice of inattention since very long.

Attentiveness is not a separate activity in itself.

You do not do attentiveness.

This question is would I be doing one thing and also doing attentiveness simultaneously.

Attentiveness is not something to be done.

If you are doing something that becomes another ‘action.’

 

Attention is the complete ‘absence of action.’

Attention is not doing another thing that I am already doing five things and I started getting another six things and that six thing is attention. If that is attention that will add further to the chaos. If that is what we understand by attention then this kind of attention will act further to the chaos. You see my mind is already divided in doing this thing, that thing, and that thing. And there is the fourth string that sums-up by the name of attention. And then, of course, we are already so busy and then we add attention to work to do list. There is a lot to do throughout the day and there is one more thing, ‘attention.’ So, chaos can only magnify from that. Am I right?

Do you understand this?

Read more

Surrender happens as a result of right living.

Surrender is not something that you do. Surrender is something that happens as a result of right living. You cannot drink six days of the week and on the seventh day surrender your drunkenness. Your drunkenness is exactly the same stuff that you have yourself willingly acquired over the six days. Now, how will you surrender it? In fact surrendering it means nothing. Real surrender means that you change those six days.

When you change those six days, then on the seventh day as well as on those on the past six days, you find yourself a different one. How do you change those six days? First of all, there has to be a strong enough reason to change. The only reason can be your own imperiled condition.

If everything is alright, then is there a reason to change it? There is no reason. You have to first look at the way you are living, the way you are relating, the way you are earning, eating, sleeping, and then see what it is doing to you. You have to be very sensitive towards yourself. And then, that which is not needed, that you are unnecessarily carrying gets dropped. This dropping, this spontaneous dropping is called surrender. You do not do it. It is spontaneous. It is a result of honest observation.



Read the complete article:  Can one Truth be bigger than another?

What kind of education will help one know herself?

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Question: Our education system is not that sufficient in…. this is my question, what kind of education should be added in our education system that we know ourselves?

Acharya Prashant: Wonderful. What’s your name?

L: Gaurav

AP: Now, Gaurav wants to take it a step ahead. He is saying, “If that is not sufficient, if the existing education system is not sufficient then what else can be done?”

Gaurav, we are talking of self-education, the need to first and foremost, know the knower. We are saying that before you say that the pendulum corresponds to 2Л√L/G, you must ask who is watching the pendulum. The fellow watching the pendulum is as important as a pendulum, if not more. Right? So, we want to know ourselves, how do we proceed?

Read more

Can one Truth be bigger than another?

SR Generic_ English

Question: Is this something like one truth is bigger than another truth? Like, if I want to pursue a path, right. But if I pursue that then there are chances that I might be losing some important aspect of my life. And that is also a truth. So which truth should I follow and should I listen to?

AP: How many truths do you know of?

L: As of now I’m talking of these two truths.

AP: What if two or four more come?

L: They may.

AP: So how many are possible?

L: I don’t know.

AP: Is it possible that something is Truth and something separate from it is also Truth? If there is Truth then everything apart from it is bound to be?

Listeners: False.

Read more

The Truth is only for those, who really really are qualified for it.

The scriptures are very clear on this. The Truth is only for those, who really really are qualified for it. And if you are not qualified for it, you must not get it even if you beg for it.

That is why such rigorous conditions have been put. You go and you first clear this test, you prove your worth in this criteria, you do this, you do that, you spend years first becoming capable of receiving the Truth. And only then the Guru will initiate you. Otherwise, the Guru will keep turning you away, go back

you don’t deserve the Truth yet. Similarly, there are so many people who just don’t deserve even facts, you are not morality bound to keep serving what they aren’t even looking for.

You give Truth to someone who is not looking for Truth, he will slaughter you. You give facts to someone who is not looking for facts he’ll call you are a liar. That doesn’t mean you have to have an instinct for self-preservation. That only means that you’ll be taking the fun out of the game.



Read the complete article: Answer the questioner, not the question

 

Answer the questioner, not the question

SR Generic_ English

Question: In daily routine life, sometimes we say we should speak the truth, and truth only, and avoid speaking lies. But once you are speaking the Truth, you are more relaxed and you don’t have to think every time what the lie was. So, should we speak the truth all the time?

Acharya Prashant: No No, see, first of all, what you are calling truth is just facts. You are asking whether you should be stating facts to someone all the time.

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Pleasure is a forced concept

Question:  Both pain and pleasures are unreal. But why is pain more sought after than pleasure?

Acharya Prashant: Because pain gives the hope of pleasure, because pleasure is always a hope. And that hope is called pain.

You see, can you feel pain except in comparison with an imagined pleasure? You say that you are deficient in something. How do you know that you are deficient? How do you know that you are deficient except with an imagined fullness?

You have two units of a resource. You say, you know what, it is so less. How do you know it is less? Only by comparison of time with an imagined state in which you have ten units. That ten units you defined as pleasure. These two units, you defined as pain. Both of these have been put as quantities by the mind.  To go to ten units is to prepare to feel bad when you come down to two. To be at two is to keep crying till you have ten.

When you are at ten, you are shivering in apprehension that you may now fall to two. Look at the conditions of those who have the riches. They are so eager about protecting them. The fear that this may go away keeps assaulting them. So their hope lies in securing them what they already have.

And look at those who have two. Their desperation lies in having only two and then they live in ambition, the ambition of one day reaching up to ten. Ten does not give them security. Ten only gives them the additional responsibility of securing the ten that they have now got. They fully well know that time can take away this ten.  This ten does not belong to them. This ten is just accidental. Something may snatch it away. So even if you have ten, you still cannot have pleasure. Whereas, when you were at two, you said that ten will give me pleasure. Having come to ten, you find that ten cannot give you pleasure because the ten is temporary. Now what do you want to do? You want to secure ten. And no security is ever be permanent. You know that.

You very well know that all your attempts to secure something will fail. You cannot secure even your own body. How will you secure your riches? You do not know even whether the next breath would be there, How do you know whether the next moment all your stuff in the bank would be there?

That is why you keep still shivering. Both pain and pleasure are pain. Both pain and pleasure are suffering. It is not as if spirituality is about moving away from pain. Spirituality is about moving away from both pain and pleasure. And having returned to your innate fullness is the point of joy. That point where pain and pleasures are just visitors – they come, they go, I live in my house. The house is named joy.

L: So, pleasure is actually a concept.

AP: Of course!

L: It is not a reality.

AP: No, not at all.

L: It is a forced concept.

AP: Of course! Pleasure is a forced concept.

You know what! One of the biggest instruments of pleasure — you will be surprised to know this — even sex is just a concept.

All those things that you associate with pleasure, with pain, with hurt are all concepts that we have been indoctrinated into. Remove those concepts and then show me where is pleasure and where is pain? Then there is just life. Just life! Simple, total and joyful.



Read Complete Article: What is meant by living totally?

What is meant by living totally?

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Acharya Prashant: The question is that both of these statements appear to be imperative.

First, “Whatever you do, do it totally.”

Second, “Whatever you do, you remain unaffected by the doing.”

How are these two to be put together? Is there a contradiction? If yes, how is to be reconciled? What is meant by doing something totally?

We need to go into this to understand this.

Usually, when we say that something is to be done totally, we equate that with an expanse in time, an expanse in energy, instead of investing five units of resources in it, I invested fifty units of resources because I wanted to do it totally. Instead of going one mile, I went all the way for ten miles because I wanted to do it totally. So we equate this total-ness with a stretch, with an expanse. In other words, what we say is “doing something totally” means going as far as our desire, our motivation wants us to go, right?

Read more

It is simpler to know Upanishads than to know your thumb

Spirituality is no abstract subject. When it is said that it comes from something that you can never know, from where the words of the Upanishads came, from where all the divine revelations came, you interpret it as meaning that they must be coming from a very esoteric source, some really deeply hidden source. Yes? Is that not the interpretation? But allow me to open it up a little more for you-if it is not already opened to the maximum. It is said that the Upanishads come from a source that you cannot know, because the Upanishads really come from nowhere.

For something to come from anywhere, the source must be at a distance from you. The source must be at least a little inaccessible, a little away, requiring a little effort to reach. But when, the happening is so obvious, then you cannot say that it has come from anywhere. The Upanishads come from nowhere, meaning-what the Upanishads are saying is just obvious, is just so simple. So what to say from where they come? They are like the palm of your hand. It is simpler to know Upanishads than to know your thumb, your nails, the back of your hand.

If you can pay attention to your slippers, I assure you that they will reveal to you, the scriptures.



Read the complete article: Living in facts versus living in thoughts

Living in facts versus living in thoughts

Presentatio2

Acharya Prashant: Want to begin this morning by talking of living in facts versus living in thoughts.

Is not, the whole system, the being, personality, even the face, very different when you are there connected to the fact? You visit a shopping mall. Have you observed our behavior when we are there? Have you observed the expression on the face; the whole drive, the whole energy? You want it. Now you are not looking lost, wondering, assuming. Have you ever seen somebody maintaining a safe distance from the goods while standing in a shopping mall? Read more

If you are the one who is doing the Karma, you would always be the one who would worry about the results of Karma.

Anyone who says that Krishna has said that, act and don’t think of the results, don’t worry about the results, does not understand Krishna. He is saying, “Let action happen, Karm hone do tum karta mat bano. Let action happen, you don’t become the doer, let the doing take place.”

Not pushing things, not blocking things. Letting existence flow. Neither am I trying to make things happen, nor am I trying to stop things from happening. There is a particular symphony, a particular arrangement, a universal order, it will take its own course.
Gita is talking of effortless action. Action is happening, there is no one who is making a mental effort. That’s the message of Krishna.
If you are the one who is doing the Karma, you would always be the one who would worry about the results of Karma. Freedom from the results of Karma is possible only when you do not become the Karta(doer), only when you know that this is happening through me, not by me.
Krishna is saying, “Let the game play you, you don’t play the game. Let the game play you, the game very well knows how to play you.” There is a universal order, the game knows how to play you. If the game could give birth to you, if the game could give sunlight and fresh air to you, if the game could make you breathe and digest and grow, then the game surely knows how to play you, you don’t need to worry and be tensed, you don’t need to think about the future.
Be absorbed within, stay centered and let the happening happen.
The simpler word is let it. Let it, don’t block it, don’t push it, you get out of your way, that’s​ how Zen puts it. Get out of your own way, you will flow, life will flow, you are the one who is blocking the flow. Get out of your own way and that is what Krishna is also saying the same thing that Zen says.

Read the complete article: Let action happen, you don’t become the actor

Let action happen, you don’t become the actor

 

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Question: Sir, it is written in Bhagwad Gita and is often quoted by wise “Karam kro, fal ki chinta mat karo” (Act and don’t think about the result.), so my question is that in this contemporary world, is it really possible for any one of us to do our jobs without expecting any result?

Acharya Prashant: So, first of all what you have quoted is not at all correct. Anyone who says that Krishna, what’s your name?

Listener: Mayank.

AP: Mayank, sit. Anyone who says that Krishna has said that, act and don’t think of the results, don’t worry about the results, does not understand Krishna. Krishna is not saying Karm karo (Do the action). He is not at all saying, ‘act’. He is saying, “let action happen”. He is saying, “Let action happen, Karm hone do tum karta mat bano. Let action happen you don’t become the doer, let the doing take place.” Read more

Our moodiness is just our deep dependency, deep slavery.

Our moodiness is just our deep dependency, deep slavery. But there is another way of living. Want to know of that? That is, when whatever is happening, is happening only on the surface. Deep within myself, I find a point that no external situation can touch. A very deep, silent and composed point.

So you tell me a joke, I laugh. I laugh but that point within me will remain untouched. A very sad event has taken place, I will cry. I will cry but that point in me will not cry. That will remain stable, uninvolved, a non – participant. Then it is alright. If you can have that point within you which — in no situation, no happening, no voice, no sight — nothing can touch, then it is alright.

I am running very hard, the situation demands that I run very hard. But that point remains still stable. I am not nervous. There is a great danger. Let’s say, a great physical danger. I am doing everything I can in the face of that danger but still that point within me is not afraid, not at all afraid. Then you are not a slave. Then you are really free. Whatever happens, happens on surface. My core is untouched. That core remaining untouched, is the freedom of life.

What is moodiness?

AP2

Archarya Prashant: He is asking, “Is being moody good or not?”

Sit Sumit. But, what are these moods? Do you know what these moods are?
You take water in a saucer, in a saucer, a plate and the water is lying still but if you keep the saucer under this fan, what will happen to the surface of the water? What will happen?

Listener: Vibrations.

AP: Yes, there will be ripples which you calling as vibrations. Some kind of wave formation. Right?

This is what we call as moods – External event disturbing my inner peace. An outside event is dominating my mind. It is creating ripples. Now, is the water not becoming a slave of the external situation? Tell me.

Is it not better for the water to say, “My mood will be under my control. My control. I will not allow others situations to affect me.” But that is not our story. Read more

How to relate better to one’s wife?

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Question: If there is a fight going on with my wife, and she gets angry, and I too get angry. Won’t that create more friction?

Acharya Prashant: You know what, you don’t get angry when fighting with your spouse, because you assume that she is not as strong as you. Do you see that? You say, “She is the weak one, so let her be angry. I am the more responsible one, so it is upon me to not to get angry.” Is that not what the assumption is? Now see what is actually happening. You are assuming her to be weak and she is controlling you. So, who are you? Weaker than the weak. Do you see this? Read more

How to know the subconscious mind?

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Acharya Prashant: What is it that is lying hidden but waiting to come out?

Listener: Subconscious.

AP: And what is there?

L: That which is not in conscious.

AP: (Smiles) and are they two related?

L: Yes.

AP: So, the conscious is talking of the subconscious, at least that much relation is there. What does the conscious mind know of the subconscious?

L: Unpredictability, only the feelings and characters.

AP: What lies there in the subconscious? Read more