From Loneliness to Creativity

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There is nobody who is at any given point too far away from crying. There is nobody who is too far away from breaking down. Oh! we have trained our tears to not to be disobedient. So, they don’t make unrequited appearances. We are social beings you see. We very well know the right place where to discharge any of the bodily fluids, including tears! One should not discharge in the open, even from the eyes; we are cultivated people, you know!

But look at your face. Look at the face of your neighbour, look at the face of your child, or husband, or wife. And if you have not trained yourself to be totally insensitive, you will know what the entire misery of this world is about. And that’s not something to feel bad about. That only shows that we are not totally dead yet. That only shows that which is calling us has not yet given up upon us.

If that which calls us would give up upon us, you would not feel what you feel. You would become accustomed to suffering. The very fact that we dislike suffering, that we suffer in suffering is proof that something beyond suffering is constantly calling us. That is proof that suffering is not our nature. And that is proof that one need not get adjusted to living a lukewarm life.

Nothing less than the total, the final, the ultimate beckons us. So, there is no need to compromise. And if you compromise, that would be such a pathetic compromise because it would give you nothing. You were distraught before the compromise, and you would remain distraught after the compromise. What’s the point of this compromise? So, don’t compromise, and keep moving. And when I say keep moving I mean keep in touch with your loneliness.

Those who suppress there loneliness become victim of suppression, those who keep in touch with their loneliness come up with great creativity. Beautiful songs have risen out of human melancholy. People talk of songs written in joy. I say that all songs that have any truth in them have actually risen from the honest depth of man’s suffering.

One who has never suffered can never write a song.

One who has never wept can never sing a song.

All art arises from the artist’s inner turmoil.

If you shelve that turmoil, if you lock it away, there would be no art in your life.

There will be nothing fluid, and real in your life.

And one of the worst culprits in this dimension are the so-called ‘spiritual people’. They have been told that to suffer is weakness. They have been told that suffering is sin. So, they wear a rotten mask of joyful appearance. You go to so many of these so-called spiritual places, and you will find people walking around with smiles because they have been told that unless you are smiling, you have reached nowhere in your spiritual pursuit. They have been told that Joy is akin to pleasure.

Poor are they, because they have no experience of Joy that lies in the total depths of despair. They do not know the Truth that shines when you are in total darkness. They do not know the realization that occurs when you have been beaten, bruised, cheated, deceived, totally and badly. They do not know the great fun that lies in tears.

Do not wear those masks!


Read full article: Love and Loneliness

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What is disappearance of the self? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is disappearance of the self

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Question: Acharya ji, what is the meaning of disappearance of the self?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Your interest in your interests has to disappear. Your interests can remain. Can this brain survive without interests? Your lungs are greatly interested on Oxygen, and they reject Nitrogen. Can lungs survive without interests?

Let the interested one, remain interested.

‘You’ have no business to be interested.

The intellect is curious by design. The intellect will remain interested. Have you not seen kids, three years olds, asking questions that grown-ups cannot answer. They will remain interested. 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.

Spirituality does not entail that the lungs must give up oxygen. Renunciation is not for the lungs, Sir. Do not stretch it to absurd limits. That will give you another excuse to stay away from spirituality.

You will say, “Baba was asking me to renounce oxygen. If I have to have no relation with the world, why must I even breathe?” Because breathing is the continuous relationship with the world. And seeing is the continuous relationship with the world. So if spirituality means renunciation, even at the physical level, or at the psychological level, then you have to cease existing as an embodied entity.

Spirituality is not committing suicide, or is it? Then we do not need satsang, we need mass suicide halls. Over! It has happened, you know. There have been cults in Japan and other places, where incidents of mass suicides have been reported. They thought, that is ‘liberation’. So, 300-400 hundred people would get together, and would just breathe in some nice gas. And all are liberated. That is not spirituality, obviously!

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.

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.

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’.

It is one thing to think, it is a totally another thing, to think with the objective of self-preservation. Can you see the difference these two thoughts? There is just thought, as is needed to solve a mathematical problem. And then there is the thought, that feeds on fear. Are these two the same?

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.

Now how smart is that – to be fretting over an imagined problem?

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

Watch the session:  What is disappearance of the self? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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The scripture’s final aim is to bring you to the living scripture

Where the light is, there the lamp is.

The Self and the Ego are not the two ends of duality. It’s non-duality talking to duality.

That is what happens when a teacher exposes the falseness of one’s existing religion. When the teacher exposes the falseness of one’s existing motivations! The teacher says you know, the route that you are taking will lead you deeper into darkness. And what is the immediate conclusion that the mind draws? The mind says, he does not want me to go there, it means that he wants me to come to him. He is telling me that all those shops are false. And that surely proves that he wants me to come to his own shop. That is a quick suspicion, rather conclusion, that the mind jumps into.

You will not have your lamp, where your forefathers found their lamp. You will have to find your lamp using your own eyes. And the only mark of lamp is, Light. Don’t disregard the Light. The Light is the only proof of the lamp.

Searching for Truth, but in the wrong way, and at the wrong places, and from the wrong center. That is what the ego does. It wants light. The ego too wants light. But it won’t get it.

The scripture’s final aim is to bring you to the living scripture.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on a Sufi Story: The Lamp shop


 

Acharya Prashant on a Sufi Story: The Lamp shop

The Lamp Post

One dark night two men met on a lonely road.

‘I am looking for a shop near here, which is called The Lamp Shop,’ said the first man.

‘I happen to live near here, and I can direct you to it, ‘ said the second man.

‘I should be able to find it by myself. I have been given the directions, and I have written them down,’ said the first man.

‘Then why are you talking to me about it?’

‘Just talking.’

‘So, you want company, not directions?’

‘Yes, I suppose that that is what it is.’

‘But it would be easier for you to take further directions from a local resident, having got so far; especially because from here onwards it is difficult.’

‘I trust what I have already been told, which has brought me thus far. I cannot be sure that I can trust anything or anyone else.’

‘So, although you once trusted the original informant, you have not been taught a means of knowing whom you can trust?’

‘That is so.’

‘Have you any other aim?’

‘No, just to find the Lamp shop.’

‘May I ask why you seek a lamp shop?’

‘Because I have been told on the highest authority that that is where they supply certain devices which enable a person to read in the dark.’

‘You are correct, but there is a prerequisite, and also a piece of information. I wonder whether you have given them any thought.’

‘What are they?’

‘The prerequisite to reading by means of a lamp is that you can already read.’

‘You cannot prove that!’

‘Certainly not on a dark night like this.’

‘What is the “piece of information”?’

‘The piece of information is that the Lamp Shop is still where it always was, but that the lamps themselves have been moved somewhere else.’

‘I do not know what a “lamp” is, but it seems obvious to me that the Lamp Shop is the place to locate such a device. That is, after all, why it is called a Lamp Shop.’

‘But a “Lamp Shop” may mean “A place where lamps may be obtained”, or it could mean “A place where lamps were once obtained but which now has none”.’

‘You probably have an ulterior motive, sending me off to some other shop. Or perhaps you do not want me to have a lamp at all.’

‘I am worse than you think. I want to find out if you could read at all. I want to see whether a lamp shop exists where you are going. I want to see whether you can have your lamp in another way suited to you.’

The two men looked at each other, sadly, for a moment. Then each went his way.

Idries Shah, Tales of the Dervishes

Acharya Prashant: To make things simpler at the outset itself, let it be clear that the one coming to seek the lamp shop, is a seeker full of knowledge. A seeker from a distant land, who does not belong really to the land of meditativeness. Knowledge has brought him to the boundary of the land of meditativeness, but cannot take him any further ahead. On the boundary, he meets this second person who is a teacher, who is the resident of this second land, who belongs there.

So, one of the first things that this teacher asks this knowledgeable seeker is, that, ‘you have come so far, having read some book that told you that you must search for lamps in a lamp shop that is thus located. But has the book also told you, how to find the one who will take you to the lamps? And if your book does not tell you ‘that,’ then your book is useless. He says, ‘‘has your book taught you, whom to trust? Has your book given you the eyes to figure out the real teacher?’’

Read more

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?

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Individual enlightenment is a myth.

Don’t ask for your personal freedom. Help others around you, be free. You will never be personally liberated, never. It’s impossible. Individual enlightenment is a myth. Either all get it together or nobody gets it. We all are in the same boat. Either we all cross or we all sink together.

To help yourself, help the other.

This is not merely altruism. You are not being charitable. This is the holiest form of selfishness. Help the other crossover, on your back. When the other reaches the other shore, you would find that you too have reached the other shore. Also, without having the other on your back, you will find that you cannot swim. This is the nature of the ‘world’ river.

The ‘world’ river is a flow of relationships. Nobody cuts through it alone. Take everybody with you, as many as you can. The more you take along with you, the more strength you get to take more and more with you. And do not take this as an exaggeration. I am saying, one day you may find that have been carrying the entire Universe with you.

It is not a matter of just the relationship between two people – Father and son, and husband and wife. No, not at all.



Read the complete article: Relief from Loneliness

Relief from loneliness

BFB1Acharya Prashant: The word ‘loneliness’ or ‘lonely’ is actually a misnomer. The one who calls himself lonely is actually never ‘lonely’. If lonely means not being with anybody, not having anybody to accompany you, then the one who is lonely is actually never without company. He or she always has company. Yes?

And whose company does this person have? This person always has his own company. Okay?

This will make it easier for us to understand.

Traditionally, generally, it has been said that the lonely person is the one who is needing somebody else’s company, right?

You look at it a little differently. You go a little deeper into it. The lonely person is not just needing somebody’s company, in fact, it is possible that at times, he may even think that he does not need anybody’s company. He may think that he is not in need of somebody’s company because he already is in the company of his own thought. Read more

When you are busy looking at your shadow, surely you have turned your back to the Sun

The lonely person is always thinking. The lonely person is always busy with himself. The lonely person just cannot get rid of his own personal concerns. That is loneliness. It is far from an empty dinner table. It is a restaurant choked to capacity, and serving distasteful dishes. Let not the world make you visualize a barren desert. Loneliness is not at all a barren desert. Loneliness is a teeming crowd. People people people everywhere. The world the world the world everywhere. A world that is unknown. A world that really can never be fully known. Nevertheless, a world that is the only hope of the lonely person.

The lonely person is always walking with his own shadow. And he has so much attraction and attachment to his shadow that he is always looking only at the darkness which he calls his shadow, which he calls his friend, and to which he is physically attached, just as your shadow is physically attached to you. He’s so engrossed looking at the darkness that he will not turn back to look at the source of light. When you are busy looking at your shadow, surely you have turned your back to the Sun.



Read the Complete Article: How to not be lonely?

The lonely fellow is the one who is always with somebody

The lonely fellow is the one who is always with somebody, and that somebody he is with, is always his own image. So, the lonely fellow is always surrounded, surrounded by himself. Even if he appears surrounded by others, those others are all in relation to himself. So, the lonely fellow will actually never appear lonely, he will always appear surrounded, he will always appear surrounded. In fact, he will not be bear, tolerate, to remain lonely. It is his inner obligation towards himself to remain surrounded.

You leave him not surrounded, and he will start feeling suffocated. He cannot do without his mobile phone. That is the sign of a lonely person. Always surrounded. And we repeat that the thing that surrounds him appears to be the world, but it is actually just image of himself.

And the fellow who is alone is the one who is just with the absolute. He needs no images. He is not with himself. ‘Himself’ can be the most sacred word and the most painful word at once.

The word ‘You’, the word ‘I’, the word ‘Himself’, the word ‘Self’, can point either to you as you really are, or to your shadow. When they point to you as you really are, they are called the ‘Truth’. You are then the Truth. I am then the Truth. When the word ‘I’ points to us as we really are, then ‘I’ is the Atma.

And when the word ‘I’ starts referring to my self-image, or to my shadow, or to my ego, then it is the dirtiest word. Then it is not Atma, then it is Ahanta. The word ‘I’ refers to both. The world ‘I’ can be used for both Atma and Ahanta. In the case of the lonely person ‘I’ refers to Ahanta. In the case of the fellow who lives alone ‘I’ refers to Atma.



Read the complete article: How to not be lonely?

How to not be lonely?

Acharya Prashant: The word ‘loneliness’ or ‘lonely’ is actually a misnomer. The one who calls himself lonely is actually never ‘lonely’. If lonely means not being with anybody, not having anybody to accompany you, then the one who is lonely is actually never without company. He or she always has company. Yes?

And whose company does this person have? This person always has his own company. Okay?

This will make it easier for us to understand.

Traditionally, generally, it has been said that the lonely person is the one who is needing somebody else’s company, right?

You look at it a little differently. You go a little deeper into it. The lonely person is not just needing somebody’s company, in fact it is possible that at times, he may even think that he does not need anybody’s company. He may think that he is not in need of somebody’s company, because he already is in the company of his own thought.

The fellow is thinking that he does not need anyone. And why does he not need anyone? Because right now he has his thoughts to accompany him.

So, the lonely person is one who is always with himself. Do we understand this? The lonely person is one who can never leave himself. The lonely person is one who is always talking to himself, always looking at himself. Are you getting it?

He is always acutely binded to his consciousness. Now we will understand this that what does that mean. The feeling of ‘I’ and the feeling of ‘other’, both exist only in the consciousness. Right? The consciousness consists of two. Which are these two? ‘I’ and the ‘world’. Whenever you are thinking of the ‘I’, you have to, you compulsorily have to simultaneously factor in the world. There is no way you can think of yourself without thinking of the world. That is the way of consciousness. The ‘I’ and the world are always together.

So, the lonely person is always attached to his consciousness. And in his consciousness exists a figure of himself. This figure is a limited figure. This figure needs protection. This figure lives in fear. Fear of what? Fear of the world that he is parallelly thinking of. So, look at what is going on there. He is not lonely at all. There is much to give him company. There is his own figure, and then there is the image of the world. So much is there. That is the lonely person’s mind. There is a lot there.

That is why I began by saying that the word loneliness may mislead.

The lonely person is actually quite full. He has so much in him and going through him. Are you getting it? And at the center of this crowd that always occupies his mind, sits his own figure. Can you see the mind of the lonely person? It is not at all an empty mind. The entire world is there. The entire world is there, and at the center of that world who sits? He himself sits. So, he is sitting and the entire world is there. That is the mind of the lonely person.

Now, this world may sometimes appear friendly to him. ‘Appear’, so he thinks. This world may sometimes appear unfriendly to him. ‘Appears’, so he thinks. But whether the world appears friendly or not so friendly, the one at the center is always limited and hence afraid. When the world appears friendly, he cannot trust it. He knows he is not really deserving of the friendliness. He knows the world too cannot really be trusted. Things come and go. And when the world is unfriendly towards him, then obviously he has reason for despair. But to him, the crowd around him is the only reality. That is the lonely man. He sits at the center and around him is a crowd. Can you look at his eyes? Full with desperation, with hope, with hunger.

He’s looking at the world, “I may get this, I may get that. Who may hurt me, who can becalm me, who is going to be the next one to attack me, who will be the one to comfort me?” He is always looking at the world. Right?

The lonely person is always thinking. The lonely person is always busy with himself. The lonely person just cannot get rid of his own personal concerns. That is loneliness. It is far from an empty dinner table. It is a restaurant choked to capacity, and serving distasteful dishes. Let not the world make you visualize a barren desert. Loneliness is not at all a barren desert. Loneliness is a teeming crowd. People people people everywhere. The world the world the world everywhere. A world that is unknown. A world that really can never be fully known. Nevertheless, a world that is the only hope of the lonely person.

Are you getting it?

The lonely person is always walking with his own shadow. And he has so much attraction and attachment to his shadow that he is always looking only at the darkness which he calls his shadow, which he calls his friend, and to which he is physically attached, just as your shadow is physically attached to you. He’s so engrossed looking at the darkness that he will not turn back to look at the source of light. When you are busy looking at your shadow, surely you have turned your back to the Sun. Have you not?

That is the state of the lonely person. He is always with himself. And what is he doing with himself? Thinking of his own welfare, “What will happen to me? There is me, there is the world. What will the world make of me? What can I get from the world? And how do I save myself from the world?” It’s a strange relationship that one has with the world.

Like in a game of Kabaddi. There is me, there is the other. I have to necessarily engage with the other. If I go to the side of the other to engage with him, I may win some exploits, or I may get caught there and lose everything that I have. That is the relationship of the lonely person with the world. He is always thinking of himself. Afraid. Insecure. And always thinking of himself in relation to the world. He is very concerned about his self-interest.

So, do not be misled please. Just because you may be social, just because you may have people around you, with you, most of the time, do not call yourself not lonely.

To be lonely is to be surrounded. Surrounded not necessarily on the outside, but surely within.

Are you worried about yourself? Is your self-interest paramount to you? Do the thoughts of future keep chasing you? Do memories keep haunting you? You are lonely. You are very very lonely. Do you want to hold on to your relationships? Do you count your numbers? You are lonely.

Who then is alone? The fellow who is alone is the one who is not with himself, just as the lonely fellow is always with himself. The fellow who is alone is rarely with himself. Because he is not with himself, he becomes available. He becomes available. Available to be with that which is.

You can compare the lonely fellow to a man who is driving through a beautiful terrain, lovely terrain, in a car. But his windshield is a mirror. The windows of the cars are all mirrors. In front of him is the windshield which is a mirror. Behind him there is another glass which is again a mirror. And he is driving through a beautiful terrain. He is always with people. Who are those people? Himself. He is very occupied. With? Himself. And that is why he is never available to watch the beautiful…? He’s not available at all.

It’s like you are sitting at a coffee table with two chairs. There is a center table, there is a chair, and there is another one opposite to it. On one chair are you seated. And on the other chair, again you are seated. And you are busy conversating. To whom? To yourself. You are always talking to yourself. And there’s a huge world, a huge reality around you, but you cannot look at it because you are always talking to yourself. That is the state of the lonely person.

And I said that the one who is alone becomes available. Now you know what availability means? What is availability? What is availability? So, now you know what enjoyment means. Enjoyment does not mean entertainment. It only means availability. If you can be present to what is, that is enjoyment. That does not mean you will have a special feeling inside of you. It is a simple presence. Are you getting it?

The fellow who is alone is with everything and everybody except himself. And the fellow who is lonely is with nobody except himself.

Are you getting it?

The world that the lonely fellow lives in is very different from the world that the alone fellow lives in. The lonely fellow’s world is his own construction. It is a dualistic world. It is a world that exists centrally in his own consciousness. It is a world that is the dualistic opposite of his own self image. He does not really live in the world, he lives in his own mind. He lives here (pointing to head). Just as he has an image of himself that always needs protection, correspondingly he also has an image of the world. His self image and his image of the world coexist. Right? And both are his own fiction.

The world of the second fellow, the one who is not lonely, is different. In this world, there is the world without himself. Understand this please. You may look at a car, you do not look at a car just as a car, you look at the car in relation to yourself. How big is it compared to my car? When can I have that car? The driver of that car zoomed past me, did he mean insult to me? The color of this car is similar to the color of my first bike. That is how we look at cars. “I have to overtake this car.”

What is common between all these statements? There is the car with reference to ‘me’. Because I am always busy with myself hence I cannot look at everything except in relation to me. That is how the lonely person’s world exists. It is a dualistic world. He looks at the world in relation to himself. That is the world of the lonely person, because his is a self-centered world. He looks at a car with respect to ‘I’. He looks at anything with respect to ‘I’. Are you getting it?

The world of the fellow who is not lonely and who is depicted by the word ‘alone’ is fundamentally different. In that world there is just the car. The car as it is. Not the car with respect to the person. The car just as it is. Nothing added to it. Nothing subtracted from it. Just the ‘fact’. There is nobody within this person who needs to borrow his identity from the car. There is nobody here who is so hungry that he would look at a car and pounce upon it in some way or the other. He is alright. He does not need the support of the car. He is not afraid, so he does not need to reject or disparage the car. So he looks at ‘just’ the world. Hence, this is not dualistic perception.

Perception is dualistic only when the observer becomes a function of the things he observes. If you observe something and that which you are observing changes you, then your observation is dualistic.

You look at something exciting and you become excited, then your perception is dualistic and you are lonely. Because now you know that your self depends on the world. You look at something and that which you look at changes your state, then you are lonely. Are you getting it?

So, a strange thing happens in the case of this fellow who is called alone. The world keeps changing its shapes, forms, keeps getting modified, keeps flowing, but this fellow does not quite flow with the world. Because he does not flow with the world, so he is free to understand the world as it is. In understanding the world as it is, he becomes free of the fear of the world. And when he is free of the fear of the world, he becomes free to plunge into the world and flow with the world.

But that looks so illogical. We began with saying that he does not flow with the world, and we are ending by saying that he indeed does. You must get the difference between flowing and flowing. He is not carried away by the world. He is not spoiled by the world. Remaining himself, in his own utter inner security and permanence, he is free to give himself to the world, “I know it and it cannot harm me, so I flow.” Whereas the lonely person is compulsorily driven, and even as he is being driven, he is being changed all the time by the driver.

When the fellow who is alone is with the world, he is not being changed by the world he is with. He might be with any color, any part, any mood of the world, something inside him remains free of all moods, he therefore becomes available. To the lonely fellow, the world, as we said, is both a danger and an opportunity. Hence, he cannot become available. He is necessarily attracted to some part, and afraid of the remaining part.

Which part is he attracted? The part that he takes as an opportunity. From where does he escape? The part that he takes as a threat.

Is that not our story? There is this world sprawling outside of us. Somewhere in this world lies the opportunity to make good of myself. And at other places in this world lie mortal dangers, I better avoid them. So how can fellow be then available? He is not available to either part. Obviously he’s not of available to the part that threatens, but equally he is also not available to the part that attracts. His love is bogus.

He must say that I desperately want to go to this part of the world where my sweetheart lives. But he’s not going anywhere, because he is always with only one thing, his own shadow. Even his sweetheart is a part of his own projection, his own shadow. He does not love anyone because he is always only with himself. The one who is self-centered cannot love. He cannot love because to love there must be somebody to love. This fellow only has his own imaginations, that is the most he can love. Even the one he is attracted to, even the parts that he takes as an opportunity, are just his own imaginations.

Even when he is with so-called friends, he is talking not to the friends, but to his projections of who they are. Fighting enemies, he is fighting phantoms. And loving friends, he is loving dreams. All his love is dream stuff. And that is why his love so frequently gets hurt. His dreams are so vulnerable, they so easily get shattered. He is never available, neither to attraction nor to repulsion. Even while making love, he is merely ideating. His body is active, so is his mind. He thinks that he has enimities, and he thinks that he has friends and lovers. He actually has nobody. So poor is he that he does not even have enemies. And that is true.

You are really quarreling hard with someone in a room, and suddenly the room catches fire, it’s a sudden and big fire, you will forget all your enmity, you’ll cry out to the only available person in the room, your enemy, and say “Please save me.” The two of you will suddenly become cooperative. All the enmity will be gone. We do not even have solid enmity. Even our enmity is opportunistic, occasional.

The occasion changes, enemies quickly become friends. The occasion changes, friends quickly become enemies. Husband and wife are breaking each other’s head, and a third person comes in, and the two get united and turn upon this third person. Have you not seen that? “In between the two of us there can be quarrel, but when it comes to an outsider, we are a united front. Our hell is our domestic matter. Conversely, all our domestic matters are hell.” “Only I deserve to crack open the skull of my husband. No outsider will be allowed that privilege.” “Only I deserve to rape my wife. No outsider will be allowed that.” Enemies quickly become friends. Friends turn enemies. All our dream stuff passing, passing, passing. Nothing has permanence. Nothing has depth. Are you getting it?

There was this movie, the man was wailing over the dead body of his son, and he appeared inconsolable, and then a messenger from the government comes, quietly expresses his condolences, and whispers into the ears of the wailing man the exact compensation amount that the government has sent on the death of his son.

Just for a second, just for a brief passing second, the man changes his expression. The inconsolable father, in that brief passing second, upon hearing the news of the large figure that the government has offered as compensation for his son’s death, is made to think of something beyond this grief. The second is brief, it passes. The man again resumes his wails. But that one second is sufficient. Very sufficient. The son is gone.

The grief appears to be deep. But even that deep grief has been assuaged even if for a brief secondby the mighty figure that he is recieving as compensation for his son’s death.

What if the figure was ten times larger? How long would have been the old man’s pause? What if the figure was hundred times larger? What if  the figure was a million times larger?

Nothing is deep enough. Nothing is so deep that something else cannot fill it. Your grief for your son might be deep, but it is not interminably deep. Yes, ordinary money will not fill that depth but a lot of money would. And the consequence of that is that if the grief of death can be forgotten, even if for a litle while by the dazzling presence of money then sufficient bedazzlement can cause to not only to not grief over his dead son but even cause to actively kill his living son.

And that is why you have, sons, killing fathers and fathers killing daughters.

Because nothing is deep enough. Because the lonely one is always living for himself. Because everything is within the purview of calculations. The son has gone. Yes, when we console the grieving family, we tell them that yours is an irreparable damage. Don’t we say that, it is an irreparable damage? But it is not actually irreparable. Nothing is deep enough.

All damages are with respect to oneself. One is at the center of his world, his lonely world. And because one is limited, hence all the damages to oneself are also limited. And because one is limited, hence all his pleasures and even his love are also limited. Hence everything can be purchased and sold off. Hence there is a price tag on everything. Every price tag is a number, and anything that is limited can be captured in a number. So, everything is on sale. It is just that you need to quote the right number. You can buy anything.

The man will sell anything. You only need to bid high enough. There is nothing absolute there, and hence there is nothing absolutely out-of-bounds there. There is nothing absolutely unthinkable there. Everything can be thought of. And hence everything can be put into action. That leads us to the world – absolute and unthinkable.

In the world of the man who is alone, there are absolutes. There is stuff that carries no price tag because it is not stuff at all. And there is stuff which is unthinkable, because only stuff can be thought of, and this stuff is special stuff that cannot be thought of. If you are somebody who thinks of everything, then kindly wake up because whatever you think of can always be put up for sale. Whatever you think of is not yours, it will be lost. Either you will actively sell it off, or time will forcibly take it away. Only that you cannot lose which you have anyway never thought of as yourself, or yours.

It is strange. That which you have never thought of as yours is the only thing that really belongs to you. And that which you think of as yours, is not even yours in your own intention. Or it is yours only till the time you decide that you want to now do away with it. Whatever you know of as yours is yours only as an item put up for sale in your shop. A shopkeeper has many things in his shop, and he rightfully calls all of those things as his own, and they are his own, are they not? But everything that belongs to a shopkeeper is also up for sale. So, it belongs to him, and it belongs to him therefore he wants to sell it off for something else. He is always looking for profits. He is never okay with himself. He wants more. He has stuff, but he does not love stuff.

Ever seen a shopkeeper who is really in love with his goods? If he were really in love with his goods, would he sell them off? We too have stuff in our lives. We have ideas, principles, friends, people, families, all of them are like items kept in our shops. The shops might be beautiful. The shopkeeper might be taking care of the items in his shop. There might appear a really friendly, neat, amiable relationship between the shopkeeper and his wares, but the fact is that nothing is absolutely unsalable, because there is no absolute. Everything is just relative. Everything comes to an end.

That is the world of the lonely person. Everything there is conditional. He will never say, “I will never do this. Such a thing can never happen”. He can do anything. It is just a matter of the depth of contingency. It is just a matter of the bid. Anybody can be betrayed. Anything can be deceived. Anything can be sold off. He really can never commit himself to anything or anybody. That is why he lacks devotion. So now, there are three things that are missing in the life of the lonely person, and are present with the fellow who is alone. The absolute, the unthinkable, and devotion.

The fellow who is lonely just cannot be devoted. He can admire, but he cannot be devoted. Because to be devoted is to give up the right to withdraw your devotion. If you still have preserved your right to withdraw your devotion, then your devotion is not complete, because you have not devoted the right.

Are you getting it?

Everything is revocable. Everything is conditional. The fellow trusts nothing but himself. And that is obvious because in his world there is nobody but himself. So, who else can he trust? He will listen to a Buddha, then analyze him, and then if his own analysis says believe he would believe. Whom does he trust, the Buddha or himself? Not only does he trust himself, he trusts himself over the Buddha. Ostensibly, he may go to read books, to listen to teachers. But even when he is reading books, he accepts those parts that his own self approves of. Even when he listens to teachers, he decides when to go, what to listen to, what to make of it, and whether to accept or not. Who is he listening to? Himself. Because in his world there is only him and his shadow. Nobody else. Are you getting it?

What does that leave you with? Yourself. Had there been an absolute, there would have been an absolute effect on everybody, right? But do you see that the effect of this session on you is relative to who you are. Had there been an absolute, then the effect would have been absolute, not relative, not differentiated, not different, but the effect is so different. Because you are not listening to me you are listening to yourself. And when you’re listening to yourself, you may find yourself so boring that you doze off. Yes? (Smiling) laughing at your own jokes.

The books in front of you are different books, your faces are different, the clothes are different, names are different, and personalities are different. And if I ask you “What have I said?” your versions will be different. Where is the absolute?

The lonely man takes pride in confidently saying “The absolute does not exist.” In fact, to him the absolute is merely dogma. To him the absolute is merely an ‘-ism’. Fundamentalism. He’ll say, “Everything is relative.” And yes, if you are living with your shadow, if you are living in the ego, then everything is absolutely relative. Relative to what? Relative to your own ego. There can be no absolute then. Your ego is the center, and relative to your ego exists the world. The world exists relative to your ego.

That is why this lonely man takes great pride in his opinions. Because if absolutes do not exist, then the only thing of value is your opinion. And if absolute does exist then your opinion is of no value. This lonely man would even call himself a liberal who celebrates diversities of opinions. Obviously, if you want your own opinion to be respected and accepted, then as a reciprocal measure you have to at least show that you are accepting and respecting the opinions of others. In giving space to the others ego, even if temporarily, you manage to secure a place for your own ego.

You say “You be with your opinion, and let me stay in the comforts of my own.” This fellow will not meditate, he will debate. Meditations do not clash with each other. Debaters clash with each other. This fellow has opinions, to prove your opinion over the other you have to debate. All debate is with respect to the other. And all meditation has no other in it. In meditation you do not need to prove anything. You just know. And what you know is not always something that can be proved. Are you getting it?

The topic of this series is “God and guilt”, have we kind of come upon God already? It is very necessary for me to not use the word ‘God’, or at least not use it frequently. It is a very heavily loaded word. It conjures up just too many images. But have we come upon the word God already? Have we? Yes? Which one?

Listener: The Absolute.

AP: The absolute. So, the lonely person is the one who has no God. The lonely person only has things relative. Relative to his own self. He has no absolute. God is absolute. God is the only absolute. The lonely one is the one who has no God. So, if you have no God in your life, you will be necessarily lonely. We’d be going through four sessions in this series. The first session is titled ‘incompleteness’. Now you know what is incompleteness? What is incompleteness? Have we come upon the word incompleteness? Which word is that?

L: Loneliness.

AP: Loneliness. Now you see what is the relation between God and incompleteness? What is the relation? The only complete is God. The only complete is the absolute. Obviously. Absolute is a synonym for completeness. No God, no completeness, just a blind search from door to door. If you are someone who has been begging from man to man, from woman to woman, from relationship to relationship, check, there is no God in your life. Check and check again, there is no God in your life and that is why you are a beggar.

I may say “God makes you complete.” But even that would be a frivolous statement. God is the only complete. To live without God is to not live at all. And the fellow who is lonely is actually not living at all. We said that his being is a function of his observation, so he becomes what he sees. Now where is he then? For you to be something, there must be something unchangeable within you, and that unchangeable is called absolute. Now if you are changing as per the situations, conditions, observations, climate, then do you exist? You don’t exist because there is nothing absolutely unchangeable within. Only God exists, and if there is no God in your life do you exist? Do you exist?

And if you don’t exist, you are very very afraid. You do not exist, you are very very afraid. If you do not exist, then fear exists, and so it’s a strange situation. Fear exists and you do not exist then to whom is the fear? It’s a stupid contradiction. Your thoughts, your actions, your being, is proof that you do not exist. But still to somebody there is this thought. There is somebody who is in touch with immortality and do not want to keep vanishing second after second. And that is why he is befuddled. That is why he does not know what to make of life.

You are living against yourself. You are believing that you do not exist. You are thinking that you are dead. You are shouting that you cannot speak. You are reading a book, and the book is convincing you that you do not have eyes to read. It’s a strange paradox. Do not call it strange, because that is the paradox in which we anyway live our lives.

What is a paradox? Fundamentally, a contradiction. Don’t you see what kind of contradictory life we live? Look at your face right now. A small mirror is the best book one can carry in his pocket. Look at your face, just your face, look at your face as it is while sitting in front of me, and then look at your face as it is when you are at your workplace or at your home or with your friends or family. Look at your words and thoughts, how they keep changing from situation to situation. Look even at your intentions. Your honest intentions, not the intention that you profess. At one point you have one intention. Then you reach some other place and your intentions change. This is the contradiction of a lonely life, because there is no absolute there, hence everything is prone to change.

There is that moment in which you really feel that you belong to somebody, you are not lying, and you say ‘I love you and I will be with you for this whole life, and for seven more lives’, and in that moment, you are as honest as you can be. But just only as honest as you can be, because there is no absolute in your life so you cannot be absolutely honest. Two days later, or two months later, or two years later, or two decades later, you are cursing that moment when you offered your commitment. You are very honestly cursing that moment. You are just as honest in this moment as you were when you were committing yourself to the other person. You are not to be blamed. You are as honest as you can be. But your honesty cannot stand the test of time because it is not absolute.

No God, nothing permanent. No God, just time and change. No God, just the slavery of circumstances.

Today he appears handsome and she appears beautiful, tomorrow your honest assessment of each other changes.

Now, we have said two things. We have said that the fellow who is alone is the one who has the absolute God. We had also said that the fellow who is alone lives only with himself. Now you will know why the Upanishads had to say that “You are God”.

The fellow who is alone lives with God, and we also said that the fellow who is alone lives only with himself. Himself, not his image of himself. The fellow who is lonely lives with his shadow, his image of himself. Equally, we said that the fellow who is alone does not live with anybody. Now, what does that mean? Connect the three statements. That means that God is a nobody. The alone has the absolute, and the fellow who is alone has nobody. Hence, the absolute is a nobody.

Now you have the Buddha talking.

The absolute is a vast nothingness. When you are comfortable living in nothingness, then you are alone. When you are not comfortable living in nothingness, then you start living with mirrors. You start talking to your own shadows and images. Are you getting it? Even when there is nobody around you, have you noticed, you are busy, busy with yourself, that is called loneliness.

The fellow who is alone has nobody to talk to, conversely he has God to talk to. When you are talking to nobody, in that silence, there is you and God. And if the silence is absolute, then even the word ‘and’ just drops. You and God, and the ‘and’ is gone. Absolutely gone. So, you are God. Are you getting it?

Whenever you need something to survive, whenever you need somebody to depend on, you are taking your shadow too seriously. We’ll go back to the basics before we take up the questions.

The lonely fellow is the one who is always with somebody, and that somebody he is with, is always his own image. So, the lonely fellow is always surrounded, surrounded by himself. Even if he appears surrounded by others, those others are all in relation to himself. So, the lonely fellow will actually never appear lonely, he will always appear surrounded, he will always appear surrounded. In fact, he will not be bear, tolerate, to remain lonely. It is his inner obligation towards himself to remain surrounded.

You leave him not surrounded, and he will start feeling suffocated. He cannot do without his mobile phone. That is the sign of a lonely person. Always surrounded. And we repeat that the thing that surrounds him appears to be the world, but it is actually just image of himself.

Right?

And the fellow who is alone is the one who is just with the absolute. He needs no images. He is not with himself. ‘Himself’ can be the most sacred word and the most painful word at once.

The word ‘You’, the word ‘I’, the word ‘Himself’, the word ‘Self’, can point either to you as you really are, or to your shadow. When they point to you as you really are, they are called the ‘Truth’. You are then the Truth. I am then the Truth. When the word ‘I’ points to us as we really are, then ‘I’ is the Atma.

And when the word ‘I’ starts referring to my self-image, or to my shadow, or to my ego, then it is the dirtiest word. Then it is not Atma, then it is Ahanta. The word ‘I’ refers to both. The world ‘I’ can be used for both Atma and Ahanta. In the case of the lonely person ‘I’ refers to Ahanta. In the case of the fellow who lives alone ‘I’ refers to Atma.

Clear?



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Balancing personal and professional life?



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To look for god in material is lust

Why does man promote lust?

Lust has no energy of its own. One provides the energy of his own life, of his own goals to lust. The fire that lust has is the fire of the ego’s loneliness. The body is innocent. The body knows no crime. It is the ego that keeps on looking for the right thing at all the wrong places. In fact that is the very definition of ego: ego is the one who looks for the right thing but always at the wrong places.

When you look for satisfaction in material that is called lust. That material could be anything. That material could be food, that material could be a car, that material could be prestige, that material could be anything under the sun including a man or a woman’s body. That is lust: to look for God in material. Then the passionate intensity that should rightfully have been God’s gets wrongly diverted towards material.


Read Complete Article: What is lust?

Why do we often require somebody’s company?

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Acharya Prashant: Praveen is asking, “Why do we always require somebody’s company?”

Even when there is somebody who is lying on the side of the road, let’s say an accident victim waiting to be helped, we wonder whether we are the first one or the only one who would be getting involved. We think so many times before putting our foot forward. In such situations too, we require the company of somebody else, why?

Praveen, this is just one particular incident where it becomes obvious, that we are so dependent on others. Such incidents only exemplify, bring forth to light that we are very very dependent. But, such dependence is not limited to these kinds of incidents. Kindly, do not think that in other general, day to day matters of life, we act independently Read more

Knowing Love

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The need of mind to get Peace, to settle into Understanding, to be clear of noise and be seated in Silence, to not to feel lonely but Total – that is Love. 

And because we all experience that need, we all are lovers. Had we not been experiencing that restlessness, that disquiet there would have been no question of love? So we, as we are, the mind as it is, is always attracted to something beyond itself. The mind is always attracted to something beyond itself.

The mind sees that it is chaotic, it wants an end to the chaos. The mind sees that it is restless, it wants an end to the restlessness. The mind sees that it is lonely, incomplete, it wants certain completion, it wants some suitable partner that would complete it.

Read more

Why is there so much pain in love?

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Question: Why is there so much pain in love?

Acharya Prashant: Is there any less pain in not loving?

And if pain is what you will have, then why resists pain?

A mass of resistance we are; a mass of prejudices, likes and dislikes — that’s what we are. That is what is called as the personality. If this grows, then obviously pain grows because if this grows, then you are dividing more, then you are rejecting more, then you are discriminating more, choosing more, then you are more in expectations. Read more

In fooling others, first of all, you fool yourself

Honestly, directly, simply, without pretense know where you stand. And wherever we stand, we stand at a point that is distant from the home. We all are lonely. We all are loving beings. Loneliness is not a blemish. Loneliness is not an insult. Loneliness and desire are very close. To desire is not a humiliation, but in many spiritual circles it is. So, what do you do? You turn to hypocrisy. With desires still burning in your mind, you say, “Well you know, I have no desires.” Or you seek backdoor entries to forbidden places to satisfy your desires. “It should not be seen that I am still desirous.” Because all that matters is whether you are being seen. So, ultimately, all propaganda is for others. All the masks are for others.
Don’t be so clever. In fooling others, first of all, you fool yourself. In deceiving others, first of all, you are deceiving yourself. You may do something that nobody else is able to see, but kindly tell me, how would you do something that even you are not able to see? You may cut off everybody else from knowing what you do or who you are, but there would still be one entity that would know what you do and who you are.
Which entity?
Yourself.
So, in deceiving others, you’ll have to inevitably deceive yourself first. Don’t try that smartness. At least to yourself, honestly, simply confess. There may be no need to sing about it in the markets. There may be no need to wear a banner proclaiming your loneliness or a car sticker or a hat or a t-shirt or a Facebook status. I don’t know if they have that option, “Feeling lonely” Do they have that option?
That should have been a default option!
You are not reduced if you are lonely. You are not belittled. I repeat: it is not an insult, not an offence to be wanting, to be desirous, to be lonely, to be seeking, to be searching. It only shows that you are still human, that you have not been taken away totally by machines, that you are not yet totally programmed, that something of the mystical still lives in your heart. You do not need to act macho. You do not need to act superhuman. We all are little fragile beings and in that lies our glory. We are already glorious but by rejecting our littleness, we subject ourselves to ignobility. By rejecting ourselves, we act as if something is offensive about our very existence, as if ‘to be’ is crime.
You may be down in the dumps, and there is nothing wrong about it. But to pretend that you are flying when you are actually being flayed—that is hypocrisy. And that would perpetuate your suffering.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

Everybody is lonely, and that is great news!

There is nobody who is at any given point too far away from crying. There is nobody who is too far away from breaking down. Oh! we have trained our tears to not to be disobedient. So, they don’t make unrequited appearances. We are social beings you see. We very well know the right place where to discharge any of the bodily fluids, including tears! One should not discharge in the open, even from the eyes; we are cultivated people, you know!

But look at your face. Look at the face of your neighbour, look at the face of your child, or husband, or wife. And if you have not trained yourself to be totally insensitive, you will know what the entire misery of this world is about. And that’s not something to feel bad about. That only shows that we are not totally dead yet. That only shows that which is calling us has not yet given up upon us.

If that which calls us would give up upon us, you would not feel what you feel. You would become accustomed to suffering. The very fact that we dislike suffering, that we suffer in suffering is proof that something beyond suffering is constantly calling us. That is proof that suffering is not our nature. And that is proof that one need not get adjusted to living a lukewarm life.

Nothing less than the total, the final, the ultimate beckons us. So, there is no need to compromise. And if you compromise, that would be such a pathetic compromise because it would give you nothing. You were distraught before the compromise, and you would remain distraught after the compromise. What’s the point of this compromise? So, don’t compromise, and keep moving. And when I say keep moving I mean keep in touch with your loneliness.

Those who suppress there loneliness become victim of suppression, those who keep in touch with their loneliness come up with great creativity. Beautiful songs have risen out of human melancholy. People talk of songs written in joy. I say that all songs that have any truth in them have actually risen from the honest depth of man’s suffering.

One who has never suffered can never write a song.
One who has never wept can never sing a song.
All art arises from the artist’s inner turmoil.
If you shelve that turmoil, if you lock it away, there would be no art in your life.
There will be nothing fluid, and real in your life.

And one of the worst culprits in this dimension are the so-called ‘spiritual people’. They have been told that to suffer is weakness. They have been told that suffering is sin. So, they wear a rotten mask of joyful appearance. You go to so many of these so-called spiritual places, and you will find people walking around with smiles because they have been told that unless you are smiling, you have reached nowhere in your spiritual pursuit. They have been told that Joy is akin to pleasure.

Poor are they, because they have no experience of Joy that lies in the total depths of despair. They do not know the Truth that shines when you are in total darkness. They do not know the realization that occurs when you have been beaten, bruised, cheated, deceived, totally and badly. They do not know the great fun that lies in tears.

Do not wear those masks!


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

‘Things’ will not suffice

On the weekend after a lunch, you went off to sleep, and when you wake up after a few hours it is dark and you feel an inexplicable uneasiness. You do not know what has happened. When you went to sleep it was bright, and now it is dark. And it is weekend. You are not in your office. You are not surrounded by people, and there is nothing to do. You are not surrounded even by work.

Have you felt the tremendous scare that these moments pose?

That is loneliness.

And if you cannot live with these moments, you’ll pick up the mobile, call up your boyfriend and say, “Can we meet over dinner?”

You have given yourself a cheap solution.

Do you see this?

Or you would pick up the mobile phone and start looking at some website. “Okay, so what is happening in the football league? What is happening in the presidential elections?” Is it really the presidential elections that you care for?

No, you are just deceiving yourself.

Or you may start thinking about something. Thought is a great way to escape. Or you’ll go, and make yourself a drink, or a cup of tea. You’ll give yourself something to do. Or if you are spiritually oriented, you’ll go and pick up some religious text, book of wisdom. But what we will not do is look squarely at what is happening. That we will not do, because that is dangerous; dangerous to our ways of living, dangerous to our patterns.

Loneliness might be love, but it would remain a love unfulfilled, unless loneliness is understood, unless one has the fearlessness, and the faith to go into direct contact with the feeling of loneliness. “Yes I am feeling lonely, and I will not run away from it. I may shiver, I may tremble, I may feel a great discomfort, yet it does not pay to escape this.” ‘Love’ and ‘loneliness’ are together, but love would reach its climax, its finality, its dissolution, only if one understands his loneliness.
Loneliness craves for its dissolution, and that is called Aloneness.
Loneliness craves to reach its end, and that is called Aloneness.
And in that aloneness, even Love does not exist.
In that aloneness, there is no reaching, no arriving, no achieving.
And hence, nothing to get attracted to.

Even love disappears; it’s gone.

Love requires that at least a minimum separation is there between you and that which you love. Love requires the existences of ‘two’ even if the ‘two’ are deeply intimate. But ‘twoness’ must be there for love. In aloneness, that ‘twoness’ itself is gone. Now, whom would you love? You are one with the beloved. Whom to love? Only the beloved remains. To whom does one offer his love now?

Please take every single feeling of discomfort, of disquiet as a signal that there is something that beckons you, and that something is not a thing. So, you better not try out things. There is something that is calling you but that which is calling you is not a thing. So, do not deceive yourself with one thing or the other.

‘Things’ will not suffice.

Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

 

Am I really missing that T.V. show?

When one is lonely, then one may get so intimidated by one’s loneliness that one may not dare to come close to it. That one may not dare to probe deeply into it, and go to the roots of it. And if one doesn’t go to the roots of feeling of his loneliness, he will feel that loneliness is a shallow phenomenon which can be treated with superficial ointments.

So one will say, “I am feeling lonely, let me call up someone.” And one will think that a little bit of electronic socialization will do the trick. Or one may say, “I keep feeling lonely, let me get married.” Or one will say, “Let me change cities, and move to another place where my community, or my friends live.” Or one may just say, “Let me switch on the television, or visit the shopping mall.”

This happens when one is afraid. This happens when one is not courageous enough to understand his own thoughts and feelings. And that requires no wizardry. That requires plain, old-fashioned courage.

“Yes, there is something that I am missing, but what is it? Am I really missing that T.V. show? Seriously!” But one behaves as if the T.V. show was the reason why you were feeling uneasy. So, he switches on the television. One behaves as if a walk around the park, or a new dress, or a bout of physical intimacy will help relieve the situation permanently. “I am feeling a little queasy. Alright, let’s have some sex.” That will put you to sleep, but then the same cycle will be repeated the next day. This is when loneliness is not understood. This is when mind is taken as something to be afraid of.

Then one tries short-cuts. Then one tries being a doctor unto himself, and that is quackery. Ever seen those guys at some pharmacy who go there and try to prescribe themselves out of their ailments? They would stand there and ask the retailer, “Which drugs are in circulation these days?”  And he would say, “This and this…” He would say, “Okay, fine. Alright, give me that one.” As if they are ordering food from the menu. And often, patients are less scared of the disease and more scared of knowing about the disease.

If you can go to the roots of your own loneliness, then you will not be duped into running after objects, then you will not be tempted to give yourself superficial treatments.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

We all are Lovers!

There is nobody who is not a lover. Your love may make you run in different directions but that does not make us separate, or different beings. One may seek satisfaction in reading, the other may seek satisfaction in drinking, the fourth may seek satisfaction in travelling, the fifth in raising money, the sixth in carnal pleasures, the seventh in meditation techniques, the eighth in something else — that does not make these eight fundamentally any different from each other.

We all are just the same; we all are lovers. To love is to search for that final Peace. To love is to look for that ultimate full stop. And unless that full stop comes, we will not stop.

Obviously, that’s the definition of full stop. Unless that full stop comes, we will keep limping, and we will keep running because it is hurting. It is hurting quite bad. Man’s life is nothing but this movement from place to place, from person to person.

If you look at the smaller picture, you’ll feel that one is caring for his family, you may feel that one is studying to gain a degree, you may feel that one is a responsible employ, you may feel that one is an inspiring sportsman, you may feel that one is a good writer, or painter, or artist, or doctor, or architect, or an engineer. You may feel that one loves to travel, so one is going from country to country, you may feel that one has thirst for knowledge, so he is reading book after book, but behind all this there is just the thirst of mind waiting for its final redemption.

Unless its final redemption comes, you can keep travelling to all the countries of the world, visit all cities and villages — large and small, have relationships with all men and women, and animals, and places, cultivate all kinds of fancies that you can, but you will not stop. No man will be the last. No woman will be the last. No ideology will be permanent. No state will last. You will remain, forever, a searcher; an anchorless wanderer.
Loneliness is Love. To be lonely implies that you are being pulled. To be lonely implies that loneliness hurts, and if it hurts, you want to cure it, you want to get rid of it. This want to get rid of loneliness itself is Love.
I repeat: I asserted, “Loneliness is love,” but that assertion is of no use unless loneliness is understood. Loneliness might be love, but it would remain a love unfulfilled, unless loneliness is understood, unless one has the fearlessness, and the faith to go into direct contact with the feeling of loneliness. “Yes I am feeling lonely, and I will not run away from it. I may shiver, I may tremble, I may feel a great discomfort, yet it does not pay to escape this.” ‘Love’ and ‘loneliness’ are together, but love would reach its climax, its finality, its dissolution, only if one understands his loneliness.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page


Love and loneliness

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Love and loneliness will actually go together.

You see, love is forever a movement. Love is an attraction, a pull. We all feel that irresistible urge and it is so quick, spontaneous, and comes without preparation, planning or warning that we hardly have the time to know about its origins, or about the possible expanse it may take. It just happens.

Often you know the source of the attraction. Often it is not so mystical, often it can be resisted. Yes, it does happen that way too, but then the next wave arrives. If you get over one attraction towards anything-anybody, the next round of attraction starts. Objects keep varying, the tendency to be attracted remains. Are we one on this? Has this been your experience? Read more