If nothing succeeds in changing you, try Love || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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If nothing succeeds in changing you, try Love

Question: Acharya Ji, Namsakaar!

I want to get rid of some compulsive habits and some compulsive thoughts. There are some aspects of my personality that I do not like. I want to get rid of those aspects.

Also, I want to know how to develop unwavering attention.

Acharya Prashant Ji: It’s such an easy demand, you know.

(laughter)

It’s a small question.

You are what you want.

If you want to change who you are, then you will have to want something radically different.

Your destination, your desire decides your constitution.

You become what you intend to achieve and be.

If you love the mud, you will become an earthworm.

If you love the Sky, you will grow wings.

Your entire personality will change.

That’s what you want, right? The entire personality must come apart. Then you have to change what you Love.

If you love the mud, then you cannot grow wings. Can you? if you love the mud, all you will get is a mud-worm. Do you have love for the Sky? If yes, the personality will change. The wings will appear.

The desire, the target has to be there.

You have to submit yourself to something tremendous.

Your goal will decide your life.

Instead, we let our life decide our goal.

And that is such a costly mistake.

If you want to let things continue as they are, then let your life decide your goal. Things will remain exactly as they are. The status-quo will prevail.

“This is how I am living, and hence this is where I want to go.” That’s how most people live, don’t they? Their goals are a product of their ways of living. Therefore they do not bring about any change, any fundamental change in the way they live.

If you really want to fundamentally change the way you are, then you have to have a goal that is tremendously brilliant, supremely attractive, and Surrender to it.

Your entire system will then be forced to adjust itself, rather take a re-birth, in order to achieve that goal.

The goal must not be what your system is already programmed to achieve, the goal has to be such that it causes a breakdown in your system. It tells your system that it is beyond the capacity of the system. Therefore, the system will have to re-configure itself.

And that re-configuration is what you want, right? A total change in personality. That can only be brought about under tremendous pressure. Unless that pressure is there, things will just stay the way they are.

But why will one tolerate so much pressure? Pressure is not welcome to the system, right? Who loves pressure? Nobody. Therefore, there has to be an overpowering Love. Only when there is such great Love, that one wants to take that kind of pressure.

One says, “For the sake of the Beloved, I am prepared to die. I am prepared to take that pressure. I will be shattered. And I do not know whether I will come up again.”

It has to be something overwhelming. It has to be something that numbs down your intellect. It has to be something that challenges your reasoning. It has to be something that goes beyond your reasoning. If it is within your reasoning, then your reasoning will shoot it down.

Otherwise, personality is a tough nut to crack.

Cosmetic changes in personality are easy to bring about. You can grow some hair, or you can grow a beard. You can start wearing some western outfits, or you can lose or gain some weight. Or you can get a good tan, or get yourself tattooed. You can learn a new language. You can develop new skills and hobbies. Such superficial changes in personality are easy to bring about.

But if you want a total re-constitution of the self, then that requires a change in the center itself.

And the center is that which you live for.

You have to start living for something very-very different.

The purpose of life has to change.

When the purpose of life changes, then the personality of the living one follows.

I assure you, most people carry one the same personality that they are born with. You might find it surprising. You will say, “Oh, but the child undergoes so much. There is surely a great difference between the personality of the seventy-year old and the seven-day old.”

No Sir. The personality of the seventy-year is in many ways just a continuation of what he was when he was a seven-days old. Nothing changes. The same instincts, the same basic tendencies. Only cosmetic and peripheral changes happen. Deep inside, the same thing – fear, want, greed, comparison, anger, hope, despair, lust. What has changed?

And that’s terrible, because man keeps wanting change all his life.

What is each fellow working for? Change. We all want some betterment, we all want things to change. Right? And here we are saying that the seven-day old is the same as the seventy-year old. Then what have we worked for all our life? What was all the striving, all the effort for? It has all gone down the drain, because the center of the newly born, and the center of the seventy-year old, remains the same.

The seven-day old is driven by the prakritik center, the center of the body. And so is the seventy-year old. Both are driven by their respective bodily centers. So the personality too remains the same.

Yes the height changes, the weight changes. But do you call that ‘a change’? That’s no change. The eyes remain the same. If you look at photographs of a fellow over the various points in his life-cycle, the face keeps on changing, the eyes do not change. Do they? Because the eyes reflect the mind a lot. The mind doesn’t change. Fundamentally, it doesn’t change. But you already have a goal. And that goal in your eyes is justified.

To want something different, to take something totally different as your goal, you will have to go against yourself.

You will have to bear that suffering.

A while back we talked of ‘pressure’. You will have to take that pressure. And that pressure is difficult to take. Let’s know the facts.

Do you have the kind of Love that will enable you to willingly pass through that suffering? That’s the question that you have to answer. Only in Love can there be a radical transformation. Most of us are loveless, dry beings. Unfortunately that’s not our destiny, but that’s how we have made the choice.

They say, “It was the love of the flower, that turned the caterpillar into the butterfly.” Without that love-affair, the metamorphosis won’t have happened.

Go, find a flower!

—————————————————————————————————————-

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session video: If nothing succeeds in changing you, try Love || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Why do you want to get married? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Why do you want to get married

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! Currently there is a lot of pressure on me to get married. I am completely confused about this decision. I am not mentally prepared for it right now. I feel incompleteness in my life, and I want to settle things in my life.

There is a lot of pressure, but I am still holding on. This issue is taking lot of my time and attention. What to do?

Acharya Prashant Ji: 

Companionship is wonderful. Be with one person, ten persons, anybody who helps your mind be centered. Being with such a person, or a group of persons, is wonderful.

If marriage is another name for beautiful companionship, wonderful. But what matters is not the social institution of marriage, but the fact that you are with someone.

When you are with someone, the presence of that someone, will necessarily have an effect on you, and vice-versa.

You must know the effect that the other’s presence have upon you.

If someone’s effect has a becalming effect on your mind, soothing effect on your mind, illuminating effect on your mind, liberating effect on your mind, go ahead and boldly be with that person or persons, as much as you want to.

But be with them, only as long as their effect on you is liberating. And be with them only as long as you do not become dependent on them, neither they become dependent on you.

It has to be a mutually healthy relationship, not a relationship in which you enter because of sexuality, or loneliness, or social pressure.

You already have enough troubles, right? You don’t want to invite another trouble into your house, into your bedroom. Do you? But yes, if someone can bring Joy and Truth to you, invite them right into your heart. And then marriage is inconsequential.

With the right person – you marry, wonderful. You don’t marry, wonderful. With the wrong person – you marry, bad luck. You don’t marry, bad luck.

What do you think, only married people have troubles? You might be single, you might be a bachelor, and still you may have very bad company. And then you are equally troubled, as a husband and as a wife is.

It’s not a matter of being in that institution. The question is: What brings you that institution? Look around, see why people marry. Do they marry because it’s an affirmation of their divine love? Is that how it happens? Seriously?

In our country (India), most people marry because that’s the only way to get some good sex, good and assured sex. Otherwise, the fellow would have to spend a lot of money, or a lot of time, or both. And may then still return empty-handed. Isn’t that so?

Now if one marries for such a reason, or many other prevalent reasons –

“I will have someone to look after me when I grow old.”

“Muma needs someone to share her daily chores.”

“Grandpa is very fond of kids.”

“All my friends have married, now I have nobody to watch the movies with. They don’t take me along. I feel like a left-out if I am single.”

“These days they don’t allow me entry into night-clubs and pubs. Stag-entry is expensive.”

If these are your reasons, then look at your mind. Sort out your mind, and with a sorted mind whatever you do, would be right. There have been liberated ones, who have married. And there have been liberated ones who haven’t married. It doesn’t matter.

What matters is – liberation.

If you are sorted and liberated, go ahead and do whatever you want to.

And if you aren’t sorted and liberated, whatever you do would be wrong.

An action that arises from fear, will only lead to more fear.

An action that arises from conformity and deprivation, cannot lead to Freedom.

Questioner 1: Currently my feeling is that, I am in the process of sorting my mind. I don’t know whether I am right or not. But the current feeling is that, if I take some more time, my mind will get sorted out and things will be clearer to me. That’s the current state of my mind.

Acharya Prashant Ji: People who are recuperating in a hospital, can avoid discotheque for a few days.

Questioner 1: Acharya Ji, I want to ask one more question on relationships.

Some people gang-up, and when you identify that it’s a ‘gang’, you clearly avoid it. But sometimes, there are one or two people in that gang who respect you, and you too respect them genuinely.

What should be our response to them?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When they are ganging-up, in that moment they are not respectable. ‘Respect’ is not a permanent tag that you give to someone. When they are in a frame of mind that is worthy of respect, respect them. And when they have ganged-up with unworthy ones, with debauched ones, in that moment are they still worthy of respect? No.

So don’t label people as ‘respectable’ or ‘not-respectable’.

Look at their actions.

Question 2: Acharya Ji, one of my friends pushes my pain-buttons all the time. He is the most irritating person around.

Acharya Prashant Ji: And he is your friend.

(laughter)

Questioner 2: He cares for me.

Acharya Prashant Ji: By pushing your buttons?

Please sort this out.

A fellow who irritates you, and keeps your mind agitated, why is he present in your life as a ‘friend’? How exactly is he taking care of you, if his presence leads to an unsettled mind? What are these ‘tags’?

The only definition of a friend is: Someone who brings you back to yourself, to your Serenity, to your Peace.

That is the only ‘friendship’ possible.

And that is also the definition of ‘love’.

Isn’t it?


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

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Expectations, and the parental love for kids || Acharya Prashant (2016)

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Expectations, and the parental love for kids

Question: Acharya Ji, is this possible to not to expect anything from child and let him do whatever he wants?

Acharya Prashant Ji: First of all please see, that we are not talking imaginary stuff here. Given the way we are, can we let our kids live without expectation? We expect value even from half a rupee we spend. That’s how we are. But you are saying, “If we let the child be free,” is there anybody that we can let free?

Is there anybody we may not expect anything from? Do you know what it requires to let anybody free? Do you what it requires to not to expect anything in relationship? You are saying this, as if it is a choice, as if you can do that remaining what you are.

So you are saying, “No, no. It is possible, I can do it. It is within my control. I just have to flip a switch, or push a button. But you know, I am not doing it.” Do you have it in you to do that, first of all? Do you have it to let the loved one fly free? Do you have it to not to expect anything? Do you have it to not to be greedy in a relationship? Do you have it to give, without asking for returns?

But we don’t look at that.

We say, “You see, if I do that then it won’t be right.” The question is not about – ‘if’ you do that. The question is – can you do that? Given what you are, can you do that? But look at the misplaced confidence.

“O! Of course I can do that. Of course, of course. I am not doing it, because it is not right.”

“Of course, I can do this. Of course.”

Try giving even one rupee to a beggar, without expecting gratitude. Try!

It’s not so much about the kid, it’s about you.

If you are right, then most of these questions themselves would vanish.

Your obligation is not, to expect. That is your compulsion, that is your inner compulsion. How do you like it when people demand returns from you? Do you feel loving towards them? Is this not obvious? Someone serves you a glass of water, and then serves you the bill, do you give him – ‘I love you’- in return?

And then you are using words like ‘ancient traditions’, ‘soul’, ‘masters’, ‘new humanity’. Why don’t you simply talk of a fearful mind? But that’s what our condition is, right? Look at the whole mass of words tossed – ‘this soul’, ‘that soul’. What ‘soul’? Where ‘soul’? Just say, “I am afraid.”

Question 2: Acharya Ji, is there something called ‘hidden love’, means the parents are loving but still they are not doing the benefit of the kids?

Acharya Ji: No, not at all. You very well know what you were doing. You may name it as ‘love’. Somewhere, you very well know that it is all deception. And the proof of that is – that you run away when that deception is being exposed.

Had you really been confident that what you are exhibiting is ‘love’, then you would have stood for it, then you would have confidently faced any questions about it.

But you don’t face them.

Whenever those questions are raised, you repress them.

And that proves that you know, that you are living in the false.

You are afraid that the falseness might be exposed, so you avoid those occasions, those people who question your ways.

You dislike them, don’t you?

And it’s a very popular excuse, don’t fall into it. That – “You know his or her intentions are loving. It’s just that the fellow is not aware, but his intentions are good.” No way. The intentions have been ‘named’ as ‘good’, they ‘are’ not good.

Nothing except the Truth is good.

Just because you name something as ‘love’, it does not ‘become’ love.

You may tout it as ‘love’, you may sell it as ‘love’, it does not ‘become’ love.

———————————————————————

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Expectations, and the parental love for kids || Acharya Prashant (2016)

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Once there is Love, there must be a roaring declaration || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Once there is Love, there must be a roaring declaration

Question: Acharya Ji, in one your videos you have mentioned that everybody gets to experience Him, in few small moments, sometimes by luck, by chance. One has to maintain that. It is not like that once one has reached there, one will remain there forever. If one breaks attention, and gets back to the world, one loses it.

You have also said that during your Satsangs, we are able to reach there. My question is: if one is actually there, why is one not able to recognize that? Why is that Joy not so big, that we are able to recognize it?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You have to declare that it is ‘big’. It sounds absurd, but that’s what.

We are people of definitions and declarations.

What matters is not really the fact, but the declaration of the fact.

Till yesterday, the man and the woman were strangers. And today, the priest says, “I declare you husband-and-wife,” and everything changes. So you have to declare yourself ‘wife’. Otherwise, things will remain the way they are. You will stand right in front of the man, the declaration won’t come, and you will find yourself receding.

Love requires that you finally give it your respectful consent.

You have to say, “I do.”

Even to God, you have to say, “I do.”

‘Say’ means – actually, literally, physically, mentally. Say.

You have to commit yourself, in whichever way you can.

You have to physically hold the hand.

Otherwise, there would be closeness, and separation.

Questioner 1: In acknowledging,  it is some….

Acharya Ji: Acknowledging and declaring it to yourself. Truth is Freedom, and Freedom does not enforce itself upon anybody. It waits for your free consent. So, in all your freedom, you have to declare your consent.

“Yes, as a free being I declare that I am in love, and committed.” Unless that declaration is there, the inner thoughts and intentions, this-this-this, they will amount to something, but nothing much.

Questioner 1: So, we actually are going through these moments of Truth. But since we are not acknowledging it, we don’t really explain the mind that …..

Acharya Ji: You have to withdraw from yourself, the right to pull back.

As long as you keep vested in yourself the right to pull back, you will keep pulling back. And it is your sovereign right. Nobody can take it away from you. You will have to very freely, very willingly, abjure that right on your own.

Even God waits for you. He won’t impose himself.

It’s a strange thing you know – how we are all creatures of flesh and blood, in all ways of life we live as the body, we talk of ourselves as the body, we very well know how the bodily and material things matter to us, but when it comes to love, we are so quick to say, “O! Love is in the soul.”

What about the body? What are you saying, that your soul loves something or somebody, but your body and mind are committed to something and somebody else? This deception, this inner treachery is so much suffering. Is it not?

And don’t you come across so much of this?

“My soul is in love with God. And I am in love with the devil.”

What is this? Put your body, put your mind, where your so-called soul is, and declare it. because these things are a matter of declaration. The body by it’s material presence at a place, at a physical place, declares something. Does it not?

You are making a declaration by being materially and physically present here. It’s a declaration. And when you will go away, you would be making another declaration.

Are you getting it?

The mind makes a certain declaration, by wearing a certain identity.

Let the mind make the right declaration.

Otherwise, we all have just one identity – the identity of the ashamed lover, the coy lover, who loves but doesn’t have the guts to come out with his love.

And this he covers up by saying, “You know all delicate and true things must be kept secret.” Look at the pretense – “The thing is so delicate and pure, that I cannot expose it socially.” If you cannot expose it socially, then the society will take control of you.

And then why do you wonder, why you regress after every contact with the Truth? Because you are not declaring something socially, because you are not coming out in the open. And that itself is the signal available to the society, that you are yet available to be possessed. Had you really been sold out to the Truth, you would have clearly told the society – ‘Not for sale’.

But that board has yet not come up. That board has yet not come up, so the society knows very well that you are still available. So the buyers come over, and they quickly take you home. Why do you get surprised then?

In India, there is a custom that married women wear some mark of their commitment. That keeps the society at bay. “Hands-off,  she is taken.” But we want to love secretly, and not wear the mark. And then if those goose and hoodlums chase you, why are you surprised?

Your lover(God), happens to be the strongest one in the world, and yet you are being chased by the gully-goons. That’s because you don’t want to display that you are taken.

One wants to remain available. One doesn’t want to close the various options.

Questioner 1: So, even now there appears the pull….

Acharya Ji: That you will never have. That you will never have, till you wear the mark. What do they call it in English?

Questioner 1: Vermilion.

Acharya Ji: Vermilion.

Questioner 1: If I declare, does it mean that I am married to Truth?

Acharya Ji: Not a mere declaration would do. Once there is Love, there must be declaration. A declaration without love, means an arranged marriage. That doesn’t help.

Question 2: How to do this declaration? What do we mean by ‘declaration’?

Acharya Ji: Wo to gali,gali hari gun gaane lagi (She started roaming in the streets, singing in the praise and glory of Lord). Mahlon pe pali, ban ke jogan chali (She was raised in palaces, she left everything for God).

This is what is ‘declaration’.

Meera rani deewani kahani lagi (Meera is known and called as a ‘lover’).

Not like this deception as – listening to the Satsang in the closed room here, and then hide this or shy away  from sharing, and declaring, after moving out of the room.

(laughter)

No camp has ever happened, in which one or two participants have actually hidden it from their family, that they are attending the camp.

Questioner 2: If the declaration is a bad thing, then this ….

Acharya Ji:

Live as His bride.

You don’t merely have to love Him deeply, secretly, internally.

You actually have to live like His bride.

———————————————————————–

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Once there is Love, there must be a roaring declaration || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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The desire behind all desires || Acharya Prashant (2016)

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Question: Acharya Ji, an intense desire for liberation, is a prerequisite?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Classically, it has been put that way. The scriptures talk of mumuksha (desire for liberation). But that intense desire, is not a desire with the same quality, as that of normal, ordinary desires. It is a very latent thing. It is not something that would scream from the surface. It is not something that would shout from the rooftops – “I want liberation.”

It is the desire, behind all desires. And one has to be a little watchful, a little meditative, to be in touch with it. Otherwise, you will be in touch with only with what you superficially want.

For example, you want to change your job. If you are not attentive enough, you will say, “My desire is to get a new job.” But actually, your desire is of deepest liberation. So, mumuksha, is actually the one desire, behind all desires.

And if you make it superficial, if you start saying explicitly that – “I want liberation, I want liberation,” then you have reduced and trivialized mumuksha.

Questioner: Do we have to think about it day and night?

Acharya Ji: No, you don’t have to. Because you are anyway thinking about something day-in and day-out. Whatever you are thinking about, you are actually thinking about liberation only.

Give me one thought that bugs you, or anything that you think about. You will see that behind that thought, is the thought – ‘I want freedom, I want freedom’. But if you start explicitly exclaiming – “I want Freedom,” then as we said that we have trivialized the matter.

So, you don’t have to say, “I want Liberation.” You anyway keep thinking about X,Y and Z. Something or the other, right? Don’t we all keep thinking? Is our mind not always occupied?

Whatever your mind is occupied with, behind that occupation, lies the desire for Liberation.

You say that you want a new house. The thing is that you want liberation from, what your current house imposes upon you. Behind all desires is the one fundamental desire to be – liberated. And you don’t have to make that desire explicit. You just have to pay attention to what is already going on.

The mind is already thinking, the mind is already occupied.

The mind is already thinking, the mind is already occupied. See what it is already occupied with. Just don’t swim on the surface. Dive a little deeper. And there you will find, that you may say that you want ‘this’, you want ‘that’, you want A,B,C,D,E,F,G, but whatever you say you want, you actually want that One single thing, which you may call by any name or no name.

Questioner: Acharya Ji, so is there a bond between love and liberation?

Acharya Ji:

We love to be liberated.

We want liberation, so that we may love.

Man’s primary draw, man’s fundamental pull, is towards freedom. People call it the ‘Truth’. So, you love freedom, you love to be liberated. You go towards That, which will relieve you of your sense of bondage.

You feel bonded, you feel enclosed. You are drawn towards That, which you feel, will give you relief from your chains, and pull down your walls. That is love. that attraction is – love.

So, you may be attracted to any thing or any body, but fundamentally, you are being attracted only towards liberation. You might be attracted sexually towards somebody, but even there, what you are looking for is – liberation.

“There is something within me, that is so incomplete. By being with you, I sense that I might begin to feel complete. That will give me liberation from my sense of incompletion.” And that is why you are drawn towards a man, or a woman. The pinnacle of that liberation is the moment of orgasm, when you feel liberated from just everything. It is in search of that one moment, that you go to a woman.

Questioner: So, is spiritual being, really loving and caring?

Acharya Ji: First of all, we all are spiritual beings. Because we may or may not have spiritual antecedents or pretensions, but we are anyway drawn towards Peace, Love, Truth. And that is what is meant by being spiritual.

To be drawn towards Peace – is Spirituality.

And there is nobody here, who is not drawn towards Peace.

So, there is no living being, who is not spiritual.

We all are spiritual.

It is just that some of us follow so-called spiritual practices, others don’t.

There are some who associate themselves with religions and cults, others don’t. But to be a man, is to be spiritual. To have a Heart, is to be spiritual. Everybody is, inexorably spiritual. There is no exception possible here.

That is one thing.

Second – would a religious or spiritual being, be loving, caring, compassionate? Of course, because that is one’s nature. It is just that when one is not simple, then love, care, affection and compassion, themselves assume very vicious forms.

Then your intention is to love, but you end up chaining the other. Then in the name of care and compassion, you put the other in a prison. The intention is always of love. You ask anybody, who is doing something at any given particular moment, and you would find that his intention, in his own eyes, is right.

In his ‘own’ eyes, everybody is doing the right thing, at any given moment. Later on, he may repent. Later on, he may acknowledge that he was led astray. But at that moment, everybody is right, in his ‘own’ eyes.

So, we all are always looking towards the same things – love, care, compassion. But we are not simple enough, not surrendered enough. Then we say, “I want love, but on my own terms and conditions. I will surrender, but at a time and place of my choosing. I will narrate the Truth, I will live in the Truth, but in my own particular style.” This ‘own’ particular style – that is where the problem is, that is where we all blunder.

We are not simple enough. When there is something beautiful, we don’t just simply say, “O! Beautiful.” We would rather take oblique ways. When we find something, that is really valuable, we just don’t present ourselves to it. We just don’t go to it, and greet, and acknowledge. When we love something or somebody, we just don’t go ahead, hug and kiss. We try very tangential tactics.

The woman would dress-up, to attract the lover. Now, if you are really caring for your lover, if you have something for this person, this man, then why are you trying all these games? If you love him, go to him, sit with him, be with him.

But no, she would rather keep a distance, and try to seduce him.

This is where the problem lies. The woman is acting from the center of love. There can be no denial. Because she loves, that is why she is maintaining a distance. But what mind of love is this, that is only increasing the distance?

“I love you so much, that I will not call you for one week.”

“I love you too much to be with you.”

Have you not heard these statements?

Listeners: Yes.

Acharya Ji: “Let’s go a little distance apart, that will increase our love.” These are not simple things. We are not simple beings.

This is a simple way of loving.

If there is something that is tasty, eat it.

If you are thirsty and there is water, drink.

If you find somebody lovable, kiss.

If you don’t like a place, quit.

But we don’t do all these things. When we don’t like a place, we say, “You know what, this is one of the best opportunities I could have had. And I really like being with these people. But the time has come to move on, but still I would be here for two more months to bug you.”

This is not simple.

If you don’t like, please quit.

If you don’t like taste of something…just as a kid…Can you force a kid to eat something it doesn’t like? You can’t. You can dupe him, you can coerce him. But he would not do it by himself.

Getting it?


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: The desire behind all desires || Acharya Prashant (2016)

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What is the real meaning of ‘self-love?’ || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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What is the real meaning of ‘self-love

Question: What is the meaning of ‘self-love’?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When it is said, “Love yourself”, then surely there are two. One – who is receiving the instruction. And another one – who is going to be loved. This has to be understood.

When I say, “Love yourself,” then the two-ness in the instruction, has to be appreciated. Who is the one I am advising to be more loving? And who is the one I am asking to be loved? They are not one, they are two.

When it is said, “Love. Go and Love,” then it is being said, surely to someone, who does not always love. It is being told to someone, who is not a natural lover. And therefore is being advised to love.

Who is not a natural lover? The Ego. The Ego is not a natural lover. The Ego, by it’s very constitution, remains in fear. And the one who remains in fear, cannot naturally or easily love. So, when it is said, “Love,” surely someone is being advised or instructed to love.

Surely you cannot advise the True Self to love, because the True Self is not in any need of any instructions or advise. Nor is the True Self deficient of love. Who is being advised to love? The Ego.

So, when we say, “Love thyself,” the ‘Love’ part stands clear now. The Ego is being told to love. And who is this ‘thyself’? This ‘thyself’ God forbid, is not the Ego itself. The Ego is not being told to love itself. This ‘thyself’ is the ‘Real you’. This ‘thyself’ is the only one, who is worthy of love. And therefore, is being asked to be loved.

Who is this ‘thyself’? The Real Self, the True Self.

So, when it is said, “Love yourself,” it is analogous to – Love the True Self, Love God, Love Atman.

Who is being told to love? The Ego.

And who is going to be loved? The True Self, that you can call as ‘the Heart’, or ‘God’, or ‘the Atman’.

‘Love thyself’ does not mean – love all your stupidities. The Ego is not being advised to love itself. Because the Ego cannot love itself. Why? Because the Ego is already in great attachment with itself.

Have you seen how self-attached Ego is? That is called ‘Narcissism’. The Ego is always greatly in self-love. Obviously, subject to the constraints, of the definition of the love that Ego knows. The Ego knows only little, petty, stinking kind of love. And with that littleness, pettiness, and stink, the Ego does love itself.

The Ego already loves itself. Nobody, therefore, in his right mind, going to advise Ego, to further love itself. But the statement has been greatly misinterpreted. And in the name of self-love, people are only furthering their Ego.

‘Self-love’ only means – do not love yourself. Love the Truth.

‘Self-love’ does not mean – love the little self, love the petty-self.

‘Self- love’ means – love the best part of yourself.

‘Self-love’ means – love the best part of yourself.

‘Self-love’ means that even if you are covered with all non-sense, know that there is something venerable, something admirable within you.

Love That.

Do not love your rubbish, your non-sense, your trivia. Do not love your filth. Love That which is precious about you. Now, instead of loving, and respecting that which is precious inside oneself, ‘self-love’ is often misconstrued as remaining more and more attached to one’s own rubbish. Don’t do that.

‘Self-love’ does not mean – Ego loves Ego. ‘Self-love’ does not mean – Ego is to love the Ego. ‘Self-love’ really means – Ego must love only Truth.

I hope it is clear.

Unless the Ego leans towards the Truth, it will not even know what ‘love’ really means. What the Ego has for itself, is some rotten variety of attraction and attachment. The Ego has to be a student of love. And the education of Ego starts when it somehow leans towards the Truth. And then, for the first time, love strikes the Ego. Otherwise, the Ego is very loveless.

If you ever find, a loving ego, rest assured that it has become fond of the Truth. Otherwise, how it would have learnt love? Truth teaches love to the Ego. Therefore, the truth is the best Teacher. And therefore, if there is a truthful Teacher, he would teach Love.

Truth and Love, therefore go together.

Now you see why all the wise ones have said this, “Truth and Love go together”? Because if there is Truth, for you, then you will definitely fall in love with it. It is impossible to perceive Truth, in whatever way possible, and not fall in love with it.

Truth has such a unique and wordless beauty about itself, that you cannot avoid, falling in love with it. In India they have said, “Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram (Truth is so beautiful).” You will have to fall in love with it.

That is the meaning of ‘Love thyself’, or ‘self-love’.

Love the Truth, it deserves your love.

Only the Truth deserves your love.

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Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: What is the real meaning of ‘self-love?’ || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Love doesn’t complain, it loves again || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Love doesn't complain, it loves again

Question: Acharya Ji, how to move towards freedom? How to overcome obstacles in freedom?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You are asking me, “How to move towards Freedom? How to answer the call of Truth? What efforts to make? How to choose?”

You have been listening to me since long. Don’t you watch me, don’t you observe what I am doing. You keep asking me the same question. What do I do? I try from ten different sides. Don’t I? So what should you do? Try in different ways.

If this, that you are asking for, is really dear to you, what would you do?

Questioner: Try in different ways, to get it.

Acharya Ji: Try this way, try that way. Come back to the first way. Jump over to the third way. But never cease trying. Do I have a ready-made way? Do I know in advance what life would throw at me? What questions the audience would have to say to me, do I know that?

What do I do?

Questioner: Face the questions.

Acharya Ji: That would be real follower-ship.

If you really want, you must want it so desperately, that you have no time left, to complaint against the results.

Before the result of one attempt is declared, you should already be invested in preparing for the next attempt.

And so when the results of the previous attempt, come to you, you hardly have any time, to cry over them.

That must be the intensity of your love.

Questioner: The situation is such that I am not able to move .

Acharya Ji: Then change the situations, or come out of the situations.

Questioner: I am not able to change.

Acharya Ji: “I don’t ‘want’ to change. I have stakes.” Never say, “I cannot do it.” When that which must happen, happens, are you able to stop it? When death will come to you, will you say, “I cannot die”?

Dharma, you must take like death.

When it comes, it comes.

Unavoidable – irrespective of the situations.

You are in the market place, death comes, would you say, “No, no. Not the right situation”? You are in the loo, death comes, would you say, “Need ten more minutes”?

If you are really in love, then you either achieve results within your situations.

Or if you find that within the situation, the result cannot be achieved, then you no more allow yourself, to be contained by the situation.

Even kids know that. And parents too know that, when it comes to kids. But, parents do not know that for themselves. The kid is unable to study at home, because the situations at home, are not conducive. What do the parents do then? They send the kid off to the hostel. He cannot study properly at home, so let him go and study somewhere else.

Parents know that very well, when it comes to the kids. Why don’t they apply yardstick to themselves? And if you find it, too big a price to pay, remember the price that you are already paying by foregoing the precious years of your only life.

One life, a few years left. And they are all drifting by. How big is this price? Humongously big. The price that you would pay, by altering your situations, is a very negligible price in comparison.

Whenever freedom starts appearing too expensive, do consider the alternative. And then you will see that freedom at all costs, is very affordable. When freedom starts appearing too expensive, just consider the alternative. And then you will see whether freedom is expensive, or the lack of it.

Are the situations arresting you with handcuffs, or are you choosing to stay in those situations? Please. Are the situations chasing you, or have you gone to those situations? And if you move out of those situations, would the situations rush from behind, and pull you back?

One thing about spiritual progress is that – one must never label her choices as her ‘helplessness’.

What you are ‘choosing’, with all due respect to your personal notion of your personal welfare, cannot be called as your ‘helplessness’.

You weighed in everything, you considered all factors, and then you said, “On the criteria of personal welfare, this I choose to be the situation, I want to be in.” So, it is a well-thought-out, well-considered, deeply deliberated, conscious decision. How do we now call it our ‘helplessness’?

All I am saying is – there is something, that one gains, by being in a particular situation. You too are gaining something, by being in that situation. There is something that one gains, by coming out of that situation.

Impartially, wisely, weigh both of these things, and see.

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Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Love doesn’t complain, it loves again || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Does anything outside of thought really exist? || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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Does anything outside of thought really exist

Question: Acharya Ji, you have said in one of your videos, “In matters of Truth, thought is not useful. It is even a handicap.” But thought is all I know, and have ever known. If I close my eyes, everything is a thought. My family is a thought, my children are a thought, even God is a thought. And the Teacher is a thought.

If everything, that I have ever known, is a thought, then why should I believe, that something outside of thoughts, and space and time dimensions, exists? Every thing that tells me, that something ‘beyond’ exists, is thought. And if thoughts are not to be believed, or taken seriously, then I am screwed, because I have been on a wrong quest.

Why should I belittle my thoughts, and term them frivolous and false? Outside these thoughts, there is nothing that I can know of, so why to condemn them?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You will have to answer it, looking at your own life.

How will you explain ‘love’? Thoughts have reasons. Thoughts have causal linkages – backward and forward. Each thought, comes from somewhere, and leads to something. How do you explain ‘love’? Where does ‘love’ come from? Do you have to think, to ‘love’?

How do you explain sleep?

You would admit that when you are sleeping, nicely, comfortably, then you are not thinking. Are you in distress then?

Your problem is not that you are not convinced of a thought-free state.

Your problem is that you are not convinced of a thought-free state – for yourself.

If I say that in sleep, you are thought-free, and yet blissful. You would retort and say, “Yes, there is bliss. But not for me.” You want to experience the bliss, along with everything, that you are. In sleep, bliss is there. But all that, that you are, is not there. So that bliss, appears so useless.

You are not questioning freedom from thought. You are questioning, whether there is freedom from thought, for you, as you are. No, there is no freedom that way. So, you have to make a choice. You have to decide. whether you are more particular about preserving yourself, or is that bliss, dearer to you?

Are you getting it?

That which you are questioning, is not totally unknown to you. You do not really dispute it. If you have ever known Silence, or Love, then you cannot dispute that there is something beyond the little ‘you’. If you have been ever awestruck by anything, then you cannot dispute, that there is something beyond ‘you’.

Come closer.

If you have ever listened carefully to me, then you cannot dispute that there is something beyond ‘you’. And that is not the product of thought, because I do not give you the time to think.

When you are with me, do you get the space, the occasion to think? You don’t. If you are attentive, then you are taken to a place, where there is just ‘you’. The baggage of thoughts, the swarming of the bees, is not there.

So you know, that THAT exists. That you may call as – Silence, or Truth, or God, whatever. You know that, THAT exists. Hence, I am re-reading your question. Now, your question is, “Can THAT exist with ‘me’? Can ‘I’ exist with ‘THAT’? can the two be simultaneous? Can the two remain separate, and yet concurrent?

No, they can’t.

Jab hari tha tab main nahin,

Jab main hun hari nahin.

(When there is God, then I am not.

When I am, God is not).

Simple. Full stop.

That ‘beyondness’, is beyond dispute, because all dispute is thought.

That ‘beyondness’ is beyond questions as well, because all questions are thoughts.

That ‘beyondness’ is beyond my teaching, and your listening, if my teaching and your listening, are a thought.

‘Beyondness’, need not be proved, because beyondness, is such a cunning thing. All you are saying is, what you are saying is alright, but there is something beyond this. But, how do you disapprove that? You can only disapprove something that exists. In ‘beyondness’, what you are saying is, that whatever exists, has something beyond it. Now, how do you fight that?

Hence, the saints are always on a very sold footing. You cannot quarrel with them. They say, “What you have is alright. But there is something bigger than this.” How do you fight with that? And they are saying that – ‘That’ which is bigger than ‘This’, is not in the same dimension, as this thing.

How do you fight with that?

Because, in this dimension, you can prove that there is no Taj Mahal, bigger than the existing Taj Mahal. And this dimension is all that you know of. In this dimension, there is scope of proofs and rebuttals. But, what they are saying is that there is another dimension, that is beyond proofs. There is a Taj Mahal in a dimension, that is beyond any Taj Mahals. So, where there can be no Taj Mahal, there is a Taj mahal, that is better than this Taj Mahal.  Now, fight that.

They are not claiming anything at all. What they are saying is, “Where there can be no Taj Mahal,” by this they mean – a world that is not yours. A world in which space and earth do not exist. So, where there can be no Taj Mahal, there exists a Taj Mahal, more beautiful than this Taj Mahal.

Now, you cannot even take the first step, to even counter such a statement. Why? Because your first step will come from thought or imagination. And, what they are saying is – “In that world, there is no thought. So, you cannot enter with thought.” And thought is all you have.

Please understand.

What they are saying is, “There is another dimension, that is untouched by thought”. And you start thinking – ‘what that dimension could be?’ And you have lost it. And the saint is smiling.

The only way now, you can counter the saint is, by…..

(silence)

You want to investigate that dimension, right? And the saint is saying, “In that dimension, there is neither space, nor time, nor earth, nor moon. There is nothing. No person, no animal. No thing, no idea, no past, no past, no future.”

That is that dimension.

“And in that dimension, there is a Taj Mahal, more beautiful than this Taj Mahal. No you want to investigate that dimension. How do you investigate that dimension? You want to enter that country. Kabir keeps talking again and again, of another desh, another amarpuri. You want to investigate, you want to prove Kabir wrong. You want to prove that no such amarpuri exists.

For that, what will you need to do? What is the necessary condition?

Questioner: You will want to have proofs.

Acharya Ji: Kabir is saying that there is another dimension, in which there is a Taj Mahal. And in that dimension, there is no thought. You cannot enter that dimension with thought. Now, you want to investigate that there is a Taj Mahal in that dimension. What will you have to do?

You will have to enter that dimension. And you cannot enter that dimension, with thought. So, what will you have to do? What is the condition? You will have to be…..Silent. Because Kabir is saying, that only Silence can enter there.

Your intention is to investigate whether that Taj Mahal, exists. And whether that Taj Mahal is more beautiful than this Taj Mahal. But, what is the password to that dimension? Even if you want to investigate that dimension, what is the password?

Listeners: Silence.

Acharya Ji: So to enter that dimension, even for the purpose of suspicious investigation, what will you have to do?

Questioner 1: Be Silent.

Acharya Ji: Be Silent. The moment you are silent, Kabir smiles. That is all, that he wanted. That is all, that he wanted. The moment you are silent, you discover that Silence itself, is the Taj Mahal, that is more beautiful, than all the Taj Mahals.

Now, you don’t want to look at some building, any construction. This de-contruction, this des-truction, is more beautiful than any construction. Done! Game over. The first step -Silence- is the last step. Now, there is no need to enquire that whether the world is indeed, just as Kabir describes it.

And he describes it in very colorful ways. He says, “The Sun is forever shining there. There is no sunset. And even as the Sun is shining there, you can enjoy the beauty of the moon and the stars. And there is no death, no old-age, no disease, no fear, and no suffering.”

You want to counter all that. You say, “No, no. This cannot be possible. To counter it, you will have to go there.” To go there, you will have to be ……

Questioner: Silent.

Acharya Ji: Silent.

The moment you are silent, Kabir runs away.

His mischief, is successful.

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

Watch the session: Does anything outside of thought really exist? || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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How to rise above material things in life? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Question: Acharya Ji, we remain attached to the material things and eventually it all leaves us when we die. How do I detach myself from this old and disappointing pattern of material based existence, that I need a job and money, so that I can be happy etc.?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Carla (the questioner), the more you choose to value stuff in your life, that is not really stuff, the more you will rise above stuff. Ah! Frowning. Such a stuffed statement. Yes, death is material. And you have rightly pointed out that one is so attached to the material existence of the others, and one is so attached to things like job and money, and one’s happiness too is contingent on material things.

So, one is attached to the material, right? Why don’t you start valuing love? And if you value love, then aren’t you valuing something, that is not material? Please. Is it not often a choice to value love, over glitter, convenience, or money? If there is a choice between love and convenience, and you have chosen convenience, then what have you chosen? The material.

Whereas, if you have chosen love, have you chosen material? Is love, material? If love is material, bring some of that material, to me, on this plate. Please, somebody serve love to me on this plate. Because material can always be transformed, and presented here on this plate. Serve me love, here. Please. With some sauce. Can you? You can’t.

That’s the way to beat the material. But, first of all, one has to be fed up with material, and one has to have some love. Good news is, and equally the bad news is, all this, is a choice. It is often said, “Love just happens.” We talk of spontaneity. We talk of it’s finality, reversibility. We talk of it’s unknowability. We talk of the total possession that love takes over oneself. But, all that is, a lot of poetry.

The reality is, that love too is a choice.

Love cannot just overwhelm you, and overpower you, and possess you, if you don’t want it to.

You have to allow love, to dominate you.

If you don’t allow, it won’t.

It’s such handicap, you know. Even God needs our permission, to enter us. And more often than not, the permission doesn’t come. Love won’t just happen, you have to permit it. In the choice between convenience and love, the right choice won’t just happen.You have to make it. And the temptation to go with convenience, is always there.

So, Carla, the questioner, has to tell me – how important it is to go with love? I turn the question upon you Carla. If the material annoys you now, then tell me, are you ready to love? Because that is not material. And obviously, I could throw a few more words, and complete the mix, the usual culprits  – Freedom, Joy, Simplicity, Liberation. They are not material, are they?

Ever seen a cube of Truth? A cube of Truth, dissolving in, a cup of love. We haven’t seen that ever. Have we? ‘Colours’ of Joy, though we use those phrases. Stupid phrases, but we use them. Ah! – ‘the rainbow of Joy’. But the fact is – Joy cannot be seen.

Behind your seeing, can be Joy. But in nothing material, in nothing see-able, lies Joy. When you are joyful, then the world is a wonderful place. But if you are not joyful, just seeing something, will not give you Joy. It may give you relief. It may give you temporary happiness. But not, the real thing. Not, Joy.

Material attracts, because the ego can measure the material. And only the material can be measured. In material, lies a lot of security, because material can be stored and possessed. You can write your name on the material. And you can claim it. Nobody else can touch it. You can deposit it in, a bank locker, and it is all yours, till your death. You can even leave it behind for your kids, such is the quality of material.

So there are lot of advantages related to material, are there not? If it is perishable, you can salt it, and preserve it in a container, to use it next season. You can pickle it. Love – would you want to salt it, and pickle it? You do want that. Most of us keep trying that, don’t we? Look at the married couples. There love has been salted and pickled. And they want to use it season after season.

The mango is long since dead, but the pickle is surviving. Obviously, with no juice. With love, storage is not possible. With material, storage is easy.

Love is the fresh mango, direct from the branch. And then, there are relationships. Old pickles! So oily! They spoil the body. But nevertheless, they are very spicy. Now, you choose, what do you want – spices with oils and preservatives, and then shrunken piece of mango skin, or the luscious mango? What is it that you want?

You look at my incapacity Carla. Even to give you an example of love, I have to use something material. That’s how mind is tempted towards the material. Even to tell you of love, I have to take the example of the ripe mango.

Listener: And a luscious one!

Acharya Ji: And a luscious one. Ah!

So now you see why the mind goes towards the material? The ego finds so much comfort there. Right? “This sofa is mine.” With Truth, you cannot do that. Ever heard something called ‘personal Truth’? Truth is, not even universal. How can it be personal? But the sofa can very well be personal. And you can modify the sofa. If doesn’t  work properly, you can get it cut into something more convenient to you.

A saree can turn into a skirt. There are designers that specialize at it. Bring us old sarees, and we will give you designer dresses from that. With love, you cannot do that. Yes, with the lover’s saree, you can do that.

So, there are many, for whom love is just a great saree. Then they don’t need love. In lieu of love, you can give them a great…saree. And they are happy. Often when they need a saree, they do not say that they need a saree. They say, “Janu, you do not love me.” And Janu understands, she needs a saree.

She won’t directly say that she needs a saree. All that she will say is, that she needs…

Listeners: Love.

(laughter)

Acharya Ji: Similarly, Janu doesn’t need to say that he needs sex. All that Janu says is, “I want to love you.” And she understands what he wants. If he says, “I want to love you,” he means – undress.

Love is difficult, Carla. Very difficult. It requires guts, something burning within, to want it. If you don’t have that fire, those guts, then you can have ample material.

(silence)

Most of us not seekers of love, we are chasers of lovers.

There is a great difference between them – wanting love, and wanting a lover.

Please meditate on that.

There is great difference between – wanting love, and wanting a lover. If you have a lover, it doesn’t matter to you, whether you have love or not – such is your obsession with lovers. Because lovers are material, and love is not.


Watch the session: How to rise above material things in life? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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False concepts regarding mindfulness || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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False concepts regarding mindfulness

Question: Acharya Ji, some teachers say that one should never forget that one is a watcher, and teach oneself to be mindful while watching, eating, sleeping, etc. Is it doable? What is its significance?

Acharya Prashant Ji: I just do not subscribe to this. It is quite harmful, in fact.

The mind is already too eager to gather news from here and there, like a very suspicious old man – what is happening, where? It needs rest, not more news. Because any bit of news, any bit of information, that comes to it, would only be mis-utilised. And it already has millions, and trillions, of Terra-bytes of information.

Could that do any good?

Isn’t it far better, to just forget everything? Why add to your existing and overflowing repository of information? Just forget everything, and be engrossed in rest. Ignore these things, they belong to the body. The body will take care of them: eating, walking, sleeping. If you start being observant about every step that the body takes, you will go mad.

Such advice have managed to sustain, only because such advice have never been fully implemented. If somebody could actually fully implement these advice about watchfulness, and mindfulness, then the dangerous nature of these advice would be exposed.

The mindfulness industry has managed to survive, only because nobody can practically do, what they are advising. If even one person can practically do, what they are advising, he will prove the very debilitating nature of that advice, through his madness. He did it fully, and he went crazy. And that would be the end of these teachings.

But, fortunately for these teachings, they are so impractical, so crazy, that they can never really be implemented. Nobody can be watchful about every morsel of food, or every blink of the eye, or every round of respiration. So people just survive, going mad.

And when they cannot implement these teachings fully, they feel that they are guilty, and have therefore not benefited from the teachings. “I could not benefit from them, because I could not implement them fully.” The bugger does not know that if he could implement them fully, he would go crazy.

A saint has never, never been known to be the one, who is observant about these minor microscopic things in life.

The saint’s heart is elsewhere.

He in fact, ignores these tit-bits, called ‘daily life’.

You look at his clothing, and it is possible that you may find that something is torn somewhere, and he is oblivious of it. He totally ignores these things. He is carrying some utensil, and utensil has a hole. You become conscious of that hole, the fakir(saint), keeps ignoring that hole. Forget about ignoring the hole, if you tell him that there is a hole in your vessel, he will say, “Is there? Where? Where?” He is lost, he is somewhere else.

That’s hardcore spirituality. Not this.

There is the famous tale of Sohni and Mahiwal in Punjab. Sohni used to cross the river using pots. They don’t sink. So, she used to use them, to help her cross the river Chenab. One day some jealous woman, kept a raw pot for her, not a properly baked one, an unbaked one. Sohni just picked it up and went into the river, and drowned and died. That’s the heart. That’s ‘real love’.

You are so lost in your beloved, that you do not even bother to cross-check about these things – what am I eating, what am I using for my physical defence? The mindfulness industry would have said, “Oh! She was not mindful enough. That’s why she died.” Obviously she was not mindful enough. And that is why she was a lover.

Who said that lovers are mindful?

Questioner: Acharya Ji, but then why do saints put high emphasis on observation?

Acharya Ji: That observation is inner. Not the observation of the food you take, and the steps you put, and this and that. The observation there is, just this – “Am I with the beloved or not?” There is just one thing, that you have to watch out for. It doesn’t matter where else I am. It’s either  a zero, or a one. One, if I am with ‘him’. Zero, if I am anywhere else. It doesn’t matter where I am.

You are born with a purpose.

The purpose is your primary concern. Otherwise, why are you alive?

You are born to get rest.

You are born to get freedom from your restlessness.

And therefore, that is what you must be fully occupied with.

That is your central mission.

Everything else is incidental. Everything else, is stuff, worth ignoring. Not something you can afford to get entangled in.

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

Watch the session:  False concepts regarding mindfulness || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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

The ego uses both sex and meditation as an escape

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

Love is none of these contradictory things.

Contradiction does not exist in love.”

~ J. Krishnamurti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ego is foolish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is how we work.

We exploit even the highest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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Gatay, Gatay, Paragatay…

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Gatay, Gatay, Paragatay….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ 31st May’19


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Quotes, January’19

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1.

Love is a vast sky, it has no opposite.

It is so vast that it has space enough for hatred.

In Love, one hates as well, and that doesn’t reduce love.

Do not feel guilty. Provided your love is vast enough.

And you can have love so vast, only for Vastness.

A Vastness called Freedom.

2.

By reasoning out

your situation,

you try to remain

what you are.

All reasons are

hidden justifications.

Realise, don’t rationalize.

3.

Having lived rightly for long, one becomes incapable of living wrongly.

Having lived rightly for long, if one even decides to live or act wrongly for a while, he will face failure in his chosen wrong action.

The reward of living rightly: failure in one’s attempts to live wrongly.

4.

Enlightenment is a series of endless enlightenments, each one being complete and final.

5.

Being so enamoured by the Sun,

You keep watching the moon all night!

That’s Love.

6.

What is the way to Liberation?

Suffering.

An honest acknowledgment of suffering,

Without trying to hide or colour or glorify or rationalise it,

Is the way to Liberation.

7.

The great Intelligence that is never touched, spoiled, created or destroyed is not personal.

The person can decide to follow that impersonal Intelligence. And the person can also withdraw from the service of Intelligence.

That choice is always available and that choice is Maya.

8.

The spiritual pursuit faces humongous obstacles. It sometimes appears the entire world is lined against you.

We all are in a big holy war.

We will definitely lose some battles.

The trick is to not to mind the defeats, and quickly get ready for the next win.

9.

Questioner: What is the definition

of ‘Stupid’?

Acharya Ji: Knowing what is right,

doing what is wrong.

10.

Your interests, your welfare, don’t depend on things.

Witnessing means not seeking interest in anything. Not attaching your self-interest, self-worth, to anything. When you are not interested, you are the knower and the master.

Here, kingship comes only to the reluctant king.

11.

She troubled him for being awake at nights, “Your eyes are full of someone beyond.”

Helpless, he kept mum.

One night a mysterious tune woke her up. Since then, she dances all night to music.

And he laughs. He has had his revenge.

Love is so foolish it knows only one revenge: Love

12.

In the mirror, he saw many faces.

One wanted food, air, water, sleep, sex.

The second one wanted prestige, power, money, happiness.

A third one just looked on sorrowfully, sometimes at the two, sometimes at the distant horizon.

13.

If not religion, who will teach you secularism?

Secularism is a new religion; just that it isn’t yet deeply religious enough.

The development of secularism depends on its ability to learn from religion the value of meditativeness, devotion, and surrender of ego to the Beyond.

14.

The new, the happiness that you are looking for,

will not come through experience.

It will not come to you via time,

It is not contained in the future.

It comes when you are a little less

insistent upon cheating yourself.

15.

You had a dream,

you came to me,

and I have not helped you

reach there.

But tell me,

are you not glad

that now you are not

what you were?

~Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait

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Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)

Is willpower really needed

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Question: Acharya Ji, how to improve willpower?

Acharya Prashant Ji: So, what has Aditya (the questioner) asked? “What can we do, to improve will power?” Right?

What is ‘willpower’, and why do we need it? What is ‘will power’?

Listener: To have determination.

Acharya Ji: To have determination. Determination, for what?

Listener: For our goal.

Acharya Ji: For our goal. To ‘do’ something. Right? To ‘do’ something. You need willpower in order that, something happens, that something gets done, right? Now, why does something, not get done? We often find that we are unable to act, to ‘do’.

Why are we unable to act, and ‘do’?

Listener 1: Because of fear.

Listener 2: Because of restrictions.

Acharya Ji: Fear. Restrictions.

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

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

In order to overcome them, you need willpower. And that is what you are asking – “How can I enhance willpower?” What could be a better question?

Would it not be a better question: How not to be afraid? How not to be restricted?

Are you trying it, with me? We say, “We need willpower.” What if the willpower is actually not needed? What if you are fighting imaginary demons? You say, “You know, I require a lot of willpower, to enter that room, because in that room, there are ghosts, are there are demons?”

And as long as you believe, that there are ghosts, and there are demons, what will you require? Will power.  Willpower, motivation, somebody to give you courage. Somebody to pump you up. What if you come to see that there are no ghosts, and there are no demons? Would you still require willpower? Would you still require willpower?

(Pointing at one of the listeners) You are shaking your head, would you require willpower, to shake your head? You are again shaking your head, do you again require willpower? You are saying, “No, Sir,” do you require any willpower to say, “No, Sir”?

You just know, and out of that clarity, a simple action is happening. There is no willpower needed. But, if you are told that the fellow sitting in front of you, is a maniac, and the moment somebody shakes his head, nods his head, he shoots from the podium itself, then you will need a lot of willpower, to nod in ‘Yes’, or ‘No’. Right? Otherwise the action is simple. If you have to enter a room, you have to just step in. If you have to shake your head, you just shake it. A simple nod.

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

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

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

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

But, instead of asking for clarity, we often ask for courage. Now, courage is not needed, clarity is needed. Instead of asking for wisdom, we ask for will power. Will power is not needed, wisdom is enough.

If you are deeply afraid, and you believe that everybody will laugh at you, when you will ask a question, then you will need a lot of willpower. But if you are wise, and you say, “First of all, not many people are going to laugh. Secondly, even if somebody laughs, how does it matter to me?” then, will you still need will power?

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

Is that not so?

Listeners: Yes, Sir.

Acharya Ji:

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

Then you will say, “Well, willpower! Who needs it?” When you are enjoying a particular sport, then you run around a lot. You expend a lot of energy. Do you need willpower? Do you need willpower?

Listeners: No.

Acharya Ji: But you will need a lot of willpower, if you are told to go jogging, and if you don’t enjoy jogging, then jogging even fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, you will say, “O my god, I am just dragging my feet. Give me some willpower.”

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

It is not needed.

Are you getting it?

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

Watch the session:  Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)


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coverpage

Quotes, April’19

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1.

If you want to most definitely reach,

Take the most difficult route.

2.

What is It?

More than everything, in general.

Less than nothing, in particular.

3.

If your lover speaks to you in a language you cannot comprehend,

does your love diminish?

No.

You may not comprehend his words, but still, you do understand.

What do you understand ?

Nothing in particular.

Not everything has to be intellectually comprehended.

Love is enough.

4.

Freedom is the backdrop in which bondage appears as bondage.

Freedom is the Light in which darkness looks like darkness.

If there is only darkness, there is no darkness.

Darkness means anything only in the presence of Light.

To not to feel bondage is to not to be in Freedom.

5.

Grace is available to you unconditionally, but not compulsorily.

She would come to your doorstep,and knock.

She will wait,not break open your door.

Answer the knock quickly,or the knock keeps getting dimmer and infrequent.

She isn’t short of patience,but you’re short of time.

6.

Those who are winning the war, matter.

They need to be saluted.

Those who are losing the war, matter.

They need to be helped.

Those who are absentees from battlefield, do not matter.

They need to be ignored.

7.

What you collect for your security makes you all the more insecure.

8.

Except for Prakriti,

who will tell you

of all the stories of

Parmatma?

And, well,

all his secrets?

9.

What does it mean to say “God is One? Truth is One?”

It simply means: Do not allow the many to lord over your mind. The world is many things. The world is many thoughts, moods, emotions, ideologies, objects, relationships.

Do not let these turn into your gods.

10.

The lover, the mystic, looks at the moon

and knows fullness itself.

Is the material just material?

A thing is the Source behind itself.

It appears as a thing only because you watch as something.

Watch as nothing,

and the thing reveals itself as it’s own genesis.

 

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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Gems from Articles, May’19

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1.

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

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

So, all ‘becoming’ fails.

All change is defeated.

2.

Change is wonderful.

When you want change, see what you really want.

Don’t change halfheartedly.

Change fully.

3.

Love is the urge to move towards That.

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

4.

Love is what brings Sudama to Krishna.

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

Out of these, obviously, love will come first.

You love Him, you move close to Him.

He showers his bounties on you, Gratitude arises.

But obviously love cannot be in expectation of bounties.

5.

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

6.

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

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

7.

Time has only one legitimate purpose – to help you move into the timeless.

Invest more and more time, into the service of the timeless.

If you want to save time, then save time from all the miscellaneous non-sense, time gets spent in.

Save time from there.

Do not save time, from the Scriptures and the Teachers.

8.

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

Currently live.

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

Go into your life, right now.

9.

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

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

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

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

You maintain it, you keep it.

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

10.

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

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

Is it not true?

11.

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

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

No!

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

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

12.

One need not always ask a question.

Listening is enough.

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

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

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

13.

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

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

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

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

And that knot is common to all. 

14.

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

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

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

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

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

15.

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

Then there is a question.

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

Then questions arise, then one feels woken up.

A question represents an inconsistency in your life.

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

16.

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

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

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

A question arises, when something strange happens.

17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

18.

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

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

The world is many things.

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

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

19.

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

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

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

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

20.

Those who love the Truth, their world becomes truthful.

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

It comes from the Truth, it serves the Truth.

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

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

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

21.

All this expression is material.

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

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

Everything, even their body.

22.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It depends on your fundamental concept is.

23.

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

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

So you know that you want something big.

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

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

Logical, obvious, common sensical!

24.

Change your concept of smartness.

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

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

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

They are called ‘saints’.

That requires you to be super-smart.

25.

This is what tells you, how Prakriti fails you.

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

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

To hell with such continuation.

26.

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

My real work is: this.

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

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

I must work for that.

27.

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

Who wants to tolerate it?

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

Finish -off your work, and retire.

Go away! Go to sleep. 

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

Turtles, crocodiles, they all live longer than men.

So what? 

28.

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

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

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

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

All that is largely useless. 

29.

A lot of suffering is just unnecessary.

If it is unnecessary, give it up.

A part of it is necessary.

If it is necessary, go through it.

30.

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

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

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

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

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

You will have to go through it.

31.

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

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

One suffers.

32.

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

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

One sees the futility of one’s life.

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

One gets hurt.

It is never pleasant to get hurt.

 33.

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

One has to bow her head down.

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

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

And all that, I said, entails suffering.

You will not reach Truth, with your ego intact.

34.

 We have been taught to look down upon ourselves.

Love yourself. Respect yourself.

And then you will not accept hurt.

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

35.

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

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

36.

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

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

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

37.

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

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

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

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

37.

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

That’s the scientific mind.

And then there is the spiritual mind.

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

38.

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

39.

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

There are alternate viewpoints possible.

There are alternate ways of living possible.

40.

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

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

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

41.

Do not be sold out to it.

Do not become a fanatic.

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

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

42.

It is always helpful to see an alternative.

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

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

43.

The key challenge is not the attainment of the infinite.

The key challenge is to come out of the finite.

And that is far more difficult.

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

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

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

44.

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

And the final step, that just happens.

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

45.

You are not responsible for attainment of the absolute Truth.

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

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

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

46.

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

47.

When was the ego born?

When ‘I’ was born.

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

48.

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

A thing that is severely limited by time and space.

And therefore suffers.

And is therefore debilitated.

49.

Do you now see what desire is?

All your desires are limited to time and space.

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

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

50.

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

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

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

So, why be born at all?

51.

If you are burdened and troubled, then surely you must move.

But if you are burdened and troubled, but your movement has to be, with the intention of, and in the direction of, un-burdening.

52.

If I am burdened, and as a result of the burden, I run, then the purpose of the run should be to un-burden myself. So, it’s great that you are running everyday.

Now, what remains to be asked, is the question, that whether your race is helping you to be unburdened.

53.

I am a great supporter of movement. If one is at the wrong place, one must move, and one must move fast. One must run indeed. And one must energetically run. I seriously support action. But action ought to have a purpose. The purpose is decided by the state of the actor.

If the actor is in bondage, then the sole purpose of the action has to be, the liberation of the actor. Now, are you acting towards your liberation. Look at your daily actions. Are they contributing to your liberation? Or are you rather acting to enslave yourself, even more deeply?

Action is good, action is inevitable. But what is your action leading to?

54.

You can even ask yourself, “What am I doing? What am I expending precious time and energy towards?”

While it is a matter of celebration, that you are capable of running, capable of energy, it is an equally serious concern, how you are expending yourself?

Because time and energy won’t last forever.

55.

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

56.

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

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

Otherwise, your seeing will stop.

57.

You do not merely ‘see’ something.

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

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

You become one with the seer.

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

58.

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

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

59.

Let the interested one, remain interested.

‘You’ have no business to be interested.

60.

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

‘You’ need not remain interested.

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

‘You’ stay wherever you must.

61.

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

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

Your misplaced presence is the culprit.

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

62.

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

63.

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

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

64.

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

65.

Thought is not the problem.

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

And that is an assumed, imagined problem.

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

66.

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

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

67.

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

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

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

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

68.

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

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

69.

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

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

70.

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

It is not needed.

~ Excerpts from Shabd-Yoga Sessions.


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Quotes, May’19

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1.

Life is sacred,

the living are sacred,

the conscious are sacred,

the unconscious are sacred,

the subject is sacred,

the object is sacred.

All sacred

just because they are false.

Falseness is false.

They are not what they appear.

They are where they come from.

The Truth. The One.

2.

The storm kept raging.

The Sky didn’t utter a word.

3.

You’ve one life

and you must

spend it rightly.

4.

Restless are those who do not have answers.

Dead are those who do not have even questions.

Better to be restless than dead.

Most people appear lifeless.

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

Doubt, Wonder, Ask, Question, Find.

Come alive!

5.

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

Gratitude is about remaining thankful when you are being destroyed.

6.

Live on with the patterns of your life.

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

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

Resistance is attachment.

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

So what to do with patterns?

Nothing.

7.

When you feel incomplete,

Kindly don’t fill yourself with rubbish.

8.

Fear is useful.

One must have the right fear.

Right fear

is when one is afraid

of losing the one thing

that cannot be lost,

and yet man loses it

again and again.

Afraid of this one thing,

now one can be fearless

about all else.

This is the key to

fearlessness.

9.

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

You fondly said: Come.

Whom did you call?

You dryly said: Busy.

What are you busy with?

You sorely missed something.

What is it?

You dreamily thought of someone.

Who is he?

The real one has just One in mind.

10.

Acharya ji, who is a friend?

Whose friend?

Mine.

Who are you?

(Mute)

A squirming consciousness are you, desperate for its Destination.

Who is a friend?

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

Who is a foe?

Who stands between you and the Destination.

~Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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God, Love and Gratitude

God Love and Gratitude

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Question: Acharya ji, how are Gratitude and Love connected with each other?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Love is the urge to move towards That.

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

Love is what brings Sudama to Krishna.

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

Out of these, obviously, love will come first. You love Him, you move close to Him, He showers his bounties on you, Gratitude arises. But obviously love cannot be in expectation of bounties. 

And that also explains Gratitude. Gratitude says, “I did not even want it, or dream of it, and I am still receiving it. How fascinating! I don’t even deserve it, and yet I am being blessed with it.

Question: Acharya Ji, how to show Gratitude?

Acharya Ji: You distribute it.

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

Once you are grateful, you stop measuring others, on the eligibility scale. Just as you received something, irrespective of your eligibility, similarly, you start distributing it to others, irrespective of their eligibility.

Question: Acharya ji, why are there so many forms of God as Krishna, Ram, or Shiva?

Acharya Ji: Because you are so many. Even here I have to speak in two languages. You are so many, that different words, different names are needed. And if there are eight hundred crore of you, currently alive, then how many names and how many definitions and forms will be needed?

God is one, but you are many, therefore gods are many.

Listener: So, there is no difference between…

Acharya ji: For you, there is a lot of difference.

Listener: Yes, they were different for me. Now, should I try to understand the commonality and singularity that all of them represent?

Acharya Ji: The singularity is there, whether you understand it or not. I wanted some normal Dal, and my hotel waiter tells me that a normal dal, with a bit of spinach in it, is ‘palakura pappu’.

(laughter)

And I have been so fascinated by this word, ‘palakura pappu’, while driving the car, I was singing of it, – “Palakura pappu..” It is just dal. Dal-palak. Just little bit of distance, and ‘dal-palak’ becomes ‘palakura pappu’.

And God is so very distant from the common egoistic human being. Obviously, there would be a great diversity in names.

Question: Acharya Ji, are there any simpler and direct ways of Remembering?

Acharya Ji: The Zen way is there, but it is very direct. It is as direct, as a stick- straight and forward.

Zen teachers had very great respect for time. They would not even waste time in explaining. So many of them, would simply beat up.

That is the way of instant remembrance, for the forgetful mind.

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

Watch the session:  God, Love and Gratitude || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Suffer, but suffer rightly || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Suffer, but suffer rightly

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Question: Is suffering necessary to reach the Truth? Once I have identified pain and fear, or something like this, where I know that it is creating unpleasant situation or suffering for me, what are the next ways for me to be this….peaceful. What is next?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

A lot of suffering is just unnecessary. If it is unnecessary, give it up. A part of it is necessary. If it is necessary, go through it.

We can see the next question coming. What is the next question?

Listener: How do we know which part of the suffering is necessary, and which part is unnecessary?

Acharya ji: How do we know which part of the suffering is necessary, and which part is unnecessary?

You see, you move about like a drunkard on the road, and get hit or keep hitting, and abuse and get abused, and blow up your money, and all of that has a suffering component attached to it. That is unnecessary. Even if you suffer for a thousand years, you won’t be spiritually elevated. Right?

If you get cursed by a thousand men, for a thousand years, it won’t elevate your spiritual status, even a  little. So that kind of suffering is totally foolish, just give it up. You don’t need to suffer. Ego finds a perverse pleasure, even in suffering.

People meet me, and so many of them say that all the great Yogis and Rishis(Sages), they suffered so much, and that is why they arrived at greatness. To this, I said that, not everybody who suffers, arrives at greatness. There has to be a particular quality, even in suffering. Not all suffering is necessary. Most of human suffering, is totally unnecessary. Give it up!

A monk met me once, I was in Dharamshala at that time. Had a very long conversation with him, he had come to visit. It’s a cold place, Dharamshala. And the fellow would be, always, in just one piece of cloth. I said to him, “Why are you doing this to yourself?” He replied, “Suffering is necessary.” I asked him, “Are you sure that this kind of suffering will lead you somewhere?”

But he was very determined. He was a senior monk, and he had done that all his life. It was very difficult for him to accept that all the suffering that he had accumulated, rather earned over his lifetime, is needless. It’s needless!

Technology is good. Science has provided man with medicine. All that is not just hot air, all that is meaningful. If you are having a great headache, don’t tell me that your peace won’t be disturbed. If modern medicine can help you get rid of physical disorders at least, that helps. No point quoting again and again, that you are the Atman, and nothing but the Atman, so no migraine, or no headache affects you.

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

And then there is legitimate, and genuine suffering, that comes to you, in the process of self-realisation. You will have to go through it.

I will give an example. You think of yourself as a very worthy man. You think of yourself as an honest man. You think of yourself as a loving father, or a loving son, or a loving husband. Or you think of yourself as devoted wife, or a caring mother, or a loving daughter. Something.

The more you open your eyes in the spiritual sense, the more you realise, that you have been exploiting others, just every bit, as much as others have been exploiting everybody else. And then, it is not pleasant to come up on this realisation.

One suffers.

What I am saying is, that awareness brings suffering, in it’s wake. You cannot wake up, and not suffer. this is what I am calling as ‘genuine suffering’. And many people prefer not to wake up, just because they want to avoid the genuine suffering as well.

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

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

One sees the futility of one’s life.

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

One gets hurt.

It is never pleasant to get hurt.

But one has to pass through that. One has to let that suffering come, and one has stand very vulnerable to it. One has to bow her head down. One has to say, “I see that I have been not only blind, but I have been needlessly blind. All my life, I have just deceived myself.” One’s self-esteem falls into pieces. One has to be prepared for all that. And all that, I said, entails suffering.

You will not reach Truth, with your ego intact.

Listener: To realise one thing, like somebody realises in one instance, I take ten-eleven instances, and then also I get half the part of it. It happens often. How do I reduce this gap, or time? Why do I need to get hurt so much, that I lose everything, and then only I realise?

Acharya ji: Love yourself more. Love yourself more. We have been taught to hate ourselves. We have been taught to hate ourselves, and therefore, love the world.

When you look at a nice shirt, what do you say? “Let me wear this shirt, this shirt will add value to me.” So, what do you hate, and what do you love? You despise yourself. You say, “I am of inferior value.” You think of even a shirt, that can add value to you, don’t you? And therefore, when you find people wearing expensive shirts, you look upto them.

We have been taught to look down upon ourselves.

Love yourself. Respect yourself.

And then you will not accept hurt.

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

We do not have basic, simple, innocent, self-love. We keep inviting hurt, and equally we are afraid of hurt.

Loving yourself is very different from improving yourself, or adding value to yourself. In fact, they are opposite in a sense. Understand this. I hope you don’t misinterpret me. By loving yourself, I do not mean that you should wear the best saree – “Because I am loving myself so much, so I am gifting myself the best saree.” No, no, no!

Loving yourself means, that you look upto yourself, and respect yourself, already as you are. You tell yourself, that it is not the world that will add value to me. The value resides within.”

O! The value does not reside, even in this structure of flesh and bones. It is somewhere else that the value resides. The value resides in neither in this(the flesh), or in this(the mind), nor in all that(the world outside). It is somewhere else that the value resides. And that somewhere else, is not a distant point. That somewhere else is, in here(the heart). And if it is in here, I love myself. Why do I love myself? Because that valuable one is, right in here.

Listeners: Within.

Acharya ji: I love myself because, this structure itself is the abode of the valuable one. I do not love the structure. The structure will fall into pieces. The structure might get killed tomorrow, who knows?

That is self-love! Love yourself a lot.

Listener: It seems too far.

Acharya ji: It is not too far. It is your natural state. It seems far, only because you have come too far from yourself. So return!

And returning is easier than coming so far. Just don’t remain too dependent on this and that.

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

Watch the session:  Suffer, but suffer rightly || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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Is it compassion to suffer with the suffering one? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Is it compassion to suffer with the suffering one

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Question: Acharya ji, would it be an act of compassion, to suffer with the one who is already suffering?

Acharya Prashant ji: It depends totally on you. There can be no principles in this matter.

The one who is suffering, is suffering, because he is deluded.

Remember that suffering is always a choice.

The one who is suffering, because of delusion, he has chosen suffering. He must be having his reasons. Every one, who chooses anything, always has some reason to quote. The fellow who is suffering, surely must be having some reasons to offer. And now, you too start suffering with him. You too have a certain reason to offer. The reason is compassion.

What do you think, the other fellow, the one you intend to help, is an utter fool? He too has his reasons. You know what he is suffering for? If you will ask him, “What are you suffering for?”, he will say, “Love.” So, he is suffering for love, and you are suffering for compassion, and seeing the two of you suffer, a third one comes to rescue both of you. And what is he suffering for? Wisdom.  And then a fourth one? What’s his reason? Responsibility. And then a fifth one? We never suffer without reason. It’s just that our reasons are a bit stupid.

Nobody likes to be proven stupid in front of the mirror. We always find something, to justify ourselves.

If we are in sorrow, we would always have an excuse to offer.

Rare is the one who admits, that his sorrow is his own doing.

Very rare.

And this rare one, is the spiritually initiated one.

It might surprise you, but most of our suffering, is an effort towards goodness. Be good, do good. Be nice, help others.

Listener: So, to stop suffering, we must stop doing good to others?

Acharya ji: Examine what your goodness is all about. But, see how you come up with another display of the same tendency. You would remain stubbornly fixated to your definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. If pointed out that goodness is not working out for you, you would say, “Ah! Should I turn bad then?”

A drunkard is hobbling, and stuttering, when he is moving to the left. How would he move, when he moves to the right?

Listener: Same way.

Acharya ji: But you just don’t want to change your fundamental condition of drunkenness. You just want to change your direction. Yes! Instead of then stumbling towards the left, you would now be stumbling and falling towards the right. The hurt and the sorrow would remain the same, because the internal condition as remained the same.

‘Good’ or ‘bad’, how do they matter, if the one, deciding goodness, and badness, is not examining herself deeply and honestly enough. It is easy, and it is possible. And all of us, deserve it.

Here is a little bit of advice.

If you find that you are hitting against people, hitting against the poles, stumbling against stones, falling into ditches, have a bleeding knee and a bleeding nose, the entire being is bruised, don’t change direction.

A change of direction won’t help.

It is not the direction that has gone wrong.

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

Watch the session:  Is it compassion to suffer with the suffering one? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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