Acharya Prashant: Ambition and anger

Acharya Prashant: What is your name?

Listener: Kshitij Aggarwal.

AP: The question asked by Kshitij is why do needs often dominate ambition?

And he surely thinks that it is quite unfortunate that needs to start dominating ambitions. The reason is simple, he probably gives a lower priority to needs and higher priority to ambitions because he thinks that the ambitions are his. He has kept ambitions very close to himself. He believes that they are his own.

So, he deeply wants the ambitions to be fulfilled. But finds that instead, something else has to be done, first of all, we will understand this conflict. And we all face this conflict, this conflict is not only in Kshitij’s mind, this conflict in the mind of every single one of us. But we are all confused, we rarely know, what to do. There are always one or more options in front of us, and we are unable to see clearly which one is suitable. Right?

This happens not only once in six months, at the time of admissions or at the time of choosing a job, it keeps happening daily, day in and day out. What is this conflict? you will have to understand.

Kshitij,

Our mind is dominated by ‘external influences’ which we have so far called is the development of ‘Ego.’

Our mind is not our mind, our mind is a collection of all external influences.

Our mind is divided into many many segments and many parts, and there are so many different forces that are controlling these separate parts. So, one part is being controlled by parents, one part is being dominated by media, one part is being dominated by society, one part by peers, one by corporations, one by thoughts of career, one by XYZ, and very very large number of parts.

Now, these different parts are your different masters. It’s like a person is tied to fifty different ropes being pulled by fifty different people in fifty different directions. Will that person be able to move towards any definite direction, any one direction.

Read more

What do you want, a thousand idiots surrounding you or five real friends with you?

Why should I crave for recognition from somebody else? Remember, the one who will give me recognition, sanction, will act on his own values. He will appreciate only that which he thinks, is appreciable. If everybody thinks that ‘black’ is appreciable then what will I need to do to get their appreciation? I need to become black, wear black, demonstrate black, right? Is that not so? To get popularity and fame among people you have to do what the people like, right? Is that not so? So who is the master and who is the slave?

Remember, the common characteristics of masses is mediocrity. And to become popular among masses, you have to fall to mediocrity. Without becoming mediocre, it is impossible to become popular.

Excellence never becomes very popular.

Popularity means becoming a slave to others and secondly popularity means becoming a slave to others who are very mediocre. Not only are you a slave, you are a slave to an idiot. How does that sound? 

Following is always easier, right? Going up against the gravity is always a little more difficult. What do you think, the followers follow the leader? No, the leader follows the followers.

Popularity means I do not have an internal locus of control. I am constantly looking at others, trying to please them.

You do what you must do. You do that which brings peace to you. And let me tell you, when you are doing ‘that’, which stems from your peace and which brings peace then a few people will come to you, few people will recognize you but those will be real people.

What do you want, a thousand idiots surrounding you or five real friends with you?What do you want?

An authentic man can never be attracted towards a fake person. That is the reward of being real. When you are real, not only you enjoy being with yourself but you also find that your environment is full of the best that world can offer.

Do not make those decisions considering that how they would be perceived by society or friends. Do not make those decision considering what the convention has been. Look afresh at them. Don’t go by the traditional definitions of good-bad, right-wrong, big-small, acceptable-unacceptable. What comes from your intelligence, only that is acceptable. Everything else is totally unacceptable.

Should one strive for fame and popularity?

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Question: Is it important to do something big in your life or more important is to do something big in any small work that you do?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Listener: Abhinav Gupta.

AP: Sit Abhinav. Is it important to do something big in life or is it preferable to do better in something small that you pick up? Abhinav, I need to understand your question. What do you mean by something big in life?

L: Something big in life means that if someone is Sachin Tendulkar, everyone needs to have same identity as Sachin Tendulkar or anyone can be…

AP: What do you mean by Sachin Tendulkar?

L: Sachin Tendulkar means that he has a big identity as a cricketer.

AP: Who gave that identity?

L: sir, we gave the identity…

Read more

With the sky in the Heart, Chasing horizons is Joy

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Question: Sir, do you ever get tired of all those questions that people ask you?

Acharya Prashant (AP): There are not many questions; there is just one question always.

I have good fun in answering the same question in multiple ways. Read more

The right action always looks strange, the wrong action always looks known

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Questioner: Is there any action that is bad?

Acharya Prashant (AP): No, there is no action at all that is inherently bad.

I repeat this with emphasis: there is no action that is inherently bad.

The only bad action is a misplaced action.

At the right time and right place, killing is wonderful. Coming is wonderful at the right time, going is equally beautiful at the right time. Beginnings are lovely and lovely are the ends. There is nothing that is inherently avoidable.  Read more

To change your relationships, let yourself change

Acharya Prashant (AP): One does not live with family, one lives in relationships.

Please understand this.

The son or the wife — as physical entities — can remain the same, yet the relationship can be different. So, one need not physically move away from them but the relationship has to be changed. Otherwise, the anger will not go.

Till the quality of my relationship with the world is the same, my quality of anger will remain the same.

Listener 1 (L1): But, my question is: the moment I am deliberately trying to change the relationship, just for example, somebody you think is a burden on you and that gives you anger. Now, one way of looking at it is move away from that, which you said that’s not the solution because you are seeing him as a burden in the relationship, that’s what is making you angry. There are many burdens in my life which I basically look forward as a pleasant experience, for instance when my child wakes me up in the middle of the night, I don’t get angry. It’s also a burden but I wake up with a whole lot of concern, good feeling and a fatherly love. So one way is changing myself from an old man to old man, to a man looking at an old man as a child, and changing that relationship. Maybe that is one way of doing it but then in that case, again, I am actually taking the help of another illusion to get out of it.

AP: No, not really.

L1: I am just thinking aloud.

AP: Yes, I am getting the gist of it.

Nobody will sustain a burden without getting something in return from the burden. One never gets angry at the other because he is a burden, it feels as if he is a burden on me, so I am getting angry at him  — it never really is the case.

One gets angry on himself for tolerating that burden.

And why does one tolerate a burden?

Because one is expecting something in return. There is some kind of a hidden greed. And, one gets angry at the greed. If the greed is not there, then the burden will also not be felt and the relationship will take a more healthy color. Why am I going to tolerate a burden? If something is a burden, I will drop it. But I never want the company of the person, I want something from him which I may not be getting, then the person becomes a burden. In a loving relationship, obviously, there can be no burden.

Now, what does it mean to change a relationship?

It does not mean to change something in the other person because the relationship is my relationship. So, my relationship cannot change without me looking at my mind. When I look at it, then my quality of relating with you changes. When I see that even as you are sitting here, somehow I am planning to get something from you, then I cannot continue with that kind of planning anymore. Are you getting it?

Being aware of oneself, one is able to bring about a mysterious change in oneself, an unplanned change, and that brings about change in relationships. What we always forget is: every relationship is my relationship. My relationships will only have the quality which is the quality of my mind. If I am violent, the fact will be that all my relationships will have a taint of violence in them — explicit or implicit.

First of all, I have to look at the quality of my mind, then the relationships change. Have you not seen this: ‘violent people are violent towards everybody’? They are not only violent towards their neighbour; they are also violent towards their dog or kid. And loving people have a quality that fuses out love not only to their wife but also to the entire world. You already know that. Right?

We have seen that and heard stories about that. We have also experienced it in ourselves at times, have we not? When occasionally you feel light and joyful, then don’t you feel like hugging even a stranger? Has it not happened to you?

L1: The world lits up!

AP: Yes, beautifully said. And when you are gloomy, then the entire world is dark. Even the most decorated places are simply dark. And that is spirituality — To look at oneself.

L1: It is a continuous twenty-four-hour self-correction.

AP: No, not self-correction; just a faint impersonal awareness. You cannot be doing it actively. If you say it’s a distillation, then one feels as if there is an entire system of process at work; it has to be very subtle.

L1: But that subtleness has to come from somewhere. How?

AP: That is a matter of Faith. That ‘somewhere’ is already sitting in our heart. It will come from there.

L1: So, this violence will go?

AP: This violence will get dropped. Not only will this violence go, the entire family of other attributes related to this violence will go. For example, there can be no violence without expectation. So the entire family of mental diseases related to violence will just become ineffectual. You will lose interest in them. You know, violence stays because you clutch to it. You lose interest in clutching to violence.

L1: What you are saying is that there is an analysis, which every time is releasing me from the clutch.

AP: It is not analysis; it is just a direct understanding; it’s like just seeing the Truth of it without analysis, without comprehension.

L1: Then how can I practice that? How can I be that? If Truth comes on its own and hits me, it depends on the Truth and not on me.

AP: That is very very accurately put — It depends on the Truth and not me.

You know how peaceful this statement is? Let Truth do what it wants to do, let it not depend on me. So I can only surrender to the Truth. It depends on the Truth and not on me. So I can only just surrender. And that is Peace. What you are thinking of as a statement of misery is actually a statement of deep liberation.

L1: Every word of yours is very disturbing; it is neither giving me peace of mind, and it is a very elusive thing. Ever since I sat for the first session without even hearing properly, not engaging myself, then automatically some engagement happened! I was feeling sleepy.

AP: It happened without your wish. So it depends on the Truth and not you.

L1: Only in the second half, I started asking you questions.

AP: And now we have the third half, so to say. So it depends on the Truth and not on us. It is not our deliberate desire that we are sitting here. There is some other grand plan at work. Has to be.

L1: I wanted to go home!

AP: And I didn’t know I would be sitting under this tree.

Worries. Huge worries. You talked about anger, I really do get angry. It’s not that intense anger; it’s just that, there is something that remains even when the anger is there and that is everything. I am very sure of this: even in the deepest anger there is something that remains.

That is good.

Then anger is alright.

There is that untouched spot which anger cannot really spoil.

Anger is not an expression of That. In fact, anger is purified by its touch.

L1: What I have realized is that: ninety per cent of anger is really helplessness.

AP: Personal helplessness.

L1: It’s basically insecurity.

AP: What will happen to me? Why didn’t my desires get fulfilled? And there is another anger.

There is another anger: Someone is sleepwalking on the road and trucks are approaching him. And, with great energy and intensity, you shout out. You actually don’t shout out, you go and punch him in the face. That is another quality of anger. And you are angry but this anger is not personal. Nothing of your self is at stake. This anger has a different quality altogether.

L1: The Guru’s anger is a corrective anger. How can somebody be so stupid so as to not see that this is good for them? So Guru comes and hits and he hits deliberately sometimes.

AP: The Guru can be angry at himself also. How could I forget? How could I get displaced? Even that is possible; there can be a disappointment but whatever is happening is happening in a different space; not in a personal space full of personal insecurities, ambitions, and such things.

The entire story is being played out somewhere else. It is a story. It is a story played out by greed, anger, lust, envy, jealousy and the rest of it. Everything is there but the entire environment is a little different.

Spirituality, rest assured, may or may not bring about directly perceptible changes in somebody’s life; it does happen with some people that either they begin with something new, or drop something old, so it is quite dramatic. With some people, nothing really changes on the surface. They continue living, working, sleeping the way they were doing it earlier as well. But something else happens, minor tweak.

And that minor tweak changes everything.

It is a juice of life!


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: To change your relationships, let yourself change

 


 

Further Reading:

Book of Myths:

myth-for-blog

This is the most challenging book one can ever come across. It will questions all the popular beliefs one harbours. Never imposing itself on the reader, at the same time the book facilities a thorough enquiry of popular knowledge which is blindly accepted as an obvious fact. It demolishes our so called holy concepts.

If you are someone who has read anything on self-help or on spirituality this book is a must for cleaning of spiritual information.

Paperback: https://goo.gl/VVD8Yg

Kindle: https://goo.gl/VsIucH

 

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

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

Acharya Prashant: Why do you listen? Read more

The right purpose of the Teacher’s words

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Question: Sir, from past three years, I am reading your books and  I have interpreted some meanings of it. But from past three years, my meanings have changed, means it depends on my state of mind like to what extent I am grasping the explanation.

Acharya Prashant (AP): You are waiting for the right decision and you are saying that if I take a decision, it must be the final one and the right one — this is arrogance.

You can only decide as per your limited condition. So be surrendered, be truthful and then whatever is the decision that comes as right to you, execute it; don’t wait.

Time is a deception. Read more

How to tell the truth to parents

img_2761Question: When I used to ask questions to my mother and father, we would have conversations, and our conversations often ended on a bad note. My brother and sister would say, “You better not talk to them like this, because if you are right, then they are wrong; and if they are wrong, all these years which they have lived through will be wrong.”

Acharya Prashant (AP): Yes, and they have invested a lot in those years, so it proves that all their investment has gone waste, which means all their life has gone waste. Read more

What is Bharat?

So, if you’ll ask me, “What is Bharat?”

I will wait for you to look at the snow capped Himalayas. And then, when your eyes would be shining with wonderment, then I will say, “That is Bharat!”

Or when you would be reading The Upanishads, and your mind would suddenly be getting lighter and your face would have a sudden radiance and you would have felt for yourself deeply in your heart what it meant to say, ‘Poornamidah; poornamidam’.

Then I will say, “That! That is Bharat.”

To know why a man and a woman are in conflict is to know why world is in conflict

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Question: I want to know why the world is at the moment so harsh?

Acharya Prashant: There is nothing that one group, one community or one person experiences that the other has never experienced or is not experiencing even to the slightest degree. Fundamentally we are all one. As human beings, we all perceive the world through our senses, we all operate through language, we all think and our basic tendencies are all the same.

The same urge to have security, the same urge to find love, the same repulsion from the feeling of termination, of disappearance, the same attachments and the same kinds of identifications. We’re all very much one and the oneness becomes more and more apparent as we go deeper into our psyche — the mind. As we go deeper into the mind, the similarities become very apparent. Read more

The significance of the word ‘in’

The body-mind operates in freedom only when they operate in freedom, not when they want to capture freedom.

The clouds must operate in the sky, not when the clouds want to capture the sky.

Do you know the significance of the word ‘in’?

‘In’ means to be contained, ‘in’ means to be surrendered. Let the body and the mind operate ‘in’ freedom of Truth. I had to involuntarily add this ‘of Truth’, I didn’t want to because that makes it a little coarse, saying that a body and mind must operate in freedom is sufficient. Truth is freedom itself, why must I unnecessarily add a redundant word.

When you let the body and mind operate freely, that itself is Godliness.

When you let the body and mind operate freely that is when you are letting God act on your behalf.

God will not act on your behalf by shining as an angel somewhere, instead, God acts on your behalf through your own body and mind.


To read the complete article:  Let body and mind operate freely without you

Creativity arises from nothingness

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Question: The creator is in every bit of the creation, then why do we call the world illusionary?

Acharya Prashant: Don’t call the world illusionary. “The creator is the creation” is not merely an aphorism. If you can look at the wall and see just creativity here, then wonderful, continue looking at the wall. Do you know what is creativity? Creativity is something arising out of nothing. So basically, if you can look at the wall as emptiness then it’s wonderful. First of all, the wall is not creation because if this is creation then there has to be a creator in the past. The wall is creativity and if the wall is creativity then the wall has to be emptiness. Creativity is exactly that — something arising from empty space. Read more

We need de-training

As long as the parents think that they are parents, they will only spoil the kid.

You just have to be with the kid. In love, there is no name of the two parties and the relationship cannot have a formal structure. Whenever I have been with the kids, instead of teaching them I have been learning from them. On several occasions, they have given my ego great lessons—by exposing me.

I do not know whether we are qualified to teach kids; we must first learn from them. 

And maybe that would be sufficient.

Then there is a question of knowledge, all the technology and all the progress, economics and civilizations and politics.That knowledge, some part of it, is probably necessary for physical survival and that needs to be given but without its psychological content; without the psychological connotations that its carries. That must be given obviously but they must know that they need to stop when the traffic signal is red. So that’s knowledge needs to be imparted but that’s all.

In the psychological sense, no kid needs any training; we need de-training.


To read the complete article: Learn from kids before you teach them

Go, open the door!

Your friend is in your home, you believe he is not there. Since you believe he is not there, so you switch off all the lights, lock the house and go out looking for him. Now, what will happen? Will you ever find him? When you go out looking for that which is already in your home, you have guaranteed that you will continue searching.

So, never begin with a flawed assumption. Never.

That’s what all the meditators are doing—Locking up peace in the house, switching off all the lights, bolting from the outside, instructing the guard to shoot anyone who tries to go in or get out. And then they have gone all over the place looking for the friend. “Where is He? Where is He? God! God! We can’t get you, God! God the unreachable, God the unknowable, God the unthinkable, God the unnamable.”

He is sitting in your home. Go, open the door!


To read the complete article: Do not meditate for peace, meditate in peace

Religion is young

Feel free, totally free, don’t have that fear that you must follow the conventional.

Religion is not at all about going a particular line, going down the beaten track.

Not at all.

Religion is extremely dynamic, religion is more modern than modern.

Religion does not consist of rituals.

Religion means, ‘I will live my life with honesty and Truth’. And are honesty and Truth outdated things? Are honesty and Truth something that belongs to the seventh or first centuries. They don’t. Right?

Is love something that would be taken as primordial?

And without religion what love are you talking about?

So, religion is cool, religion is young, religion is vigour but not the religion that is touted, not the religion that is being publicised.


To read the complete article: How to read the scriptures?

On J. Krishnamurti: Know Him, without His names

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When you teach a child that a bird is named ‘bird’,
the child will never see the bird again.

~ J.Krishnamurti ~

Acharya Prashant: Beautiful quotation.

Because naming comes with a total bundle of association, references, memories, past, prejudices. having named something, having tagged or labelled something, you are no more in direct touch with that thing. Now, you are in touch with the name and not the thing. Getting it?

It takes a beauty; beauty that lies in mystical unknowing. Now, you know. We have 4 rabbits here (at AdvaitBodh Sthal), deliberately we have refrained from naming them, one of them carries a name but the other 3 do not have names. And it is beautiful and we often do not know who is who? They are all white, alike.

What else are identities, what else are relationships?

Names.  Read more

Continuous realisation and passive waiting

Question: Is there anything that I can do to have realisation in this point of time apart from waiting? Or should I do something?

Acharya Prashant: No, nothing.

In fact, already you have said something important. You have already realized that waiting is so important. But this waiting must be a very passive waiting; a very inactive waiting. You cannot actively wait. You cannot count minutes and hours and years. It has to be a very passive waiting. You are not even waiting, you must forget that you are waiting. That kind of waiting. Not the kind of waiting that you have on a railway platform.

Because active waiting is arrogance. You are in some sense wanting the other to comply by your wish. Wanting the train to arrive as per your wish—that is active waiting.

Passive waiting means that, ‘I do not know whether you will come, I do not know whether you should come, I do not even know whether you exists, yet, I wait. And this waiting is no obligation upon you to arrive. I wait without bothering you to come. You may come, you may not come, I do not even know whether you exist, yet, I wait’.

That kind of waiting.

Very dormant, very sleepy waiting.

Listener 1: I become negative again and again, and I have realized it. But it keeps on repeating. What to do about it?

AP: Nothing.

You see, this is the load of your living, this is the load of your past. You weigh a particular number, now, what can you do with it? Can you wish your kilograms away?

They came to you because you lived a particular kind of life. All that you can now do is to not to live the way you were living. Thinking about your weight will not help you. So, all this that you experience- resistance, this and that- is the kilograms that you have accumulated all your life. Now, thinking about that would hardly make it easier for you. Rather, get rid of the pattern that has brought you to that hefty condition.

Your patterns brought you there; give up those patterns.

L1: I have realized that I have put on weight..

AP: No, keep realizing.

There is nothing called realization in the sense of completion.

There is nothing called realization in the sense of accomplished realization.

Realization is an ongoing process.

Realization never happens completely; it never comes to an end.

You must keep realizing. Keep realizing.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Continuous realisation and passive waiting

Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant

Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant
Flipkart:  https://goo.gl/fS0zHf

You can never avoid, escape, or be free from the mind

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Question: How to escape mind?

Acharya Prashant: You will never be able to escape mind.

Never.

In fact, all these things –  freedom from the mind, escape from the mind – are touted in the spiritual market but they all are very fantastic nonsense.  Read more

Learn from kids before you teach them

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Question: Sir, is there something we can do for the education of our kids at home or at schools?

Acharya Prashant: What we call as education is just a preparation to serve social roles. The kid comes only physically conditioned; we make the kid a servant of the society. If you are in charge of a kid, then you have to be very sensitive, very careful and loving. Because remember that education does not happen only in school or college, education also happens when he is on the TV or the internet or with his peers, education is happening all the time. One has to be very careful about these messages. Read more