Quotes, February’19 – March’19

1.

We all are bleeding in the fight

We all are fighting tirelessly.

The pity is:

We are all fighting the wrong battle.

The wounds are there.

The blood is there.

The sweat is there.

The tiredness is there.

The battle is wrong.

2.

Conserve your energy,

Train your thoughts,

Discipline your little self.

Time is precious, attention is precious.

To waste time, it is not necessary that you must do something wasteful.

It is enough to just worry.

3.

Humbly go

to the root of the mistake,

without feeling ashamed,

without a great self-image.

Look at yourself laughing,

as one looks at a joker,

laughing

at his own jokes.

Now you see

the mother mistake.

Seriousness is the mother mistake.

Don’t take yourself so seriously!

4.

This is happening, that is happening…

But whatsoever is happening is not big enough to trouble you.

That is Samadhi.

5.

Beware the man who thinks he understands.

6.

There is nothing called

self-purification

and self-improvement.

There is only one I,

and it cannot be improved upon.

And even if the false I gets improved,

only the false benefits.

How do you get better

by decorating your shadow?

Don’t improve the false,

just disown it.

7.

Was the thing the same before you perceived it?

If yes, why does the thing appear different every time you see it?

Was there a thing at all before you perceived it?

8.

Is spontaneity wonderful?

The spontaneous utterance of a sage is musical,

The spontaneous utterance of a fool is abusive.

Like everything else in life, the value of a thing or action depends squarely on where it is coming from.

9.

If you love, you want to help.

If you want to help, you will have to more clearly know the one who needs to be helped.

When you clearly know the one you want to help, there arises disgust.

That’s the challenge of love: to keep loving the one who provokes revulsion in you.

10.

Isn’t it a spell?

When you are out of it, doesn’t it all look clearly stupid?

Don’t you then curse yourself for being so blindly spellbound?

Obviously stupid it looks, but only after you’re out of it.

Why make basic freedom distant by giving it a fancy name like enlightenment?

11.

When you know

what is going on, then

you are liberated from that which is going on.

12.

It is not given to me to lie still.

The only way to see me still

is to match pace with me.

13.

The Truly spiritual man

is young in action,

and eternally old in realisation.

At the centre,

he is completely still,

like Shiva in mystical stillness.

At the periphery,

he is a lover and a fighter,

like Shiva in existential dance.

14.

What is commitment?

If I am not fit to get what I want,

then it is the ‘I’ that must yield, adjust, disappear.

The want cannot be compromised with. The want must, and will, remain.

It is the want that will shape, discipline and dissolve the I.

Commitment, Devotion, Surrender.

15.

When You are gone,then nothing matters. Body sans Heart.

When You are here, then nothing matters.

We then just casually play.

Will it matter if we win?

Well, not much.

Will it matter if we lose?

Well, not much.

The game is not meant to be won, it is meant to be played. Together.

16.

To touch

without leaving your fingerprints

– That’s the mark of

the shrewd criminal,

or the wisest saint.

17.

When you are one with the object of your consciousness, then there is just one entity, neither you nor the world. Both you and the world disappear.

This disappearance is the end of duality and end of consciousness.

A lightness free of consciousness remains, and this is awareness.

18.

If you find yourself stuck with suffering, ask: Is suffering sticking to me? Or am I sticking to suffering?

One sticks to suffering by sticking to the same breakfast, same friends, same cap, same habits.

When everything in life is being kept the same, how can life itself change?

19.

Just reading the Guru helps little.

You’ve to be near.

Physically as you live, you’ve to be physically near.

Even being within the seeing range of the Guru won’t help.

You’ve to be within smelling range of the Guru.

Actually, you’ve to be within slapping range of the Guru.

20.

We have a tremendous potential to suffer and a tremendous resistance to call our situation as suffering.

We name our situation as ambition, hope, desire, duty, passion, love, but never give it the right name:suffering.

We laugh aloud among others, and suffer quietly in our loneliness

21.

Even when you are totally drenched in melancholy,

You are able to cry only because you are still healthy.

22.

The best gift you can give to others is your own freedom.

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait

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On Jesus Christ: Why do we want to ‘see’ first and then believe?

Question:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

Thomas had a great doubt about the resurrection of Jesus. Why is it so necessary for us to see first and then believe? Then after seeing we doubt our seeing. How do we rid ourself of this suspicious attitude?

Acharya Prashant: It’s obvious Nimisha. We are people identified with the ‘body’ and the ‘senses.’ So we would believe only that which the senses tell us.

It’s not really necessary for everybody to visually, optically, see first and then believe. Such a thing is necessary only for the man who believes in his eyes. Only the man who believes in the world that he sees with his eyes would want the proof of Godliness admissible through the eyes.

He has already declared that what the eyes are showing to me is True. That’s his belief. That’s his fundamental assertion. What my eyes are showing to me is True.

So, when you would tell him that something is True, obviously he would demand that it would be visible through the eyes.

Isn’t it obvious?

He is saying what the eyes are saying is True. He believes in the body, he believes in the eyes, he believes in the world. Now, you tell Thomas such and such thing has happened. Jesus is back. He would immediately say that if he is back then my eyes should be the proof. I should be able to see him. And not only should I be able to see him, my hands should be able to feel his wounds. Because this is the man who lives by sensory experience.

He says that this is True, it exists (pointing to a glass in his hand) because the skin is offering a proof of its existence. You can feel it via the skin. So even to be certain that Jesus is back, he’s saying that I should be able to verify his existence through my skin.

The one mistake that such doubting Thomas’s make is that they do not see that what they are seeing is not really True. They do not know Trueness. Instead, they have a concept of Trueness which is ‘imperfect.’

Real trueness is time independent.

Read more

Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: You know your real face, and your real home?

(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opporunity to connect to him directly, click here.)

“Your life, my friend,

is a residence far away from any other

residence and neighbours.

Your inner soul is a home far away from

other homes named after you.

If this residence is dark,

you cannot light it with your neighbour’s lamp;

If it is empty you cannot fill it

with the riches of your neighbour;

Were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a

garden planted by someone else…

Your inner soul, my friend,

is surrounded with solitude and seclusion.

Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion

you would not be you and I would not be I.

If it were not for that solitude and seclusion,

I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking;

Yet, if I saw your face, I would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.”

~ Khalil Gibran

Acharya Prashant: Poets have a way, of presenting the Truth. The way helps. The way is beautiful. But as happens with all ways to the Truth, the way itself is a bit of a hindrance to the destination.

What Khalil Gibran is saying here, is essentially very straightforward. The inner seclusion and solitude that he is talking of, is nothing, but your calm, peaceful, silent, immovable, center.

Seated at that center, with the calmness, the immovability, of the center, vested in the mind as well; the mind gains intelligence, the mind gains discretion.

Read more

Acharya Prashant on Veganism: Vedas and Milk

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Question: Acharya Ji, there are people who quote the Vedas and say “A Hindu is a good Hindu only if he drinks milk from the mother cow.” What is your take on that?

Acharya Prashant: See if you have named the Vedas, what is the central teaching of all the Vedic literature?

If you want to really know what the Vedic teaching is, you will have to go to the Upanishads. The Upanishads are called the “Vedanta”, which means the summit or the climax of Veda. And they go into the reality of man. What is the reality of man? The Upanishads are very forthright and unequivocal about it. They say, “Man is the Truth itself (Aham Brahmasmi).” Nothing else except the Truth. You are the ultimate finality. You are the total.

Now, if this is the position that the Vedic literature takes, then one cannot operate from a point of incompleteness, hollowness or desirousness. A lot of what we do, please see we do just in order to gain fulfillment. We say that the purpose of human Life is progress, don’t we? And we asses a human being according to how much he has been able to progress and contribute to progress.

And what is progress for us?
Knowing more; collecting more.

I’m not trying to unnecessarily be simplistic. Please go into it.

When you know more, when you collect more, is it something that happens only on the outside or does it also affects your self-worth? When you know more, your self-worth rises; when you collect more, again your self-worth rises. The Upanishads say, that your self-worth, that which you are, is any way infinite, you are anyway total. Now, go out and play. You are anyway perfect and complete. Now, do whatever you want to do. But do it from a point of perfection. Do it from a point of completion.

Do not do in order to gain something. Do not do in order to rise.

Act as if you are already there as if you are already complete.

That is what Vedas are all about.

Now, around this center, a lot has been said. Just a whole lot.

Read more

To be alive is to be working

To be alive is to be working. You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.” Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

If the first category is where you belong to, then work is sufficient. The return, the reward, is contained in the work. If the second category is where you belong to, then work is not sufficient. Then work, plus, rewards is what you are looking for.

The salary is not contained in the work. The salary is an output of the work. This is the second way of living.

Man is the only one, who has to support his ambitions as well. Man is the only one, who has to support his psychological self as well. Then obviously, supporting yourself becomes a burden. Then obviously, just carrying on with life, becomes a burden. Because life is demanding so much.

Do not live a life that tries to escape work, and also do not live a life that uses work as a medium for psychological aggrandization.

Work must always be there as an expression of your Heart.

Action is always happening. You cannot avoid action. Even avoiding action is just another action. So, action will happen.

Fight hard and then let what is going to happen, happen. Do not worry about the result. Just say, that I did what I had to, and I have now devoted the result to you(Krishna).



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?


 

Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?

Question: What does Khalil Gibran mean, when he says, “He who works in marble and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.”

Acharya Prashant: What is Work?

All work involves action. 

As human beings, we are beings of action. We have limbs, senses, mind, all configured to act. So, action is inevitable. One cannot avoid action. So, workers we all are. There is nobody who does not work. The one who is professionally working somewhere, works. And so does the one, who is professionally unemployed. Both of us, both of them, are workers, irrespective of whether or not they are formally working somewhere.

To be alive is to be working.

You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

Then the question is of the quality of work. How does one work? From where does the work arise? Khalil Gibran takes two images and contrasts them.

First image, is of the man who is working with material, but his work is essentially an expression of his being, his center, his Self. He might be working with marble, but actually it is his soul taking shape as marble. Marble is now not only marble. Marble is now not only material. Marble is an expression of what he is. This is work of one kind.

And then he says, there is another one, who looks at soil, just as soil. For him, work is something outside of himself. I go somewhere, and I work with material. I work with material, probably, so that I may get some returns, some reward. He is not directly and organically ‘connected’ to his work. His relationship with work is transactional. I work, I put in some hours, and in return I get paid. Are you getting it? So, there is you, there is work and then there is a business like relationship between ‘you’ and ‘work.’ This is the second way of working.

The first way of working is,

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.”

Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

Read more

Real change, lets the changing one himself dissolve

We have so much trust in our imagination. If you really are able to observe yourself, you must be surely coming to a point where you are fed up with a few things. If you are fed up with yourself, then you must stop trusting yourself with change. Because if you change, you will change only in ways and directions determined by you. And they are no good. They will keep you confined within yourself.

Letting change happen is a totally different thing compared to ‘changing’. All of us want change, right? There is nobody who is contented. But the issue is, we want change directed by, guided by, ourselves. We want to change as per our own wish. Don’t we. And if you are changing as per your own wish, what has changed? ‘The wish’ is still the master. Has the wish changed?

Real change, lets the changing one himself dissolve. Otherwise, the change would be peripheral. A few things will change, clothes will change, and behavior will change. But the core of your conditioning would remain same. I am pretty sure, you haven’t assembled here this morning, just to have cosmetic change. That we anyway keep having. We change clothes every day. Don’t we? We flip TV channels every day. Even relationships keep changing. So, surely, that cannot be the objective of genuine inquiry.



Read the complete Article: Fear of one’s inner wildness

Fear of one’s inner wildness

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Acharya Prashant: The question is, “If I stay wild in the society, there would be repercussions; what to do?”

Who is thinking this? From where is this thought arising? Is this a thought coming from the unconditioned mind or is it the teaching of the society that is talking? You see, one fundamental thing about the mind must be understood. One state of mind can never know another state. It can imagine but never know. Being what we are, we try to imagine and project how would it be when we would change.

Suppose I am a constrained one. I am someone who has lived in boundations, restrains, limits, all his life. Now, who am I? I am the one who is conditioned to think in a limited way. Right? That’s what I am. And all of my thoughts are coming from the same source that gave me my limitations. So, that’s who I am.

Read more

From where are your emotions arising?

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Question: I have been following some of the pages on social media, and there is one topic that is quite “in” these days—which says, ‘no emotion is a mistake’. But I have heard you in the past, and you have said that emotions are intensified thoughts. So won’t that be a hindrance in understanding, when the author is saying, “No emotion is a mistake?”

Acharya Prashant: Emotions are obviously not a mistake, but emotionality is. Emotions are neither good, nor bad. Emotions depend on the center that they are coming from. If the emotions come from a center of fear, of grief, of insecurity, then because they are arising from insecurity, you will be attached to the emotions themselves. Watching the emotions is not the same as being emotional. The author who says that, “Emotions are not a mistake,” has a responsibility to quickly add that,

“Emotions are not a mistake but emotionality is.”

Read more

Connecting to the Truth, or appreciating the Truth, are not possible

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Listener 1 (L1): Sir, I try to remind myself that I have to first start loving and respecting myself, then I think there’s a huge conflict because the moment I do love and respect myself then I am immediately reminded of thousand of things wrong with me. Then I think that there is so much I need to change in myself. How can I be perfect and beautiful?

Acharya Prashant (AP): You talked about three ways of relating to yourself: appreciating, loving and connecting. Let’s say here is this poster containing a quote. Even if you connect to it, sitting there you connect to it, yet, what remains between you and this quote? Do you become one with the quote in an attempt to connect with it?

You remain. Read more

How can I correct my mistakes?

Question: Sir, I see that the mistakes are happening over and over again. What to do?

Acharya Prashant: When the right intent will be there in all its power then these things will not happen, because these things are not natural. These are not your inner order. These things happen only when an external agency is sitting on your head, powers them to happen, otherwise, they cannot happen. Read more

At least, commit new mistakes

There is an Arabic proverb that says,  “Even a donkey does not fall in the same hole twice.”

And look at your life!

Every six hours, you commit the same mistakes.

There is nothing new in your life, not even your mistakes.

Like everything else about you, your mistakes are also stale and repetitive.

At least, commit new mistakes.

Even existence is bored of you.

The same mistakes, same patterns; again and again.

The same restlessness, the same prevarications, the same energy-less-ness, the same attention-less-ness!

Just one thing you don’t have – selflessness. There you are quite full, full of the self.

Sin and Repentance

The concept of sin has a very central place in Christianity. The Bible repeatedly refers to it.

And it is supposed to be a pious Christian’s duty to repent for the sins.

This repentance is interpreted in several ways, and there are several ways in which it is advised that the atonement can take place. But obviously, any question of repentance is meaningless without first understanding what the sin is.

Otherwise, there is the absurd situation of a man trying to correct a mistake, without knowing at all what the mistake is?

Here and now simply means that be alert to what is in the mind

Here and now does not really pertain to an objective reality because there is no objective reality.

Here and now pertains to the state that the mind is in.

All that here and now means is that when the mind is in a particular state, then that state is all that there is.

Mind is in temptation, then the temptation is all that there is.

Mind is anger, then anger is all that there is.

Here and now simply means that be alert to what is in the mind

It is desires that are born as a child

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Listener: When we are born, the first thing that we absorb into us is it the Truth or the desires?

Acharya Prashant: It is not as if desires come to you after you are born; only desires are born!

It is not as if desires come to you after you are born; only desires are born!

The thing that you call as just born is nothing but a bundle of desires. Only desires are born—the desire of the father, the desire of the mother, the resultant of those desires is the desire of the whole evolutionary process. Read more

On Krishnamurti and Osho: You cannot reject the world while holding on to yourself

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Listener: In one of the discourses by Osho, he was asked, “Why Jiddu Krishnamurti could not get people Sanyas?” And he answers it like this,  “Krishnamurti is on my side. We are both saying the same things. Krishnamurti was against dogmas, beliefs, organized religion and all that which is ‘symbolic’, which is not real. But he said the egoist man will find Krishnamurti on his side because he cannot surrender to anyone. An egoist mind is not likely to be able to transcend or be a spiritual man because he would not find it easy to surrender to anyone. I don’t understand what he is trying to say by that.

Somewhere I see a connect with what you are trying to say but I am not reaching somewhere.

Acharya Prashant: Let me put it very clearly.

It is not true at all that the egoist mind does not surrender to anybody. It is not at all true! Where does ego come from? The ego itself comes from somewhere and somebody, the so-called surrendered man and the so-called egoist are just the same, the difference is only in the expression and this has to be very meticulously listened to.

The man who goes and surrenders to the priest is conscious that he is surrendering to the priest. He is conscious that he is allowing the priest to dominate him, to dictate his mental activity and consciousness, and then there is the egoist, the egoist says, ‘I am resisting the priest.’ Read more

To hope is to postpone the good, and embrace the waiting

Speaker: What is ‘hope’?

First of all, it is an obvious matter to see, that hope is always located in the future. And hope is always related to the expectation of – getting something, or not losing something.

So something good will happen in the future – this is what you call as ‘hope’. Something good will happen in the future, this is what you call as ‘hope’. In other words, when the mind, shifts goodness, into time, that is called ‘hope’.

Mind wishes itself well. Mind wants to come to a full stop, a point of peace. But this ‘point of peace’, is somehow, never located by the mind, in the present, in its immediate vicinity, never. It’s quite funny. Mind wants good things to happen to it. Good things like:

“I will get ample love,”

“All the troubles in the life, will be resolved, and life will become simple, free-flowing,”

“There will be no sadness and troubles, problems will be taken care of. There would be only simple Joy,”

“There would be need of any cunningness, directness will be sufficient. Such lightness in living.”

So, mind knows of all these goodies. Mind knows that these are precious things: Lightness, Directness, Simplicity, Love. Mind knows. Pretty intelligent fellow it is, right? It knows. But strange, it never wants them, right now. That it never wants.

On one hand it is willing to toil as much in time, as can be demanded of it. “I will toil all my life.” And what does it mean by ‘toiling all my life’? Toiling in…(prompting the listeners)

Listener 1: Future.

Speaker: Toiling in time, in future.

“I will toil all my life. I am prepared for that. See, how committed I am. See, how I am willing to pay the highest price. But, one simple price I will never pay.” Which is..? To get all that, right now, specially when it is easily available right now.

So, mind says, “No, it is not easily available right now. Right now there are only problems, and complications, obstacles. The world is a bad place. Tomorrow will be better. And tomorrow will be better, with ‘my’ efforts” – that is hope.

So ‘hope’ is to postpone that, which is available, today. ‘Hope’ is to postpone the good, and embrace the waiting.

You look at the situation of the mind. It is a very peculiar situation. On one hand, it knows, that nothing less than the Total, the Ultimate, the Final, can bring Peace to it. It knows that. On the other hand, it also knows that the Total, the Ultimate, and the Final, mean the death of mind, as it has known itself. In the form it has known itself, it will be no more.

The mind is stuck.

You want something so desperately, that if you don’t have it, life is not worth living. You want something so desperately, that if you don’t have it, life is not worth living, but what you want can be had only by, sacrificing life for it. Now you have to decide – whether you want to give up life, or whether you continue living without having that, which makes life worth living.

Hope1Rock, and a hard place – choose. What to do you want? Without love, life is dry. To get love, stop living. What to choose? The good news is – when you stop living in the way you have lived so far, it does not mean ‘death’. It only means a life of the beyond, a life of the quality such that you have never known.

Ordinarily, in our dualistic world, when we say, “I shall be no more,” it means death, it means annihilation. But In the spiritual sense, in the real sense, when one dissolves, when one surrenders, when one is no more, then it is not a matter of sadness, rather it is a matter of great celebration. Because it does not mean that you have died, it means that you have come upon ‘Real’ life.

Now this is a little too fine, for the gross mind to understand.  This much it understands that – “I am stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea,” as we said, “A rock, and a hard place.” This much it understands. But the solution is quite fine, subtle. That solution is understood only by a fine mind, only by a subtle mind. And the solution is that, “Poor kid, there is actually no trade-off involved. Why are you thinking that you have to choose between this and that? You can have the best of both worlds. You can have Love, and a fresh life as well.”

How about that?

The mind is thinking, assuming, that it is very stringent trade-off. Hmm? “If I get the Ultimate, then I will have to lose the world.”

“If I earn the blessings of the beyond, then I have to leave the comforts of this world.”

The truth is different. You get the Total. And ‘Total’ means everything, not ‘this or that’, not ‘A or B’. No choosing is needed. To get That, is to get the totality of everything. The choice should be very obvious. That’s the fun of this world.

Nobody seems to be making such an obvious choice. Nobody seems to be accepting, this fabulous offer that life is giving. (Smilingly) Everybody seems to be in two minds, twenty minds, twenty-thousand minds. Everybody seems to be cursing their luck.

“Yes, it’s a great thing on offer, but you know, they are extracting such a high price. Yes I understand. Yes, yes, yes. The product is beautiful. The service that they are offering is immaculate, ultimate, but they are asking me to pay with my blood. They are literally fleecing me. Now, you know, neither can I go away, because the thing is so tempting, neither can I pay the price because the price is so high. And you know, everybody is just standing outside, wondering, and cursing.”

The product is actually free. The service is out of love. The price that you are paying, is not a ‘price’ at all. If the doctor is taking away your disease, if a friend is taking away your nightmares, is he extracting a price? Will you say that you are poorer for the bargain?

Whatever you can hope for, something higher than that is already given to you. And it is the most difficult thing to accept, because the mind has been trained in living purposefully. If you accept that the Highest has been just being gifted to you, then what do you live for? So it is very-very difficult to accept. Man lives on hope, man lives on feeling of incompleteness. And man feels grateful that there is hope, which is such a stupid thing to do, but it happens all the time.

You know, to project something is one thing – I throw a ball up, and I know that it is going to come down. Now I can project, yes. Having gone up, it will come down. I go to the railway station, in a sense I hope that it will come on time. All these things are alright. And as far as such petty matters are concerned, one can hope. The trouble starts, as we said in the beginning, when the basic goodness of life, when the basic essence, the juice of life, is turned into a matter of hope.

“I will gain fulfillment tomorrow.” Now this is problematic. “The flight will land tomorrow,” is alright. “I expect the results to be declared tomorrow,” is alright. But, “I expect bliss and joy tomorrow,” is problematic.

Do you understand the difference?

Do not live as if you are in a waiting room, waiting for some train, that actually never arrives for mankind. Do not live, as if you are in a waiting room. And even if you are in a waiting room, do not live, as if the next train will bring to you, the love of your life. Sometimes, one is, in fact, in a waiting room. Even if you are in a waiting room, you should actually be, beyond waiting.

“Whether or not, I catch the train, one thing is certain – I am not missing on life. I may miss the train, but I will never miss on…”

Listeners: Life.

Speaker: Life. And missing the train is alright. We are all entitled to our stupidities, and mistakes, and games. Once in a while, one can miss a train, or a flight. It is alright. But to wait for a train, thinking that you are missing on life, and the train will bring life to you, is a gross mistake. Do not commit that mistake.

Getting it?

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

Watch the session at: To hope is to postpone the good, and embrace the waiting

Only the ego wants to correct mistakes. The fundamental mistake is ego itself.

Question: Why is it that if we search for evil or bad things, we find that it is all our fault? What if we don’t go out searching? Then will we have a hard time realizing our mistakes?

Acharya Prashant: This option to ‘not to go out searching’ is not really available. The nature of the ego is to not to search for anything beyond itself. While it does appear that the ego is restless and keeps searching, but its entire preference is to search within its own predetermined domain. It’s a pseudo search; it’s a fake search. The ego is very, very happy in this fake search; it keeps itself occupied and it also gets to say proudly that it is searching. After all, we all do have things to search for, right?

Everybody has goals, targets, something to accomplish. None of us is sitting idle; everyone is chasing something, and we can claim that there is something that we are going after, that you are not stagnant, that life has a meaning, a purpose. But if we look closely at all our meanings, purposes and targets, they are all within the domain of our conditioning.

No target is an unconditioned target. No meaning that we ascribe to life is a para-mental meaning. All of them are coming from within a preset domain. So it’s a nice game; it’s a nice pseudo act. We can console ourselves all the time that we are doing something when actually nothing is happening, when actually whatever is happening is just happening to ensure that the status quo is being maintained. So we display a lot of activity, we move around, we run after this and that; and it’s a good act. Just a pretension, just a display to fool the world and fool ourselves. The more we move, the more we are ensuring that nothing really is changing. The more we run, the more we ensure that no reaching is happening.

So, that is the way the ego functions – a lot of sound and fury, a lot of movement, a lot of asking, searching, seeking, but essentially just the maintenance of its own boundaries: “I will run a lot within the room. I will run a lot within the preset boundary.”

So, had it been left to ourselves, we would have never really sought, we would have been happy just ‘pretending to seek’.

So, when does one start looking for the Truth?

It is not a choice; it is not an indulgence; it is never a pleasure; it is never out of great willingness. It is just that, as a natural consequence of the nature of the ego, there is suffering. Just as it is the nature of the ego to not to know the Truth to pretend a lot, to act as if it is genuinely curious, but never really to know,  just as this is the nature of ego this too is the nature of ego that it will suffer.

Nothing except the ego suffers. Nothing except the ego is deluded. 

When it suffers and suffers again and again, and yet again then it is forced to seek. Why? Again there is a reason there. Suffering might be the natural consequence of ego, suffering might be the habit of ego, but you are not only the ego. It is not your nature to suffer. The ego can get nothing except suffering and that’s when you start feeling uneasy, because it is not your nature to suffer.

You are essentially joyful; and what the ego brings to you goes against your own grain. That is the reason why anybody ever steps out to seek. Nobody steps out to seek in great happiness. Nobody steps out to seek in order to feel better about himself, or because it is a thing of pride never! Whenever seeking would happen because of a pleasure motive, it would always be within the room, and hence, it would be a pseudo search. That is the reason why most seekers never actually learn anything, because theirs is a fake, a pseudo search. They are searching within the room. The room itself is the domain the preserve of the ego. How will you get anything within it? By being within the room, all that you are doing is that you are validating the room you are confusing yourself all the more by convincing yourself that this is where you belong.

You must have heard that little anecdote about Raabiya.

She lost her small pin maybe a weaving needle or something and she started searching for it in another place and she collected the entire village.

“I am an old woman, I can’t see, help me.” Soon the entire village was searching with her. Then one man got a little frustrated and asked, “Old lady, where did you lose it?” She said “There, somewhere else.”

They said, “Why are you searching for it here then?  Have you gone totally senile?”

She said, “I might be senile, but what else are you doing! You too are searching. All your movements are a search. Wherever you go, you are going with a purpose. All of us are after something in life. But are you searching at the right place?  How will you find it where it is not?”

And there is nobody who is not after something. Anybody here who is not after anything? (Pointing towards someone in the audience.) You too must be after something. That is the way our system operates, we are always after something. And don’t delude yourself; whatever you are after is just the veneer, and the proof of that is that whatever you are after never really satisfies you. You are after something else. Whatever you are after is just a pointer you are after something else. That should be a good enough indicator to an intelligent mind, “I am not searching rightly. I am constantly searching, but probably I am searching just to maintain the search and never to find – just to maintain the search so that I can console myself and feel good about myself that I am not really idle, that I am really not good-for-nothing. So I am doing something.”

(Silence)

Lucky are those, whose eyes open up even if to just see their own wounds.

Lucky are those whose sensitivity awakens even if to just realize that they are badly hurt, because it is only then that you are forced to see the fallacy of your ways.

Otherwise nothing would ever change. We would be very happy and continue in the way we have always continued.

See, we keep on saying, “We are totally conditioned,” but that is just to drive home a point. The fact is that we can never be totally conditioned, or let me put it this way: “What is totally conditioned is not really the totality of me. I am vaster than that which gets totally conditioned. Yes, the mind-machine does get totally conditioned, but I am something beyond the mind-machine, and therein lies the possibility of my redemption. The mind is just an apparatus that does get totally conditioned, but I am something else – a little more. So, when the mind gets totally conditioned, that doesn’t match or concur with what I am, because it is not my nature to be conditioned.”

And then, you want to hit at the boundaries, to knock at the doors, to cross the limits. That’s when you challenge your patterns. Because what you are doing and how you are living is not what you are. How long can you go on violating and contradicting yourself? A point comes when you just start feeling suffocated and then things happen on their own. Never say that you have a choice there. All your choices are within the room. You will never choose to go outside it never!

Left to yourself, you will happily keep singing, dancing, eating, sleeping, and breeding inside the room. A part of you exists outside; it is that part which calls you, but you do not know that part.

It is funny, because that is the ‘essential you’ that you do not know.

That face of yourself ‘that you know’ is a very superficial face. You may as well not know it and continue no harm will be done. So, that which you know as yourself, is anyway valueless. It is another matter that you attach a lot of importance to it and you spend a lot of time and energy just trying to maintain, preserve, and burnish it.

It is like you have a diamond, and you have a diamond case, and you are spending all your time preserving and polishing the case, while forgetting the diamond, which is lying somewhere else unattended.

Even if you forget all that you think yourself to be, no great harm will be done; but forgetting that which you really are that which is lying unattended, unsought . . .  that’s a great loss!

Again, for whom is that a great loss? Only for the one who is within the room. For itself, it is never a loss, because it is not something that can be lost; it is not something to which the words gaining or losing can even be applied. It is a strange kind of thing!

Understand this: whatever I am saying right now, I am not really addressing the ‘real you,’ because that doesn’t need to be addressed.

(Smilingly) Who can teach the atman? Is there anything apart from it to teach it? And what does it lack in to be taught? So, I am not really talking to the ‘essential you’. There is no point talking to ‘it’ and there is nobody else except ‘it’ to talk to ‘it’.

I am just addressing the ego, nothing else just addressing the ego. And when you are addressing the ego, all that you can do is draw its attention to its own suffering; all you can point out to it is “Little child, you have been continuously trying and trying, and going around restlessly attempting, seeking, finding, un-finding, picking, dropping – doing all the actions that can be done.

You have been continuously doing all these things; there is nothing that you have left undone. You have seen so many colors of life, you have tried whatever experiments you could try and what have you got?

Except trying, and except an inflated sense of pride “that I have been trying” what did you get?

That is all that can be said to the ego, and then one can just wait for a bit of good luck – that is needed. Without that nothing can happen. People call it grace.

Because the ego is stubborn, you never know how much it can take. Quite resilient it is. It can suffer a lot.

We have great potential for suffering, and then denying that we are suffering.

So, you never know how much stamina is still left in your ego; it might still not be exhausted, it might still be rearing to go: “No, no, I still want to try a little more.” If that be the case then not much can be done. Then your time has not yet come. If you still have a very fit and muscular ego, throbbing, itching, running, eager, determined, then not much can be done. Your time has not come. You need a few more hits. Deep hits, bloody hits and you will get them, for sure you will get them. It’s a matter of time, you may get them in two days or in two hundred years, but you will get them and then you will see how lucky you are that ultimately you got those hits.

(Silence)

Then you really seek. Then you are forced to admit: “I am mistaken.” I am repeating these words – ‘You are forced to admit’. Nobody will admit out of his own sweet will that he is mistaken, never. It’s just that you will be battered so hard that you will be left option-less. You will be made mincemeat of. Have you heard the word kachoomar (to make mincemeat)? You will be beaten so badly that you will have no option but to accept. Out of your own false sense of pride you will have to accept: “Now I can see that there is something wrong.”

If you come across people who very easily admit that they are mistaken, if you come across people who keep smiling sweetly and saying, “You know, I have so many habits, you know I am an idiot, you know I am a slave of the ego,” you must realize that all this is just another tactic of the ego. Pretending to be egoless is such a wonderful tactic of the ego. Those who admit very quickly that we are mistaken are the ones who have co-opted mistakes. It’s a nice fashionable thing to do. Right? (Referring to his immediate disciples.) It happens with some of us here as well. You write your reflections and what do you write there? “Oh my God, I am such an idiot, I again slipped. Oh! Today I again slipped, and I realize that I am an idiot.” And the next day you again slip after realizing yesterday that you are an idiot. Great tactic: ‘own up the mistake so that you can remain mistaken’. Wonderful! Nice!

You will never own up your mistakes, you will be brought to a point where you will have no option but to see that you have been an idiot. You will be left option-less. Till the time you have an option, you will exercise it. Till the time you have an option, you will only choose the ego because only the ego has options, what else will you choose? Willingly, it is never going to happen never, ever! And those for whom it is happening willingly, it is not really happening. If it is happening willingly for you, then it is not really happening. Then it means that it is a part of your internal conspiracy.

(Silence)

Know that it is really happening when the ego, breathing its last breath, bleeding profusely, is still resisting it.

Know that it is really happening when you are deeply attracted to it, while finding simultaneously that you experience an aversion to it.

If it’s good, nice, honey and sweets, then it is not happening. The very phrase, ‘realizing my mistakes,’ is a meaningless phrase.

The ego will never realize its mistakes because the fundamental mistake is the ego itself. 

So how can it ever realize any mistake? But it’s fashionable for us to say, “Oh, I realize my mistake.” The more you say that you are realizing your mistakes, the more you are ensuring that you will not realize anything. In fact, more honest are those who say, “I am not realizing anything, I don’t want to realize anything.” You never ‘make’ a mistake, the mistake emanates from your very structure. The mistake is a representation of what you are.

You never make a mistake, you are just doing what you can do. Being what you are, what else could you have done? But morality has taught us that it’s nice to admit mistakes.

It might be nice to admit mistakes in order to keep the whole system, the social order, running; it might be a generous thing to do; it might appear a gentle and nice thing to do; but it’s a harmful thing to do. By saying, “I committed a mistake,” you want to say that, right now you are not committing a mistake.

You are always mistaken because a mistake is what you are.

What do you mean by realization? It’s like a mad man saying, “You know, I realize I am mad.” How does that help? I mean what has he realized? Being mad, how can he ‘realize’ that he is mad? And the day that he actually realizes that he is mad is the day when he is not mad anymore. So, don’t admit your mistakes too easily. Don’t just go around saying, “I slipped.” You didn’t slip, you have been slipping all along and you are still slipping. It is not an isolated incident it is always happening.

Humbly, go to the root of the happening; if you are lucky enough, if your time has come. Humbly, try to dig deep into it without feeling ashamed, without feeling guilty or bad about yourself. The ego likes to maintain its sense of purity and decency. If it starts admitting that it has been always slipping, then it will find it difficult to look at itself in the mirror. That is another thing with the ego, it must feel good about itself.

(Silence)

So, whenever by chance you get a feeling that you made a mistake, don’t stop there. See how the mistake is just a minor representation of your entire mental structure. Go into that. ‘The mistake is not an isolated incident,’ I am repeating. The mistake is an opportunity to look into your wider self, if you really bother. If you do not bother, then alright, you are still quite muscular, you can still take a lot of beating, you still have a lot of stamina; you are huffing and puffing and saying: “You know, I still want to try a little more.” Keep trying, it’s alright.

Without you how would lila (the cosmic play) continue? Without you how would the show run? Every good show requires a few comedians whose entire role is to keep slipping and keep getting beaten up all the time. You are that comedian! Without you the entire drama will become so tasteless, there would be nothing in it. After all somebody has to slip on the road, somebody has to step on the banana peel, so that everybody else can have a good time. You are that one!

So, don’t think of yourself as worthless. (Smilingly) You are the one who provides spice to the great show that this existence is. Without you there would be nothing to laugh at. Without you what else is left to be written about?

The Core, the Center, the atman is very intelligent, but it is also beyond the grasp of any writer. Nothing can be written about it. All that can be said is, “Nothing can be said.” About Intelligence, nothing can be said. About stupidity, a lot can be said. So, you are the one who provides employment to all the authors and writers. If you are not there then the world would be poorer, nothing would be left, nobody would be slipping on the road, nobody would be falling in the gutters, nobody would be creating a scene so that the neighbors can enjoy.

You are the color of the world, and this is not merely a satire  this is it!

When you see that you have been stupid all along, don’t feel bad about yourself. You didn’t do it, you have been made a fool of, and somebody else did it, right? Who chooses to step on a banana peel? There is no need to feel bad about yourself; there is no need to feel guilty. When by chance you find yourself making mistakes, then without any sense of remorse or self-deprecation go deep into yourself. The deeper you will go, the more mistakes and more sufferings you will come across. So, go in boldly; don’t feel bad, don’t stop, don’t feel shy, and don’t start crying that, “Oh my god! Am I such a fool?” Of course you are! What’s there to feel bad about? Whenever this so-called realization starts coming, “I have been a fool,” tell yourself that, “No, you have been a bigger fool than you can ever imagine, and it’s alright.” It’s alright because you are not responsible for the show. Right?

I didn’t choose to be a fool, I didn’t even choose to be ‘here’ (in this world) in the first place. I am on the stage, I am playing a fool, and I am on a stage I never chose to be on. Who chose to be born? Anybody here who did? So, you have been thrown onto a stage, you are there on the stage unwillingly, and unwillingly everything else is happening – the great game of maya.

There is no need to take ownership of all this; you are not responsible. You do not own your mistakes.

Now, you can clearly look at yourself. Now, witnessing is possible. Now you can observe all that is happening. Don’t feel bad.

That is your problem. You feel so bad about yourself that you observe no more. You feel so bad about yourself that it becomes impossible for you to proceed. Just as the entire world laughs at you, you too laugh at yourself. In fact, when nobody else is laughing then you start laughing at yourself, because you are the first one to know how big an idiot you have been.

It would be nice. Right? You are sitting in a bus and nobody else is laughing at you and you are laughing. People will say, “What is there to laugh at?” You will say, “Don’t you see? I am there to laugh at. I am the joke of jokes!”

Keep laughing at yourself. There is nothing dishonorable about it. You are anyway so dishonorable. (Laughingly) What can be more dishonorable than you? Don’t regret!

Then, you reach the mother mistake. Laughing at yourself you reach the mother mistake. Only when you look at it lightly, is it possible to drop it. That mother mistake thrives in seriousness. That mother mistake is seriousness itself. You take yourself so seriously. It’s like somebody taking a used toilet paper seriouslyThat is the fundamental mistake. Drop it! Flush it!

(Looking at the facial expressions of a listener.) That is better; now you are not serious. Witnessing is simple, natural. All that it requires is a bit of detachment and when you have a point to prove then you cannot be detached. When you have a face to maintain, an image to maintain, then you cannot be detached. Then you will admit mistakes, but never admit that you are the mistaken one. It is a clever ploy. It works against you . . . it does work, but against you. Don’t work against yourself. Whenever you come across mistakes just realize that it is not even the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

It is more like you are driving upon the highway and there is a bit of a stink and it is arising from the entire sewer system of the city. The stink means nothing – it is nothing, it is a small thing. You will take a few steps ahead and the stink will disappear, but the stink points out to a great accumulation of rubbish in the basement. Just below the surface lies collected heaps and heaps of rubbish. And ‘you’ are not rubbish; so there is no shame in accepting that there is so much rubbish. Be supremely confident that you are not rubbish; feel free to disown it, feel free to laugh at it.

How can you take rubbish seriously? When you don’t take it seriously there is no way you can get identified with it. Do you want to get identified with all the shit? Do you want to do that? Then why don’t you just call shit as shit? That’s our problem. We will never call shit as shit. We will acknowledge the stink but act as if there is no shit. We will acknowledge the mistake but act as if there is no mistaken one.

Yes! There is an entire ocean beneath the compost surface. That’s from where the stink sometimes arises. Disown that ocean. Laugh at it. You are not that. Nothing will be lessened from you; you only lose your heaviness, nothing else will be lost, no harm is going to come your way.

(Silence)

So, I’ve said enough, and that’s all that can be said. The rest depends on your stamina. Maybe you still want to take a few more punches. It’s alright. Somebody has to step on the banana peel. It’s alright.

Listener: If I want to see the mother mistake, then will I have to go again and again into the rubbish?

AP:  You are probably not feeling sure. Think of the man who has to take rubbish seriously and identify with it. Surely he feels very poor; surely he feels that there is not much in his life; surely he feels that life will be so harsh upon him that if he leaves the rubbish then nothing else will be there. “So better than being totally impoverished, let me at least latch on to the rubbish.”

See whether you can feel a little more certain that ‘things cannot be so bad’. See whether you can feel a little more confident that ‘even if I drop this, even if it goes away, it’s alright, I’ll live with it’. See if you can feel a little more emboldened.

Let it go! Anyway all that it is giving me is a lot of foul air. Let it go! Say: “I am prepared to take the consequences.” Feel a little more certain.

We hold on to all the rubbish in our life for the simple assumption that we have very little self-worth. We feel that if this goes away then nothing will be left. You feel, “Alright this might be defective, dead, soiled, but at least I have something. What if even this goes away? What if I am left with nothing?”

You will have to trust a little. You will have to just jump in. You will have to just hope that things will not be so bad, that things cannot be so bad. See whether that is possible.

L2: Sir, towards the beginning you said, “You have a deep belief that you still have a lot of stamina in you, and you want to keep hopping.” Sir, my condition is exactly the same. Within me, there is a strong feeling that I have to do a lot; but at the same time, there is this other side which tells me that all doing is futile.

So, what do should I do?

AP:  See, I also said in the beginning itself that you don’t really have a choice in this matter. So, even if I suggest something and you decide to pick it up, it will be you who will be deciding and hence you would also have the luxury of dropping it at your own sweet will. That is the whole problem with taking somebody’s advice. You are the one who went to take advice, you can also drop the advice.

Have you not seen people taking ‘second opinions’? Going from one doctor to the other? When you are taking a second opinion, ultimately it is your own opinion that prevails. You are the one who decide whether to consider the first opinion or the second opinion. Don’t you see? There is really no choice in this. Don’t ask, “What to do?” You are already doing a lot! Aren’t you? Go into that; if you can!

Don’t ask me, “What to do?” Aren’t you already doing a lot? And even if I suggest you a few more things to do, who will be doing them? The doer will remain the same, right? Now, if the doer is to be investigated, then why take on a new doing? You are already doing a lot, start from there and go deeper boldly, without fear or without any sense of shame. This ‘going deeper’ is not another doing. It is not another action of the same doer. It has a different quality to it.

You do ten things in a day you cannot say that attention is the eleventh thing. There are already ten things that you are doing, be attentive towards them. And that is not an eleventh action; that is like a light falling on all those actions.

Alright?

L3: Sir, if I do ten things, what gives me this stupid power to do another ten things? Succeeding in a few?

AP: The very concept of succeeding, the very hope that success is possible, that’s what keeps us going.

L3: Where does that hope come from? If I fail in all, will that hope still retain?

AP: Chances are the hope will diminish. That is why failure is often such a blessing. But again you see, one has to admit the failure. You may keep failing and keep labeling the failure as success.

Have you not seen people celebrating diamond jubilees of their marriage? Have you not seen that? (Laughter)

So failure and success are just words labels.

That deep realization has to come and that comes only when its time has come. It requires that bit of luck.

Pray, if you can!

L2: Sir, what is meant by saying that the time has not come? There are a few things that I have decided that I must do and only then the time will come, right?

AP: No, you have not done any of those things. What are you doing? What is the fact? The fact is – ‘you are deciding’. That is the doing. You have decided to do a few things, right? Have you done any of those things? What have you really done?

L2: I have decided.

AP: You have decided! Now, go into this decision and go into the decision maker. That is the real doing. Ask: “Where is this decision coming from?” Don’t go into what you have decided to do and when, and all that. You may as well never do all those things. You know the quality of your decisions, right? You decide to go left and you end up going?

L: Right.

AP: (Smilingly) Underground!

So, there is no point thinking about what goes left or right but yes, the ‘decision’ has been done, that is a fact, and that is very much an action a mental action that has been done. Go into that.

L3: Sir, while going into that, in between, one encounters, this entire thing of accepting or not accepting the rubbish. And whether we accept or deny, the ego survives in both the cases: commit a mistake and accept it or commit a mistake and deny it. How to move out of this vicious circle?

AP: The more you believe in what you have believed so far the more you will stay in the same circles. You have believed in your fears, you have believed in your limitations, you carry an entire world inside your head. At the center of that world is your own self-image.

The more you keep believing it, the more you keep feeding it, the more you keep feeling sure about it, the more things will remain the same. So try to take a few baby steps. See whether it’s possible there is no guarantee but see whether that is possible, maybe your time has come! See whether you can proceed without your self-image. See whether any harm really happens to you when you drop the rubbish. See whether you really lose something when you act in contradictions of your own assumptions. We imagine so much; see whether your imaginations actually materialize.

They won’t! See whether your own self-worth or self-image is real at all. I assure you, we know very little of ourselves, very, very little. You are not at all what you think you are. Allow yourself to come across your new face. You will be surprised. It is just like exfoliation. (Addressing one amongst the listeners.) You are a woman, you understand that, right? There is a beautiful face waiting to be discovered. Don’t be ashamed of it.

You have already decided that you are the maximum that you can be; this ‘can be’ has no limits. You can keep trying and keep moving within this so-called maxima. Limitlessly you can keep moving after setting a boundary. And in this nonsensical movement you keep missing that which you really are. Now don’t make images about it, just gather a little courage. Don’t think about it.

“What is it that I really am? What is my real face like?”

There is no need to think more. You already think so much. Just gather a little bit of courage to move into an unknown land; but that sounds scary, so I am saying, “Take a few baby steps.”

One step? At least that much can be done? Test your assumptions!

But when one is testing her assumptions, it is not tested in order to maintain the assumptions. If your assumption is that your assumptions are valid, then you are not really testing your assumptions. When you test your assumptions, then it must be done without bias, then it must be done impartially. “Let me really test.” We are so clever that in the name of testing we create situations that validate the assumptions. Don’t do that. We play so many games with ourselves. Do not do that. First of all you tell yourself that the world is a bad place and then you say, “Okay, let me test this assumption.” And then you go out and you bump into someone and he beats you up and then you say, “See I told you so, the world is actually a bad place.” Are you testing your assumption or are you going out just to reinforce it?

Don’t do that.

L3: Sir, whenever we feel light, we also find reasons that make us heavy. We do this just to ensure that the lightness does not prevail.

AP: Yes. You see we need to feel healthy, and if we can’t feel healthy, we at least need to pretend healthy.

Even if I have to slaughter somebody, it is better to do that via the court so that I can maintain my self-image. “I am a justice-loving person. I follow the due process of law, you see. I am not blindly believing in my assumptions. I tested them. So what I am saying is not an imagination; it is the fact, Sir!”

People will come and say: “I am so experienced and what I am telling you about life is not just my thoughts, it is what I have experienced.” Have you not heard this?

L: Yes.

AP: “This is my experience.” And they are not really lying; it is actually their experience. The only shrewdness there is, is that they are the manufacturers of that experience. Yes, you did experience, but who is the experiencer? When your so-called experienced people come and tell you that the world is a bad and wicked and ugly place and you need to protect yourself, otherwise a lot of harm can happen to you. They are not really lying. For them the world has actually been bad and wicked and ugly. So, they are actually not lying. What they do not admit is that they made it this way. They are the creators of their experiences that is something they will not admit.  They will not admit that.

L1: When somebody says very forcibly, “I have experienced this,” then the implication is that there is something objective there.

AP: Yes! There is nothing objective about it. ‘You’ did that.

We create situations that are conducive to our image of the world.

You hate a person and that will show up in your entire being. Now why are you surprised when the person reciprocates hate? When you look at that man your eyes are radiating hate, you words are full of poison, now is it any surprise that that person too reflects the same hate? Then you will say, “See, I told you so. That fellow is evil.” Is that fellow evil or did you make him act in evil ways? The world is your self-image, nothing more than that. It’s an echo!

L5: Sir, then experience is also a part of ego?

AP: All experience! Let experience never be a criteria. Let nobody claim that experience leads to Truth. Experience can only lead you to your own mind – that much, experience can help you. When you experience something, go into the experience, but not with an intention to know the world. Your experience will tell you nothing about the world because there is no objective world; but your experience will tell you something about yourself, your own structures.

When you hate somebody, that tells nothing about the person you hate, but it tells a lot about you. So do not make images about the person you hate. Go into your hatred; it will tell you something about yourself – it will tell you how afraid you are; it will tell you about your own insecurities; it will take you to your own basement.

L5: It will make me aware about the mechanism of my mind.

AP: And will take you to the mother of hatred.

L1: Let’s say somebody is testing his assumptions, and is doing that quite honestly. In the process, he sees that his assumptions are flawed. But since, he has been powering them for a long time, so they keep coming back again and again.

AP: See, that is why we are saying that there is no point in admitting mistakes or admitting that the assumptions are flawed; because till the time that mother is there, she will keep producing more babies.

Assumptions are not flawed, assumptions are what you are so go deeper.

Whenever you say that these assumptions are wrong, then tell me what is right? Is there another assumption that is right?

When you say, “I committed a mistake,” then tell me what not a mistake is? You must be having some image, right? That image too is a mistake.

So, it’s like a kid comes to you and says, “I have written 5+5 equals 15,” and you really scold him hard. You say, “How can you be such an idiot to write 5+5 as 15! You didn’t even know this much; you are making so many mistakes.” And ultimately you tell him, “Now, write 5+5 is 17.”

When you are declaring something to be a mistake, also ask yourself what is it that I am declaring as ‘not a mistake’? You will be surprised to see that calling something as ‘not a mistake’ is a bigger mistake.

L1: Sir, for example, the assumption is that – ‘somebody doesn’t like x,’ which is based upon x’s own inferiority complex. When x will check this assumption, it will be revealed that the fellow actually likes x.

Are you proposing that both of these aspects are equally wrong?

AP: Well said! Both are equally wrong. Neither does he dislike you nor is there anything to like. What the reality is . . . that you will never know being yourself.

The Truth is not the opposite of the false; the Truth is the absence of all that can be false.  When I say that you have an assumption that the world is a bad place, kindly do not use it to say: “Oh my assumption was invalid! The world is not really a bad, bad place; the world is actually a good, good place.”

The moment you do this, the mother mistake is smiling. Why? Because, this second assumption will be invalidated very soon, and you will have to come back to the first assumption.

So, going to something’s opposite is actually a very clever way of returning to the first thing.

The world is neither good nor bad.

‘Find out’ what the world is; why assume?

Assumption two cannot correct assumption one! So, never say, “I have known that this is a mistake.” When you say that you have known something as a mistake, you are pretending as if you know what is ‘not a mistake’. Because without having some concept, some notion, some idea of what is not a mistake, you can never say that this is a mistake. That idea too is equally wrong. Just say, “This is what I am, and I am suffering.” Now, you cannot go wrong.

Just say, “In my life, ‘5+5 is 15,’ and I am suffering.” Do not claim that you know what ‘5+5’ is. All you know is ‘5+5 is 15’. Just say, “I am holding these ideas as sacred; I am assuming these things to be true; I am living by these concepts; and what I am getting is suffering.”

These two are facts; there is very little positing here. Firstly that ‘I think,’ and secondly that ‘I suffer’. Now proceed downwards; keep going into the depth.

L5: Sir, I am suffering and I know that the mother reason of my suffering is my assumption about life. So when I see that a particular thought is arising from an assumption, I pause . . .

AP: Does that really happen that when you don’t want thoughts to come, they don’t come?

L5: Yes, it does! The other day, I was getting late for office. I stopped at the traffic signal for a minute or two and my mind started getting anxious. So I just paused and said, “Okay. Don’t let these thoughts come, reach the venue and see what happens.”

AP: If it is happening, then there is nothing to worry about. If it does happen that when you ask your thoughts to shut up and they do fall quiet, then, it’s good . . . already good.

L5: So, I don’t need to get into this assumption that certain thoughts are not good for my well-being – nothing like that?

AP: No! Where is the thought left now?

L5: It’s gone!

Sir, there are certain kinds of impulses that have gained so much momentum that it requires immense energy to dislodge them. What should be done?

AP: Take the previous example: when thought refuses to subside in spite of your telling it to shut down, then there is anyway not much that you can do – then let it continue. Don’t resist it.

You feed thoughts in two ways: from the front and from the back. From the front you feed it by asking it to continue: “It’s a pleasure to think sometimes.” You feed it from the back by resisting it: “It’s a bad thought, how can I think this way?” The moment you say this, then the bad thought intensifies. Let it continue. After all, how much can the imagination proceed on its own? How far will it go? You will assume that you will come late, alright, then? The gates will be closed, and then? And then . . . and then? Soon you will be bored.

“Alright, let’s stop.”

What is the worst that can happen? He doesn’t even have a gun license – your boss at the office.

What is the worst that can happen? Let it continue. It’s alright. You want to think? Proceed.

L5:  Yes. Then I start feeling guilty: “Why do I waste time thinking more and more about an unnecessary thing.”

AP: Never be bothered about your actions. By being bothered about your actions, you create a ploy to not to be bothered about the mother of the actions.

You meet a small kid and the kid is behaving in all kinds of stupid ways and he has acquired so many habits at just three or four years of age. He is stealing, he is cursing, he is kicking and crying – he is doing all kinds of things that kids do not usually do if they are healthy. What do you say to the kid? “Who is your mother? What have your parents taught you?” Actions are like kids. They are poor kids. What is the point in beating up the kid? Go to the mother; she is the one who is training the kid. But we bash up the kid: “This action is bad, evil!” What is the point?

You can even the kill the kid, but the mother is very fertile, she will produce more and more.

Actions are kids, go the mother of that action.

L2: Sir, but this requires subtlety of the mind. One who is very thoughtful, has not the depth to locate and scrutinize ‘the mother’.

AP: Then at least stop blaming the kid!

Can you remember this much? We have a great tendency to say, “Oh my god, I did something bad today.” Don’t we have that tendency? And all concepts of correction and repentance are based on this concept: “I did something bad.” So what am I correcting? The mistake. What I am repenting for? My action. At least stop doing this? Remember that the action can never be corrected; it is coming from a particular actor who is the mother. At least stop saying that you did something bad today; at least stop writing in your daily reflections that “Oh my god, I forgot, I slipped!”

You are not forgetting, you are forgetfulness itself personified.

By saying that you forgot, you are pretending as if you otherwise remember. You never remember.

Don’t blame yourself too much; don’t be harsh upon yourself. That’s what I mean when I am saying that don’t feel ashamed. By feeling ashamed you are pretending as if there is something honorable about you.

A speck falls off a lump of coal and the coal is regretting: “Oh my god! It’s so black.” As if there is anything non-black about it. A particle falls off a lump of coal and the coal looks at that particle and says, “Oh my god! It is so dark, so black.” Hello sir! Is there anything except blackness about you? So, what is the point in feeling ashamed? Just laugh it away: “Of course, I am all black. But when I will burn, when I will turn into ash then I will no more be black.”

Have you seen that? How coal becomes almost white when it turns into ash? There is no point regretting at your own little speck, your own baby. “The baby is so black.” The mother is an entire lump of blackness, the baby is bound to be black. Let the mother get burnt down, then things will change. Never regret your actions, never. Never feel ashamed of something you did. That’s a clever ploy against yourself. Don’t repent. Don’t try to correct your mistakes, never. You will be allowing the mistaken one to happily continue. Don’t do that.

L6: Sir, do we give value to assumptions and other things just because we are always trying to analyze situations? Like we do in a math problem – that if we don’t have a value for anything, we assume it to be something, and then derive the whole formula just for the sake of our analysis.

AP: See, there you have no option. You will have to do that because it’s a pattern. Mathematics doesn’t breathe. It doesn’t know by itself. So, if you don’t make that assumption, you will not be able to proceed at all. Life is a little different. Here, if you don’t make assumptions, you reach the solution.

Mathematics – you don’t make the assumption, you can’t even proceed to get the answer. Life – don’t make assumptions, and the solution would be obvious.

That is the difference!

(A long silent pause.)

L7: Sir, how can I call something a mistake if I have no idea of what is not a mistake!

AP: Yes, that’s what is being said. So, don’t call anything a mistake. Just say, “This is what is happening and I am suffering.” Only two things: “This is what is happening, and I am suffering.”

No point calling it a mistake or anything. There is no benefit in naming.

L1: Sir, this shameless, fearless, and guilt-free acceptance, something that is needed to see the ‘mother problem’ . . . Sir, it just does not happen to me. I stop midway. I am unable to go really, really deep. Fear, self-image, etc., stop me.

Sir, there must be something that gives the mind the courage to keep digging despite fear, shame, etc. . . .

AP: Yes. It is something very subtle, very faint. It’s a very subtle sureness. It is not a loud emotional declaration. It is not the reiteration of some conceptual knowledge – that when I feel afraid, I say, “I am the fearless atman.”

No!

It’s a very subtle sureness; not the recitation of some old mantra.

L4: Sir, this discussion reminds me of the activity ‘Mirror Identities’ we conduct with our students, which says that all identities are dependent upon each other: ‘If I am this, I am not that’; ‘if I am goal-oriented, I cannot be an aimless wanderer’.

To me, being constantly aware of the fact that I am none of these co-dependent identities, seems the only right step at any time.

AP:  Yes.

And you know, when you are taking that step . . . you see we live in closed claustrophobic rooms . . . when you just open the gate a little and take half a step outside – you know it’s new. The fresh gust of air hits your face. You know there is something new about it. You realize that it is fresh, it is new. This doesn’t happen within your circles.

L5: Sir, you talked about not resisting the assumptions, but my resistance or non-resistance is through thoughts, and when I don’t resist, thoughts become all the more powerful and shake me up from peace.

So, what is this ‘not resisting the assumption’ which will make me feel light? Kindly guide.

AP: There is Udit sitting next to you. Shake him up!

(Listener shakes Udit’s upper body.)

You could shake him up, right? Now shake up the space here! Shake it up. You can’t!

You can shake something only when it offers resistance. Udit’s weight is offering resistance that is why you can shake him up.

Understand that you feel shaken up only because you offer resistance to thoughts. That resistance itself is the energy that shakes you up. Thought comes and says, “Some great harm is going to happen! And you say, “No. No great harm is going to happen. How can it happen?”

Don’t you see that in the process of resisting the thought, you are supporting the thought?

Thought is saying, “Great harm is going to happen,” and you are saying, “Great harm is not going to happen,” but you too are admitting that great harm is ‘possible’.

Only that can happen or not happen which has a possibility of happening or not happening. When thought comes and says, (and that’s what this terrifying thought says) “Some great harm is possible,” say, “Go ahead. Let’s see what great harm is possible.”

As I said, your boss doesn’t even have a gun license. What great harm can be done?

Now thought is coming and saying, “Something bad is going to happen,” and you are getting all worked up, “No, no! That bad thing cannot be allowed to happen. It cannot happen!”

Thought is coming and saying, “You are dying! You are dying!” and you are saying, “No, no! I am not dying yet!” Don’t you see that you are supporting your thought by admitting that death is possible? When thought comes and says that you are going to die, say, “Fine, if that’s what pleases you, if that’s what makes you feel better, yes, I am going to die. Now, what next?”

Remember? You feed it from the front, you feed it from the back. Don’t feed it from the back.

“Something bad is going to happen!”

“Yeah! Something bad is going to happen.”

L2: Sometimes what happens is, this whole game of thinking gets exposed. How? Say, I am sitting and thinking, I am brooding, and I forget what I was thinking about. Then later on, I try to remember, “What was I thinking about?” And I am unable to recall it.

AP: Thought itself is such a stupid thing; you allow it to continue, it will get tangled within itself and will forget what it was all about. It is a monkey; it jumps from one place to another.

Thought is saying, “You will die! You will die! You will die!” You say, “Fine, proceed”; and next thing it will be thinking about the wood in the funeral pyre and then it will be thinking about the Himalayas and the great weather.

(Laughs)

So, from death it will, like a monkey, hop from one place to other. So, death will bring it to the wood; the wood will take it to the Himalayas; Himalayas means fine weather, so now you are thinking of fine weather. . . It’s alright.

L7: Sir, while doing tasks that ought to be done, like reading scriptures, I experience solid resistance. As per you, this resistance is a thought and need not be resisted further; but this ‘thought’ creates a lot of turbulence in my mind-body. What to do?

AP: When the thought says, “Don’t read!” Let thought say, “Don’t read!” You read.

(Laughter)

What else can the poor thing do!

L2:  Sir, does thinking differ from person to person?

AP: Oh, of course!

L2:  Like, not the thoughts, but the whole process. Sometimes when I try to cut the thoughts . . .

AP: The tendency to think doesn’t differ. That is the mool vritti (fundamental tendency). Thoughts always differ. In fact, thoughts make the person; that is why you are never the same person at two different points in time. But the tendency is the same everywhere. That’s where we are all one. We all have the same latent tendencies . . . same latent tendencies – fear, greed, lust. And at the root of these tendencies, lies the ‘I’ tendency – aham vritti (ego tendency).

L7: Isn’t that aham vritti coming from the tendency to think? As in, if we don’t think, the ‘I’ thought won’t come.

AP: Because of the ‘I’, the thought comes!

At the center of the entire expanse of thought, sits the ‘I’. You cannot think without an ‘I’. Go into your thoughts, there would always be an ‘I’ present.

So, the ‘I’ makes the thought possible.


~ Excerpts from a Clarity Session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Only the ego wants to correct mistakes. The fundamental mistake is ego itself.

Read more articles on this topic: 

  1. The unrealistic expectations of the ego from its self-created world
  2. Even when you are lost, you are already Home
  3. Why do we blame others for our mistakes

What is sin and what is repentance?

Question: The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Sir, I want to know what is my sin? And what is the meaning of glory of God?

Acharya Prashant: Concept of sin has a very central place in Christianity. The Bible repeatedly refers to it, and it is supposed to be a pious Christian’s duty to repent for the sins. This repentance is interpreted in several ways; and there are several ways in which it is advised that the atonement can take place. But obviously, any question of repentance is meaningless without first understanding what the sin is. Otherwise, there is the absurd situation of a man trying to correct a mistake without knowing at all what the mistake is.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

“What is my sin?” There is nothing called ‘your’ sin.

The simple fact is that you are the sin!

You are not a sinner; you are the sin itself. You are not mistaken, you are the mistake itself.

The moment this ‘my’ comes into picture is the moment of the beginning of sin. It is the point of beginning of all moments. Without this ‘my’ there is no moment, and no beginning either. All that begin is this ‘my,’ and this ‘my’ itself is the sin.

This has to be understood!

In what sense is it the sin? In the ultimate sense there can be only one sin, which is to be dissociated from God, which is to be separated from the ‘one Truth’.

Now, what do you say . . . the moment you say, “I?” . . . do you say, “I am God?  Have you ever heard anybody saying that? The moment you utter this ‘I,’ you declare yourself to be somebody short of God. You declare yourself to be somebody other than God.

The moment this ‘I’ comes into picture, is the moment of the birth of duality, and duality implies that an alternate reality, other than God, other than Truth exists. You start talking of yourself, and you do not refer to yourself as God. And it is not merely a question of verbal reference; it is the question of your entire feeling. When you refer yourself as ‘I,’ you surely do not refer to the ‘total,’ to the ‘one,’ to the absolute; instead you start referring to a fragment, to the limited.

Now, what are you doing? You are saying that you exist. By uttering ‘I,’ you are saying that you exist. And you are also saying that the world exists, and you also probably do not mean to deny that God or Truth exists. So what have you done? You have created parallel and multiple realities. You are saying, “I exist, the world exist, and God also exists.” Now, is the Truth many? Then how can there be many realities? How can there be these three: you, others and God? To believe in many Gods is sin. To believe in yourself is sin. To have an identity separate from God is sin. This ‘my’ itself is sin.

Do you get this?

It is impossible for you to ‘be’ and not be a sinner. Now, what does this imply? Does this imply that as a human being, you have to live a life mired in the guilt of sinning? And this is what religious men sometimes end up implying and advocating. And Christianity has done a lot of this. They talk of sinning so much that repentance becomes a standalone virtue in itself.

Now repentance is no dissolution of sin. Repentance is just the dual opposite of sin. Repentance always goes along with sin. Repentance arises from a feeling of guilt. You cannot ask somebody to repent without first declaring him guilty. So, what is the implication? Are we to spend this human life in guilt? Feeling bad? Feeling small? “Oh! We have sinned? Just to be born is sin?”

If you be a little attentive, you will see that there is only one way out, which is to not to believe in any identity except the God identity. You acquire any identity and you have sinned. Because acquiring an identity implies, I am repeating, a belief in many truths, and a belief in the separation from the ‘one Truth.’ And both of these are surely sins.

You take on any identity, it is as good or as bad as the previous one.

You believe that you are a sinner, you are believing that you are a sinner. You believe that you are a repenter, and you are just believing that you are the one who is repenting. In either case, you are still maintaining an identity apart from the Truth.

Repentance does not mean that your central sin has been dissolved. It only means that you have moved from one type of sin to another type of sin. To feel guilty is sin, and to repent is sin reinforced. That’s why I said it is the dual opposite and companion of sinning. Repentance is simply the dualistic companion of sinning. It does not absolve you of your sins. It only gives you a new type of sin. If sinning is sin, then repentance is just a new type of sin. I am repeating this because religion has been making this mistake of advocating repentance.

What really then is repentance? There is only one real repentance possible. I have just talked of it. It is to live in the God identity. That is the only real repentance possible. If you say that you are a sinner, then you are only extending and deepening your sin. If you say you are repenting, you are again only extending and deepening your sin. The only way to get rid of sin is to get rid of the sinner itself.

You will have to very clearly live in the deep faith that because Truth is one, hence, you cannot be separate from God. After all, this too is just a belief that you are separate, the world is separate. If you can be misled into cultivating and nourishing this belief, then with a clear mind, you can also clear away this belief. This belief is not innate, not really natural. It has been given to you by circumstances, by body, by society, by books. If it has been given to you, it can also be cleared away.

This clearing away of this ‘I’ belief, this clearing away of this ‘I’ identity, is the only real repentance.

That is the only way to get rid of both the sin and the sinner.

I am repeating this: there is no way to get rid of your sins, except by coming very, very close to God. You have to come so close to God that you are left with no individual identity of your own. That is the reason why the Upanishadic Mahavakya, ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ (I am Brahma) is the heart of all spirituality. Without that utterance there is no redemption possible for man. You may say a thousand things about yourself, about Truth, and about God, and about the world, yet nothing will absolve you, nothing will give you peace. There is only one declaration, one article of faith which will bring you to rest, and that is, ‘I am That and That am I’. Everything else is sin.

You may say you are a ‘Son of God,’ it is a statement of sin, because the son after all, is separate from the father. He may be quite close to the father, yet he is not the father himself. So, even to say that you are a son of God is sin. And obviously, it is a great sin to say, “I am a creation of God,” unless you also say that the creator himself is the creation. Then it is alright. If you say that you are a creation of God, you will have to simultaneously say, that the creator himself is the creation. Only then is this a proper statement. But if you say that the creator is somebody else, and his creation is separate from him, and you are a part of that creation, then it is a statement of sin.

Are you getting it?

Kindly see that all your suffering, and sorrow, and misery, arises from your fragmented identities. Sin is something that leads to sorrow. See, where your sorrow comes from. It comes from your identities. It comes from your belief in your individuality. Till the time you keep believing that you are ‘you,’ a bundle of identities, your sorrow will continue. Dissolution of your identities is just the same – it is a return to the identityless identity, and that is the God identity.

To not to have any identities is to have the ‘ultimate identity’; and that is the God identity.

Are you getting this?

This is not merely a concept. This is what we all are living daily. See that not even one of your problems is there without you being attached to some or the other identity. See that you cannot suffer without a belief in your limitations. You will have to be attached to some sense of limited being for you to suffer.

What does it mean to say, “I am God”? It is not to declare that I am grand and big. On the contrary, to declare that I am not separate from God, is just to declare that I am not going to be attached with anything that is petty, limited, small and trivial. It does not mean that there is something big called God, and I can declare myself to be that. No, because whatever you will declare to be big, will actually be very small. The biggest that you can think of, will just be as big as your mind is, and that is very small.

How big can your mind think of? The biggest that you can think of is nothing compared to the immensity of infinity. And your mind cannot conceptualize infinity. So, even your biggest identity is shallow and petty.

So, to have God identity, is not to have a big identity. It is to have no identity. Many people are apprehensive of this statement, ‘Aham Brahmasmi’. They say that if man declares himself to be God, it is just ego. They say it is a proof of your arrogance, if you say, “I am God.” They are mistaken. And mistaken are those who utter ‘I am God’ in the wrong sense. If you have a concept of God, and then you say you are God, then surely you are committing a heresy. If you have a concept of God, and then you say, “I am God,” then this is surely blasphemy. Because then to say, “I am God,” would be similar to saying, “I am a husband, I am a Hindu or I am a Christian.” All concepts!

You had ten conceptual identities, now you have an eleventh conceptual identity also. What is that eleventh conceptual identity? Of God.

No! It is not really a statement of ego, because the man who honestly says, “I am God,” is actually saying, “I am nothing.” It is a statement, hence, of great humility. Only a greatly humble man can say, “I am God.” It is not at all a work of ego. So, there is no need to be apprehensive of the man who honestly declares himself to be God. Because this man is actually saying, “I am nobody.”

It is statement of great humility, along with great boldness. “I am nobody.” And if somehow, you dislike to say that you are God . . . it happens, in some religions, for example, it is prohibited, and you cannot say that you are God . . . then no issue, simply say, “I am nobody.” No religion prohibits this statement. There are religions which prohibit man to declare identity with God. They say that you cannot say, “I am God,” but no religion prohibits man to utter “I am nobody.” So, there is no need for unnecessary confrontation. Simply say, “I am nobody.” That is just the same as saying, “I am God.” Because when you are nobody, then you are the closest to God, actually one with God.

Just say, “I am nobody.”

Your humility, your deep humility is identical to saying ‘Aham Brahmasmi’. ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ and ‘Naham’ (I am not) are the same statements. Aham Brahmasmi says, “I am the Truth, I am God, I am Brahm,” and ‘Naham’ says, “I am not.”

And both of these are same. Just say “Naham, I am not!” Both these statements are one, and both of them absolve you of your sin.

You are the sin. Get rid of yourself and you have fully repented. This is the only repentance possible.

 

IMG_2716

Question: The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Sir, I want to know what is my sin? And what is the meaning of glory of God?

Acharya Prashant: Concept of sin has a very central place in Christianity. The Bible repeatedly refers to it, and it is supposed to be a pious Christian’s duty to repent for the sins. This repentance is interpreted in several ways; and there are several ways in which it is advised that the atonement can take place. But obviously, any question of repentance is meaningless without first understanding what the sin is. Otherwise, there is the absurd situation of a man trying to correct a mistake without knowing at all what the mistake is. Read more

How to deal with anger?

Questioner: In spite of keeping all watch and vigil, anger comes and leads to wrong actions on certain trigger points and situations. After that it is realized that a slip happened. What is the way?

Speaker: There is nothing in existence that is unnecessary, totally useless, needlessly there. It is good that we are talking of anger, its causes and its consequences, the harm that it does. But that also might be because firstly anger is very gross, very visible. There is a clear sensual expression of anger. So, it becomes very obvious that we are angry; it cannot remain hidden. And secondly our education or morality has constantly taught us that anger is something bad. So to the problem of anger, we seem like being alert. But are we equally alert, let’s say, to the fact that even in those moments of the day when everything appears normal, we are actually feeling a little down, a little dull, a little bored, a little short of energy; that we do not consider a problem as big as anger, again for those two same reason. One, anger is gross and that constant sense of background boredom is subtle. In anger you shout, your face turns red, your blood pressure rises. In boredom, well, there is not much that happens that can be caught or traced by senses. Now you are just sitting, you are weary, you are yawning, and it doesn’t seem that there is much wrong with yawning. In anger, well you are beating people up. It seems that there is so much wrong with anger. And secondly, we have been taught that anger is bad and boredom is a much smaller evil. But is that so?

Read more