Quotes, April’19

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1.

If you want to most definitely reach,

Take the most difficult route.

2.

What is It?

More than everything, in general.

Less than nothing, in particular.

3.

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

does your love diminish?

No.

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

What do you understand ?

Nothing in particular.

Not everything has to be intellectually comprehended.

Love is enough.

4.

Freedom is the backdrop in which bondage appears as bondage.

Freedom is the Light in which darkness looks like darkness.

If there is only darkness, there is no darkness.

Darkness means anything only in the presence of Light.

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

5.

Grace is available to you unconditionally, but not compulsorily.

She would come to your doorstep,and knock.

She will wait,not break open your door.

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

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

6.

Those who are winning the war, matter.

They need to be saluted.

Those who are losing the war, matter.

They need to be helped.

Those who are absentees from battlefield, do not matter.

They need to be ignored.

7.

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

8.

Except for Prakriti,

who will tell you

of all the stories of

Parmatma?

And, well,

all his secrets?

9.

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

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

Do not let these turn into your gods.

10.

The lover, the mystic, looks at the moon

and knows fullness itself.

Is the material just material?

A thing is the Source behind itself.

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

Watch as nothing,

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

 

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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Quotes, May’19

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1.

Life is sacred,

the living are sacred,

the conscious are sacred,

the unconscious are sacred,

the subject is sacred,

the object is sacred.

All sacred

just because they are false.

Falseness is false.

They are not what they appear.

They are where they come from.

The Truth. The One.

2.

The storm kept raging.

The Sky didn’t utter a word.

3.

You’ve one life

and you must

spend it rightly.

4.

Restless are those who do not have answers.

Dead are those who do not have even questions.

Better to be restless than dead.

Most people appear lifeless.

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

Doubt, Wonder, Ask, Question, Find.

Come alive!

5.

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

Gratitude is about remaining thankful when you are being destroyed.

6.

Live on with the patterns of your life.

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

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

Resistance is attachment.

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

So what to do with patterns?

Nothing.

7.

When you feel incomplete,

Kindly don’t fill yourself with rubbish.

8.

Fear is useful.

One must have the right fear.

Right fear

is when one is afraid

of losing the one thing

that cannot be lost,

and yet man loses it

again and again.

Afraid of this one thing,

now one can be fearless

about all else.

This is the key to

fearlessness.

9.

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

You fondly said: Come.

Whom did you call?

You dryly said: Busy.

What are you busy with?

You sorely missed something.

What is it?

You dreamily thought of someone.

Who is he?

The real one has just One in mind.

10.

Acharya ji, who is a friend?

Whose friend?

Mine.

Who are you?

(Mute)

A squirming consciousness are you, desperate for its Destination.

Who is a friend?

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

Who is a foe?

Who stands between you and the Destination.

~Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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God, Love and Gratitude

God Love and Gratitude

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

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Love is the urge to move towards That.

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

Love is what brings Sudama to Krishna.

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

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

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

Question: Acharya Ji, how to show Gratitude?

Acharya Ji: You distribute it.

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

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

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

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

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

Listener: So, there is no difference between…

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

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

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

(laughter)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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What is meant by ‘oneness with all’? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

 

What is meant by ‘oneness with all’

Question: What is the meaning of: meeting the other person with Oneness?

Acharya Prashant:

Meeting the other person with Oneness, does not imply – being one with the other ‘person’. It means – you are one within, even as you look at the diverse world of many-ness, spread in space around you.

Outside you might be fragments, distinctions, numbers, diversities, within is no such fragmentation.

How does fragmentation arise within?

It arises within, when the within becomes a mirror of the without.

If that which is outside you, gains a part of you, then you get divided.

Take this, right now.

Here is me. If you take me as someone outside of you, then this figure will occupy a bit of mental space. (Referring to a listener in the audience) There is him, he too will occupy a bit of mental space. (Pointing at the collage of posters designed on Acharya Ji’s quotes) One of these posters will occupy a bit of mental space. May be this colour appeals to you, this too will occupy some space. The brand of this equipment may be nice, that too will occupy some space. So, the divisions outside, will become the divisions inside.

Nothing outside of you should be allowed to occupy you within, because ‘the Within’ is the sacred province of the Absolute.

And the Absolute knows no divisions or fragments.

Inside must sit ‘the One’, and outside the world may keep taking various forms and shapes.

That is Oneness.

Oneness within.

There would never be Oneness in the world. If there is Oneness in the world, you will have to physically disappear, because then you and the Earth would be one. So, you are gone. Either the Earth has become you, or you have become the Earth. And then there is no atmosphere either, because there is just Oneness.

So, outside there is never really going to be Oneness, as long as you are an embodied being.

Oneness must be within.

Questioner: Acharya Ji, can you please elaborate on this. For example, I met Alok Ji and Pranay, what does it mean that meeting them will not create any division inside?

Acharya Prashant Ji: It means that the Absolute Truth within you, must meet Alok or Pranay. These two are outside, and they are different. But the point that meets them, must be the point of integrity – Oneness. It must not be that a figure created by Alok, meets Alok, and a figure created by Pranay, meets Pranay.

Normally, as we are, we do not meet a minister, and a miserable one in the same way. Even before we meet them, we have turned different, because of their influence upon us.

Are you getting it?

The minister might be five minutes away, but you have already changed in anticipation of his arrival. The one who is meeting the minister, is not the same as the one who is meeting the commoner. And I am not talking of your behaviour towards these two persons. I am talking of the entity that is meeting.

Of course, the behaviour is bound to be different. You cannot behave in the same way with everybody. I am talking about the identity of the one, who is meeting the different objects in the world.

Your identity, when you are meeting an object, is decided by the object that you are meeting. Is that not really a miserable condition? Even before you meet the minister, the minister has cast his spell upon you. He is still some distance away, and you are already bowing down. So, the person has changed in influence of the field of the object, he is meeting. That must not happen.

Who gave you the impression that the contents of your mind, are the Truth, or Sacred, or Absolute. That which arises within you, is just your mental content. Why are you according it a lot of sanctity?

Turning ego into God!

A rapists instincts too arise from within, don’t they? You don’t have to motivate him. You don’t have to really exert yourself to motivate a rapist. It’s strongly from within. It’s just  that their acts are definitely showing up as gruesome and horrible. So, you put them in jail.

But, the other hallucinating ones, might be holding respectable tags of spiritual seekers and yoga practitioners, so you do not put them in jail. But hallucinations are, hallucinations.

Questioner: So, is everyone hallucinated?

Acharya Prashant Ji: If you are hallucinating, how will you know what everyone else is doing? Why not bother only about yourself?

If you are in a dream, will you ever be able to know who are all the others, who are dreaming?

If you are asleep, will you be able to know who is awake?

So why not bother only on your own awakening?

This is one of the great fallacies: widely accepted, quite the norm, not merely socially circulating, but even in spiritual circulation.

You start calling your instincts, and feelings, and intuitions as the Truth. And you start saying, “You know, it is arising from within, so it must be the Truth,” without ever seeing that, that which is within, is just a pale imprint of that, which is without.

From where did something reach within?

Questioner: Outside.

Acharya Prashant Ji: From here and there.

Do not turn feelings and such things into Truth.

They are not.

———————————————————————————————————-

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

Watch the session video: What is meant by ‘oneness with all’? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Trying to experience the Total means you are reducing the Total to an object

Trying to experience the Total means you are reducing the Total to an object, a limited object. Whereas totally experiencing whatever is, means, you experience whatever is there, to experience. But, you have the Total behind your back, patting, touching you gently, toddling you on and saying, “Go ahead.”

Total, go ahead, experience. The world is yours.



Read the Complete Article: Do not try to experience the Total just totally experience whatever is

Do not try to experience the Total just totally experience whatever is

Acharya Prashant: Searching for Oneness?

Listener: Yes

AP: Surely you must be experiencing a lack of oneness if you are searching for it.

L: Yes.

AP: Where do you find a lack of oneness?

L: I know that, first of all, the lack of oneness when I experience it, it is in me.

AP: Is it there, or, is it being thought of? How do you know that there is no oneness? And, how do you know what oneness is, if you do not know it?

You see, I go out to search for ‘Tibba’. Now to search for ‘Tibba’, first of all, I must know what ‘tibba’ is. Otherwise, how will I find ‘Tibba’? How will I identify it?

Read more

Why does God exist?

Slide1

Acharya Prashant: Why is there God? (Smiles) Ask God! Would God ask this? God is alright as he is, right?

L1: No sir my question is why is there God? We have already seen…

AP: So are you asking, “Is there a God? Or, why is there God?” Why is there God? I am asking, would God ask this question? Because God, even by your concepts, is complete hence contended. He won’t ask, “Why do I exist?”. So if God won’t ask this and you are asking this, who are you? Read more

How to have spiritual experiences?

Question: Acharya ji, what do you think is the significance of understanding the body to have some real experiences beyond the mind of oneness. I mean, I see a lot of masters giving discourses on how the oneness is realized on mind levels sometimes. But there are no real, valid experiences within the body for the true, bliss of true oneness, or seeing the reality as one throughout.

Acharya Prashant: I am glad you brought this up. Is everybody one with the question? His question is, how does the experience of oneness come about? He is asking – all the understanding that one has from the scriptures, from learning, from life, from teachers, how does one validate it through personal, bodily experience? He is taking the personal, physical experience as a measure, as an indicator of Truth. And that often happens, right? Don’t we say that, “Unless I see it with my own eyes, I won’t believe.”

Two people are talking of something and they come and break the news to you. They say, “You know, we just saw a dog with eight legs.”
What do you say? “Unless I see with my own eyes, I won’t believe.”

Read more

The difference between ordinary and common

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Question: Sir what is the difference between being ordinary and being common?

Acharya Prashant: Commonness is social, commonness is what you see all around. What is very very prevalent is common. Ordinary is that which may not appear to be very prevalent, but is all-pervasive; which is the essential; that to which nothing has been added.

We usually use these two words — ordinary and common — as synonyms but they are not synonyms. Read more

What is meant by oneness of mankind?

Listener: We are all one…

Acharya Prashant: In what sense?

L1: Connected to each other…

AP: But I see you as distinct. How are we all one?

It is often said, and it sounds nice to hear that we are all one. But I want us to not just accept anything because tradition has it, or because wise men have talked of it, but really go into it ourselves, and figure out what is meant by oneness?

What is it implied by the unity of mankind? You’ve heard this often, right?

“We all are one.”

What does that mean?

L1: We can say something is there in all of us which is common; which is central…

AP: What does it mean?

L2: Kindness and emptiness.

AP: Yes, but we are all one, what does that mean? How are we all one?

L1: We can describe it according to the material concept that we all start from the same place and come back to the same place.

AP: Let us start from where we are, what we see. Do you see one being sitting here or different persons?

L1: Different persons.

AP: What do you see?

Different persons. Not one being, right?

Do you see many posters here or one poster?

L1: Many posters.

AP: Do you see many lights here or one light?

L2: Many.

AP: We live in a world of many-ness, right? Not oneness.

So, when you live by the eyes, by the senses, all you see is differences and diversity. If you believe your eyes, they will only tell you that things are different. In fact, the senses can communicate the existence of things, only when things are different; only when things have a limit and a boundary. One thing is different from the other because it stops somewhere and then the other things starts, right?

See, if you can perceive this wall, it is because this wall has a boundary, it starts and ends. Had this wall been infinite, you wouldn’t have been able to perceive at all. So, senses are limited and all that they perceive is limitation. Eyes are limited and if you go by the eyes then what you will see is limitation and hence differences and hence diversity.

Do you see this?

Now, instead of being a blind believer in eyes, one goes a little deeper. One says that, “Is it not true that if I am seeing four posters there on that particular pillar, the other one too, is seeing only four?and then you say, “Now, there is something common between the two of us.” Earlier we were seeing only differences, and now we are seeing something that is not different, and that is common.

What is it that is common between the two of us?

That we perceive in the same way. We perceive different things, but we perceive in the same way, alright?

Then, you also see that everybody has a tendency to over perceive that which appeals to him, which suits his conditioning and to under perceive or ignore that which does not mean anything to him. Do you see this? And you will find another commonality.

The deeper you keep going into the mind of man, you find that more and more is common amongst us. Happiness is common amongst human beings, so is sadness and sorrow. We all are conditioned alike. We all have a deep yearning for peace. We see that since thousands of years, man has lived, psychologically, in the same way.

It does not matter to which country you belong, it does not matter to which time you belong. Wars have been fought, then agreements have been made, then conflicts have again arisen, then again wars have been fought. And when you see that, then you see that essentially, the mind of mankind is one — it does not matter what your gender is, it doesn’t matter what your nationality or ethnicity is, it doesn’t matter what your religion is, it doesn’t matter what your education is.

The fact is that fundamentally, the mind of man behaves in the same way. And then, you also see that it is not only the mind of man, not only the mind of human beings, but also the mind of all sentient creatures. When you go into their very impulses, in to their basic urges, you see that we are all one.

An animal wants to reproduce so does a human being.

When death approaches, a tree shivers in the same way as a human being shivers.

So, all consciousness is one.

Do you see this?

Fundamentally, it is not about only the unity of human beings, it is then, about the unity of all sentient, conscious beings. Do you see this?

But all these statements of unity, of oneness, can be made only when you go deeper and deeper into the fundamental nature of the mind. I repeat, if you remain only at the surface, all that you see is differences.

It is extremely easy to say that this is violet, this is red; he is old, he is young; here is a man, there is a woman; here is an Indian and here is a European — it is extremely easy to see and claim differences. That is when you are living at a sensory level, but the deeper you go, you say, “Ah! Are we not all one? Is the woman not striving for security in the very same way as the man? Is the dog not wishing to further his existence through his progeny in the same way as the wisest man? Is the tree not enjoying fine weather as the whale?Now you have reached the root of ego and that is where we are all one. 

We are all one in that sentient, conscious thread which binds us together.

Unfortunately, that sentient conscious thread which holds us together is also the thread of sorrow.  

We are all one in our misery.

We are all one in our fears.

We are all one in the type of wars that we fight.

Can we be one differently?

Yes, it is possible to be one differently. Man does not need to be like man only in his sorrow, only in his suffering.

Can we be unified in joy as well?

Now, is joy merely the absence of sorrow?

Is joy happiness?

Yes, we are one in the fact that we are all happiness seekers, that we pursue pleasure but is there something else which brings us totally together? You know, even when we are pursuing pleasure, still we are a little different, why?

Because, as divided beings we seek pleasure in different things, so, still there remains a modicum of a difference.

Is it possible to be absolutely one?

OK, let me elaborate through an example: We are talking, right? And we are together, and it has been a beautiful evening — we have read, we have discussed, and soon we will be coming to the closure of the proceedings. We have been very close, I have spoken, intermittently, you have spoken and we have spoken in harmony. Yet there always remains a difference when you speak and when I speak; when you speak and when she speaks. The words themselves create a boundary.

When can we be absolutely together? Now, I could say, “You know, you are my brother and I love you.”

And you could say, “Yes, you are our brother and we love you.”

And still there would remain a difference – what I mean by Love is not what you mean by love.

It is a love that we have declared. It is a love that is a product of man’s mind. It is a love that we have announced and hence, we have reserved the rights to withdraw. So, in spite of saying that we are one; I am saying, I am announcing here that, “We are all one.” And you too do that and like a mantra, a chorus arises, “We are all one”, and still a great difference remains.

When would we be really one?

L1: When the barrier of language transcends and we would be able to understand.

AP: And that is what you call as Silence. It is in silence that we are one. Is silence something material? Silence is the absence of that which creates differences. We are one when we are silent. We are really one, when we are not what we have assumed ourselves to be.

Till the time you think of yourself as a European and I think of myself as an Indian — we cannot be one. Till the time you carry a distinction and so do I — we cannot be one. Till the time you are knowledgeable and I am ignorant — we cannot be one.

Till the time you and I are anything or anybody — we cannot be one.  

Oneness is possible only when you are nobody and I am nobody. 

So, oneness is actually zero-ness.

Hence, your question that what is meant by oneness of mankind must now move into zero-ness. Oneness of mankind does not mean that you and I together are commonly one something. No!

Between human beings, oneness is possible only in nothingness. Only when you stop taking seriously whatever you believe or assume yourself to be, then you and I really can be unified, that is also called as Love.

Believing in your identities, carrying with yourself the load of all your education, your qualifications, your ethnicity, your religion and all else the mind carries and matters to the mind, carrying the load of all that, it is impossible to harmoniously relate to the other human being. You may say that you are a Hindu or a Christian and you are trying to be kind as a Hindu or a Christian but the fact is, as a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian, you would only be kind in a Hindu way, or a Muslim way or a Christian way, which is no kindness at all. Do you see this?

Kindness is possible only when you are not;

only when you are nothing;

only when you are empty and zero.

You are trying to be a loving husband to your wife but this love would be the ‘love of a husband’ as a ‘husband’ and hence it would be no love at all. It would be just an image of the love which would be called a ‘husband’s love’.

Love is possible only when you are not a husband and she is not a wife. It is only then that two free beings are relating to each other. Only when you are nobody and she is nobody then there can be love. Do you see that?

As long as you operate in memories, you approach her with the burden of the past, you approach her with the knowledge that you already know her — there is no real relationship possible. All that would happen between you and her is a role play based on a preset script, a role play that is carried forward by experiences and memories.

The more you are something or somebody, or anybody, the more divided you are. The more divided you are, the more violent you are.

We need peace. Don’t we? That is what we are all deeply craving for. The mistake that we often make is that we want peace as somebody. 

You can never be a peaceful somebody; you can just be peace.

If you say, “I am a peaceful X or Y”, and that X or Y could be anything – your gender, your ethnicity, your nationality, your religion, your qualification, your age — anything — all you have created is a boundary. It is like crying from within a boundary that, “I am free.”

How much sense does that make?

You raise walls and then from within the walls you say, “Freedom, Freedom!”

Does that make sense?

We are all one only in the open sky. It is the open sky that bears no distinctions only that is undivided. From within boundaries, you cannot ask for oneness. And the matter is that, without oneness we will never come to relax. Oneness is what we are desperate for. Oneness is what the poets, the sages, the Rishis have sung of. Oneness with each other is also oneness with the Divine.I am one with you when both of us are one with what you can either call as emptiness or alternately, as God.

We all are one either as the swelling sea – the full sea – or as the empty sky. 

In the sea there are no distinctions. Pick up water from everywhere or anywhere, it is the same and in the sky too, there are no distinctions. Let the clouds remain, yet there are no distinctions. You fill the whole sky up with smoke, yet the whole sky is not tarnished or stained.

My request is, kindly do not commit the mistake of having the right intentions from the wrong positions. Often, we have great intentions, but from the wrong position.

As a father I want to do good to my son.

I will never be successful!

Because the father is an identity, the father is a pre-set role, the father will remain ‘fatherly’ – which is a limitation; which is a boundary that he is setting to the relationship with his son. Now, as a father, I want to do good to my son and that is why the world is a place where we have so much of friction between fathers and sons, precisely, because fathers are ‘fathers’ and sons are ‘sons’.

I often ask my audience, I say that, “You know, if somebody knocks on that door and you have a hole available in that door through which to peep. If it is a stranger, you at least bother to look at the face of the stranger for a few seconds or a minute. Don’t you? If you come across a stranger you at least pay so much of attention; but when you go home and you meet your father or mother or husband or wife or son or daughter, do you pay attention to their faces?”

You say, “We already know them, what is there now new to look at?”

A stranger at least extracts this much of consideration from us that we look at his face for let’s say five seconds or ten seconds. The ones to whom we are already related how many time do we bother to closely look at their face as if we are looking at them for the first time. We say, “What is the need to look at them? We already know them.” We start our conversations from where we left it in the past. We do not start afresh, anew. Now, how can there be oneness? How can there be a relationship and Love?

It is knowledge that creates so much of our problem. Mankind has accumulated a lot of knowledge. Spirituality is about having the confidence to live free of knowledge in matters that are essential. Yes, in driving a car you need knowledge and skill. Yes, in working up on machines, you need knowledge. But when you become a creature of knowledge even in the essentials of life, then you are becoming mechanical; then you are losing out on your life, and the result will be implicit and explicit violence as well.

Are we together on this?

L2: Sir, people live with boundaries, with limited boundaries but they don’t understand that it is not love.

AP: Because the boundaries have been given respectable names. We continue with them because our boundaries, our limitations have been given very sacred names. That, which is a burden to us, has been given respectable names — we call it duty, responsibility, identity, ambition, growth, progress. And when you start giving your disease, beautiful names then you are ensuring the continuity and furtherance of the disease. We have given our diseases very beautiful names.

We must look at facts as facts. Often what we call as duty is just fear or is it not? Often what we call as love is just attachment or is it not? Let’s call it at least by the right name, that much of honesty is needed.


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

Watch the session: What is meant by oneness of mankind? | YouTube


Further Reading:

Joy

joy-cover-page-front-and-back-ii

The book throws light on how the search of happiness is a futile one. With utmost simplicity, he explains how freedom from both happiness and sadness is the ultimate peace.

Author’s genius lies in the fact that he does not talk of happiness and sadness as some far off terms and does not throw concepts of ‘higher living’ to the readers. Rather, he deals with issues in a very simple, personal way and through this book extends an invitation to join the ongoing existential party.

Paperback: https://goo.gl/PRAVZP

Kindle: https://goo.gl/vuOsJS

How to read the scriptures?

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Listener 1:  I come from a very orthodox Muslim family. I have read a bit of Quran and it makes a lot of sense when it comes to particular stuff but at the same time, one of its perspective gives a feeling of narrow-mindedness. Right now, I am in a very big dilemma where to start with because I am quite illiterate in spiritual matters, and also I have been taught the same thing by the society like they condition everybody.

Acharya Prashant: Because you named the Quran, the center of Quran is Tauheed Oneness. There are no two Truths. Just That, and nothing else. Which means that be it the Prophet Mohammad or anybody else who ever could say anything of wisdom and value, the source is always the same because there are no two Truths, which means that even if you understand anything, including the Quran, the source of understanding has to be That One only.

Quran can be understood really only when you—as the ego mind; as the person, are connected to the same source that blessed the Prophet. Otherwise, one will misinterpret. And Quran has been badly misinterpreted, all religious scriptures have been misinterpreted.

The reason is obvious, very simple: the fellow who is speaking; the point from where his words are coming, that point is up there on that hill. Up there and pure, snow-like, beautiful, up there in the sky, the very peak, the climax, that is from where those words come. But words are words. Words belong to human languages. Be it Sanskrit or Aramaic or Arabic, doesn’t matter, words are words. The source of words is there but words are in the language of the commoners. So the commoners feel that they can interpret those words because they are in the commoners’ language, and commoners interpret those words standing in the valleys.

Words are coming from the sky and you are listening to them standing in the valley. You don’t want to rise up to that point. You don’t want that closeness; that oneness; unity with the source. You are so full of ego that you want to remain what you are. You want to protect your house which is in the depths of the valley. Remaining what you are, you apply your intellect upon the scriptures. Obviously, you will distort the scriptures. 

Sometimes you do it deliberately, sometimes you do it inadvertently, but invariably it does happen. Before you go to the Quran or the Bhagwad Gita or Bible or any book of any wisdom or any man of any wisdom, before you go anywhere you must first be in a condition to understand what that man or that book or that situation is saying.

Is it not right?

Suppose you are drunk and you start reading a holy book. Will you be able to make any sense of it? The whole of mankind is perpetually drunk. Can you allow a dunker to even touch the Quran? If you find that somebody has come to the Quran and he is stinking of alcohol, is it advisable, permissible that in that state he can read the verses, recites, interpret it? Is it alright? It cannot be alright in any religion.

In fact, it is said that you must be pure, you should’ve taken a bath, you should be fully awake, and then in a nice peaceful place, you should go to the scripture. The question is: Is it about the peace of the external? Is it about the peace of the words? Is it about the cleanliness of the body?

You should go to the scriptures with a very clean mind. You don’t just have to take a bath to purify the body, your mind should’ve been first purified, and only then you can go to the scriptures. Otherwise, you’ll make the mess of the teachings.

L2: Sir in due course of time the scriptures have been modified and altered as per the interests of a few. I have seen that people have started creating scriptures in their own way. The scriptures are the same but they interpret it accordingly so as to suit them. Therefore in my view people should not consider scriptures very much because they try to alter the sayings in their own way, but it seems so negative.

AP: No, it’s not at all negative, you see, what you are saying is exactly what at least the Indic scriptures say. They say that the highest point is to forget the scriptures. The scriptures do not recommend that you must constantly remember them. They say your mind is full of rubbish, you come to us so that the rubbish is cleared. And once you’ve gotten rid of the rubbish, you must also get rid of the scripture. In the same way, as one gets rid of the boat after crossing the river. Now, that you have crossed the river why are you still sitting in the boat.

So, if one can drop all the nonsense that is there in the name of religion then one is truly religious.

It requires a really religious man to drop all the religious nonsense.

Unless you have faith how will you really rebel against religion?

You look at Jesus, was the Jesus following the Bible? Not at least the new testament. Maybe, even the old testament, he wasn’t really following, he was clearly giving it new meanings. He said that the commandments are there but let me tell you what those commandments really mean. So it is an expression of the deep religiosity of Jesus that he rebels against the existing religion.

Only when you can rebel against the existing religion then you can be assured that God is powering you. Because without the support of that One reality, that one Truth, how will you have the courage to stand against the false?

The false is so overwhelming, you know, today you have communities that number in billions—Christians are over two billion, Muslims must be approaching two billion, more than one billion Hindus are there and Buddhists and numbers and numbers. Now, when such a huge number is following a particular way, then from where will you get the strength to not to follow that way?

That requires the support of God.

So that is real religiosity.

You see, be it, Jesus or Mohammad, they are first and foremost rebels. Mohammad didn’t carry forward a pre-existing religion. He had something new to say, and that is why it is said that He was in direct touch with Allah. Because without being in direct touch with God how will you ever come upon something new? You’ll just keep repeating the old.

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

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

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

Religion does not consist of rituals.

Religion means, ‘I will live my life with Honesty and Truth.’

And are Honesty and Truth outdated things? Are Honesty and Truth something that belongs to the seventh or first centuries?

They don’t!

Is love something that you would take as primordial? And without religion what love are you talking about?  

So, religion is cool; religion is young; religion is vigour.

But not the religion that is touted, not the religion that is being publicised.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How to read the scriptures?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: God and scriptures are not matters of personal belief

Article 2: On Quran: You cannot guess the ways of God

Article 3:Spiritual scriptures have no meaning


Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant :

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

You are a baby in the arms of existence

Who is working you?

Existence is working you.

Everything, the whole universe has willed you up.

You are the will of the universe.

You don’t know a thing about yourself and yet you are working, aren’t you? The kidneys, the entire system, it is all just working. You are not working it, it is just working.

Let this existence take care of you.

Feel like a baby in the cradle.

The universe is the cradle.

The universe is your cradle and you are a baby.

The universe is the cradle and the mother both.

The universe is the mother and the cradle and you are a baby, in the arms of existence.

You will be taken care of.

Why do you need to bother?

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

Equality is quite a foolish idea. Oneness is diversity, not equality

Question: Sir, the inequality that exists on the planet, between people, disturbs me. Kindly help.

Acharya Prashant: Where in the world is equality? Where in the entire existence is equality? Are all the planets equal in size? Are the rivers equal in size? Are the flowers, even on the same tree, on the same branch, equal? Read more

Flesh became my living friend, not food!

~ Flesh became my living friend, not food ~

A few years back, I was a non-vegetarian. Rather I must say, I used to eat flesh. I used to eat it a lot. My dad used to prepare flesh quite often and I just got to see flesh in a decorative and well-structured form.

I used to eat with no sensitivity, just as a slave of my tongue. Parallely we were taught by PrashantAdvait Foundation in the classrooms. Read more

Religion is One, just as Truth is One

Question: I just want to say that many times in a day we all think the same thing that we all want to become free. I mean free from all relations, am I right? My question is, we all think that we should have the understanding of individuality, freedom of thoughts, attachment and at the same time my religion says that in the holy books of Quran, it is mentioned that Allah says to worship me. Believe in me. If you want something then ask me, I’ll give you. But then, this is contradictory, this means that we are bounded.

Do we firstly need to understand what is religion or is it fine to go on talking about individuality, attachment and freedom etc?

Acharya Prashant: Freedom and bondage are not in the world, situations, other people, relations, or in religious practices, or in holy books.

Both freedom and bondage exist in the human mind.

If my mind is in bondage, I can never experience freedom even if I am given the best of external situations.

So, do not look at others, situations, or religions. Just look at your own mind.

If the mind is greedy, it will use relationships and religion just to fulfill its own greed.

If the mind is afraid, it will create a God who protects and is merciful.

If the mind is insecure, it will create institutionalised relationships where there can be hope of permanent security.

If the mind is full of desires, it will use prayers just to ask for more and more.

You talked of religion. Religion is a very simple and meaningful word. Religion just means living in awareness.

Religion just means that I will not lead a stupid life of imaginations and conditioned reactions.

Religion means ‘I am Intelligent’. That’s all that religion is.

So you see, even religion is dependent upon you. You donot become religious by following an external commandment, or a holy book. You become truly religious only when you live in the joy of your OWN intelligence.

Q: Yes, I agree. Moreover, in my religion, one worships Allah 5 times in a day and it is a must for everyone. This is a condition on us. Then how can one be free of condition?   

From your statement: If mind is greedy then we create God; it means there is no God.

AP: What we call as truth is not the truth, but that does not mean that there is no truth.
What we call as love is not love, but that does not mean that there is no love.
What we call as freedom is not freedom, but that does not means that there is no freedom.

The God that we have imagined for ourselves is surely just an unreal imagination coming from the human mind.

But does that mean that there is nothing sacred, nothing divine, nothing beyond the world?

Obviously, No.

God is that which gives the mind the power to understand, but which Itself cannot be understood by the mind. The very existence of the mind proves that there is something beyond the mind. That is God.

You get all your thoughts from outside, but do you also get the power to think from outside? That itself is God.

God is a simple beyondness.

God is not a person, not a power, not a deity, not a law, not anything that the mind can think of.

God is just the fundamental base of the mind.

God is humility.

God is, when the mind knows that it is so limited. God is, when the mind bows down in gratitude.

You get your conditioning from the world and the past, but does the world and the past also give you intelligence? That is God.

When the mind surrenders itself to the intelligence beyond itself, then you are a real faithful. Then you have known God.

An intelligent mind is a religious mind. A religious mind is a humble mind.

Of course, you can see that religion does not much to do with following certain practices or commandments.

However,these commandments, practices etc sometimes do have a practical use. For example, praying 5 times a day means the mind is reminded 5 times a day to surrender to intelligence.

And why only 5 times? A truly religious mind prays every single moment.

Q: I am not agreeing with your statements, sorry. I am a religious person, your every statement is contradicting my thoughts and religion. I am in a very bad situation. Don’t know what to think. 

AP: There is nothing called ‘my religion’. There are no two religions. Religion is just one, just as Truth is just one.

Can there be two truths? Then how can there be multiple religions?

You can have multiple imaginations and beliefs, however.

And that one Religion has no name, just as ‘God’ really has no name, no form, no place.

Q: I think to know the truth, firstly, I should know completely about the religion. Why are there many religion instead of one? Good discussion with you Sir. Getting some clarity.

AP: There are many names. Not many religions. Names are what are causing all the confusion. Learn to look beyond the names. It is so simple.

Q: I will, Sir. 

(Dated: 5/11/2013)

Why is there diversity in the world?

Question:

Dear Sir,

Since we talked the last time, I have been pondering on one question: why are you the way you are and why am I the way I am or Jiddu the way he is or Osho?

I mean, we briefly talked about this a few months ago. We talked about: “A wound is a place where the light enters you”. We said that being sensitive is the door.

Sir, when I look at my childhood, I had an extremely traditional upbringing. For four years, I learned the art of rituals and that too from teachers and I was at the top of my class. I even won a ritual scholarship which luckily never materialised. Like all my friends, before IMT and in IMT, I was subjected to the same tirade of falseness.

Now I did my MBA, I had a 98 plus percentile and I would have gone to IIM if I had made it. I took a high paying job – the only difference was I knew (at least partly) that all this was rubbish – careers were rubbish. I knew. I always knew. I knew what you were saying before I met you or knew you. But you made me know that I know.

Why am I not ambitious? Why do I see falseness? Is is genetics? Is it conditioning? Is it plain luck?

I am not complaining. I am glad to at least see some of the rubbish, if not all. But why? Why did I escape? Why did you escape? Why did Osho escape?

Broadly, why do some people see and others don’t?

Acharya Prashant: 
You are essentially asking ‘why is the world the way it appears to be?’. Same question.
You say ‘Why does one see and the other doesn’t?’. That is the same as asking ‘Why is there diversity?’.
There is diversity because that IS the world. Will there be a world if all is same? Same colour, same gender, same stage of evolution, same form? The world can be recognised as the world only because it is diverse.
Diversity means that the nature of the world is Relative. It means that the mind can look at a thing, or a person, only in comparison to something else – from the past or from elsewhere. Diversity hence means space and time.
In the world, the existence of everything is dependent upon, and hence the same as, the existence of everything else. This ‘elseness’ is what you call as diversity – the appearance that one is ‘different’ from the other.
Please meditate over what is meant by different, diverse, same…
The world is many, because all that the mind can perceive is ‘many’. The world may be One, but will your mind perceive the One? Have you asked me ‘Sir, why is everything the same? Why do I find such oneness everywhere?’ No, you haven’t asked that. You perceive diversity.

There may be another mind that does not perceive diversity. In the Paul Reps book, there is that monk who asks a butcher: which piece of meat in your shop is the best? The butcher says: every piece is the best. An immediate satori descends upon the monk.

Every piece is the same. There is no diversity. Except in the mind.

Or, you could say – all that is diverse is mind, unreal.
(Dated: 1/13/13)

How to get the courage to live by the Heart?

bird

Question: How to find the courage to live by the Heart?

Acharya Prashant: First of all, you tell me, how do you not have that courage? Even the birds live by the Heart. How is it possible that you have lost that courage? The question of re-finding it is a secondary question. First of all, you must figure out, where that courage was lost. Read more

That Blissful Solitude is your nature

Questioner: The reading has this quote that,

‘Solitude is in the mind of a man, that it is an attitude of the mind.

A man attached to things of life cannot get solitude wherever he may be.

A detached man is always in solitude.”

So it doesn’t depend on the location, the place where he is at, but how he is in the mind. I would want to understand more of this, what does this solitude mean? Read more

Dropping desire is just another desire; knowing desire is fulfillment of desire

Humanness

Question: As I listen to you, I understand that when you don’t have a desire, you don’t have hope, and when you don’t have hope, you don’t have anxiety, and that leads to a peaceful life. Correct?

Acharya Prashant: No!

We have constantly been saying that you want change. What you heard is what the religions and the traditions have been repeating always. So you have not really heard it here. You have been carrying it in your mind even before you entered this hall. Read more