How to not get distracted by critics? || Acharya Prashant with Students (2013)


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Question: Acharya Ji, I don’t want to give two hoots to all these people who say things about me. How to do that?

Acharya Prashant Ji: How many of you get worried, honestly, when people say things about you, especially nasty things? So, then this question is not only Vishal’s question, but practically everybody’s question right?

Kuch toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hain kehna!
(People will say a few things, that is their job)

The problem arises when we forget that what they are saying is an opinion coming from their mind, and hence, a totally external thing. Vishal (the questioner), you can never be hurt, if you do not link that opinion to your self-image.  You can never ever feel hurt if you do not link other’s opinion to your self-image.

Then you will say, “Alright! what you are giving me is a feedback, is an information. I will accept that information, just as one accepts any other information. It’s news. But I will not mechanically let it transfer my self-image. I will not let it change my image, in my own eyes.”

The trouble is, that we do not have our own eyes. To be more accurate, our eyes are closed. Had we not had any eyes, then the act could be pardonable. But the fact is, we have our eyes and we are keeping them closed.

We are not using our eyes to look at ourselves, we depend upon other’s opinions to look at ourselves. We are not using our intelligence, our own eyes to look at ourselves, we depend upon others to tell us how we are.

Someone comes and says, “Oh, you are wonderful.” How do you feel? Nice! In that moment, you totally forget that if this fellow can make you feel nice, he can also make you feel miserable. If you accept it, when he says,”How wonderful, how intelligent, how handsome you are!”You will also have to accept it when he says, “What an idiot, what a moron, what an ugly being you are!”

But we keep complimenting people, we keep saying good things about them and we think we are doing a favor to them. No!

Are you getting it?

You will tell me, “Sir, you are speaking very nicely,”I will say, “Alright that’s an opinion.” But, should I not know first how I am speaking? We talked about observation, right? Should I not have the capacity to directly look at myself without your help? And there are a thousand things I do throughout the day, would you be able to provide me feedback about everything?

If I am to really know how I am, and who I am, then I will have to look using my own eyes. But we do not do that. We depend on others. Not only do we depend on others, we actually crave, we actually demand and desire, that somebody should come and say something about us.

Am I right? That’s why your day is made, when somebody says, “Wow!” looking at you. And your day is ruined when somebody says, “Baal kahaan se kata liye (where did you get that haircut from?” And you are finished! Now, the damn hair anyway can’t grow too quickly. You’ve just had a haircut and he says, “From where did you cut your hair?” and this is sufficient to totally spoil your mood.

Am I right? Girls? A thousand rupees spent at the parlour, three hours, plus two hours of commuting and one little comment, and you are devastated! And not only an unfavorable comment, you go and display the thing to your friend and all he says is, “It’s ok,” and this is far less than what you had expected.

“Just ok? But I was promised I would look like a barbie doll!”

And then he has had it. Poor fellow.

Don’t you have your own eyes? Didn’t this parlour have a mirror? Can’t you look at yourself? Don’t you know what you are doing?

If ‘you’ don’t know what you are doing, how will others know what you are doing?

If ‘you’ don’t know, how will others know?

People come and ask, “Did I do the right thing?” Don’t you know? How can you afford not to know? “Sir, this is a particular situation in my life. What decision should I make?”

Who’s life? Who should know?

General awareness can be taken from others.

Self-awareness cannot be taken from others.

All that the other can tell you is, “Friend, you have good, beautiful, capable eyes, of the body and the mind. Use them. Do not depend on me. You do not need to depend on me.” Instead, we have people around us who feel very good when we depend on them. Have you come across such people? There are so many people who feel very, very good when you depend on them, or when they depend on you, or when you possess them or when they possess you.

“You know my boyfriend is so possessive about me.”

And you feel glad. Are you mad? Keep the fellow away, if he is possessive. He will kill you. But we have people around us, who are experts at providing opinions : agony aunts, specialists, family members.

“Come and tell me your problem, I will give you the solution.”

You are adults, how can somebody else give you a solution?

Somebody else can at the most help you in waking up.

And when you wake up, you see through your own eyes.

The other can have only a limited role.

Yes, there can be a role, but that role cannot substitute the functioning of your own eyes, of your own intelligence.

We live in a very second-handed, very-very dependent way.  That is the reason why people are able to dominate us, sometimes even emotionally.

Somebody comes to you, listen to him, but do not allow his words to become your self-image.

Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: How to not get distracted by critics? Acharya Prashant, with students (2013)

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Consciousness is a ‘kite’

Question: How was the Ego created? 

Acharya Prashant: Ego was not really ‘created.’ Ego is being created all the time.

Ego is a belief in ignorance and hence knowledge.

Consciousness is a ‘kite’ that feels it is flying freely. It does not know that it is being controlled by the Master, sitting deeper than its flight. The controller of all thoughts is the ‘deep mind,’ the ‘latent tendencies.’

Why do different people have different thoughts upon being subjected to the same stimulus? It is because their ‘deeper patterns’ are different, it is because their ‘deeper tendencies’ have been differently created.

What is it that determines our actions, our thoughts? What is it that determines the whole movement of activity that we see around? Whenever action happens from where does it arise?

Read the complete article:  How was the ego created?

How was the ego created?

Question: How was the Ego created? 

Acharya Prashant:

Ego was not really ‘created.’

Ego is being created all the time.

Would silence ever ask this question? So ego has been given a fresh breath of Life, when one professes ‘ignorance’ or ‘knowledge.’ If you ask something about ego, if you say what is ego? The answer would be this, “the one who is asking.” The question itself is ego. How was the question created? By asking. How was the ego created? You tell me, you asked.

How did you come to believe? How does you continuously keep believing that you do not know and secondly the knowledge is important? In this moment from where did, this thought arising you that you did not know? And this beautiful moment of Silence, what makes you think that something additional in form of knowledge needs to be added?

If two people are sitting together in intimacy. Is the moment not already complete? Do they further need to beautify the moment by adding questions to it? Ego is this that which feels that knowledge is needed, that which feels that the world is incomplete, that which feels that it needs support. A beefing up, a furtherance, that is Ego. If you are silent there is no ego because you will not be asking about the genesis of ego. And remember that any question you ever ask is ultimately a question about the Self.

You may ask a question about nuclear technology but if you go deeper into it, you will discover that it was the question about the ‘Self.’ Ego is that which feels that the Self is not yet fully revealed. So, knowledge must be further used to know it, explore it, to reveal it.

Ego is a belief in ignorance and hence knowledge.

If it is not there, it is just not there. Then even the question that from where did it come is just not there. Moment this question, springs up in the mind, that is the moment the ego is born. The moment when that question receds goes off to sleep, is the moment when the ego to is put to sleep.

Read more

I will not become a slave to my opinions.

You are standing at a crossing and you do not know whether you go right or left? Because you are clueless, you start walking towards the left. That is some kind of an opinion, alright let’s go to the left. It may come from your past experiences, it may come from the condition of the road, it may come from something that you see towards the left or towards the right, so you start walking. But you go a little distance to the left and you discover that you should have gone right, then you immediately turn around. That is what is meant by being opinionless.

I will not become a slave to my opinions. The moment I discover, that something else needs to be done, I will oblige, I will comply. There will be no resistance, there will be no inertia. I’ll be a slave to the Truth. I’ll go in the direction it commands me to. I’ll not take even one-second dithering over what to do. The moment it is seen that I should have gone to other direction, I’ll correct my course. I’ll not say that I have invested so much in walking towards this direction. How do I, now suddenly take a U-turn? I’ll suddenly take a U-turn. Irrespective of how much I have invested in my current opinion. I’ll give it up.

Read the complete article: What does it mean to be opinion-less?

What does it mean to be opinion-less?

21125331_1485233508231414_8341813784503617778_oListener 1: Sir, what is the meaning of being opinionless?

Acharya Prashant: It is not the same as being shirtless. When you are shirtless, it means you are not wearing shirt at all. And if you do that we’ll object to it.

Being opinionless means not taking your personal opinion seriously. Having a near-total flexibility when it comes to opinions. Your opinions must be a slave of the facts. The way the mind is, and the way one is bound to operate in the world, you will necessarily have to tether yourself to some opinion or the other, just for the sake of functioning, just for the sake of functioning. Read more

Our opinions are not at all our opinions.

Only two places, from only two places, do all our opinions come. One, either the body. Second, the society. There is no third place. How do pinions come from body? The tongue tells you, something is tasty, so now your opinion about it. Being born a man, you will have a particular opinion about women. Women do not have the same opinion about women that men have about women. Right or wrong? So, is it your opinion or the body’s opinion?

And what is the body, is nothing but a random event of X chromosome versus the Y chromosome. And you call it my opinion, and you’re so serious about it. Somebody contradicts your opinion and you are ready to fight. What are you fighting for? If you study in a particular kind of University, your mindset is bound to become communist. Marx would become your hero. You’ll be looking at Lenin and Che Guevera.

And you go and study in an Australian or an American University, and you’ll have nothing to do with these people. Now you’re talking only of the great economists.

Our opinions are not at all our opinions. Think of how one acquires opinions. And when I say, “opinions,” that includes the entire family of opinions, thoughts, attitudes, likes, dislikes everything. The entire content of the mind, is it really really mine? Or, has it come from random influences?

Read the complete article: Intelligence is being fully alive, fully present

Intelligence is being fully alive, fully present


Acharya Prashant: Sourabh is saying, what is the value of our own thinking when we know that the mind is so vulnerable to being manipulated by others?

When we know that the mind is full of influences coming from others, then what is the value of our thoughts?

Sourabh, if you really are feeling this, then the first thing is to stop saying “Our thinking and my own thoughts”, right? Because our opinions, our thoughts are anyways not our. Our likes and dislikes, they are anyways being dictated by the influences around us.

Born in India, you like cricket so much. Born in Argentina or Brazil, you wouldn’t have heard cricket. And today you say “Oh, my God! I’m all the time thinking of cricket.” Maria Sharapova recently said, “Tendulkar who?” Born in her country you would have said the same thing, “Tendulkar who?” But, we take our opinions very seriously, without realizing that they are no value at all.

Being an Indian you’re bound to have a certain opinion about Pakistan, and being a Pakistani you are bound to have a certain opinion about Afghanistan. Sitting in this college you will have one particular opinion about other colleges. Other colleges will have an opinion about these colleges. It all depends upon where you are sitting. And that is so very random. So random. What is the value of these opinions?

Only two places, from only two places, do all our opinions come. One, either the body. Second, the society. There is no third place. How do pinions come from body? The tongue tells you, something is tasty, so now your opinion about it. Being born a man, you will have a particular opinion about women. Women do not have the same opinion about women that men have about women. Right or wrong? So, is it your opinion or the body’s opinion?

And what is the body, is nothing but a random event of X chromosome versus the Y chromosome. And you call it my opinion, and you’re so serious about it. Somebody contradicts your opinion and you are ready to fight. What are you fighting for? If you study in a particular kind of University, your mindset is bound to become communist. Marx would become your hero. You’ll be looking at Lenin and Che Guevera.

And you go and study in an Australian or an American University, and you’ll have nothing to do with these people. Now you’re talking only of the great economists.

Our opinions are not at all our opinions. Think of how one acquires opinions. And when I say opinions, that includes the entire family of opinions, thoughts, attitudes, likes, dislikes everything. The entire content of the mind, is it really really mine? Or, has it come from random influences?

Born as a Hindu you will have a certain attitude about Muslims. Born as a Muslim you have a sudden attitude about Jews. Of course, little bit of variation might be there, but broadly it is defined. Broadly it is well defined. So there is the Israel-Gaza conflict, don’t you see that most of Pakistan has sided itself with Hamas, and if you go to US or Canada or any European country, they are pretty sympathetic with Israel. Now how is it possible that such lopsided statistical distribution is there?

The Pakistani will say, “Hamas is doing just the right thing.” Now is the individual saying this or is the Pakistani saying this?

L: Pakistani.

AP: The American is saying, “Israel is doing just the right thing.” Now is the individual saying or the American saying this?

L: American.

AP: So, are their opinions, their opinions, or are they opinions of the influences around them? But what will they say, “My opinion”, and they are prepared to die for it. The Pakistani and American if they meet they’ll kill each other, “My opinion versus your opinion.” Is it really your opinion? Really, your opinion?

I’ve narrated this incident earlier, but this is such a rich one that I need to do it again. When I reached IIT after taking admission, so based on my rank and my entry number, they allotted me a hostel. It was a purely random event. You have a rank and you have an entry number in the Institute. First of all, based on my rank, I could have gone to any other IIT as well. It’s a random event that I am taking IIT Delhi. Then in the IIT, I have a particular entry number, my entry number could have been different. I didn’t choose my entry number. There is nothing sacrosanct that entry number.

So, based on that entry number I have been allotted a hostel. So, I reached the hostel, and after the initial ragging and everything, the senior called us. And they said “Now we are going to the terrace of the hospital.” I said, “Wonderful, for what?” They said “There we’ll abuse all the other hostels. From there we can see everybody else, so together we’ll abuse them with the choicest kind of expletives”.

So, we were trained for half an hour. Three dimensional, fourth dimensional, fifth-degree abuses. They said “Today we have to rock the campus. Today we have to show the entire campus that our hostel is this and the other hostels, we know all about your mothers and sisters.” So, I was also enthused, but I said, “Tell me something, why do I have to abuse them?” They said, “Because you belong here”. I said “I belong here only because of an entry number. With a little bit change here and there. With some random event happening, I could as well have been in that hostel. It’s such a random event, and you’re asking me to abuse them.”

They said “Ye hostel drohi hai. You’re not loyal to your hostel”. I said, “What loyalty? I could have been somewhere else as well. And tomorrow this hostel can be split into two hostels. Just as countries are split into this country and that country. What do you mean by loyalty? To What? To a coincidence?” So, ultimately instead of abusing other hostels, they all ended up abusing me. They said, “This is a wrong kind of man that has come to the hostel. He’s not loyal. Because you are here so you must display loyalty.”

Then there were loyalties of other kinds also. You belonged to this department. But the fact is, had I got a better rank I would’ve belonged to some other department. It was not my grand dream to belong to that department. Not that, that department was horrible. It was alright. But the fact of the matter is, with another rank I would’ve been in another department. So, they are saying that now we belong to this department, so all other departments are now your enemies. Don’t talk to them. Don’t disclose our secrets. We’ll have an inter-departmental meet, and we’ll beat everybody else. And it’s better if your friends are from within the department.

And it was great. You know gang wars. Mechanical versus Civil. Biotechnology versus Electrical. For what? And every biotechnology student feels electrical is worst. Same opinion. And all electrical students can swear that biotech is hell. Same opinion. What is the worth of these opinions? What is the worth of these opinions?

Does that mean that there is nothing worthy possible in the mind? No, this does not mean that. The mind is the most wonderful thing. If corrupted, it is worse than hell. But if clean, shining, then it’s the most valuable. More valuable than everything else that can be thought of or not thought of. When the mind is corrupted, it is conditioning. When the mind is clean, then it is pure intelligence.

When the mind is corrupted, conditioned, then you’ll be full of opinions. But when the mind is clean, then you’ll not have opinions at all. Then you’ll just have the capacity to understand in the moment. See, look, there two ways you can come to this session. One, “I already know what this seminar, what this course is all about.” So, then you have an opinion, a kind of attitude about the course and about me. That’s the fool. That’s a conditioned mind.

And there is another kind of mind possible, which says, “No, I do not know anything? I do not know anything, but surely I have the capability to understand. So I will go and I will sit and I will listen. And as I listen, I’ll understand. Why do I need to have readymade opinions coming from the past? Intelligence is enough. Understanding is enough.” And that is valuable.

Now, it depends on you, what do you want to use your mind as? You can use your mind as a storehouse of opinions, or you can use your mind as the seat of intelligence. What do you want to use your mind as? The question was, is there any value in all this? There is great value. But not in opinions, but in intelligence. But that intelligence is not something of the past. The intelligence does not come from influences. That intelligence is the real you. That intelligence is not about thinking hard. That intelligence is about being so still that you just understand. Are you getting this?

Intelligence is not about having a lot of knowledge. In fact, knowledge will only give you more and more of likes, dislikes, and opinions. Intelligence is about being fully alive, being fully present. It depends upon you, what do you want to use the mind as? What is the mind for you? Just a dead inventory, containing the memories of the past or hope for the future, a storehouse, or, is it a great instrument of understanding.

And, understanding happens only in an atmosphere where attitudes are not there. Attitudes and opinions means I already know. When you already know then how can you know? When you already know then how can you know? So, the one who already knows ends up knowing nothing.

Getting it?

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Intelligence is being fully alive, fully present

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Be bothered about the mind, that is far more important. 

I just do not think that technological progress is a barrier to spiritual growth. I give no vintage to the allegations that science and technology and evils. Because science and technology simply do not lie outside of man’s mind. It is man’s mind that is primal. If the mind is at the proper place then whatever it does, this technology, that technology, any technology that may arise in the future would be auspicious. And, if the mind is not in the proper place then even if you take away all the technology, and turn man back into the forest dweller, still man would remain uneasy, restless, and harmful to himself and others.

So, if this technology is available today, in the right frame of mind, please see how it can be used to reach more people. This technology is there because it is necessitated by the state the world is in today. When there are eight billion people obviously you cannot use your tongue as the channel to reach them. Talking, speaking, discussing was alright when there were limited people and lots of qualified teachers, then small groups could have sufficed. Today, given the way we are and at the point at which we stand these technologies are necessary in fact these technologies correspond to the world we live in, you cannot deal with this world leaving out those technologies. 

This world and those technologies go together. The state of the world is always parallel to the state of technological progress. They are together. So, you cannot cut one out of the other. Be bothered about the mind, that is far more important. 

And, how does one bother about the mind? How does one take care of the mind? The third quality of knowledge is always available and the third quality of knowledge is non- knowledge. It’s a deep meditative understanding that is available and one has to just ask for it, one gets it, use it. That is why in various cultures this third quality has even been called as God’s blessings. It has even been called as God’s direct word. Certain books have been said to be coming directly from God, not from man, for this reason.

Read the complete article: Mind and technology

Mind and technology

21762214_1227353527370622_921021697824714700_nAcharya Prashant: Yes, what you want to say?

 Listener: What I want to ask?

AP: Yes.

Question: well, I want to ask something about the generation of Wi-Fi, What is doing that with people, with the earth, all those invisible things (Swirls hand in air). If you can say something, they (To the other listeners) all have their phones inside, I don’t have a phone.

Acharya Prashant: Do you mean the technical aspects of that, or, are you really bothered about what the continuous prevalence and availability of information, is doing to the human mind?

Listener 1: Yes (latter).

AP: So, it is not the particular technology that you are talking about, you are rather talking of the continuous bombardment of information on man’s mind.

You see, man has an urge to keep absorbing, to keep sucking in stuff from outside. Now, why does that happen? That happens because of a certain fear. A fear that if I do not know, then I will miss out, that if I do not know then there would be something reduced from my being. So, you want to know. Knowledge makes you feel happy, complete, confident. Read more

Turiya is Atman itself, Truth itself, Shiva himself.

The worldly mind, takes this as real (pointing to the whole atmosphere) without ever wondering where does all this goes, when he goes to bed? In fact, he keeps believing, that when he is on the bed, the universe is still there. He believes that the universe is something, independent of him that it has an objective existence. And he is supported by the observation, that when he wakes up, things are more or less the same, as they were when he went to sleep. He left his pen on the table, and he wakes up and finds his pen still on the table. So, that assures him of the continuity of this perceived reality. Right, that’s how it happens.

The sage is saying, “Please understand that these three states appear to be different, they are one in the sense that these all are just states of mind. They are different states, but nevertheless still states. Just states, not reality.”

‘Fleeting states’. They go away, they disappear.

This so called world dissolves instantly, gone. And when you know that all of this is not to be taken seriously, then instead of these three, you find yourself located in the substratum of these three.

Tuirya, the word turiya literally means the fourth. Fourth, as different from these three. But it is not really a fourth, in the sense it is not the fourth state. It is forth, in the sense it is different from the three. Different from the three, meaning the background of the three, the foundation of the three.

Turiya is Atman itself, Truth itself, Shiva himself.

Read the complete Article: When you know consciousness, you are beyond consciousness

When you know consciousness, you are beyond consciousness



Acharya Prashant:

जाग्रत्स्वप्नसुषुप्तभेदे तुर्याभोग्सम्भवः। (1.7)

Knowing what looks like, as the difference between the three states of consciousness, one finds himself located in the joy of the fourth.

This is a little technical, so we will have to…

This is state of consciousness (pointing towards the whole surroundings). This is Jagrati; the waking state of consciousness. After a while, most of you would be asleep, the others would be singing by the river.

That sleep will be the another state of consciousness. In that sleep, you will have dreams and all. Mental activity would persist, that is called the Swapn state of consciousness.

Then you recede deeper into the sleep, and the dreams too go away. What you are left with, is the blankness. That is called the shushupti state.

Right, Simple.

Now the game starts. Be all ears.

Read more

Shut Up


Question: Sir, how to judge what is valuable?

Acharya Prashant: You said, “Sir, how to judge what is valuable?” How sure are you of your judgement? Behind every judgement, (there) is someone who judges. How sure are you of that judge? Is he reliable? Or is he someone who has a tendency to modify, even reverse his own judgements? Is he someone whose judgements stand the test of time and changing conditions? Or is he someone who often mistakes in judging?

You have trusted your inner judge since long. You have lent upon so many other books, authorities and teachers. But ultimately, it is your internal teacher you depend the most upon. Let’s judge that judge.

You are asking, “How to judge what is valuable?” Let’s judge the one who will judge this! How secure have your judgements made you feel so far? How does the inner judge decide? Does he have an inner yardstick to measure; an innate source from where to know? Or do his judgements keep changing as his knowledge keeps changing? What have you observed? Read more

Acharya Prashant on Ashtavakra: What is stillness of mind?


सुखे दुःखे नरे नायाॆं संपत्सु विपत्सुच ।

 विशेषो नैव धीरस्य सर्वत्र  समदर्शिनः।।

अष्टावक्र गीता ।।१७-१५।।

For the one of still mind, for the one of equanimous vision, there is no difference between pleasure and pain, Man and woman, good luck and bad luck, circumstantial happiness and circumstantial sadness.

Ashtavakra Gita, Chapter 17 and Verse 15

Acharya Prashant: For the one of still mind (Sthitpragya), for the one of equanimous vision (Samdarshi), there is no difference between pleasure and pain, man and woman,  good luck and bad luck, circumstantial happiness and circumstantial sadness.

What is meant by one of still mind? What is equanimity? The mind is movement. The mind is detected only through change, only in diversity and differences, only in space and time. Hither and thither the mind wanders, object upon object keep appearing in it. There is something that it is searching for in all its wanderings. That which it is searching for, it tries to find it in the entire world around itself and it has numerous options. The world means an infinite variety of objects to be hopeful of, to choose from, to depend upon. Read more

Love is letting yourself be absolutely free


Listener 1: There was no restriction about the percentages. My parents expected from me to just pass. So I really lived all my school life and even after that as I wanted. But now I see that I am regretting it. At present I think I shouldn’t have done that. But, I really loved what they liked. I loved it myself.

AP: Exactly! That’s exactly what we have been saying. There is one who is expected by parents and teachers to top the class. So he tops the class! Let’s say this man (pointing to a person in audience). There is another man whose parents expect, “You just pass and that is alright.” He also, just fulfils expectations! What expectations we had from him? (Pointing right) He will top. He topped. What expectations we had from him? (Pointing left) he will just pass. So he just passed. Both are regretting! Read more

How to be in a peaceful state of mind?

Questioner: I am a normal working guy and I say I don’t have any question, I don’t have any goal, I am not aware of what I desire, I don’t know what I am seeking.

Acharya Prashant: Is it just a matter of merely saying, does one really have no desires. Is it just about saying a few nice things? Does one really have no desires? One has desires, one has conclusions, one also has ideas and ideals about where to go, what to do. In fact, one has very firm convictions. One starts from there. One doesn’t start from idealistic position. One starts from that which one is experiencing, that which one takes it to be his immediate reality.

So I have desires, I have hopes, fears, I have all of these. I start from there, I see what do I do to get rid of all these. I see how I try to satiate them. And I also see what comes out of that and then upon honest observation if it flashes,  if one realizes that I really do not know, then that is an honest statement. Then that is not a mere verbalization, then it has some authenticity to it.

Read more

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


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

Acharya Prashant: Why do you listen? Read more

How to tell the truth to parents

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

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

On J. Krishnamurti: Know Him, without His names


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

~ J.Krishnamurti ~

Acharya Prashant: Beautiful quotation.

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

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

What else are identities, what else are relationships?

Names.  Read more

Continuous realisation and passive waiting

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

Acharya Prashant: No, nothing.

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

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

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

That kind of waiting.

Very dormant, very sleepy waiting.

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

AP: Nothing.

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

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

Your patterns brought you there; give up those patterns.

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

AP: No, keep realizing.

There is nothing called realization in the sense of completion.

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

Realization is an ongoing process.

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

You must keep realizing. Keep realizing.

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

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

Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant


Quotes, October’15

He is the all-doer whose doing seems not;
I am the non-doer who seems doing a lot.



There is nothing called personal liberation.
There can only be liberation from the personal. Read more