Acharya Prashant: On Perfection and Imperfections (2014)

 

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You are not under any obligation to be perfect. Alright!

Your incompetencies, your deficiencies are all welcome. They are the part of the game. Just be alive and alert.

And then even out of your own botched up action, something auspicious will happen. Like Shabri, she doesn’t know how to welcome a King. So, all she can do is taste the fruit and give it to him. That’s a very botched up action. Yet something auspicious is happening out of it.

You are imperfect, alright. But then even in your imperfection, there is a lot of perfection. And be sure of that the demand for perfection is a great arrogance of the ‘ego.’

To demand this out of yourself that I must be perfect is a great arrogance of the ‘ego.’ How can ‘I’ be content to anything left than perfection. ‘I’ deserve the ultimate. No, you don’t deserve the Ultimate. You are alright as you are. And that there is perfection.

Getting it?

Do whatever you must and dedicate it to perfection.

Dedicate all your imperfection to the perfect. I could do only this much. The body is limited and thought is limited and the body could move only this much. The words could express only this much. Now, the rest is upon you. Take care! I am imperfect and I know that fully well. For me only, there are twenty-four hours in a day. I have only two hands. I have a mind that can have only this much of information. And I use words that are so limited in their communication. So, I can do only this much. Now, The remaining is upon you. You take care! And this is perfection.

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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.

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Acharya Prashant: Neither exact nor perfect; just life, simple and direct

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Question: What is the exact way to live the life?

Acharya Prashant: Are we right now living inexactly? Is there something wrong right now? You want to correct it?

What do you mean by exact? What is missing that you want to achieve? What exactness are you running after? When you are asking a question, I am listening, I am responding, then you are listening, this is life, what else is life!

What do you mean by the exact way?

Whatever there is, is there right now, there is nothing apart from it, where will you search for exactness?

But I understand why you are asking such a question. You are asking such a question because role-models, ideas of perfection, ideals, they have been inserted in your mind. You have been constantly made to think that there is something missing with this and that can be achieved from somewhere else, that a right way, a correct way, an exact way lies somewhere.

The exact way is this and this is all that there is. If you are listening attentively right now, are you? This is exact. This is exactly the way. This is perfection. Absolute perfection. Nothing missing in it. Don’t search for anything else. Life is what is.

Sitting over here what else can be life for you? On Mars? In Canada? Under the ocean? Where else can be life and when can be life? When Mehak will be 45 years old? Or in her memories when she was 8 year old?

Right now. This. Here. This is exact. This is life. There is no alternate life. Do not carry imaginations of perfection or any ideal in your mind. The only perfection is this. The only ideal is right now. You did the ideal thing.

What did she do?

She raised a question. This is the ideal thing. This is the exact thing. Those of us who keep thinking that there is something missing, they will not find that missing-something, somewhere else. You will find it here itself, nowhere else. And here does not refer for this room, it refers to where you are, it refers to your being, it refers to who you are, it refers to your essence.

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What is Godlessness?

Man in that sense is way behind words because our resistance towards free fall is both biological and social.

Even if you find discontentment in an animal’s eyes, it is just biological. Man’s discontentment is far deeper. An animal would appear frustrated if it cannot get food, or if it is physically confined. Man is frustrated for a billion more reasons, a billion more idiotic reasons.

To live in dissatisfaction is to keep crying.

Even if you find discontentment in an animal’s eyes, it is just biological. Man’s discontentment is far deeper. An animal would appear frustrated if it cannot get food, or if it is physically confined. Man is frustrated for a billion more reasons, a billion more idiotic reasons.

The skin is so protected that it cannot take any sun. However, it looks cute, like rabbit fur, feels nice and soft. You can play with the kid as if the kid is a toy and parents Love that, their personal toy. So the more toy-like the kid is, the more you feel satisfied as a parent. See, no scars and the shade is uniform. No dents. Regularly maintained and serviced. Weight is perfect. Refueling is done at regular intervals. Paint is so original.

Godlessness means Lovelessness, Joylessness, Freedomlessness.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: Fall in faith, and you will be given wings


 

Acharya Prashant on Rumi: Fall in faith, and you will be given wings

“Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall and falling; they are given wings.”

~ Rumi

Question:  Shilpi has asked, RUMI says “ Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall and falling; they are given wings.” Can you please speak more about this?

Thank you.

Acharya Prashant: Rumi says birds fall and falling they are given wings. Those wings are so perfect and powerful that birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. Birds fall and falling they are given wings. They are given wings; their fall is a Trust fall. We don’t trust that wings will be given to us, we want to earn our wings. We cannot allow ourselves to fall freely because we feel responsible for our welfare. We feel that we live in a hostile world, we have been born in an alien place, and unless we take of ourselves, we will be eliminated.

This universe, we take as a stranger. Existence, we take as inimical to us. Now obviously, then there is a constant tension to take care of ourselves. We will not let ourselves fall. What Rumi is saying must not be taken literally. It’s not as if birds fall and in the process of falling, they are blessed with wings. What he means is that there is no effort on the part of everything existential, be it a river, a mountain, a bird, a fish, an insect, and an animal. They live in a state of constant surrender. Even if they resist, their resistance is just biological. Their resistance is not social; their resistance is not one of knowledge but of instinct.

Man in that sense is way behind words because our resistance towards free fall is both biological and social.

We are born as someone who would be afraid and then we are terrified further by our social conditioning. When the child is born, the child cries. The beginning itself is not very auspicious, and to make matters far worse, the entire life we are taught to cry. Sometimes we are told to laugh, but that is the same thing. Laughing and crying are ends of the same duality.

To live in dissatisfaction is to keep crying.

That is what we are always taught, live as if you are hungry, stay hungry.

Even if you find discontentment in an animal’s eyes, it is just biological. Man’s discontentment is far deeper. An animal would appear frustrated if it cannot get food, or if it is physically confined. Man is frustrated for a billion more reasons, a billion more idiotic reasons.

The primary idiocy being, if I don’t take care of myself what will happen to me. The man extends this idiocy to others. I have to take of myself, I have to take care of him, him, him, him ( Acharya Ji pointing out to few listeners) and this we call as Love. Come all of you, my loved ones, I must save you from existence.

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Dancing emerges from nothingness

The dance of the jungle, the dance of the waves, the dance of the stars, the monkey’s dance, the elephant’s dance, the dance of the toddler that is the dance that a Rumi loves.

When a movement, when an action arises from nothing in particular, then it is called dance.

Dancing emerges from nothingness.

Perfection is not something that you aspire for or wait for. Perfection is not the opposite of imperfection. If perfection to you is the opposite of imperfection, if perfection for you is the end of imperfection or the transcendence of imperfection, then you can keep waiting for perfection as long as time lasts. Perfection is there in the middle of imperfection. In life as it is, nothing that appears, nothing that happens would ever be perfect. Now that can either make you cringe, or you can still dance in the middle of the disorder.

To dance in the middle of the disorder you must be able to look at the essence of things directly. Things are imperfect, their essence is perfect.

Imperfection if seen from the heart, if seen from clarity, itself shines as perfection.

Dance in the middle of chaos. Dance in the middle of deprivation. Dance in the middle of death and destruction. Dance exactly when there is no reason to dance.

When Shiva dances the world collapses.

Real dance then is so similar to madness.

Stay with the truth and know that the world, the situations, howsoever good or bad they are, are nothing but an expression of the truth.

The existence of a thing indicates truth. The existence of the opposite of that thing also indicates the truth.

In imperfection lies great beauty.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: Dance amid your own blood!

 

Acharya Prashant on Rumi: Dance amid your own blood!

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Dance, when you’re broken open.

Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of the fighting.

Dance in your blood.

Dance when you’re perfectly free.

(Rumi)

 

Acharya Prashant:  What is dance? Why is dancing such a favorite of the poets, the saints, the worshipers of freedom? Why? First of all, in the spiritual sense when one uses the word dance, then dancing does not refer to any kind of organized movement of limbs or the body. That would just be a rehearsed system of pre-scripted action, having very little to do with the heart. So we are not talking of the kind of dance one learns in dance classes. We are not talking of organized and named dance forms. We are talking of the dance of the butterfly. We are talking of the dance of the winds. We are talking of the dance of the stars. You look at the stars, how they all have been unevenly scattered on the dark plate of the sky, that dark canopy up there. No organization, no pattern, and yet they are so beautiful. One looks at the way trees, plants grow in a jungle. They have not been planted there in an order. They have not been planted in an order. And yet there is an intrinsic beauty. Probably the absence of order itself contributes to the beauty. Are you getting it?

The dance of the jungle, the dance of the waves, the dance of the stars, the monkey’s dance, the elephant’s dance, the dance of the toddler that is the dance that a Rumi loves.

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The Gita can come only from someone who understands the world.

The Gita can come only from someone who understands the world. And if you understand the world you cannot keep failing in the world. If you are proven an idiot every evening and every morning, how will the Gita come from you? How will you even understand the Gita?

Look at your life, if you are a joker, a clown, an idiot, a loser, in this world, what business do you have touching the Gita?

Do you see what is half embrace? You prove to be insufficient everywhere. You are a loser everywhere. In your relationships, you are a loser. In the school you are a loser, in the college, you are a loser. At your workstation, you are a loser, on the sports field you are a loser, and you want to touch the Upanishads? The Upanishads that are coming from the winners of the highest order. Is there any oneness between you and the text that you are trying to touch? Do you have anything in common with Krishna? How then will you understand the Gita?

Krishna was the one who brought victory when defeat looked so probable. And you are the one who will snatch defeat when victory is all yours. When it is ascertained that you are now going to win, you will still manage to somehow be defeated. And then you say, “You know what, I am not very interested in the world, Krishna calls my heart.”

You are not interested in the world? You are marginalized in the world, you are the rubbish of the world. And if we listen to Darwin then you and your ilk, wouldn’t survive for long, because you are unfit.

Even physically, have you noticed how fit most of them are (pointing towards the pictures of the Saints) and most of us are groaning, complaining? Somebody has nose pain, somebody has a headache, somebody has heartache, somebody’s back has been stolen, somebody’s stomach is exploding with gas. And look at them (the Saints). That is full embrace. And half embrace is no embrace.

The man of God is a winner in the world as well. That is full embrace. If you are a loser in the world, you do not know God. God and the world are one. It’s not just The World, it’s God World. It’s God World.

Have you seen that every living being is excellent? The epitome in its particular field. Can you beat the song of a Cuckoo? Or, even a sparrow? Can you beat the flight of a vulture, an eagle? Do you see the agility with which fish swims? They are all experts in their respective fields. I am asking you, “What is your expertise?” Even the ant is an expert. When it carries a load then the load to body weight ratio is unmatched. Compared to its own body weight, the load that a little ant can carry is unmatched.

What is your expertise?



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: The Man of God is a winner in the world

Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: The Man of God is a winner in the world

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“Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape.”

~Khalil Gibran.

Question: What is full embrace? How is it different from half embrace? If half embrace creates a movement of thoughts, won’t full embrace create even a greater restlessness?

Acharya Prashant: Man is caught in a very peculiar situation. Neither can he accept what he truly is. Nor can he ever run away from what he truly is. He swings. He oscillates. When he wants to come to his essence, then that which is sub-essential, or non-essential beckons him.

He feels that the juice of living is being lost. All the sensory pleasures, all the colors of the world, the music, the attractions, the emotions, the meetings and the goodbyes, all the games of time, he feels they are being lost. And when he tries to move totally into thoughts, into emotions, into the world of the senses, into that which is space-time and material, he soon starts feeling nauseatic.

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An idiot, even if he gets God, remains an idiot, with God.

An idiot, even if he gets God, remains an idiot with God. Because the idiot was anyway never prepared to change himself. Remaining himself he wanted God. He got what he wanted. He remained an idiot and he got God. So, now he is an idiot with God.

And we have lots of idiots with God. You will find it mesmerizing how you can obtain almost everything that is obtainable, and yet remain yourself. You can even obtain a lot of peace and yet remain an idiot. You will then be a peaceful idiot. All the qualities and virtues that are associated with God, can possibly be obtained without affecting your artificial core. You can start talking wisdom. Now you are a very wise idiot.

By practicing a lot of yoga you can have a glow on your face, now you are a glowing idiot. Or, you can have a well-sculpted body, now you are a well-sculpted idiot. Have you not seen people who are doing all these godly things since years, so their face is radiating, a divine bliss, locks, and hair are bouncing, there is spring in the feet, tummy is nicely tucked in, not even a trace of fat in the body. Divine idiots.

You can remain an idiot irrespective of what all you have obtained, and you can really obtain a lot. Obtaining anything, and obtaining everything, will have no effect upon what you are determined to remain. Determined to remain an idiot, you can still obtain everything. You can obtain all the knowledge of the world, knowledgeable idiot. You can even start acting in the most loving of ways, a very loving idiot.

When the removal of idiocy is a process of removal, then how can addition lead to removal? There is this tumbler kept on this table. I may add five more things to this table, will that lead to the removal of this tumbler? Removal is simply removal. Addition of thousand things will not lead to the removal of this one thing. So you can keep adding things to the mind that will not lead to the removal of idiocy.

The idiot remains an idiot irrespective of what all he has gathered, be it supreme bliss, be it all the divine knowledge, or anything else. So, never judge a man by what he has, see what he has not. As Chuang Tzu says “Whether or not his boat is empty?”



Read the complete Article: What is Shame?

What is Shame?

gen 1Question: What is shame?

Acharya Prashant: What is shame? Can shame exist without ideals and comparison? Does shame cure and heal? Is there shame in love? Does shame lead to betterment? These and more are the questions we want to talk over.

Man is the only creature that experiences shame. It is a simple and direct fact that reveals so much about the nature of shame. Man is the only creature that experiences shame. Which means that there can be no shame inherent in the biological scheme of things. The child is not born with shame. Shame is a taught phenomenon. And like everything else that is taught, shame too is taught with the purpose, with the hope that it will lead to betterment. 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

It is your humility that will work

It is your humility that will work.

It is your determined humility. You are humble and yet you are determined to put it across, to do the right thing, to learn, and you are vulnerable. And you do not sit high up there on some pedestal. You do not claim a false position, and yet you do everything that is necessary. You do not say, “Oh I am a commoner, how dare I open my mouth! how dare I act like a teacher!” You teach but in humility.

And you do not sit high up there on some pedestal. You do not claim a false position, and yet you do everything that is necessary.

You do not say, “Oh I am a commoner, how dare I open my mouth! How dare I act like a teacher!” You teach but in humility.

You teach but in humility.

Not upon them; not all over them, not on top of them.

And it is so difficult to be with someone. Being on top of someone is very easy.


To read the complete article: Do you know the most dominant religion today?

Non-duality and duality are One

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Question: Sir, where does mind get power from?

Acharya Prashant:  Power is always in the context of doing something, achieving something, acting upon something.

What does the mind want?

Peace.

So, all the power that the mind has is directed towards getting peace. What can reach peace? Can disturbance reach peace? So, surely the mind is powered by peace itself. Read more

With all your imperfections, you are Perfect

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Question: We are looking only from our own sensory experiences and conditioning. Then, how do I look?

Acharya Prashant: Continue to look from there. Continue to look from where you are looking. You do not require changing even that. Just honestly acknowledge, that looking from there makes you feel uneasy. Had you felt easy, you won’t have asked, “Sir, how do I look?” The question itself reveals that you are not convinced that you are looking rightly. So, continue to look the way you are looking because you have no option. Continue in your ways, but be honest to acknowledge. Simple, basic honesty is needed. Just acknowledge that this is not quite right. When you acknowledge that this is not That, then you don’t identify with it, then you don’t associate with it. Read more

You appear by the will of existence, so just abide by the will of existence

Questioner:  It is said, “You have what you need utmost”, so why do we try to ignore some situations?

Speaker: You are sprouting forth from existence. You are the existence’s will. You are the desire of the existence to express itself. You have done nothing in your expression, right? That you are there. That ‘you are there’, is not at all your doing. Existence has decided that you ought to be there, and a shape, a form will be there. Right? Existence is the doer and let existence be the doer. If existence is doing you, if existence is doing you, let existence itself provide for what you need. Because You are not ‘you’. Who are You? You are then existence, right? You are the work of existence. Existence is bringing you forth. If existence is bringing you forth, if actually you have no being apart from existence, then let existence provide for you, why do you bother so much? If you can spring up from nothing, if you can rise from the soil, let the soil provide for you. It was the soil’s decision that you will come forth from it, let the soil carry forward its decision. Read more

Externally you may be comparable but Essentially you are beyond comparison

Question: Sir, why is comparison required for growth and what is the real meaning of comparison?

Speaker: Why is comparison required for growth and what is the real meaning of comparison. As we look at the world, all we see is things, objects, materials, and everything that we see with our eyes or think of with our mind has a definite shape, size and other characteristics. Right? It is limited. And whatever is limited, can be expressed as a number. Whatever you see around yourself can always be expressed as a number. Look around, you have this pillar.(Points out to a pillar in the room) This pillar will have a definite height, and a width, and a breath, and the color of the paint has a definite wavelength, right? And there is a definite strength of the pillar? And all of these things can be denoted through a number. Can they not be? You are sitting here and breathing and there is the air, and the air has a particular density, and the density can be expressed as a…?

Listeners: Number.  Read more

The mark of a good word is that it takes you to silence

Question: When I talk about it, it is easy and understandable. But when the real moment comes, every part of the body feels fear. Is talking anymore important for me now? Do I need to be just there and not deviate when the moment comes? Read more

Looking attentively at the world, one enters the Truth beyond world

तदा बन्धो यदा चित्तं सक्तं काश्वपि दृष्टिषु।
तदा मोक्षो यदा चित्तम- सक्तं सर्वदृष्टिषु॥

                          – अष्टावक्र गीता (८- ३)

Translation: There is bondage when mind is attracted towards any of the visible things and liberation is when mind is not attached to anything visible.

Question: It is bondage when the mind is attached to any of the sensory perceptions. It is freedom when the mind is detached from all perceptions. Everything is sensory perception. So what is freedom from sensory perception?

Speaker: When the mind is not divided, then there is a quality about it. Then you call that quality ‘one’. Somebody has said that the sum is greater than the total of the parts, or probably that the total is greater than the sum of the parts. What he has said is that two plus two is five. I want to talk about this extra ‘one’. The sum is greater than the total of the parts. Two plus two is actually five.

If you talk about this extra quality when the mind is undivided, when the mind is total, then this extra ‘one’ comes into being. When you are not divided, then two plus two fetches an extra ‘one’, and this extra ‘one’ is the juice of life. You will not get it in two, you will not get it in another two, but you will get it when there are no two’s left; when there is unity, when the fragmentation has seized. This ‘one’ is the gift. This ‘one’ is grace. But for this ‘one’ to descend, you have to ensure that two is meeting two. When two meets two, then one is given as a complimentary gift. When you are total, then mind experiences that extra-ordinary peace, that extra-ordinary sense of realization and relaxation. Words are a very poor way of communicating it or even hinting towards it.
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Before you chase goals, become goal-less

Impart not esoteric Truth to fools,
Nor on molasses feed an ass.
Do not sow seeds in sandy beds,
Nor waste your oil on cakes of bran.
-Lal Ded

Speaker: The question is, ‘Why is a compassionate saint speaking such words? They look more like coming from a result oriented mind.’

When you say, ‘Why is a compassionate saint speaking these words?’, who are you referring to? There is a Lal Ded that never took birth and will never die. There is a Lal Ded who is so expansive that space cannot contain her and there is a Lal Ded who surely took birth and who surely die. There is a Lal Ded who is limited in a body, there is a Lal Ded who is living, eating and breathing in achievement and there is nothing left for her to get. And there is a Lal Ded who must move around, go place to place, speak and dance. There is a Lal Ded who is pure silence and there is a Lal Ded who must deal in words. Who are you referring to? Who is the saint? When you say saint, what do you mean? What do you mean? Your query is that why is Lal Ded speaking in a language that looks result oriented?
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