Going with the flow, and being a lazy loser || Acharya Prashant(2016)

Going with the flow, and being a lazy loser

Question: How to differentiate between and recognize, whether one trusts in the universe to unfold one’s destiny, and goes with the flow, and allows the life to unfold, and being the one who is a loser, who is lazy and doing  nothing?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

The lazy one, does a lot. The lazy one is lazy and inactive, only externally. Internally, he is very active.

Please appreciate this.

The ones we call as ‘lazy’, are not lazy at all. They may not move their limbs, but their minds are very active. Absolute laziness, is a supreme virtue. Sages like Ashtavakra have sung greatly in praise of ‘Divine laziness’.

‘Divine laziness’ is – a total stopping of all movement.

Coming to that point within, where nothing moves at all.

That’s why is is being called as ‘lazy’.

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The greatest dependence is psychological dependence

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future? Tell me?

To look towards future, one would have to take his attention away from the present, right?

Your goals cannot be bigger than your awareness. Goals will just be within the circumference of what you know.

Life is the present moment, there is nothing else. If you are free right now, there is no need to become enslaved the next moment. Why do you want to pretend that we are slaves? You are not! You are free this moment!

And remember, financial dependence is not a great dependence. Even physical dependence may not be a great dependence. The greatest dependence is psychological dependence.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting


 

Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting

Question: Acharya Ji, we should have future plans also. What should set that in our minds that what we are going to be in future!

Acharya Prashant: Alright, that is a very sensible question. What’s your name?

Questioner: Aanchal.

AP: Right. Aanchal, suppose if one day, you give one of your friends a call. And say, tell me, which road goes to Chandigarh? How do I reach Chandigarh? And you are feverishly asking her. How do I reach Chandigarh, tell me, how do I reach Chandigarh? If your friend is sensible enough, what is the question she is going to ask you?

Listeners: Where are you, now?

AP: Where are you right now? To reach anywhere, shouldn’t you firstly know where are you right now? To talk about future, shouldn’t you firstly know what the present moment is? And if the present moment is known, is Chandigarh too far away?

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

And right now means exactly right now! Are you aware of how your thoughts are wending? Are you aware, from where are these questions arising? Are you even aware, why there is incessant thirst for the future?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future?

Tell me?

Have you noticed? Have you been attentive to the fact that when is it that you really start thinking of the future?

When you are? Insecure. When you are insecure, and tense and anxious, that’s when your mind rushes to the future.

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Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration? Ask yourself.

Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive. Is it not?

Always remember, you will not run after something unless you are worried. All motivation has a close linkage to worry.

Always have a firm realization, let me even call it a feeling, that I am alright. I might be defeated, I might take losses, I might be rebuked, scolded, still, fundamentally I am alright. Never lose that inner faith.

No goal is bigger than you. You are bigger than anything your mind can come up with. A goal, a fantasy, an imagination, a concept, you are bigger than that.

You are not worried about goals. Goals come because you are worried. Do you get the subtle difference?

When the mind is worried, then it sets more and more goals and becomes more and more serious about them. Becomes very serious about the goals.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?


 

Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?

Question: Acharya Ji, my question is, “How to be free of botheration and still be focused on our goal”?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Questioner: Kumar Abhishek.

AP: Sit, Abhishek.

Abhishek is saying, how to be free from botheration and yet to be focused on the goal. Let’s examine.

Abhishek, where does the goal arise from?

You are asking, one – I need to be free from worries; parallelly, I need to be focused on my goal.

I am beginning by asking you, from where does the goal arise?

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration?

Ask yourself.

When you are Light and Joyful, are you still thinking of goals? Go to your moments, when you are free, light. Were you planning, were you concerned with goals? Were you concerned with goals?

It’s obvious that goals arise from botheration. The more bothered you are, the more is your sense of inner incompleteness, the more goals will be there in your mind. A goal is like a medicine. I am feeling sick, I am feeling sick, so I am searching for a medicine in the future. Goals are not only like a medicine, they are also a ‘False medicine.’ Because the botheration is right now and the medicine is in the?

Listener: Future.

AP: Future. It’s like saying, I have a severe headache, a migraine right now, but I have planned for a medicine that will work two years hence. What kind of medicine is this? If you have a migraine right now, when do you need the medicine to work? Right now. The suffering is right now, the botheration is right now, you need something that heals you?

L: Right now.

AP: Right Now.

Two things, One – goals arise from a sense of turbulence, from a sense of, there is something wrong somewhere, from a sense of there is something unworthy, inadequate about me and I need to make up for it by achieving something in future. I am not alright.  I will be alright when that goal is achieved. Right? That’s what the goal tells you. You will be good, admirable, lovable, adequate when you get that promotion when you have that amount of money when you earn that respectability. That’s what the promise of the goal is. And we fail to see that it is a false promise. A false medicine.

So, Abhishek you are asking for the impossible. You are saying, “How not to bother and how still to be focused on goals?” Do you see how you are asking for the impossible? Goals themselves arise from the poisonous soil of botheration. If there is no botheration, how will there be any goals either? How will there be any goals, if you are not worried?

Tha’s why you see, In many systems, in many institutions, in the minds of many people, it is essential that they keep those around them, worried. Because they know that unless you are kept worried, you will not run after goals. In many professions, the lure of incentives is given, to achieve targets, goals. Parallelly, there is a threat of disincentives. And in any case,

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The centered mind

Bother fully, plan fully and execute fully with all your mind but remember fully that neither the action nor the result of the action, can mean much to you. Neither can it reduce you, nor can it enhance you.

What is the fun in playing the game if you are not playing wholeheartedly?

 

My task is to disappoint you.

You will not get it there. Not because it is impossible to have it but because you already have it.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: The result of action can neither enhance you nor reduce you

Far better than introspection is attention.

Attention says, “Whatever is happening, be in that, be alive, be present.” Give everything to ‘what is’ and forget everything else. Let all your concerns disappear, Let all miscellaneous thoughts disappear. Let all planning, all worries disappear. Nothing, no movement in the mind at all. A complete disappearance of all disturbances. Just presence, this is attention. And when you are attentive, after that introspection will appear foolish. You will say, “What should I introspect?” The event is done, the game has been played, the rock has been walked, the food has been eaten, now what is there to introspect?

And when I am introspecting about the past, I am losing out the present. Every second that I am ruminating about the past is a second that I am losing out in the present. So the general meaning of introspection is very misplaced. Very misplaced. It is just as we said, a ‘Postmortem’. The event has been done and now you are uselessly thinking about it.

Far better than introspection is attention. Attention says, “When the event is there, let the event be there and nothing else, let everything else disappear, dive into the event, give everything. And when the event is not there, then forget the event. Then there is no need to think. When you are awake, be fully awake. and when you are asleep, be fully asleep. When you are asleep, don’t keep thinking about the day. Don’t keep having bad dreams. When awake, fully awake, when asleep, fully asleep.”



Read the complete article: Past, future and introspection

Past, future and introspection

SR Generic_ EnglishQuestion: Sir everyone says that introspect yourself, realize your true potential. I have failed to do that.

Acharya Prashant: There is no need. Actually what you are calling as introspection is usually a post-mortem. What people typically call as introspection usually means that “Once the event is done, now think about it” and that is only wastage of time. That is only wastage of time. Attention is something totally different.

Sitting over here if you are introspecting, you are wasting your time and my time. Why? because you will be introspecting about something that happened in the morning. Now, is it morning right now? But you will be introspecting. And all introspection is about an event that has gone by or is the past. Attention is something totally different. I ask for attention. Read more

Overcoming fear of failure

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Question: Whenever I want to do something new, I am always afraid that I might fail. So, I keep a backup plan for myself, that in case I fail, I will do this another thing. And I don’t know if this is the right way of thinking or approaching a new thing.

Acharya Prashant: No it’s good. Plan A fails, you want to have plan B. plan B fails, then plan C is there. It’s alright.

But you must also know that plan A, B, C, X, Y, Z, they may all fail. The cause-effect link in the Universe is beyond all pre-emptive calculation. So, to the extent you can, plan out, try to make yourself safe, secure. That is the tendency of the mind. Alright? We must not blame it for that. But what if everything fails. Would you collapse? Would you? And there would be so many times when everything fails. Read more

Self-realization is an empty cup that is empty even of the cup.

We always exist in relation to something or somebody. So, if you want to know yourself, you just see, what is the effect that the other has had upon you and we then, are a sum total of all those effects.

What are we?

We are mental fragments, devoted to the nation, the society, the education, the upbringing, the commerce, the culture, the civilization. You want to look at yourself, you will have to look at the effect all these external influences have had upon you. We exist with respect to these influences. There is nothing in us that is not coming from somewhere or the other. So, to know yourself is to know these things that are coming from somewhere or the other.

“So, this part of me, well it is coming from religion; this part of me, well it is coming from ethnicity; this part of me, well it is coming from culture; this part of me, well it is coming from a gender; this part of me, well it is coming from my genes, this part of me, well it is coming from my education.” And, this way you can know all that you see yourselves to be. Are you getting it?

This way, you can know everything that you see yourselves to be. All the conditioned bit that we are; and remember that we are very totally conditioned. There is nothing in us that is not conditioned, every single cell in the body is conditioned. So, the conditioned bit that we are, can be known only by seeing the genesis of that conditioning.

If you can see where your conditioning is coming from, you have seen who you are. This is called self-knowledge. Do you see what Self-knowledge is? To know yourself, see where your actions are coming from. How do you know that? You watch your actions. You watch every bit of yourself, your activities from morning till night, your thoughts, your inclinations and you come to appreciate all the conditioning that has gone into making ‘you’. Right? This is Self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is obtained by self-observation.

Then there is something called, Self-realization. Self-realization is a little different from Self-knowledge, and also very closely related to Self-Knowledge.

You see, how deeply conditioned you are. The ‘conditioning bit’, amounts to Self-knowledge. And the ‘seeing bit’, amounts to self-realization.

I repeat, you ‘see’ how deeply conditioned you are. And everybody is deeply conditioned. As I said, every single fiber in the body is conditioned. So, you ‘see’, how deeply conditioned you are. The deeply conditioned part pertains to Self-knowledge. And the ‘seeing’ part — I am seeing how deeply conditioned I am — pertains to Self-realization.

Self-realization is not objective; Self-realization is not knowledge; Self-realization cannot be wrote down, conceptualized, or summarized or expressed; Self-realization, or Self-understanding is just Silence. It is an absence of everything you thought yourselves to be. Everything that you thought yourselves to be, is bracketed under Self-knowledge. Your name, your gender, your caste, your religion, your profession, your family, your views, your ideologies – all of them come under Self-knowledge.

Self-knowledge is the result of observation of life. Self-knowledge means you watch how you behave, when you pass in front of a temple compared to when you pass in front of a railway station. Self-knowledge is to see, how your relationships are with the man who owes you money, compared to the man, to whom you owe money.

When you look at all that, what you get is, Self-knowledge. This is the way I am, this is the way my habits and tendencies are. Getting it?

And the power to see all this, the beginning of seeing all this, and the ending of seeing all this, the entire environment of seeing all this, that is called Self-realization. Self-realization is nothing because anyway the Self is nothing, the Self is all false. The Self is all nothing, the Self is all false, so Self-realization too is just nothing. Just Nothing. It is an emptiness. It is a peaceful silence. If you say you are Self-realized, and still you have something more to say about yourself, then all you have is a concept of Self-realization.

Self-realization is actually not a word at all because a word ought to have some meaning, a word ought to have some content, Self-realization has no content at all.

Self-realization is an empty cup that is empty even of the cup. You usually have cups that are empty of contents. Self-realization is a cup that is empty even of the cup.


Read the complete article: The right relationship tells you about yourself

The right relationship tells you about yourself

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Question: Acharya Ji, J.Krishnamurti says, “In a right relationship, you come to know yourself.” Please explain.

Acharya Prashant: The question is, Krishnamurti says, “In the right relationship, you come to know yourself.” So, how does one know himself?

That which you have quoted, is in itself the solution. He is saying, “You know yourself in relationship.” What is it meant, when it is said that you know yourself in a relationship?

We always exist as somebody related to something. You take away everything outside of yourself, and it will become impossible for you, to say even one sentence about yourself. Everything and anything that we utter about ourselves is related to the world. And the world is supposedly, outside of yourself, is it not? Read more

Conceive the child only in love

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Question: Why is it important for a kid to be conceived in love?

Acharya Prashant: Because, when the kid is conceived in love, then you will not want to possess the kid. When the kid is not conceived in love, then you would want to own the kid. For the sake of the kid, conceive the kid only in love.

You see, what is happening. When you conceive the kid in love, then love is sufficient. Now you do not want returns from the kid. Now, you are not hungry anymore. The moment of love was sufficient. The love itself was sufficient.

Now you will not say that something is left unfinished and this kid is now responsible for finishing that. Now the kid is just a gift. Now the kid is not an organized activity. Now the kid is not an investment. Now the kid is not the output of your plan. If there was a plan, the plan was love. Read more

What is Zen? A clean plate

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A monk told Joshu, “I have just entered this monastery. I beg you to teach me.”

Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice porridge?”

The monk replied, “I have.”

“Then,” said Joshu, “Go and wash your bowl.”

At that moment the monk was enlightened.

AP: Nothing except this is needed. Go and clean your plate, go and wash your utensils. Go and clean the dishes, that’s all is needed. What else is Zen? A clean slate. What else is Zen? A clean plate. You must be totally done with it. If you are done with eating, why is your plate still carrying food? Even if it is traces of food. You must be totally done with it. That complete closure is Zen.

We live lives of continuity where the past keeps carrying itself forward. Zen, is a total dissociation, every moment. Every moment is complete in itself, leaves no residue behind. I have no obsession with the past because the past is, complete and closed. I have nothing to give to the future because right now, I have no fear. I am not living in incompleteness. There is nothing that would get rolled over to the future.

A dirty plate is a dirty mind. It is carrying traces. It is carrying stuff from somewhere else. Go clean the plate. And since this happens to be the one and only thing, hence it is more surprise that the monk gets instantly enlightened. After all, what remains after this? If your plate is clean, if your mind is clean, what is left to be done? What is left to be done?

But this is one thing that is so straight-forward and yet does not happen. Filling up the plate is so easy, emptying the plate is so difficult. Fifteen readings, wonderful! I’ll have a good time. My already overloaded mind would get further overloaded! So I feel attracted, enthused, fifteen readings, nice! But the moment, the teacher strikes, and content in your mind starts getting off-loaded, you shiver and try to run away. Gathering knowledge is so pleasant, right? It makes the ego feel bloated, inflated and bigger. But cleaning the mind, making it lighter, unburdening it, unloading it comes like a threat. “Oh something in me is getting reduced. I am under attack! My notions are getting shaken up!” That’s what Zen is all about, a total shake up! Such a shakeup that clears away all the rubbish. Have you had your dinner?

Listener 1: Yes.

AP: (Smilingly) are the plates clean?

Listener 2: How to complete the stuff?

AP: How does stuff remain incomplete? We said there are these three ways in which stuff remains incomplete. What are these three ways? Planning, effort, expectations.

Listener 2: Basically fear?

AP: (Nods in consent)

Listener 2: And satisfaction also deals with this?

AP: (Nods in consent) Contentment is the word.

Listener 2: If these three words are there…

AP: Even now you are saying that if these three are there then contentment is there. That’s not the way. When contentment is there then these three are not there! When contentment is there, what is the point in expecting? When contentment is there, what is the point in planning? Contentment comes first. Contentment is Buddha nature, contentment is Atman.

Listener 2: Like you said just now. So what should be the quality of this moment? When we go to bed then memories of this moment doesn’t flash or the images of this must not be there…?

AP: No great quality is needed here. All that is needed is that you do not come here carrying a dirty plate. Do not bring the remnants of your dinner to this room. If you’ve had your dinner then everything about the dinner should be left clean and outside. But what do we do? The dinner carries forward to this room. And then you feel sleepy! Do you get it? No special quality is needed. All that is needed that you come here clean, come clean!

Listener 3: Sir, one thing that is coming in mind is that in these eleven-twelve stories, each one of them, people were like they got enlightened from such a short story. But I am reading so many stories and practically that part is not coming in me. So what is it that is being left in me?

AP: First of all these are not history. These are not historical stories. When it is said that someone got instantly enlightened, at just a small gesture of the Guru. What is meant is that potentially every word of the monk, the teacher, the Guru, is potent enough to tell you everything, provided you are ready to listen. If you are ready to listen then any single word is enough to give you everything. That is what is meant by saying that in this small way, he got enlightened! In this ordinary symbol, he got?

Listeners: (In unison) Enlightened.

AP: In saying this, what is being said is, do not expect great things. Pay attention to the small things that are happening right now. To every small indication of the teacher. To every ordinary word that is coming to you. And if you can give yourself totally to it, then you are home. No great words, no greater words are going to ever come to you. What is coming to you is the final thing. Nothing higher than this can be said or has ever been said. Still, if it doesn’t bring you there, the reason is just that you keep on expecting something even grander, even more miraculous.

Zen is not about giving you grandeur on miracles. In Zen, things like these happen. Somebody asks, “What is the Buddha nature?” Somebody says, “Oh! Look at that tree.” And the fellow gets enlightened. No great answers! Somebody asks, “Which of these is the best piece in your shop?” and the shopkeeper replies, “All the pieces in my shop are best pieces.” And the fellow gets enlightened. So in the ordinary events of life, and in the ordinary replies of the teacher, lies the potential to give you the highest that you have ever demanded, provided you do not keep on dreaming that something bigger than this can still happen. Nothing bigger than this will ever happen! This is That! The ultimate! What more can be said? And if this does not suffice, nothing else would ever do. If this does not bring you there then nothing else ever would.

Kyogen said, “Zen is like a monk

Hanging by his teeth in a tree over a precipice.

His hands grasp no branch, his feet rest on no limb,

And under the tree another man asks him,

“Why did Bodhidharma come to China from India?”

If the man in the tree does not answer, he misses the question

And if he answers, he falls and loses his life,

Now what shall he do?”

AP: For us, there is either an action or the opposite of that action, right? For us, whenever we are faced with choices, it is always about either doing this or doing that. Either yes or no, either right or left. A pair of opposites. But whether we do this or whether we do that, one thing is certain that we, do! That we remain the doer. Kyogen says, “Please understand Zen. Zen is not about doing ‘this’ and Zen is neither about doing the opposite of ‘this’.” Because whether you do this or whether you do that, whether you say yes or whether you say no, in either case, you miss, you lose.

Zen is about forsaking both, yes and no, together. And that is forsaken when you are not the doer at all. Zen is about letting the happening happen. Zen is about not bringing your own personal self in between. Action that is not preceded by planning, not involved with effort, and not followed by expectations. That is Zen.

In our case, all three are present. Before the action, there is plan. During the action there is effort. And after the action there is expectation. Zen is about not having any of these. No planning before action, no effort during action and no expectation after action. Which essentially means that there is no role left for the actor.  What would he do? These are the three things that the actor could have done, and if all three are struck out, what would he do? So, Zen gives us beautiful, energetic action, sans the actor.



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Zen: What is Zen? A clean plate

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Shut Up

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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

What you call as normal is abnormal, and also highly insane

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Question: A gentleman was saying that a person, who is drinking or is drunk, he still has got some kind of stability on mind, and he too, can judge. That is what I felt to be perhaps wrong. A person who is drunk probably loses his judgement and whatever we have heard from doctors and other people, anybody who takes liquor is likely to lose self control, his thought processes are likely to become distraughted, and he is likely to lose his good judgement. We have seen drunkards moving around and we see that they probably lose self control. That’s my perception or observation.

Acharya Prashant: In an otherwise sane world, drinking might probably need obfuscation of consciousness. But when you say that you see drunkards moving along and you see what kind of things they are doing, do we also not see non drunkards moving along and doing what they are doing?

Listener 1: But if we compare their behavior, Sir, we find that the behavior of the drunkard person is deviated from the normal standards.

AP:  What is the normal? And who sets the standards? What if the normal itself is highly depraved? Read more

Is our life destined and pre-planned

Question:  Is our life destined?

Acharya Prashant: Of course it is destined. Don’t you see that? Otherwise, why would life exist? Life exists, so that it may meet its destiny. And as long as it doesn’t, it remains restless. Mind exists, so that it may meet its destiny. And the destiny of the mind is Peace — the dissolution of mind. That is your destiny.

Listener 1: Is everything pre-planned?

AP: Not in the sense of meeting the destiny.

Destiny and planning are not the same thing. Nothing is pre-planned. You can proceed as per your planning but if your planning is not in sync with the destiny, then your plans will only give you more suffering. You are free to do whatever to do. You can go right, you can go left. But if you must go right, and you go left, then going left, you will keep suffering.

So, planning is in your hands. The mind plans. You can plan whatever you want to.

L2: That’s freewill.

AP: Apparent free will. It is not free because ultimately it has to surrender. What you call as freewill must ultimately surrender. But as long as it proceeds as free, it keeps on labelling itself as free. We have beggars who are named karorimal’ (a rich person). So, one can call desires as freewill, it’s alright!

L3: Sir, does it mean that if presently, the mind is peaceful, then we are proceeding in the right direction?

AP: It cannot be peaceful if this doubt is there, or if this desire to ascertain is there. When the mind is peaceful, then there is no need to determine whether it is peaceful. And what would come out of that peace?

Peace is an end in itself. Peace does not lead to anything.

L3: No question should arise once peace is attained.

AP:  Even this is an imposition upon Peace.

A lot can arise from Peace, but still, Peace is an end in itself. That is why whatever arise from Peace is complete in itself. Because Peace is complete, hence what arises from Peace does not lead to the incompletion. So, questions can arise, comments, doubts can arise from Peace.

Kindly give-up this image that when somebody is peaceful, then he will not speak anymore. By that standard, I must be the most peace less person.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Is our life destined and pre-planned?

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You are not Brahm, neither are you the Witness

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Question: So, we are not the doer. Right?

Acharya Prashant: We are. Always. That’s what needs to be seen. We are always doing and doing and doing.

Listener 1: Yes, but we shouldn’t do. We should observe. Right?

AP: That can not be a statement of an ideal, that cannot be the desire. You have to stop at saying, ‘I am the doer’. Kindly don’t go about saying, ‘I am the non-doer, I am the non-doer, the doer is somebody else’. You are the doer, are you not?

You are the doer even when you should not be doing. So, keep doing and keep noticing that you are the one who is doing. And when you have noticed deeply enough then you will be so sick of doing that you will step back. Never say, ‘I am the non-doer, I am the witness, I am  Brahm‘ Are you? You penny pincher!  Read more

The result of action can neither enhance you nor reduce you

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Question: When I want to do something, I plan a lot. But in the spiritual domain, it is said that planning is bad. What should I do, because when I don’t execute my plans, I don’t get the desired outcome?

Acharya Prashant: No, plan fully and execute fully with all your mind but remember fully that neither the action nor the result of the action, can mean much to you. Neither can it reduce you, nor can it enhance you.

What’s the fun in playing the game if you are not playing wholeheartedly? Read more

What is karma? Does the subconscious exist?

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Questioner: What is karma? Does the subconscious exist?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, they exist. They play their own game. You are talking about karma. The ball goes up, the ball comes down. But when the ball goes up, you are still free; and when the ball comes down, you are equally free. The ball is coming down because it went up. The whole cause and effect chain is playing out. That is the law of karma. But does it make any difference to you whether the ball goes up or comes down?

Everything that is material, everything that can be conceptualized, is bound to follow a cause-effect chain. Let the material follow that. You are not material. If you exercised hard yesterday or ran around a lot, today you will experience some pain in the body. You are getting the fruits of your karma. But let the body ache. You must not become sick.

You retain your inner health in the middle of all aches and sicknesses.

Let the fruits of karma be for the one who was the doer of the karma.

Let the doer experience the fruits of the doing.

You are neither the doer, nor are you obliged to experience and bear the results of the doing.

Na karta, na bhokta—Neither was I the one who was doing it nor am I the one who will take the consequences.

When it was being done, I was there, but not as the doer. And when its results are showing up in time, I am still there but not as the experiencer of results. Let the mind bear the results, let the body bear the results, let the inner universe bear the results, I am free of all that, I relax.

Doing everything, who was I? The relaxed one. In the middle of all the results of the actions, who am I? The relaxed one. So am I really experiencing any change because of karma? No. Now karma doesn’t matter. Are you getting it?

If you act as the doer, then you will have to live into the future to bear the fruits of the doing.

Then you will have to create time for yourself. If you reap, then you surely have sown in the past. Without having sown, you cannot reap. And today if you plant a tree with the expectation that one day it will give you fruits, then remember that along with the tree, you too will have to live to the day when the fruits come. You are preventing your dissolution. You are unnecessarily stretching yourself into time.

If you plan for tomorrow, don’t you see you will have to exist till tomorrow? And is it any fun existing as the planner, as the doer, the desirous one? If you exist till tomorrow as the desirous one, what is the quality of your existence? How does a desirous one keep feeling? Contented? Restful? Joyful? How does he feel? He feels like a man with his hand chopped off. Incomplete, awaiting completion, and suffering in the incompletion.

Why do you want to continue into the future as the doer, as the desirous one?

This is about actions that you undertake today. Kindly do not enter into any action with expectation or with fear, fear is just another kind of expectation. You will only be burdening yourself with karma. And as far as the actions, the deeds of the past are concerned, please dis-identify with the doer of those deeds. Let that doer die.

Now, who remains to bear the consequences?

You may have committed the most foul of acts in the past, but who can come to punish you if you have died? Who will come to punish you? Will you get punishment if you are already dead? But if you remain the one who committed those acts, then you will have to bear the punishment for those acts.

So, be totally free of the past, and have no eye on the future. Which means that now you get all the freedom to play around with past and future. Because they are meaningless to you, they are harmless, they are like jokes now. So you can indulge in them. That’s the great thing about not wanting anything—when you don’t want anything, you can play around with everything.

The one who has no stake in the past, can now go into memories, wallow in memories, bathe in memories, and study all history, without getting influenced. And the one who has no expectations, or fear from the future, can now speculate, project, imagine, without letting the future overwhelm him.

Only the one who is deeply surrendered to the present, gets the rights to be the master of the past and the future.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: What is Karma? Does the subconscious exist?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: For real action, let the Real act on your behalf

Article 2: How can I ‘understand’ non-doership

Article 3: Karma, Aatma, Rebirth


Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant are available on AMAZON:

http://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

 

Let’s look at desires

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Question: Something happens and then suddenly a desire related to that arises in me, what should I do?’

Acharya Prashant: Just know that your desire is actually just external stimulus; external stimulus that activates your conditional patterns, which means that you have very little right to call your desire as really your own.

Desire can be provoked in you, and every advertiser knows that. Read more