It is beautiful to earn pain || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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

It is beautiful to earn pain

People make all sorts of efforts to find peace and pleasure, but no one tries to earn the pain.

Says Nanak, listen, mind: whatever pleases God comes to pass. ||39||

~ Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, Salok Mahalla

Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 14128

Question: Acharya Ji, please clarify what is meant here by, ‘earning pain’.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

The constitution of the body is such that it is – pleasure-seeking. That’s the guiding principle behind bodily actions. Bodily actions include the impulses of the brain. So that which you call as ‘natural’, in loose language, is nothing but pleasure-seeking behavior.

When you say that something is natural, effectively what you are saying is, that it is pleasure-seeking behavior. So that’s how your system is. It wants to have pleasure. It wants to have, pleasure.

What is the definition of ‘pleasure’?

That which helps Prakriti further its agenda.

‘Food’ pleases you because it gives energy to the body to continue. That’s what Prakriti wants. Getting it? ‘Flattery’ pleases you, because it gives the subtle-body the energy to continue. It will continue. It will stay motivated. It will further its goals.

Do you get the definition of ‘pleasure’?

That which agrees with the agenda of your physical constitution, is called ‘pleasure’.

Now in getting that ‘pleasure’, you get ‘pain’ as well. And that ‘pain’ makes ‘pleasure’ even more necessary. So you earn two units of ‘pleasure’, and along with two units of ‘pleasure’, you also got two units of ‘pain’. What is the inference that your system draws from this? Two units of ‘pleasure’ is not sufficient, because two units of ‘pleasure’ came along with two units of ‘pain’, and it got nullified. The net was zero.

So now your system wants three units of ‘pleasure’. But very soon your system discovers that three units of ‘pleasure’ has come along with three units of ‘pain’. So now you want four units of ‘pleasure’. That’s the cycle of human life – chasing ‘pleasure’, getting ‘pain’. And ‘pain’ spurs you on to chase ‘pleasure’, even more. This is not ‘pain’ that you have earned. This is ‘pain’, that has come as a bonus.

What did you want? Pleasure. But pain came tagged along. Had you had a choice, you would have said, “I want only pleasure. Let’s un-tag the pain. I don’t want the pain, that comes with pleasure. I only want pleasure. Can we just separate the two? No I don’t want the combo. No I don’t want the one plus one offer. I only want the one that I want – pleasure.”

So we get pain without earning it, or wanting it, or choosing it. We get it, as a compulsory attachment. We get it as a compulsory accompaniment of pleasure. Guru Sahib is talking of something different here. He is talking of – earning pain. He is saying,”You already have had enough pain. That pain came to you as a compulsion, as a helplessness. You didn’t want it, but you were subjected to it. Now can you willingly go for pain?”

What does he mean? He means something quite radical.

Your system is designed to go only for ‘pleasure’.

And if you are being told to go deliberately for pain, you are actually being told to go against your system.

In a practical way, he is teaching you a method of detachment – a way to get dis-identified with the body.

‘Deliberately go for pain’ – and this has been a method in India, and elsewhere, since long.

Spiritual practitioners those who have really wanted to know and live life fully, have invited ‘pain’. Knowing fully well that the road they are taking, would hurt them, they have still gone down those roads.

I repeat: to the common man, pain is incidental, uninvited. It comes as a surprise. “Oh pain has come. From where? I didn’t ask for it.” To the spiritual practitioner, pain is, almost a target. Pain is a value. He says, “I want it. Bring it on.”

Not that there is some great virtue in pain. It’s just that when you are going for pain, you are denying the bodily compulsion of seeking pleasure. You are getting dis-identified. And once you are dis-identified, then there is no need to seek pain either.

Getting it?

If you will see a lot of ‘progress’, even in the material sense, it happens only by inviting ‘pain’. That which we call as ‘discipline’ even in the loose sense, is nothing but an invitation to ‘pain’.

Is there discipline without pain? You have to get up at some point in the morning, doesn’t that involve pain? ‘Pleasure’ is to keep sleeping even after the alarm has rung. Is that not pleasurable?

So all ‘discipline’ is nothing but ‘pain’.

It’s very well-directed pain, it’s very discrete pain.

But nevertheless, all ‘discipline’ involves – ‘pain’.

And ‘progress’, be it in the material, or in the spiritual realms, moves on ‘discipline’.

So all ‘progress’ is nothing but the art of inflicting ‘pain’ upon yourself – wisely, not randomly.

You will get no progress by just slashing your wrist, or holding a cigarette to your arm. Random, or mindless pain will not help you. While random, and mindless pain will not help you, at the same time there can be no ‘discipline’ without ‘pain’. And there can be no ‘progress’ without ‘discipline’.

‘Pleasure’ is a pattern. In fact, all patterns become patterns of ‘pleasure’. ‘Discipline’ is the determination to go beyond patterns. So ‘pleasure’ has to be transcended. Which means – your body, your prakriti, your physical tendencies, have to be transcended.

That’s what Guru Sahib is pointing at.

Have ‘discipline’.

And what is it to have ‘discipline’?

Be a disciple. Be a Shishya (disciple).

Be a Sikh.

Who is a ‘Sikh’?

Who can wisely, discreetly, deliberately choose ‘pain’.

You cannot be a student, if you cannot bear ‘pain’.

You cannot be a student, if you say, “You know, I want to be handled in cotton and wool. I want to learn a lot from the teacher, but I don’t want pain from the teacher.” Then you cannot be a Sikh, you cannot be a Shishya, you cannot be a Disciple, because you do not have ‘discipline’.

——————————————————————————————————————

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

Watch the session: It is beautiful to earn pain || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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Are earthly pleasures a hindrance to spiritual growth?|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

Are earthly pleasures a hindrance to spiritual growth

Question: On one hand, I want to spiritually grow towards enlightenment. But, at the same time, some side of me wants to have earthly freedom, experiences, like traveling. Even though, I know, that those things won’t bring me True Joy.

Are earthly pleasures a hindrance to spiritual growth?

Acharya Prashant Ji: (Addressing the questioner) Isa, there is no dissonance between Spiritual Joy, and earthly living. The one, who is not spiritually developed, may travel to all corners of the earth, but would still remain joyless.

So, what is the point in travelling?

There is, the wandering monk. Look at his Joy. There is the Fakir(Monk) who travels from place to place, village to village. Sometimes, from country to country. Traditionally, in India, Sadhus(Monk), would forbid themselves, from staying too long, at any one place. They would just keep travelling.

Buddha and Mahavir, the great ascetics, they traveled all their life. Even Guru Nanak made voyages, long distance travels – the east, to the south, to the west. That’s one kind of travelling, in which you are already full of Joy, and you are travelling to disseminate that Joy. You are travelling, so that, even others may have that Joy.

And the, there is the traveling tourist. The average traveler. What does travel give him? Some consolation. Some very feeble support, to enable him to carry on, his otherwise wretched life. Once a year, twice a year, he saves money to travel, and not much comes out of that travel, because he is not internally complete.

Even the earth, discloses it’s real treasures, only to the spiritually accomplished ones.

To the spiritually accomplished one, the earthly living itself, is heavenly.

And that would also tell you what is ‘hell’.

The one who is not spiritually accomplished, to him, the earth itself is ‘hell’.

So it is not as if, there are two different worlds, offering two different kind of joys. That is the mental model you are coming from. You are telling me, “There is the earthly joy, which is an inferior kind of joy, but still quite alluring. And then, there is a metaphysical, transcendental joy, spiritual joy. And the spiritual joy, is quite attractive, but it seems to come at the cost of earthly joy.

No. Wrong. That’s where you are mistaken.

The ‘Spiritual Joy’, does not come at the cost of earthly joy.

In fact, there is nothing called ‘Spiritual Joy’.

All joy is earthly, because all Joy is to the one, who is the product of the Earth.

No Man, no Joy.

If there is no Isa (the questioner), who is there to be joyful? And Isa, who is she? Someone who has arisen from the earth. Who are you? You are the soil, you are the water, you are the air, you are the sunlight. Without these, would there be any human being?

So, the one who is Joyful, is always an earthly one. Therefore, there is no distance, or distinction, between these two kinds of joy. In fact, if you create two dimensions of joys, then you do not know, either of these dimensions. Any of these dimensions.

It is a very common misconception, and we all need to get rid of it.

We feel that, to have spiritual joy, we have to give up earthly pleasures. And such stories have come to us, from various sources. They continue to keep coming to us. No, not at all true.

Spirituality is Wisdom.

Spirituality is deep Intelligence.

Spirituality is to give up the inferior, in the favor of superior.

That which you call as ‘earthly pleasure’, definitely has something, which is worth rejecting, worth dropping. Therefore, Spirituality, is to drop incomplete, costly, ephemeral pleasures, in favor of an ending pleasure called ‘Joy’.

Are you getting it?

You could even say that – ‘Spirituality is the art of absolute hedonism’.

The common man, he satisfies himself with bits and pieces. Some crumbs here, some crumbs there – of little bit of happiness, of little bit of pleasure. The monk, the spiritual seeker, he says, “Nothing doing. Not only I want happiness. I want happiness Absolute.” He is ambitious. He is very-very greedy, you know. Because he is very-very greedy, so he tells you to shun normal greed. Because he is absolutely greedy, so he tells you, “Do not be a little bit greedy.”

You think that he is against greed. He is not against greed. He is against everything, that is incomplete. So, he says, “If you have to be greedy, you must be not incompletely greedy, but absolutely greedy.”

Spirituality is Absolute greed. Spirituality says, “I do not want anything small. I want now, only the infinite Ultimate.”

See, what dimension of greed it is. Similarly, happiness and pleasure. Common man says, “Give me happiness. One hour a day, please.” What does the spiritual one say, “I want the total, unending, diminishing, eternal happiness.” And where does he want it? In some other world, some other planet, some other galaxy? Where exactly doe the spiritual seeker want that?

Listeners: On this earth.

Acharya Ji: On this earth. When does he want it – after seven hundred years, after death, in seventh life, in the eighteenth life? When exactly does he want it?

Listeners: Now.

Acharya Ji: After fifty years, when he turns seventy-five, and enters the last ashram of his life? Is that when he wants it?

Listeners: No. Now.

Acharya Ji: If Joy is absolute, would you want to postpone it? It would be so very alluring, that you won’t be able to postpone it. You would want it, right now.

That’s spirituality – to have the highest happiness, and have it right now.

Here.

The highest, right now, right here.

Getting it?

Now, do you want the earthly things? Are they still attractive?

If the earthly things are attractive, then that should tell you, that you have a faculty for attraction. If even, a little attracts you, it should tell you that you know how to get attracted. And if you know how to get attracted, then how would you feel in front of the Immense?

I repeat: if even the little attracts you so much, what would be your condition, in front of the Immense?

You would go bonkers.

That’s how the spiritual mind wants to live – in an absolute craziness.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Are earthly pleasures a hindrance to spiritual growth? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Acharya Prashant, with students: How to have confidence in oneself?

T19

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Question: I don’t have confidence in myself. How to gain it?

Acharya Prashant: The question comes from an extreme – “I do not have confidence in myself.” But surely, this question addresses a pain that all experience in varying degrees, on various occasions.

There is nobody who does not feel short of confidence at one point or another. There are many, who keep feeling perpetually short. There are others, who feel confident most of the time, but find that their confidence is deserting them often when they need it.

You say you want ‘confidence’ in yourself. You want confidence in yourself only when you are in doubt. When things are just flowing smoothly, is there need for confidence? When there is no fear, is there need for confidence?

Confidence is a medicine.

Confidence is not your natural state.

Just as, medicine is not health. When you feel sick, then you ask for medicine and the role of medicine should be to make itself unnecessary. You do not want to have a medicine that you will perpetually need. What you must rather perpetually have, is a normal and ordinary state of health. What you must normally have is a state of fearlessness, in which confidence is not needed at all.

If you are requiring confidence, it means that something has already gone wrong.

Now, do you want to cover up what has gone wrong? Or do you want to directly address what has gone wrong? Because if the wrong stays wrong, then you will keep on needing confidence more and more, and more frequently.

When you are addressing your friends, do you require confidence? No! But when you are making a public presentation, then you require confidence. Do you notice that? When you are with your family members, do you require confidence? Hardly ever! But when you are in front of an interviewer, then you say that you require confidence.

Read more

Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: The world is a river; use it to cross it

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Acharya Prashant: Two excerpts are with us.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”

BIBLE

(JOHN 2:15)

“Prosperity, pleasure, pious deeds. Enough! In the dreary forest of the world, the mind finds no rest.”

ASHTAVAKRA GITA

(CHAPTER 10: VERSE 7)

The questioner says that he is astounded at the commonality between Jesus and Ashtavakra and asks why are both saying that engaging in the world will not be a way to peace. What does it mean to engage in the world?

The world is a tricky thing. The world has to be understood.

The world has utility but the world is not the end.

One uses it.

Ever seen a man swimming? What is he doing? Why is he swimming at all? He is crossing a river. Man is swimming. Man is crossing the river. Why is he crossing the waters? Because if he doesn’t cross the waters, he will drown in the waters. If he doesn’t cross the waters or the river, he will drown in the river.

And what is he doing to cross the water? He is using the waters themselves.

Read more

Acharya Prashant: Is plunging into sex a method to gain freedom from sex?

Question: Acharya Ji, you have said in a previous session while discussing the attraction towards sex, that one does not need to get entangled even to overcome or suppress. One rather needs to leave sex behind. One should seek that for which one is really eager. All the energy should go in that direction.

One is not rejecting sex, one is just prioritizing correctly. One is saying that the one that has a lower priority must wait because there is something immensely more important that is higher up the priority. That which is higher up the priority is so immense that it would never get completed, never get over. So the one who is waiting for his turn, the one who is lower down the order would just keep waiting.

He would not need to be killed, he would have just been permanently postponed. And she says that, in the same session, Acharya Ji has said “In the subconscious, there is a lot that terrifies you and you try to escape that fear by not trying to know more about it. When you first enter, you will find ‘that’ will scare you but if you stay with it courageously you will meet the one that delivers you from that fear.

If a person doesn’t meet ‘that’, which scares him and how you meet the one that liberates from the fear. Therefore, on your way meet all your imperfections and impurities and it is only after that you will meet the one that purifies, perfects and completes you.

So having quoted these two excerpts from a previous session, the question is, In the context of the pull of Maya and the worldly, here relating to the pull of the sexual energy, does one acknowledge it  and transcend it by focusing on the ‘Ananth’ or God ? or does one drop the defences against Maya, go through the worldly and only then arrive at the door of the Ananth.

Thank you.

Acharya Prashant: So, two excerpts have been quoted and apparently the two excerpts are in contradiction. The first one says that you do not need to get entangled, and the second one says that you need to meet all your fears, all your impurities, all your imperfections head-on.

So the questioner is a little confused and she is asking what to do? Does one seek to cleanse herself or does one need to plunge into her own conditioning? I will repeat the question for you. In the context of the pull of Maya and the worldly, here relating to the pull of the sexual energy, does one acknowledge it and transcend it by focusing on God ? or does one drop the defenses against Maya, go through the worldly and only then arrive at the door of the Ananth?

Read more

Acharya Prashant: How to be free of all troubles?

Question: The question is, how to reach the stage of ‘vulnerability.’ Because if I become vulnerable, people’s behavior towards me does not bother me. There is no ego, no expectation left. Even if there is something that hits me, then also I remain normal so easily as if nothing has happened. This is the meaning of vulnerability that I get from the readings, but even after knowing I get hurt by others behavior. My ego gets hurt. So how to reach that stage where nothing can bother me.

Acharya Prashant: Radhika, nothing bothers you. Calling itself a ‘botheration.’ If something comes to you and declares in advance, ‘ I am a botheration,’ would you let that thing to have space in your Life? Would you?

‘Botherations’ never come as botherations. So,

If you start searching for botherations, you will return empty-handed. There is no botheration, that is labeled as flagged as botheration in your mind.

Had it been flagged as a botheration, you would have disposed of it away long back. Right? So, lets search with other keywords.

We are looking for ‘botherations’ because your question is ‘how do you I reach a stage, where the world does not bother me anymore,’ Radhika is asking. Let us search with other keywords and let us search with ‘pleasures.’ Oh, you will find many there. Lets search with ‘Love,’ you will find much there. Lets search with ‘hopes,’ you will find a lot of them there.

When you search with these keywords, you will find that there is a lot in your mind that corresponds. Also, those who have known have told us that the very definition of ‘botheration’ is that which sits upon your mind. That which is continuously making itself felt in your mind is a ‘botheration.’ The one that wraps the mind should be identified as delusion(Jo mann se na utre, maya kahiye soye)

Read more

Fight against your lazy self

Laziness means a refusal to do, a refusal to do the right thing, a refusal to change. Laziness means that one wants to remain where one is and as one is.

Because we are not total, so even our stupidities are not total.

The Buddha is alright whether he is sleeping on a bed or on a thorn bed. But this lazy man feels alright only if certain conditions are met.

Choose the right death, please. Give death to your laziness. Give death to your ego and self-preservation. Don’t protect laziness and give death to yourself. Don’t do that. Fight against your lazy self. Don’t side with it. If you don’t fight your laziness, your laziness will give you a death that you can’t even imagine.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: What does the lazy self want?

Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: What does the lazy self want?

“The craving of a sluggard is a death of him because his hands refuse to work.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 21:25)

Acharya Prashant:

Nimisha has sent something, it is not a question. I’ll read it aloud, that’s my answer.

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranaam. I want to thank you deeply for reconnecting me to the Lord. The love and connection I felt for him as an innocent child got diluted along the way. I am rejoicing in that regained love now. Jesus was always very special to me. My first love you could say. Then one grows up and starts questioning things, doubts arise, resistance occurs, and one loses that innocent reasonless love once felt. Jesus showed me the way back home through you.

In gratitude, Nimisha.

When all is alright then there is no need to speak. Yesterday, I said – “don’t fix that which is not broken.”

 

James has sent two questions from Russia. Maybe I’ll read both of them, or one of them.

Jesus says “The craving of a sluggard will be death of him because his hands refuse to work”.

The question is:

Jesus is saying that the desires of a lazy person will be the death of him because he’s saying that his hands refuse to work. He just desires but his hands say we do not want to work. So the enquiry is, what does a lazy person crave for if not work? And also, which work is Jesus referring to?

Jesus has pointed towards the special case of a lazy person. This lazy person has all the desires, great desires. But one thing he’s very clear about, ‘I will not work.’ So, James has wondered that what does he crave for if not work? And what is this work that Jesus is referring to? Is he talking about plumbing? Writing? Carpentry? What work is referring to?

Who is a lazy person? A lazy person is one who has a tremendous ego. Only the ego is lazy, and the ego is bound to be lazy. In what sense is the ego lazy?

Laziness means a refusal to do, a refusal to do the right thing, a refusal to change. Laziness means that one wants to remain where one is and as one is.

Read more

There is only conditional love, there is nothing called unconditional love.

You said that the love of the mother to the newborn baby is unconditional. In no way, in no way. And it should be apparent. Does the mother love the baby of the neighbor? And, is this not the condition that I will love the baby only if she is my baby? This is the biggest condition that there can be.

Unconditional love means, my love is totally free of all kinds of terms and conditions. I am not setting any boundaries. The baby is there and it doesn’t matter whether the baby belongs to me, or to the man next door or to somebody from an adjacent country. The baby is lovable.

And, why must only the baby be lovable, why must not the same quality of love extend to grownups?

Why must only human grownups be lovable, why must not the same love reach out to plants, animals, and birds, and insects?

And, why must only be the sentient beings be lovable, why must not the same warmth of love envelopes trees, and mountains, and rivers, and sands, and the entire universe?

And, why must one stop at one universe then, why must not all universe – real, imaginary, substantial, or conceptual be loveable?

So, never say that the love of a mother to the baby is unconditional. Of course, not. There are huge conditions attached. And you remove those conditions and the love will vanish. Tell the mother, the baby doesn’t belong to her and see what happens to that love. In fact, the love to the baby varies with the gender of the baby. Don’t you know that? Don’t you read that daily? How do you call it unconditional then?

How exactly?

There is only conditional love, there is nothing called unconditional love. And that doesn’t make conditional love despicable. That doesn’t mean we are labeling it as inferior, or aberrant. We are only seeing things as they are, we are only seeing facts as they are. And the fact of our humanness is, everything about us is conditional. Simply, because we too are products are conditions. The one who is a product of conditions, how is he going to know un-conditionality? Are we not products of conditions?

We are products of evolution, we are products of climate, we are products of our economic situations, we are products of religion, our upbringing, our education, our knowledge, the times we live in, our age, our gender. All about us is just conditional. So, there is no surprise in it that our love is conditional. And let love remain conditional. Man falls in love with woman; why only woman? Don’t you see this is such a huge condition?

Woman falls in love with man, and that too man of a certain age bracket. Don’t you see this is a certain condition? And this condition will remain, there is no need to call it foul. Are you seeing this? Till the child is of a certain age, mother loves him or expresses her love in a certain way. The child reaches a certain age or adolescent and a way of relating changes. It must change, let it change. Or, will we say that the love was false, and hence it has changed with time?

Just as everything about us is conditional, our love too is going to be conditional, let us not cultivate a utopian belief in unconditional love. Many spiritualists tend to do that. They say that unless love is unconditional, love is rotten. And we don’t want to have any of that. That will only lead to hypocrisy because you will never be able to come to achieve unconditional love.

Love will always be conditional and at the same time, you are saying conditional love is poor. So, you will be doing two things parallelly – one, engaging in conditional love, and second, calling conditional love as poor, or unconditional. Which will result either in hypocrisy or in loss of self-worth. Hypocrisy would mean I am labeling my conditional love as unconditional. And, loss of self-worth would mean I know that it is conditional and I would fall in my own eyes.

I come to know that my love is conditional and my self-worth drops. None of them is needed, neither of this is needed. Neither do you need to lose self-worth, nor you need to engage in hypocrisy.



Read the complete Article: All love is conditional

All love is conditional

gen 1Acharya Prashant:  How does an inquiry begin? How does man decide that the state in which he exists is not really sufficient for me? What is the need for spirituality at all? Why must we sit here and talk, or meditate, or break our heads together? why?

Listener 1: Stability to our existence?

AP: So, if we need stability, then what is the state in which we are in an unstable state.

Listener: When we are perturbed, disturbed and agitated, then we are in the state of instability. When something is endearing and because we have recognized certain good things and that state continues to exist in us that is stability and we are in for spirituality because we want greater stability in our lives.

AP:  Let’s simply say we experience a lack of stability. Whatever we experience simply doesn’t prove sufficient. It does not provide contentment. Hence, is the need to dive into the deeper realms of the mind.

You say, “I exist somewhere. But, I see that something else in there that I don’t really know of and I have an inkling that that’s where peace lies for me. I don’t know what that is. I probably don’t haven’t ever been there, yet there is a pre-intuitive memory, yet there is a knowledge-less realization, an uninformed realization, that something special lies there.” Read more

One has to be deeply in love with oneself

It is not possible to be living in illusions and yet not suffer. But it is possible, to not to be conscious of the suffering. Or, to not to know that you are suffering.

One has to be deeply in love with oneself, one has to be deeply sensitive towards oneself to experience the suffering. If you don’t love yourself enough, then you will happily take suffering. And not complain.

After all, suffering is resistance towards pain. If you have no resistance then you have no suffering. Then there will be pain and yet you will not suffer.

Suffering is when you start saying, “No” to pain. When pain is welcome, then there is no suffering.



Read the complete article: Is suffering necessary for awakening?

Is suffering necessary for awakening?

SR Generic_ English

Question: When intense suffering is created, that usually wakes up people. But is it possible that one can wake up without suffering, living very comfortable life?

Listener: For example, if I am fed up with my husband, I just wake up. But that situation doesn’t come!

Acharya Prashant: You see, only the sleeping one can wake up. Please understand!

To wake up, there is a precondition. And that is that you must be?

Listeners: Sleeping.

AP: And if you are sleeping, then you would be suffering. So, to wake up, it is necessary, it is obvious that there would be suffering involved in the process of awakening. Otherwise, what are you awakening from? If there is no sleep, where is the question of awakening? Then you are abiding in your Buddha Nature. Fine. There is no question of any further awakening. And if there is slumber, and ignorance, and sleep, then it is always accompanied with?

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The moment you think about it, you have lost it.

You have to already be there to reach there. Those who travel a lot, they never reach. Those who are already there, they keep reaching again and again and again. But when you are getting it again and again and again, then there is no verification of the happening, then there is no satisfaction in the happening because then there is nobody to tell you that you are accomplishing something. So, now you cannot be proud. Now you cannot say that an achievement has happened.

You wanted to say that you achieved. But, the ones who really achieved are the ones who are continuously in achievement. So, they cannot claim any achievement, which brings us to something interesting.

We do not want salvation. We want the thought that we are salvaged. We do not want enlightenment. We want the thought that we are enlightened. We do not want the Truth. We want the thought that we now have the Truth. So that is the reason why you chase so much, why you miss so much because ultimately you want to have the credit that you succeeded in your chase. You will never succeed.

The one who has it does not feel great about it. That which you really want is very simple, very present, very much within reach, but it is not at all the way you probably imagine it to be. The ones who have it they do not find it special at all.

It is there, all right, nothing special about it. Neither is there anything special about that which is wanted nor are those in any sense special who have it. And that is another reason why you miss them because you are looking for special people and special places and special occasions. You have it and let that remain a secret. The moment you talk about it; the moment you disclose it, the moment you think about it, you have lost it.



Read the complete article: Nothing

Nothing

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Acharya Prashant: Topic in hand is ‘Nothing’.

It is remarkable that just as other words have a certain call — because they mean something because they point at an object — the word ‘Nothing’, too attracts. When Kunal (one of the listeners) said that the topic right now would be ‘Nothing’, was it totally disappointing? Did you feel like ringing your hand and saying that, well there ought to be a substantial, material topic? How can the topic be ‘Nothing’? Did that happen? Even ‘Nothing’ arouses a certain curiosity; it has a certain pull, a certain charm.

What is it that happens to the mind when it hears the word – ‘Nothing’? When the mind first hears the word ‘Nothing’, it is just language. A word in the language has come to the mind, the word is ‘Nothing’. The specialty of this word is that unlike other words, it does not point at something substantial, something positive, rather it points at only at an absence, there is nothing. And ‘Nothing’ means that, which usually won’t be there. What is it that is usually there? We are talking life, as we always do. We are not talking some high flowing, esoteric spiritual concepts. We are talking life. The life that you and me, everybody experiences.

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Individual enlightenment is a myth.

Don’t ask for your personal freedom. Help others around you, be free. You will never be personally liberated, never. It’s impossible. Individual enlightenment is a myth. Either all get it together or nobody gets it. We all are in the same boat. Either we all cross or we all sink together.

To help yourself, help the other.

This is not merely altruism. You are not being charitable. This is the holiest form of selfishness. Help the other crossover, on your back. When the other reaches the other shore, you would find that you too have reached the other shore. Also, without having the other on your back, you will find that you cannot swim. This is the nature of the ‘world’ river.

The ‘world’ river is a flow of relationships. Nobody cuts through it alone. Take everybody with you, as many as you can. The more you take along with you, the more strength you get to take more and more with you. And do not take this as an exaggeration. I am saying, one day you may find that have been carrying the entire Universe with you.

It is not a matter of just the relationship between two people – Father and son, and husband and wife. No, not at all.



Read the complete article: Relief from Loneliness

Relief from loneliness

BFB1Acharya Prashant: The word ‘loneliness’ or ‘lonely’ is actually a misnomer. The one who calls himself lonely is actually never ‘lonely’. If lonely means not being with anybody, not having anybody to accompany you, then the one who is lonely is actually never without company. He or she always has company. Yes?

And whose company does this person have? This person always has his own company. Okay?

This will make it easier for us to understand.

Traditionally, generally, it has been said that the lonely person is the one who is needing somebody else’s company, right?

You look at it a little differently. You go a little deeper into it. The lonely person is not just needing somebody’s company, in fact, it is possible that at times, he may even think that he does not need anybody’s company. He may think that he is not in need of somebody’s company because he already is in the company of his own thought. Read more

Be a parent even to your lover

People have talked of the one who cannot be talked of, in various ways. They have talked of him as a lover, they have talked of him as a creator, as a destroyer. But the most charming description of him, is him as a parent, as a father or as a mother. And that is why, even amongst Saints, you find most references to him as that of Father or Mother. Yes, some people have called him lover also. Some have called him destroyer also. Some have given him other colorful names, beautiful names. But the most prevalent name is Father or Mother. There is a reason.

Look at what he is doing. You would find that among other things, mostly he is engaged in parenting. He is engaged in having things complete their cycles. Grow up, grow up, grow up, grow up, grow up. Even death is the next step in growing up. Grow up, grow up, grow up, grow up, and die. So, even if you call him destroyer, he is still a parent. He is helping you grow by dying.

There is great joy in parenting, there is great joy in helping the other grow and seeing the other grow. Be a parent, even to your lover. Be a parent even to your husband, even to your wife. If you are a man, be a Father to your wife. If you are a wife, be a Mother to your husband. That is Godly.

Be a father to your friend, be a mother to your pet. And obviously, that is far beyond physical procreation. Obviously, that is far beyond the social institutions of marriage etc. You are a parent, irrespective of who the other is. Your touch is a touch of life. Your very touch is a healing gesture. You touch someone and he grows. You know what is growth? Growth is expression. You know what is expressed? The Truth is expressed. That is what is called being a parent. You touch the other one, and his heart comes to be expressed. That is Godly.

That is the only way, anybody ever grows. That is the only way anybody ever gains maturity. By parently touch, by the touch of God, by the touch of Absolute. Touch the other one and help him gain maturity. That is the joy of living. That is in some sense, the only way of living.

And the more we talk of it, the more it appears foolish to escape away to some corner of the city or to a village, or to a desert, or a mountain. To any secluded place and hide there. Look at the one you are worshipping. You are saying that you are going to hide in that cave so that you may worship. The one you are worshipping remains engaged. He is engaged with you, with you, with you, with you. He is always in relationships. God is in a million relationships. Million is such a small number. Why must then you abdicate your relationships?



Read the complete articleTo help yourself, help the other

To help yourself, help the other

21762214_1227353527370622_921021697824714700_nQuestion: Acharya Ji, What does Osho mean when he says, “You help the other be alone so that you do not remain a need for the other”?

Acharya Prashant: This is with reference to a relationship. There is a relationship, a relationship apparently involves two. And if the two are lonely what are they doing in that relationship?

Just fulfilling their own self-interests. Because the lonely person has nothing but ‘himself’ in his world. The world exists for his sake so that he might be fulfilled. For the lonely person, who is paramount? “Himself, his needs.” And his needs are great! Why are his needs are great? Because he is missing the Absolute, so his need is the? Absolute. And if your need is Absolute, nothing can fulfill your need. The Absolute is? Infinite. If you are missing a little, then a little can fulfill you. If you are missing a little, then a little can fulfill you. But what if you are missing the Absolute. Then what would fulfill you? What hope is there? Too bad. Read more

Having sex, watching porn, and the quality of mind

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Questioner: Is engaging sexually with the man or woman somehow different than engaging with porn or can both these engagements be of the same quality of pure lust?

Acharya Prashant: In an absolute sense it doesn’t matter what makes you excited. It could be a body of a woman, physically present in front of you, or it could be a memory of a man or woman, or it could be the image of a man or woman on the screen of a computer. It doesn’t matter what excites you.

All excitement is fundamentally the same. And all excitement is equally the same in its failure and frustration. If you are watching porn in order to be relieved, that relief is your superficial relief. If you are mating physically with a woman in order to be physically or mentally relieved, even that relief is equally superficial.

So, at an absolute level there is not much of a difference. However, there is a difference. The difference is that a physical man or a woman is more likely to be able to destroy your assumptions & dreams about himself or herself. The character on your computer screen is your slave. You might have paid to watch porn, you might be reading a fantastic, erotic novel, the characters there will not spring up from the pages or the screen to disturb your concepts, to destroy your beliefs. They are tailor made, they are designed to keep you in your illusions.

But the real man, real in the sense of being of flesh & blood, only to that extent real. But the real man or woman cannot ever be a total slave of your desires or money. Here the chances of being woken up from your deep stupor are higher. You might be thinking that your girlfriend is a gateway to your emancipation but she is likely to do something that will disturb your concepts, even if you go to a prostitute, she is likely to do something that can probably wake you up.

It’s a matter of degree, it’s matter of probability, it’s a matter of relative chance. The chance is higher with a man or a woman. The ability to observe too might be higher when you are with a man or woman in flesh and blood. It is not recorded in advance, it is not customized, it is not edited out, you can see everything. A porn clip is duly sensitized. There you cannot see everything but with a physical man or a woman all is available for observation. Hence, the probability that your dream would be shuttered is more.

So, yes there is a difference between quietus involving two physical bodies & excitement that involves pornography. And at the same time, at the absolute level, there is no difference.



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Having sex, watching porn, and the quality of mind



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1. Advait Learning Camps (ALC): Advait Learning Camps are monthly 4-day retreats under the guidance of Acharya prashant in the Himalayas. To participate in the camps, ContactSh. Anshu Sharma: +91-8376055661 or Sh. Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998 

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Pleasure is a forced concept

Question:  Both pain and pleasures are unreal. But why is pain more sought after than pleasure?

Acharya Prashant: Because pain gives the hope of pleasure, because pleasure is always a hope. And that hope is called pain.

You see, can you feel pain except in comparison with an imagined pleasure? You say that you are deficient in something. How do you know that you are deficient? How do you know that you are deficient except with an imagined fullness?

You have two units of a resource. You say, you know what, it is so less. How do you know it is less? Only by comparison of time with an imagined state in which you have ten units. That ten units you defined as pleasure. These two units, you defined as pain. Both of these have been put as quantities by the mind.  To go to ten units is to prepare to feel bad when you come down to two. To be at two is to keep crying till you have ten.

When you are at ten, you are shivering in apprehension that you may now fall to two. Look at the conditions of those who have the riches. They are so eager about protecting them. The fear that this may go away keeps assaulting them. So their hope lies in securing them what they already have.

And look at those who have two. Their desperation lies in having only two and then they live in ambition, the ambition of one day reaching up to ten. Ten does not give them security. Ten only gives them the additional responsibility of securing the ten that they have now got. They fully well know that time can take away this ten.  This ten does not belong to them. This ten is just accidental. Something may snatch it away. So even if you have ten, you still cannot have pleasure. Whereas, when you were at two, you said that ten will give me pleasure. Having come to ten, you find that ten cannot give you pleasure because the ten is temporary. Now what do you want to do? You want to secure ten. And no security is ever be permanent. You know that.

You very well know that all your attempts to secure something will fail. You cannot secure even your own body. How will you secure your riches? You do not know even whether the next breath would be there, How do you know whether the next moment all your stuff in the bank would be there?

That is why you keep still shivering. Both pain and pleasure are pain. Both pain and pleasure are suffering. It is not as if spirituality is about moving away from pain. Spirituality is about moving away from both pain and pleasure. And having returned to your innate fullness is the point of joy. That point where pain and pleasures are just visitors – they come, they go, I live in my house. The house is named joy.

L: So, pleasure is actually a concept.

AP: Of course!

L: It is not a reality.

AP: No, not at all.

L: It is a forced concept.

AP: Of course! Pleasure is a forced concept.

You know what! One of the biggest instruments of pleasure — you will be surprised to know this — even sex is just a concept.

All those things that you associate with pleasure, with pain, with hurt are all concepts that we have been indoctrinated into. Remove those concepts and then show me where is pleasure and where is pain? Then there is just life. Just life! Simple, total and joyful.



Read Complete Article: What is meant by living totally?