Acharya Prashant, with students: Is the ego a gift from God?

T20

Acharya Prashant: Himadari’s question is, “Does ego have a negative impact on one’s life?”

Himadri, we found out that ego is a disease. What effect can ego have upon you, except a negative impact? There is no positive impact that the ego can have.

We have been saying all along that ego is slavery, ego is lifelessness. Are these not clearly negative? Do you know what ego means? Ego means that you will be always afraid. Those of you who have experienced fear. Fear of any kind they must know. That all forms of fear come only from the ego.

Don’t you see directly that ego is such a terrible thing? It makes life hell. Because ego comes from the outside and you start internalizing it. You also realize that it can also go back to the outside. So, you are always afraid. You always think that someone can take it away from you. Your sense of self is given to you by a group of people. So, those group of people will become your master. You will remain always afraid because they can take back their acceptance. You are at their mercy.

When you come over to speak on a podium. Don’t you see why you are so terribly nervous? Many of you? Would you be nervous had you been told to speak in a vacant room, just in front of the mirror? You won’t be nervous. Right? But you are nervous in front of the audience. Why? Because your self-image comes from that audience. If the audience tells you, “You are wonderful.” You start believing that you are. And you are afraid that now the audience may say that I am a coward. So you start shivering. All forms of fear come from the ego. From a borrowed sense of the self. There is no other cause of fear.

Now you tell me, “Whether it is positive or negative?” Yes, what is it?

Listener 1: Sir, if it is always responsible for fear and other things. So, should one be egoistic?

AP: You tell me.

L1: I am asking you.

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On Jesus Christ: Why do we want to ‘see’ first and then believe?

Question:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

Thomas had a great doubt about the resurrection of Jesus. Why is it so necessary for us to see first and then believe? Then after seeing we doubt our seeing. How do we rid ourself of this suspicious attitude?

Acharya Prashant: It’s obvious Nimisha. We are people identified with the ‘body’ and the ‘senses.’ So we would believe only that which the senses tell us.

It’s not really necessary for everybody to visually, optically, see first and then believe. Such a thing is necessary only for the man who believes in his eyes. Only the man who believes in the world that he sees with his eyes would want the proof of Godliness admissible through the eyes.

He has already declared that what the eyes are showing to me is True. That’s his belief. That’s his fundamental assertion. What my eyes are showing to me is True.

So, when you would tell him that something is True, obviously he would demand that it would be visible through the eyes.

Isn’t it obvious?

He is saying what the eyes are saying is True. He believes in the body, he believes in the eyes, he believes in the world. Now, you tell Thomas such and such thing has happened. Jesus is back. He would immediately say that if he is back then my eyes should be the proof. I should be able to see him. And not only should I be able to see him, my hands should be able to feel his wounds. Because this is the man who lives by sensory experience.

He says that this is True, it exists (pointing to a glass in his hand) because the skin is offering a proof of its existence. You can feel it via the skin. So even to be certain that Jesus is back, he’s saying that I should be able to verify his existence through my skin.

The one mistake that such doubting Thomas’s make is that they do not see that what they are seeing is not really True. They do not know Trueness. Instead, they have a concept of Trueness which is ‘imperfect.’

Real trueness is time independent.

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Just grows

Whatever you think you are, is one identity that you are carrying. And that identity can have no possibility of any Love. So, forget it that there can be any ‘self- love’! No self-love is possible. ‘Self -love’ is an oxymoron.

The Great man is not a Great man. That Great man has to be Great, every passing moment inattention.

The Great man, retains his understanding of himself, as somebody who is different from his concepts. He does not get identified with his thoughts.

A cancerous cell is very very ambitious! It multiplies like hell. That’s ambition. A normal healthy cell, does not grow out of ambition. It just grows. Just grows.

Growth is your very nature. It happens spontaneously out of understanding. It does not require ambition. You don’t need to be ambitious in order to grow.

There is no target, no ambitionThis is Self-love.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Self-love, and difference between self and the Self


 

Acharya Prashant: Self-love, and difference between self and the Self

Acharya Prashant: What is self? Me, I.

This thing that you refer to as the self, is not one thing. Understand this.

Let’s for the purpose of understanding, call it, self with a small ‘s’ and Self with a capital ‘S’. Understand this!

This is what you think you are (pointing at the ‘self’). This is what you are (pointing at the ‘Self’). We operate incessantly with this only (‘s’). With our thoughts. And here, there is no possibility of any Love. Just ruled out.

So, when you say self-love, it’s actually a redundant term. If you are dealing with yourself in this (‘s’) domain, Love is anyway not possible and this (in the domain of ‘Self’) is nothing but pure Love. Not the kind of Love that you know of while sitting here. This is an unknown thing to you, a totally unseen beast, of which you have no idea presently.

Here, nothing called self-love can be possible (in the domain of ‘self’). Here, only tension, frustration, attachment, obsessions are there. It’s another thing that you name them Love. You can call your pre-occupations as Love, you can call all your desires as Love, you can call your attachments as Love. You can call all your dependencies as Love, you can call all your possessiveness as Love. This all, what you call love is only going to give you trouble. It would be narrow, it would be jealousy-ridden, it would be insecure. And it would be of no avail at all. Are you understanding this?

But, unfortunately, this is the Love that we know of. And this operates only here (in the domain of ‘self’). What is this self that you know of?

Listeners: With a small ‘s’

AP: This is that self in which if I ask you now, that write ten statements starting with ‘I am’ which all end in some kind of noun, you will easily write them. What would you write?

You would write, “I am a daughter”, “I am a son”, “I am a student”, “I am an Engineer”, “I am an aspiring professional”, “I am an Indian”, “I am a Hindu or a Muslim”. “I am a North Indian”, “I am a male”, “I am a female”. “I am smart”, “I am intelligent”, right?

“I am thin”, “I am long”, “I am fat”, “I am suave”, all such things? Correct?

All these self-concepts, belong to this (indicating at ‘self’). Because this is what you think you are! Are we together till this point?

Whatever you think you are, is one identity that you are carrying.

And that identity can have no possibility of any Love.

So, forget it that there can be any ‘self- love’!

No self-love is possible.

‘Self -love’ is an oxymoron.

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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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An unnecessary relationship

An addiction is defined as something that is external, very difficult to get rid off; nevertheless.

There are no good or bad addictions. An addiction is just what it is — “An unnecessary relationship.”

Addiction says that you need something. Need is the first addiction. Whatever you claim that you need that is your first addiction.

That which begins as ignorance and dreams, cannot end as understanding.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Man’s most fundamental addiction


 

Acharya Prashant: Man’s most fundamental addiction

Acharya Prashant: Man’s most fundamental addiction is ‘man’ himself. ‘I am’ is the most fundamental addiction.

An addiction is defined as something that is external, very difficult to get rid off; nevertheless.

One can get rid-off an addiction. This feeling of taking oneself as one takes himself to be is the most fundamental addiction — the “I’’ tendency.

We are so staunchly addicted to it that it seems impossible that there can be oneself life without our conception of the “I.” It seems not only difficult but altogether impossible. It appears so difficult only because we are very deeply addicted. It is the addiction that starts with the first breath. It is the addiction that starts probably even before the first breath.

The tendency to take oneself as a limited being, as a body, as a personality, as a set of principals and concepts, as everything that one thinks himself to be. From that addiction, the hundred other addictions are born. That is why treatment of addiction is such a difficult thing because unless the ‘mother addiction’ is treated, treating the other addictions remains a problem.

It could be addiction of money, material, person, drugs, substance abuse, all kind of mental distortions. Whatever be the specific name of the addiction it invariably arises from the central mother addiction itself. That is why you remove one addiction and man finds himself trapped into another one. In fact, often addiction therapy is just about finding a suitable addiction. Don’t you see how addictions are commonly taken to be treated? A boy seems to be taking to drugs, the well-wishers would say, “well, let him indulge in sports” or if he is a little elder parents will say, “let’s marry him off.”

Do you see how one addiction is used to counter way another? It is because Man fundamentally can’t live without addiction. Because our fundamental definition itself is based on a great ‘attachment.’ Addiction is an ‘unnecessary attachment.’ For that which we are, it is totally unnecessary to be attached to that which we think we are. It is unnecessary but it becomes the foundation of life and that is all quite unfortunate.

There are no good or bad addictions.

An addiction is just what it is — “An unnecessary relationship.”

Whatever you can do without, is unnecessary and if it persists for long and deeply, is an addiction.

There is a lot that one can do without. The more you can do without, the better you do. The more you tie your existence to stuff, the more bulky, heavy, loathsome and tired you live.

Getting it?

Addiction says that you need something. Need is the first addiction.

Whatever you claim that you need that is your first addiction.

A need implies incompleteness. That which you call as ‘ego,’ is another name for an addiction to incompleteness, you may call it addiction to incompleteness or you may just call is incompleteness, they are the same thing.

Listener: Then addiction shows someway. For example, somebody is addicted to camp?

If someone is addicted to camps than he is not coming to camps at all then he is coming to some other place of his dreams.

L1: If somebody is addicted to some particular type of behaviors, can be his behaviors develop some understanding?

AP: Addiction in the beginning itself means that there is no understanding. What you are asking is similar to asking that if one dreams of camps, then will he benefit from a  camp? If one dreams of holy-scripture, then will he benefit from holy- scriptures?

The holy scripture is secondary, what is primary is the dream. Whatever is happening, is happening in the dream state. And in a dream state how can there be any understanding? It doesn’t matter whether you break your head with a brick or with a voluminous book? If you take a thousand page bulky book and bang it against your head, will it hurt less? The beginning of addiction itself is an absence of understanding. One must clearly see that the beginning of something cannot be different from the end of it.

That which begins as ignorance and dreams, cannot end as understanding.



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

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


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Understanding is awareness

You cannot become aware. Awareness is not something that you can achieve or becomes or reach. It is.

Even in the moment of your death, you can be still, composed, calm; that is what is meant by the inviolable certainty of awareness. That stillness is awareness.

Mathematics is knowledge; understanding is awareness.

Awareness is so total. Knowledge is always small, little. That is why those who live in knowledge never find peace. They keep hunting for more and more knowledge.

The illiterate tribal, in his own way, knows Love, that is awareness.

There is no road to awareness and there is nothing in between. All roads are in awareness.

Awareness proceeds very subliminally. Thought will not know awareness. You cannot keep an eye on awareness. You cannot watch awareness. You can only surrender to it. You can let it to do what it does, without making any, stupid attempts to rein it in.

Levels of consciousness are there. Levels of awareness are not there.

You suffer. All spirituality starts from that point. Why am I suffering? Is it necessary to suffer?

And mind you, awareness is not there in every being. Every being is there in awareness. What you call as every being, is a figment of consciousness.

Awareness cannot be there ‘in’ you because what you call as yourself and the world is just consciousness.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti Unbecoming unaware


 

Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti Unbecoming unaware

Question: Acharya Ji, what does J. Krishnamurti mean when he says “Become deeply aware”. 

Acharya Prashant: It is said, become deeply aware.

Now, we already live in problems and challenges. We already live in incompleteness. We already live in the quest to achieve something, to become something. When it is said, become deeply aware, we add one more item, to our list of problems. And that item now is?

Listeners: Awareness.

AP: Awareness. Oh, there is so much to do and achieve and the next item is awareness. The words of a wise man must be read with wisdom, with empathy. One must be alert, whether, one is able to, cross over his personal ways of interpreting. Words might mislead. There is nothing called becoming aware.

Read it as – unbecoming unaware.

We have become unaware. Awareness is, over awareness, there is a shroud of illusionary unawareness. Over the innate awareness, there is a cloud of assumed unawareness. The aware core is shrouded by, assumed unawareness which has no substance. There is no fact in that unawareness. You just have to see that there is no fact, in your assertion, that there exists unawareness. So, you unbecome, unaware.

You cannot become aware. Awareness is not something that you can achieve or becomes or reach.

It is.

Are you getting it? Now, you see, how driven and tense you feel, when the problem of awareness confronts you? The problem of awareness. Awareness means, that in any given situation, even in the worst of situations, even in the most challenging of situations, you still have the capacity, the capability, the right, to understand. That is what is meant by saying that the awareness always is.

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Core value is ‘Clarity’

Why can’t my response to a situation arise directly of my out of my intelligence? Why do I need an ideal? Why do I need an ideal to show me the way? Why do you need to give me ideals? Don’t I have the power to understand? And can’t my action come out of my own power? Why do I need the support of an ideal? Why?

Every course of action and its opposite course of action both are alright in a different situation. So, how can there be an ideal response? 

Your very fundamental core value is ‘Clarity’ except that there is no core values.

Ideals obfuscate ‘clarity.’ So, anybody who will have ideals as core values will find that he is missing out on clarity. That clarity has also been given the name of ‘emptiness.’ Emptiness because it is clear, clear of everything. It is empty. That is the only core value. A little ahead that core value takes the shape of a few other core values. They are called Truth, Joy, Love, Freedom.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

L1: Acharya Ji, my question is on the applicability of idealism that is practicality of idealism. Basically, an idealism and practical approach both are separate, It cannot be together. But if some people try to bring idealism in the practical life. It’s always like to creates a problem. Like we all are on and off face the problem which becomes a prison for saying the Truth.

So, what my question is does idealism that applies to the practical world does it create the issue and problem that was meant to solve the issue and the problem?

Acharya Prashant: Good! Pranay?

Pranay has asked the question the gist of which is that following ideals often lands one into trouble. What to do when the situation is like this? What are the Ideals?

L2: Ideals are ethics. Just as my Life is there and there is no conflict in between me and my favorite personalities and I keep on following him and practicing him.

AP: Can you simplify it a little more? I don’t know what the ideals are. You need to educate me. What are the ideals?

L2: Which are right things.

AP: What is the right thing?

L2: Which doesn’t land us into the problem.

AP: How do you know that it is right to express your hands like this? You just did that. How do you know that it is right to look that way? You just did that. How do you know? Can you have an ideal for every situation? And life is moments and remember a moment is not a second. A moment is infinitesimally smaller than a second. And for every moment you need some kind of a response right? Some kind of a right response. Can you have an ideal to guide you?

What is an ideal answer to the question that I am posing? How do I know? How do I know that it is ideal for me to ask you this question? How do you know that it is ideal of you to listen attentively?

Ideals sound like a well-meaning word but what are they? What are the ideals?

Alright! Let me try something and tell me whether it’s okay. I am saying ideals are some kind of predetermined response to a situation. When the situation is like this you respond like this. X comes to you and your output is Y. That is an ideal, right? Input X output Y. Is that an ideal? Is that not what an ideal is?

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Don’t chase, she is yours

Every method is interference.

The only real method is a method that touches life very-very gently. Has no intention of changing and that intentless observation is. Hence the only method.

Observation alone does not try to do something.

Because that which you will grasp will no more be ordinary.

When an observer is a motivated observer then the observation changes the observed.

Don’t chase, she is yours.

There you just know. Either you just know or you do not know.

Those who will want proof will never know. They may get the proofs but they will never get the way.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Zen: Observe your daily life – that is the only way

Acharya Prashant on Zen: Observe your daily life – that is the only way

Joshu asked Nansen, “What is the way?”

Nansen answered: ‘Ordinary mind is the way.’

‘Then should we direct ourselves towards it or not? asked Joshu.

Nansen said: ‘If you try to direct yourself toward it, you go away from it.

‘Joshu then continued: ‘If we do not try how can we know it is the way?’

Nansen replied: ‘The way does not belong to knowing or not knowing. Knowing is delusion. Not knowing is blankness. If you really attain to the way of No Doubt it is like the great void, so vast and boundless. How can there be a right and wrong in the way?’ At these words Joshu was enlightened.

ZEN KOAN

(Nansen & Joshu Jushin)

(AD 778-897)

Acharya Prashant: Joshu asked Nansen, “What is the way?” Nansen answered: “Ordinary mind is the way.” Let’s come to the significance of this. When Joshu says, “What is the way?” He is asking about liberation, he is asking a way to liberation, the way to Tao, the way to Freedom, the way to Truth. Nansen says, “Your ordinary mind, that is the way.” Ordinary mind, ordinary actions of the ordinary mind, ordinary life of the ordinary mind that alone is the way, that’s the only method.

Observing the daily ordinary actions of the mind that is the only way. Observing it as an impartial observer. There is no other method that is going to work because all other methods are ‘isolations.’ The method does something to life. The method excludes life the methods works only upon apart and time of life. The method does not encompass ‘total life.’ The methods says, “block two hours of life for the method, or create a particular situation in life in which the method can be applied. The only method that is all-encompassing is ‘life itself.’

Observe life ‘totally’ as it is happening. Do not do anything to life because if you do something to life then you have changed life. Observation alone does not change life, does not interfere with life. All other methods interfere with that which you are going to observe and hence, will change that you are going to observe and hence your observation will be?

Listener: Changed.

AP: Are you getting it? If you want, for example, to observe your Heart and you tear open the body to reach the Heart in the process you kill the body. What will you observe? You will observe, but what will you observe? You would have changed the very thing that you wanted to observe, that is the problem with methods.

Every method is an interference.

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Real destiny is Peace

Destiny, really means, that, which is unavoidable, that which, cannot be changed.

Destiny is not the ‘fruit of action,’ but because we live in our limited prospective, so we take the results of our actions as our destinies.

Your real destiny is the Truth, the ‘real destiny’ is ‘peace.’

Remember that even when you trying to get the Truth or Peace, it is Truthand Peace that drive you.

Your destiny is the great silence, that is where you are and if you do not consciously acknowledge that, that is where you have to reach. Nothing else is your destiny.

Destiny is related to the word destination. And what does destination means? The finality. The climax. The highest. The ending and the dissolution. You are already there.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Destiny is That which is unavoidable


 

Acharya Prashant: Destiny is That which is unavoidable

Acharya Prashant: What do you mean by destiny?

Listener: Blessed, that which is blessed or that which is decided, or pre-decided. I think it is from the law of karma.

AP: No Karma is pre-decided, so destiny obviously cannot be related to karma. That which pre-exists, pre-exists karma also, so karma cannot be the decider of the destiny. Obviously.

L: I heard of the three types of karma – Agami, Parabda, Sanchitta.

AP: All three have a background.

All three have a background, Agami, Parabda, Sanchitta, all three have a background. And all three have their respective fruits. When you say destiny is something that is preordained, then obviously it has to go, prior to karma and even the cause of karma.

Destiny, really means, that, which is unavoidable,

that which, cannot be changed.

That which is inevitable. That pre-exists everything that happens. And that will exist post all happenings. And what is that? Nothing, but emptiness, Truth. Which was there before the beginning of time and which exists, even after, the time has withdrawn. That alone is destiny, nothing else.

I repeat,

Destiny is not the ‘fruit of action,’ but because we live in our limited prospective, so we take the results of our actions as our destinies.

No,

Your real destiny is the Truth, the ‘real destiny’ is ‘peace.’

The proof of that is unless you get that real unless you get Truth and Peace. You will not relax.

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We marry problems

Troubles, give you so much to fill your self up.  Troubles gives you a nice identity, an identity that you can get so easily use to.

Life without problems is not possible but there can be life, beyond problems.

The moment you withdraw from the problem, the problem will fall. There is no problem that you experience that comes to you, without your consent, participation and active involvement.

We don’t, marry and get problems. We, marry problems.

To drop problems means to drop the ego, drop the troubling self.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Surely there is life beyond troubles

Acharya Prashant: Surely there is life beyond troubles

Question: Acharya Ji, can the ego ever be free of troubles?

Acharya Prashant: You need to have faith, that there is life beyond troubles; otherwise troubles are so sweet. Who am I ~ The troubled one.

Troubles, give you so much to fill your self up.  Troubles gives you a nice identity, an identity that you can get so easily use to.

I am, the one, stung by problems. I am the one, who is the victim of troubles. Troubles, problems, all of them, can so easily, give you something, to live by. You must, first of all, let yourself, acknowledge, that there can be life, beyond problems, not without problems.

Life without problems is not possible but there can be life, beyond problems.

But we have a great belief in problems. No?

In fact, you know, it is an insult to problems, that we call them problems. Our problems are our intimate friends. The proof is that you will not let them go.  Will you ever let your problems go? Even if the problem is willing to go, you will catch it, by its collar and you’ll say, no, you don’t have to.  Okay, you can go at a more opportune time.  You have been a guest here for so long and now its late at night and out there, there are thief’s and thugs so you can go in the morning.

AP: That morning never comes. No problem, I assure you, can stay with you, without your active involvement in the problem.

The moment you withdraw from the problem, the problem will fall. There is no problem that you experience that comes to you, without your consent, participation and active involvement.

L: Why we can’t see life beyond the problem?

AP: Because you have been made to believe, through the whole process of your evolution, that there is no life beyond problems and if there is no life beyond problems, then problem-lessness to you means life-lessness.  You do not want to die. You have a belief that the moment problems disappear, life too will disappear, and you do not want to die.

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Look at that which really bothers you

 First, create a problem out of nothing and then solve it and feel good. Life is worthy. That is the mantra of living. Spend the first half of the day creating the problem, spend the second half of the day solving it. And do not see that this mind that wants to live in this escape is itself the biggest problem. Hide that like an assumption. Keep that buried. The real dictator is hiding and all the time creating dummies so that you can keep shooting the dummies and feel like a winner.

Look at that which really bothers you. Look at the core of your fear. Go to your innermost pain point. See what is it that makes you cry out without any apparent reason. Touch your innermost suffering. Only that can be a true relief. Not that I am greatly happy because I got 2% discount on my new sweater. Touch your innermost suffering, not surface trivia that these days I am suffering greatly because the temperature is in the range of 15 to 19 degrees. Whenever the temperature is in this range I suffer.

This is not suffering. This is an escape.

What is the problem of problems? What is the mother problem? Can we find that out? What is the soil on which all these problems germinate, can we find that out? Or, will we keep ourselves occupied with rubbish? What is the problem of problems? Let’s go ahead, what is the problem of problems? Look at that, what is the real dictator? Not the dummy ones.



Read the complete article: Mind invents dummy problems to escape looking at itself – the real problem

Mind invents dummy problems to escape looking at itself – the real problem

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Question: I fear a student who would fully surrender and dislike a student not attentive. If both the states and anything in between are only reaffirming my ego, can the session be of any use to the student?

Acharya Prashant: Who is facing this problem? Is the student asking this question?

Right now whatever he is saying is a concept of his own mind. When he says can the session be of any use to the student, the definition of use is coming from…?

Listener: Teacher.

AP: From the mind of the teacher, right? You would regard one particular thing as useful to the student and she (addressing another listener) would regard another thing as useful to the student. You might regard that if I could get the student to laugh, it indicates that the session was useful. She might regard that if I could get the students to silence, then the session was useful.

So, when we say that my session is useful to the students then what do we mean? Whatever we will mean will be an indicator of my own life. What I think of as useful for myself that I’ll think of as useful…

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