Question: In one of your videos you say that attachment is the result of space and time. But, often in a situation, if somebody talks to us politely or sweetly, we tend to want to spend more time with that person. On the contrary, if somebody abuses me or throws harsh words on me, I won’t like to sit with him even if he is close to me, even if I have spent lot of time with him. So how is it attachment in this case?
Speaker: See, attachment like everything else, is in the mind. When somebody is nice and polite to you, when somebody is not hurting you, you remember him. You remember him nicely. You will probably call him a ‘friend’. And when somebody is hurtful or abrasive, then too you remember him. Now, you probably remember him as a villain, as an enemy, as somebody to be avoided, right? But in either case, you do remember him. What is common between friends and enemies? You have thoughts about them. You remember both of them, right? You are not indifferent to either of them, and this is attachment. This is attachment.
What is the real meaning of attachment? Understand this.
Deep within us there is a desire to know ‘who we are’. We want to say, “I am” and then we stop there, awkwardly, we don’t know what to say, there is a blank. This ‘I am’ desperately wants to get attached to something, so that the sentence may be completed. Do you see that, this is a very awkward blank; ‘I am’, and then you can’t proceed any further. Attachment is the urge to fill in this blank; so that the sentence may be completed.
Question: What is guilt? Does it facilitate, or hinder spiritual growth?
Speaker: We often use the term ‘spiritual growth’. It is alright if it is used loosely, just to indicate something. But it is not alright, if you mean ‘spiritual growth’, as actually the growth of some entity. There is no spiritual growth as such. ‘Spiritual growth’ only means ‘spiritual dissolution’. Nothing grows. All growth is that of the ego. Only the ego grows, accumulates, becomes larger. Read more
Question : I left corporate career after five years of exploitation. Day before yesterday I got a call from some company. I was somewhere out on the road. I was not able to respond to that call. I asked the caller to shut up. This made me uncomfortable till I slept. I felt as if I must switch-off my phone, must run away from this city, so that nobody can catch me even on phone, or meet me. Read more
Question: When I talk about it, it is easy and understandable. But when the real moment comes, every part of the body feels fear. Is talking anymore important for me now? Do I need to be just there and not deviate when the moment comes? Read more
Question: Is there any difference between freedom and unconditional freedom?
Speaker: We live in bondage. What we call as our normal, usual, daily life, is a series of bonded movement in time. Our thinking, acting, even breathing is bondage. It is happening as per forces we have no understanding of, and hence no control over. And then suddenly, without our explicit demand, it so happens that this series, that this chain gets disrupted for a while, like a flash of lightning in dark sky, not lasting long, but having its distinct presence, an undeniable presence. It didn’t last, but it illuminated as long as it was there, and I can’t forget that it illuminated Read more
Question:I am distracted, both mentally and physically.The world pulls me in different directions. I chase this and that. I chase respect. I chase accomplishments. I chase women and sex as well. All this is a problem, because it interferes with my day-to-day comfort. The urge is so over-powering that it disrupts my daily patterns. How to deal with this? Read more
Question: How to know whether I am aware?
Speaker: What you call as ‘knowing’ is just thinking. It is a mental activity. Do you know of anything that is beyond the mind? You know of so many things in this world. Right? List them and see whether anything that you know is beyond time and space. Whatever you know of is a thing of thought. Read more
Question : Sir, is truth necessarily cruel and dangerous? Whenever I listen to you, I feel fear of losing something. Why is it so?
Speaker : Who is losing something? If you unnecessarily identify yourself with somebody who has possessions, only then you feel that you are losing something. We will understand a few things.
First, there is no need to take any of your possessions seriously. Because what is really yours can never be taken away. You will be wasting your energy by being serious about it. See, you are feeling serious about something, and you are afraid that you might lose it. Right? You are saying, “Whenever I listen to you, I fear that I will lose something.” If there is the fear that you might lose something, then this fear is the proof enough that, ‘that’ thing is external. It is not really yours. Read more
Question: On one hand the HIDP tells us to be individuals, on the other hand we are being asked to read texts. Why are we not allowed to write what we think?
Speaker: What is the difference between an ‘individual’ and a ‘person’? Let us understand this. Let us depict the mind of the individual by one circle, and the mind of the person by another circle. The word ‘individual’ is linked to ‘indivisible’. That which is neither divided nor can be divided. There is no possibility. So there is this circle; the individual’s circle. And it’s an empty circle. Zero cannot be divided. There are only two entities that cannot be divided; zero and infinity. You can represent the individual by any of them. They both are indivisible. Zero and infinity. Read more
आचक्ष्व शृणु वा तात नानाशास्त्राण्यनेकशः।
तथापि न तव स्वास्थ्यं सर्वविस्मरणाद् ऋते॥
– अष्टावक्र गीता (अध्याय-१६ सूत्र-१)
Translation: Even after hearing from many scholars or reading many scriptures, you will not be established in self, as after forgetting every single thing.
Speaker: The question is: What does ‘forgetting’ imply?
Whatever we have in the mind, is related to the world. Usually we think that ‘forgetting’ means, that what is there in the mind is no more there in the mind. It was an image of the world and the image is just no more there. In a way it has gone back to the world. It came from the world and it is no more there, so it’s gone. Gone where? Gone back to somewhere else. It’s no more in the mind. No more in the memory. It’s gone.
There is another kind of forgetting in which what came to the mind is no more there in the mind, because it has penetrated deeply to some other place. See, understand this.
Questioner: How can we judge whether the nature of a person is coming from the core, or whether he is just maintaining the gloss?
Acharya Prashant: That’s how we live. How do we know whether what we are seeing is fake or real? Can I put the question this way? Read more
Questioner: Sir, how to forget the past completely?
Acharya Prashant: How to forget the past completely?
By not trying to forget it. Trying to forget the past is a sure-shot way of holding on to the past. Do you know there are two guaranteed ways to remember something. Read more
Question: Sir, is it possible to help those who are deeply blind, even if they do not agree or acknowledge that they are blind? Is it possible to help such people?
Speaker: Alok is asking that is it possible to really help blind people, people who are not prepared to acknowledge the fact, people who are not seeing the reality. Obviously, here he is using ‘blindness’ as a metaphor. Read more
Question: Is Hinduism a religion that allows and accepts non-believers too?
Answer: If you are accepting non-believers, then you also have to accept that Muslims and Christians are also Hindus. So, this is obviously a non-question. If you are saying that Hinduism accepts both believers and non-believers, then believers and non-believers is the sum total of everybody. You are saying, ‘A and A compliment’, and that is the universal set. Then you are saying that everybody is a Hindu. Read more
Question: These days I feel like running away from Advait. I feel that I am not going to gain anything here. But, at the same time I find myself pulled here yet again. I know what you are saying is true and that you mean well for me, but I am not able to trust you. I have never really been able to trust anyone. Why is this happening to me?
Speaker: Neither do you come here to me, neither are you running away from me. I am inconsequential, I do not matter. It is because you are ‘you’, so you think of me as some person who says a few things, and to whom you come. Read more
Question: ‘I fear coming close as I feel I will recoil. I have seen this happening in the past. Moving closer seems to be the only way.’ This is coming from a book by Osho. What do these lines mean?
Speaker: You cannot come close to something unless you value it, that is the way of thought. Understand this.
You are saying, ‘I fear coming close, as I feel I will recoil’.
Ego lives in attraction, you cannot come close to somebody unless you value what that somebody stands for. That cannot just happen. So do not try to come close to an external person, do not try to come close. Just observe, so that your thoughts start coming from another point. Read more
Question: Sir, good afternoon. While I speak before you, I will try to choose my words very gracefully. Sir, I have many things in my life that keep me happy but it is life and we are not supposed to have everything. I have lacked something in my life that I can say as self motivation. How do I get self motivated?
Speaker: What you are really asking for is not motivation. So first of all let us make a little bit of semantic correction. Read more
Listener 1: What do we understand by ‘Neti-Neti’?
Speaker: ‘Neti’ is a Sanskrit word. It is a very simple word. All it means is ‘Not this’. ‘Neti’ means I will not take something to be what it is not. ‘Neti’ means I will not assume something to be what it is not. We all say that we want to know the truth, we want to know the realty. But before you can know the reality of anything, anybody, any person and any situation, you first must know that your beliefs or assumptions regarding that thing is misplaced. ‘Neti’ means ‘Oh! It is not what I thought it to be. I was thinking about it in a particular way.’ All thought comes with an assurance that I am alright. That thought is the truth. Thought comes with this assurance, this promise. It gives you this belief. ‘Neti-Neti’ is to challenge that belief. ‘Neti-Neti’ is to say, ‘I came close to it, I paid attention to it and in coming close and in paying attention, what do I see? It is not what I thought it to be. It is not that, it is not that at all.’ That is Neti-Neti.
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Question: What is the place of knowledge in life?
Speaker: Is knowledge all about gathering information? is knowledge about what others have said, what is written in the books? Who is a knowledgeable person? There are two separate words and both should be understood very clearly.
One is, ‘Knowledge’ and the other is ‘Knowing’. Knowledge is just information provided in a comprehensible form. It comes from outside and just gets stored in the brain. All knowledge comes from others and all knowledge comes from the past whereas, knowing happens right now. What is happening with you right now, is knowing. Knowing is understanding.
Question: Sir, mystery is unknown, and our mind is running behind them to solve them. Why?
Speaker: The mind, rather the ego, does not acknowledge anything as mystery. Mystery by definition is something that can never be…?
Listener 1: Known.
Speaker: Known, solved. But the ego is arrogant. It says, ‘Everything is a problem, and every problem has a solution. So, I can solve everything.’ So it is busy trying to solve everything, trying to solve everything. In fact, the more it solves, the more it gets inflated.