Acharya Prashant, with students: Who is collecting your sacrifice? ||(2013)


Question: Why do we sacrifice in the name of Life?

Acharya Prashant: Who says that? What is your name?

Listener: Ankush.

AP: Ankush, who told you that Life is a big ‘sacrifice’? And whenever there is a ‘sacrifice’, there is somebody collecting the sacrifice. Who is collecting the sacrifice? You are giving your Life who is taking that Life? Have you ever seen this?

Life is not a sacrifice. 

It was surely a very defeated, a very sad man who has said that Life is the ‘sacrifice’. Life is there to live. It is your one precious Life and you are ‘young’. It is meant to be lived. It is not even meant to be given away. But a divine part is this that

When you live your Life fully, you actually give a lot to others as well.

Like a candle. A candle shining brightly is able to light a hundred other candles as well. And that takes nothing away from its own Light. It does not have to sacrifice its own Light.

Ensure that you are up and aflame like that candle then others will also get something from you. But that will be just incidental. You don’t have to sacrifice. Sacrifice what and why?

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God and scriptures are not matters of personal belief

Question:  Sir, belief in God often stops us from doing wrong things. What is your point of view?

Speaker:  Belief in God stops us from doing wrong thing. How does the whole thing operate? You are saying that my belief in God prevents me from doing the wrong. Do you see how the mind operates in this situation? The mind is saying that there is a God and that God will punish me, if I do any of these things. So you have a list ready with you; these are the good thing and these are the bad things. If I do good things then Gods will give me some reward and if I do bad things then God will come with a stick and punish me.

What kind of God is this? And what kind of list is this?

Today what you consider as right, did you always consider it right?

How do you know what is right and what is wrong? Read more

Honesty- a direct uncorrupted movement from Self to action

Speaker: When you say ‘honesty is the best policy’ to a kid in school, you are validating honesty but more than honesty you are validating policies. You are on the side of honesty; that is obvious. You are saying ‘honesty is the best policy’; so you are advocating honesty. What we do not notice is that simultaneously we are also advocating…?

Listener 1: Policies.

Speaker: Yes and what are policies?

Listener 1: Man-made, rules and regulations.

Speaker: Policies are alternatives, policies are choices. I may do this or I may not do this. All policies are decisions and you have made honesty into a…?

Listeners (in unison): Policy.

Speaker: Decision, and the moment you say it’s my decision to be honest, you are saying that I am bigger than honesty. I am choosing honesty and I reserve the right to…?

Listener 2: Not to choose honesty.

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Why can’t I do what is right?

Question: How do we make our mind do what is important at that moment?

Speaker: Once you know what is important, there will be no need to make the mind work on it. Realization is such a potent force, that cannot be surmounted. If you think that even after realization you require some other prop, some kind of a support or motivation, for you to act as per the realization, then realization has not really happened at all.

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Either go completely through the pain, or simply disown the pain

आरब्धकर्मणि क्षीणे व्यवहारो निवर्तते । 
कर्मक्षये त्वसौ नैव शामेद्धयानसहस्त्रतः 

(Avadhuta Upanishad, Verse 19)

When the results of actions set in motion are exhausted, the habitual usage also ends. This worldly usage will not cease even with repeated meditation, unless such actions are exhausted.

Question: Is there no way out? What is meant by ‘actions are exhausted’?

Speaker: ‘Exhausted’ means that all the pent-up, suppressed energy, comes into motion, and takes a release. But this is the most painful, mechanical and time-consuming way of getting rid of your burden, the Prarabdha Karma. It is like saying that your palm is kept over a burning piece of coal, and you can get relief only when all the latent energy of the coal is exhausted. This is the most painful, unintelligent and time-consuming way of coming to the end of suffering.
And even in this process, coming to the end of suffering, coming to exhaustion, is possible only if no fresh fuel is Presentation1added to the fire. It is possible only if one has the patience and the faith to bear all the results of his previous karma without creating new cause-effect cycle, without adding to his inventory of more unspent fuel. Read more

Why can’t I leave my comfort zone?

Question: When I look at what I am doing, and why I am doing it, honestly, it gives me fear. I don’t want to take action, because of the fear of the new.

Speaker: There is no fear of the new. There is only the fear of leaving the old. The old is giving you comforts, and it is as basic as that! It is so obvious, direct and ground level, that no explanation can be given or needed. It is the most gross thing that is there. It has to be obvious. Read more

Don’t chase the Truth, just stop running away from the Truth

Question: Is there any spiritual journey that leads to enlightenment, like it was Buddha’s case, or is every movement a journey and destination, like it was with Krishna?

Is there a journey that leads to enlightenment or is it instantaneous, right now?

Acharya Prashant: What makes you say that with Buddha there was a journey? Why?

Listener: We know his struggle. He changed a hundred masters and then finally he got enlightened.

AP: You are right. He did all that.

L1: But there was no such thing with Krishna.

AP: Let’s first stay with Buddha.

Somebody roams around for ten years, twenty years, thirty years, somebody goes to ten masters, twenty masters, and then we are told that there is an event called ‘enlightenment’. That’s what your story is. Yes? How do you know that what you call as ‘enlightenment’ was the effect of the cause called ‘wandering,’ ‘seeking,’ or ‘searching’? How do you know that there is a cause-effect relationship there? Read more

Detachment is the fruit of maturity

Speaker: You see we are outrageously arrogant when it comes to small things, we are so fond of claiming that which we do not have, but we are absurdly humble when it comes to claiming that which we really have. You don’t have a large house but you would not feel shy of boasting it to others that I have a large house and so much money. But it terrifies you no end to admit that you already have enlightenment. There you want to act humble. Why don’t you just admit? Read more

An individual is one whose desires are his own

Speaker: There is this water-bottle over there. Can you estimate the number of water molecules in this?

Listeners (everyone): No, Sir.

Speaker: One mole of water has how much grams of water?

Listener 1: Eighteen grams of water.

Speaker: This water-bottle has not less than four grams of water. So, you can estimate the enormous number of molecules present in the bottle. What is happening inside? What is the typical r.m.s. velocity at the room temperature and normal atmospheric pressure?

It is of the order of hundreds of meters per second. Right? So much of the movement is taking place there. Look at any individual molecule. What is it doing? A three-dimensional random movement. Correct. Why cannot that molecule move in one particular direction and keep moving in that direction? Why?
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What is professionalism?

Question: What is the meaning of being a professional?

Speaker: What is professionalism all about? Is it just about serving your profession with excellence or is it something more than that? Whenever we hear this word ‘professional’, an image comes to the mind. Is professionalism that image?

Clearly there are two layers to this question.

One: Can professionalism be defined by a certain code of conduct, a certain personality, a certain way of carrying your self? That is the first part and that is how most of us know professionals to be. So this first layer is very important. Is professionalism about that?

Two: It is about the profession itself. If professionalism is all about being excellent, then the question is, ‘Being excellent in which profession?’
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What is unconditional Love?

Speaker: All humans in the living body are confined by needs of the body. Isn’t it then too much to ask for unconditional love, for those who hurt you when actually you are deeply affected by that hurt? How can one practically take all the hurt, pain, criticism from others and yet love them unconditionally? Is this real and achievable?

We have all experienced the excitement, the euphoria, the bliss of the so-called ordinary love; mortal love, Ishq-e-majazi, and it is wonderful. It is just that it depends on somebody for its being. It has a particular reason for its existence and that reason most often is one particular person. There is a particular person in life and usually of the opposite gender. So there is one particular person, and the presence of that person has opened some doors for me. It has brought the mind to a particular condition. That is our ordinary love, what we call as conditional love. What then is unconditional love?
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Love doesnot give up; it has great energy and patience

Question: Sir, there are many things that we are taught in our HIDP classes that go against the societal norms; and following them would hurt a few people related to me but I want to follow them. How  can I implement all these things in my life, without hurting the feeling of the others?

Speaker: First of all let us observe that there are a few things that I might  understand but that  go against the grain of what certain others stand for. What I understand is puts me in conflict with others. How many of us have experienced it?  Read more

What is right and what is wrong?

Speaker: Breaking the question into two simpler parts, one is- all of us have positives and negatives, strengths and weaknesses. How to enhance the strengths and diminish the weaknesses. We will look into this.
And second is- I know what is right but when it comes to the moment of happening, I can’t do much about it. I know that I am wrong, but I am short-tempered. I know that this the case, yet when it is happening, I find myself powerless. To how many of us does this happen?

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Will egolessness make me worthless?

Listener: If we do not have Ego, we will not have any goals in life, and such a life would be worthless.
Speaker: Mark the words, ‘we’, ‘have’, ‘ego’, ‘goals’, ‘worthless’. If we understand the question properly, clarity would be there. The question itself is the answer. The clarity lies in understanding the question. For me to say that I have this pen, there is a prerequisite. What is that? There must be a ‘me’ and there must be a ‘pen’. There ought to be two entities to say this. For me to say that I have an Ego, requires two entities- ‘Me’ and ‘Ego’. The question then arises, ‘am I anything apart from my Ego?’ To say that there is an ‘I’ and there is an ‘Ego’, I must be separate from Ego. But am I really separate from Ego?
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Just see clearly, and there would be no need for decisions

Speaker: The question is, ‘how do I improve my decision making power?’

Probably everybody here has written down their questions. All of you have something on your notepads to ask. But many of you are still in the process of deciding which question to ask, when to ask and how to ask. They are thinking that let a few people ask, then I will be able to sense this man’s response and accordingly, I will decide whether or not to raise a question. ‘Let me play a little safe. Let me also see if Hindi is permissible, then I will ask’. Most of us are caught in decision making, stuck in decision making. Many of you would remain stuck even after the session closes, they would still be deciding. Right now they are deciding whether or not to ask, then they would be deciding was it alright not to ask or did I miss out on an opportunity.

Indecision is our disease. Why are we indecisive? Because we always need to decide. How to get rid of indecision? It is simple. No decision, no indecision. The question of indecision is, ‘ Why I am unable to decide?’ The question of indecisiveness arises only when you have a decision to make. When you do not have a decision to make, the disease of indecisiveness is no more there. Isn’t it simple? Very simple, so simple that we cannot do anything about it.

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Don’t try to achieve; just live in achievement

Speaker: Achievement will happen, but the mind will remain non-achiever.

Achievements will happen, great achievements will happen, greater than what you have ever dreamed of, greater than your greatest goal but you will not be an achiever, and it is a beautiful thing. Achievements are just happening and I am not even trying. Isn’t that good, nice? Read more

You will never understand the mystic

Acharya Prashant: I will begin with the question. It is a quotation from Japji Sahib. The question is such that it will dissolve a few other questions.

One, who tries to describe the state of the faithful, shall regret the attempt.

What do we think? We think we can lay our hands on anything. Do we have any understanding of the mystic? We think we can reason it out. We think we can nearly, neatly summarize that in words. We think everything is within our dirty, conditioned domains. Be it faith, be it mysticism or be it Truth, we just want to explain away everything, so that the petty mind can get an assurance that it knows, so that it can get a temporary relief from its stumbling. Read more

Why do people have kids?

Listener: Why do people have kids?

Speaker: Let us try to understand this. The brain that you have, the brain that you are and about which you have read so much in the duration of this course, is what? A product of time. Please understand this. Brain is a product of time. In what sense is the brain a product of time?

 Listener: It is full of memories.

Speaker: That is composed of memories, past and experiences, right? Brain is time. Now you will tell me, what is time?

Listeners ( Everyone): Past and future.

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Why am I always thinking of the society?

Question : Why am I always thinking of the society?

Speaker : We give consideration to society because whatever we are doing, is usually for the sake of society.

Listener : Why even in our personal actions also we include the society?

Speaker : Yes, what you call as your ‘personal’ actions, the horrible fact is that even they are social actions. We may think that when we are alone in our house, let’s say in the kitchen or in the study room, then whatever we are doing over there, is a personal action. But it is not a personal action at all, because it is still being dictated by the society.

There is a student who is in her study room preparing for an engineering entrance examination. But she is preparing just because of the social pressure. Now is this preparation, is the moment of preparation when she is alone in her study, is this a personal action or a social action? Is it personal action or a social action?
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What is the relation between love and kids?

Speaker : The first question asked in today’s session was, “Why do people have kids?” The second one, which is very funnily related was “What is love?” So my question to you is, “What is the relation between love and kids?”

Listener 1 : Kids are born out of love.


Speaker : Mohit, what is the relation between love and kids?

Listener 2 (named Mohit) : Sir, I don’t find any relation.

Speaker :  You did not find any relation, but the whole world finds the relation. The entire world finds the relation. “A Child is the outcome of our love,” that’s what they say.

What is the relation between love and kids? First of all, get this out of your mind that there is a relation. You know it is very easy to theoretically put this, that there is no relationship. But when you look at the relationship people have with their parents, then you realize that most of us actually think that there is a relation between love and procreation, between love and reproduction. There is no relation at all. Please!

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