The utility of Yoga and methods of meditation||Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir(2016)

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Question: Why do people practice techniques like ‘Yoga’ and ‘Meditation’? Do you think they are necessary?

Acharya Prashant Ji: They have their own place. But, one should be very clear about the place that they have. What you usually call as ‘Yoga’, the kind of Yoga that is prevalent in this city(Rishikesh), is good for the body.

But do not take it as a means to salvation. If it is being sold as something mystical, or spiritual, then it is not. In fact, to try to achieve salvation through Yoga, is just an exhibition of the ego. The ego is saying that-  “By doing this or that, or by stretching my limbs, or sitting in a particular posture, I will reach God.” You sit in whatever posture you like,  you do whatever you want to do with the breath or the body, you will not get God.

Questioner: But, as I can see, one can calm the mind, by doing these asanas, these postures?

Acharya Ji: You can calm the mind, and believe that ‘you’ calmed the mind, you can calm the mind, and believe that ‘you’ calmed the mind, and in the process, cause greater agitation to yourself.

There is no method, except ‘surrender’ – direct, unconditional surrender.

If you know that your mind is calm, because the body is feeling better, and ‘you’  are the one who did something to make the body feel better, then that is just an extension of the ego.

The real happens, never, due to your planning, or your effort.

Because the real never ‘happens’.

It is already there.

It does not need to ‘happen’.

It is the only ‘happening’, how can it happen anymore?

But we are all, intent upon, somehow making the real ‘happen’. “I will go and try so hard, that I get the Truth.” Is Truth an apple or something? You don’t often get even apples due to your efforts. You can’t even get apples when you want, how will you get the Truth?

But yes, it has a certain value. When the body is fit, there is no doubt, that the mind has to think about it. So, in that space, it has a certain value.

Questioner: Does it mean that it is out of man’s control – the matter of Truth?

Acharya Ji: Yes, and the ego does not like this statement. The statement is – “This proves that it is out of your control, the matter of Truth, whether you get Truth or not.”

Yes. Please realise this, as soon as possible.

The Truth won’t come to you, because you tried this way, or that way.

It comes to you, because you see the futility of all your actions.

From morning to evening, whatever you are doing, when you see the futility inherent in them, that is the Truth.

That Silence.

And mind you, from that Silence, great action emerges. It is not as if, no action would happen. Your heart would come to ‘no action’, and the body and the mind would act vigorously.

A ‘Spiritual man’, cannot be a saint, who does nothing but eats all day, and keeps getting fat. And then everyday in the morning, he lectures for two hours. A ‘Spiritual man’, is an intense actor. He does not live as somebody, who has nothing to do with worldly concerns.

Kindly get rid of the image of the saint. In fact, if you come across any such person, who does nothing, except lecturing, and is getting fat, out of lecturing too much, then avoid him.

The ‘Spiritual man’ is a warrior.

He is one, who belongs to this  world.

He is one who partakes in the concerns of this world.

He lives life fully.

It is not that he has shed all experience. In fact, he has become more open and sensitive to experience – this happiness, this sadness, this pleasure and pain.

He is the man of the earth.

You will not find him on some great throne, somewhere. He must be someone, who moves through the streets – a commoner. He is not a general who hides in the castle. He is a foot soldier, out there in the battlefield.

Are you getting it?

Truth is not about renouncing the world of something. The man of Truth, I repeat, is a man of great action. And if you see someone, whose life is dull, lukewarm, incapable of action, then you should just know that his life has not been touched by the Truth.

Truth makes you go wild.

It does not allow you to sleep.

The dance of Truth, is a mad dance.

It is a dance of the destruction.

It is a dance in which you come alive!

You do not just sit in saffron, and say, “Hari Om.”

Kabir Sahab, never made preaching, his profession. He was a weaver, and he remained a weaver. You must ask, all the so-called spiritual ones, “What do you do, except wagging your tongue? And how do you know, anything of life, if you are not living it anymore?”

“You do not meet the commoners. You do not earn anything. You live on donations. You do not go to the markets to sell anything. You don’t but anything, because all is bought for you, by your followers. You don’t mingle with women anymore, because that destroys your reputation. Now, how do you know anything about life?”

If you are a man, and if you are not meeting women, as a man anymore, what do you know about life? From where else does anyone know about life? Does some great Truth descends from heaven? One knows the Truth, only in these simple, daily experiences of everyday living. And if you have blocked-out these everyday experiences, then how are you in touch with the Truth anymore?

How? 

Kabir’s life is a message. In continuing his life as a weaver, Kabir Sahab is saying, that professional preachers should be rejected, precisely because they are professional preachers.

You must ask the so-called spiritual ones, “Is there anything else that you do?” Your words must come out of your life, not out of some book or something. You should have gone have gone to the market, you should have seen something there. And then you should be talking, from there. 

You should be able to say that yesterday, this is what I saw, and hence we should talk about it. When Kabir Sahab talks, he makes the entire world, his instrument. He uses ‘thread’ as a metaphor, he uses the ‘loom’ as a metaphor. He uses the ‘color’ as a metaphor. He uses the ‘selling’, as a metaphor. 

There is nothing in this world, which Kabir Sahab does not use as a metaphor. Even dogs. This means that – he is a man, who is living really, intimately, with life. He is not just talking, some great high-flying theory.

Deep Awareness, Pure Consciousness – Kabir Sahib will never talk of all that. Because he is a real. He is not coming from a book, or tradition. He is not coming from rote learning. Whatever he is saying, it is arising from his heart, and hence so practical. 


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir: The utility of Yoga and methods of meditation

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Why does one have ego? || Acharya Prashant, on Saint Lalleshwari (2019)

Why does one have ego

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Probing inside, I came

Seeking the moon within me:

Sifting the chaff from the grain.

I went seeking

The like, Alike,

Thou art Narayan.

Thou art Narayan, then,

Why this will-o-wisp.

~ Saint Lalleshwari

Question: Acharya Ji, why do I  have ego?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Do not ask, “Why does the will-o-wisp, or the ego, or your personal center still exist?” If you ask, “Why does it exist?,” the answer is: your birth.

It exists because, you do.

When was the ego born?

When ‘I’ was born.

As long as you keep taking yourself, as the born one, as the one who took birth one day, and who would die one day, the ego is definitely going to remain. 

So, if Parmeshwari (the questioner) asks that why do ‘I’ have ego, do you see what comes before the ‘ego’?

Listener: ‘I’

Acharya Ji: What is the question? Why do ‘I’ have the ego? ‘I’ doesn’t even need to have the ego. The ‘I’, is the ego. Till there is Parmeshwari, there is bound to remain the ego.

Don’t you see what ‘Parmeshwari (the questioner)’ means? A body that is separate from the universe. That is ego – as someone who is localised, temporally, and spatially. Parmeshwari is in this hall at Twelve noon. Had she been the Truth, she would have continued, wherever she was. But at 3 p.m., she would be at the banks of river Ganga, not here.  So she is localized. She is localized. Similarly, spatially. At Twelve noon, because she is here, so cannot be at the banks of Ganga.

This is what is ego – a thing of time and space.

A thing that is severely limited by time and space.

And therefore suffers.

And is therefore debilitated.

Even if you want to, you cannot be at the banks, at this very time. And that you see, is at the center of a lot of your suffering. Were you not limited in time, you would have immediately gone back to the past and corrected it. But you are limited in time.

If you are here, you can neither be in the past, nor in the future. If you were not limited in space, then you would have controlled the entire universe, by being present wherever you wanted to. Or maybe by being present everywhere in the universe, and therefore, being the universe itself. But you cannot do that. And therefore, you suffer.

Do you now see what desire is? All your desires are limited to time and space. You could also say that, all your desires are related to your limitations in time and space. All your desires are related to your limitations in time and space. 

Had you not been limited, what would have you desired? If you are the entire universe, at all times, what is left to desire? Therefore, as long as, there is ‘this(the body)’ there would remain the will-o-wisp.

Now you have to see, what do you want to do, with this necessary limitation. That’s the human condition, you know. This necessary, this inevitable limitation. That is why, those who have known, the saints, they have said, that it was not the great thing that happened to you – the human birth.  But now that it has occurred, you better make the best use of it.

But it would have been far-far better, had you never really been born. Now that you are born, strive to come out of this incessant cycle of birth, and re-birth, and death. In fact,  that’s what is liberation. That’s how the orient has known liberation – liberation from the cycle of birth, re-birth, and death.

Because the moment you are born, that is born, from which you seek liberation.

The moment you are born, you are born along with that, from which you seek liberation.

So, why be born at all?

Listener: But we have taken birth now.

Acharya Ji: Yes, so now you better use it to the fullest. Live in a way, that is directed towards freedom. And it is equally, rather much more possible, to live in a way, that strengthens your bondages.

Hence, be cautious.


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

Watch the session:  Why does one have ego? || Acharya Prashant, on Saint Lalleshwari (2019)


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The Great Magic of Scriptures || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

The Great Magic of Scriptures

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Question: Acharya ji, Pranaam! While reading and meditating on Nitnem, something happened within me, which is difficult to explain. And this happening is same, while we were reading Ashtavakra Gita, and Upanishads.

These words do not create any images, but they take away my chains, and cut me down. Whatever we see around, most of the combinations of the alphabets a-z, in this world, all that is just with an agenda – to protect our ego, or fear, or greed. But when these same letters a-z, combine, to produce the Jaap Sahib, or Ashtavakra Gita, why is there a magic?

Acharya Prashant Ji: There is just a magic, Sandeep! The ‘why’ is not necessary. But if you are asking, I will speak on it.

There is a Sacredness, a Trueness, that is at the root of the world. The world keeps changing, coming and going, the Trueness remains. The world is many things. To the Lover of the Truth, the world is an expression of the Truth. To the hater of the Truth, the world is a competitor of the Truth.

Do you see how the meanings of the world can change, according to the mind, that is looking at the world?

If you are the lover of the Truth, the world is a manifestation of the Truth.

If you are a worshiper of the Truth, then the world is an offering, a gift, a prasad from the Truth.

Whereas, if you are a hater of the Truth, somebody who loves to say that, the Truth doesn’t exist, then the world is a substitute to the Truth.

You hate the world. if you hate the Truth, you would say, “There is no Truth. there is only the world, the material world.” So what does the world become? A substitute, a competitor. It depends on who you are.

Those who love the Truth, their world becomes truthful.

Everything in their world, gets arranged to serve the Truth.

It comes from the Truth, it serves the Truth.

It serves the Truth, so more comes from the Truth.

More comes from the Truth, there is more to serve the Truth.

The Truth is served even more, there is even more that comes from Truth. 

And all this expression is material. But that expression is merely a result of the commitment, of the expressing one, to the Truth. It is not merely their words, that are now arranged, configured, in the design of Truth, in the light of Truth, by the virtue of Truth. Everything, even their body.

Just as their words take you beyond their chains, even their body, their eyes, their looks, will take you beyond your chains. It is obvious, is it not? If the words of Ashtavakra have so much power, what power would be there, in sitting next to Ashtavakra? Words are material thing, are they not? And the body too is a material thing. In fact, the words require the body, to emerge.

If the words are so beautiful, there would certainly be great beauty, in sitting next to the ‘person’ of Ashtavakra. The way they wear their clothes, the way they eat, the way they work, everything would be a scripture, provided you know how to read. It is because everything that they have, everything that they are, is first of all, an offering to the Truth.

They have not kept anything for themselves, privately, reserved, personal. All is there to serve, the One. The One. When all is to serve the One, then all gets arranged, aligned, in the music of the One. It depends on what you want to do, with your earthly existence. It depends on your fundamental concept is.

If your concept is – “I am false, because I am incomplete. I am false because my daily inadequacies prove to me, that I cannot be the Final One. My daily existence is the proof, that this little structure cannot be the finality” – if this is your concept, then you will surrender this little, incomplete thing to that which is complete, because the complete is, that which you are anyway craving for. Nobody has to teach you that. It is your basic urge. You are seeking completeness. And if you are seeking completeness, then why not submit the incomplete, in the service of the complete?

Is that not common sensical?

Your brain, your intellect, your decisions, your life, your body, your past, your experiences, your knowledge, everything keeps failing, everything is incomplete. And there are abundant and daily porofs. Are there not?

On one hand you know that, on the other hand you also know that the incomplete one, does not satisfy you. Anything that is limited, and bounded, does not quench your thirst. So you know that you want something big. You want something big, you have something small, what to do with the small thing that you have? Use it to reach the big thing, that you really want. Logical, obvious, common sensical!

You want thousand, you have hundred, what to do with the hundred? Invest it in a way, that it would become a thousand. It is a very gross way of putting it, but may be the only way it would make sense to you.

You have hundred, but you are not happy with hundred. What do you want? A thousand. What to do with the hundred then?

Listeners: Invest.

Acharya ji: Invest it in the service of the thousand. What are the saints doing? They are targeting a billion, a trillion. A billion trillion. A trillion trillion. Using just, hundred. That’s some smartness. Those are the really smart ones. Not these dudes, that are hanging around, wearing the tags of smartness.

Somebody gets fifteen percent return on his investment, and you start calling him ‘smart’. Somebody makes a million dollars, and you say, “Wow! Really smart chap.”

He is dumb.

(laughter)

“Fortune 500. It is really something big!” They have wasted it. Buggers, you have lost it! You know what, you have just lost it.

Misfortune!

Change your concept of smartness.

When your concept of smartness changes, then you know who the real dude is. That’s worship.

If you are dumb, then you will just admire a few other dumb people.

If you are intelligent, then you worship. You worship the really smart ones.

They are called ‘saints’.

That requires you to be super-smart.

Dumb people will admire only dumb people!

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

Watch the session:  The Great Magic of Scriptures || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)


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Why does spiritual sadhana take long to complete? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: Pranaam Acharya ji. Why does spiritual saadhana take long to complete?

Acharya Prashant Ji: The condition you have come to, is not sudden. It has taken millions of years of evolution, for you to come to this state. It’s a very, very old habit. It is like dust, that has settled over something, since centuries, millennia, aeons.

Time has brought you to your current condition. And that which time has given you, takes time to go away. After all, whose liberation are you talking of? In your question, when you say that I want to dissolve and live as Truth only, whose dissolution are you taking of?

The one whose dissolution you are talking of, is he the Truth? Obviously he cannot be the Truth. Why would one demand the dissolution of the Truth? Why would one think that the Truth can be dissolved at all?

So you are demanding the dissolution of the one, who is not the Truth. Who is he then? He is a product of time. Truth is not a product of time, and therefore Truth does not bother you. and therefore, you are not demanding the dissolution of Truth.

You are demanding the dissolution of that which is, false. Now see, now see. You are demanding the dissolution of the false. Just as it is silly to demand the dissolution of Truth, isn’t it equally silly to demand the dissolution of the false.

Truth cannot be dissolved, because Truth is timeless. And false cannot be dissolved, because the false does not exist at all. But surely, you are asking for the false to be dissolved, which means you take the false to be…..Truth.

Because you take the false as Truth, therefore you stumble, and get deceived, and get hurt. The false one, is too accustomed, to its falseness. The false one, is too sure about himself. He is right now, not in a condition, to immediately, spontaneously declare – I am false. If you could do that, then liberation would have been instantaneous.

But, you are in no position to immediately declare that you are false. You are in no position to declare that the one, who is feeling the hurt, actually does not exist. To you, he exists, which means that to you, the false exists as the Truth.

Such is the condition of the one, who is asking this question. Even asking the question proves that you identify with the false, and therefore, you are asking for the dissolution of the false.

If you identify with the false, is a quick movement into the Truth possible? No. It will take time. ‘Saadhana’ is the way. You will have to be constantly embattled against yourself. An you will have to be constantly engaged with the ones, who appear closer to the Truth. These are the only two ways of saadhana. There is no third way.

Fight against yourself, and side with the Saints – both are needed. In fact, just proceeding on one leg of the saadhana, without bothering for the other, is more dangerous than not beginning with saadhana at all. You have to fight both against yourself, and side with the Saints.

If you side with the saints, without fighting against yourself, then you will use the Saints, to fatten yourself. And if you fight against yourself, without siding with the Saints, then you will go mad, because you will keep destroying who you are, what you are, without finding anything.

You will keep declaring all is false, without getting a glimpse of the Truth. This will wreak havoc on you. This will disappoint you so much. This will turn your life so dry, that you will lose all the courage to fight any further. And you will just go bonkers.

You need to have both – a determination to defeat yourself, and devotion to be with the lovers of Truth.

And both these things take time, because you are firmly convinced that you are a product of time.

Not that time is a necessity in the process.

It’s just that you have declared yourself at a position, that makes time a necessity.

If you could change your declaration, then time would no more be a necessity. But your very declaration is that – you are the false one, posing as Truth. With that position, with that identity, you are going to take time. And time you have. what else is this life for? Time you have, just invest this time rightly.

What does this mean, when I say, “Invest the time rightly?”

Invest that time in two things: in fighting against yourself,

and in being in the company of Saints and lovers of God, Truth.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session:  Why does spiritual sadhana take long to complete? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How to prevent myself from emotional self-harm? || (Acharya Prashant, 2018)

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Questioner: An episode in my life haunts me. It’s me who keeps on revising that ugly memory when there is a similar situation? How do I prevent myself from such an emotional self harm?

Acharya Prashant: The mind is such a bottomless abyss. An abyss tired of its own bareness, vacancy. An abyss trying to fill itself in all possible ways. A scared loneliness groping, clutching at everything, even if those things are obviously useless, or even harmful.

The past is therefore clung to. If life is insubstantial, mind tries to find substance in the past.

The question, hence, is not so much about why the past keeps haunting the mind. Mind has to stick to something. The mind cannot live alone. If, among all the objects available for engagement, the past, or an event of the past, appears the most attractive, then the mind will obviously stick to that event, and keep revisiting it by way of memory.

Hence, can we, today, give the mind something very beautiful? Something so beautiful that it enamours the mind, and something so vast it fills up the abyss? If we can bring the mind to beauty and truth, the mind would be both enthralled and illuminated. Then it will find no need, no reason, to repeatedly rush to the past.

How to find beauty and vastness today? Maybe one can begin by going to those who devoted their lives to peace and clarity. There have been those who have sung all their life of beauty and Truth. Maybe, in their company, the mind will learn what to seek and where to seek.

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Acharya Prashant: Is liberation possible for a householder?

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Acharya Prashant: Pradeep Ji is asking, “Dear Acharya Ji, I don’t know what kind of wound I am carrying inside me, that I am having a constant feeling of ‘leave me alone’, towards the world. From morning till evening, I am running like crazy, driving to office in mad traffic, followed by corporate pressure to do things unwillingly. Bearing stupidities of people around.

I get out of the office as if I came out of a madhouse, tired and frustrated, and it’s already night. I eat and sleep. And the roller-coaster starts again. But since I need to run this crazy race, I feel that my blood is sucked by parasites, and there is a wound, a cry from inside, that I am carrying.

I cannot get rid of this wound. I want to jump off this train, but I can’t, because of these responsibilities. I feel I am a dead machine, thrown on an assembly line, or the other things inside me, drilling holes, hammering, and finally thrown out.

I can’t leave the family, as they are dependent on me. And I am too in, some or the other way, dependent.

Acharya Ji, in such a situation, what should I do?

—————————–

Pradeep Ji, the way of instantaneous freedom, instantaneous departure, is not for the householder.

The ‘Law of Karma’, and the result of Karma, ‘The fruit of actions’, always holds good. Cannot be violated. One is held to the past, by a thousand actions, memories, and the pending fruits.

Immediate and quick liberation is then possible only through total psychic departure.

A kind of a Spiritual death. That is often unlikely. Keep working, you will have to go step by step.

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Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: You know your real face, and your real home?

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“Your life, my friend,

is a residence far away from any other

residence and neighbours.

Your inner soul is a home far away from

other homes named after you.

If this residence is dark,

you cannot light it with your neighbour’s lamp;

If it is empty you cannot fill it

with the riches of your neighbour;

Were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a

garden planted by someone else…

Your inner soul, my friend,

is surrounded with solitude and seclusion.

Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion

you would not be you and I would not be I.

If it were not for that solitude and seclusion,

I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking;

Yet, if I saw your face, I would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.”

~ Khalil Gibran

Acharya Prashant: Poets have a way, of presenting the Truth. The way helps. The way is beautiful. But as happens with all ways to the Truth, the way itself is a bit of a hindrance to the destination.

What Khalil Gibran is saying here, is essentially very straightforward. The inner seclusion and solitude that he is talking of, is nothing, but your calm, peaceful, silent, immovable, center.

Seated at that center, with the calmness, the immovability, of the center, vested in the mind as well; the mind gains intelligence, the mind gains discretion.

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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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Dancing emerges from nothingness

The dance of the jungle, the dance of the waves, the dance of the stars, the monkey’s dance, the elephant’s dance, the dance of the toddler that is the dance that a Rumi loves.

When a movement, when an action arises from nothing in particular, then it is called dance.

Dancing emerges from nothingness.

Perfection is not something that you aspire for or wait for. Perfection is not the opposite of imperfection. If perfection to you is the opposite of imperfection, if perfection for you is the end of imperfection or the transcendence of imperfection, then you can keep waiting for perfection as long as time lasts. Perfection is there in the middle of imperfection. In life as it is, nothing that appears, nothing that happens would ever be perfect. Now that can either make you cringe, or you can still dance in the middle of the disorder.

To dance in the middle of the disorder you must be able to look at the essence of things directly. Things are imperfect, their essence is perfect.

Imperfection if seen from the heart, if seen from clarity, itself shines as perfection.

Dance in the middle of chaos. Dance in the middle of deprivation. Dance in the middle of death and destruction. Dance exactly when there is no reason to dance.

When Shiva dances the world collapses.

Real dance then is so similar to madness.

Stay with the truth and know that the world, the situations, howsoever good or bad they are, are nothing but an expression of the truth.

The existence of a thing indicates truth. The existence of the opposite of that thing also indicates the truth.

In imperfection lies great beauty.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: Dance amid your own blood!

 

Acharya Prashant on Rumi: Dance amid your own blood!

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Dance, when you’re broken open.

Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of the fighting.

Dance in your blood.

Dance when you’re perfectly free.

(Rumi)

 

Acharya Prashant:  What is dance? Why is dancing such a favorite of the poets, the saints, the worshipers of freedom? Why? First of all, in the spiritual sense when one uses the word dance, then dancing does not refer to any kind of organized movement of limbs or the body. That would just be a rehearsed system of pre-scripted action, having very little to do with the heart. So we are not talking of the kind of dance one learns in dance classes. We are not talking of organized and named dance forms. We are talking of the dance of the butterfly. We are talking of the dance of the winds. We are talking of the dance of the stars. You look at the stars, how they all have been unevenly scattered on the dark plate of the sky, that dark canopy up there. No organization, no pattern, and yet they are so beautiful. One looks at the way trees, plants grow in a jungle. They have not been planted there in an order. They have not been planted in an order. And yet there is an intrinsic beauty. Probably the absence of order itself contributes to the beauty. Are you getting it?

The dance of the jungle, the dance of the waves, the dance of the stars, the monkey’s dance, the elephant’s dance, the dance of the toddler that is the dance that a Rumi loves.

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The Gita can come only from someone who understands the world.

The Gita can come only from someone who understands the world. And if you understand the world you cannot keep failing in the world. If you are proven an idiot every evening and every morning, how will the Gita come from you? How will you even understand the Gita?

Look at your life, if you are a joker, a clown, an idiot, a loser, in this world, what business do you have touching the Gita?

Do you see what is half embrace? You prove to be insufficient everywhere. You are a loser everywhere. In your relationships, you are a loser. In the school you are a loser, in the college, you are a loser. At your workstation, you are a loser, on the sports field you are a loser, and you want to touch the Upanishads? The Upanishads that are coming from the winners of the highest order. Is there any oneness between you and the text that you are trying to touch? Do you have anything in common with Krishna? How then will you understand the Gita?

Krishna was the one who brought victory when defeat looked so probable. And you are the one who will snatch defeat when victory is all yours. When it is ascertained that you are now going to win, you will still manage to somehow be defeated. And then you say, “You know what, I am not very interested in the world, Krishna calls my heart.”

You are not interested in the world? You are marginalized in the world, you are the rubbish of the world. And if we listen to Darwin then you and your ilk, wouldn’t survive for long, because you are unfit.

Even physically, have you noticed how fit most of them are (pointing towards the pictures of the Saints) and most of us are groaning, complaining? Somebody has nose pain, somebody has a headache, somebody has heartache, somebody’s back has been stolen, somebody’s stomach is exploding with gas. And look at them (the Saints). That is full embrace. And half embrace is no embrace.

The man of God is a winner in the world as well. That is full embrace. If you are a loser in the world, you do not know God. God and the world are one. It’s not just The World, it’s God World. It’s God World.

Have you seen that every living being is excellent? The epitome in its particular field. Can you beat the song of a Cuckoo? Or, even a sparrow? Can you beat the flight of a vulture, an eagle? Do you see the agility with which fish swims? They are all experts in their respective fields. I am asking you, “What is your expertise?” Even the ant is an expert. When it carries a load then the load to body weight ratio is unmatched. Compared to its own body weight, the load that a little ant can carry is unmatched.

What is your expertise?



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: The Man of God is a winner in the world

Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: The Man of God is a winner in the world

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“Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape.”

~Khalil Gibran.

Question: What is full embrace? How is it different from half embrace? If half embrace creates a movement of thoughts, won’t full embrace create even a greater restlessness?

Acharya Prashant: Man is caught in a very peculiar situation. Neither can he accept what he truly is. Nor can he ever run away from what he truly is. He swings. He oscillates. When he wants to come to his essence, then that which is sub-essential, or non-essential beckons him.

He feels that the juice of living is being lost. All the sensory pleasures, all the colors of the world, the music, the attractions, the emotions, the meetings and the goodbyes, all the games of time, he feels they are being lost. And when he tries to move totally into thoughts, into emotions, into the world of the senses, into that which is space-time and material, he soon starts feeling nauseatic.

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Spirituality is the art of living in the small

It is important to see that you are not tricked two-three times. You are being tricked constantly. You are being tricked only because you think you are being tricked only two-three times. If you are being fooled constantly, but you detect it only two times, what does it prove? That you are actually being fooled a lot. If the mind is actually a trickster, is the trickster selectively at work, or always at work? Always at work. It is always fooling you and hence it is important to catch its tricks in small matters.

You catch the mind only when you find the consequences as alarming, only when you find the harm beyond the limit. But, the mind is fooling you even right now. Catch it. See, what it is defending and hiding. See, what its intentions are. When you are alert with the small, then you are seated in the big.

You could even say that spirituality is the art of living in the small. It is not about chasing some great heavenly God. It is about doing your daily small matters, the linen, and the dishes, the garage, and the garbage, the small, the routine, the daily, the trivial. It is about doing these things rightly. It is not about knowing the perfect prayer. Hence, it is not something specific, or relevant to a place of worship, or special time, or occasion. To wake up in the morning, it’s a spiritual time. You are driving to your office, it’s a spiritual time. It’s a spiritual car. You are at your workstation, it is the time for prayers. You are buying grocery, you are offering salutation. That is spirituality.

It is not about wearing a special mark on your forehead or getting yourself tattooed. It is about letting the Truth pierce your heart, not letting the shopkeeper pierce your nose or navel. 


Read the complete article: Finding without effort, and drinking without the drinker

Finding without effort, and drinking without the drinker

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Acharya Prashant: Lal Ded is the most remarkable name not only in Kashmir, not only in India. She defies being confined to a particular area, or time, or category. Physically, she was born in thirteenth century Kashmir. An ordinary girl, as ordinary as all of us are. Medieval India, she got married at an early age – twelve or thirteen. We do not have any definitive written accounts of her life. In fact, the first words about Lalla were written three hundred years after her physical death. So, most of us that we know, is by way of folklore.

So, she got married at an early age and had quite an unhappy marriage. Kashmiris are usually fond of flesh-eating. It is a cultural thing. Meat is a kind of staple diet. Lal Ded has a certain orientation of compassion. She was still Lalleshwari. Lal Ded comes a little later. When it comes then we will understand what it means. So, she is still Lalleshwari; a thirteen-year-old bride. The husband, the in-laws are asking her to get colored in their own lifestyle.

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Drop knowledge and know; win by losing

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 From The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

“A learned ignorance is the end of philosophy and the beginning of religion”

~Sir William Hamilton

(Scottish Philosopher)

 

Acharya Prashant: What is Philosophy? Though Philosophy means the search for Truth, but it ends up becoming just more and more concepts about Truth. With Philosophy, you get not the Truth, but words about Truth, opinions about Truth. With philosophy, you want to capture magic and logic. And it is so impossible. That’s what every philosopher has been trying to do. He has been trying to apply logic to magic.How will you ever understand? How will you ever succeed?

“A learned ignorance”, its a beautiful phrase. The wise man, is deeply ignorant. He is free of concepts and knowledge. The moment you drop the arrogance that you will ever reach there through arguments. The moment you drop your assumption that you, the logician, can understand that great magician then you are clean, clear. Your eyes, do not have the stain of cleverness anymore. You are no more trying to argue it out. And when your approach is not through arguments and sentences, then your approach is simple and direct. Read more

The Real Saint looks like a heretic or a lunatic than a saint

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The myth of the Saint, the Saint!

And with, the myth of the Saint we would be able to touch many associated myths. Like the myth of the respect: respectability rather, the myth of godliness. And of course Love!

When we use the word “Saint”, we use it obviously, inevitably in the same frame of mind. From the same center, as we use many other words.

Our language is a language of objects. Any and every words that we know refers to something; something that can be thought of; something that can be touched, conceptualized, seen, felt, hurt; something that is within the domain of the mental activity.

So the obvious result is that even when we use words like saint, God, Truth, freedom, joy, love they turn into objects due to the sheer fact of verbalization. Because you have put them into words, you have willingly or unwillingly turned them into objects. The same thing happens when we refer to the word “Saint”. Read more

The Source is one with the material and the movement

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The source and the manifestation-the progeny

and the material, the body

and the actions of the body-the kala,

are all one.

Shiv Sutra(1.3)

Acharya Prashant: The source and the manifestation-the progeny and the material, the body and the actions of the body-the kala, are all one.

The ‘source’ refers to the origin of it all. ‘Kala’ refers to activity or movement. ‘Sharir’ obviously refers to the body or the material. The source, the material and the movement all are one. They can be one only if you stop expecting that the source lies elsewhere. Please understand what is being said. If the source is one with the rock as well as the movement of the rock, then do you need to transform the rock into a temple? If the source is one with all this, then the source is just one with the fact of all this. Then you don’t need to have a creator God. Read more

Does Spirituality advice men to renounce women?

 

Listener (L):  

Yog Vasistha Sara, Chapter 3, Verse 18:

“He who does not, like one blind, recognise(lit. leaves far behind) his relatives, who dreads attachment as he would a serpent, who looks upon sense-enjoyments and disease alike, who disregards the company of women as he would a blade of grass and who finds no distinction between a friend and a foe, experiences happiness in this world and the next.” 

It gives some characteristics of the liberated one. It says, “He disregards the company of woman, like he would a blade of grass.” So, is that true in the reverse, for a liberated woman?

Acharya Prashant (AP): No. This has to be understood very clearly. “The liberated one disregards the company of woman, as he would disregard a blade of grass as insignificant, as nothing, as immaterial.” It is very proper, hence, to ask about this, because it sounds a little prejudiced.

When a saint says something, he must say it in our language. He is compelled to speak in words that the commons use, for the simple reason that he is communicating to commons. He must use the same language. When he will use language, language will point to objects. We must not think however, that he is talking about objects.

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On Shiva Sutra: Atman is the mother of mind; Awareness is the mother of consciousness

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ज्ञानाधिष्ठानं मातृका

Translation: The basis, the foundation, the substratum of consciousness, which is knowledge,
is the mother, the origin.

~ Shiva Sutra: (1.4)

Acharya Prashant (AP): Atman is the mother of mind. 

Awareness is the mother of consciousness. 

The Source is the Atman.

The manifestation is Prakriti. Read more