Why blame social media? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Why blame social media

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Question: Acharya Ji, Namaskaar. My question is not related to Spirituality. I am sixteen year old, and many of my friends who are of my age, are stuck to social media. They are lost in the visual world, and it is affecting their personal lives. How can they get rid of this? Is social media good or bad?

Acharya Prashant Ji: How to get rid of their personal life?

Questioner: No. All youngsters have this same problem.

Acharya Ji: So you want to get rid of other’s problems.

Questioner: No, it’s my problem too.

Acharya Ji: So why are you talking of others? In the spirit of philanthropy?

(laughter)

This is how we are. You are talking of your own Facebook account. It’s as particular, and as personal, as that. It is so personal that you would not share the password even with me.

Questioner: I will share the password with you.

Acharya Ji: And then change it.

(laughter)

But I will talk as if I am talking of a global menace. “Oh my God! You know, it is affecting the American elections you know. The Russians got Trump elected by interfering. And therefore I am concerned.”

Why must you put it this way?

So, what is wrong with Facebook then?

Questioner: There is nothing wrong, but it is addictive.

Acharya Ji: So what’s wrong with being addicted?

Questioner: It wastes time.

Acahrya Ji: How does it tell you that time is being wasted?

Questioner: We are continuously opening the app and checking notifications.

Acharya Ji: That’s okay. But how does it tell you that time is being wasted?

Questioner: Our parents say that.

(laughter)

Acharya Ji: So now you bring the Global Parents Association in the picture. So you are saying that on one hand, Facebook attracts you, and on the other hand, parents stop you. That is your condition.

It is as simple as that. Why don’t you put it this way? That would make it easier for me and you. “I want to do a lot of Face-booking, but Mumma tells me that it is bad habit. And I do not know what to do. Though I know what to do. That is what I do everyday. I tell Mumma to go away. But still she keeps bugging. That is the problem.”

So, the question boils down to – how to keep pestering parents away?

Questioner: No, how should we minimize our time on Facebook?

Acharya Ji: And still get as much satisfaction.

(laughter)

More bang for the buck. Yes. Small packet, big return. Yes.

Do we know what we want? Do we even understand what our wants are, and where they are coming from, and what do they actually mean? Do we even articulate them rightly? Do we?

Alright! Let’s go into it. So you say that time is being wasted on social media. When do you call something as ‘wasted’? When do you call something as ‘wasted’?

Questioner: When one doesn’t gain anything from it.

Acharya Ji: (Holding a mug) There was tea in this mug some time back. If the tea would have spilled from this mug, would you have called it ‘wastage’?

Listeners: Yes.

Acharya Ji: Why would you call it a ‘wastage’? If I sip the tea from the mug, it would be emptied. And if I spill the tea, then also the mug would be emptied. So, sipping it, or spilling it, in either case the mug would be emptied. So, would do you call it a ‘wastage’ when the tea gets spilled over?

Questioner: Because it didn’t serve it’s purpose. I couldn’t use it.

Acharya Ji: It didn’t serve it’s purpose. So when is time called as ‘being wasted’?

Questioner: When it doesn’t serve the purpose.

Acharya Ji: When it doesn’t serve the purpose. But for that, you must know what the purpose of time is. What is the purpose of time? Before you say, “I am wasting time,” or, “He is wasting time,” you must know what is the purpose of time. Only then can you rightfully claim whether it is wasted or utilised.

So what is the purpose of time?

‘Time wastage’, ‘Don’t waste time’ –  all these are very popular phrases. Aren’t they? So how do you use them then, if you do not know what is the purpose of time? How do you call something as ‘wastage of time’?

Listener 1: When you are not doing, what you are supposed to do.

Acharya Ji: What are you supposed to do?

Listener 1: (Referring to the questioner) He is supposed to study usually…

Acharya Ji: Why is he supposed to study only. He is also supposed to login to Facebook. What do you mean by ‘supposed to’? Which scripture will tell you what you are ‘supposed to do’? Please tell me where one can find that Oracle. Where is that Oracle which would would determine to us, what we are ‘supposed’ to do? Yes.

How do you know what is the purpose of time? What is the purpose of time?

Questioner: It must give me satisfaction.

Acharya Ji: If Facebook is satisfying you, you cannot call it ‘wastage of time’. Full stop.

If the purpose of time is your satisfaction, and if doing all kind of this or that, and non-sense, satisfies you, then you cannot call it as ‘wastage of time’. And I am leaning upon your own premise. You said that purpose of time is – satisfaction. If that be so, then do whatever fetches you satisfaction.

If it satisfies me, to spill this tea on this table, then you would not call it as ‘wastage of tea’. Or would you? If it satisfies me to abscond from this session, it would be a great use of my time. I may be running around on the beach. A gala time on the beach.

What is the purpose of time?

Listener 3: It can be different from person to person. So, as a body, if one is a student, the purpose of time is to study. As a seeker, if you are seeking something, to get it to the next level, is your purpose for the time being. So it is different…..

Acharya Ji: With what purpose are you a student?

Listener 3: For academic qualifications, and all.

Acharya Ji: Because you are ‘supposed’ to that. So that brings us back to the Oracle. So, either you use common sense, or you fetch the Oracle. Otherwise, you are stuck.

Whenever I ask you that what is the purpose of this or that, you say, “This.” And when I ask you, “Why?”, you say that because you are ‘supposed’ to do this, because you are ‘supposed’ to be like this.

Now I cannot proceed with that. Who is the one, who brought all these suppositions into your mind? How do you ‘suppose’ so much, and continue to live on, based on suppositions, assumptions? Or, please bring the Oracle here, so that I may have a frank word with him, it, or her, or whatever.

How do you know that you are ‘supposed’ to be a student?

What is the purpose of time?

Of special note are those, who have been with the Courses and Camps, since long. At least theoretically, one may explain this.

Listener 4: Practically, it is for liberation. And in the course of getting that liberation, if something is stopping you, you get rid of that, and finally reach it!

Acharya Ji: So, is Facebook good or bad?

Listener 2: Depends on what we are using it for.

Acharya Ji: That is the answer.

The only thing that determines whether time, or money, or any other resource available to you, is wasted, or properly utilised is, whether it aided your liberation.

Anything that contributes to your liberation, is a thing, well utilised.

Anything that impedes your liberation, is a thing, badly wasted.

If Facebook can contribute to your liberation, Facebook is great. But if on Facebook, you are just adding to your non-sense, to your conditioning, then obviously, it is very wasteful. And the blame does not lie with Facebook, the blame lies with the use you are putting Facebook to.

Amongst you, there might be a few, who might have found me on Facebook. Facebook is wonderful for them. Or, you could also access all kinds of trivia, and non-sense, and rubbish on Facebook.

You know what, social media is so addictive, so addictive, that half the volunteers of the foundation, are only watching YouTube for fourteen hours a day. Thank them for that. Thank them for their addiction. Otherwise, these videos would not reach you.

Now, is YouTube good or bad?

It depends on what you are doing there. Half of the foundation, I repeat, is only watching YouTube fourteen hours a day. Is YouTube good or bad? Even as I say this, thousands are watching the videos on YouTube. Is YouTube good or bad?

Good or bad?

Depends on what you are using it for.

Depends therefore on, who you are.

Now, remaining who you are, if you de-activate your Facebook account, that would still not help you.

Addicted to Facebook, you are a slave to all the content on Facebook that you watch. And if, due to pressure from some quarters, you de-activate your Facebook account, then you are still a slave. Slave to the direction from where the pressure came. Facebook might have gone, has your slavery gone?

Influence came from one direction, and you opened an account. Influence came from another direction, and you closed or suspended your account.

Have ‘you’ really changed?

Have you?


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

Watch the session:  Why blame social media? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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What is desireless action? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is desireless action

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Question: Acharya Ji, how will I get motivation to do some work, if I am not attached to the result of the work?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When you come to this hall, you are probably prompted by some desire, aren’t you?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya Ji: There are desires, there are calculations, there are pluses and minuses, you probably weigh the pros and cons. All those things are there. Sometimes there is a nagging question you want to get rid of, therefore you come. That’s how the thing mostly starts. That’s how the thing mostly starts. So this ‘sakaam karma’(the desire-oriented action). Your movement in this hall is motivated by a desire.

You want something, therefore you ‘do’.

This is the common ‘sakaam karma’.

You ‘do’ because you want.

So, the action is a means of fulfilling the desire.

This is normal ‘sakaam karma’.

That’s how things are at Twelve Noon. You are sitting ready to fire your questions. You have a purpose in being here. What is the purpose? – ‘I want my questions answered.’ You have a definite purpose. That’s Twelve noon.

Now, how is it like at 1:30 p.m.? You came with a question, but the question has not reached here. You do not even intend to ask the question anymore. At Twelve Noon, when you were listening, you were listening with an objective. What was the objective? The resolution of the query. And how are you listening at 1:30 p.m.? You are ‘just’ listening. You are ‘just’ listening.

Something is still happening. But the objective is lost. Now the ‘happening’ itself is very juicy. Now the ‘happening’ is not means towards an end. Now the means itself has merged with the end. It is as if, the means has moved into the end, or the end has come to the means to bless it.

Now there is no distinction. Now you are not saying that let the others’ questions be answered fast, so that the speaker may take up my question. Hence now, there is no gap. Hence now, there is no waiting for the result. Hence now, time has stopped for you.

This is ‘nishkaam karma(desireless action)’ – the ‘doing’ is not for some objective outside of itself.

The ‘doing’ itself is the objective.

What do you work for? You work for satisfaction. Call it ‘deep contentment’. Right? You work, for the sake of that. And therefore, work is never very satisfying, because work to you is not the last thing. Work is just a middleman, for the sake of a result. Therefore, work is just a necessary evil for you.

Had it been possible, you would have removed the work, the process, the time interval, from between, and you would have said, “Is it possible to come directly to the result?” And that is why man wants to keep gaining in efficiency.

Man wants to keep gaining in efficiency.

Do you see what is this continuous movement towards more and more efficient processes, machines and systems? It is because man works for a purpose. It is because, the work, and the time invested in work, is itself, not very likable. So man says, “Minimize the work, and maximize the result.”

‘Nishkaam karma(desireless action)’ means – work is life.

Work is life, anyway.

Even when you ‘think’, you are not working, you are actually working. So, no point fooling oneself, with the effort to minimize work.

Even when you ‘think’, you are having leisure, you ‘are’ actually working.

Therefore, why not work in a way, that transcends work.

That is ‘nishkaam karma’.

Work cannot be avoided. Life is work.

You are working, even when you are sleeping. You are working, even when you think, you are relaxing. Why not choose work, with such deep discretion, that work does not remain a load that you have to reduce, work no more remains something that you want to outsource?

Why not come to a situation, where you are no longer seeking happiness, in the reduction of work? Have you seen how the common man celebrates, when his work burden is reduced? That is ‘sakaam karma’.

Have you seen how students like to achieve results, without working? Were it possible to achieve hundred percent marks, without laboring at all, students would have been the happiest? Because as a student, or as a worker, you find no joy in the process. For you, joy is a destination, mostly. For most people. That is ‘sakaam karma’.

Now, we will come to the more horrifying part of it. Whenever, work is a means to an end, ‘the end’ is never really achieved. Ha! We are beaten both ways. First of all, we expended a lot of time, trying to reach – an end. And even if we somehow manage to reach that end, what do we discover? – ‘Is this where I wanted to reach?’ And then you proceed towards, other destination. And that is what is called, ‘the vicious cycle’.

So, those who work towards ‘an end’, find that they are defeated both in the work, as well as in the end. Double defeat. And those who work, without ‘an end’, those who work, because the work itself is service, devotion, they win doubly. First of all, work is celebration. Secondly, work is the end. So, you are celebrating your way to the success. 

You are dancing towards victory. You are not dancing ‘towards’ victory, you are dancing, ‘in’ victory. You are continuously victorious, and you are continuously celebrating.

Any takers?

And compare this to the picture of the one who is striving, toiling, fighting, with the dream of some distant success in his eyes. Remember that the success that he dreams of, is merely his concept. It is an image, because he has not yet come to it. Therefore, the success that he is talking of, is merely an image.

When you come to it, you find that it simply does not match your expectations. Double defeat! First of all, you are striving, toiling, and making life hell for yourself. Though with the pride, with the vanity, that you are a fighter. That you are a warrior. You will have that satisfaction.

So, it may keep egging you on, for a very long time. Probably, even for the entire lifetime.

Listener 1: So, it is all about the journey, and not the destination?

Acharya Ji: The destination is everything, but the destination cannot be distant. The destination has to be the first step in the journey. It is not as if, it is only about the journey, and not the destination. Obviously, the destination comes first. The journey begins, upon reaching the destination.

So, reach the destination first, and then keep traveling. Destinations, upon destinations. Do not travel as if the destination is elusive, and faraway.

Listener 2: Acharya Ji, how to make my work devotion?

Acharya Ji: The work has to be worthy of devotion, first of all. Therefore, choose your work very, very carefully, everyday.

Listener 2: Is it a matter of discretion?

Acharya Ji: Obviously, it is a matter of discretion. Obviously.

It is not ‘the work’, it is the destination that is commanding the work.

It is the destination that is commanding the work.

So, what is ‘the work’ that you are talking of? – That’s what you must look at.

The destination has to be absolutely compelling.

So very compelling, that you cannot even entertain the ‘thought’, that is is distant.

If you want something really desperately, do you want it five years hence, or right now?

Listener 2: Right now.

Acharya Ji: The destination has to be that very attractive. Not only attractive, it has to be that very indispensable.


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

Watch the session:  What is desireless action? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Acharya Prashant, with students: How to be contented in life?

T22

Acharya Prashant: Ishita asks, “What is contentment and why do we run behind it?”

Ishita we never run behind contentment. We run behind another thing called ‘satisfaction.’ Contentment is not a goal to be achieved. Contentment is right now. Contentment is our intrinsic fullness which opens up in the absence of any desire. When there is no desire, then you know everything is alright! That is contentment. That is intrinsic fullness, you don’t run after it to get it.

But yes there is another word. You know the dictionary would say these two are synonymous contentment and satisfaction. But in lives, these two are poles apart. Very-very different. We run after satisfaction. What do we say? We say that if we get that then we will be satisfied. That which you are after is always ahead. Always in future. Am I right?

Listener: Yes, sir.

AP: Do you ever say that in this moment if I get something I will be satisfied? Because if you say this moment, then by the time you say this moment this has already become a time. Become past. So, defacto you are always aspiring about the future. A hope into the future. If I get that then.

Read more

Acharya Prashant: How to earn more money?

T4

Acharya Prashant: (Reading a question) One may have good knowledge, but he might not be having a satisfactory job or salary. What to do in such a situation?

You see, as long as knowledge to you is a means of earning a higher salary, you will have to realize the limitations of knowledge. Higher salary does not come merely on the heels of higher or deeper knowledge. This is assuming that you have already set a goal. And the goal is to get a high salary. I am going by your goal. You want to get a high salary.

If you want to get a high salary, you must know what all factors drive salaries. It is just not dependent, merely on your knowledge. It is a function of many many variables. And even those variables are variable.

Today, high salary might be a function of x, y, and z. And tomorrow, high salary might be a function of s, t, and u. So, variable variables are there. You just can’t know.

Yes, you can catch hold of one variable, and put all energy into it. But that may not necessarily help. The car might be in neutral, and you are pushing the accelerator, would that help? You would only burn more and more fuel, and the engine would get heated up. You are trying to push just one variable, and you are not seeing that the other variables are all? Choked. They will not let you progress.

So, you have two options now. Either you go out and determine all the variables that drive salary. And when you determine all the variables, you must remember that the variables themselves are? Variable. So, that which is driving salary today, might not be what would drive salary? Tomorrow. And that which is driving salary in one place, might not be what drives salary in another place, another room, another building, another company.

Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

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

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

Read more

Our greatest desire is to become desire-less

If I really want ‘a’ and I get ‘a’, what will happen with the want? The want should disappear. If I am chasing ‘b’, really if I want ‘b’ and I’m chasing ‘b’ and I get ‘b’, then what will happen to the chase, the chase must end, disappear. So, in every chasing what do I really want? I want that chase to end. The satisfaction that you get is the end of the chase, right? Is that not so? So what is it that we are wanting then? We want the end of the want.

We are chasing the ending of the chase. Our greatest desire is to become desire-less. Our greatest chase is to reach where the chase can end. We want this chase to end. And if we want this chase to end then surely this chase is something that troubles us. All human suffering is this chase, that is why the mind desperately want this chase to end. So, it’s chasing one thing after other.

How can it end? Can it end here, can it end there?

Chase is pain, chase is suffering, chase is a torture, a distortion of the mind. It cannot rest, it has to always follow this direction or that direction, keep moving. It cannot come to a point where it can relax. Chase is suffering, the mind wants the chase to end. But the mind does not know how the chase can end, so it starts chasing objects. Whatever it sees around, it goes after that. Can there be a more intelligent way to end the chase? If the ending of the chase, if the ending of the desire is what the ultimate desire is, then can’t we just end the desire right now? It’s possible. Stay with me.

All desire is of the future. Ending of desire means ending of future. Ending of desire means coming alive in the present. Ending of desire means, ‘this’ is everything. This is IT, sum total, Hundred Percent. And there’s nothing beyond this. My mind is not wandering around in chases. Chases are GONE, Life is ON.

That is your deepest desire – to come alive right now, to be fully expressed right now, to not to be a slave of the future, to not be a slave of the past.



Read the complete article: What is our Ultimate desire?

What is our Ultimate desire?

21125331_1485233508231414_8341813784503617778_oListener: Sir, why do we lose the value of anything once we get it?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

L: Kritika.

AP: The question is “Why do we lose the value of anything once we get it?”

Obviously the question is contradictory, it is stating a paradox. If I want something and I get it then I cannot be dissatisfied, right? I want a pen, I get a pen, I must be happy. I want water, I get a glass of water, I must be happy. But she’s saying that experience is not this way. Experience suggests that we chase things but once we get them they are not what they appeared to be when they were being chased.

Has that been your experience as well, that while chasing it, it appears very lucrative, fascinating, but once it is obtained it reduces in its appeal. Has that been your experience? That’s a very common experience. What I am saying, there is a paradox here. I want a pen, I get a pen, I must be satisfied.  If I say that I want a pen and I’m given a pen and I’m still dissatisfied, what does that mean?

Read more

The myth of love

 

Question: Please explain what Osho means when he says, “I am Love, you are Love.”

Acharya Prashant: What does that mean?

Listener: Presence, Now, consciousness, the essence of ‘I’.

AP: What are all of these?

L: Life, living life. It’s a state of being, and whatsoever comes, understanding that. All forms are happening in love. So, it’s not a matter of love with an individual or a person or an object, It’s about the love for totality of life itself.

AP: Alright.

What does it mean then, to love the totality of life?

L: It means to lead my life surrendered to the present.

AP: And, how is surrendering to the present related to ‘loving the totality of life’? ‘Surrendering to the present’ and ‘loving the totality of life’ – how are these two related?

L: It becomes a service. A Service where  every action becomes a service to the totality.

AP: Are you sure you are clear about how that would actually, behaviorally play out? Serving the totality of life, that actually sounds pleasant, but how would that really play out? Read more

What is lust?

 himalaya2

Question: Isn’t lust a demand of the body and mind while true self keeps connecting with love?

 Acharya Prashant: No sir, this distinction is unfounded. What we call as lust is not at all bodily or mental or physical. It is a little deeper than that. Lust is a misplaced notion. Lust is super-expectation. Lust is passion, driven by hope. Don’t you want to examine where the great force of lust comes from? Why does man commit so much of his energy to lust? There must be some reason, some hope. One does not just waste himself. Read more

If life is not loveless, would you still talk of liberation?

Question: After listening to you it appears that the purpose of the world is Joy and fun. And Joy is coming from silence. And Silence would have been there even when we were not there. If Joy or Fun  are our natural states then why this universe does exists? Why did somebody create all this? What of the thinking?

Acharya Prashant: The question here, for those who will not comprehend Hindi, is that “Is Joy and Fun are our natural states then why does this universe does exist? Why did somebody create all this? What of the thinking?” I do not know what he was thinking but I am sure that if you go into this you will be set thinking and that will take away your peace.

We are not here to talk of mighty things. In a way of theory I can take this up, in fact I have taken this up not less than hundred times previously not less than five or ten or twenty videos addressing this. You would have put up on my name on YouTube. I could recycle their contents here right now but I don’t want to do that. I want to ask you, has this question really meaning for you? Do you live in this question? Is this question in any case in any way related to your daily living?

Life is what you do minute by minute, second by second, hour by hour. Minute by minute do you think why did God created the Earth or the Universe? Minute by minute you are taking over by questions of ambition, hope, worry, security, love, lust, achievement, fear, desperation, respectability – these are the things that really matters to us. In fact even when we talk of God we talk of some big entity, a fatherly figure, a respectable one, a creator and all powerful one. Do you see then that authority, security, respectability, bigness – this is what really matters to us? Let us rather ask questions which are very-very ordinary, I assure you that it is in the ordinary questions of one’s daily life that both the problem and the solution lie. Read more

Whatsoever tells you about the fundamentals of life comes in the purview of religion

The various religions are one of the major reasons why man’s search remains elusive; and when I say ‘religions’, I do not mean only organised religions. Whatsoever tells you about the fundamentals of life comes in the purview of religion.

So, if parents are trying to tell the kid about the importance of grades, about the importance of getting more marks – this is religious education. If peers are trying to tell a child, how absolutely critical it is to clear a competitive examination – this is religious indoctrination.

If a particular employer is motivating his employees to forget everything else and focus on sales targets, and he is saying, ‘Forget everything else, this is what you need to do!’ – This very much religious activity. This is religious activity because it is attempting to tell the listener that by undertaking this activity you will get That which you really want.

The man who is telling a woman that she should come with him and he will give her the highest happiness possible, is making a religious promise. He will never say — and romance hardly ever looks like religion, but the promise is essentially religious — he is promising God to her, he is saying, ‘Come to me, I will give you fulfilment! ’ It is another matter that he will never be able to keep his promise. All such promises get broken, all such affairs fail.

The shopping mall that is telling you that you can get enjoyment by visiting it is again making a religious claim.

All the institutions that the society has set up, that promise deliverance, completeness, satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment, are all trying to do something religious. When there is so much of purported religious activity being attempted, it is obvious that getting lost would be the easiest thing to do.


~ Excerpts from the article, ‘What is Religion?

Enlightenment is to feel free of the obligation to be enlightened

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Question: Is life not ultimately a hall of mirrors?

Acharya Prashant: No, what is meant by that? There is somebody outside the hall who can see that all this is happening. Yes, you project your world, it’s possible to see that you are doing that. So, life is outside that hall as well; and real life is only outside that hall. That hall is such an illusion. Read more

The Real teacher disappears from the outside and you see him in your Heart

Question: I see that one way of saying by Guru is, many of them are talking full of things like – “You are alive. You are beautiful. You are the Atman”, which is such, unlike anything. But people are still going after them. So, as time passes, in their going after them, they become set in their own ways and doing well.

Acharya Prashant: There is a difference. I am saying that you are the Atman even when nobody says that you are the Atman. I am saying you are beautiful even if everyone says you are ugly. Read more

Satisfaction does not lie ‘there’, it lies ‘here’

  • Can some of you try to live in the past? Will someone attempt to be in the future? When are you living? When is all your existence? Present. Where is the mind? Past. So, necessarily there is a sense of friction, conflict.

 

  • The mind thinks that somewhere out there, where it is wandering, lies happiness also, lies satisfaction also, that satisfaction does not lie out there. It lies in being present here, not out there. The more mind is wandering, the more it is clamoring for happiness.

 

  • Any one of you, who has been into the situation when you were wearing a wrong-sized shoe or very tight jeans throughout the day? How does it feel when you get rid of that in the evening? It feels great. Now the deeper is your pain, the more is your relief. All happiness that your mind feels is directly proportional to how unhappy you are. So, if you want to be really happy, become totally unhappy. This is called the law of duality.

 

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  • ‘I was very nervous before the results came. The moment the result comes (I am passed), now how do I feel? I start dancing’. Now this intensity of dance is directly proportional to the anxiety you felt.

 

  • Let me tell you a joke. Someone asks Santa, ‘Where does Banta live?’ He says, ‘In front of my house.’ Alright. ‘Where do you live?’ The reply is, ‘In front of Banta’s house.’ Alright. ‘Where do both of you live?’  The answer is, ‘In front of each other’s house.’

    This is the human mind, it knows nothing. It knows everything just as the opposite of the other, so essentially it does not know anything.

 

  • You are so dissatisfied right now because you are not present in the ‘now’, you are seeking it here and there. Keep seeking you will not get it. You may experience the period of so-called satisfaction, they will not last, they have never lasted for anybody. It’s the law of existence.

 

  • Like a pendulum, when it is journeying towards one side, the journey towards another side has begun. When you are moving towards happiness, actually the journey towards unhappiness has begun.

 

-Edited for clarity.

Read the post: Want to be happy? Become sad! I Words Into Silence

Watch the session: Want to be happy? Become sad! | YouTube

Sleepwalking through life

Speaker:  If somebody asks, “Tell me about yourself”, then how will you talk in the language of ‘We’? You see, this is what it is. I do not know myself and I claim to know everybody else as well.  It is already dangerous to claim self-knowledge, and I am claiming knowledge of others as well. Yes, so ‘I’…?

Listener 1: But Sir, I am not getting you actually.

Speaker: “I am not getting you”, right? Not “We are not getting you”. What did you say? “I am not getting you”. Correct? So, ‘I’! Yes?

Listener 1: Sir, I was saying, up to now, it was just a growth. But now I am here for development. Growth plus progress.

Speaker: Alright Sir. Now how do you differentiate between growth, progress and development?

Listener 1: Sir, according to me growth + progress = development.

Speaker: What is growth? What is progress? When you say X + Y = Z, you must first know ‘X’ and ‘Y’ in order to come to ‘Z’. What is growth? What is progress?

Listener 1: Growth is just increase in size and when some progress is included in that, it becomes development.

Speaker: When some…?

Listener 1: Progress is added to it.

Speaker: What is progress?

Listener 1: Progress means enhancing your views, observations and all the things.

Speaker: When you say increase in size, increase in whose size? Your body’s size. Is that what an educational institution is for? What do you mean by increase in size?

Listener 1: Sir, knowledge, mindset. It is a part of development.

Speaker: Growth. Let’s first focus on one thing. What do you mean by growth? We will then come to progress so that we can come to development. What is growth?

Listener 1: Simply as you have told that…

Speaker: Why should what I have told? I am nobody.

Listener 1: You were saying one thing…

Speaker: (Interrupting) You tell me, what do you mean by growth because it is your life, not mine. Right? It is your life. Not mine. So you tell me, what do you mean by growth.

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A life free of incompleteness and inferiority

Question: Sir, we have learned that we should not have ego, as it is conditioning. Ego arises because I feel incomplete within. But to fill this incompleteness is what I want in life. It gives me satisfaction in life. So, shouldn’t we be egoistic?

Speaker: What exactly is the logic? That we should be egoistic so that we continue feeling incomplete? Is that the argument?

Questioner: No sir. If ego is giving us completeness, shouldn’t we have an ego?

Speaker: It’s like saying that disease is giving me health. Is ego giving you completeness? Or is ego itself a continuous feeling of being unwell, of being incomplete and lacking and small and unworthy? How can a feeling of unworthiness give you worthiness? How can a feeling of incompleteness give you completeness?

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Running the same circle again and again will not take you beyond the circle

Question: Sir, there is a common notion that if I go about consuming things, then there would be a time when I will see the uselessness of these things. And ultimately this would help me to go to the other center, the immensity. I have a strong belief in that, though I do not know whether I am right or wrong. Would you please shed some light on this?

Speaker: The man who is rushing towards his fiftieth round of consumption, is he in any way different from the man who is rushing towards his five hundredth round, and the man who is rushing towards his first round?

Listener 1: Not much, except that he will be more experienced.

ObjectSpeaker: That experience means nothing. The forty-nine times have given him nothing. That is why he is rushing the fiftieth time. The man, who is rushing the five-hundredth time, is again standing at the very same level, because four hundred and ninety-nine times he has failed. That is why he is rushing the five-hundredth time.

Listener 1: Yes.

Speaker: You know, there is breathing, that happens continuously. It has a utilitarian role. You breathe, but you never think that breathing will give you contentment. So you can continue to have an ‘experience’ of breathing, right?

And it has to happen continuously, mechanically, thousands of times, millions of times, right? But with your experience, your approach is different. You do not enter into your experience in the same way as you breathe. With experience, there is a mental component involved.

Breathing happens without mentation. You are not thinking about breathing. Or are you? You are not placing any hopes on your breath. Or are you? Nobody ‘hopes’ anything from the next breath, or do you? Do you ever think that, “With the next breath, I will be taking in God”? Or do you? Or, “With my next exhale, I would be shutting out, all my suffering.” You never say that.

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Standing still, I move so fast

Unmoving, the One, than the mind is swifter.

The senses fell back as ahead It speeded.

Though standing, It passes all others running.

The air by Its presence supports the waters.

 

It moves and yet It does not move. It is far and also near.

It is found within all this and also outside can appear.

Ishavasya Upanishad (4-5)

Speaker: “Unmoving, the One, than the mind is swifter”, that is swifter than the mind. “The senses fell back as ahead It speeded”, its speed is greater than that of the senses. “Though standing, It passes all others running”, shows no movement yet He passes all those who are displaying any movement. “The air by Its presence supports the waters”. Then, “It moves and yet It does not move. It is far and also near. It is found within all this and also outside can appear”.

So, to say that this, all this (Referring to the world), is not the Truth would not be proper, but also to say that this alone is the Truth, too would not be proper. “It (Truth) is within all this (the World) and outside all this.” This is also how they put it across in Zen – “It is not what it appears but It is also nothing different from it.” All objects arise in It and are due to It but It cannot be objectified. Everything arises in It, due to It and goes back to It but ‘It’ is not a thing. Because It gives birth to everything, so whatever qualities they possess come due to It the One, the Brahm, the Truth. But It is not the sum total of the qualities of any object or all objects taken together. All objects along with their respective qualities of movement, speed, colour, form, whatever qualities there might be, arise from It. So obviously It has the potential for all those qualities, that is why they appear from It. But at the same time those qualities do not account for the potential that It has. So, there is the potential from which all the qualities appear but even if you take all the qualities together, if they could be taken together, still the potential would be left out. So It is within it and also outside it. Getting it? Within it and outside it. No scope is left for any kind of debate here.

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Complete your action, and carry no expectation

“Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.”

― Lao Tzu

Question:  Lao Tzu says, “Do your work, then step back.”  What does he mean?

Speaker: We don’t step back. Do we? Like a salesman who has come to deliver goods to our house, we remain standing on the customer’s door steps. We don’t step back. We say, “We won’t step back till we get the payment.”

“I did something, now I want the result. How can I step back? Where is the fruit of my action? How can I step back? The circle is not yet complete, how can I step back? How can I step back?” We don’t step back.

We wait and wait, and this waiting creates time, this waiting creates future, this waiting is hope and expectations. And there is no suffering worse than hope. There is no torture, worse than, looking at future, in expectation.

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What is inspiration?

Question: How can inspiration be so effective that it changes life of a person?

Speaker: Person have no inspiration, they only have ‘expiration’. Do you know what inspiration is? That is “in spirit”, your very core; when it arises from there, only then it can be called an inspiration. In spirit! Are we ever inspired really? No. (Smilingly) We keep expiring. That is why a saint has said that “you die a thousand deaths before you physically die“, because we always expire. Inspiration means when you really know not when you have heard, read or thought about it and it has stopped at that.

The person is made up of the world. He cannot have inspiration. He has nothing actually that can take control of him and comfort him and relax him. He is always at the mercy of the outside buffeted by and in between a thousand forces.

Because a person is asking this question that is why the person is asking, how can inspiration be so much or whether inspiration can be so much? All this is the lexicon, the tongue of the person. In the wiring of the person there are only movements and processes and reaching and doubts so he will firstly ask whether and then he will ask how.

Inspiration is about being totally possessed. Inspiration is about giving your complete command to something that you are not. And when we are talking of completeness, then it cannot happen in doubt. Doubt means hundred percent cannot happen. Doubt means something will be reserved.

Inspiration is not for those who ask for why and how. Inspiration is when you drop all this mental veneer. And allow yourself to roam naked. Inspiration will not tell you what to do in your current circumstances.

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