What is humbleness? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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What is humbleness

Question: Acharya Ji, what is humbleness?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

‘Humbleness’ is required, or meaningful, only in the context of an inflated ego. Because most of us live in stories about ourselves, and those stories cause us a lot of misery, therefore freedom from those stories is needed.

A mind free of stories about itself, is a humble mind.

The story could say everything. The story does not always say, “I am the king of the world.” Often the story says, “I am the most wretched person on this earth.” Nevertheless, irrespective of it’s content, a story is just a story.

So, what is ‘humility’? To not to live in the stories about oneself.

So, humility is not about having a poor, or humble story about oneself. Humility is not about saying, “O! I am the little one. O! I am the speck of dust in this giant universe.” You could have a big story, about a big monster. And you could have an equally big story, about a little speck of dust, right?

It is not the size of the character that matters.

It is the story around the character, that is the pain.

When we attempt to be humble, then we just reduce the size of the character, and apparently, relatively, new story comes up. But the size of the story remains the same, we said, irrespective of the size of the central character, of the central figure of the story.

Are you getting it?

Therefore, humility, is a certain cleanliness.

Humility, is a certain absence – an absence of ideas, and stories about oneself.

To be humble, is to live in the fact of one’s life, irrespective of how the fact appears.

So can we say that ‘humility’ and ‘honesty’ are two different words? Are they? Really? And then, can we say that ‘humility’ and ‘understanding’ are different words? They are not.

Are you getting it?

If you are not humble, it directly implies that you do not know yourself. Because you do not know yourself, the reaction to the ignorance is, imagination. Why else do you need to imagine? Imagination is a reaction to lack of self-knowledge.

When you do not ‘know’, then you need to weave stories and imagine.

I will repeat this, irrespective of what your story says about you, a story is merely a story. You cannot be humble, as long as you put a lot of trust in your myths, in your stories.

The more assertively you declare – “This is how I am” – the more it is certain that you do not know the – I AM. It is a strange thing you see. Knowing ‘how I am’, is an instant distancing from the one – I think I am.

So, the moment you know this thing called ‘I’, you will no more call it the ‘I’, because now you are distanced from it. And to call something as ‘I’, you have to be completely united with it, identified with it. To know the ‘I’, is to no more be able to call it the ‘I’. It’s a paradox, you see.

What is ‘humility’ then? To know the ‘I’, and therefore be a little cautious, of calling it – the ‘I’. And then that takes you to a totally different center. When you can no longer call, the usual ‘I’, as ‘I’, then how will you operate from that ‘I’? The center itself is gone.

What comes over then?

Well, who knows. Who wants to?

Why bother to know?

——————————————————————————————————————————

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

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

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Gatay, Gatay, Paragatay…

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Gatay, Gatay, Paragatay….

I will miss you so much,
Pardon me, I will have to die.
We played together for long,
Now I’m going home to the Sky.

I will miss you so much,
I’m going to where I belong.
It breaks my heart to leave you,
I tried hard to bring you along.

I will miss you so much,
My time has finally come.
As a friend I could not help you,
So a stranger I must become.

I will miss you so much,
But now the Sky is pulling me.
All the glorious stars are here,
I’ll miss my silly games with thee.

I will miss you so much,
Body is cold, faint is breath.
The mission I failed in my life,
Maybe will succeed in my death.

I will miss you so much,
My pain will make the stars cry.
I’ll come down in some other form
To bring you one day to the Sky.

I will miss you so much,
I am departing to settle my due.
When in doubt, you must remember,
I had to die because I love you.

~ 31st May’19


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Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)

Is willpower really needed

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Question: Acharya Ji, how to improve willpower?

Acharya Prashant Ji: So, what has Aditya (the questioner) asked? “What can we do, to improve will power?” Right?

What is ‘willpower’, and why do we need it? What is ‘will power’?

Listener: To have determination.

Acharya Ji: To have determination. Determination, for what?

Listener: For our goal.

Acharya Ji: For our goal. To ‘do’ something. Right? To ‘do’ something. You need willpower in order that, something happens, that something gets done, right? Now, why does something, not get done? We often find that we are unable to act, to ‘do’.

Why are we unable to act, and ‘do’?

Listener 1: Because of fear.

Listener 2: Because of restrictions.

Acharya Ji: Fear. Restrictions.

If fear is there, if restrictions are there, and you give them importance, then obviously you cannot act. And when you cannot act, then you get up and say that you need willpower.

So, willpower is needed, only when you feel fear, only when you feel restrictions.

In order to overcome them, you need willpower. And that is what you are asking – “How can I enhance willpower?” What could be a better question?

Would it not be a better question: How not to be afraid? How not to be restricted?

Are you trying it, with me? We say, “We need willpower.” What if the willpower is actually not needed? What if you are fighting imaginary demons? You say, “You know, I require a lot of willpower, to enter that room, because in that room, there are ghosts, are there are demons?”

And as long as you believe, that there are ghosts, and there are demons, what will you require? Will power.  Willpower, motivation, somebody to give you courage. Somebody to pump you up. What if you come to see that there are no ghosts, and there are no demons? Would you still require willpower? Would you still require willpower?

(Pointing at one of the listeners) You are shaking your head, would you require willpower, to shake your head? You are again shaking your head, do you again require willpower? You are saying, “No, Sir,” do you require any willpower to say, “No, Sir”?

You just know, and out of that clarity, a simple action is happening. There is no willpower needed. But, if you are told that the fellow sitting in front of you, is a maniac, and the moment somebody shakes his head, nods his head, he shoots from the podium itself, then you will need a lot of willpower, to nod in ‘Yes’, or ‘No’. Right? Otherwise the action is simple. If you have to enter a room, you have to just step in. If you have to shake your head, you just shake it. A simple nod.

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

When we look into these obstacles, we find that they are only, as long as, we believe in them.

Then, you do not need willpower. Wisdom is enough.

Then, you do not need courage. Clarity is sufficient.

But, instead of asking for clarity, we often ask for courage. Now, courage is not needed, clarity is needed. Instead of asking for wisdom, we ask for will power. Will power is not needed, wisdom is enough.

If you are deeply afraid, and you believe that everybody will laugh at you, when you will ask a question, then you will need a lot of willpower. But if you are wise, and you say, “First of all, not many people are going to laugh. Secondly, even if somebody laughs, how does it matter to me?” then, will you still need will power?

You don’t need willpower. You need willpower, only as an antidote to fear. Where there is no fear, there is no need of willpower. So, don’t ask me, “How to enhance will power?” The more afraid you are, the more will power you need.

Is that not so?

Listeners: Yes, Sir.

Acharya Ji:

The more restricted you feel, the more willpower you need. Is that not so? Just open your eyes and see, that there is no restriction, except those, that you subscribe to, except those, that you willingly self-impose.

Then you will say, “Well, willpower! Who needs it?” When you are enjoying a particular sport, then you run around a lot. You expend a lot of energy. Do you need willpower? Do you need willpower?

Listeners: No.

Acharya Ji: But you will need a lot of willpower, if you are told to go jogging, and if you don’t enjoy jogging, then jogging even fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, you will say, “O my god, I am just dragging my feet. Give me some willpower.”

When you are really into something, when there is no fear, who asks for will power?

It is not needed.

Are you getting it?

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

Watch the session:  Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)


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Quotes, April’19

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1.

If you want to most definitely reach,

Take the most difficult route.

2.

What is It?

More than everything, in general.

Less than nothing, in particular.

3.

If your lover speaks to you in a language you cannot comprehend,

does your love diminish?

No.

You may not comprehend his words, but still, you do understand.

What do you understand ?

Nothing in particular.

Not everything has to be intellectually comprehended.

Love is enough.

4.

Freedom is the backdrop in which bondage appears as bondage.

Freedom is the Light in which darkness looks like darkness.

If there is only darkness, there is no darkness.

Darkness means anything only in the presence of Light.

To not to feel bondage is to not to be in Freedom.

5.

Grace is available to you unconditionally, but not compulsorily.

She would come to your doorstep,and knock.

She will wait,not break open your door.

Answer the knock quickly,or the knock keeps getting dimmer and infrequent.

She isn’t short of patience,but you’re short of time.

6.

Those who are winning the war, matter.

They need to be saluted.

Those who are losing the war, matter.

They need to be helped.

Those who are absentees from battlefield, do not matter.

They need to be ignored.

7.

What you collect for your security makes you all the more insecure.

8.

Except for Prakriti,

who will tell you

of all the stories of

Parmatma?

And, well,

all his secrets?

9.

What does it mean to say “God is One? Truth is One?”

It simply means: Do not allow the many to lord over your mind. The world is many things. The world is many thoughts, moods, emotions, ideologies, objects, relationships.

Do not let these turn into your gods.

10.

The lover, the mystic, looks at the moon

and knows fullness itself.

Is the material just material?

A thing is the Source behind itself.

It appears as a thing only because you watch as something.

Watch as nothing,

and the thing reveals itself as it’s own genesis.

 

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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Suffer, but suffer rightly || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Suffer, but suffer rightly

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Question: Is suffering necessary to reach the Truth? Once I have identified pain and fear, or something like this, where I know that it is creating unpleasant situation or suffering for me, what are the next ways for me to be this….peaceful. What is next?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

A lot of suffering is just unnecessary. If it is unnecessary, give it up. A part of it is necessary. If it is necessary, go through it.

We can see the next question coming. What is the next question?

Listener: How do we know which part of the suffering is necessary, and which part is unnecessary?

Acharya ji: How do we know which part of the suffering is necessary, and which part is unnecessary?

You see, you move about like a drunkard on the road, and get hit or keep hitting, and abuse and get abused, and blow up your money, and all of that has a suffering component attached to it. That is unnecessary. Even if you suffer for a thousand years, you won’t be spiritually elevated. Right?

If you get cursed by a thousand men, for a thousand years, it won’t elevate your spiritual status, even a  little. So that kind of suffering is totally foolish, just give it up. You don’t need to suffer. Ego finds a perverse pleasure, even in suffering.

People meet me, and so many of them say that all the great Yogis and Rishis(Sages), they suffered so much, and that is why they arrived at greatness. To this, I said that, not everybody who suffers, arrives at greatness. There has to be a particular quality, even in suffering. Not all suffering is necessary. Most of human suffering, is totally unnecessary. Give it up!

A monk met me once, I was in Dharamshala at that time. Had a very long conversation with him, he had come to visit. It’s a cold place, Dharamshala. And the fellow would be, always, in just one piece of cloth. I said to him, “Why are you doing this to yourself?” He replied, “Suffering is necessary.” I asked him, “Are you sure that this kind of suffering will lead you somewhere?”

But he was very determined. He was a senior monk, and he had done that all his life. It was very difficult for him to accept that all the suffering that he had accumulated, rather earned over his lifetime, is needless. It’s needless!

Technology is good. Science has provided man with medicine. All that is not just hot air, all that is meaningful. If you are having a great headache, don’t tell me that your peace won’t be disturbed. If modern medicine can help you get rid of physical disorders at least, that helps. No point quoting again and again, that you are the Atman, and nothing but the Atman, so no migraine, or no headache affects you.

Those who have headaches and migraines, know that these do affect. Keeping the migraine upon you, and saying that suffering helps, and suffering cleanses and purifies, is non-sensical. Give it up!

And then there is legitimate, and genuine suffering, that comes to you, in the process of self-realisation. You will have to go through it.

I will give an example. You think of yourself as a very worthy man. You think of yourself as an honest man. You think of yourself as a loving father, or a loving son, or a loving husband. Or you think of yourself as devoted wife, or a caring mother, or a loving daughter. Something.

The more you open your eyes in the spiritual sense, the more you realise, that you have been exploiting others, just every bit, as much as others have been exploiting everybody else. And then, it is not pleasant to come up on this realisation.

One suffers.

What I am saying is, that awareness brings suffering, in it’s wake. You cannot wake up, and not suffer. this is what I am calling as ‘genuine suffering’. And many people prefer not to wake up, just because they want to avoid the genuine suffering as well.

And, I assure you, what you call as ‘self-realisation’, is never going to be pleasant.

It’s not going to be blissful or something. It’s always a bit of a heartbreak.

One sees the futility of one’s life.

One sees that how tremendously misled, one has been. And all that hits the ego.

One gets hurt.

It is never pleasant to get hurt.

But one has to pass through that. One has to let that suffering come, and one has stand very vulnerable to it. One has to bow her head down. One has to say, “I see that I have been not only blind, but I have been needlessly blind. All my life, I have just deceived myself.” One’s self-esteem falls into pieces. One has to be prepared for all that. And all that, I said, entails suffering.

You will not reach Truth, with your ego intact.

Listener: To realise one thing, like somebody realises in one instance, I take ten-eleven instances, and then also I get half the part of it. It happens often. How do I reduce this gap, or time? Why do I need to get hurt so much, that I lose everything, and then only I realise?

Acharya ji: Love yourself more. Love yourself more. We have been taught to hate ourselves. We have been taught to hate ourselves, and therefore, love the world.

When you look at a nice shirt, what do you say? “Let me wear this shirt, this shirt will add value to me.” So, what do you hate, and what do you love? You despise yourself. You say, “I am of inferior value.” You think of even a shirt, that can add value to you, don’t you? And therefore, when you find people wearing expensive shirts, you look upto them.

We have been taught to look down upon ourselves.

Love yourself. Respect yourself.

And then you will not accept hurt.

And then, you will not be prone to inviting hurt.

We do not have basic, simple, innocent, self-love. We keep inviting hurt, and equally we are afraid of hurt.

Loving yourself is very different from improving yourself, or adding value to yourself. In fact, they are opposite in a sense. Understand this. I hope you don’t misinterpret me. By loving yourself, I do not mean that you should wear the best saree – “Because I am loving myself so much, so I am gifting myself the best saree.” No, no, no!

Loving yourself means, that you look upto yourself, and respect yourself, already as you are. You tell yourself, that it is not the world that will add value to me. The value resides within.”

O! The value does not reside, even in this structure of flesh and bones. It is somewhere else that the value resides. The value resides in neither in this(the flesh), or in this(the mind), nor in all that(the world outside). It is somewhere else that the value resides. And that somewhere else, is not a distant point. That somewhere else is, in here(the heart). And if it is in here, I love myself. Why do I love myself? Because that valuable one is, right in here.

Listeners: Within.

Acharya ji: I love myself because, this structure itself is the abode of the valuable one. I do not love the structure. The structure will fall into pieces. The structure might get killed tomorrow, who knows?

That is self-love! Love yourself a lot.

Listener: It seems too far.

Acharya ji: It is not too far. It is your natural state. It seems far, only because you have come too far from yourself. So return!

And returning is easier than coming so far. Just don’t remain too dependent on this and that.

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

Watch the session:  Suffer, but suffer rightly || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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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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Is it compassion to suffer with the suffering one? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Is it compassion to suffer with the suffering one

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Question: Acharya ji, would it be an act of compassion, to suffer with the one who is already suffering?

Acharya Prashant ji: It depends totally on you. There can be no principles in this matter.

The one who is suffering, is suffering, because he is deluded.

Remember that suffering is always a choice.

The one who is suffering, because of delusion, he has chosen suffering. He must be having his reasons. Every one, who chooses anything, always has some reason to quote. The fellow who is suffering, surely must be having some reasons to offer. And now, you too start suffering with him. You too have a certain reason to offer. The reason is compassion.

What do you think, the other fellow, the one you intend to help, is an utter fool? He too has his reasons. You know what he is suffering for? If you will ask him, “What are you suffering for?”, he will say, “Love.” So, he is suffering for love, and you are suffering for compassion, and seeing the two of you suffer, a third one comes to rescue both of you. And what is he suffering for? Wisdom.  And then a fourth one? What’s his reason? Responsibility. And then a fifth one? We never suffer without reason. It’s just that our reasons are a bit stupid.

Nobody likes to be proven stupid in front of the mirror. We always find something, to justify ourselves.

If we are in sorrow, we would always have an excuse to offer.

Rare is the one who admits, that his sorrow is his own doing.

Very rare.

And this rare one, is the spiritually initiated one.

It might surprise you, but most of our suffering, is an effort towards goodness. Be good, do good. Be nice, help others.

Listener: So, to stop suffering, we must stop doing good to others?

Acharya ji: Examine what your goodness is all about. But, see how you come up with another display of the same tendency. You would remain stubbornly fixated to your definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. If pointed out that goodness is not working out for you, you would say, “Ah! Should I turn bad then?”

A drunkard is hobbling, and stuttering, when he is moving to the left. How would he move, when he moves to the right?

Listener: Same way.

Acharya ji: But you just don’t want to change your fundamental condition of drunkenness. You just want to change your direction. Yes! Instead of then stumbling towards the left, you would now be stumbling and falling towards the right. The hurt and the sorrow would remain the same, because the internal condition as remained the same.

‘Good’ or ‘bad’, how do they matter, if the one, deciding goodness, and badness, is not examining herself deeply and honestly enough. It is easy, and it is possible. And all of us, deserve it.

Here is a little bit of advice.

If you find that you are hitting against people, hitting against the poles, stumbling against stones, falling into ditches, have a bleeding knee and a bleeding nose, the entire being is bruised, don’t change direction.

A change of direction won’t help.

It is not the direction that has gone wrong.

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

Watch the session:  Is it compassion to suffer with the suffering one? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Happiness and self-knowledge||Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

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Happiness and self-knowledge.jpg

“We seek happiness through things, through relationship, through thoughts, ideas and do not realise their impermanence. To find out the true meaning of happiness, we must explore the river of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is not an end in itself. Is there a source to stream?”

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: Acharya Ji, can you please explain what JK said in the above paragraph?  JK mentioned that exploring the river of self-knowledge and happiness, is to be found where you are on this river.

Acharya Prashant Ji: What Krishnamurti is referring to here is – Joy, not happiness. That is linked to pleasure. So, not your usual meaning of ‘happiness’ is to be applied to Krishnamurti’s words here. I would have loved it, had he been a little more precise with his choice of words. Joy is what he is talking of.

As far as worldly happiness is concerned, it is available at all points in the river. In fact, the river is flowing just for the sake of happiness. Otherwise, why would the river flow at all? Source would have been sufficient.

So it is not really happiness that is to be found through self-knowledge. In fact, self-knowledge often is a danger to happiness.

Self-knowledge dissolves both happiness and sadness, and you are left with nothing but a naked and silent Joy. 

Now the next point.

“It is to be found, where you are, on the river of self-knowledge.”

What does ‘self-knowledge’ mean?

Self-knowledge is about seeing the self in it’s activities in motion, constantly.

‘You’ are the little self. And self-knowledge is about seeing yourself – What do you do? How you behave? What your instincts are? What your reactions are? And such things.

If you can see your self clearly, without motivation, then the seeing itself is great fun.

That I call as ‘Joy’.

Just the seeing is great fun.

Nothing more than that is contained in this excerpt.

——————————————————————————————————-

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session video: Happiness and self-knowledge || Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Or, call the Foundation at 9650585100, or write to requests@advait.org.in


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Be sincere with even your wrong choices || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2019)

 

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Be sincere with even your wrong choices

Question: Acharya Ji, is it a right decision to dedicate one’s whole life to the pursuit of something unknown?

Also, kindly throw light on how should we choose something in life.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Whatever you are doing, there has to be honesty in that. What is important is: you cannot say one thing, and do another thing.

If you look at the great scientific discoveries and inventions, the scientist or the explorer would be busy in his chosen area of pursuit, having disregarded everything else.

Columbus set out for India. And you very well know for how long a period was he on the seas. And he was not reaching anywhere. Certainly, he was not reaching India, because he was not even headed towards India.

Now, in that period if you would have gone to him, and looked at him: the food material, the ration, as well as the motivation, all were in short supply. You would have said that this fellow is a fool, he has left everything. In fact, he has left the entire continent for the sake of nothing. Not only that, he is going in the wrong direction as well. But look at what he got. He got America.

He got America, because, what he was doing was not a pretense. He was doing it sincerely. At times there were rebellions on his little ship, people even thought of killing Columbus. They said that let us get rid of this man, throw him in water, and return.

But he persevered.

It doesn’t matter what you are chasing.

Be very-very sincere.

You must know that you are committed to it.

And you must be very-very assured that you are not blindly chasing something. You understand that, that which you are looking for, is important.

Discovering an entire continent, is important. Finding a new sea-route to India, was important. So, if this fellow feels that there is something very important that he must discover, let him get into it. Let him plunge into it.

The only condition is: if you are doing it, do it fully.

Do it completely, do it honestly.

If you have left behind one kind of life, if you have left behind one kind of job, at least do the other job honestly, diligently.

Work really hard.

You have all the right to make a choice. But if you make a choice, and don’t do justice to it, then that is very bad.

In fact, correction of choices only happen, when first of all, you have fully tried out what you are doing.

Please see.

You choose something. Now, unless you dedicate yourself fully to it, how will you know whether your choice is correct? May be your choice is incorrect. But if you are not trying out your chosen area in a complete sense, you would always be left with the hope that – ‘Something is still left to be tried out. So let me stay put. Let me not opt out’.

Once you make a choice, plunge fully into it.

Commit yourself completely.

And then, only then, if your choice is misplaced, you will come to know that you need to change something.

You know why people continue with even wrong choices for very long in their life? Because they don’t do justice to their right choices, and even to their wrong choices.

If you are choosing a particular way, go down fully. Cover a lot of distance. And that will tell you, whether the way, the path, the road, that road that you have chosen, is right or not. If you choose particular road, and don’t go far on it, how will you know whether the road is right or wrong?

So when you say that you are making a choice, commit yourself to the choice, so that if the choice is wrong you can quickly change it. Otherwise, you might find that you are spending the entire life-time just being in the wrong profession, with the wrong people, with the wrong thoughts, with the wrong ideologies, with the wrong habits.

Test, test and Test!

That scientific rigour must be there. That spirit of inquiry is essential to the youth. Ask, and test. Laziness – you probably have enough time for that, once you are ninety. This is the time for some real hard work. Hard work that involves the muscles, and hard work that involves the brain.

Did you get this?

Even if we have made a wrong choice, like Columbus did, he had chosen a wrong path, had he not? The navigational path that he opted for, would have never brought him to India. Or it would have brought him to India only after covering the entire earth, because he was going in exactly the opposite direction.

From Europe, instead of coming eastwards, he was actually traveling westwards. But even if he was travelling westwards, he at least had confidence, that he was doing something worthy. Have that confidence. And that confidence can only come by serious questioning and examination. It cannot just come from belief. It cannot just come from a kind of superstition.

You must never be afraid of questioning others,

and also never be afraid of questioning oneself.

The second part is tougher.

It is easy to ask questions to others, at least it is relatively easy. Questioning oneself hurts the ego. But that’s one must practice.

Question yourself: ‘What am I doing?’ Initially, there might be confusion. But this confusion will lead to clarity. Is it not better to be initially confused, than to have false clarity? So, afford a little confusion, that will give you a lot of clarity. And a young man, and a young woman, has to make lot of decisions. Some of those decisions have consequences for the entire life. Therefore, you must have clarity.

I have seen very-very bright people, from the best institutions in the country and in the world, just get lost because they made some awful decisions, and persisted with them.

The best of the country, the best of the world, even they need to continue questioning themselves.

That alone leads to continuous correction, and continuous light.

———————————————————————————————————

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session video: Be sincere with even your wrong choices || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Or, call the Foundation at 9650585100, or write to requests@advait.org.in


Support Acharya Prashant’s work:

  • Donate via Patreon: Become a Patron!
  • Donate via PayTm @ +91-9999102998
  • Donate via PayPal:

    (In multiples of $10)

    $10.00

Understanding is awareness

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

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

Mathematics is knowledge; understanding is awareness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


 

Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti Unbecoming unaware

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

Acharya Prashant: It is said, become deeply aware.

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

Listeners: Awareness.

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

Read it as – unbecoming unaware.

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

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

It is.

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

Read more

Self-knowledge is an empowerment

Self-knowledge would mean, being conscious of the actions of the body and the thoughts of the mind. Knowing what do I do and what do I think.

All this is ‘Self-knowledge.’ Watching your actions and watching your thoughts.

‘Self-knowledge’ is a process of reduction. It’s a process of inhalation. It is also called Neti-Neti. The more you see, the more you realize it’s falseness.

Self-knowledge means that the more you know ‘yourself,’ the less you see that what you call yourself is ‘your’ ‘self.’ It is not your self at all. It is a puppet, a machine.

Self-awareness is the vast empty sky that remains after all the dust, dirt, haziness and clouds have been removed.

Before you ask for ‘self-awareness,’ ask for ‘self-knowledge.’ ‘Self-knowledge’ is also called as ‘self-consciousness.’

That is what is an absence of ‘Self-consciousness.’ We do not know what we are doing.

Self-knowledge is empowermentgreat empowerment.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: What is self-awareness?


 

Acharya Prashant: What is self-awareness?

Question: Acharya Ji, what does it mean to be ‘self-aware?’

Acharya Prashant: What does it mean to be self-aware? For this, we have to go first into ‘self-knowledge.’ Knowledge of the ‘self’ and awareness of the ‘self.’ We will have to take these two together. What is ‘self?’ Simple, the ‘self’ that which we call as ‘me,’ ‘I.’

What’s your name?

Listener: Acharya Ji, Dev.

AP: So, for Dev, ‘self’ is Dev, right? Self-knowledge would simply mean, “knowing that what this Dev thing is all about.” A very basic start. What is this creature called ‘Dev?’ Self-knowledge means, “Dev is a body and Dev is a mind. Dev acts and Dev thinks. The body acts and the mind thinks.”

So,

Self-knowledge would mean, being conscious of the actions of the body and the thoughts of the mind.

Knowing what do I do and what do I think.

Read more

Acharya Prashant: Thought and the thinker are both not needed

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Acharya Prashant: Azaz is saying, “I think a lot in relationship, no matter whom I am related to. Even when I am sitting here, I am thinking a lot about how to frame a question. How to know the right response while being related? How do I know my right response while I sit here? Why is there so much thinking in me?”.

Thought arises as a conscious mechanism to solve something, that is not quite conscious. Thought is like a skin ointment, applied to a heart problem. Thought is a superficial way to solve a problem that is deeper than the surface. Thought always proceeds with images about the world. Thought always tries to find a solution, in the domain of space and time, reasoning, cause and effect, planning, events, addition, reaction, movement. Thought is like trying to find a solution through the leaves when the root is diseased. Read more

Yoga is freedom from that which you think yourself to be

 

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न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्ध : कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ।।

श्रीमद भगवद गीता (४. ३८)

(Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge.

A man who has become perfect in yoga, finds it within himself in course of time.)

Acharya Prashant: Krishna, brings us to Yoga, along with certain words – Knowledge, time, the self. Let us discover, what Yoga is, and what is the relationship of Yoga to knowledge, to time and to the self.

न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

“Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge” – It is always, easy to misinterpret, misunderstand a Krishna, a Buddha. They speak from their highness. We listen from where we are. And they too are confined by language. Though they are artists of language, though their language plays around, though their language breaches the  of usual boundaries of meaning. Still, language is language, something man-made. And whatever is man-made, will always struggle is fully carrying the import of that which is beyond man, which is not man’s creation.

So, Krishna says, “Nothing purifies like knowledge.” In the world of Krishna, ‘Knowledge’ has a very special meaning. The word, ‘Gyana’ there, does not refer to the usual, sensual, memory based knowledge, that we are accustomed to. When Krishna says, “Knowledge”, he means, that which helps you see the limitation of what you generally call as knowledge.  Krishna says, “Knowledge is a great purifier.” But for most of us, knowledge, is the prime agent of corruption. For most of us, knowledge is the greatest bondage. Knowledge is, what keeps us heavy. Elsewhere in classical literature, The Shiv Sutra, very crisply put it in two words, “Gyanam bandhah”, Knowledge is bondage. Read more

If not Silence, then music. Nothing else

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Listener 1 (L1): Since the last few days, I have been with you, taking in what you say and the result is that I am clearly able to see the fakeness contained in the world in the ways of mankind. And that makes me ask what is the point of carrying all that madness?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Very important question, because this is what breaches the whole flow of knowing, of realisation for so many people.

So, you are saying that the process of knowing, realisation begins and begins to identify what all is fake, artificial and conditioned in one’s ways, and as one goes deeper into realising this, one finds that there is no end to detecting falseness. Whatever you touch comes out to be false. Read more

Are you alright with yourself?

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Question: Sir, in real life, habits look real. Not false.

Acharya Prashant: It may look real, it may look unreal. Ultimately, how do you feel with it? Are you okay? If you are okay with it, then the whole thing stops here. If you are okay with the way it is then it stops here. The fact is nobody is okay with the way he or she is. Some are honest enough to admit and some decorate their suffering with fancy names.

Spirituality is for the one who has decided to totally get rid of the suffering.

Read more

The mind must be given very little to carry forward

Black & White 100%

Acharya Prashant: Suppose at this moment you are disturbed, then future is created for you. How? You say, I am disturbed right now so I must have Peace in the future. So, now, you want Peace, and disturbance has created a future. Now, if your intellect is sharp, if the mind is in the proper place then you will say that Peace will come from the Truth or from the Guru; you want Peace and it will come. Future has still been created but you are finding the right door to Peace.

Read more

On Ashtavakra: The self uses the words of the Guru to defend itself from the Guru

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Even if Shiva,
Vishnu or Brahma be your instructor yet,
unless you forget everything
you cannot achieve abidance in the Self.

~ Ashtavakra Gita Chapter 16, 11th verse ~

Acharya Prashant: You are spoken to, not so that you can know more. The instructor may be the highest and wisest that you can get, yet he will use words and actions which are all going to be perceived by you through mental activity.

The whole effort of the Guru is to rid you of your unnecessary self.

Your effort is to use the words of the Guru to protect and extend the same self that the Guru is trying to annihilate. 

So in that sense, you are always at the war with the Guru.  Read more

At least, commit new mistakes

There is an Arabic proverb that says,  “Even a donkey does not fall in the same hole twice.”

And look at your life!

Every six hours, you commit the same mistakes.

There is nothing new in your life, not even your mistakes.

Like everything else about you, your mistakes are also stale and repetitive.

At least, commit new mistakes.

Even existence is bored of you.

The same mistakes, same patterns; again and again.

The same restlessness, the same prevarications, the same energy-less-ness, the same attention-less-ness!

Just one thing you don’t have – selflessness. There you are quite full, full of the self.