Do you know your real self-interest? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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

Do you know your real self-interest

Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji! A month back I asked a question on ‘numbness’ and how it affects my life. You gave me a good lesson on self-centeredness, and explained that if I am not able to do much for myself, then I should start working for others, so totally, that I forget myself.

There is one thing that I do not understand. ‘I’ the self-centered one, knows only self-centered action. If that is the starting point for helping others, then won’t that too turn out as subtle selfishness?

Acharya Prashant Ji: It’s okay.

It is not the ‘self-centeredness’ that is problematic.

Misplaced ‘self-centeredness’ is problematic.

Incomplete ‘self-centeredness’ is problematic.

When you say that you are being ‘self-centered’, what is it that you are centered on? That which you are as ‘the self’ do you know it? Know it, and then be ‘self-centered’.

It is okay. No problem.

In fact, there is actually, no option, but to be ‘self-centered’.

Whatever man does, he would always be ‘self-centered’, doesn’t matter whether you are the lowly looter, or the highest Saint – both are ‘self-centered’. It is just that one knows the self, and the other does not. One operates with a vague conception of the self. The other one, sits firmly, with total clarity of the self.  Nevertheless, ‘self-centeredness’ is, common amongst the two.

So, look at your tendencies. See what is it that you want. If by ‘self-centeredness’, you mean the common ‘selfishness’, try being selfish, and see whether it fulfills you. Why should we blindly, or moralistically, declare that ‘selfishness’ is bad? Let’s give ‘selfishness’ a chance – a fair chance.

If ‘selfishness’ can fulfill you, go ahead. If not ‘selfishness’, what is it then, that would work for you? Surely, not self-lessness.

If ‘selfishness’ doesn’t work for you, then go for deeper ‘selfishness’.

A deeper understanding of the ‘self’.

Work in your own self-interest, but know at least, what the interests of the ‘self’ are.

————————————————————————————————————————–

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

Watch the session: Do you know your real self-interest? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00

There is nothing as one’s True Self || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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

There is nothing as one's True Self

Question: Acharya Ji, I have often observed that my bodily tendencies always act as a hindrance in my spiritual growth. Please guide.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Sadhana is not for the sake of the body.

The body does not want any kind of liberation. All that the wants is – food, rest, sleep, sex. Therefore, whenever you would go against the conditioning and the objectives of the body, the body is bound to resist.

Obviously, sadhana requires a fit body. But, this has to be remembered that fitness is for the sake of sadhana. Otherwise, strength and longevity of the body, have no value per se.

The body is like an instrument, or a vehicle. You do not want to have a car that is serviced, fueled, polished, maintained, but never used. You maintain your car, you service it, you fuel it, so that it can take you to your destination. The destination comes first. The car is subservient to the destination. The car is not an end in itself.

However, there are many, who would compromise on the destination, for the sake of he vehicle. That does not sound quite intelligent.

Question 2: Acharya Ji, how do I know that the one who observes all the thoughts, all the temptations, is my ‘High Self’, and not my mind?

Acharya Ji: There is nothing called ‘my high self’. The ‘High Self’, is not ‘yours’. If the ‘High Self’ is really high, how can it be yours? You don’t have two selves – one high self, and one low self.

True Self is really is a misnomer. The True Self is not personal. The True Self does not belong to ‘you’. Not ‘yours’.

You can’t say, “It’s mine.” It is unknowable, unthinkable, untouchable, unimaginable. You can say nothing about it. You are the low self, who can at best simply surrender to the Truth. The Truth is, sometimes called as ‘The True Self’, or ‘the High Self’.

The little self, must not even talk of the Truth. it can just bow it’s head down.

When you say, “I am the True Self, that observes all the little activity,” you are saying something about the True Self. Right? You can say something about anything, only if you can observe that thing. Right?

(Pointing at the camera, placed in front) So, if you say that this camera is observing me(the Speaker), then there has to be a third entity, that is observing the camera, and is therefore able to say that the camera is observing this speaker.Correct?

So, if you say, as is often commonly said that – ‘the True Self is the observer, that observes all the little activities of the mind’ – then you you are making a claim about the activities of the True Self. In other words, you are claiming, that you are observing the True Self.

You can observe something, only if you are behind it.

On one hand, you say, “The ‘True Self’ is the witness of everything.” On the other hand, you say that, “Witness is witnessing, the witness is not witnessing” – and such things about the witness.

Who is a ‘witness’ by definition? Who sees everything, but can itself never be seen. It would be a poor witness, who is witnessed. When you talk about the ‘True Self’, you are actually talking of – witnessing the witness. Don’t you see how absurd that is?

But we want to keep talking about ‘witnessing’ and ‘True Self’. This is nothing but the ego’s attempt, to lay it’s hands, it’s small and dirty hands, even upon the Truth. So much talk about witnessing. Only the ‘witness’ can say about ‘witnessing’. But, the ‘witness’, by it’s very nature, would not be interested in saying anything. Who are we to talk about ‘witnessing’?

But in talking about witnessing that same, fundamental misconception is there, called ‘my High Self’. As far as we are concerned, there is only the small self, the low self, in your words.

‘Witnessing’ is never something, that you would ever – know of.

You can never say, “I was in the witnessing mode, an hour back. And now I am not witnessing.”

If you knew that you were witnessing, then I repeat, you were witnessing the ‘witness’. It must be a very poor witness. So, here is the event, here is the witness of the event, and here are you – witnessing both the event and the witness.

Even the best that you can be is small. Retain this humility. This humility is far more important than concepts like witnessing.

Questioner: You said that it is better to keep up with this humility. But this decision too would be taken by somebody. So, keeping up with this humility would be impossible.

Acharya Ji: It is not impossible, because someone, or somebody, we inexorably, inevitably, are – by dint of birth, by dint of body-identification. The somebodi-ness, is anyway there. No point turning blind to it. That’s the fact of our living. Now, given that we already live as ‘somebody’, why pretend that we are nobody?

Anshu (one of the team members) was telling me that he met a lady, and asked her name. And she was returning from some satsang, and she replied, “I am nobody.”

You are ‘somebody’.

Given that you are ‘somebody’, the somebody would always have an option, a choice, as to what to be.

Make a choice, in favor of humility.

It is not very honest to say, “One is nobody.”

Questioner: But the choice will be made out of some reason.

Acharya Ji: Yeah!

Questioner: So, there must be a reason to choose humility.

Acharya Ji:

You have already made all the other choices.  So, when you say that there has to be a reason, there is only one reason – suffering. All your other choices, all your choices in vanity, arrogance, bigness, smartness, cleverness, have already been tried, and they brought you suffering. So, there is one choice left. And that final choice is – humility. If you still want to try out, the various choices that you like, you may still try them. The result would be – more suffering.

And that suffering would ultimately push you, to humility.

Questioner: So, you mean to say that humility is forced.

Acharya Ji:

Yes.

Humility is a forced choice.

It comes either to the very intelligent ones, or to the very experienced ones.

Either you are so very intelligent, that you quickly realise, that arrogance doesn’t help. Or, you are so experienced in getting beaten up by life, that life beats all the smartness out of you.

So, either intelligence, or experience.

But, ultimately, humility has to come.

The ego has to see it’s small place.


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

Watch the session: There is nothing as one’s True Self || Acharya Prashant (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00

Going with the flow, and being a lazy loser || Acharya Prashant(2016)

Going with the flow, and being a lazy loser

Question: How to differentiate between and recognize, whether one trusts in the universe to unfold one’s destiny, and goes with the flow, and allows the life to unfold, and being the one who is a loser, who is lazy and doing  nothing?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

The lazy one, does a lot. The lazy one is lazy and inactive, only externally. Internally, he is very active.

Please appreciate this.

The ones we call as ‘lazy’, are not lazy at all. They may not move their limbs, but their minds are very active. Absolute laziness, is a supreme virtue. Sages like Ashtavakra have sung greatly in praise of ‘Divine laziness’.

‘Divine laziness’ is – a total stopping of all movement.

Coming to that point within, where nothing moves at all.

That’s why is is being called as ‘lazy’.

Read more

How to test whether your wisdom is growing? || Acharya Prashant, on Yoga Vasishta (2017)

Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here

How to test whether your wisdom is growing

All the arts acquired by men are lost by lack of practice, but this art of wisdom grows steadily once it rises.

~ Yoga Vashishth Sara

Chapter 1, Verse 13

Question: Acharya Ji, what is the litmus test to determine it’s wisdom rising, or new clothes on the old self? How to know whether I am on the right path of Spirituality?

Acharya Prashant Ji: It becomes very self-evident Shilpi (addressing the questioner). Forget about having new clothes on old-self, even the old-self is not permitted to remain as it is. Even that starts appearing foolish.

Assume that you now weigh 50 kgs, and three years back, you wore a lot of flab, and you weighed 80 kgs. How do you feel looking at those old photographs? Big, unshapely, fat woman, having a lot of unnecessary stuff. And you juxtapose these two photographs, the eighty kg one and the fifty kg one. How do you feel? Would you ever allow yourself, to go back to the 80 kg days?

That’s what a saint means, when he says, “This art of wisdom grows steadily once it rises.”

The very fact, that you have known what it means to be ‘foolish’, will not allow you to be foolish once again.

Foolishness is not merely a concept for you.

You have been through it.

Been there, done it.

“Yes, I know idiocy. I have been the most stupid one, and I don’t want to be there again.”

The growth of wisdom, is a parallel aversion towards stupidity. Not only personal stupidity, also the stupidity of the world. When you look at others, and you see them caught in the same tangles, as you once were, you quickly identify the situation. You say, “I know that.”

The moment you say, “I know that,” two parallel things happen. One – you are full of disdain towards what is happening currently with the other one, and you are full of gratitude that you could be rescued.

Are you getting it?

A fellow who knows what it means to experience drowning, and has been saved, ask him, “Would you want to go through that, ever again?” he will tell you what it means to be rescued.

No relation, no compassion, no identification, with the old self, remains possible anymore. Not only that, the change that has happened, keeps you vigilant, and keeps you open to receive more change.

You say, “If I were blind once, it is possible that my eyes are still not fully open. When I was blind, even in those days, I had a lot of belief in my vision. So, belief is such a danger. Even right now, I cannot allow myself, to believe too strongly.”

That keeps you open, that keeps you prepared to change. And that is how this verse is saying, “This wisdom keeps growing.” In the sense, that you keep open to change, you keep growing.

You keep growing, stupidity keeps reducing. 

Beauty is not merely a happening. Beauty is a a parallel fascination for the happening. Beauty is the love for the happening. Who wants to return to ugliness? Who can un-see,  what he has seen? Beauty is a very stubborn thing. It makes you resistant to ugliness. You can no more be welcoming, you can no more be tolerant.

You dis-identify so completely, that you are no more shy of talking of your old days. You talk of yourself of the old, as if you talk of another wisdom. That’s wisdom. You do not hide your shortcomings. You mention your faults aloud. And mentioning your faults aloud, you do not even say that now you are perfectly free of faults.

You say, “Some of them, might still have remained. One must always be alert towards cancer. Even when the tumor has been removed, it’s quite possible that a few cancerous cells are left behind. And then, there can be a re-lapse. Those few cancerous cells, can not only multiply, but move to different places of the body. And in fact, the whole organism.”

One remains alert, like a cancer survivor. One starts valuing his life, even more. This life is a gift now. “On my own, I had destroyed it. By virtue of grace, I got a new birth. I can’t squander it anymore. I can’t go back to my old ways.”

The more this feeling remains, the more this realisation remains, the more your life gains in beauty. The more your life gains in beauty, the more you despise ugliness. You cannot have a relation with ungodliness now. You can’t even force yourself.

It’s a dynamic departure. It is not some kind of marginal, incremental change. The rowing away, away, away, and gone. You are not wandering here and there, nearby.

Gone!


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: How to test whether your wisdom is growing? || Acharya Prashant, on Yoga Vasishta (2017)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00

 

 

How to know one’s calling in life?|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here


Question: How can I understand my ‘calling’ in life?

Acharya Prashant Ji: What do you mean by ‘calling’?

The question is: How do I understand my ‘calling’? How do I decide what to do?

Do you mean in terms of profession, or career? Are you already not confused, about whether to do this or that? Are you asking from clean slate?

Questioner: I am confused.

Acharya Ji: If you are confused, that means you already attach importance to two or three options, right? And you are confused only because you cannot choose, from in-between those pptions. That is your confusion. Correct?

Questioner: Yes.

Acharya Ji: Right?

Questioner: Yes.

Acharya Ji: You are confused because you cannot choose between Wine, Vodka, Gin, or Whisky. And even when you want to ask regarding your calling, you want me help you, put your finger on one of the four bottles, right? Wine, Vodka, Gin, and Whisky.

That is the reason behind your confusion. What is the reason? You have these four options. Now where is the apple juice? Where is the apple juice? Unless you first remove these four, would apple juice ever figure in your mind? That is what is meant by – asking from a clean slate.

Whenever you ask a question, you already have a set of ready-made answers. All you want from this speaker to do, is to help you choose from A, B, C and D(Wine, Whisky, Gin, and Vodka). Now had these A, B, C, D  not been already there with you, you would have anyway not asked the question, because there would have been no confusion.

Instead of trying to know your genuine calling, just remove all the options that are there in your mind. Just remove them. Now, that appears so dangerous. You will say, “I am anyway not able to figure out when I have four options, how will I figure out, when I have zero options?” But that is the beauty of the game.

With four options, all you get is – confusion.

With zero options, all you get is – direction.

The solution to the confusion, that four options cause, is not a fifth option, not a sixth option. Not eight options. When four options are causing confusion, the solution will emerge, when you remove all four. Remove all four, and now you are free to know. Now, a decision will arise from your freedom. As long as these four options are available, there is no possibility of any kind of solution.

That is the thing with questions. They have preset answers, ready with them. The question already decides the scope of the answer. And when the question has pre-decided the scope of the answer, then the answer cannot dissolve the question. Then the answer is just a continuation of the question. And the question is a problem. So the answer then, is the continuation of the problem.

Remove all the options that you have.

See that you are just newly born.

See that you have no experiences.

See that you can decide on a totally clean slate.

That totally clean slate, is called ‘the Self’, or ‘the Atman’.

And now see what is possible for you.

Don’t imagine about it. Just keep all your existing priorities away, and then ask yourself, “Had these not been in my life, how would have my life gone?”And then you would know, what to do with your life.

As long as you keep deciding, from within your existing priorities,

you will only get that, which is anyway already existing in your life.

For a moment set aside all of this, and ask yourself, “Had all of this not been there, how would have I lived?” then you would know what calls. Then you will know the meaning of ‘calling’. Right?

A fellow comes to commit suicide. And you are on the other side of the counter. And he is asking you to choose between four kinds of poisons. Is there any real choice involved in this? Would you say, “I am helping him choose rightly?”

“I will give him the best kind of poison.”

Choice can happen, only when there are no choices.

Remove it from his mind, that he needs to be poisoned. And then see what is the fresh decision that arises. Then he will know how to live his life.

When you are shopping, for a car, may be what you actually need, is a bike, or a cycle. There is no point in asking for expert advice, to choose the best car.

The real thing that you want, may lie outside the domain of your choices,

the whole set of your choices.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Acharya Prashant: How to know one’s calling in life?

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00

 

 

 

What is disappearance of the self? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is disappearance of the self

Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here


Question: Acharya ji, what is the meaning of disappearance of the self?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Your interest in your interests has to disappear. Your interests can remain. Can this brain survive without interests? Your lungs are greatly interested on Oxygen, and they reject Nitrogen. Can lungs survive without interests?

Let the interested one, remain interested.

‘You’ have no business to be interested.

The intellect is curious by design. The intellect will remain interested. Have you not seen kids, three years olds, asking questions that grown-ups cannot answer. They will remain interested. Let the intellect, the design of the brain, remain interested. ‘You’ need not remain interested.

Let this physical system, including the brain apparatus, remain curious, interested, inquisitive, whatever. Even attached. ‘You’ stay wherever you must.

Spirituality does not entail that the lungs must give up oxygen. Renunciation is not for the lungs, Sir. Do not stretch it to absurd limits. That will give you another excuse to stay away from spirituality.

You will say, “Baba was asking me to renounce oxygen. If I have to have no relation with the world, why must I even breathe?” Because breathing is the continuous relationship with the world. And seeing is the continuous relationship with the world. So if spirituality means renunciation, even at the physical level, or at the psychological level, then you have to cease existing as an embodied entity.

Spirituality is not committing suicide, or is it? Then we do not need satsang, we need mass suicide halls. Over! It has happened, you know. There have been cults in Japan and other places, where incidents of mass suicides have been reported. They thought, that is ‘liberation’. So, 300-400 hundred people would get together, and would just breathe in some nice gas. And all are liberated. That is not spirituality, obviously!

Do not deprive the stomach of food. And do not deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Just as it is stupid to deprive body of food, it is equally stupid to deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Thought is not the enemy. Feelings are not the culprit. Your misplaced presence is the culprit. The needless presence of ‘I’ in the thoughts, is the culprit.

Be fully secure about the ‘I’, and then think as much as you want to. Feel, in whichever dimension you want to. You can laugh, you can sing, you can cry. You can even hate, or fall in love. All that is okay. All that is part of the rainbow.

Spirituality is not about banishing certain things, from your life.

Spirituality is just about seeing, that life is beautiful, and does not get any better, with the intervention of the little self, the ‘I’.

It is one thing to think, it is a totally another thing, to think with the objective of self-preservation. Can you see the difference these two thoughts? There is just thought, as is needed to solve a mathematical problem. And then there is the thought, that feeds on fear. Are these two the same?

Thought is not the problem.

Your insecurities about yourself, your utter loneliness –  that is the problem.

And that is an assumed, imagined problem.

A problem that does not exist, but is taking to be.

Now how smart is that – to be fretting over an imagined problem?

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

Watch the session:  What is disappearance of the self? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00


Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

How to unburden the mind? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

How to unburden the mind

Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here


Question: Acharya Ji, I just keep feeling burdened most of the times, and to escape this burden, I keep racing all day long. But I find myself feeling heavy again. Please help me unburden myself.

Acharya Prashant Ji: You are burdened, that itself is the proof of the burden. The burden surely does exist, otherwise, why would there be a burdened one. So, you are burdened, and you are moving. That movement, you are describing as a race. Great!

If you are burdened and troubled, then surely you must move.

But if you are burdened and troubled, but your movement has to be, with the intention of, and in the direction of, un-burdening. 

If I am burdened, and as a result of the burden, I run, then the purpose of the run should be to un-burden myself. So, it’s great that you are running everyday. Now, what remains to be asked, is the question, that whether your race is helping you to be unburdened.

You wake up in the morning, and the entire day you have been running, has this running helped you by the evening? If it has helped you, congratulations! Again tomorrow, run more, run faster. Running is exactly what you need. But, if it has not unburdened you, then all your running has been in vain, and it has been a stupid thing, to run without knowing the destination, or the purpose.

I am a great supporter of movement. If one is at the wrong place, one must move, and one must move fast. One must run indeed. And one must energetically run. I seriously support action. But action ought to have a purpose. The purpose is decided by the state of the actor. 

If the actor is in bondage, then the sole purpose of the action has to be, the liberation of the actor. Now, are you acting towards your liberation. Look at your daily actions. Are they contributing to your liberation? Or are you rather acting to enslave yourself, even more deeply?

Action is good, action is inevitable. But what is your action leading to? Run, run fast. But run in the right direction. Sometimes we run so fast, and in such scare, and with such blindness, that we become incapable of knowing where we are going. Then, a second of rest, helps. A bit of a pause, brings in some sanity.

You can even ask yourself, “What am I doing? What am I expending precious time and energy towards? While it is a matter of celebration, that you are capable of running, capable of energy, it is an equally serious concern, how you are expending yourself? Because time and energy won’t last forever.

Today you are able to run. Tomorrow? As long as you can run, make good use of the running. A day will come, when the running will anyway cease. Is it too much to enquire into? “Am I getting any better, by doing what I am continually doing?” Is this too difficult a question to ask.

“This is what I am doing everyday. The same pattern, the same repetition. Is it taking me anywhere, or I am just feasting on blind hope?”

Today, somebody quoted me on one of the groups. I was told. Many years back, maybe five, six, or seven years, I had said that had Kabir Sahib been alive today, and looked at the railway station, and the railway engine and the train, then he would have spontaneously uttered something. This was long back.

So, jokingly I had said, that Kabir Sahib would have said, “Dhak dhak dhak engine chale, chalta chati phod. Sahib maarg jaane nahin, jaayegaa kis or. (The engine is running, and running, making a lot of noise, and moving with so much power. It has no clue of route to God, where will it lead itself to.”

So you are a very powerful engine, and you are running your heart out. “Dhak dhak dhak dhak engine chale, chalta chati phod.” That’s probably the state of most middle-class hard-workers. See how hard they work. Look at the roads at 8:30 a.m. every morning, congested with all the hard-workers. And then look at the roads at 8:30 p.m. every night. Again congested with all the hard-workers. Obviously they are working very hard.

Had they invested even a quarter of their time and energy towards liberation, they won’t have needed to congest the roads anymore. Our energy is going towards self-destruction. And our energy is going towards fattening our slave masters. You work so very hard, and who reaps the benefit of your labor? Some fat man sitting at the top of the food chain, right?

Sometimes you don’t even know of his name. And it would be extremely rare, if you have ever met him. And he is real recipient, of the fruit of your labor. What you get, by way of salary, a profit, is so meager. But still you do get something. That is sufficient to meet all your expenses. You are also able to save a bit for the rainy day.

And given the kind of life that you are leading, obviously cancer is not very far away. Everything that you are doing every day, every hour, is an invitation to cancer. But don’t worry, you will have savings.

In your last six months, you will duly transfer all your savings to the hospital, the fruit of your hard work, all your life. And you will feel vindicated. You will say, “See, I knew I will have cancer. And therefore, with great responsibility, like a good citizen, I kept saving every month. And all those savings, are standing by me now. Otherwise, what would have I given to the hospital?”

And not even once do you realise, that your cancer, is nothing, but a product of your hard work – the kind of life that you have lived. Look at your statement – ‘I get up every morning, and I feel burdened, and then I race through the entire day, and I repeat the vicious cycle the next day’.

Do you really think that this kind if lifestyle will spare even your physical health?


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

Watch the session:  How to unburden the mind? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)

$10.00

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

coverpage

Acharya Prashant, with students: Will living without ego cause one to starve?

T14

Acharya Prashant: The question is how do I fill this stomach if I don’t have an ‘ego’?

Firstly, you must see that you are deeply afraid. You are deeply afraid that if you don’t follow the orders of this ‘other’, that that other could be society, friends, family, corporations, the entire trend of career making. You are deeply afraid that If you don’t follow ‘that’ then you will end up starving. You won’t have enough eat.

Now, is this fear yours?

Even, this fear has been instinct to your mind by ‘that’ other. Don’t you see how cunning that other is? He repeatedly tells you that unless you become my slave, you will starve. But is that the Truth?

Is that the Truth?

Would you really starve if you don’t toe the others line? If you don’t develop an ego, that is If you don’t develop a sense of ‘Self’ dependent upon the other. You won’t.

I Invite you to find out whether you would really starve. The world will always have enough for you to eat. You won’t starve but you may not be able to fulfill these ambitions.

The funny part is even the ambition has been given to you by outside. So there is nothing lost if you can’t fulfill it. You don’t lose anything at all if you don’t meet your ambitions. Remember, there will always be enough to meet your needs. And a free man will always find enough to meet his needs. Because his needs are always so small.

You don’t need too much but yes, your ambitions depend upon your subservience to the society.

Needs don’t make you a slave, ambitions make you a slave.

Read more

Acharya Prashant: Is it selfish to love oneself first?

Slide1(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here)


Questioner: Is it love to take care of myself and my belongings?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, it is love to take care of yourself; but to take care of anything you must know what that thing is. Can you take care of a car engine without knowing the engine? Can you take care of anything without knowing what that thing is?

Yes, love is about taking care of yourself; but really taking care of yourself, you must first know what your real problems are, you must know what you really want, you must first know what keeps you afraid, nervous, alert, and then you will be able to take care of yourself. and yes that is love.

Q: Is it not selfishness to love myself only and not the rest of the world?

AP: What do you mean by myself?

If your definition of myself separates you from the world, then this self that is separate from the world is anyway not worth loving. If your definition of love is that you and world are separate entities then this you is anyway not worth loving because this is not the real you.

First of all, figure out who you are and what your relationship with the world is, then you would be able to answer the question, ‘Whether it is possible to love yourself while simultaneously being indifferent to the world?’

It is not at all possible!

If you really love yourself while being apathetic to the world, that self-concept which places you as separate from the world is a flawed concept like all concepts.

That concept will only lead to violence.

Read more

Acharya Prashant: What is effortless action?

Slide3(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here)


Acharya Prashant: It is true, where there is no action, there is no effort, but is it also true where there is no effort there is no action?

Is that true as well?

There is something called effortless action as well.

It is true where there is no action there will be no effort. True, that is right because effort itself is an action; because effort itself has born out of thought, and that thought itself is an action, whether or not it translates physically, but is it so that for action to happen there must always must be accompanying effort?

Is that so, if that is so then life is hell, because life is then labour. Life is action, and if action is effort then all the time you just have to keep labouring.

There is effortless action, what is effortless action?

It happens, happens without your planning, without your intervention, without your ownership. That is the fun of life, we don’t even know whether it is complete or incomplete, we don’t bother to give it a name.

Simple and direct, just like a raindrop falling down. Somebody has said like a flower opening in the morning. It is nothing but the mind and body expressing the Source.

Where there is mind there will be action.

Action in the form of movement in space, what you call as physical action.

So mind and body exist to act. That is the only way they know of being, action. So if they want to be in service of the Self — we talked of a faithful mind right — what can a faithful mind do?

Act in the service of the Self, act to express the Self, act as if it is the Self.

The mind has just become like the Self, the body has just become like the Self.

Read more

How to awaken one’s potential? || Acharya Prashant with Students (2015)

Blog-18

(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here.)

Acharya Prashant: Just ask me how to not lie sleeping, don’t ask me how to awaken my potential.

The potential doesn’t have any habit of sleeping, you forcefully put it to sleep, intelligence is not habituated of lying dormant. You habitually put it to sleep by acts like these (pointing to two students gossiping) and then you ask why is life so miserable, why my potential is lying unutilised; because you are hell bent upon living a stupid life.

You are asking me what do I need to do to awaken my potential, I am saying don’t do anything, you are already doing too much, in fact, stop doing what you are doing right now, once you stop doing, you find that the potential that intelligence starts expressing itself, stop doing that you are doing so much, even at this moment there are two kinds of people over here:

1. Who are not doing anything, who are just sitting and letting the listening happen.

2. Who are doing a lot.

And what would that doing mean, that would mean fidgeting with the pen, that would mean thinking a lot.

Who do you think is understanding me?

Those who are doing a lot or those who are not doing anything? Who is understanding?

Those who are not doing anything.

So don’t ask me what do I need to do to awaken my potential, you don’t need to do anything extra, in fact, stop doing all that you keep doing, stop doing that in which your energy is being dissipated, in thousand miscellaneous acts, stop doing them and then you will find that there is great and beautiful channelization, a lovely flow and then you will know what does it mean to be young; not this kind of random movement, like this is going on, haywired minds, this way, that way, this thought, that thought.

Look at your thoughts and actions from morning till evening, and see what you are doing, where your time and energy are going, and then you will realise.

You don’t need to actually read great books it’s far easier than that, far closer than that, observe your own life, what do I do from morning till evening.

We have our friend sitting here, and it pleases my heart, it warms my heart, to see that he doesn’t belongs to this section but he is still here but then there is something from time, past, memory which reminds me that our friend is the same fellow whom I had to scold in the last samvaad and ask him to sit right in the front, remember?

Would have been absolutely great if he had come here on his own accord, but he hasn’t, yes, he is here because he is short on attendance, which not a crime, it is good that he is still here but would have been so wonderful had he been here on his own accord.

And there have been cases where people have attended samvaad even though they belonged to different sections, and see how domesticated he looks right now!

And you remember the last samvaad when you were like an uncontrollable beast, over there, and I had to make you sit here; though he was very nice after that, you also raised a question didn’t you?

What we do our entire day just see what it comprises of, when there is pressure we succumb and what is the pressure?

Attendance!

When there is no pressure then we behave in the most glorious manner possible! Like in the last samvaad, just observe your own actions and thoughts, and see what you are doing, please you don’t need to do anything extra, observe what you are any way doing, and that is sufficient even. At this moment find out what you are doing and that is sufficent, you don’t need to take pains and extra steps.


Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant with Students: How to awaken one’s potential?

(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here.)


main-qimg-bfd13d86723865fbf4555e126e4feaaa


Acharya Prashant Books and Merchandise are available on Amazon and Flipkart.

To explore: http://studiozero.prashantadvait.com/

coverpage

 

 

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

Acharya Prashant: How to be free of all troubles?

Question: The question is, how to reach the stage of ‘vulnerability.’ Because if I become vulnerable, people’s behavior towards me does not bother me. There is no ego, no expectation left. Even if there is something that hits me, then also I remain normal so easily as if nothing has happened. This is the meaning of vulnerability that I get from the readings, but even after knowing I get hurt by others behavior. My ego gets hurt. So how to reach that stage where nothing can bother me.

Acharya Prashant: Radhika, nothing bothers you. Calling itself a ‘botheration.’ If something comes to you and declares in advance, ‘ I am a botheration,’ would you let that thing to have space in your Life? Would you?

‘Botherations’ never come as botherations. So,

If you start searching for botherations, you will return empty-handed. There is no botheration, that is labeled as flagged as botheration in your mind.

Had it been flagged as a botheration, you would have disposed of it away long back. Right? So, lets search with other keywords.

We are looking for ‘botherations’ because your question is ‘how do you I reach a stage, where the world does not bother me anymore,’ Radhika is asking. Let us search with other keywords and let us search with ‘pleasures.’ Oh, you will find many there. Lets search with ‘Love,’ you will find much there. Lets search with ‘hopes,’ you will find a lot of them there.

When you search with these keywords, you will find that there is a lot in your mind that corresponds. Also, those who have known have told us that the very definition of ‘botheration’ is that which sits upon your mind. That which is continuously making itself felt in your mind is a ‘botheration.’ The one that wraps the mind should be identified as delusion(Jo mann se na utre, maya kahiye soye)

Read more

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.

Read more

The greatest dependence is psychological dependence

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future? Tell me?

To look towards future, one would have to take his attention away from the present, right?

Your goals cannot be bigger than your awareness. Goals will just be within the circumference of what you know.

Life is the present moment, there is nothing else. If you are free right now, there is no need to become enslaved the next moment. Why do you want to pretend that we are slaves? You are not! You are free this moment!

And remember, financial dependence is not a great dependence. Even physical dependence may not be a great dependence. The greatest dependence is psychological dependence.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting


 

Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting

Question: Acharya Ji, we should have future plans also. What should set that in our minds that what we are going to be in future!

Acharya Prashant: Alright, that is a very sensible question. What’s your name?

Questioner: Aanchal.

AP: Right. Aanchal, suppose if one day, you give one of your friends a call. And say, tell me, which road goes to Chandigarh? How do I reach Chandigarh? And you are feverishly asking her. How do I reach Chandigarh, tell me, how do I reach Chandigarh? If your friend is sensible enough, what is the question she is going to ask you?

Listeners: Where are you, now?

AP: Where are you right now? To reach anywhere, shouldn’t you firstly know where are you right now? To talk about future, shouldn’t you firstly know what the present moment is? And if the present moment is known, is Chandigarh too far away?

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

And right now means exactly right now! Are you aware of how your thoughts are wending? Are you aware, from where are these questions arising? Are you even aware, why there is incessant thirst for the future?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future?

Tell me?

Have you noticed? Have you been attentive to the fact that when is it that you really start thinking of the future?

When you are? Insecure. When you are insecure, and tense and anxious, that’s when your mind rushes to the future.

Read more

The scripture’s final aim is to bring you to the living scripture

Where the light is, there the lamp is.

The Self and the Ego are not the two ends of duality. It’s non-duality talking to duality.

That is what happens when a teacher exposes the falseness of one’s existing religion. When the teacher exposes the falseness of one’s existing motivations! The teacher says you know, the route that you are taking will lead you deeper into darkness. And what is the immediate conclusion that the mind draws? The mind says, he does not want me to go there, it means that he wants me to come to him. He is telling me that all those shops are false. And that surely proves that he wants me to come to his own shop. That is a quick suspicion, rather conclusion, that the mind jumps into.

You will not have your lamp, where your forefathers found their lamp. You will have to find your lamp using your own eyes. And the only mark of lamp is, Light. Don’t disregard the Light. The Light is the only proof of the lamp.

Searching for Truth, but in the wrong way, and at the wrong places, and from the wrong center. That is what the ego does. It wants light. The ego too wants light. But it won’t get it.

The scripture’s final aim is to bring you to the living scripture.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on a Sufi Story: The Lamp shop


 

Acharya Prashant on a Sufi Story: The Lamp shop

The Lamp Post

One dark night two men met on a lonely road.

‘I am looking for a shop near here, which is called The Lamp Shop,’ said the first man.

‘I happen to live near here, and I can direct you to it, ‘ said the second man.

‘I should be able to find it by myself. I have been given the directions, and I have written them down,’ said the first man.

‘Then why are you talking to me about it?’

‘Just talking.’

‘So, you want company, not directions?’

‘Yes, I suppose that that is what it is.’

‘But it would be easier for you to take further directions from a local resident, having got so far; especially because from here onwards it is difficult.’

‘I trust what I have already been told, which has brought me thus far. I cannot be sure that I can trust anything or anyone else.’

‘So, although you once trusted the original informant, you have not been taught a means of knowing whom you can trust?’

‘That is so.’

‘Have you any other aim?’

‘No, just to find the Lamp shop.’

‘May I ask why you seek a lamp shop?’

‘Because I have been told on the highest authority that that is where they supply certain devices which enable a person to read in the dark.’

‘You are correct, but there is a prerequisite, and also a piece of information. I wonder whether you have given them any thought.’

‘What are they?’

‘The prerequisite to reading by means of a lamp is that you can already read.’

‘You cannot prove that!’

‘Certainly not on a dark night like this.’

‘What is the “piece of information”?’

‘The piece of information is that the Lamp Shop is still where it always was, but that the lamps themselves have been moved somewhere else.’

‘I do not know what a “lamp” is, but it seems obvious to me that the Lamp Shop is the place to locate such a device. That is, after all, why it is called a Lamp Shop.’

‘But a “Lamp Shop” may mean “A place where lamps may be obtained”, or it could mean “A place where lamps were once obtained but which now has none”.’

‘You probably have an ulterior motive, sending me off to some other shop. Or perhaps you do not want me to have a lamp at all.’

‘I am worse than you think. I want to find out if you could read at all. I want to see whether a lamp shop exists where you are going. I want to see whether you can have your lamp in another way suited to you.’

The two men looked at each other, sadly, for a moment. Then each went his way.

Idries Shah, Tales of the Dervishes

Acharya Prashant: To make things simpler at the outset itself, let it be clear that the one coming to seek the lamp shop, is a seeker full of knowledge. A seeker from a distant land, who does not belong really to the land of meditativeness. Knowledge has brought him to the boundary of the land of meditativeness, but cannot take him any further ahead. On the boundary, he meets this second person who is a teacher, who is the resident of this second land, who belongs there.

So, one of the first things that this teacher asks this knowledgeable seeker is, that, ‘you have come so far, having read some book that told you that you must search for lamps in a lamp shop that is thus located. But has the book also told you, how to find the one who will take you to the lamps? And if your book does not tell you ‘that,’ then your book is useless. He says, ‘‘has your book taught you, whom to trust? Has your book given you the eyes to figure out the real teacher?’’

Read more

To be alive is to be working

To be alive is to be working. You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.” Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

If the first category is where you belong to, then work is sufficient. The return, the reward, is contained in the work. If the second category is where you belong to, then work is not sufficient. Then work, plus, rewards is what you are looking for.

The salary is not contained in the work. The salary is an output of the work. This is the second way of living.

Man is the only one, who has to support his ambitions as well. Man is the only one, who has to support his psychological self as well. Then obviously, supporting yourself becomes a burden. Then obviously, just carrying on with life, becomes a burden. Because life is demanding so much.

Do not live a life that tries to escape work, and also do not live a life that uses work as a medium for psychological aggrandization.

Work must always be there as an expression of your Heart.

Action is always happening. You cannot avoid action. Even avoiding action is just another action. So, action will happen.

Fight hard and then let what is going to happen, happen. Do not worry about the result. Just say, that I did what I had to, and I have now devoted the result to you(Krishna).



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?