What affects you from outside is actually present inside|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

What affects you from outside is actually present inside

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Question: Acharya ji, I am a doctor by profession. When i treat my patients, I too get depressed by looking at their suffering. What should I do?

Acharya Prashant: Keep doing what you are doing, or drop the intention to help people. The very intention to help people, indicates that you know of a state, beyond sorrow. Had sorrow been acceptable to you as a norm, why would you aim to pull other people out of their sorrow? You would say, “Sorrow is the norm.” If sorrow is the norm, why does anybody need to be helped?

The intention to help, itself is proof of your deep inner conviction, that sorrow is transient, that sorrow will go.

And sorrow must go.

But then, there is the heartfelt conviction versus the age-old habits of the mind. The mind is acquisitive. And it loves to acquire all kinds of diseases. So with sorrowlessness in your heart, you go to help others. And as you go to help others, you find that the same sorrow has started affecting you.

That’s bound to happen!

Keep doing what you are doing. If you think that by retreating, or giving up, you would be able to save yourself from sorrow, that is not going to happen. The sorrow that you think is an infection coming from outside, is not really coming from outside.

Coming face-to-face with sorrowed people, it is your own ancient sorrow, that wakes up. Had it not been present in the recesses of your mind, it couldn’t have affected you. Seeing the agony of others, you are reminded of your own.

And it’s great, if hidden angst, hidden sorrow, come to the fore. Now, at least consciously, you know that it exists. Otherwise you can live in the delusion, that you are sorrow-free.

Do you see how the whole thing operates? When you decide to help others, it is yourself you end up helping. So in your own self-interest, continue helping others. Who said that it is going to be easy?

The doctor must know that he himself is the most difficult patient to treat. So difficult, that he can’t treat himself directly. He will have to treat himself, via other patients.

Listener: Acharya ji, sometimes my patients get angry and jealous because I don’t show sympathy towards them, even if I know their suffering.

Acharya ji: Every trait that your patients are displaying, is present within you as well. Had it not been present within you, you wouldn’t have been affected by their behaviour.

If somebody’s anger perturbs you, that is proof of your own anger. If you can identify jealousy in somebody, it is proof that you know what jealousy is. The highest point of sainthood is, when you lose the capacity to even detect disease. That is total freedom from disease.

If you can, still detect disease, it means that disease is still present in you, even if in the most rudimentary way.

You go to one who is totally free, and you talk of anger to him, he won’t really know what you are talking of. That is freedom, absolute.

The totally free one has forgotten, totally forgotten. That’s why he doesn’t experience fear. He has lost a particular faculty. It is as if he cannot see. It is as if he cannot think. Therefore, so many thoughts just don’t come to him. That’s freedom absolute.

Even if you try to introduce, a lot many thoughts to him, you will find that he is just incapable of receiving those thoughts. It is not that he is resistant to those thoughts. Kindly know the distinction.

It’s not that the free one is resistant to thoughts.

He has simply become innocent of thoughts.

He cannot have a lot of those things, that we have, even if he wants to.

It’s not a decision that he makes, to not to be angry. It is now beyond him, to be angry.

He has become incapable!

Now seeing others, he may enact anger. But still, he can never really be angry. It is now, outside of him, to really harm anybody. Funnily enough, even if decides to harm anybody, he will end up doing good.

Even if, with a lot of conscious determination, he one day decides – I have to hurt this one, this one seriously deserves a slap – you would find, that he is only delivering healing, through the slap. And that’s powerlessness. He is now powerless, in a way of saying.

On the other hand, if you find that you have make a decision to be good, if you find that badness is still a real threat to you, then you must know that you are still not totally free of badness.

That which affects you from the outside, is actually present inside.

Otherwise, it couldn’t have affected you.

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

Watch the session:  What affects you from outside is actually present inside || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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How to know whether one is spiritually evolved or not? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

How to know whether one is spiritually evolved or not

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Question: How to know whether one is spiritually evolved or not?

Acharya ji: Sharmila,

All spirituality is about you. Nobody else will set the criteria.

Your suffering begins it, and it ends with your suffering.

The origin of spirituality is – your own, personal suffering.

Nobody else sets the criteria.

You are suffering, so you set the criteria. Nobody else sets the criteria.

Have you arrived? Has your suffering ceased? That is the criteria. You do not need outside of your self, to set any criteria, or to determine any benchmarks or standards.

“Am I spiritually evolved?” You answer. “Sir, am I spiritually evolved?” You answer. If you still feel lonely, and confused, and divided, and dejected, then you answer whether you are evolved.

Nobody else can bother to tell you your state, and nobody else can actually tell you your state. Your experiences are the best judge. How are you experiencing within, all the time?

And you live in the world of experiences, don’t you? Your mind is never free of experiences. It is never tranquil mind. It is a mind, that is always beset with experiences. Your mind is never free of experiences. It is never tranquil mind, it is a mind always beset with experiences.

Something happened here, something happened there. You are the experiencer, and something is happening to you. You are experiencing it. Now what is the quality of this experiencing? That is the criteria.

All spirituality is with respect to ‘you’. It is not an examination in which somebody else sets the syllabus. You are the syllabus, and you will determine whether you succeeded or failed. If you are still disgruntled, and hurt, and offended, probably you need to re-appear.

Try.

When have you cleared the examination? When you are a rascal enough, to bunk the exam.

(laughter)

You cannot clear this examination, by seriously appearing in it. Once you have shown your admit card to the invigilator, you are flunked. Be a fool enough to simply bunk all exams. And then, this is when you come out of, as they say, “With flying colors.”

“And the topper is – Sharmila (the questioner). Please come over to the podium.”

When she didn’t even bother to write the exams, would she bother to collect the certificate? She is not here.

Who is the winner?

The one who has gone.

Not here.

Disappeared.

Bunked.

“Not here, how will I pass or fail?”

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

Watch the session: How to know whether one is spiritually evolved or not? || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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Which direction to take in life? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

which direction to take in life

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Question: Acharya Ji, which direction to take in life?  

Acharya Prashant: What is it, that matters to you? The direction in which you must go, is determined, by where you will feel the pain. And if you feel no pain, no discomfort, why must you go in any direction?

You move only because your current station, discomforts you. So what is your discomfort? Your discomfort will decide, where to move to and how to move. And if you are already well-settled, and alright, then that’s samaadhi. Why must you contemplate any movement then?

I find it strange to see that why do we keep talking about moving, without caring to examine: what makes us move. Why must there be any movement at all?

You are a human being. Any movement that you make, physical, psychological, involves costs, time, resources. Every movement, is a chunk of your limited life-span. That’s why movement is life. Must you then move irresponsibly? Is life there to be wasted?

Life, as you know it, is just time. Why must you move randomly, hither-thither? Yes, there is a movement, that is aimless, purpose-less. That is just like – the dance of a child. But that movement is only for those, who are not looking to move, who have internally come to the end of all movement. Have you come to the end of all movement? No. You are still eager to move.

And if you are eager to move, then you better move with discretion.

Use your suffering, as the compass.

Your suffering will give you the direction.

Be very very alert and sensitive to your suffering. Just do not surrender at the wrong place. Do not start considering that suffering, and restlessness, and boredom, and loneliness, and fear, are the natural modes of life. They are not. Never, never allow this belief to settle within you.

If life is boredom, and loneliness, and fear, that is unnatural. Just because you see a lot of sorrow and anger, and uprooted-ness, around you, that does not mean that anger and sorrow, are our natural states. They are not.

Don’t give in. Don’t surrender.

Remain a little rebellious. Remain a little compassionate towards yourself.

If the mind remains heavy, don’t just move on with it.

Pause and ask: what’s going on?

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

Watch the session:  Which direction to take in life? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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How to recover from a break-up? || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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Question: I am a person, who is very sensitive and emotional and that’s why I easily gets hurt. It’s been two months, since I have a break-up with a guy and I am just not able to move on. It’s affecting me a lot. I didn’t want this to happen even though, I never expected this from him. It has broken me completely from the inside.

I have lost myself, I have lost my mental peace and I feel so lonely and incomplete without him. And it is even more painful, when I see that guy look some other girl. I still want him in my life although, now I know that it is not possible because he has completely moved on. What should I now do, because it’s harming me and my career and my future?

Acharya Prashant: You are saying it has broken you completely from the inside.

No, you are lying.

Had you been completely broken from inside, then there would have been nobody left inside to experience the hurt.

What you call the inside, is just the ego inside. And the ego is the very magical thing. It becomes stronger, when gets hurt. It is not as if it loses its power, when it gets hurt.

The more you hurt it, the more strength it gathers. So, first of all, please understand that you have a lot inside. A lot that has become only more cemented, more solidify after this episode.  Had you been really empty from inside, who would have received the hurt. The arrow hits you, only when you block the arrow. Right?

Otherwise, it goes past you.

What is it within you that is blocking the happening?

You are hurt because you do not like happening. Your resistance is hurting you. An arrow comes to you, you obstruct it with your hand. It is the obstruction that you offer that will pierce your hand. Right?

You do not offer any obstruction to the arrow, the arrow just passes through by. Why are you obstructing the happening?

The fellow has moved on, and the population of the world is 800 crore, he is with another girl, now why are you begging after him? What will you get from him?

Crumps of love?

You want love as donation, charity?

And even if that is given to you, would that satisfy you?

And if you are so dear to you, why was not there much compatibility? Why did break-up happen?

And if you are you, and he is what he is, then won’t the break-up happen again?

You insist on remaining who you are, that is why you are hurt.

You insist on remaining, who you are that is why you want that guy back?

But if you insist to remain, who you are, you won’t be able to retain the guy. Are you prepared to really change? Are you prepared to not to be the one who experience that attraction?

No, that we do not want to do because probably, you have some sweet and happy memories.

So, at least you do not want to be the one who is experiencing all the suffering. All the hard ones. Right? And that is why I have asked this question. You don’t want to be continuously any more in misery. And if you don’t want to be any more in misery, stop being who you are. You have seen the consequence of who you are and still you don’t want to wake-up.

Do you know who you are?

You are the one, who will accept this guy if he comes back to your life.

Do you know, who you are?

You will again have a quarrel with this guy.

Do you know who you are?

You are the one, who will again have a break-up and again who will shed tears, when the guy goes away. You want to remain caught in this cycle.

Please, do not remain caught in this cycle. Guys come and go. There is nobody more important than your own peace.

You do not want a person, so that he may cause you disturbance. When you want a person, you actually want peace and contentment through that person. Don’t you? Or do you invite a person to your life so that he may harass you? Why do you open your doors to somebody?

Because that person promises to be the vehicle of contentment, peace. Right?

You very well know, what you open your doors to. Are you opening your doors to contentment?

Contentment has more value than any relationship. Relationships are a medium, contentment is the end. Relationships are mere mediums. There are like roads, they must lead to contentment. They must contain contentment. If there is no contentment in the relationship, why do you want that relationship?

The quality of your love depends on the quality of your lives. Your love affair cannot be a sublime thing, if your life is mired in littleness. We all want our love affairs to be fairy tales and we don’t look at our lives. We are little bit afraid, desires, ambitious, suspicious. That’s how we live. Now, how can you have a fairy-tale affair?

Who is this lover that you will attract to?

What is the quality of your being?

Who will be attracted to this being?

Please, you look at these pictures (referring to the portraits of Saints hanged on the wall), who would be the woman, these men would attract to them? What would be the quality of relationship? If they were marrying, would they be compatible with any woman on the road?

Think of a Ashtavakra, Nanak, Kabir, a Buddha, a Mahaveer. Some of them were married. Imagine that others were also married. Now think of their spouses. Think of their wives. What kind of a man, a Lalleshwari would have as a husband, she indeed did had a husband could she go around with him?

At the age of 22, she splits.

If you live like a petty one, you will only invite a petty being to your lives. And then there would be more sufferings, more sufferings. What is the point in remaining caught in this cycle?

Elevate yourself.

Transform yourself.

And then see who comes to you, then you will know what love really is.


Watch the session: How to recover from a break-up? || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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Pleasure is a forced concept

Question:  Both pain and pleasures are unreal. But why is pain more sought after than pleasure?

Acharya Prashant: Because pain gives the hope of pleasure, because pleasure is always a hope. And that hope is called pain.

You see, can you feel pain except in comparison with an imagined pleasure? You say that you are deficient in something. How do you know that you are deficient? How do you know that you are deficient except with an imagined fullness?

You have two units of a resource. You say, you know what, it is so less. How do you know it is less? Only by comparison of time with an imagined state in which you have ten units. That ten units you defined as pleasure. These two units, you defined as pain. Both of these have been put as quantities by the mind.  To go to ten units is to prepare to feel bad when you come down to two. To be at two is to keep crying till you have ten.

When you are at ten, you are shivering in apprehension that you may now fall to two. Look at the conditions of those who have the riches. They are so eager about protecting them. The fear that this may go away keeps assaulting them. So their hope lies in securing them what they already have.

And look at those who have two. Their desperation lies in having only two and then they live in ambition, the ambition of one day reaching up to ten. Ten does not give them security. Ten only gives them the additional responsibility of securing the ten that they have now got. They fully well know that time can take away this ten.  This ten does not belong to them. This ten is just accidental. Something may snatch it away. So even if you have ten, you still cannot have pleasure. Whereas, when you were at two, you said that ten will give me pleasure. Having come to ten, you find that ten cannot give you pleasure because the ten is temporary. Now what do you want to do? You want to secure ten. And no security is ever be permanent. You know that.

You very well know that all your attempts to secure something will fail. You cannot secure even your own body. How will you secure your riches? You do not know even whether the next breath would be there, How do you know whether the next moment all your stuff in the bank would be there?

That is why you keep still shivering. Both pain and pleasure are pain. Both pain and pleasure are suffering. It is not as if spirituality is about moving away from pain. Spirituality is about moving away from both pain and pleasure. And having returned to your innate fullness is the point of joy. That point where pain and pleasures are just visitors – they come, they go, I live in my house. The house is named joy.

L: So, pleasure is actually a concept.

AP: Of course!

L: It is not a reality.

AP: No, not at all.

L: It is a forced concept.

AP: Of course! Pleasure is a forced concept.

You know what! One of the biggest instruments of pleasure — you will be surprised to know this — even sex is just a concept.

All those things that you associate with pleasure, with pain, with hurt are all concepts that we have been indoctrinated into. Remove those concepts and then show me where is pleasure and where is pain? Then there is just life. Just life! Simple, total and joyful.



Read Complete Article: What is meant by living totally?

What is meant by living totally?

Slide5

Acharya Prashant: The question is that both of these statements appear to be imperative.

First, “Whatever you do, do it totally.”

Second, “Whatever you do, you remain unaffected by the doing.”

How are these two to be put together? Is there a contradiction? If yes, how is to be reconciled? What is meant by doing something totally?

We need to go into this to understand this.

Usually, when we say that something is to be done totally, we equate that with an expanse in time, an expanse in energy, instead of investing five units of resources in it, I invested fifty units of resources because I wanted to do it totally. Instead of going one mile, I went all the way for ten miles because I wanted to do it totally. So we equate this total-ness with a stretch, with an expanse. In other words, what we say is “doing something totally” means going as far as our desire, our motivation wants us to go, right?

Read more

How to relate better to one’s wife?

Presentatio2

 

 

Question: If there is a fight going on with my wife, and she gets angry, and I too get angry. Won’t that create more friction?

Acharya Prashant: You know what, you don’t get angry when fighting with your spouse, because you assume that she is not as strong as you. Do you see that? You say, “She is the weak one, so let her be angry. I am the more responsible one, so it is upon me to not to get angry.” Is that not what the assumption is? Now see what is actually happening. You are assuming her to be weak and she is controlling you. So, who are you? Weaker than the weak. Do you see this? Read more

Living in inferiority complex.

If I really know that I am beautiful, you cannot make me feel ugly — but I must then be in total sureness.
I cannot be in total sureness if I am worrying a lot about my business, if it means a lot to me, because in worrying a lot about the state of my business, I am actually worrying a lot about my capacity to handle my business, which means I am not very sure of my own capacity to live with the business, to manage it, to come out unharmed, untouched by it. I take business now as a challenge, as something that can really overpower me or dominate me. It now becomes something very meaningful. Now, I have given it a place that it does not deserve. Now, I have made it some kind of an equivalent of Truth and when something becomes an equivalent of Truth, you become too small in front of it.
That is called living in inferiority complex.
When you are feeling inferior, then even an innocuous touch can hurt you. The other one had no intention to rub you the wrong way but you find that you have been bruised for no reason. It has nothing to do with the intention of the other person. It has much more to do with your own self-concept.
At the risk of sounding impractical, let me suggest that one must treat all business with a little contempt. All business! Even the business of life and death. When you can treat all business with a little contempt, then the business is not bigger than you, then the business is not your God or Truth. Now you are bigger and bigger you indeed are.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

In fooling others, first of all, you fool yourself

Honestly, directly, simply, without pretense know where you stand. And wherever we stand, we stand at a point that is distant from the home. We all are lonely. We all are loving beings. Loneliness is not a blemish. Loneliness is not an insult. Loneliness and desire are very close. To desire is not a humiliation, but in many spiritual circles it is. So, what do you do? You turn to hypocrisy. With desires still burning in your mind, you say, “Well you know, I have no desires.” Or you seek backdoor entries to forbidden places to satisfy your desires. “It should not be seen that I am still desirous.” Because all that matters is whether you are being seen. So, ultimately, all propaganda is for others. All the masks are for others.
Don’t be so clever. In fooling others, first of all, you fool yourself. In deceiving others, first of all, you are deceiving yourself. You may do something that nobody else is able to see, but kindly tell me, how would you do something that even you are not able to see? You may cut off everybody else from knowing what you do or who you are, but there would still be one entity that would know what you do and who you are.
Which entity?
Yourself.
So, in deceiving others, you’ll have to inevitably deceive yourself first. Don’t try that smartness. At least to yourself, honestly, simply confess. There may be no need to sing about it in the markets. There may be no need to wear a banner proclaiming your loneliness or a car sticker or a hat or a t-shirt or a Facebook status. I don’t know if they have that option, “Feeling lonely” Do they have that option?
That should have been a default option!
You are not reduced if you are lonely. You are not belittled. I repeat: it is not an insult, not an offence to be wanting, to be desirous, to be lonely, to be seeking, to be searching. It only shows that you are still human, that you have not been taken away totally by machines, that you are not yet totally programmed, that something of the mystical still lives in your heart. You do not need to act macho. You do not need to act superhuman. We all are little fragile beings and in that lies our glory. We are already glorious but by rejecting our littleness, we subject ourselves to ignobility. By rejecting ourselves, we act as if something is offensive about our very existence, as if ‘to be’ is crime.
You may be down in the dumps, and there is nothing wrong about it. But to pretend that you are flying when you are actually being flayed—that is hypocrisy. And that would perpetuate your suffering.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

Everybody is lonely, and that is great news!

There is nobody who is at any given point too far away from crying. There is nobody who is too far away from breaking down. Oh! we have trained our tears to not to be disobedient. So, they don’t make unrequited appearances. We are social beings you see. We very well know the right place where to discharge any of the bodily fluids, including tears! One should not discharge in the open, even from the eyes; we are cultivated people, you know!

But look at your face. Look at the face of your neighbour, look at the face of your child, or husband, or wife. And if you have not trained yourself to be totally insensitive, you will know what the entire misery of this world is about. And that’s not something to feel bad about. That only shows that we are not totally dead yet. That only shows that which is calling us has not yet given up upon us.

If that which calls us would give up upon us, you would not feel what you feel. You would become accustomed to suffering. The very fact that we dislike suffering, that we suffer in suffering is proof that something beyond suffering is constantly calling us. That is proof that suffering is not our nature. And that is proof that one need not get adjusted to living a lukewarm life.

Nothing less than the total, the final, the ultimate beckons us. So, there is no need to compromise. And if you compromise, that would be such a pathetic compromise because it would give you nothing. You were distraught before the compromise, and you would remain distraught after the compromise. What’s the point of this compromise? So, don’t compromise, and keep moving. And when I say keep moving I mean keep in touch with your loneliness.

Those who suppress there loneliness become victim of suppression, those who keep in touch with their loneliness come up with great creativity. Beautiful songs have risen out of human melancholy. People talk of songs written in joy. I say that all songs that have any truth in them have actually risen from the honest depth of man’s suffering.

One who has never suffered can never write a song.
One who has never wept can never sing a song.
All art arises from the artist’s inner turmoil.
If you shelve that turmoil, if you lock it away, there would be no art in your life.
There will be nothing fluid, and real in your life.

And one of the worst culprits in this dimension are the so-called ‘spiritual people’. They have been told that to suffer is weakness. They have been told that suffering is sin. So, they wear a rotten mask of joyful appearance. You go to so many of these so-called spiritual places, and you will find people walking around with smiles because they have been told that unless you are smiling, you have reached nowhere in your spiritual pursuit. They have been told that Joy is akin to pleasure.

Poor are they, because they have no experience of Joy that lies in the total depths of despair. They do not know the Truth that shines when you are in total darkness. They do not know the realization that occurs when you have been beaten, bruised, cheated, deceived, totally and badly. They do not know the great fun that lies in tears.

Do not wear those masks!


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

That which you do to solve your problem becomes the problem

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Question: I suffer a lot because I do not know my child has an incident, I suffer, I cry. What can I do then?

AP: Whatever you do, if you do, knowing that you are going to do it, are you doing it or is the thought doing it?

Listener 1: It is the thought.

AP: And we have just discovered that you need not have thought before the doing.  You really do not need to have thought before the action. Thoughtless action is possible and it is not as bad as the popular culture makes it out to be. We use thoughtlessness almost as an abuse.

We say, ‘What a thoughtless man!’ Don’t we? When someone acted in a stupid way then, we say what a thoughtless action. First of all, that is not a thoughtless action, secondly, if it indeed happens to be thoughtless actions, it is something of the highest quality.

That which we want to do in order to solve our problems, only feeds our problems.

My request is, for a moment stop resisting your problems.

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Realize that even as you travel, you are already at the destination

In your moment of death you will be exactly as you are right now. Nothing would have changed, not an iota. Right now you are distracted, even in the moment of your death you will be distracted. Right now you are feeling miserable, even in the moment of your death you will be miserable. Right now you are hoping for a future, even in your moment of death you will be hoping for your future. Right now you are calculating, even in that moment you would be just calculating. That’s it!

From birth till death, there is only misery and agony. Then what is this hope about reaching home? Accept this misery and agony. This is what man’s life is all about. You would not be mistaken if you say that man’s life is simply unmitigated suffering and continuous longing. Realize that even as you long, you are already there.

Realize that even as you travel, you are already at the destination.

Realize that even as you suffer, you are already joyful. Joy will never displace sorrow. Joy will be present parallely with sorrow. So, do not hope to be redeemed. Do not think that a point will come when sorrow will give way to joy. Sorrow will remain present. That is the destiny of man. Kabir says, ‘Deh dhare ka dand’ (Sorrow of embodiment). Sorrow will remain. The only question is do you remember the great joy which is the foundation of sorrow? Do you remember that?

You will cry. The question is, even as you are crying, right when you are crying, are you something bigger than crying? Are you getting this? If you do not remember this then you will just try to act, and you will become a hypocrite. You will say that, “I must live as per ideals. You know I long for something and then I make great effort and I have to show that my great efforts are giving me some results. So I must act peaceful. You see, I have read so many scriptures, attended so many sessions, I have put in so much efforts, gone to so many camps, so I must have something to show for it. I must act a little differently”.

You do not need to act any differently. If you are wretched, you will have to act wretched. Don’t try to display that you have advanced. Whatever advancement will take place will be within the mental domain. Why take that advancement very seriously? Yes, some difference will come. But all that difference is within the limits of man, within the limit of mind, within the confines of the role play. So do not take that advancement very seriously.

Experience whatever life gives you fully. And life does not treat anybody with kid gloves. Life gives out the same treatment to everybody. Buddha said, “Janm dukh hai, Jeevan dukh hai, Jaraa dukh hai, Mrityu dukh hai” (Birth is Sorrow, Life is Sorrow, Body is Sorrow, Death is Sorrow). This is the treatment that life gives everybody. Don’t expect anything different.

If life makes you cry, cry. But cry in remembrance of your joyful nature.


An excerpt from the article, ‘Even when you are lost, you are already Home

View the session at: Even when you are lost, you are already Home | YouTube

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

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

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

Be your biggest fan

Listener (In tears, sitting next to the Speaker, by the Ganges and the Himalayas. Overwhelmed by his weeklong presence in the Speaker’s discourses): Why is it difficult to even be here?

Speaker: Something is difficult if you try to fight. Something is difficult only if you try to do something about it. If you don’t have to do anything, then where is the difficulty? Here is this mountain, if you want to move this mountain then it is very difficult, but if you can just sit here and admire this mountain, then is there a difficulty? Forget about even admiring, if you can just see the whole presence of this mountain, its action, its landscape, the way it seems to be dividing space, the way it is attractive in a way, the way it is dangerous. All the stories that go along with this mountain – if you can just see all of that and do nothing, then where is the difficulty? Read more

Feeling threatened by the world, you seek a false security from the same world

Question: What exactly is the difference between ‘being at the mercy of circumstances’ and ‘being a superconductor’?

Speaker: Who gave you this phrase – ‘at the mercy of circumstances’? Who gave you this phrase?

Listener 1: I was listening to one of your videos where you have said that in ‘chaos’ stage, one is at the mercy of circumstances, and one is not rooted anywhere.

Speaker: Where is this phrase coming from – ‘at the mercy of circumstances’? Does it come to anybody who is not in that chaos stage that you are talking of? Is it a spiritual phrase – ‘at the mercy of circumstances’?

When you say, “At the mercy of circumstances,” there are two things that are contained it. One, the world is a hostile place. Second, that you are being affected by that hostile place. Do you see this? Are any of these statements, of the Truth? Is any of this a part of the spiritual lexicon? Do any of these apply to any mind, other than the chaotic mind?

Then, if you ask me, “What is the difference between ‘being at the mercy of circumstances’ and ‘being a superconductor?” the difference these two, is the difference between the minds, to which these two phrases apply. ‘At the mercy of circumstances’ applies to, as you said, a chaotic mind. And ‘being a superconductor’, applies to the unified, integrated mind. That is the difference.

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Sickness can be cured only by the touch of Health

Question: What should be done in a situation when you approach someone who is sick, and who glorifies his or her sickness, and thinks that you are sick? How to make the right judgement? How to know who is really sick?

Acharya Prashant: You see, thinking of it, one can never be fully sure, never. And in terms of thought, it is not even advisable that one is too sure; because that would be a kind of arrogance. So just as one has all the rights, rather the responsibility, to approach the other and say that the other might be sick – of course not in a way of accusing, but in a way of loving – similarly the other one too has a right to turn around and say, “Well I think there is a bug here, and a little bit of sickness might lie with you as well.”

One has to accept it and enquire for the fact. There might be some fact in what the other is saying. And it is possible that the other is exaggerating beyond the fact, that the other is not just stating a fact, rather turning around to attack you because s/he does not like that you are calling his bluff. That is also possible.

Listener: That is the main critical situation.

AP: Yes, but before we come to that conclusion, it is first of all necessary to examine, without bias, without self-centered prejudice, the extent of factualness in what the other has to say about us, because we hardly have a right to go and declare the other sick, if we cannot tolerate the same thing being said by the other towards us.

So first of all, there has to be a healthy acceptance of what the other has to say. And after that, if it really, clearly comes out that the other is just trying to be vengeful, that the other is just trying to extract a kind of a petty revenge, then one has to test his own mettle. That is the test of love: you have gone out and opened your heart, and you want to do good to the other.

L1: The situation becomes gruesome when the other fellow uses it as a tool to impose his or her thinking on you.

AP: Or at least, protect his own thinking.

L1: Yes.

AP: Obviously. And that has to be expected. After all, you are attacking somebody’s very foundations. To the other person, his ego is his world. To the other person, there is only one way that exists of looking at the world, which is his own, personal way. And you are attacking that way.

L1: That is also what his sickness is.

AP: But remember, sickness can be healed only by the touch of health.

Those who are interested in helping and healing others must be extremely cautious about their own health. Otherwise, in spite of all the good intentions, the sickness of the world would take possession of the healer as well.

The same thing that you want to dissolve, to attack, to get rid of, you would find that the same thing has dominated your mind. Now instead of one sick person, you have two sick persons. So it is a great motivation. In fact, it is, in some sense, a kind of temptation, to be a do-gooder: “I am trying to help the world.”

And yes, we do require a lot of people who go out there, who can step beyond their limited self-interest. But the responsibility of such people is far greater than the responsibility of those who are living within themselves. Now you have the responsibility of others, and the responsibility to protect your own health also.

And sickness has its own ways. Rest assured, you attack sickness, and sickness will attack your health. That is necessarily going to happen. And that is, just as we said, what is going to test your mettle – the depth of your health.

L1: Problem is: how to handle it?

AP: Only health can handle it. It is not a battle that is fought once and for all. It is an ongoing thing. You approach sickness and sickness responds with a cruel lash, a backlash. It is only when you face that kind of backlash, or a retort, that you come to know the fact about your own health, that how strong you really are.

If it does not destroy you, then stay put. Keep fighting. And if you feel that it has exposed a particular vulnerability within you, then recede. First take care of your own vulnerability, your own sickness, and then go back again. It is an ongoing thing.  One cannot make it an ego issue. One cannot say, “Now that I have jumped into the battle, how can I make a retreat?” You will have to retreat a thousand times. You will have to return to your own shelters, to nurse your wounds.

L1: True.

AP: And wounds you will get aplenty, rest assured.

L1: Even if one tries to accept it all and move along with it, it becomes problematic again, because the other person has started treating you as a sick person. Again the situation comes back to square one.

AP: And the worst thing that can happen is, when the perceptions of the world become your own perception.

“I went out towards the world, thinking of myself as a healthy being with all the noble intentions to help the world. And what happened instead? The world succeeded in convincing me that I am sick.”

And it happens very often, very frequently.

L1: Very true.

L2: Sir, in this situation, one can only live a life of conviction, because the moment one tries to tell someone that he or she is doing something incorrectly, one leaves the impression that one is smarter than the other.

AP: Yes!

L2: There is no point, it is a vicious circle. I can’t even blame the other person because what they are a part of, they got it from someone who is considered a higher authority. And I being no one to this person, can be easily asked to not to interfere in their personal matters.

AP: Yes. You are very right. To the other person, it is like an interference in something that is very personal and intimate to him, especially if your advice comes unsolicited. And such advice has to come unsolicited. Nobody is ever going to say, “I need advice on the most central matters of living.”

Nobody is ever going to say, “I do not know what love is. I do not know what relationships are. I do not know what is the place of joy and compassion in life”; because these are such shameful things to accept.

L2: They are oblivious to the fact that they have intermingled words together. They do not know the difference between joy, happiness, love, attachment etc. For them, they are all the same.

The problem is that these words are used in one breath across all cultures.

AP: They are going to be used in some way or the other because one has to continue with the business of living. Nobody can come to a point and just stop dead there saying, “How do I proceed with living? I do not know what love is, how can I continue to live lovelessly?” So people will continue living, and they have no option but to continue to tell themselves that there is nothing terribly wrong with them.

Everybody feels that a little bit here and there is missing, in his or her life, right? To that, everybody agrees. And that is taken as the ‘spice of life’ – a two percent here, a five percent there, is missing. One says, “Well, perfection must not be there. Something must always be left to achieve.”

So two percent, five percent kind of a thing is missing, everybody would admit and agree to. They would say, “Yes, a little bit is missing, otherwise I am alright. Life is just perfect. You know, I am waiting for my next million. I am waiting for my son to get his job.”

But nobody is ever going to be very agreeable to accepting that the fundamentals of life are missing. And when you go and say that, then do not expect kind words from anybody. Essentially you are telling them that they are wasting their life.

Hence, you have to have a deep humility in the heart when you approach somebody. And hence, there has to be great strength in your resolve and compassion. If you have an expectation that you are going to be felicitated, rewarded, that the world is going to raise temples in your honor, it is not going to happen.


~ Excerpts from a Shabd-Yoga session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Sickness can be cured only by the touch of Health

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Ego is easily exhausted while compassion provides continuous energy

Article 2: How to help others see the truth?

Article 3: Only light can illuminate others

The misguided craving for inner fulfillment becomes attachment

Question: In one of your videos you say that attachment is the result of space and time. But, often in a situation, if somebody talks to us politely or sweetly, we tend to want to spend more time with that person. On the contrary, if somebody abuses me or throws harsh words on me, I won’t like to sit with him even if he is close to me, even if I have spent lot of time with him. So how is it attachment in this case?

Speaker: See, attachment like everything else, is in the mind. When somebody is nice and polite to you, when somebody is not hurting you, you remember him. You remember him nicely. You will probably call him a ‘friend’. And when somebody is hurtful or abrasive, then too you remember him. Now, you probably remember him as a villain, as an enemy, as somebody to be avoided, right? But in either case, you do remember him. What is common between friends and enemies? You have thoughts about them. You remember both of them, right? You are not indifferent to either of them, and this is attachment. This is attachment.

What is the real meaning of attachment? Understand this.

Deep within us there is a desire to know ‘who we are’. We want to say, “I am” and then we stop there, awkwardly, we don’t know what to say, there is a blank. This ‘I am’ desperately wants to get attached to something, so that the sentence may be completed. Do you see that, this is a very awkward blank; ‘I am’, and then you can’t proceed any further. Attachment is the urge to fill in this blank; so that the sentence may be completed.

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The Real Guru

Question: Sir, a very famous preacher I know of, is a renowned spiritual guru, rather ‘sadhguru’ of contemporary times. I am quite influenced by him.

Does it help one more, to have two gurus instead of one?

Acharya Prashant: So, one guru has already been decided upon – it is some ‘sadhguru’. The second one we do not know . . . he (the questioner) might yet be contemplating, might yet be in the process of finalizing, choosing. However, his core question is, “Can I have one guru there and another one here?”

We hardly ever want to look at the fundamentals. We are in such an arrogant hurry to proceed, that we forget the very foundation upon which all the processes stand. Before you ask, “Is it worth it to have two gurus or five gurus?” . . . or whatever, it does not occur to you to ask, “What is a guru?” Quickly you jump to the question of “How many gurus?” without ever trying to understand firstly what is this whole thing about a guru? What is a guru? And if we can understand what is a guru, then the answer about the number of gurus and all, will easily open up. Read more

Why does one suffer from inferiority complex?

Question: Sir, how can I know that I am suffering from inferiority complex? How to become self-sufficient?

Speaker: How to know or how to correct the complex?

Listener: How to correct?

Speaker: How to correct the complex. Everybody is suffering from an inferiority complex, everybody. This whole world that you see around yourself is a proof of our sense of inferiority. Inferiority means, ‘I lack something’. Have you seen how desperate we are to gather, to collect? What all do we collect? Tell me.

Listener: Good image, good salary.

Speaker: And everybody is collecting this that, everything. You collect something only if you feel you do not have it. You collect something only when you feel that there is something that is asking for fulfillment. So all this is just inferiority complex, nothing else. It is just that certain kinds of inferiorities are not termed as inferiorities in our language.

So, somebody is ambitious, people do not usually call him suffering from inferiority. But that is what ambitiousness is. I need this, I want to become that. If you really look out how much do you need? It is not much. It is attainable. I am not talking about the mental, psychological needs. I am talking about your basic physical needs, you have not much. And the body is not which feels inferior, it is the mind that feels it is inferior. Read more

What is pleasure and what is its place in life?

“Pleasure is a freedom song,Pleasure

But it is not freedom.

It is the blossoming of your desires,

But it is not their fruit.”

Khalil Gibran

Questioner: Sir, what pleasure is and what is its place in life?

Speaker: Khalil Gibran is saying, “Pleasure is a freedom song, But it is not freedom. It is the blossoming of your desires, But it is not their fruit.”

Pleasure and pain are two ends of duality, but they should not be taken as separate. They are one. Pleasure in itself will hold no attraction for you if you are not in pain. If you ask, “What is pleasure?” The answer has to be in context of pain. Pleasure means nothing in absence of pain.

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