Feel grateful when your confusions get exposed

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Question: It has been a long time that I have been listening to you and I have been engaged with a lot of words and everything. And so many words and so many misunderstandings have come and gone but still, the restlessness remains; but still, the will to consume remains. Like I am sitting here right now, it is of great disturbance to me that I am thinking that I want to eat a burger.

Acharya Prashant: Is this the first time that you have wanted to eat a burger? Read more

Continuous Stress

Mind lives in knowledge and if there is something that cannot be captured in mind as knowledge, then mind will have to surrender to it. So we all live as if knowledge is most important. We all live as if our well being depends on that which we know and hence we remain tense. We remain eager for information, we remain eager for our well fare. We are never able to relax and let go of this responsibility of fending for ourselves. We continuously burden ourselves with this responsibility.

We say, “Our well being depends on our efforts, our smartness, our intellect and endeavors.” With that burden – which is an immense burden because we know that ultimately we will not be able to take care of ourselves because death beacons, with that impossible responsibility – we live.

The result is a continuous stress.

The only way the mind can relax is by leaving itself to something bigger than itself; something in a bigger dimension than itself.


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

On Khalil Gibran: Hidden tendencies have great power; but power of Truth is greater

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That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you
is the strongest and most determined.

Is it not your breath that has 
erected and hardened the structure of your bones?

-Khalil Gibran The prophet (The farewell)

Acharya Prashant: There are two ways one can look at this; which of these two are more beneficial to us depends on who we are. We will talk about both the meanings.

‘That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined. Is it not your breath that has erected and hardened the structure of your bones?

What we call as strong is that which is materially strong. What we call as purposeful is that which has a material purpose, a tangible goal. Truth, Tao or Brahm or Emptiness has no material strength, neither does it have a material goal. Even to say that it does not have a goal is not quite proper. It does not have a goal but it also does not not-have a goal. It would be more appropriate to say that the Truth is beyond purpose and goal. The truth is beyond strength and weakness; beyond strength and beyond goals.   Read more

We are all born married

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Listener: Is it possible to live alone?

Acharya Prashant: Why does this question arise?

L: Because I don’t want to get married.

AP: Why don’t you want to get married?

L: Because I want to go on the path of spirituality. And dependency should not be there. I feel that if I marry someone, I will be dependent.

AP: What if you are dependent on somebody or something else even if you don’t marry?

L: I feel complete without marriage.

AP: Then, why does this question arise? Read more

How can I know the Truth?

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Question: How can I know the truth?

Acharya Prashant: It is not very important. Far more important it is to see that you take a lot of things as the truth. You already take too many things as the truth. To begin with, don’t you take yourself as the truth? Is there anybody who says, “I am not”? Everybody says, “I am.” So when you say you are, obviously you mean that you truly exist. So you are the truth.

Begin from there. There is so much that I take as the truth. Now, is that really truth? A few hints from the scriptures may be helpful. The scriptures say, “If it is prone to disappearance and appearance, it cannot be the Truth. If it breaks your trust, it cannot be the truth. If it has an opposite somewhere, it cannot be the truth. If you can think about it and talk about it, it cannot be the truth.” Read more

Spirituality is the art of supreme nonsense

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Question: Why do you talk to people like this?

Acharya Prashant: There is this tree out there and it has a few leaves and when the wind blows the leaves also blow. Let’s together go and ask the leaves why do they blow like this?

Listener: Trees don’ talk.

AP: Ah! We don’t listen.

L: They don’t talk in English.

AP: Why must you be so tied to English? Don’t you know ‘Treeish’?

L: This is what you imagine.

AP: No, ‘Treeish’ is a language. Have you not heard of it?

L: No. Is it the language in which trees talk?

AP: Of course!

Everybody knows this language, even those kids know that. You forgot. You started knowing so much else that you forgot the language of the trees. Have you ever talked to your dog; Never?

Don’t you have a dog?

L: No.

AP: Too bad! What do you have?

L: Walls.

AP: Have you never talked to them?

L: No.

AP: People will say, “You are mad”? Social opprobrium!  How do I talk to walls like a madman?

Preetam talks!

L: He talks to walls?

AP: He talks even to walls when there are no walls.

(Laughter)

L: That doesn’t make any sense.

AP:

Spirituality is the art of supreme nonsense.

So become comfortable with something nonsensical.

If you are too tied to sensibility, then you will be tied to your insanity.

L: So, you don’t know why you talk to the people?

AP: I have already told—‘For the same reason the leaf dances in the wind’. Looking for a purpose, some profit, some motive, some missing statement, something to do, something to achieve, what does this guy want? What is he after? What is he chasing? May be something, may be something. Maybe nothing. Who knows?


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Spirituality is the art of supreme nonsense

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Babaji can’t even talk sense, how will he talk spirituality?

Article 2: What is Intelligent Spirituality

Article 3: Spirituality is the intimacy of the immediate, not the blaze of the beyond


Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant are available on AMAZON:

http://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

You are the creator of stress

We will do a small experiment right now.

You all will start thinking about your ambitions. Does along with ambition come the thought of possible frustration of ambition; that I may not achieve my targets?

And it becomes stress. Right?

In really living, in being, there is no stress; but in anticipation, in planning, in targeting, in desirous thinking, there is a lot of stress.

Two people have a book of mechanics in their hands. One student is just fully occupied with the book. He is there and the book is there and nothing else is there. And the other is thinking whether this question will appear in the examination; or should I study some other chapter.

Examination is in the future, it is not in the present. And if when he is with the book, he is thinking, he is anticipating the future, then he would be stressed out. There is no stress till you create it. You are the creator of stress. Life is not stress at all. Our mind, our desirous mind thinks it to be so. It makes stress, it creates stress. Do not create stress. Just live.


~ Excerpts from the article, ‘How do I cope with the stress of future?

Read more on ‘Planning for the Future’: Forecasting is one thing and desiring from the future is another

Pay the price of living by the Heart

Question: What are memories? We are happy, we get sad, we get flashbacks. What are they? What do they mean?

Speaker: Memories are residues.

I would like to put it this way. There are two kinds of memories. Capacitor memories and current memories. What are capacitor memories?

Listeners: The memories are stored. There is no circulation of current. There is no resistance.

Speaker: What if the circulation is happening due to resistance? This is current memory.

Seeing is not resisting. To see something is to just observe what is happening. It is not about adding to the resistance. What if the circulation is happening precisely because you are resisting something?

If something is continuously there in the mind, it is circulating in the form of the thought, then rest assured that there is something that you are resisting. Either you are doing something per force or there is something that needs to be done, but you are not doing it per force. Read more

How does one stay calm?

Question: How does one stay calm?

Speaker: What takes away calmness? When you are sleeping, deeply, then are you calm? You are asking, “How does one stay calm?” Aren’t you calm when you are in deep sleep?

Listeners: Yes.

Speaker: You are calm. And then you wake up, and you become anxious.

Listener 1: It is because of the thoughts.

Speaker: It is because of the world. You can become anxious even while sleeping. In sleep if you are anxious, it is because while sleeping there are dreams. So if the world intrudes even in your sleep, then you become restless even while sleeping. The world itself is the reason for anxiety, for losing your calmness. Read more

How to cope with stress?

Questioner: Sir, how to cope with stress? I get disappointed easily.

Speaker: Is there disappointment without a specific expectation?

Listeners (in unison): No Sir.

Speaker: And when you expect, then obviously you never expect bad things for yourself or do you?

Listeners (in unison): No Sir.

Speaker: So when you expect, you expect good things to happen to you. “Good things will happen to me.” Now, just think of the good things that really happen to you or have happened to you. The really good things, not the small ones. I repeat, the really good ones. Have they happened to you because of your expectation and imagination?

Alright, let’s look at those good things. The first thing you probably like about yourself is that you are, your being, the fact that you exist. Did that happen out of your expectation?

Listeners (in unison): No Sir.

Speaker: It didn’t, right! Now, these essentials that you need for living, do they come to you because you expect them to come? And could you ever have expected them to come?

Read more

What is guilt?

Question: What is guilt? Does it facilitate, or hinder spiritual growth?

Speaker: We often use the term ‘spiritual growth’. It is alright if it is used loosely, just to indicate something. But it is not alright, if you mean ‘spiritual growth’, as actually the growth of some entity. There is no spiritual growth as such. ‘Spiritual growth’ only means ‘spiritual dissolution’. Nothing grows. All growth is that of the ego. Only the ego grows, accumulates, becomes larger. Read more

Self-awareness is not self-stalking

Question: I seem to be moving from the so-called liberal, open to a highly moralistic type of woman. It is a movement from one end to the other. But nothing has changed actually. I may just be repressing myself, and keeping more watch on myself. What is happening to me?

Speaker: Do you want to ‘know’ what is going on, or you want to change what is going on? What is the intention?

Listener 1: Both. Read more

How do I get rid of my restlessness?

Question: Restlessness doesn’t really leave me. Why am I so restless? How can I get rid of my restlessness?

Speaker: Cars these days come with the auto-pilot feature. You can put the car on the cruise mode, especially on long drives, and the driver can relax. There was a research conducted on the vehicles that have this auto-drive feature.  It was found out that people who buy cars having this facility do not really use it. Read more

Looking attentively at the world, one enters the Truth beyond world

तदा बन्धो यदा चित्तं सक्तं काश्वपि दृष्टिषु।
तदा मोक्षो यदा चित्तम- सक्तं सर्वदृष्टिषु॥

                          – अष्टावक्र गीता (८- ३)

Translation: There is bondage when mind is attracted towards any of the visible things and liberation is when mind is not attached to anything visible.

Question: It is bondage when the mind is attached to any of the sensory perceptions. It is freedom when the mind is detached from all perceptions. Everything is sensory perception. So what is freedom from sensory perception?

Speaker: When the mind is not divided, then there is a quality about it. Then you call that quality ‘one’. Somebody has said that the sum is greater than the total of the parts, or probably that the total is greater than the sum of the parts. What he has said is that two plus two is five. I want to talk about this extra ‘one’. The sum is greater than the total of the parts. Two plus two is actually five.

If you talk about this extra quality when the mind is undivided, when the mind is total, then this extra ‘one’ comes into being. When you are not divided, then two plus two fetches an extra ‘one’, and this extra ‘one’ is the juice of life. You will not get it in two, you will not get it in another two, but you will get it when there are no two’s left; when there is unity, when the fragmentation has seized. This ‘one’ is the gift. This ‘one’ is grace. But for this ‘one’ to descend, you have to ensure that two is meeting two. When two meets two, then one is given as a complimentary gift. When you are total, then mind experiences that extra-ordinary peace, that extra-ordinary sense of realization and relaxation. Words are a very poor way of communicating it or even hinting towards it.
Read more

Before you chase goals, become goal-less

Impart not esoteric Truth to fools,
Nor on molasses feed an ass.
Do not sow seeds in sandy beds,
Nor waste your oil on cakes of bran.
-Lal Ded

Speaker: The question is, ‘Why is a compassionate saint speaking such words? They look more like coming from a result oriented mind.’

When you say, ‘Why is a compassionate saint speaking these words?’, who are you referring to? There is a Lal Ded that never took birth and will never die. There is a Lal Ded who is so expansive that space cannot contain her and there is a Lal Ded who surely took birth and who surely die. There is a Lal Ded who is limited in a body, there is a Lal Ded who is living, eating and breathing in achievement and there is nothing left for her to get. And there is a Lal Ded who must move around, go place to place, speak and dance. There is a Lal Ded who is pure silence and there is a Lal Ded who must deal in words. Who are you referring to? Who is the saint? When you say saint, what do you mean? What do you mean? Your query is that why is Lal Ded speaking in a language that looks result oriented?
Read more

To not to be spiritual is to be a social slave

Question: A simple rejection from anybody affects me completely. How to overcome this and what causes this disappointment?

Speaker: Rejection might be simple, but do you keep it simple? Do you allow it to remain simple? Do you know what ‘simple’ means?  Simple means, direct. Simple means, it is what it is. I do not add anything to it, I do not distort it, I do not take away anything from it. Rejection is rejection. But for you is it merely rejection? You make it a part of your self-assessment. It all pertains to the question, ‘Who am I?’ When there is no clarity on that question, then that question clamours to be answered. And it gets answered in very confused ways, in very distorted ways. ‘Who am I?’ The one, who will be accepted by others. ‘Who am I?’ One, among the others. Are you getting it? Read more

Happiness cannot be the purpose of life

Question: Sir, what is the purpose of life?  Is it earning money, or happiness?

Speaker: The lady is asking, ‘What is the ultimate purpose of life?’ She has already presented us two options:

  1. Earning money or,
  1. Happiness.

But you already know. You have already discounted everything else and zeroed in on to two options. What are they? That the purpose could be either to earn money, or to be happy.

Alright. So let’s first look at these two. What does one earn money for?

Listener 1: For livelihood.

Speaker: And, why does one want a livelihood?

Listener 2: For comfort.

Speaker: What does comfort give you?

Listener 3: Satisfaction and happiness. Read more

Freedom from compulsive slavery

Speaker: The topic of ‘Compulsion’ and ‘Free-will’ is what we are concerned with. When do you call something a compulsion?

Listener 1: When I am not interested in doing something and I am forced to do something.

Speaker: At a superficial level compulsion is when the mind does not feel interested. And according to you, when you feel interested, then it is not a compulsion. Correct?
Listeners(everyone): Yes.
Read more

Is hard work the key to success?

Question: Sir, everyone says that hard work is the key to success. Is this true?

Speaker: Rohit is asking that is hard work the key to success. Rohit, you have picked two entities and asked whether they can be equated.

You have said, ‘hard work’ and you have said, ‘success’. You are asking that are the two synonymous. Does one lead to the other? Is one guarantee to the other? Is the presence of one necessary for the presence of other?
Read more

Motivation and ambition, symptoms of suffering

Question: Sir, how to stay motivated and ambitious even after repeated failures in life?

Speaker: Our friend is asking that how to stay motivated and ambitious even after repeated failures.

Do you understand what is ambition? Do you understand what is motivation? Do you understand what is failure?

What is motivation? What is meant by ‘motive’?

Motive means greed. Motive means, ‘I want to get something.’

Same is ambition. Ambition is an enhanced form of motive. ‘I want to get more and more.’ That is ambition. Be it motive or be it ambition one thing is certain, you are saying that I want to get something, that I want to achieve something. I can understand that the voices around you have been constantly telling you that you must get something, that you are incomplete, that there is something missing in you, there is something wrong in you, and you must make up for it by obtaining a particular degree, a particular job, a certain respectability.
Read more