Who is God, and why should one strive for Him? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Who is God, and why should one strive for Him

Question: As I read couplets of Kabir Sahib, he talks of God in them. Who is ‘God’, and why should one strive for ‘Him’?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Why should I answer your question? You don’t strive for God, I will not answer your question?

Next one.

How do you feel, when I do not answer your question? That is exactly how one feels, when he is godless. Because you want God, Abhishek (questioner), that’s why you want the answer to this question.

‘God’ is the answer to all questions.

Why does anybody, ever want anything?

Because he actually wants ‘God’.

‘God’ is the end of all the things that you want.

And therefore, all those, who have gone, a little mad, have said, “God is everything that you want.” As they say, “Love is all you need.” They have said, “God is all you need.”

The thing is, you are a man of need. You need, you need, you need, and you keep needing, you keep needing, you keep needing. So, there must certainly be something, that you are asking for. That is ‘God’.

You don’t ‘have’ to strive for ‘God’.

You ‘are’ striving for ‘God’.

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The real Goal dissolves you along the journey to the Goal || Acharya Prashant on Swami Vivekananda (2017)

The real Goal dissolves you along the journey to the Goal

Take up one idea.

Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea.

Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone.

This is the way to success and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.

~ Swami Vivekananda

Acharya Prashant Ji: Wonderful!

It’s just that not every idea will be able to fulfill these conditions. The idea must have some worth, the idea must have some weight, the idea must have some gravity. Otherwise, you will not be able to make the idea your life. Otherwise, you will not be able to live, eat, breathe, sleep, by that idea.

Mark the words, “Take up One idea.”

That one idea has to be about ‘The One’.

It has to be an idea, that is arising from ‘the One’.

Every other idea would fail these conditions. Have you not had ideas, aplenty, already? Have those ideas, really served you well? Have those ideas survived? Have you ever been deficient in ideas?

In fact, you have far too many ideas, for your comfort. So, you must be very clear about the quality of the idea, that Vivekananda is referring to. Don’t be deceived. Vivekanand is not saying, “Take up some random idea, and give your life to it.” Not that it is bad, it is impossible. Because, you will not be able to give your life, to any random idea.

Sooner than later, that idea will wither down. Sooner than later, you will become bored of that idea. Sooner than later, some other idea will come to substitute, that idea. As happens with us.

You have an idea, to go to Nainital. Next day, you have an idea to go to Ooty. What happened to Nainital? Nainital had no immensity. That idea was not arising from your heart. That was just a passing wave. It went away. It disappeared. Now, Ooty has come. Do you think, Ooty is going to survive?

You have an idea – ‘Let me start a business in real estate’. Next day, you receive some other news. The first idea, is gone. Finished! Vivekananda is saying, “Live by that idea. And die by that idea.” That idea therefore, must have some timelessness. That idea, therefore, must be irreplaceable by any other idea. Hence, it cannot be an idea about, the so-called little things of the world.

This idea has to be an idea of the Immense.

And you cannot really have an ‘idea’ of the Immense.

This idea is something arising from the Immense.

You must, of course, give yourself, a goal. But, that goal, has to be so total, that it totally possesses you. It consumes you. If your goal is smaller than yourself, then very soon you will find, that you are on top of your goal, in the sense that you are the master of your goal, even without achieving it. And hence, you substitute your goal.

Don’t we do that often?

Listeners: Yes.

Acharya Ji: You set up a goal, and because the goal is ‘your’ goal, you feel that you are the controller of the goal. You have decided the goal. And if you have decided the goal, you have the power to …..

Listeners: Give up the goal.

Acharya Ji:

Let the goal decide you.

Let the goal be on top of you.

Let the goal own you fully.

That is possible, only when the goal is – God.

That is possible, only when, the goal is – Totality itself.

Then, you will not be moving towards the goal, the goal would be drawing you in. Then there is no question of boredom. Then, there is no question of shortage of energy. Because now, the energy would be supplied by the goal itself.

Now, there is also no question of confusion. Because you are now, a slave to the goal. Let the goal, clear the confusion. You are just allowing yourself to be moved. You are not really moving. You are not the ‘doer’. The ‘doer’ is the goal itself.

As long as, the goal is not tremendously big, life has no real purpose.

If your goal are small, they are no goals.

You will be frustrated, if you do not achieve them.

And you will be doubly frustrated, if you achieve them.

Having achieved them, you will find, that the next goal is waiting for you. And that is deep frustration. You will feel, as if all your investment, in reaching up to the first goal, has totally gone down the drain.

Give yourself a goal, that is – ‘the Final One’.

Give yourself a goal, after which, no more goals will be needed.

Give yourself a goal, after which the goal-setter, himself would be no more.

That goal can only be, of your total annihilation.

“Let me disappear. Let me surrender myself to something so worthy, that it deserves my total sacrifice.” Unless your goal is that magnificent, that worthy, that tremendous, you will be just frustrated.

Normally, when you have goals, you go to the goal, to gain something. You go to the goal, to succeed. The mark of the ‘Real Goal’ is – when you reach there, you will not be gaining something, you will just be losing. And you know that, the movement to that Goal is, a movement to a loss. So, you are being made an idiot, and yet you move to the Goal. That goal has to be so enchanting, so enamoring.

Unless you are completely owned, enamored, you will not allow yourself to be looted, and destroyed.

The ‘Real Goal’ dissolves you along the journey.

And you know that you are being dissolved.

You know that you are paying a price, every step you take.

Why will you pay a price? That goal has to be extremely attractive. Know, whether or not your goal is worthy, by this test alone. Do you expect to gain something, on reaching that goal? Then that goal is worthless. Do you know that you are only losing, and losing, and losing, as you are proceeding towards the goal? Then, that goal is worthy.

If your goal, gives you something, dump that goal. Real success then, is your total failure. You have totally failed, in preserving yourself. You wanted to preserve yourself, and you totally failed – that is ‘Real Success’.

Only a ‘real goal’ can give you ‘real success’. False goals, will give you a false failure. And worse still, false successes. False successes, are worse than false failures.

You are not in this world, to beef yourself up, accumulate, fatten, and then die an obese man. You are here, to burn yourself out. And, you must burn yourself, doubly fast. The image that I love is, that of a candle, burning from both ends.

Matter turning into light – sublimation.

That is the purpose of life – burn fast.

Turn into light, and disappear.

Don’t carry a lot of wax, a lot of fat, a lot of material.

Burn it fast! Burn it fast!

You were born with a lot.

Die empty.

You were born with a lot of clothes. Every child, is born from the mother’s womb, wearing just too many clothes. The purpose of life, is to die naked. Keep on peeling-off the clothes, one after one. Layer after layer.

Such a Goal must be there.

A Goal that denudes you.

A lot of it, I know, sounds like plenty of madness!

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Acharya Prashant on Swami Vivekananda: The real Goal dissolves you along the journey to the Goal

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


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.

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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?

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Freedom is Health

Love is a relationship. A healthy relationship is LoveAny healthy relationship is Love, and a healthy relationship is possible only when you are healthy.

What is healthy being? A healthy being is one who is not restless, who is not continuously suffering, whose mind is not continuously wandering in tension, in misery.

You don’t need to become healthy, you are healthy.

What does Health mean? Health means that which you are without any education.

Even in your worst situation, even in your darkest hour, even in your last breath, you will not be able to force yourself to like slavery. It is impossible.

Freedom is Health.

Nobody can lose his or her NatureYou are Healthy.

Becoming is alright in small matters but in essential matters of life, becoming is a disease, unnecessary disease. A disease that is just an assumption but such a deep assumption that it ruins the entire climate of the mind.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: The relationship of the healthy being is Love

Acharya Prashant: The relationship of the healthy being is Love

AP: It’s so simple that you’ll be disappointed actually. It is not jazzy to hear or glamorous to look at.

Love is a relationship.

A healthy relationship is Love.

Any healthy relationship is Love, and a healthy relationship is possible only when you are healthy.

So, the relationships of a healthy being are called Love. The definition is so simple. You don’t find anything very embellished about it.

What is healthy being?

A healthy being is one who is not restless, who is not continuously suffering, whose mind is not continuously wandering in tension, in misery.

When you are settled within and you have a sureness within, then in all your relationships, this sureness, this power, this peace, this completeness shows. What I have that reflects in all my relationships. If I’m healthy then that health shines in all my relationships. That health is called Love.

Listener: Acharya Ji, I saw a video of you – only a healthy mind can enter into a friendship. So, how can we become healthy? What are the ways in which we can have healthy mind?

AP: Do you know what does this question imply? I want to become healthy. Are you sure the question is valid?

Listener: Yes.

AP: What’s your name?

Listener: Priya.

Read more

Then why are you doing it? Just for fun.

We say, “If I am already fulfilled, why would I work at all?” No, there is a quality of a free, intense and a passionate dance in this kind of work. I want nothing, there is nothing that I want to get from what I am doing and yet I am doing it with all my energy, devotion and passion. I am almost worshipping what I am doing. What will I get from all these? Nothing. What is there in it for me? Nothing. Then why are you doing it? Just for fun.

Why does the river flow? Why does the wind blow? Am I not allowed to dance? Am I not allowed to love reasonlessly? Must I follow the prevalent dictates of cause and effect, of success and failure, of action, accompanied by the fruit of action? Can’t there be something called desireless action? There can be such a thing, it is not a hypothesis. In fact, if that thing, that quality of mind is not there then life is not worth living.

If we work only to get something, if all our actions, if all our relationships are just for the sake of achievement, if whatever we do is a calculated action, then the mind only knows transactions and business, it knows no love. Such a mind would forever be in a state of loveless desperation, crying for relief.

Read the complete article: To be free, first discover the nature of your bondage

To be free, first discover the nature of your bondage

21762214_1227353527370622_921021697824714700_nQuestion 1: What is success in life?

Acharya Prashant: What is success in life? What-is-success-in-life? Let me say, I am in a dream. In the dream, I am finding myself surrounded by all kinds of enemies and other hostile forces. There are demons, there are enemies and I want to fight them.

So, I ask a question, “What is the best way to fight them?” I ask a question, “When will I know that I have succeeded in defeating them?”

I repeat I am in sleep, I am dreaming, and in my dream, I am seeing the world as a dangerous place, as a competitive place, as a place where achievement is necessary. So, again and again, I ask the question, “What is the meaning of success? What is required to fight my enemies?” Would you answer this question? Read more

This thought of success itself is sadness

Success, achievement, these thoughts come to you only when you’re feeling down. Only when you feel life has not been good to me. Only when you feel I have lost out on something, then you say I want to be successful, right? So, the thought of success itself is a very sad thought. Do you see this? The thought of success itself arises only in a sad mind. When the thought itself arises from a sad mind, how can this so-called success give you happiness? Just get rid of the sadness. Don’t chase happiness. There is no point chasing happiness, just get rid of sadness. And what is sadness? This thought of success. This thought of success itself is sadness. Get rid of it.

It arises because of an artificial sense of inadequacy that we have. Unnecessarily we have been forced to believe that this is missing, that is missing. We find it very hard to accept that life is a simple, continuous, innocent festival. It’s very difficult to accept. We have been trained to accept that life is an effort, challenge, war, accomplishment. We will become terrified if told that life is not any of these. You are not here to work hard and attain something. That is not at all why you are here.

You say then, “Why are we here, just like this?” Yes just like this. Relax, dance, enjoy. Nothing more nothing less. But even these words are giving you tension. “We will have to relax now? Where to learn that from? BRE: Bachelors in relaxation, you need a degree even for that.” You lost all touch with that which is innate.

Read the article: Do success and happiness go together?

Do success and happiness go together?

SR Generic_ English

Question: Is it necessary to be successful in order to lead a happy life?

Acharya Prashant: Let us, first of all, understand something. You are assuming that we all want happiness. That’s not a fact. You will feel little surprised, but I am insisting, we do not want happiness. All we want is freedom from sadness. Because you are sad, that is your real experience, you are sad, you want freedom from sadness. And what do you conclude? See, we live in a world of duality. If I want freedom from day, what do I get? Night. Its opposite. Are you getting it?

You want freedom from winters, what do you get? Summers. The opposite. So what do you think is, that freedom from one thing is a movement into its opposite. That’s your assumption. I am insisting that nobody in this world wants happiness. We want freedom from sadness, and we have erroneously concluded that freedom from sadness means happiness. Because we live in duality, that has been our experience.

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The capacity to understand. 

Thought cannot be there when you are attending. Similarly, when you are really introspecting, it is not thought, it is attention; thought is mechanical, attention is real. Those of you who are really listening are not thinking, and those who are thinking cannot listen. So, ‘thought’ is not a sign of being alive. Neither is eating, walking, whatever. A good sufficiently advanced machine can do all of this.

What is it that qualifies you to be called alive? Alright, let me, this video camera is recording all that I am saying. Now, the same waves that are falling upon your retina and upon your eardrums are falling upon this camera as well? In fact, it is registering them with greater alacrity than you ever can. Right? You are taking in half and the other half is lost in distraction, It is storing everything. Correct?

But you will walk out richer from this room, you will walk out ‘with’ something. And this keeps recording whatever I say, yet it never gets anything. That is what is meant by being alive. You can have a greatly advanced camera, yet that camera will never understand even two hundred years from today what I am saying. That camera can do a thousand things with the recording, but can never understand what I am saying. You can understand what I am saying, that is what is meant by being alive. No supercomputer can ever understand what I am saying, but you can understand, that is what is meant by being alive – The capacity to understand.

Read the complete article: What is success of this moment?

What is success of this moment?


Acharya Prashant: What is meant by ‘Success of this moment’?

Rajat is asking, “What is meant by succeeding in this moment?” Why was the statement like “If you are not successful right now, then you are not successful at all.” Why was the statement like that made? What is meant by succeeding in this moment? What is it? What is this moment? It’s a very simple and very obvious thing. This moment is the only reality, The only place where we are. In this everything is happening right now. Everything else is a complete imagination. The past is just images, memories. The future again is images, born out of past. Now I ask you, for you, the success is something real or imaginary? What kind of success do you want? Read more

Overcoming fear of failure


Question: Whenever I want to do something new, I am always afraid that I might fail. So, I keep a backup plan for myself, that in case I fail, I will do this another thing. And I don’t know if this is the right way of thinking or approaching a new thing.

Acharya Prashant: No it’s good. Plan A fails, you want to have plan B. plan B fails, then plan C is there. It’s alright.

But you must also know that plan A, B, C, X, Y, Z, they may all fail. The cause-effect link in the Universe is beyond all pre-emptive calculation. So, to the extent you can, plan out, try to make yourself safe, secure. That is the tendency of the mind. Alright? We must not blame it for that. But what if everything fails. Would you collapse? Would you? And there would be so many times when everything fails. Read more

Anything that promises to make you better is an allegation upon you

To be in Yoga is to not touch anything, anybody, any situation that causes a sense of littleness in you. Even if that littleness is induced in you in a holy pretext. Even if it is induced in you as an ostensible means of welfare. You refuse to admit it in.

Somebody may come and say, “You need protection.” You quickly see through what he is saying. You realize that what he is saying that I am weak. If I am not weak, why would I need protection? You refuse to entertain the advice. You refuse to take that person seriously, this is Yoga. Somebody comes and tells you, “You need God and God is all that you need.” You refuse to entertain this person. Because if he is saying that you need God then surely he means that you do not have God. He is proving that you are God-less. You refuse that person.

Somebody comes and says, “You need a lot of self-enquiry.” You immediately refuse this person because if you need to look, see and discover then surely first of all you must believe that you do not know that you are ignorant, which you are not. To be in Yoga is to refuse everything that keeps you little and limited. Littleness would not come to you as littleness. Littleness would come to you as friendly advice. Littleness would come to you as brotherly concern. Littleness would come to you as the sermons of a teacher. Littleness would come to you as a promise of security.

Had littleness would be honest enough to admit its real name, you could have easily refused it. But littleness rarely admits its real name. Littleness comes, wearing the mask of things that appears nice and sweet and promising. Be very cautious of all this stuff that is always ready to enter your mind. Anything that promises to make you better is an allegation upon you. Why is it an allegation? It is an allegation that you are currently not alright.

Anybody who offers to improve your life or help you realize that which you do not know, is actually proving to you that ignorance is what you are. The advertiser who is telling you that the next home or the next position or the next car will add something to your life, is actually causing Viyoga in you. Because he is proving to you that unless you have that house or that car, there is something missing in life. And you buy that in. Why do you buy that in? Arjuna too must have bought a lot of those things!

Read Complete Article: Action without attachment is Yoga

Action without attachment is Yoga || Acharya Prashant on Bhagwad Gita (2016)

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योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि संग त्यक्त्वा धनंजय |

सिध्यसिध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ||

~श्रीमद भगवद गीता


Perform your actions, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna),

Being established in or integrated with Yoga,

Abandoning attachment and

Remaining even-minded both in success and failure.

This evenness of mind is called Yoga.

~Bhagwad Gita

Acharya Prashant: The science of uniting the individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness, this equanimity is known as Yoga. Which equanimity is he talking of? Becoming equipoised in success and failure. Could you get a more concise and direct definition of Yoga? Perform your activities, giving up attachment and become equipoised in success and failure – this is Yoga.

What does it mean to remain equipoised in success and failure? Read more

Our hard work is just labor, labor done to get result.

Since childhood we have been told about effort as a duty, hard work as an obligation, hard work as a result oriented investment. “Work hard so that you can have dividends later on.”

But there is another kind of hard work, very energetic hard work, which arises from your happiness, which arises from your completeness, and it’s not result oriented.

It’s like a herd of deer running in a jungle. It’s not that a tiger is chasing them, and it’s not like they are running towards a grassland. They are just running and they are running terribly hard; you can’t catch them. Have you seen? At least video recordings of animals running very very fast in a jungle, of birds soaring high, it’s not necessary that they are hungry, they are just soaring high, must have climbed to that height and that requires energy. They could have decided to sleep, why put in so much effort, why climb to that height? Why keep gliding? Why flap your wings?“No no, I am happy so I am working hard.”

Our hard work is just labor, labor done to get result. And the result that you want never satisfies you. The proof is, that you want more. At no point do you stop and say that I have had enough. And because you want more, you have to put in more labor. So, in all your life you are just a laborer.

Read the complete article: Real hard work is a result of a really happy mind

Real hard work is a result of a really happy mind


Question: Happiness is the only key to success, isn’t it some hard work is also required to become successful in life?

Acharya Prashant: So you are assuming that the happy one does not work hard.

Listener: We are always told that only happiness is required to become successful.

AP: Yes only happiness and happiness excludes hard work, is that so?

L: That’s what we read.

AP: You read that, happiness excludes hard work?

L: No sir, only just you need happiness to become successful.

AP: Yes, happiness is the key to success, correct, but does happiness excludes hard work? If happiness excludes hard work then all those who work hard surely must be very sad. Can’t you work hard happily? Can’t hard work emerge out of your joy? “I’m so happy that I am working very hard.” Or must you work hard only with a long face? “I am so frustrated, that I am slogging.” Read more

You already know, just declare

Listener: Why is it that people don’t recognise?

Acharya Prashant: There is nobody who does not recognisesEverybody recognises. They just don’t speak about it, it’s a secret. It’s a well kept secret. If you speak about it you will be ostracized.

L1: Because you are then a threat ..

AP: You all know about it, but everybody will pretend as if you all don’t know about it.

L2: Don’t know what?

AP: That which is worth knowing. But we all keep it in the wraps. You see, most of what I say is against what you hear at the other places, right? But have you not seen that it takes no time and no effort for people to silently acknowledge it. They are able to very quickly acknowledge it, because they already know it. I am not bringing anything new to them. Everybody knows. I am only spilling the beans. I am only saying ‘that’ which you already know. It’s just that we are afraid to say that. And I just say that. That is the only difference between the audience and me. At the level of realization, we are all the same. I am no special.

Read more

How to get success in whatever you do?

Question: I want to do a few things, but I find myself enslaved in my habits and patterns, I fail again and again in doing what I want to do.

Acharya Prashant: So I say that I am failing again and again and hence I want success.

Who is it that is failing? You are saying that it is due to habits and patterns that the failure is happening. I am asking, “Who is it that is failing?”

“Is it not the patterns themselves that are producing both the cause and the effect?”

“Is the so called failure not entrenched in the mental pattern itself?”

The pattern is working, the pattern is producing a certain output and then the pattern itself is not satisfied with the output. Tell me, is dissatisfaction going to lead to any kind of progress?

It is a commonly held belief with so many of us that if you are dissatisfied with the status quo, then some change happens. We think that, don’t we? But I am asking, name the entity that is dissatisfied? The dissatisfied entity, is it not the same as the entity that works and fails and works and fails and is repeatedly dissatisfied? Is dissatisfaction emerging from looking at the failure or is it just the continuation of the same pattern of failure?

Please understand this, most of us thinks that it is because we failed that we are dissatisfied. Failure is followed by dissatisfaction, right? Is it not so? And when you have a target and you don’t achieve that target, you fail; you feel that it is because you failed that you are now dissatisfied.

I am asking you to consider whether is it really so? Are you dissatisfied because you fail or are failure and dissatisfaction necessary accompaniments of each other? Like fruits of the same tree, is one fruit giving the birth to another fruit or do they have common root? When you have two fruits of a tree, is one fruit responsible for the other fruit? Or do they have a common root? Now when you fail, there is an urge to improve, right? Is that not just a third fruit of the same tree? Or is it a result?

Things happening within a particular system will not radically transform that system. Things happening within a mental pattern, are not going to dissolve that pattern. And it is a nice pattern- desire, work, fail, dissatisfaction, desire to change, work again, fail again, feel dissatisfied again, have another desire to change things, work again – and it is within this pattern that our entire life is spent. It is within this pattern that most human activity takes place.

You do not realize that the entity that wants to improve is the same entity that failed in the first place. The urge towards progress is coming from the same root from where the reasons of failure came. In other words, the same factor that caused you to fail, is now asking you to improve.

This is quite funny – there is something within you that first brings failure to you and then brings in a hope of improvement to you. And it’s the same fellow, it’s the same entity sitting in your mind that first brings you failure and then brings you the hope that you can change and improve and succeed. And because you do not know this entity, so you listen to this fellow and the cycle continues.

 I am saying that, “Whatever be your chosen field of work, whatever be your location in life, whatever be your status in society, whatever be the direction of your endeavor, there can be no real progress if you just keep working in that field.”

A student has 65% marks and is not satisfied; a scientist is getting particular results in his laboratories and is not satisfied; a politician is getting some amount of support in the electorate and is not satisfied; an athlete is performing to a particular standard and is not satisfied and all of them want to put in more effort, all of them think that they can change through their effort and hence improvement and success can come. And remember, that in all these fields, area of work, the life activities are very different. Or it could be a relationship – two people are in relationship and they are not satisfied with the quality of the relationship so they too want to bring in some change so that there can be some progress. Nothing can happen whatever be the field, till first of all, the mental pattern is thoroughly changed.

The fellow who is getting 65% marks is not getting 65% marks for no reason. There is something within him that binds him to 65%. This 65% cannot radically change till the fellow radically changes.

Being what you are you cannot get anything very different from the figure you are already getting. Yes, 65 can become 68 or 70 or it can probably drop to 60 but if you think that you can become a 90% scorer that cannot happen. This 65% is a reflection of your being and your personality because you are preserving your being, your personality, so this 65% will also be preserved.

And that is why you would see that in overwhelming, large proportions of cases, your academic percentage in first semester will be almost the same throughout your academic career. What you get in the first semester will be maintained in the coming semesters as well with a little bit of change. Because, you are the same, your effort is not going to help.

If you put in more effort that would be like a dog trying to chase its tail or a man trying to lift himself up using the power of his hands. He is saying, “I will lift myself up from the earth using my own power.”

It is not possible because you yourself are the fellow who will cause resistance to improvement.It’s like having one foot on the accelerator and the other foot on the brake. You have two footy for no reason! The reason is duality. (Smiles)

So, you can console yourself and feel good about yourself by saying, “See, I am trying to improve.” And you conveniently hide the fact that right next to the accelerator, you are the one who is also not allowing the improvement. You will not allow.

Before you go in any kind of progress in any field of life, remember, only a little bit, marginal improvements can come through your efforts.

Your efforts will not bring about real change;  

real change in work, real change in activity comes,

when the mind really changes.


You are an athlete, you belong to particular category of performers, if you want to improve within that category then work hard. But if you want to rise above your category and rise to another dimension all together, then work on your mind.

You are a businessman, you are doing 10 crores, you want to rise to 12, then work on your marketing, finances and distribution, but if you want to rise from 10 to 500 then forget marketing and finance and HR, work on yourself. Because being what you are, you will not take the quantum jump from to 10 to 500. 10 to 12, you will manage and you feel very happy “20% improvement has resulted due to my hard work”. You will feel very happy and you will celebrate, “20% improvement!” but 10 to 500 cannot come due to your hard work, it can come only in a wake of utter dissolution of your personality.

A new self has to be born.

Only a new self will produce totally new results.

Does that explain why most of us struggle within our narrow brackets? But that’s a good comfort also, because the bracket, while ensuring that you cannot rise above the bracket, will also ensure that you cannot fall below the bracket. So from 65 you will not be able to rise above 70 but you will be also not fall below 60 and that’s a great comfort.

“Being what I am I will at least get 60.”

Yes, of course you would, because you would not allow yourself to not to study less than a particular limit. Being what you are, you will be so terrified, that you will go and study and you will end up getting 60. Even if you try not to get any marks, you will get 60. It is very very difficult for you to get 80 but it is impossible for you to get 40. Try!

Anybody here who says he can manage a 40? You cannot, it is beyond you. It is as much beyond you as getting 85.

Do you see where you are trapped?

In that small narrow bracket and that small narrow bracket is you. That’s what you are – the four walls of your house. That’s not where you live; that’s what you are. Your brackets are your boundaries.

And please remember, those wall have not come due to some accidents they are not there out of sheer chance. Those walls are just a reflection of your mind.  If you are just entertaining yourself with the thought that, “One day, I will be able to break away and fly free” then you are just deceiving yourself.

The world is like a mirror – it reflects what your mind is projecting.

If you see walls around you that only mean that your mind is full of walls. Your mind is projecting walls. And if the mind has walls, then even if it is forcibly made to fly away, it will carry the walls with itself and soon you will find that in the external world also new walls are surrounding you.

It is a peculiar situation. Even if your old walls are forcibly brought down you are the one who will raise new walls for yourself. So kindly do not come up with the excuse that, “You know, right now what can I do? My flight is hindered by these walls.”

Your flight! What do you mean by that? It’s just a good idea- your flight!

There is nothing called your flight; there is only something called your walls.

You are the walls;

unless there is complete demolition of who you are,

you will remain where you are.

But you are hopeful, you are carrying a dream. You think remaining what I am, the rest of the stuff of my life can change and there can be joy, there can be progress there can be freedom.

Even small kids know something very basic- good things don’t happen to a bad man. That’s a very primitive, almost crude way of putting it, but that’s it. Good things don’t happen to a bad man. And if bad things are all the time happening to you, should you feel good that “I am a nice man and the world is a bad place and the world does not know how to value and honor its variant knights like Don Qiote — the real people — the world does not value them. Or should you simply admit that if so many bad things are happening then may be the bad rests within me.

Before you forget, I am repeating one central thing — that the voice that leads you to failure and the voice that urges you to improve are one and the same voice.Both are fake; both are your enemies.

They are not different voices. Forget about them being opposite voices they are not even different. The voice that indulges you in desire and then the voice that ask you to repent are one and the same voice. But you feel that they are opposite voices, right? There is one voice that pushes you in indulgence and after you have had your way and your desire is satiated for a while then you hear another voice which says, “Bad man! You indulged, you went for self-gratification and that is not right, now you must repent.” These two are the same voices.

One of these voices is never going to cancel out the other. One of these voices is not at all standing in real opposition to the other.

There is one voice within you which says “Oh my God, I am so helpless” and there is another voice within you that says, “I want to improve, I want to change my current situation.” Both of these are the same voice. Do not think that the voice that urges you to become free is any different from the voice that tells you how helpless your situation is – they are the same voice.

But you have a wonderful notion about yourself. You think you are two selves. You think on one hand there are the external situations that are responsible for your bondage and on the other hand there is something else about you which is pushing you towards freedom. No! What keeps you in bondage is not at all your external situation, it is your own pattern and the same pattern urges you to become free. This urge is false and fake urge. This urge is just a consolation; this urge is just a method so that you continue being bonded.

Hope promises change, but is the agent of continuity.

By hoping you allow the rubbish to continue.

By hoping that one day I will be able to clear the rubbish, you are allowing the rubbish to continue. So, hope is a very deceptive thing. We all hope for change. But in hoping for change, we only allow the rubbish to continue; not change; to continue, persist.

I find it funny when you come up to me and say that, “This is wrong with me and I want to change it.”

Or, when you come up to me and say that, “I made all these mistakes, now what can I do?”

Or when you come up to me and say that, “This is the problem I am facing, how I can get rid of it?”

Because, you are the same fellow who is raising those problems, who is creating those problems and asking for a solution to those problems is a part of creation of those problems.

There is a complete algorithm of problem creation and maintenance and you are trying to co-opt me within that algorithm. You know what the algorithm is?

Create a situation.

Name it a problem.

Try to find a solution.

Go to that fellow to get a solution.

Thank him.

Do not let the solution work.

Land into another problem,

Go back to that fellow,

Get another solution,

Do not let that solution work,

Create another problem,

Go back to that fellow.

And this pattern allows your mental activity to continue. This is all that the mind wants – having something to continue; having something that extends in time.

You could say the mind is always looking for a time pass. So, this whole pattern, gives you a very convenient time pass. And you are able to spend your life with some kind of purposefulness.

“What did I do my entire life?

“I was fighting problems and I was genuinely fighting problems. See, how sincere I was. I took all the steps to improve, to make progress. I was genuinely fighting. So I am a respectable fellow. When I die, then you should offer me some tributes – he fought problems all his life; all his life he was trying to bring down the walls around him. He was a valiant soldier who kept failing.”

When you come to me, are you not the same fellow who did not listen to me the last time or have you radically transformed in the meanwhile? Last time when you came to me I said something to you, right?  You didn’t listen or you pretended to listen. You ignored it; you didn’t take the opportunity that I gave. That is what happened last time. And now you have again come to me asking the question. Are these two fellows not same? One who ignored my advice or failed to live up to it and this fellow who is again coming to me for advice are they not the same?

I am asking, “Has there been a radical transformation in the meanwhile?”

There has been no radical transformation. Then what you did to my advice last time, you will do to it this time as well. But you come up with such a genuine face, you look so innocent.

“Sir, please sir, I am again in trouble and this has happened.”

Are you in trouble or is trouble in you?

So, that is why last week I asked, “You keep asking all these questions, first of all, you tell me what happened to the answer that I gave the last time. First of all, you explain that to me. What did you do with the answer that I gave last time? And will you not do the same to the answer that I give today?”

Being what you are, you will do what you have been doing. But today your face is different. It’s just the face that is different. When you are not listening to me, you have a particular face and when you say that, “We are sorry, we are attentive; we want to listen.” then you have a different face.

These are two faces of the same bad coin. Can the coin give itself up? It probably can. But it cannot give up one particular face. Both faces will have to go.

Those who do not want to face failure again and again must give up the quest for progress.

And when you do not want to improve,

then genuine transformation occurs,

not just marginal improvement.

Please understand the enormity of what I am saying right now. When you do not want your little bit of improvement and given what you are, can you want much? Can you want the immense? You will only want a little bit, right? You will want a movement from 65 to 68. The day you stop wanting to move from 65 to 68 a radical change from 65 to 95 become possible. But you will have to stop wanting. You do not stop wanting, thinking that if you stop wanting then no progress will happen.What you do not realize is that your desire itself is preventing you from fulfillment.

The desire for improvement is an obstacle to real improvement.

It is because you want to improve and I am repeating, when you will want to improve, you will want only a little improvement. Because you are little and a little mind cannot want much.

The day you will stop desiring to improve you will not see improvement within the brackets, you will see an explosive, disruptive improvement. It will be beyond your expectation, actually beyond your expectations, because your expectation cannot be bigger than you. Are you getting it?

Your efforts will not bring about real change in you.

Your desire will not bring about real change in you.

The real change comes when you see the futility of your desire and your efforts.

When you see that the agent that is desiring and working is the same agent that is bringing you the repeated failures and suffering again, again and again.

But you are smart people. You say that, “If change has to come then it must come through my efforts, so that I can stake my claim over it. You see I improved due to my mechanisms and my efforts.”

You want to take the credit – that will not happen. As far as you are concerned, you are already getting the best that you can get. You will not be getting more than this from Existence. Existence is a very fair operator. It is already giving you what you deserve. You will not get anything more than this from existence. If right now, you are getting misery, suffering, failure you will keep getting misery, suffering and failures because that’s what you deserve.

The world is not an unjust place. There is nothing here that is oppressive or unjust.  There is nothing here that is kept pending. You have very quick transactions.

A better future is not possible for you.

The future, if at all it comes, will be just the same as your present.

You are not rising up a hill.

There is no peak that you are climbing towards.

You are already at the peak.

You cannot get any higher or any better than this. You are not going to improve. The rest of your life is going to be spent at the same level. It’s less of a mountain and more of a plateau. You can keep running on the top of the plateau, you a are not rising any higher. Are you getting it? There is no hope for you. And you better realize this – there is no hope. And it’s a fabulous thing to realize that. Because when there is no hope there is also no need for useless efforts.

 When you know you are on plateau, you know you cannot fall down. You may as well relax. The fellow on the plateau running around thinking that he can ascend the mountain; there is no mountain – so, sleep! You cannot ascend but you cannot also descend, so sleep! Your 65 will remain 65 even if you sleep. You know that, right?

The moment you realize that your effort is useless, the very agency from where your system operates changes. Now you have lost your trust in your self made system. When you loose trust in your self made system then another system takes over. It’s a miraculous mad system. And when it takes over, strange things happen. But for that system to take control of you, you must completely loose trust and hope in the system that you have made for yourself.  You must totally disown, disregard it and disrespect it. You must be able to clearly see how inadequate it is, how much of suffering it has given you and how it is deviously leading you towards more and more suffering.

You should not only be able to disregard it, you should actually find it abominable, condemn-able, a fair deal of repulsion and wonderment at how you could trust it in the first place. When you come to that point where you are wondering that, “How could I trust this system so much and for so long?”, then there is complete dissociation from your own system. Now something else takes possession of you. The man returns to his house, the tenants are out.

Let that something else take possession of you. You do not know yourself. You simply do not know your real face.

See what you are capable of, see what heights you can scale but first of all vacate the house, and first of all get rid of your self belief.

Get rid of your confidence in self.

If self respect means respecting your hollowness and ego, I am teaching you to disrespect yourself totally.

Disrespect yourself; go to the extent of humiliating yourself that even small remnant of old system does not remain with you.

It terrifies, right?

You don’t want to feel small in your own eyes, you want to feel good about yourself but this urge to feel good about yourself is the urge to feel good about the system and it comes from the system itself. You will have to see the inadequacy of your entire life; you will have to admit that you have been an unexceptional failure. You cannot even say that some part is good and the rest is bad. You will have to accept that you have been a total, complete, absolute failure because if you console yourself by saying that somewhere I succeeded then you will feel that using the same means may be you can succeed more. If success was possible once, then it can be possible again by using my same methods and mechanism.

You will have to see that whatever you call as success,

whatever you call as the shining jewels of your life, are either just deception

or stuff that Grace has given you in spite of you not deserving it.

And what has come to the system through grace is not an output of the system so kindly don’t take the credit. If by chance something nice has happened to you, it is not because you are clever and smart and effort-ful, it has just happened in spite of you. Had it been in your power, you would have done everything to prevent it. Just as we do everything to prevent ourselves from coming here but still if you land here it is not to your credit, somebody else is pulling you here. What is happening in this room is not within your system.

L2: Sir, once we know this thing that to make a real change, mind needs to be changed, how can we work upon this mind and how can we create that new self?

AP: I am asking you the same question I started off with, “Who will work upon the mind?”

And have I said that mind needs to change?

Change is such a gentle, peaceful and small word. I have not said that mind needs to change; I am saying that the mind needs to be dynamited away.

There is difference between the changing facade of a building, changing the porch or the portico and bringing the building down. I am not asking you to change the building; I am asking you to blow up the damn thing.

L3: How can the mind blow itself?

AP: For that you have to ask yourself, “How the whole thing came up in the first place? Who raised the building?”

Once you realize how the building is raised, then there is a chance of it not being raised again. Form where did the building come? Have you had it since eternity? Were you even born with it? From where does this entire system come?

Yes, I can blow it up here right now and it is being brought down brick by brick; but you repair it. If you can see who are the people and the forces, who are hell bent upon protecting your system then you will not allow them to repair the thing.

From where did it come in the first place?

It came from the surroundings and it will come again come from the surroundings, but once it has been brought down then you have greater power to defend yourself from surroundings. Use that power.

Do not just remain a nice and gentleman. Do not let your morality tie you down. You come here and coming here is like taking a complete bath. Not only the clothes, not only the body, the entire mind is being cleansed and you go out and somebody again spoils your clothes and your mind, why should you forgive him? Why should you allow him to touch you? And actually you do not.

You are wearing a white shirt and somebody puts his greased hands upon your shirt, do you take kindly to this? You do not allow him, right? You make faces, you push him away. You object to this action, don’t you?

But you go out and somebody completely spoils your mind, you do not object to this. You are receiving that phone call and that phone call is nothing short of a poison. The fellow is injecting poison directly in your ears. But because you are a gentleman enslaved by his own sense of morality, you will allow the phone call to continue. You will allow your so called friends to sit in front of you and corrupt your mind. Why must you act nice towards them? Why can’t you just get up and walk away, why can’t you walk away? That’s the question.

Bad enough, that you allowed them to sit in front of you in the first place, but worse is the fact that you don’t have the guts to walk away. But rest assure, the more your building is demolished, the more fearlessness you will have. If you just keep sitting here, if you keep being with me for sufficient time, you will find that the fears that make you kneel down in front of those who corrupt you, those fears will no longer be there.

The fear itself is the part of the system. As we will bring this system down, you and me together, when we will bring the whole thing down, then you will find it has become easier for you to not to allow the system to be raised again. Are you getting it?

It is only because just a little dent is made. It is only because just a little demolition takes place, that you are able to repair it within a week but if we can bulldoze the whole thing, raise it to the ground, then you will not be able to bring it up within a week. It is almost mathematical – Is the pace of destruction greater than pace of repair?

Destruction happens twice a week, repairing happens every moment. If you can allow the pace of destruction to be higher than the pace of repair then soon you will find that the destruction is complete. But remember, that repairing is happening every moment and destruction is happening only once or twice a week and if, even that is skipped, then there is no chance.  Repairing will be complete. You will be back to your old ways. We have people here, who are coming after 20 – 25 days, they are fully repaired. They are completely social models now.

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

Watch the session: How to get success in whatever you do?

Further Reading:

Milestones To Success


While innumerable books have been penned down by contemporary motivational speakers and writers on success, ambition, motivation, positive thinking and accomplishments; very few books, if any at all, have talked of what success actually is and how it is different from a socially-defined set of parameters.

Author’s genius lies in the fact that he has very simply answered the most intricate and complex questions that arise in the mind of every student and working professional, giving clarity on success, a topic that haunts them perpetually.

Paperback: https://goo.gl/hE8Hrg

Kindle: https://goo.gl/94a09z

Life is the Guru

Life anyway does a lot of things to everybody which help them wake up. We are just one of those things, we are no special.

The fellow may fail in his semester exams and wake up. That fellow may break up with his girlfriend and wake up. The girlfriend is a guru, the exam is a guru. We are only as much of a guru. If you want to call us a guru, then the exam is also a guru; then the girlfriend is also a guru because life itself is presenting situations and these situations are present in front of everybody.

Buddha woke up by looking at a corpse – a dead body!

Life is giving you opportunities all the time.

Life is the Guru.

We are a part of life. Yes, we are a guru, of course! Why not? Because when the Source itself is the guru, everything in the life is Guru. So we are Guru but that does not mean that the piece of chair, the wood is not the guru. Wood is also a guru. All is Guru.

It is just incidental that how the light of the divine will shine upon someone.