The loving way of life || Acharya Prashant(2019)

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The loving way of life

Question: Acharya Ji, why do we procrastinate?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When we love what we do, procrastination is out of the question.

Procrastination is a challenge we have all faced at some point in time. If you find yourself procrastinating a lot, if you find that you have fixed a schedule and you can’t stick to it, then that is a clear indicator that you have filled up your life with things you don’t love. A clear indication that the climate in the mind is that of suffering and irritation.

One does not postpone Joy.

One does not postpone Freedom and Love.

One only postpones suffering.

And that is ‘procrastination’.

“We will do it tomorrow!” What does it tell us about the quality of our life? We are not in love with what we are doing. We don’t find joy in it and hence, there is a tendency to lose time.

A few words go along with Intelligence — Joy, Freedom and Love. They happen only when there is Intelligence. They are not carried forward from the past; neither Love, nor Freedom. They are always in this moment. But misery, boredom, inattention, repetition, habits are all carried forward.

Whatsoever is unworthy is always carried forward, taken ahead.

And whatsoever is really worthy, lives and dies in this moment.

Relationships are carried forward, Love cannot be carried forward.

Pleasure can be carried forward, Joy cannot be carried forward.

It is right now, in this moment. And as the moment goes, Joy will also go. You may have to rediscover your Joy again in the very next moment. There is no inertia in it. Only matter has inertia to it. Freedom, Love, Joy, Truth are without any inertia.

Procrastination is not about laziness. We often think that lazy people procrastinate. No, it’s not about laziness. It’s about the climate of the suffering mind. You want to escape the misery, so you are sending it away. You are saying, “It need not happen right now, it must happen at some other time.”

So let’s not ask, “How to end procrastination?” Let’s simply live in a way, in which there is no need to procrastinate, in which the very thought of procrastination does not arise. Can one live in that way? Is that kind of a mind possible?

Procrastination is always about the future. A mind that is immersed in the present, will not procrastinate. And a mind that is continuously thinking of the future, will do nothing but procrastinate.

Awareness is not some magical trick. Awareness is just about looking at your daily actions and seeing – ‘This is my life.’ Life is not some imaginary quantity somewhere. What you do from morning till evening, is life. And if your life is full of delays, procrastinations, gossips, worries, tensions, then that is what you are living. And nothing good can come out of this kind of climate.

Misery begets misery. Miserable decisions will lead to more miserable decisions. As is the seed, so is the fruit. You will have to look at the seed, that is extremely important. Find out what is it that makes you want to not procrastinate, and give more of that to yourself. Allow yourself to have more of that.

Procrastination is like saying, “Don’t get hurt today, get hurt tomorrow.” But ultimately you are admitting that hurt is inevitable. Today or tomorrow, it will happen. Instead of this kind of a dejected surrender, ask, “Is it really inevitable? Why don’t I like something? Why don’t I like anything? Why is it so that I feel bored always?”

Find out that to which you can dance.

Find out that which you can do even without being paid.

I am not saying that don’t get paid, but find that out which you can do, even without being paid.

Find out a loving way of life.

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Excerpted from an article published in one of the leading website on spirituality. Read here.

Edited for clarity.


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From Loneliness to Creativity

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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!


Read full article: Love and Loneliness

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When one is angry at God || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: Acharya Ji, I have been at a stage in life, where I would get angry at God. My understanding of God, at that point was, that there is an external entity out there, overseeing everything, trying to protect the entire world.

Eventually, I could see that there are things that I am doing wrongly, and what I am facing is the result of my own actions. At that time, I could not get where I was wrong, and why God was not guiding me. But, there was still anger in me for God.

Acharya Prashant Ji: So, I said that one has to proceed both totally and sequentially into it. So, you admit that you are making a mistake. The mistake is not coming from nowhere. Where is the mistake coming from? And where is that coming from? And where is that coming from? And where is that coming from?

And all this is so enthralling, that you will forget to suffer. It’s all so very linked to each other, through a cause-effect chain. And you soon reach a point, where you start seeing, the absence of any real self in the whole chain of events. You start seeing that it is all so very dictated by forces, that you cannot even identify with. And then, it becomes difficult to suffer, for a stupid reason.

The more you go into your suffering, the more you will see the falseness of the sufferer.

Okay, let us not even call it the ‘falseness’. Let us call it – the ‘not me’ character of the sufferer. The ‘not me’ character of the sufferer.

Questioner: Now I understand that there is no external entity as such, when it comes to God.

Acharya Ji: There is no ‘I’ as such. You cannot say, “I understand that there is no external entity.” If there is this internal entity, then correspondingly, there would be an external one as well. So, that statement should be reserved for future use.

As long as ‘you’ are there, there are external entities. Don’t just jump into conclusions. Your life is not theoretical, it is experiential. If life is experiential, how can the basis of life be theoretical?

Questioner: So, until I experience it, I will go with……

Acharya Ji: You are already experiencing a lot. When I say, “Life is experiential,” by that I do not mean that you have to experience something more, or something wonderful, or something divine. What I mean is that- all your statements are coming from the suffering that you ‘experience’. Is your suffering theoretical? Is your confusion theoretical?

When these are your experiences, then you must talk only from your experience. And this has to be clearly understood.

‘God’ is not an experience, but suffering is an experience.

Therefore, your suffering is an important judge, not of God, but of your Ego.

But there are those, who do not understand this, and they start talking of experiencing – God. Now, God, or Peace, or Truth, or Anand(Joy), they are not elements of experience. But, still experience is very important. Why? Because, it is your frustration with experience, that brings you to Spirituality. Therefore, the experience that frustrates you, must vanish.

Hence, the aim of Spirituality, is not to provide you with more relish-able experiences., but to give you freedom from bothersome experiences.

We will therefore, continue to take experience, as an important judge, as an important indicator.

As long as you are experiencing suffering, where is ‘Liberation’? So, experience is an important indicator. Of what? Not of God, not of Truth, but of – your Liberation. And that does not mean that you will ‘experience’ liberation. That only means that – you will not experience suffering.

Do not make it mean to you, that you will start experiencing liberation, on top of the suffering that you are experiencing.

Questioner: But, now I am not able to relate to – who or what is meant by God.

Acharya Ji: Is there a need? is there a need to really even talk of God?

Questioner: But, when the Scriptures, and the Saints keep praising God, I am not able to understand.

Acharya Ji: Yours sincerely, is there to explain, when that happens.

The Scriptures, first of all, implore you, to look at yourself.

If you are suffering, then ‘God’ is nothing but freedom from suffering.

If you are longing, then ‘God’ is nothing but the fulfillment of that longing.

If you are lonely, then ‘God’ is nothing but freedom from loneliness.

Therefore, what is ‘God’, that depends on who you are.

‘God’ is that – which fulfills you.

And why do you need fulfillment? Don’t ask me that. You are saying that you are unfulfilled.

And there are several here, who have mentioned that – ‘Acharya Ji, why do we need mukti (liberation)?’ I don’t need any mukti. You need mukti, that’s why you come here. And then you ask – why do we need mukti? Don’t come here. Go away. Nobody needs mukti.

Adhyaatm (Spirituality) does not start with – all is okay, all is well. It starts with – ‘I admit I am unwell’. And if you admit that you are unwell, how do you not know what ‘liberation’ means? What does ‘liberation’ mean to an unwell one? Liberation from – the unwellness. That is ‘God’.

And therefore, God is not absolutely, or universally, lovely or desirable.

You will love or respect ‘God’, only as much as you love, the dissolution of your suffering.

The more you want your suffering to cease, the more you will love ‘God’.

These two are just, two ways of saying the same thing.

When you say, “I want my suffering to cease,” let me put it differently, “I intensely want my suffering to cease,” then you are speaking in the negativa. The statement can be put in an affirmative way as – “I love God intensely.” The statement which is expressed in negative sense as – “I want my suffering to end,” is the same statement as – “I love God.”

And, the more one of these statements would be, the more, the other statement would be. In fact, even among these two, your yearning to be free from suffering, must come first.

The more intense is your self-love, therefore, the more intense would be your love for God.


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

Watch the session: When one is angry at God || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Suffering and Courage || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Suffering and courage

Question: Acharya Ji, as you said that the realisation, the understanding, or seeing, frees us, as a spontaneous action. How does it arise? Whatever I understand, through my thinking, analysis, knowledge, I understand a bit. But that understanding, does not free me of my habits.

So, my question is: how is ‘my understanding’ is different from ‘the understanding’ that you are talking about? Is it also born out of knowledge?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

It is born out of suffering. There is no other transformative force. You do not need to transform, if you are not suffering. If you are already alright, do you need to change? So, all spirituality, springs from there.

Wisdom, and realisation, and understanding are needed, because man is not alright.

So, you have to come face-to-face, with the fact of your inner disquiet.

And that requires courage.

That requires a dedication to peace.

Why does it require courage? Because disquiet does not live within us, carrying the name of ‘disquiet’. ‘Disquiet’ lives within us, carrying very lovely, and sacred names. Names in which in which we have made a lot of investment. Therefore, to call disquiet as ‘disquiet’, is a courageous decision. It means mentally writing-off, a lot of your investments. Giving up on a lot of your assumed receivables.

Hence, courage is needed.

Disquiet hides within us, as love. And it requires courage to confront the fact, that that which you have been calling as ‘love’, is not love at all. It is just noise. And why does that require courage? I repeat, because in that so-called ‘love’, we have already invested a lot. So, when you acknowledge, that ‘love’ has not been love at all, you are mentally writing-off all the resources, that you have so-far invested in ‘love’.

And mind is greedy, it doesn’t want to easily write-off any money. Do we want to write-off things easily? We want to cling to hope. We want to keep hoping, that an investment will come good. That some money, that others owe to us, would be returned to us, sooner than later.

It requires courage, to firmly write something off. It requires courage to realise that hope is useless, that you have invested in the wrong places. And that by sticking to hope, you are only turning the condition worse.

Sometimes, the situations force us to confront the facts. Mostly, we do not allow the situations to go so bad, specially in the modern-age. There is so much money, and so much technology, and so much entertainment, one can remain gladly absorbed in one thing, or the other. Science and economics, and social security, all are there to serve us. So, they act as a buffer against sudden shocks of realisation.

All the security that we have built around us, acts as a shock-absorber. It doesn’t allow the shocks of reality to reach us. So we remain comfortably insulated. This gives us an even more allowance, to continue in our dream world.

We never face the full consequences of our actions. And even if we face them, we don’t face them in one go. We never get to see a big wound in the chest. Instead of the big wound, our security systems ensure, that we have hundred little cuts. Now, hundred little cuts can never all be seen together, in one go. So, we live under the delusion, that there is only a little bit of bleeding.

Had there been a single big wound on the chest, then we would have been forced to realise, the extent of our suffering. But, we don’t have that one big wound. We have arranged to turn that one big wound into, several small ones. And even those several small ones, don’t occur to us, parallely. They come to us in installments.

And that gives us enough allowance, to keep deceiving ourselves. And keep telling ourselves, that all is alright. It’s the credit-card age you see. If you don’t want to know, you will never come to know the full face of your indebtedness. You just keep paying the monthly dues. You will realise, that you are neck-deep in trouble.

One has to then sit down, and say, “I want to know. I want to know the facts of it. I want to know the Mathematics of it. Give me the right number. I really want to know how deep the trouble is. I can’t shy away from the facts any longer. I want to know what the thing is really like. I will ask the right questions. I must begin the right conversations. The facts must be exposed, even if they are highly inconvenient.”

But, this is the age of convenience you see. You can shy away from anything, that is not convenient.

Questioner: I don’t work towards it. I just get stuck. I realise that this is where I am. What should I do next then? I don’t get that courage, to let it go.

Acharya Ji:

Be in the company of somebody courageous.

Sometimes it happens, that a little initial push, is needed from the outside.

And then the power of your self-observation, is enough to keep propelling you.

If you are continuously in an environment, in the company of people, who would not move towards, or for the sake of realisation or liberation, then you too would find movement difficult.

But such difficulty, is only initial.

Once you move a little bit, then you will start finding the movement – natural, spontaneous.

To begin the movement, just seek a little help from outside. A little help. Not too much.

Don’t become dependent.

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

Watch the session: Suffering and courage || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Quotes, February’19 – March’19

1.

We all are bleeding in the fight

We all are fighting tirelessly.

The pity is:

We are all fighting the wrong battle.

The wounds are there.

The blood is there.

The sweat is there.

The tiredness is there.

The battle is wrong.

2.

Conserve your energy,

Train your thoughts,

Discipline your little self.

Time is precious, attention is precious.

To waste time, it is not necessary that you must do something wasteful.

It is enough to just worry.

3.

Humbly go

to the root of the mistake,

without feeling ashamed,

without a great self-image.

Look at yourself laughing,

as one looks at a joker,

laughing

at his own jokes.

Now you see

the mother mistake.

Seriousness is the mother mistake.

Don’t take yourself so seriously!

4.

This is happening, that is happening…

But whatsoever is happening is not big enough to trouble you.

That is Samadhi.

5.

Beware the man who thinks he understands.

6.

There is nothing called

self-purification

and self-improvement.

There is only one I,

and it cannot be improved upon.

And even if the false I gets improved,

only the false benefits.

How do you get better

by decorating your shadow?

Don’t improve the false,

just disown it.

7.

Was the thing the same before you perceived it?

If yes, why does the thing appear different every time you see it?

Was there a thing at all before you perceived it?

8.

Is spontaneity wonderful?

The spontaneous utterance of a sage is musical,

The spontaneous utterance of a fool is abusive.

Like everything else in life, the value of a thing or action depends squarely on where it is coming from.

9.

If you love, you want to help.

If you want to help, you will have to more clearly know the one who needs to be helped.

When you clearly know the one you want to help, there arises disgust.

That’s the challenge of love: to keep loving the one who provokes revulsion in you.

10.

Isn’t it a spell?

When you are out of it, doesn’t it all look clearly stupid?

Don’t you then curse yourself for being so blindly spellbound?

Obviously stupid it looks, but only after you’re out of it.

Why make basic freedom distant by giving it a fancy name like enlightenment?

11.

When you know

what is going on, then

you are liberated from that which is going on.

12.

It is not given to me to lie still.

The only way to see me still

is to match pace with me.

13.

The Truly spiritual man

is young in action,

and eternally old in realisation.

At the centre,

he is completely still,

like Shiva in mystical stillness.

At the periphery,

he is a lover and a fighter,

like Shiva in existential dance.

14.

What is commitment?

If I am not fit to get what I want,

then it is the ‘I’ that must yield, adjust, disappear.

The want cannot be compromised with. The want must, and will, remain.

It is the want that will shape, discipline and dissolve the I.

Commitment, Devotion, Surrender.

15.

When You are gone,then nothing matters. Body sans Heart.

When You are here, then nothing matters.

We then just casually play.

Will it matter if we win?

Well, not much.

Will it matter if we lose?

Well, not much.

The game is not meant to be won, it is meant to be played. Together.

16.

To touch

without leaving your fingerprints

– That’s the mark of

the shrewd criminal,

or the wisest saint.

17.

When you are one with the object of your consciousness, then there is just one entity, neither you nor the world. Both you and the world disappear.

This disappearance is the end of duality and end of consciousness.

A lightness free of consciousness remains, and this is awareness.

18.

If you find yourself stuck with suffering, ask: Is suffering sticking to me? Or am I sticking to suffering?

One sticks to suffering by sticking to the same breakfast, same friends, same cap, same habits.

When everything in life is being kept the same, how can life itself change?

19.

Just reading the Guru helps little.

You’ve to be near.

Physically as you live, you’ve to be physically near.

Even being within the seeing range of the Guru won’t help.

You’ve to be within smelling range of the Guru.

Actually, you’ve to be within slapping range of the Guru.

20.

We have a tremendous potential to suffer and a tremendous resistance to call our situation as suffering.

We name our situation as ambition, hope, desire, duty, passion, love, but never give it the right name:suffering.

We laugh aloud among others, and suffer quietly in our loneliness

21.

Even when you are totally drenched in melancholy,

You are able to cry only because you are still healthy.

22.

The best gift you can give to others is your own freedom.

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait

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Why does one have ego? || Acharya Prashant, on Saint Lalleshwari (2019)

Why does one have ego

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Probing inside, I came

Seeking the moon within me:

Sifting the chaff from the grain.

I went seeking

The like, Alike,

Thou art Narayan.

Thou art Narayan, then,

Why this will-o-wisp.

~ Saint Lalleshwari

Question: Acharya Ji, why do I  have ego?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Do not ask, “Why does the will-o-wisp, or the ego, or your personal center still exist?” If you ask, “Why does it exist?,” the answer is: your birth.

It exists because, you do.

When was the ego born?

When ‘I’ was born.

As long as you keep taking yourself, as the born one, as the one who took birth one day, and who would die one day, the ego is definitely going to remain. 

So, if Parmeshwari (the questioner) asks that why do ‘I’ have ego, do you see what comes before the ‘ego’?

Listener: ‘I’

Acharya Ji: What is the question? Why do ‘I’ have the ego? ‘I’ doesn’t even need to have the ego. The ‘I’, is the ego. Till there is Parmeshwari, there is bound to remain the ego.

Don’t you see what ‘Parmeshwari (the questioner)’ means? A body that is separate from the universe. That is ego – as someone who is localised, temporally, and spatially. Parmeshwari is in this hall at Twelve noon. Had she been the Truth, she would have continued, wherever she was. But at 3 p.m., she would be at the banks of river Ganga, not here.  So she is localized. She is localized. Similarly, spatially. At Twelve noon, because she is here, so cannot be at the banks of Ganga.

This is what is ego – a thing of time and space.

A thing that is severely limited by time and space.

And therefore suffers.

And is therefore debilitated.

Even if you want to, you cannot be at the banks, at this very time. And that you see, is at the center of a lot of your suffering. Were you not limited in time, you would have immediately gone back to the past and corrected it. But you are limited in time.

If you are here, you can neither be in the past, nor in the future. If you were not limited in space, then you would have controlled the entire universe, by being present wherever you wanted to. Or maybe by being present everywhere in the universe, and therefore, being the universe itself. But you cannot do that. And therefore, you suffer.

Do you now see what desire is? All your desires are limited to time and space. You could also say that, all your desires are related to your limitations in time and space. All your desires are related to your limitations in time and space. 

Had you not been limited, what would have you desired? If you are the entire universe, at all times, what is left to desire? Therefore, as long as, there is ‘this(the body)’ there would remain the will-o-wisp.

Now you have to see, what do you want to do, with this necessary limitation. That’s the human condition, you know. This necessary, this inevitable limitation. That is why, those who have known, the saints, they have said, that it was not the great thing that happened to you – the human birth.  But now that it has occurred, you better make the best use of it.

But it would have been far-far better, had you never really been born. Now that you are born, strive to come out of this incessant cycle of birth, and re-birth, and death. In fact,  that’s what is liberation. That’s how the orient has known liberation – liberation from the cycle of birth, re-birth, and death.

Because the moment you are born, that is born, from which you seek liberation.

The moment you are born, you are born along with that, from which you seek liberation.

So, why be born at all?

Listener: But we have taken birth now.

Acharya Ji: Yes, so now you better use it to the fullest. Live in a way, that is directed towards freedom. And it is equally, rather much more possible, to live in a way, that strengthens your bondages.

Hence, be cautious.


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

Watch the session:  Why does one have ego? || Acharya Prashant, on Saint Lalleshwari (2019)


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

Suffer, but suffer rightly

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

Acharya Prashant Ji:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One suffers.

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

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

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

One sees the futility of one’s life.

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

One gets hurt.

It is never pleasant to get hurt.

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

You will not reach Truth, with your ego intact.

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

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

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

We have been taught to look down upon ourselves.

Love yourself. Respect yourself.

And then you will not accept hurt.

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

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

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

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

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

Listeners: Within.

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

That is self-love! Love yourself a lot.

Listener: It seems too far.

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

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

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

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


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

Is it compassion to suffer with the suffering one

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

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

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

Remember that suffering is always a choice.

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

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

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

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

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

Very rare.

And this rare one, is the spiritually initiated one.

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

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

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

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

Listener: Same way.

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

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

Here is a little bit of advice.

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

A change of direction won’t help.

It is not the direction that has gone wrong.

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

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


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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)

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How to know whether one is spiritually evolved or not

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

Acharya Prashant 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?”

——————————————————————————————————-

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

Watch the session video: 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)

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which direction to take in life

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

Acharya Prashant Ji: 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?

————————————————————————————————————-

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

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

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How to deal with pain and hurt?|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How to deal with pain and hurt

Question: How to deal with pain and hurt?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Dedicate your time to something sublime, and then you will not be available to get hurt.

You are hurt because you are available.

Why are you walking around with free mental space, and spare time?

Be fully dedicated to something worthy, then all these little bruises and wounds, and rubs, will not bother you.

Life hurts and wounds, only those who are jobless.

Why are you jobless?

To be born, is to be born into one great job.

What is that job?

The life-long mission of Liberation.

You have to be fully employed there. It’s a full-time job, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three sixty five days a year. But you do not do justice to real occupation. You steal time. And then your punishment is, that the world will hurt you. 

Your theft costs you very dearly.

Be fully consumed in the one, great, divine mission.

Otherwise, life will beat you down very badly.

You have been entrusted with time, not so that you while it away. You have been entrusted with your fifty or eighty years, so that you make the best use of every second.

Your time is not your personal property. It has been entrusted to you.

You better use it for the designated and assigned purpose.

Somebody asked the Satan, “How do you corrupt a being?” He says, “It’s easy. I just whisper into his ears, ‘Your time is your time’.” And that’s the assumption we all have bought into – ‘I have the personal time.’ Not a second of your time is your’s.

Caught in petty politics, caught in this and that, whenever you will come to me citing these things, I will have just one quick question to ask, “From where did you get time to be caught in pettiness? You thief.”

It’s like entrusting a kid with his books, and you have told him to be with his books, the mathematics lessons to be finished-off. And after a while he comes and says, “You know daddy, I got bruised in the football field. Look at my knee, it’s bleeding.” Before I offer him any first aid, I will probably offer him a question, “Why did you steal time in the first place? You were supposed to be with the book. Why did you violate my trust and run away with your brat friends? Why?”

So the band-aid will come later on.

If you are suffering, there is nobody but you, who is responsible.

Unless you fully accept this responsibility, there is no freedom.

If your suffering is just incidental, then how can there be Freedom from it, because incidents can happen any way, any day?

You have to first of all clearly realise that suffering cannot come to you, without your consent. Not only your consent, but your active participation is needed in your process of suffering. Not only your participation, but your active doership is needed for you to suffer. Otherwise, you cannot suffer.

Any bit of suffering, is a clear indicator that you have been messing up with somebody’s trust.

You know whose trust I am talking of? The One who gave you time. He gave you time, trusting that you will use time piously. He didn’t give you time to smoke it away.

Questioner 1: Acharya Ji, while feeling pain, if we start to look at it from a distance, so who is the who is looking at the pain? Is it the ego? What should we do in such situations? Should we watch it from the distance?

Acharya Prashant Ji: If you are watching pain, then you are interested in pain. If you are not watching pain, then you are even more interested in pain.

You go to a dispensary, where kids are being vaccinated. When the needle goes in, some of them very keenly watch it. “Oh! The needle is going in.” Why? Because they are interested in the process. They feel they have a stake in the process. So, they keep watching the process. “Oh! The needle is going in.” Aghast!

And then, there are some who are so interested in the process, that they get terrified. And when the needle goes in, they start looking elsewhere. “It is such a deadly sight, we do not even want to look at it.”

Whether you are watching the needle go in, or whether you are avoiding the needle go in, you are interested in the needle in both cases. How come you have so much time to watch pain? Why aren’t you occupied with something else? I assure you right now, some part of my body is paining. Am I watching it? Not at all. Am I not watching it? Even that is not true. I am just elsewhere.

The body is where it just must be. I am where, I must be. Why are you with pain? What is the body? A storehouse of pain, what else? But if you start associating with the pain, it becomes your personal suffering. Let the pain be. For how long will you avoid pain? After all, you are a product of pain. Ask your mother.

Questioner 1: Is it some kind of escaping from body?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

You don’t have to do anything to escape from body.

You do a lot to stick to the body. 

I still ask you: “If you are occupied in something really worthwhile, would you really care for something like pain?”

Even an ordinary sportsperson would tell you that when you are pursuing something even as normal as, victory in a match, pain ceases to be a big botheration, unless it is crippling. Then you have to be carried on a stretcher.

(Pointing at a group of listeners in the audience) It’s noon Sun that is falling directly on them, are they bothered? I don’t think they are even taking cognizance of it. It is not even reporting, because they are where they must be.

The Sun is where it must be, the body is where it must be, why are you not where you must be? Why are you wandering here and there? Why are you so homeless?

There would never be a day when the body would not pain, believe me. And I am not talking of old-age and infirmity. Ask these young people. (Looking at a bunch of youngsters sitting in the audience) “Is there never a day when no part of your body pains for a while?”

Listeners: There is never a day.

Acharya Prashant Ji: How much do you want to concern yourself with stuff like pain? This body is anyway going to pain a lot one day, and be reduced to ashes.

Question 2: Does it mean we should never think of worst moments of our life?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You have to be busy, absolutely busy with the Absolute.

Questioner 2: And how to do that?

Acharya Prashant Ji: He will teach you.

Questioner 2: And what about life’s plans? How do we go about them?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Junk them.

Your plans are anyway of no avail.

Ask Him what to plan and how to plan.

Yes, in asking him, you can plan for little things, little things like reaching on time, so that you may ask Him.

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

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

Watch the session video: How to deal with pain and hurt? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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

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What stops you from being your true self?

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What stops you from being yourself

Question: Acharya Ji, I feel there are certain things in me, which I am not able to trace out or figure out. There is some shame, or something else, which does not allow me, to be what I am.

How to overcome that?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You see, you are what you are. That can neither be disputed, nor changed, nor challenged. There is no threat ever, to who you are. Never! Your deepest identity is safe, secure, inviolable. But ‘you’ – the ‘person’, the ‘woman’, the ‘lady’, has an unfortunate power. And that power is bestowed on each one of us. What is that power? That power is – to not to take refuge in your real identity. The power is to choose something else except the – Real One.

And that’s the only shame. Call it ‘shame’, call it ‘suffering’. Call it whatever! You can use any of those so-called negative words.

Any concept you believe in, will take you away from what you really are!

The leaf cannot have a concept about the roots. The leaf has to just look at it’s leaf-ness. The leaf has to look at the life juice flowing in its veins. And that’s the blessing of the roots and also the proof of the roots. The sap in the leaf is both – the blessing of the roots and the proof of the roots.

But instead, the leaf decides to apply memory, and knowledge, and intellect, to have a model framework about the roots. Then the leaf would burden itself, and grow pale very soon.

Getting it?

Drop your concepts. You don’t need any concepts. Your being, your physical being, your psychological being, itself is the proof of the great Truth. Beyond that you don’t need any concept.

A silent mind, is the final proof of Divinity.

Why do you want to rush the mind here and there, to search for Divinity?

Look at the foolishness, the contradiction. Where lies the proof of Divinity? In the Silent Mind. So, if the mind is silent, Divinity is already proven.

A silent mind itself is the great self, the Atman.

But the mind says, “I will wander, and rush, and explore, and figure out, and find, and search.” And what not. And in doing all that, it has gone….away from Divinity. And that is such a tragic thing to happen- tragic and amusing, both. Amusing and bemusing. In searching for yourself, you…..go away from yourself.

The more concepts you have about Holiness, the more you will find yourself starved of Holiness.

Holiness is not a concept.

Don’t try to live in paradigms.

If you live in paradigms, you will lose out on paradise.

There was this man. He had a fight with his woman. So, he won’t talk to her. He won’t talk to her. But you look at his mobile phone, and you see two things. One, a lot of disconnected calls. She would call him, and he would not receive the calls. Secondly, the screen saver was the face of the beloved.

That’s how we live.

When He calls, we choose not to….receive the call. And to compensate for His real presence, what do we do? We keep His photo on the mobile screen. Those photos are the concepts that we carry about God! The mobile is not there to look at his photo, the mobile is there to receive his calls, when he calls. Here, I am talking of mind, the mobile.

Mind is troubled when it has to receive the call, but it finds security in keeping his image, His photo. Don’t receive his calls, but keep His…..image. Use your mobile as a spiritual reminder. Receive the call, don’t keep thinking about it.

The image will never be, even a patch on what He actually is.

Drop the images!

————————————————————————————————————–

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: What stops you from being your true self?

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How to not get distracted by critics? || Acharya Prashant with Students (2013)

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Question: Acharya Ji, I don’t want to give two hoots to all these people who say things about me. How to do that?

Acharya Prashant Ji: How many of you get worried, honestly, when people say things about you, especially nasty things? So, then this question is not only Vishal’s question, but practically everybody’s question right?

Kuch toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hain kehna!
(People will say a few things, that is their job)

The problem arises when we forget that what they are saying is an opinion coming from their mind, and hence, a totally external thing. Vishal (the questioner), you can never be hurt, if you do not link that opinion to your self-image.  You can never ever feel hurt if you do not link other’s opinion to your self-image.

Then you will say, “Alright! what you are giving me is a feedback, is an information. I will accept that information, just as one accepts any other information. It’s news. But I will not mechanically let it transfer my self-image. I will not let it change my image, in my own eyes.”

The trouble is, that we do not have our own eyes. To be more accurate, our eyes are closed. Had we not had any eyes, then the act could be pardonable. But the fact is, we have our eyes and we are keeping them closed.

We are not using our eyes to look at ourselves, we depend upon other’s opinions to look at ourselves. We are not using our intelligence, our own eyes to look at ourselves, we depend upon others to tell us how we are.

Someone comes and says, “Oh, you are wonderful.” How do you feel? Nice! In that moment, you totally forget that if this fellow can make you feel nice, he can also make you feel miserable. If you accept it, when he says,”How wonderful, how intelligent, how handsome you are!”You will also have to accept it when he says, “What an idiot, what a moron, what an ugly being you are!”

But we keep complimenting people, we keep saying good things about them and we think we are doing a favor to them. No!

Are you getting it?

You will tell me, “Sir, you are speaking very nicely,”I will say, “Alright that’s an opinion.” But, should I not know first how I am speaking? We talked about observation, right? Should I not have the capacity to directly look at myself without your help? And there are a thousand things I do throughout the day, would you be able to provide me feedback about everything?

If I am to really know how I am, and who I am, then I will have to look using my own eyes. But we do not do that. We depend on others. Not only do we depend on others, we actually crave, we actually demand and desire, that somebody should come and say something about us.

Am I right? That’s why your day is made, when somebody says, “Wow!” looking at you. And your day is ruined when somebody says, “Baal kahaan se kata liye (where did you get that haircut from?” And you are finished! Now, the damn hair anyway can’t grow too quickly. You’ve just had a haircut and he says, “From where did you cut your hair?” and this is sufficient to totally spoil your mood.

Am I right? Girls? A thousand rupees spent at the parlour, three hours, plus two hours of commuting and one little comment, and you are devastated! And not only an unfavorable comment, you go and display the thing to your friend and all he says is, “It’s ok,” and this is far less than what you had expected.

“Just ok? But I was promised I would look like a barbie doll!”

And then he has had it. Poor fellow.

Don’t you have your own eyes? Didn’t this parlour have a mirror? Can’t you look at yourself? Don’t you know what you are doing?

If ‘you’ don’t know what you are doing, how will others know what you are doing?

If ‘you’ don’t know, how will others know?

People come and ask, “Did I do the right thing?” Don’t you know? How can you afford not to know? “Sir, this is a particular situation in my life. What decision should I make?”

Who’s life? Who should know?

General awareness can be taken from others.

Self-awareness cannot be taken from others.

All that the other can tell you is, “Friend, you have good, beautiful, capable eyes, of the body and the mind. Use them. Do not depend on me. You do not need to depend on me.” Instead, we have people around us who feel very good when we depend on them. Have you come across such people? There are so many people who feel very, very good when you depend on them, or when they depend on you, or when you possess them or when they possess you.

“You know my boyfriend is so possessive about me.”

And you feel glad. Are you mad? Keep the fellow away, if he is possessive. He will kill you. But we have people around us, who are experts at providing opinions : agony aunts, specialists, family members.

“Come and tell me your problem, I will give you the solution.”

You are adults, how can somebody else give you a solution?

Somebody else can at the most help you in waking up.

And when you wake up, you see through your own eyes.

The other can have only a limited role.

Yes, there can be a role, but that role cannot substitute the functioning of your own eyes, of your own intelligence.

We live in a very second-handed, very-very dependent way.  That is the reason why people are able to dominate us, sometimes even emotionally.

Somebody comes to you, listen to him, but do not allow his words to become your self-image.


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

Watch Full Discourse: How to not get distracted by critics? Acharya Prashant, with students (2013)

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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.


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Live through pain, beautifully || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Acharya Prashant: Laxman is asking a question, he is saying that he has undergone two major surgeries and accidents – he says I understand that I’m identified with the body and it is the reason for my suffering. I’ve read many books, scriptures and listened to masters’ teachings that tell me that I am that not the body, yet I do not know how to come out of this pattern. Kindly guide me.

Laxman, you’re bearing physical pain. Keep bearing it. You cannot avoid it. Stop resisting the pain. Bear it gracefully. Live beautifully in pain and then you’ll not suffer. When you shout about, throw your hands about, stamp your feet, complain like a petulant child, that’s when suffering is.

You were born a human being. You’ve come to a certain age. You’ve had accidents, you’ve surgeries and now you’ve pain.

What else do you expect?

You were not born a human being to live painlessly. To be born is to be born in pain.

Do you know how much pain your mother went through when you were born?

What do you mean by complaining against pain?

Bodhidharma was asked, ‘What is greatest fortune?’ And he said, ‘The greatest fortune is not to be born at all.’

The greatest fortune is not to take birth at all because if you were born, then pain is inevitable. Pain is a necessary accompaniment of living a human life.

Don’t grudge! Don’t whimper! Don’t crib!

Your very expectation is misplaced. You will have pain. Go to the great athletes and they’ll tell you, ‘We play through pain’, one fellow is retiring, and he has won multiple grand slams and he says, ‘Now, one thing is certain; I won’t wake up every morning in terrible pain!’

Who gave you the expectation that you were born to rejoice and celebrate and have a gala time?

Maybe the advertisers told you that!

The Buddhas have never told you that you were born to be felicitated or decorated or rewarded. That’s why India has since long said that when you’re punished, then you’re cursed to take birth! This session began with myths. Do you know how the myths go often?

So, there was the great angel and she made a mistake, so she was cursed to take birth! And you’ve dozens of stories like this. The great spirit was cursed to take birth because it made a mistake.

That’s what human birth is all about. You’re here to bear. You aren’t here to have a party.

Even if you’ve party, you will…

Listeners: Suffer

AP: Have a lot of pain.

No, I didn’t say suffer. I’ll come to that. The very concept that life can be painless is false. Pain is due and legitimate. You will have pain. Now, live through like a man.

What is suffering?

Suffering comes only when you start espousing the flawed concept that life must be pain-free. When you start feeding that concept, when you start nourishing and identifying with that concept that life must be painless, then you’ve suffering because now when pain comes, you’re shocked.

You say, ‘Life should’ve been painless and from where has this pain arrived? No, no, you go away, and it is unjust! I was born to dance and now something unfair is happening. See, pain has arrived.’

Now you’ll suffer.

Suffering is non-sensical, ignorant resistance to pain.

Welcome pain! You’ve no option.

So better welcome it.

Just live through it, play through it, as champions do.

Go and ask Roger Federer. He’ll say, ‘I pay through pain!’

Ashish Nehra retired, and he said, ‘It isn’t as if there was pain in my body. Sometimes, I was searching, for my body in the pain! Pain is everywhere, where is the body?’

He used to have one surgery every two days! You get the idea, right?

So many surgeries he had on his body and he kept playing till he was thirty-six or thirty-eight or forty something.

Play through pain.

Play in pain.

Just keep playing!

Pain is life.

Just keep playing and there is such a great delight, you know, in playing through pain. If you don’t have pain, then playing isn’t as beautiful. If you can smile through tears and in tears, oh what a beautiful smile it is!

Only then, is smile really beautiful.

The lyricist might not even know what he has written and he has written maybe for an entirely different context but his lines make a lot of sense: (speaking in Hindi) Jab dard nahi tha seene mein, kya khaak maza tha jeene mein?(When there was no pain in the heart, there was no joy in living at all)

How will you live without pain?

And if you can embrace pain, then pain is your beloved.

In our case, it is the other way around: our beloved is the pain!

If you don’t turn pain into your beloved, then your punishment will be that your beloved will be the pain. Doesn’t matter whether it is, the beloved or pain; don’t resist!

That’s the way life is meant is to be.

You aren’t born a deity or an angel. You’re born a human being. Kindly lower down your expectation. Be a little grounded and if you can’t be grounded, then watch a moth rushing towards its incarceration in a flame. It is designed to go through that pain, isn’t it?

Ever seen a flame and insects jumping into it from all directions? That’s how they are designed, and you too are designed a human being and Buddha said, ‘The first of four noble truths: That life is suffering’. Life is suffering because not only are you designed to have pain, you’re also designed to resist pain. Now, that’s a double whammy!

Now that’s doubly harmful. You’re designed to both, have pain and resist pain, and that is called suffering.

Have pain, and have a lot of depth in your being.

So much depth that it can take in all the pain.

Keep soaking in pain, keep soaking in pain, and if you can keep soaking in pain, you find that something strange is happening; now you can rejoice because now you’re not really human. Had you been human, you’d have resisted pain. When you don’t resist pain, you’re no more human and if you’re not human, then you’ll not suffer as humans do.

Instead, you’re blessed with delight and delight is not available to the so-called normal human. Why?

Because they’re rushing after delight and how do they run after delight? By trying to avoid or resist pain.

If you resist pain, all you get is suffering.

If you embrace pain, then there is delight.

How is the day?

‘Sir, really painful!’

That’s the way it should be.

So, Rajiv Ji, ‘How’s life?’

‘Purely painful, sir! Purely painful.’

That’s something!


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

Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant: Live through pain, beautifully

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Truth is not the thought of truth

Who is a sage? A sage is the one who is extremely sensitive, who is able to catch even that which we normally ignore.

The saint is one who has realized that life is not also hell but just hell.

Because in thinking and concluding thus, you’ve missed the happening.

Gratefulness is not the thought of gratefulness. Joy is not the thought of joy. Truth is not the thought of truth.

Gratefulness means not having any sense of like or dislike.

The spiritual man is neck deep into action. He is not an escapist.

Because all your imagination proceeds from the centre of what you currently have made yourself to be, what you currently are.


Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?


 

Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?

Question: Explain ‘bad.’

Acharya Prashant: OK. Let’s take something which you call as ‘bad.’ We will begin with that. Tell me anything which you call as ‘bad.’

Listener: Inadequate idea.

AP: Too abstract. I’ll then have to make it more abstract and Do you call a disease as bad?

L1: Yes.

AP: OK. A disease is bad only when you experience the pain and suffering associated with it. Only when a disease shows up in medical report. Let’s say there is a wound here. The wound has become infected and it is oozing puss. Now, you’ll say this is bad. Won’t you say that? Don’t be so guarded as if you want to block my next step.

L1: I just…one might say it’s bad, yes.

AP: What would you call as bad? Because I have to start from there. What do you see all around that you would call as unacceptable? Is there anything that you dislike?

L1: I’m just grateful.

AP: Then, then everything is alright. You are home.

L1: I’m celebrating.

L2: If I see somebody beating a child, I call it bad.

AP: Yes, yes. I like honest statements. He’s saying he’s grateful when somebody beats up a child.

L1: I’m not saying this, I never said that

AP: Then, why not say that when you find somebody raping somebody you don’t like it. Do you like it?

L1: I don’t like it.

AP: Yes, just say that. See, living in the fact means an honest acknowledgment of what life for you really is like. Do you really like it if you’re beaten up? Then why not simply say that. Why put it in abstractions?

So, you don’t like it when somebody beats a child right, Okay? Now, beating the child is a gross act. It is visible. Let’s say somebody is carrying a cane and spanking the child with it. It is visible. Stay with this…so, it is visible when the child is being beaten and these eyes can look at that visible, material act. Something goes up, something comes down, somebody cries. You can look at that, it’s a gross thing. It’s very difficult to miss it. Now, make it more subtle, bring it down a level. Suppose the violence is not so gross. It’s a more subtle violence. What happens in a more subtle violence? Come on, speak.

L3: Shaming.

AP: Shaming. So, now he’s not beating. He’s just accusing. He’s making the child feel ashamed using words. Now, words are also gross. A little less gross than action but the words are also gross because sensory mechanism can catch them. So you still call it violence. If you’re sensitive enough you still call it violence but somebody might say that no… no… no, beating was violence, this is just counseling. Right? You make it even more subtle. Now, the violent one is neither using a cane nor is he using words. He’s just using..?

L2: Ignoring.

AP: Ignoring. Wonderful. So using nothing or just using a glance. Now, it’s very subtle. Now, only the sensitive mind will say that it is violence. If you’re not sensitive, you’ll not even know that it is violence. But violence is continuing. Violence is continuing. It is just that now you are not calling it violence. Only 1% people are now calling it violence. What have you done? You’ve done nothing. You have just been apathetic to the child. Make it even more subtle.

L4: Thinking.

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Understanding is awareness

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

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

Mathematics is knowledge; understanding is awareness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


 

Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti Unbecoming unaware

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

Acharya Prashant: It is said, become deeply aware.

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

Listeners: Awareness.

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

Read it as – unbecoming unaware.

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

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

It is.

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

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