It is beautiful to earn pain || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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It is beautiful to earn pain

People make all sorts of efforts to find peace and pleasure, but no one tries to earn the pain.

Says Nanak, listen, mind: whatever pleases God comes to pass. ||39||

~ Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, Salok Mahalla

Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 14128

Question: Acharya Ji, please clarify what is meant here by, ‘earning pain’.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

The constitution of the body is such that it is – pleasure-seeking. That’s the guiding principle behind bodily actions. Bodily actions include the impulses of the brain. So that which you call as ‘natural’, in loose language, is nothing but pleasure-seeking behavior.

When you say that something is natural, effectively what you are saying is, that it is pleasure-seeking behavior. So that’s how your system is. It wants to have pleasure. It wants to have, pleasure.

What is the definition of ‘pleasure’?

That which helps Prakriti further its agenda.

‘Food’ pleases you because it gives energy to the body to continue. That’s what Prakriti wants. Getting it? ‘Flattery’ pleases you, because it gives the subtle-body the energy to continue. It will continue. It will stay motivated. It will further its goals.

Do you get the definition of ‘pleasure’?

That which agrees with the agenda of your physical constitution, is called ‘pleasure’.

Now in getting that ‘pleasure’, you get ‘pain’ as well. And that ‘pain’ makes ‘pleasure’ even more necessary. So you earn two units of ‘pleasure’, and along with two units of ‘pleasure’, you also got two units of ‘pain’. What is the inference that your system draws from this? Two units of ‘pleasure’ is not sufficient, because two units of ‘pleasure’ came along with two units of ‘pain’, and it got nullified. The net was zero.

So now your system wants three units of ‘pleasure’. But very soon your system discovers that three units of ‘pleasure’ has come along with three units of ‘pain’. So now you want four units of ‘pleasure’. That’s the cycle of human life – chasing ‘pleasure’, getting ‘pain’. And ‘pain’ spurs you on to chase ‘pleasure’, even more. This is not ‘pain’ that you have earned. This is ‘pain’, that has come as a bonus.

What did you want? Pleasure. But pain came tagged along. Had you had a choice, you would have said, “I want only pleasure. Let’s un-tag the pain. I don’t want the pain, that comes with pleasure. I only want pleasure. Can we just separate the two? No I don’t want the combo. No I don’t want the one plus one offer. I only want the one that I want – pleasure.”

So we get pain without earning it, or wanting it, or choosing it. We get it, as a compulsory attachment. We get it as a compulsory accompaniment of pleasure. Guru Sahib is talking of something different here. He is talking of – earning pain. He is saying,”You already have had enough pain. That pain came to you as a compulsion, as a helplessness. You didn’t want it, but you were subjected to it. Now can you willingly go for pain?”

What does he mean? He means something quite radical.

Your system is designed to go only for ‘pleasure’.

And if you are being told to go deliberately for pain, you are actually being told to go against your system.

In a practical way, he is teaching you a method of detachment – a way to get dis-identified with the body.

‘Deliberately go for pain’ – and this has been a method in India, and elsewhere, since long.

Spiritual practitioners those who have really wanted to know and live life fully, have invited ‘pain’. Knowing fully well that the road they are taking, would hurt them, they have still gone down those roads.

I repeat: to the common man, pain is incidental, uninvited. It comes as a surprise. “Oh pain has come. From where? I didn’t ask for it.” To the spiritual practitioner, pain is, almost a target. Pain is a value. He says, “I want it. Bring it on.”

Not that there is some great virtue in pain. It’s just that when you are going for pain, you are denying the bodily compulsion of seeking pleasure. You are getting dis-identified. And once you are dis-identified, then there is no need to seek pain either.

Getting it?

If you will see a lot of ‘progress’, even in the material sense, it happens only by inviting ‘pain’. That which we call as ‘discipline’ even in the loose sense, is nothing but an invitation to ‘pain’.

Is there discipline without pain? You have to get up at some point in the morning, doesn’t that involve pain? ‘Pleasure’ is to keep sleeping even after the alarm has rung. Is that not pleasurable?

So all ‘discipline’ is nothing but ‘pain’.

It’s very well-directed pain, it’s very discrete pain.

But nevertheless, all ‘discipline’ involves – ‘pain’.

And ‘progress’, be it in the material, or in the spiritual realms, moves on ‘discipline’.

So all ‘progress’ is nothing but the art of inflicting ‘pain’ upon yourself – wisely, not randomly.

You will get no progress by just slashing your wrist, or holding a cigarette to your arm. Random, or mindless pain will not help you. While random, and mindless pain will not help you, at the same time there can be no ‘discipline’ without ‘pain’. And there can be no ‘progress’ without ‘discipline’.

‘Pleasure’ is a pattern. In fact, all patterns become patterns of ‘pleasure’. ‘Discipline’ is the determination to go beyond patterns. So ‘pleasure’ has to be transcended. Which means – your body, your prakriti, your physical tendencies, have to be transcended.

That’s what Guru Sahib is pointing at.

Have ‘discipline’.

And what is it to have ‘discipline’?

Be a disciple. Be a Shishya (disciple).

Be a Sikh.

Who is a ‘Sikh’?

Who can wisely, discreetly, deliberately choose ‘pain’.

You cannot be a student, if you cannot bear ‘pain’.

You cannot be a student, if you say, “You know, I want to be handled in cotton and wool. I want to learn a lot from the teacher, but I don’t want pain from the teacher.” Then you cannot be a Sikh, you cannot be a Shishya, you cannot be a Disciple, because you do not have ‘discipline’.

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

Watch the session: It is beautiful to earn pain || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

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Why to listen to a Teacher? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Why to listen to a Teacher

Question: Acharya Ji, if I want to understand anything like – anger,or any other  emotion, first that I do is, that I search for your videos on these topics, and I listen to them, to understand. But, I am not sure that it is my original knowledge, or I am depending on you.

Acharya Prashant Ji: You can surf the internet, look at various definitions, look at the scriptures, look at all kinds of wisdom texts, to remove yourself.

Not to learn something, but to unlearn something.

So, when you say that you search for ‘anger’, on internet, is it that you are totally innocent of the word ‘anger’? Are you? You already have, big stories, about the word ‘anger’. Now, if you gain further knowledge, to cut through your pre-existing knowledge, then it is alright.

If there is something, that the internet can teach you about ‘anger’, that helps you, puncture your own concepts about ‘anger’, then it is wonderful. But, do not assume, that the internet, or books, or anybody, can really teach what ‘anger’ affirmatively is.

That you will have to see, on your own.

And that does not require much doing, because ‘anger’ is very close to us. And we are very suitably placed to look at ‘anger’. Are we not?

There is ‘anger’, and who am I? The angry one. So, who will know anger?

Questioner: Me.

Acharya Ji:

Of what use then, is wisdom literature?

It helps you remove, what you already know. It has a negative function.

And that is, it’s utility – that it has a negative function.

When I say, “Negative,” I do not mean – bad.

I mean – it has a cleansing effect.

When I say, “It has a negative function,” I mean – it negates. It reduces, it cleanses. It removes.

Removes what?

That which you are already occupied with.

———————————————————————————————————-

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

Watch the session: Why to listen to a Teacher? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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So concerned with what others say? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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So concerned with what others say

Question: Acharya Ji, my family keeps asking that my I am never interested in doing general stuff. They keep asking what I want to do, and where I want to go. My reply to them always is, that I do not know. I don’t want to do this, that I know. But I do not know what I want to do. This disturbs me a lot.

How can I get the concern of others, get out of my mind?

Acharya Prashant Ji: That’s alright. That is often how it begins. This is not where I belong – one has to be sure of that.

Questioner: They laugh at me, mock me. They say that if you do not know anything…..

Acharya Ji: If you do not bother about so many things, why do you bother about this ‘thing’?

Remember that, botheration is a choice. It is a value decision.

You say, “I value the opinion others have of me.”

It is not something natural, or spontaneous.

It is a decision that you make.

And why must you decide to put value upon what he or she says?

If you will value to the utterances of all and sundry, how will you be able to value the words of scriptures, or saints, or teachers?

You cannot equally value both.

When I was speaking to Lata (one of the members in the audience),  I said that if you are not following my advice, surely you are following somebody else’s advice. If there are too many people, you listen to, how would you be able to follow my advice?

And if you are not succeeding in following my advice, that is clear proof, that there are just too many people influencing you.

Nothing else.

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

Watch the session: So concerned with what others say? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Don’t block the bridge for others || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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Don't block the bridge for others

Question: Acharya Ji, if one is attached to the Teacher, then he blocks the bridge for others.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Yes, of course, the Teacher is the bridge – a bridge between dimensions. One end of the bridge is this world – space and time, thoughts, emotions, appearances. The other end of the bridge, is another dimension – silence, no space, no time, no movement. But the movement into timelessness, begins from a point, that is time-bound. The one who is ushering you, into the timeless, is himself time-bound.

The Atman might be mortal.

The body of the Teacher, is mortal.

The Truth might be timeless, but the Teacher, as a body, has only definite time.

He uses that time.

And that is the only proper use of anybody’s time – to move into the timeless.

That is the proper use of life, in this dualistic world – to move into that, which is beyond duality.

So, the Guru, the Teacher, spends his life, spends his time, holding the hands of others, ushering them, escorting them, into the timeless.

That is the use of his time.

But he has limited time.

To encroach upon his time, to impinge upon his time, is therefore, a greater fault than encroaching upon a so-called normal individual’s time.

The time of the Teacher, is sacred.

The time of the Teacher, is very-very precious.

We use our time, to extend and continue time.

He uses his time, to terminate time.

Terminate time, not only for himself, but for the entire humanity.

The time of the Guru, is most precious. The mental space of the Guru, is most sacred, because he uses that mental space, to take everybody, beyond the mind. But remember, he exists as a body, as a human being. So, he has only limited time, and limited mental space. His resources, are demarcated.

Therefore, being attached to the Teacher, is not only a personal fault, it is actually a disservice to mankind.

If you are attached to a Teacher, then you are first of all, doing yourself, a disservice. Because by being attached to the Teacher, you will prevent him, from doing good to you. Secondly, because you are attached to the Teacher, you will start consuming, sucking, his time. And his time is precious.

Because you are attached to the Teacher, so you will want to occupy his mental space. And his mental space is sacred.

Hence, you block the bridge for everybody.

Is that clear?

Wasting your own time is bad enough, but worse than wasting your time, is when you start taking the time of the Teacher. That is an even worse thing to do. Every minute of the life of the Teacher is worth centuries. The proof is that, that without the Teacher, it would have taken you centuries, to understand, what he just easily and readily brought to you. His one minute, is not just one minute.

Before you take just one minute of the Teacher’s time, ask yourself, “Is my need really so important, that I must sacrifice the interests of so many people?”

There is a great lake, but a narrow path, and only a narrow path, leads to that lake. You cannot block the lake, the lake is immense. And he lake is so immense, that a thousand people can simultaneously drink and draw from the lake. The lake has enough depth, to provide for a countless number of people. But only a narrow path leads to that lake.

Would you want to block that path? That narrow path, is the Teacher’s time. That narrow path, is the Teacher’s personal life.

Don’t block it.

You block it because of fear. You think that the lake is shallow. No, the lake is not shallow. The lake is Total. The lake is Infinite. There would always be enough for you. But when you block the path, yo do not allow the others to drink. And mind you, when you are blocking the path, you too are not drinking from the lake.

Being attached to the Teacher, you prevent others from benefiting, from the Teacher. And, you too do not benefit from the Teacher.

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

Watch the session: Don’t block the bridge for others || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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When there are no questions to ask the Teacher || Acharya Prashant (2019)

When there are no questions to ask the Teacher

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Question: Dear Acharya ji, Pranaam! I know that the online sessions are interactive. A question needs to be asked, and the question will be addressed by you. Acharya ji, sometimes I desperately search for a question to ask, may be just so that I may participate, and my presence is acknowledged, but nothing comes to mind.

At other times, I feel the need to say something, but then it is all garbled in the mind. No clear thoughts emerge. It’s like a dumb person, who is trying to speak, but can’t say something. Am I not able to express myself clearly? Is something holding me back?

Sometimes these thoughts come to mind, especially when we are urged to ask questions in the sessions. So I thought I will put it out to you, to bring it to light. Thank you for your love and guidance, and infinite patience with all of us.

In deep gratitude, Nimisha, from Mumbai.

Acharya Prashant ji: Nimisha, there are many aspects to this, you see. First thing, one need not always ask a question. Listening is enough. The ego tendency is one, and therefore, fundamentally the mind of mankind, is just one. Therefore, the question asked by one person, is in some way, the question of entire mankind. Even if you say that your question is different, you still have a question.

If you have a question, this means the fundamental tendency still stands unresolved. The central knot, is still there.

So, the knot exists in one person, the knot exists in another person.

In one person, it manifests itself in the form of one question. In the other person, it manifests itself in the form of another question. 

So it doesn’t matter what the content, or the language, or the direction of the question is, it is actually pointing towards the knot, it is actually coming from the knot.

And that knot is common to all. 

It could be anybody’s question. You may feel that you don’t have this doubt, but still the answer will be greatly beneficial to you, because all doubts are one. It is not proper to say that half your doubts are clear. If your doubts are really clear, no doubt would remain. You cannot say that your doubts belong to another area.

One person’s doubt, is another person’s doubt. One query, is everybody’s query. And if you say that a particular query is not yours, you are actually making a very tall claim. You are saying de-facto, that all your queries have been resolved.

Do you get what I am saying?

Fundamental knot is the same, queries differ on the surface. When the Teacher responds, then even to a superficial query, the answer is deep. So, he might be starting from anywhere, but he will go right to the central knot. And the central knot stands untied, problematic, for all. Therefore all answers are useful, even if one just listens, benefit would follow.

And second thing is, one has to figure out why the questions are not arising. I said that the first thing is, it is not necessary to ask questions. You may just as well listen, benefit would follow. Now I am saying, it is equally important to ask why questions are not arising.

Questions arise, you know, when one’s pre-existing concepts are challenged. Then there is a question.

Questions arise when one’s conceptual and imaginary world, hits against facts.

Then questions arise, then one feels woken up.

A question represents an inconsistency in your life.

Only when there is something inconsistent in your life, then you want to ask a question.

If everything appears resolved, in place, in order, squared, fair enough, explained, then there would be no questions. Now, you see, why, it may portend a danger, if one doesn’t have questions? If you don’t have a question, it may mean, that you are not really striking against your boundaries. It may mean, that you are living for too long, or too comfortably, within your confined world.

And within that confined world, everything is orderly. Within that confined world, everything stands explained, structured, resolved, refined, sorted out. And because everything sands explained, refined, sorted out, therefore there is no query at all. Now, I said, that portends danger. You know very well, why?

Because that means that you are not hitting hard enough against your boundaries. It might mean that it is quite comfortable within the boundaries. So instinctively, you are not feeling like cracking the boundaries open.

One has to arrive at an inconsistency, only then a question will arise.

One has to arrive at something unusual, only then a question will arise.

If the daily life is such that, it is just a repetition of the usual patterns, then obviously no question will arise. 

A question arises, when something strange happens.

The kid says, “Mumma, what is that?” No. But for the kid to raise a question, the kid has to be taken on a tour. If you are not taking the kid out on a tour, it should not surprise you that the kid has no questions to ask.

So, Nimisha, you need to take the kid out. Probably, you are being over-protective of the kid, that is you. Or you are keeping the kid too busy in homework, you know for the sake of progress or something. The kid needs to encounter something abnormal, something beyond it’s concepts. Something that it has not seen or experienced. And the whole world is full of such things.

Outside our little, arranged and ordered world, everything is unusual. Everything is beyond our knowledge and comprehension. It’s just that we are not exposed to it.

New situations are needed. Extra-ordinary events are needed. A breaking out, rather a coming out, is needed. And then, things will happen that you would be curious about. And then things would happen, in a way, that would belie your expectations. If everything happens according to your expectations, why would someone ever ask a question? 

And if everything is happening as per expectation, even expectations are being broken, as per expectations, then it means that life is just too structured, predictable, probably boring as well.

Get into new activities. Challenge your limits. Wear different caps, play different games. Test that which you might have taken for granted.

And then you will flood the session with questions!

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

Watch the session:  When there are no questions to ask the Teacher || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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The Guru is not a person

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just sold-5

Question: Acharya Ji, I would want to know a little bit about the Master’s Grace, the master as a person.

Acharya Prashant: What happens is that, sitting as you are, you take yourself to be a person. When I speak in Hindi, it becomes a little difficult for you because the person that you are does not know Hindi. So even to be a recipient of Grace, the person’s struggles with his personal limitations, matters.

Grace might be falling freely, but you are not in a position to receive it, because you are confined with the limits of the person. And the person does not know Hindi. Hence you require a medium on the outside that tallies with, who is conducive to, who matches with the requirements of your personality.

In such a case, the Master, also needs to be a person.

Because you cannot hear walls speak. The wall is as open a book as the Upanishads. But you cannot hear the walls speak. Because you are a person, you only need a person speak. In such case, you require that Grace appears in front of you like a person. Otherwise, the Master is really not a person.

And the more you advance, the more your person-hood is dissolved, the more you see, you do not need a person in front of you. In fact, the shape of the Master will change according to your shape!

As long as you are one type of a person, you will find that the Teacher is of one type.

The more your constitution, your personality changes, you will find the personality of the Teacher is also changing.

In fact, the Teacher has no definite personality.

His personality is just a veneer that he has put up in order to assist you.

You change, you will find him changing.

When you are moving out of your persona, you will find the Teacher is also moving out of your persona. That is why the Teacher is bound to disappear one day. He appears only in forms that are useful to you. The moment that utility is exhausted, he is done.

But nowhere for a moment must you start believing a person to be a Teacher, or a Teacher to be a person. The personality of the Teacher is just a temporary method. Don’t confuse the personality with the Teacher.

The Teacher really is the Truth absolute, nothing else.

The Truth absolute appears as the teacher, nothing else!

‘Grace of the Master’ does not mean grace of a man or woman. The man or the woman is in front of you – that itself is sufficient Grace.

Now what more do you need?


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: The Guru is not a person.

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Acharya Prashant: Difference between believing and realizing?

T32

It is a strange thing, and paradoxical. Must be understood with care.

Is there a need to tell the free one that he is already free? It would be absurd and useless to do do.

When I say, “You are already free”, to whom do I say that? To the free one? No!

To the free one, I say nothing. He needs no advice. He can, though, give advise to many.

I say “You are already free” to the one who staunchly believes that he is NOT free. Why do I say that? The answer must be obvious.

In spirituality, no statement is a statement of Truth. Truth cannot be contained in a statement. So, statements by Teachers are not Truth, but just useful devices.

Useful devices? For what? Useful devices to cut down that which is untrue or false, and therefore damaging.

Since “I am unfree” is a highly damaging belief, so to counter it, I say “You are free”.

The purpose is not to give the listener another belief: “I am free”. So, if someone comes to me with a strong belief that he is free, I tell him, “You are not free”.

Read more

Acharya Prashant, with teachers: Are you the suppliers for society’s demands?

T15

Acharya Prashant: The first question that a teacher must ask himself is, “What does he mean by change? Is he going to teach the habitual subjects, the habitual ways? Is he going to prepare the student to become another social machine? Right?

It seems that the end result of all habitual teaching is nothing but the production of a human being who fits in nicely in the social machine.

Let’s try to see. Let’s try to understand what is it, that we are producing in our classrooms.

There is the activity of teaching going on. It starts when the student is how many years old? “When the process of teaching starts? How old is the child when his teaching process starts?”

Listener: Five years.

AP: Right. Organize teaching?

L: Three or four years.

AP: 3 years or 4 four years. And goes on till the age of?

L: Till the death.

AP: Organise teaching?

L: Twenty.

AP: Twenty to twenty-five.

Let’s see clearly that a period of at least twenty years is being dedicated to the student who is emerging out of our education system. Are we one of this? Are we clear on this? For twenty years, the time has come to prepare a student who eventually comes out of our system as a product.

Now, what are we doing? Are we acting as suppliers? Please be attentive because we are trying to understand what is meant by saying are we preparing a child to be a cog in our social machine. We want to understand what does it mean? Twenty years we teach him and what is happening twenty years later?

We are supplying to the child back to the society. Correct? So it enters us in a process and then he leaves us and then he enters the society. Right? The society wants a certain kind of output from the teacher. Is that true?

L: Yes.

AP: The society wants a certain kind of output from the teacher that becomes such and such personality. Right? And what is the teacher doing? The teacher is supplying to the society what it wants from the teacher.

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Acharya Prashant: How to really listen to the Guru?

Question: In one video, you said that to listen to Krishna, you need to be Arjuna. To Listen to Ashtavakra also you need to be Janak.

To listen to you, what should the person be?

Acharya Prashant: The person should not be insistent on being the ‘person.’ That begins with not seeing the speaker as a person and not imagining the listener to be the person. If here a person is speaking sitting on this chair, then surely there is another person sitting on another chair who is listening. Now, listening cannot really happen. Because persons cannot really relate to each other.

A person is a limitation.

Limitations can associate with each other. But limitations cannot relate to become limitless.

You take one limitation and you associate it with another one, you do not get limitlessness. What you get is another limitation.

One person listening to another person will not listen to the Truth. He will come to some opinion, some conclusion, something of the mind or attitude. But he won’t come upon Truth or silence.

To listen to me you need to forget all about yourselves. And you need to forget that what you are listening to is a person’s personal viewpoints.

If you will insist on saying that what is coming to you is somebody’s personal opinion, then no person ever has the obligation to be non-resistant to another person’s opinions. Opinions by definition are meant to be analyzed, judged, dissected, then partially accepted or rejected.

You will have to see that that which speaks from this chair is the same that listens from that chair, or listening simply doesn’t happen.

Till the time there is A speaking to B, listening cannot happen.

Only Truth listens to the Truth.

Only that within you can listen to me which speaks from within me. And they are one. Which means that there has to be a certain unity between the ‘listener’ and the ‘speaker.’ I said,

to listen to Krishna you need to be Arjuna. But it’s not really Arjuna who listens to Krishna. It’s Krishna within Arjuna that listens to Krishna. No Arjuna can ever know Krishna. Even to look at Krishna, Arjuna requires eyes that are bestowed upon him by Krishna.

You’ll have to give your listening a total chance, a total freedom. And that is a very impersonal freedom. You’ll have to simply drop giving importance to all that is personal about the speaker.

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

Where the light is, there the lamp is.

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

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

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

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

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



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


 

Acharya Prashant on a Sufi Story: The Lamp shop

The Lamp Post

One dark night two men met on a lonely road.

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

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

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

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

‘Just talking.’

‘So, you want company, not directions?’

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

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

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

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

‘That is so.’

‘Have you any other aim?’

‘No, just to find the Lamp shop.’

‘May I ask why you seek a lamp shop?’

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

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

‘What are they?’

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

‘You cannot prove that!’

‘Certainly not on a dark night like this.’

‘What is the “piece of information”?’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Idries Shah, Tales of the Dervishes

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

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

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Don’t chase, she is yours

Every method is interference.

The only real method is a method that touches life very-very gently. Has no intention of changing and that intentless observation is. Hence the only method.

Observation alone does not try to do something.

Because that which you will grasp will no more be ordinary.

When an observer is a motivated observer then the observation changes the observed.

Don’t chase, she is yours.

There you just know. Either you just know or you do not know.

Those who will want proof will never know. They may get the proofs but they will never get the way.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Zen: Observe your daily life – that is the only way

Acharya Prashant on Zen: Observe your daily life – that is the only way

Joshu asked Nansen, “What is the way?”

Nansen answered: ‘Ordinary mind is the way.’

‘Then should we direct ourselves towards it or not? asked Joshu.

Nansen said: ‘If you try to direct yourself toward it, you go away from it.

‘Joshu then continued: ‘If we do not try how can we know it is the way?’

Nansen replied: ‘The way does not belong to knowing or not knowing. Knowing is delusion. Not knowing is blankness. If you really attain to the way of No Doubt it is like the great void, so vast and boundless. How can there be a right and wrong in the way?’ At these words Joshu was enlightened.

ZEN KOAN

(Nansen & Joshu Jushin)

(AD 778-897)

Acharya Prashant: Joshu asked Nansen, “What is the way?” Nansen answered: “Ordinary mind is the way.” Let’s come to the significance of this. When Joshu says, “What is the way?” He is asking about liberation, he is asking a way to liberation, the way to Tao, the way to Freedom, the way to Truth. Nansen says, “Your ordinary mind, that is the way.” Ordinary mind, ordinary actions of the ordinary mind, ordinary life of the ordinary mind that alone is the way, that’s the only method.

Observing the daily ordinary actions of the mind that is the only way. Observing it as an impartial observer. There is no other method that is going to work because all other methods are ‘isolations.’ The method does something to life. The method excludes life the methods works only upon apart and time of life. The method does not encompass ‘total life.’ The methods says, “block two hours of life for the method, or create a particular situation in life in which the method can be applied. The only method that is all-encompassing is ‘life itself.’

Observe life ‘totally’ as it is happening. Do not do anything to life because if you do something to life then you have changed life. Observation alone does not change life, does not interfere with life. All other methods interfere with that which you are going to observe and hence, will change that you are going to observe and hence your observation will be?

Listener: Changed.

AP: Are you getting it? If you want, for example, to observe your Heart and you tear open the body to reach the Heart in the process you kill the body. What will you observe? You will observe, but what will you observe? You would have changed the very thing that you wanted to observe, that is the problem with methods.

Every method is an interference.

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His suffering will be your suffering

What is right for one, cannot be right for the other. The method that suits one, cannot suit the other.

And when you see better, then you know on your own, the step to take, the direction to move.

The moment you cause suffering, it is to yourself that the suffering has been caused.

If you do not know what is not right for him, surely, firstly you do not know what is right for you. His suffering will be your suffering.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: Give to each what they deserve – that alone is suitable for them

Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: Give to each what they deserve – that alone is suitable for them

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,

neither cast ye your pearls before swine,

lest they trample them under their feet,

and turn again and rend you.

Matthew 7:6

Acharya Prashant: Your path, cannot be somebody else’s path.  No, general method, nothing general at all, can ever be suitable to you. You are what you are because you are evolved, programmed, brought up and conditioned in the way that you are. Each of us, is located at a different point in existence. This point is a point, away, from our home, the center. And because the points are different, so our actions will also be different.

The right action, must necessarily, be different for different persons.

What is right for one, cannot be right for the other.

The method that suits one, cannot suit the other.

To a dog, only that which is suitable to a dog is right and to a swine, only that which is suitable to a swine is right. Hence, the right action cannot be a set of principles. Hence, the whole premise of morality, is hollow. Morality deals with prescriptions, with commandments, do this, do that.

What Jesus is saying is – what is right for you, depends on, what you take yourself to be.  Your way towards home, depends on, how badly you have lost yourself. Depends on, where you think you are.

There can be no, one general way or one general right action. But we have a tendency out of morality to label, a few things as right, a few things as wrong. A few paths as profound, a few other ways, as profane. Now if you suggest your so-called profound paths, to a dog, you would only be doing injustice to the dog. To a dog, only a dog’s way is appropriate. To you, only that is appropriate, which is for you and that can arise only from the depths of your awareness. Hence, the right teacher can never prescribe or command.

He can never tell you, what to do.  He will never be a provider or instructor of action.  Instead, he will be an illuminator.  He will help remove, the obstacles in front of a light, so that you can see better.

And when you see better, then you know on your own, the step to take, the direction to move.

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Influences are the celebration of life

This nose, these eyes, this language, these clothes, these thoughts, they are all influences. Influences by themselves are no guarantors of suffering.

Influences are the celebration of life.

In fact, in being totally open to influences, you are leading a total life.

The teacher is one who is totally open to influences, who is totally available to the situation. The disciple is one who lives in standards in benchmarks.

To him, this directionlessness, this non-resistance is his total oneness with existence.

The real one has nothing to defend, so he never defends.

And after calling him all the names, you are left with no more names, that’s when you fall silent and that is teaching.

Do not try to judge it on your moral platforms. That judgment will not be wrong, it will be simply irrelevant.

If you have a direction then you are not directionless.

The direction does not keep on changing. Your ways keep on changing. The destination that you have set for yourself that does not change. Your destination is a pleasure.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: From where do the actions of the Teachers arise?

Acharya Prashant: From where do the actions of the Teachers arise?

Listener : Seeing the actions and responses that what I call a teacher gives, so the argument comes that maybe they are coming from the influential part of the mind, they are not coming from the essential just like you said that the faces are real till the time they are not coming from the influence. So gossiping about the teacher, gossiping about the physical appearance of responses, it comes, again and again, that maybe this is not essential, maybe this is not coming from him.

Acharya Prashant: But what you are saying may exactly be what is happening yet how does that entitled us to come to any conclusion?

You see that we all are influenced entities, there is no doubt about it. But so what? If you are not influenced then you are not alive. Your very birth happens out of influence.

This nose, these eyes, this language, these clothes, these thoughts, they are all influences. Influences by themselves are no guarantors of suffering.

Influences are like people passing in front of a mirror. The moment somebody passes in front of a mirror, he influences the mirror. Does he not? What does the mirror do?

Listeners: Reflects.

AP: Reflects. But that does not change the essential nature of the mirror. In fact, that only makes the mirror more respondent, more beautiful. You through light on the mirror, the mirror reflects that light and if there are multiple mirrors, then a single ray of light can lead to wonderful celebration or total festival of lights.

Have you seen the kind of things that can happen when multiple mirrors operate in tendons?

Listeners: Yes.

AP: So there is nothing wrong that which you call as influences.

Influences are the celebration of life.

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Go to the teacher not in greed, but in love

 

gen 1

Question: I have been reading, listening to you, Osho, Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta, for the last one year. I have a peculiar situation. Having attained a lot of peace, now I am finding difficult to read or listen. Somehow I feel, I am going away from peace, by doing that. Everything that can be read or listened to, seems to be already known and I don’t find anything new. I do not know whether it is my mind playing some game, or is it okay to be in that situation. Or am I just being arrogant? Now I just want to be myself and probably looking for blogging and take the role of the teacher which will clear my knowing more. I want to be tested.

Thanks again. Please comment if it’s worth it.

Acharya Prashant: You see, the ways of mind can be very tricky.

The mind by definition is that, which keeps feeling incomplete and does whatever it does with a purpose. The purpose is to gain something. The purpose is to reach somewhere. The purpose is to advance. Become better. Progress.

You are now saying that anytime you listen to me, Osho, JK, Nisargadatta, it seems that you already know what you are listening to and you do not get anything new. Don’t you see, what these words reveal? These words reveal that the mind is still quite ambitious and looking for something. The mind is saying, “I will go to Krishnamurti only if he gives me something new, otherwise, I will not go to him.” Is this a relationship of love? Read more