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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Why blame social media? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Why blame social media

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Question: Acharya Ji, Namaskaar. My question is not related to Spirituality. I am sixteen year old, and many of my friends who are of my age, are stuck to social media. They are lost in the visual world, and it is affecting their personal lives. How can they get rid of this? Is social media good or bad?

Acharya Prashant Ji: How to get rid of their personal life?

Questioner: No. All youngsters have this same problem.

Acharya Ji: So you want to get rid of other’s problems.

Questioner: No, it’s my problem too.

Acharya Ji: So why are you talking of others? In the spirit of philanthropy?

(laughter)

This is how we are. You are talking of your own Facebook account. It’s as particular, and as personal, as that. It is so personal that you would not share the password even with me.

Questioner: I will share the password with you.

Acharya Ji: And then change it.

(laughter)

But I will talk as if I am talking of a global menace. “Oh my God! You know, it is affecting the American elections you know. The Russians got Trump elected by interfering. And therefore I am concerned.”

Why must you put it this way?

So, what is wrong with Facebook then?

Questioner: There is nothing wrong, but it is addictive.

Acharya Ji: So what’s wrong with being addicted?

Questioner: It wastes time.

Acahrya Ji: How does it tell you that time is being wasted?

Questioner: We are continuously opening the app and checking notifications.

Acharya Ji: That’s okay. But how does it tell you that time is being wasted?

Questioner: Our parents say that.

(laughter)

Acharya Ji: So now you bring the Global Parents Association in the picture. So you are saying that on one hand, Facebook attracts you, and on the other hand, parents stop you. That is your condition.

It is as simple as that. Why don’t you put it this way? That would make it easier for me and you. “I want to do a lot of Face-booking, but Mumma tells me that it is bad habit. And I do not know what to do. Though I know what to do. That is what I do everyday. I tell Mumma to go away. But still she keeps bugging. That is the problem.”

So, the question boils down to – how to keep pestering parents away?

Questioner: No, how should we minimize our time on Facebook?

Acharya Ji: And still get as much satisfaction.

(laughter)

More bang for the buck. Yes. Small packet, big return. Yes.

Do we know what we want? Do we even understand what our wants are, and where they are coming from, and what do they actually mean? Do we even articulate them rightly? Do we?

Alright! Let’s go into it. So you say that time is being wasted on social media. When do you call something as ‘wasted’? When do you call something as ‘wasted’?

Questioner: When one doesn’t gain anything from it.

Acharya Ji: (Holding a mug) There was tea in this mug some time back. If the tea would have spilled from this mug, would you have called it ‘wastage’?

Listeners: Yes.

Acharya Ji: Why would you call it a ‘wastage’? If I sip the tea from the mug, it would be emptied. And if I spill the tea, then also the mug would be emptied. So, sipping it, or spilling it, in either case the mug would be emptied. So, would do you call it a ‘wastage’ when the tea gets spilled over?

Questioner: Because it didn’t serve it’s purpose. I couldn’t use it.

Acharya Ji: It didn’t serve it’s purpose. So when is time called as ‘being wasted’?

Questioner: When it doesn’t serve the purpose.

Acharya Ji: When it doesn’t serve the purpose. But for that, you must know what the purpose of time is. What is the purpose of time? Before you say, “I am wasting time,” or, “He is wasting time,” you must know what is the purpose of time. Only then can you rightfully claim whether it is wasted or utilised.

So what is the purpose of time?

‘Time wastage’, ‘Don’t waste time’ –  all these are very popular phrases. Aren’t they? So how do you use them then, if you do not know what is the purpose of time? How do you call something as ‘wastage of time’?

Listener 1: When you are not doing, what you are supposed to do.

Acharya Ji: What are you supposed to do?

Listener 1: (Referring to the questioner) He is supposed to study usually…

Acharya Ji: Why is he supposed to study only. He is also supposed to login to Facebook. What do you mean by ‘supposed to’? Which scripture will tell you what you are ‘supposed to do’? Please tell me where one can find that Oracle. Where is that Oracle which would would determine to us, what we are ‘supposed’ to do? Yes.

How do you know what is the purpose of time? What is the purpose of time?

Questioner: It must give me satisfaction.

Acharya Ji: If Facebook is satisfying you, you cannot call it ‘wastage of time’. Full stop.

If the purpose of time is your satisfaction, and if doing all kind of this or that, and non-sense, satisfies you, then you cannot call it as ‘wastage of time’. And I am leaning upon your own premise. You said that purpose of time is – satisfaction. If that be so, then do whatever fetches you satisfaction.

If it satisfies me, to spill this tea on this table, then you would not call it as ‘wastage of tea’. Or would you? If it satisfies me to abscond from this session, it would be a great use of my time. I may be running around on the beach. A gala time on the beach.

What is the purpose of time?

Listener 3: It can be different from person to person. So, as a body, if one is a student, the purpose of time is to study. As a seeker, if you are seeking something, to get it to the next level, is your purpose for the time being. So it is different…..

Acharya Ji: With what purpose are you a student?

Listener 3: For academic qualifications, and all.

Acharya Ji: Because you are ‘supposed’ to that. So that brings us back to the Oracle. So, either you use common sense, or you fetch the Oracle. Otherwise, you are stuck.

Whenever I ask you that what is the purpose of this or that, you say, “This.” And when I ask you, “Why?”, you say that because you are ‘supposed’ to do this, because you are ‘supposed’ to be like this.

Now I cannot proceed with that. Who is the one, who brought all these suppositions into your mind? How do you ‘suppose’ so much, and continue to live on, based on suppositions, assumptions? Or, please bring the Oracle here, so that I may have a frank word with him, it, or her, or whatever.

How do you know that you are ‘supposed’ to be a student?

What is the purpose of time?

Of special note are those, who have been with the Courses and Camps, since long. At least theoretically, one may explain this.

Listener 4: Practically, it is for liberation. And in the course of getting that liberation, if something is stopping you, you get rid of that, and finally reach it!

Acharya Ji: So, is Facebook good or bad?

Listener 2: Depends on what we are using it for.

Acharya Ji: That is the answer.

The only thing that determines whether time, or money, or any other resource available to you, is wasted, or properly utilised is, whether it aided your liberation.

Anything that contributes to your liberation, is a thing, well utilised.

Anything that impedes your liberation, is a thing, badly wasted.

If Facebook can contribute to your liberation, Facebook is great. But if on Facebook, you are just adding to your non-sense, to your conditioning, then obviously, it is very wasteful. And the blame does not lie with Facebook, the blame lies with the use you are putting Facebook to.

Amongst you, there might be a few, who might have found me on Facebook. Facebook is wonderful for them. Or, you could also access all kinds of trivia, and non-sense, and rubbish on Facebook.

You know what, social media is so addictive, so addictive, that half the volunteers of the foundation, are only watching YouTube for fourteen hours a day. Thank them for that. Thank them for their addiction. Otherwise, these videos would not reach you.

Now, is YouTube good or bad?

It depends on what you are doing there. Half of the foundation, I repeat, is only watching YouTube fourteen hours a day. Is YouTube good or bad? Even as I say this, thousands are watching the videos on YouTube. Is YouTube good or bad?

Good or bad?

Depends on what you are using it for.

Depends therefore on, who you are.

Now, remaining who you are, if you de-activate your Facebook account, that would still not help you.

Addicted to Facebook, you are a slave to all the content on Facebook that you watch. And if, due to pressure from some quarters, you de-activate your Facebook account, then you are still a slave. Slave to the direction from where the pressure came. Facebook might have gone, has your slavery gone?

Influence came from one direction, and you opened an account. Influence came from another direction, and you closed or suspended your account.

Have ‘you’ really changed?

Have you?


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

Watch the session:  Why blame social media? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Gems from Articles, April’19

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1.

The condition you have come to, is not sudden. It has taken millions of years of evolution, for you to come to this state. It’s a very, very old habit.

It is like dust, that has settled over something, since centuries, millennia, aeons.

Time has brought you to your current condition.

And that which time has given you, takes time to go away.

2.

The one whose dissolution you are talking of, is he the Truth? Obviously he cannot be the Truth. Why would one demand the dissolution of the Truth? Why would one think that the Truth can be dissolved at all?

So you are demanding the dissolution of the one, who is not the Truth. Who is he then? He is a product of time. Truth is not a product of time, and therefore Truth does not bother you. And therefore, you are not demanding the dissolution of Truth.

You are demanding the dissolution of that which is, false.

Now see, now see. You are demanding the dissolution of the false. Just as it is silly to demand the dissolution of Truth, isn’t it equally silly to demand the dissolution of the false?

Truth cannot be dissolved, because Truth is timeless. And false cannot be dissolved, because the false does not exist at all. But surely, you are asking for the false to be dissolved, which means you take the false to be…..Truth.

Because you take the false as Truth, therefore you stumble, and get deceived, and get hurt.

3.

If you identify with the false, is a quick movement into the Truth possible? No. It will take time. ‘Sadhana’ is the way. You will have to be constantly embattled against yourself. And you will have to be constantly engaged with the ones, who appear closer to the Truth. These are the only two ways of ‘saadhana‘. There is no third way.

Fight against yourself, and side with the Saints, both are needed. In fact, just proceeding on one leg of the saadhana, without bothering for the other, is more dangerous than not beginning with saadhana at all. You have to both – fight against yourself, and side with the Saints.

If you side with the Saints, without fighting against yourself, then you will use the Saints, to fatten yourself. And if you fight against yourself, without siding with the Saints, then you will go mad, because you will keep destroying who you are, what you are, without finding anything.

4.

You need to have both – a determination to defeat yourself, and devotion to be with the lovers of Truth.

And both these things take time, because you are firmly convinced that you are a product of time.

Not that time is a necessity in the process.

It’s just that you have declared yourself at a position, that makes time a necessity.

5.

Invest that time in two things: in fighting against yourself,  and in being in the company of Saints and lovers of God, Truth.

6.

It is very difficult to break away from the Truth, and habituated as we are to ourselves, it is probably equally difficult, if not more difficult, to overrule ourselves, and leap directly towards the Truth.

So ours is a funny situation.

Can’t go away, can’t directly come close. And at the same time, we want to tell ourselves, that we are busy and occupied, and doing something constructive. So we start with the merry-go-round, maintaining a safe distance from the center, as if that safety is any less discomfiting, than a total separation from the center that invites us.

This is complexity, and this is dishonesty – the in-between-ness, the safe, middle path. The position, the movement, the locus that convinces us that we are not totally dishonest.

7.

You see, without a love for honesty, there can be nothing called ‘dishonesty’. Obviously, we love that which is real, that which will not deceive us, that which we eagerly want. But in spite of our love, in spite of our deep, and true desire, we still deny ourselves, we defy ourselves.

We defy the command of our own hearts.

8.

Dishonesty is – to not to see what you are seeing, to not to get what you want, not to be what you are, not to live by what you know.

If you don’t know, you cannot be dishonest.

If you don’t love, you cannot be disloyal.

9.

It’s absolutely fantastic, that we know, we want, we love.

And it’s equally tragic, that in spite of, knowing, wanting, loving, we somehow still choose to remain deprived.

Complex!

10.

The more certain you are, that you are approaching the person, with the only intention to show him the light, the easier the process will be.

If the intention is pure, then the process is quicker.

And this empowers you a lot, because now you have something to work upon.

If you just say that the other person does not listen to you, then you are helpless, because you anyway have no control over how the other person thinks, and responds, and reacts, and lives.

But once you know, that the other person’s response, is dependent on purity of your intentions, then that enables and empowers you, because now you can work upon yourself.

And by working on yourself, you can cause a quicker change in the other person.

So work on yourself.

11.

in the mind, there is nothing without a purpose, or a reason.

And as that reason or purpose gains purification, the place of that person in your life, that is your mind, changes. And then, working becomes far easier, with respect to that person.

12.

You have to be absolutely certain, that it is only because of love, and only because of kindness, that you want to bring the light to the other.

13.

The world is a habit, but drugs are a worst habit.

At least when you are free of drugs, then you can look at the facts. Under the influence of drugs, you cannot even know the facts. And I have repeatedly said that – the facts are the door to Truth.

If you do not know even the facts, then you are one step further away from the Truth.

The one who is finding refuge in drugs, is fed up of the usual stuff of consciousness. That is certain.

But, he is taking a very wasteful route.

14.

See, what do most people feel?

They feel a particular type of universe, just because they live in a particular type of consciousness.

They feel the universe, in a particular way, all the time. So, they start taking the universe, as Truth.

After all, what is Truth? That which does not change.

15.

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?

16.

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.

17.

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.

18.

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.

19.

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.

20.

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

You ‘do’ a lot to stick to the body.

21.

I say, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the result.”

I am saying, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the results.”

But to those, who are not doing the right things, I say, “Look at the results of your actions.”

22.

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’ – is the utmost and final condition.

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’- that condition is possible only to someone, who is already liberated of the future.

But those who are not liberated, those who have even an iota of doubt, about the center from where their actions are arising, must use the results of the action, to know the source of the action.

23.

The source of the action, and the result of the action, correspond with each other.

If the action comes from the center of holiness, then the results are bound to be – holy.

If the actions come from the center of nothingness, then the results are bound to be – nothing.

Similarly, if the actions come from the center of vice, or deception, then the results are bound to be distressing.

24.

An action which has led to peacelessness, could not have come from the right source.

An action that leads to lovelessness, has definitely come from a loveless center.

So, do mind the results.

The results will tell you where you are standing right now.

Much later will you come to a point, from where you will not need to bother about the results.

That is liberation!

25.

Man is really not born to go beyond.

Going beyond, is the highest, and the most exquisite pursuit.

If you don’t pursue that path, you are not a sinner.

You are just, normal.

If you not spiritual, you are not a sinner.

You are just normal!

26.

Spirituality, is a most exquisite pursuit.

It is only for those, who are not at all contended with, what the world can maximally offer.

Not only are they not contended with what they already have, they are not contended even with the best, what the world can potentially offer.

Those are the ones, who must take the spiritual path.

Others must satisfy themselves, with the worldly beauties.

27.

Most people are condemned to, almost succeed in the world.

The misfortune of most people is, that they never get beaten up so soundly, that they will see the futility of the world.

So they should remain well-adjusted and compromised. They should continue with the worldly life.

They should not, unnecessarily, invite the spiritual trouble. You know, for the sake of it, just because some great names have talked of spirituality, you too start dabbling.

And then, you burn your fingers.

Spirituality, is for the ones, who are ripe enough.

28.

The first thing that is needed is, viveka (discretion).

The second thing that is needed is, vairagya (dispassion).

The third thing that is needed is, shad sampatti, the six qualities (shama, dama, uprati, titiksha, shraddha, samaadhaan).

And finally, and most importantly, you need, mumuksha(desire for liberation).

When you see that you have all these, only then must you turn, a seeker.

29.

Science is fully contained in spirituality.

Spirituality, that does not contain science, is superstition.

However, science is too small, to overlap with, all of spirituality.

But one thing is certain, when you are scientific, you are spiritual as well.

However, all spirituality, is not science. Spirituality goes, way beyond science.

Spirituality begins, when you have a strong feeling, that things are not the way they must be.

30.

The effect cannot be dimensionally, beyond the cause.

Which is to say – the fruit of the action, cannot be dimensionally superior to the action.

Which is to say – the fruit of the action, is actually just the quality of the actor.

The result is dimensionally the same as the action, and the action is dimensionally the same as the actor.

Therefore, the result is in the same dimension as the actor.

~ Excerpts from ‘Shabd-Yoga’ sessions.

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The real observer observes nothing || Acharya Prashant, on Osho (2019)

The real observer observes nothing

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Question: Acharya Ji, in one discourse, Osho said that inner strength is a result of inner stillness. What does he mean?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Something that remains untouched, unmoved, only that is something, that can really look at what is trying to move  it.

You have CCTV Cameras. The camera shows a person coming towards the camera, and a camera is able to show that. That camera shows that person, pulling out his gun. Even that the camera can show. Next the camera shows, that the person is taking aim at the camera. Even that the camera can show. Next the camera captures, the gun, shooting a bullet towards the camera. Even that the camera can show. And after this, the camera shows nothing. Why?

Listener: It has moved now.

Acharya Ji: Because the camera itself has moved. The camera itself is no more there. It is gone.

You will be able to see nothing, if that which you are seeing, moves you.

What was the camera looking at? The man with the gun. But the man with the gun, succeeded in displacing the camera itself. So, the camera is now worthless. That which you are seeing, must not be able to move you. Otherwise, your seeing will stop.

You do not merely ‘see’ something.

You allow the thing to influence you. You become the influenced one.

You forget that the seen thing, and the seer of the thing, are both not you.

You become one with the seer.

The seer is bound to get influenced. That cannot be avoided. What can be avoided is, that ‘you’ do not become the seer.

This is the thing in the market, a chocolate cake. This is the seer. It is impossible that the seer looks at the seen thing, and feels no vibrations. It cannot happen. The very act of perception, is bound to change the perceiver. You have to be somewhere else. You are neither of these two.

The mistake that you make is, that you become the seer. And if you become the seer, you are bound to get influenced by the seen.

Listener: Are you saying that I become the perceive of both?

Acharya Ji:

You do not ‘become’ the perceiver of the both. You ‘are’ at a place, where there is no perception.

I understand, many a times, by many a teachers, even in many scriptures, it is mentioned this way. You are the seer of both – the subject and the object. This(the subject), sees this(the object). This(the object), influences this(the subject). You go and be busy in an apple orchard. In that apple orchard, there are no chocolate cakes. I am talking of the orchard of the father(pointing at the sky).

You remain occupied there, even as the senses remain occupied with the objects, you have to be somewhere else. It’s not as if you are looking at these two(subject-object), and yet are influenced by these two.

Yesterday, we said, “The real observer observes nothing.” You should have nothing to do with the business of cakes, and the purchaser of the cakes. This is the cake, this is the consumer of the cake, you stay where you must. All this caky business, is not your business.

The place where you are, is not a place of consciousness. All consciousness is in between these two – the subject and the object. You are where you always were. You are at your one unshakable position. You are, where there is no space. You are where there is no territory to run to. Now where is the question of running? Even if you want to run away, there is no space to run away.

You are at a place where space and time do not exist. All space and time is here, in the dimension of consciousness, in between these two(the subject and the object). You are somewhere else.

Actually the confusion is understandable. When I am saying, “You are somewhere else,” you are imagining that, that ‘somewhere else’, is some other place. This this is happening at the bakery, and you are at the coffee-shop.

No! That’s not what I am saying. That’s not what I am saying.

You ‘are’ where, there is ‘nothing’.


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

Watch the session:  The real observer observes nothing || Acharya Prashant, on Osho (2019)


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How to unburden the mind? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

How to unburden the mind

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Question: Acharya Ji, I just keep feeling burdened most of the times, and to escape this burden, I keep racing all day long. But I find myself feeling heavy again. Please help me unburden myself.

Acharya Prashant Ji: You are burdened, that itself is the proof of the burden. The burden surely does exist, otherwise, why would there be a burdened one. So, you are burdened, and you are moving. That movement, you are describing as a race. Great!

If you are burdened and troubled, then surely you must move.

But if you are burdened and troubled, but your movement has to be, with the intention of, and in the direction of, un-burdening. 

If I am burdened, and as a result of the burden, I run, then the purpose of the run should be to un-burden myself. So, it’s great that you are running everyday. Now, what remains to be asked, is the question, that whether your race is helping you to be unburdened.

You wake up in the morning, and the entire day you have been running, has this running helped you by the evening? If it has helped you, congratulations! Again tomorrow, run more, run faster. Running is exactly what you need. But, if it has not unburdened you, then all your running has been in vain, and it has been a stupid thing, to run without knowing the destination, or the purpose.

I am a great supporter of movement. If one is at the wrong place, one must move, and one must move fast. One must run indeed. And one must energetically run. I seriously support action. But action ought to have a purpose. The purpose is decided by the state of the actor. 

If the actor is in bondage, then the sole purpose of the action has to be, the liberation of the actor. Now, are you acting towards your liberation. Look at your daily actions. Are they contributing to your liberation? Or are you rather acting to enslave yourself, even more deeply?

Action is good, action is inevitable. But what is your action leading to? Run, run fast. But run in the right direction. Sometimes we run so fast, and in such scare, and with such blindness, that we become incapable of knowing where we are going. Then, a second of rest, helps. A bit of a pause, brings in some sanity.

You can even ask yourself, “What am I doing? What am I expending precious time and energy towards? While it is a matter of celebration, that you are capable of running, capable of energy, it is an equally serious concern, how you are expending yourself? Because time and energy won’t last forever.

Today you are able to run. Tomorrow? As long as you can run, make good use of the running. A day will come, when the running will anyway cease. Is it too much to enquire into? “Am I getting any better, by doing what I am continually doing?” Is this too difficult a question to ask.

“This is what I am doing everyday. The same pattern, the same repetition. Is it taking me anywhere, or I am just feasting on blind hope?”

Today, somebody quoted me on one of the groups. I was told. Many years back, maybe five, six, or seven years, I had said that had Kabir Sahib been alive today, and looked at the railway station, and the railway engine and the train, then he would have spontaneously uttered something. This was long back.

So, jokingly I had said, that Kabir Sahib would have said, “Dhak dhak dhak engine chale, chalta chati phod. Sahib maarg jaane nahin, jaayegaa kis or. (The engine is running, and running, making a lot of noise, and moving with so much power. It has no clue of route to God, where will it lead itself to.”

So you are a very powerful engine, and you are running your heart out. “Dhak dhak dhak dhak engine chale, chalta chati phod.” That’s probably the state of most middle-class hard-workers. See how hard they work. Look at the roads at 8:30 a.m. every morning, congested with all the hard-workers. And then look at the roads at 8:30 p.m. every night. Again congested with all the hard-workers. Obviously they are working very hard.

Had they invested even a quarter of their time and energy towards liberation, they won’t have needed to congest the roads anymore. Our energy is going towards self-destruction. And our energy is going towards fattening our slave masters. You work so very hard, and who reaps the benefit of your labor? Some fat man sitting at the top of the food chain, right?

Sometimes you don’t even know of his name. And it would be extremely rare, if you have ever met him. And he is real recipient, of the fruit of your labor. What you get, by way of salary, a profit, is so meager. But still you do get something. That is sufficient to meet all your expenses. You are also able to save a bit for the rainy day.

And given the kind of life that you are leading, obviously cancer is not very far away. Everything that you are doing every day, every hour, is an invitation to cancer. But don’t worry, you will have savings.

In your last six months, you will duly transfer all your savings to the hospital, the fruit of your hard work, all your life. And you will feel vindicated. You will say, “See, I knew I will have cancer. And therefore, with great responsibility, like a good citizen, I kept saving every month. And all those savings, are standing by me now. Otherwise, what would have I given to the hospital?”

And not even once do you realise, that your cancer, is nothing, but a product of your hard work – the kind of life that you have lived. Look at your statement – ‘I get up every morning, and I feel burdened, and then I race through the entire day, and I repeat the vicious cycle the next day’.

Do you really think that this kind if lifestyle will spare even your physical health?


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

Watch the session:  How to unburden the mind? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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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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Gems from Articles, May’19

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1.

The only problem is – you want to change, but you want the changed state to be a derivative of current state.

You want the changed state, to be organically linked to your current state, which means that you really don’t want to give up your current state.

So, all ‘becoming’ fails.

All change is defeated.

2.

Change is wonderful.

When you want change, see what you really want.

Don’t change halfheartedly.

Change fully.

3.

Love is the urge to move towards That.

Gratitude is the lightness you keep experiencing, as you move towards That.

4.

Love is what brings Sudama to Krishna.

Gratitude is what Sudama feels, as he keeps coming closer to Krishna, and as he returns, after meeting Krishna.

Out of these, obviously, love will come first.

You love Him, you move close to Him.

He showers his bounties on you, Gratitude arises.

But obviously love cannot be in expectation of bounties.

5.

Gratitude is the realisation, that you have something beyond your capacity, beyond your eligibility.

6.

Often, the time that you save, is utilised to self-destruct.

Saving time would be great, if you knew how to use that time.

7.

Time has only one legitimate purpose – to help you move into the timeless.

Invest more and more time, into the service of the timeless.

If you want to save time, then save time from all the miscellaneous non-sense, time gets spent in.

Save time from there.

Do not save time, from the Scriptures and the Teachers.

8.

Truth is – freedom from the false. See what all is false, in the way you currently live.

Currently live.

Two things – ‘currently’, and ‘living’.

Go into your life, right now.

9.

Why is your time not committed, not dedicated to a higher purpose?

If you will have free time, what will you do? You will only use that time to destroy yourself.

Your time must be a something, that you are merely a trustee of.

When you are a trustee of something, then you don’t own it. Then you just look after it.

You maintain it, you keep it.

You don’t possess it, you don’t utilize it.

10.

Given a chance to really re-live your life, you will never want to live the same way you have done.

Even the most self-assured person, would want to greatly amend his life, if allowed a chance to begin again.

Is it not true?

11.

And these two must go hand-in-hand – a universal consciousness, and local action.

You cannot say that because I act locally, so my consciousness is also local.

No!

Because if your consciousness is local, then your entire person-hood will become very-very local.

You will become, in simple words, very-very narrow-minded.

12.

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.

13.

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. 

14.

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.

15.

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.

16.

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.

17.

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? 

18.

There is a Sacredness, a Trueness, that is at the root of the world.

The world keeps changing, coming and going, the Trueness remains.

The world is many things.

To the Lover of the Truth, the world is an expression of the Truth.

To the hater of the Truth, the world is a competitor of the Truth.

19.

Do you see how the meanings of the world can change, according to the mind, that is looking at the world?

If you are the lover of the Truth, the world is a manifestation of the Truth.

If you are a worshiper of the Truth, then the world is an offering, a gift, a prasad from the Truth.

Whereas, if you are a hater of the Truth, somebody who loves to say that, the Truth doesn’t exist, then the world is a substitute to the Truth.

20.

Those who love the Truth, their world becomes truthful.

Everything in their world, gets arranged to serve the Truth.

It comes from the Truth, it serves the Truth.

It serves the Truth, so more comes from the Truth.

More comes from the Truth, there is more to serve the Truth.

The Truth is served even more, there is even more that comes from Truth. 

21.

All this expression is material.

But that expression is merely a result of the commitment, of the expressing one, to the Truth.

It is not merely their words, that are now arranged, configured, in the design of Truth, in the light of Truth, by the virtue of Truth.

Everything, even their body.

22.

If the words are so beautiful, there would certainly be great beauty, in sitting next to the ‘person’ of Ashtavakra.

The way they wear their clothes, the way they eat, the way they work, everything would be a scripture, provided you know how to read.

It is because everything that they have, everything that they are, is first of all, an offering to the Truth.

They have not kept anything for themselves, privately, reserved, personal.

All is there to serve, the One. The One.

When all is to serve the One, then all gets arranged, aligned, in the music of the One.

It depends on what you want to do, with your earthly existence.

It depends on your fundamental concept is.

23.

On one hand you know that, on the other hand you also know that the incomplete one, does not satisfy you.

Anything that is limited, and bounded, does not quench your thirst.

So you know that you want something big.

You want something big, you have something small, what to do with the small thing that you have?

Use it to reach the big thing, that you really want. 

Logical, obvious, common sensical!

24.

Change your concept of smartness.

When your concept of smartness changes, then you know who the real dude is. That’s worship.

If you are dumb, then you will just admire a few other dumb people.

If you are intelligent, then you worship. You worship the really smart ones.

They are called ‘saints’.

That requires you to be super-smart.

25.

This is what tells you, how Prakriti fails you.

Man gets attached to continuation, and in the name of continuation, man is robbed-off the precious resources, that should have gone towards his liberation.

Your precious resources, that should have been invested towards your liberation, rather go towards your, continuation.

To hell with such continuation.

26.

My real work is not to save, for the furtherance of my physical life.

My real work is: this.

My real work is not to fill, and bloat my bank account, for the sake of my physical security, and physical continuation.

My real work is – liberation. My liberation, your liberation.

I must work for that.

27.

Life should either be a great rhapsody in love, or otherwise it is just a spell of irritating noise.

Who wants to tolerate it?

There is no valor, or pride, in continuing to live.

Finish -off your work, and retire.

Go away! Go to sleep. 

There is no great virtue in living for a hundred years, and living like a maggot.

Turtles, crocodiles, they all live longer than men.

So what? 

28.

If paani-puri becomes liberation for you, then your kidney will complain.

So, rather than regulating your food habits, you should rather ask the question: Who am I?

Once you know, that you are the one who can never be satisfied through paani-puri, you will lose all fascination for paani-puri.

You don’t need to be tutored on what to eat, and what not to eat.

All that is largely useless. 

29.

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.

30.

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.

31.

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.

32.

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.

 33.

One has to let that suffering come, and one has to 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.

34.

 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.

35.

We do not have basic, simple, innocent, self-love.

We keep inviting hurt, and equally we are afraid of hurt.

36.

One of the key lessons in spiritual wisdom, is to keep imagination apart from facts, is to not take your ‘personal world’, as ‘the’ world.

It is already bad enough that we take ‘the factual world’, ‘the world’ to be real.

And it would become far worse if we started taking even our ‘personal world’, ‘the imaginary world’ to be real.

37.

The mark of the commoner is, he lives in his personal world, and attributes to it, the finality of Truth.

The mark of the scientist, is that he does not live in his world, he does not care about subjective interpretations of the world, he lives fully in facts. So his science is fully objective, and does not contain trace of personal subjectivity.

The scientist is obviously, an advancement over the common psyche.

And then the mark of the spiritual mind, is that, it does not lend veracity even to the factual world.

37.

Prove it, and any number of proofs do not suffice to ascertain the veracity of something. But one proof against the veracity of something, suffices to prove that it is false.

That’s the scientific mind.

And then there is the spiritual mind.

The spiritual mind says, “Not only is the imaginary world unreal, even this objective, factual, scientifically proven world, that you see, expanded all around you and inside you, is not quite real.”

38.

The more you live in your world of subjective perceptions, the more foolish you are.

39.

Travel helps you see that several of the things, opinions customs, mindsets, you were taking as absolutes, or general, universal, are not universal at all. 

There are alternate viewpoints possible.

There are alternate ways of living possible.

40.

A thing to which an alternative does exist, is just not the Truth.

If it is not the Truth, it must not be given the position of Truth.

It must be taken lightly, casually, with a pinch of salt.

41.

Do not be sold out to it.

Do not become a fanatic.

Do not hold your opinions, as if they are the last thing.

But, if you have seen nothing, apart from opinions of your personal kind, then you would be much more inclined to believe that you opinions are not personal, or subjective opinions of a person, or a place, but that they are the final Truth.

42.

It is always helpful to see an alternative.

It is probably even more helpful, to watch your point of view challenged, even defeated.

All of that helps you, come out of your false truths.

43.

The key challenge is not the attainment of the infinite.

The key challenge is to come out of the finite.

And that is far more difficult.

We keep talking of the immense, the great, the unknowable, the unreachable, the absolute.

But hardly do we bother to challenge all the relatives, all the littlenesses, all the subjectivities, that we so very identify with.

And not only do we identify with them, we label them as the – final Truth.

44.

Challenging your personal truths, is most of spirituality. Those are the ninety-none steps. Ninety-nine steps of the personal demolition.

And the final step, that just happens.

What is incumbent upon you, that for which you are responsible, is personal demolition.

45.

You are not responsible for attainment of the absolute Truth.

That is not at all your responsibility, because you are too small to do that.

However, you are surely, definitely, responsible to challenge yourself.

That responsibility everyone must bear. That is the basis of personal integrity, personal honesty.

46.

Personal integrity is – to not to take the ‘person’ too seriously. 

47.

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.

48.

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.

49.

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.

50.

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?

51.

If you are burdened and troubled, then surely you must move.

But if you are burdened and troubled, but your movement has to be, with the intention of, and in the direction of, un-burdening.

52.

If I am burdened, and as a result of the burden, I run, then the purpose of the run should be to un-burden myself. So, it’s great that you are running everyday.

Now, what remains to be asked, is the question, that whether your race is helping you to be unburdened.

53.

I am a great supporter of movement. If one is at the wrong place, one must move, and one must move fast. One must run indeed. And one must energetically run. I seriously support action. But action ought to have a purpose. The purpose is decided by the state of the actor.

If the actor is in bondage, then the sole purpose of the action has to be, the liberation of the actor. Now, are you acting towards your liberation. Look at your daily actions. Are they contributing to your liberation? Or are you rather acting to enslave yourself, even more deeply?

Action is good, action is inevitable. But what is your action leading to?

54.

You can even ask yourself, “What am I doing? What am I expending precious time and energy towards?”

While it is a matter of celebration, that you are capable of running, capable of energy, it is an equally serious concern, how you are expending yourself?

Because time and energy won’t last forever.

55.

Something that remains untouched, unmoved, only that is something, that can really look at what is trying to move  it.

56.

You will be able to ‘see’ nothing, if that which you are seeing, moves you.

That which you are ‘seeing’, must not be able to move you.

Otherwise, your seeing will stop.

57.

You do not merely ‘see’ something.

You allow the thing to influence you. You become the influenced one.

You forget that the seen thing, and the seer of the thing, are both not you.

You become one with the seer.

The seer is bound to get influenced. That cannot be avoided. What can be avoided is, that ‘you’ do not become the seer.

58.

The place where you are, is not a place of consciousness. All consciousness is in between these two – the subject and the object. You are where you always were. You are at your one unshakable position. You are, where there is no space. You are where there is no territory to run to. Now where is the question of running? Even if you want to run away, there is no space to run away.

You are at a place where space and time do not exist. All space and time is here, in the dimension of consciousness, in between these two(the subject and the object). You are somewhere else.

59.

Let the interested one, remain interested.

‘You’ have no business to be interested.

60.

Let the intellect, the design of the brain, remain interested.

‘You’ need not remain interested.

Let this physical system, including the brain apparatus, remain curious, interested, inquisitive, whatever. Even attached.

‘You’ stay wherever you must.

61.

Do not deprive the stomach of food. And do not deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Just as it is stupid to deprive body of food, it is equally stupid to deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings.

Thought is not the enemy. Feelings are not the culprit.

Your misplaced presence is the culprit.

The needless presence of ‘I’ in the thoughts, is the culprit.

62.

Be fully secure about the ‘I’, and then think as much as you want to. Feel, in whichever dimension you want to. You can laugh, you can sing, you can cry. You can even hate, or fall in love. All that is okay. All that is part of the rainbow.

63.

Spirituality is not about banishing certain things, from your life.

Spirituality is just about seeing, that life is beautiful, and does not get any better, with the intervention of the little self, the ‘I’.

64.

It is one thing to think, it is a totally another thing, to think with the objective of self-preservation.

65.

Thought is not the problem.

Your insecurities about yourself, your utter loneliness –  that is the problem.

And that is an assumed, imagined problem.

A problem that does not exist, but is taking to be.

66.

If fear is there, if restrictions are there, and you give them importance, then obviously you cannot act. And when you cannot act, then you get up and say that you need willpower.

So, willpower is needed, only when you feel fear, only when you feel restrictions.

67.

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

When we look into these obstacles, we find that they are only, as long as, we believe in them.

Then, you do not need willpower. Wisdom is enough.

Then, you do not need courage. Clarity is sufficient.

68.

Instead of asking for clarity, we often ask for courage. Now, courage is not needed, clarity is needed.

Instead of asking for wisdom, we ask for will power. Will power is not needed, wisdom is enough.

69.

You don’t need willpower. You need willpower, only as an antidote to fear. Where there is no fear, there is no need of willpower. So, don’t ask me, “How to enhance will power?” The more afraid you are, the more will power you need.

The more restricted you feel, the more willpower you need. Is that not so? Just open your eyes and see, that there is no restriction, except those, that you subscribe to, except those, that you willingly self-impose.

70.

When you are really into something, when there is no fear, who asks for will power?

It is not needed.

~ Excerpts from Shabd-Yoga Sessions.


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How to bear prolonged Sadhna? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

How to bear prolonged Sadhna

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Question: Acharya ji, how to bear prolonged saadhana?

I have inertia, in moving along the spiritual path. One day I sat down to read Jiddu Krishnamurti for MAG(Month of Awakening) session, and I read him for hours. I really enjoyed, and felt at peace. Yet, I never opened it again, even though I wanted to complete the remaining chapters. Similarly, when I am feeling low, I feel like watching some spiritual videos. But I choose only the ones under fifteen minutes. I can watch five-six videos which are short, but I will never choose to watch a one hour video.

I know that I have not yet reached the state, to understand things, beyond mind. Yet sometimes I question, what exactly I am trying to achieve on this path. Please help. How should I get over the inertia, and the doubt. What should I do? I am confused.

Acharya Prashant Ji: It is not about understanding. It is also not about not knowing what you are trying to achieve. It is simply a thing of the modern, post-modern age, called ‘attention-deficit’. Nothing else.

Had you already known, what is worth achieving in life, there is anyways, no need to watch spiritual videos. So, if you do not know what is worth achieving. It is okay. The spiritual videos will help you know that. So, that’s fine.

The thing is that, technology, and development, and economics have brought us to a point, where we have everything pre-cooked and easy, and ready to be served to us. May be, one day you can be with Krishnamurti, for a long stretch. But that is not ingrained in you.

We live in an age, where the smart-phone offers us very quick gratification. We live in an age, where I suppose there is a limit of one minute on Instagram videos. So if you watch fifteen minute long videos, so it is in itself, some kind of an accomplishment. It does not have to do with your spiritual thirst. It has to do with the times we are living in.

Kids are not being tested at all. They are being promoted to the next class, I suppose, till class Eighth or Sixth. Class Eighth. So everybody has it easy. The board examination results are not as per percentages, are they? I am talking of Class Xth and XIIth examination board examinations. They are according to grades or CGPA. And everybody is a ninety-nine percent holder. If you are a ninety-five per-center, it is a shame.

Everything is easy. But the path of spirituality is one of rigor, and labor, and toil, and self-dissolution, and nothing prepares you for that. Everything is being delivered to you, on a platter. Especially if you come from a developed country.

It has been many times, over-ensured, that you do not suffer, at least materially. Unemployment, you will get benefits. Old age, you will get benefits. Medical situation, you will be covered. Why work hard? Where are austerities? What is the meaning of penance?

‘Saadhana’ has become a very unreasonable word. If everything is available at the drop of a hat, rather at the click of the button, what does one mean by ‘prolonged saadhana‘? That is why you would not want to go back to somebody like Jiddu Krishnamurti. He does not entertain you.

Once in a blue moon, he is palatable. But he cannot be a regular fare. Tell me what do you want, all is available. Amazon is there, next day delivery. What do you call it? Amazon Prime. Roads are improving, and so are cars. When I was a kid, it used to take eight hours, to reach Jim Corbett National Park. I just returned from Jim Corbett National Park, took less than five hours.

Spending time, investing time, on something you consider worthwhile, is not needed anymore.

You want to go Kailash Mansarover, there is a helicopter service available. And it used to be an excruciating pilgrimage. People even used to lay down their lives, in order to reach the Kailash Parvat, the Mansarover lake. And today, the helicopter just drops you there.

If you can reach even Shiva, instantaneously, what is the point of any spiritual journey? Why would you listen to this Acharya ji, who rambles on and on, for an infinite number of hours? You give me something that is under fifteen minutes.

And you know, you have made it up a little. You know that, right? You know that it is not fifteen minutes, it is five minutes. Anything beyond five minutes, is intolerable. It is okay. That’s the characteristic of our modern civilisation. Everything has to be a quickie. Two-minute noodles.

One restaurant, I unfortunately stepped into, was offering seven-course meals in one. I asked that why are you offering seven-course meals in one. He said, “That’s the trend. But if you want seven course meals, in seven courses, then you have to pay X. And if you want seven course meals, in one course, then you have to pay 3X, because we are saving your time.”

Kabir Sahib puts it, as only he can, “Chalo chalo sab koi kahe, mohe andesa aur. Saahab se parichay nahin, jayenge kis thaur.”

( All are rushing, and all are being told to rush, but I have a certain doubt. You do not know him, in which direction would you go?).

Yes, you are increasing your speed madly, but where are you going? Where are you going? What are you saving your time for? There is no doubt that this age offers great conveniences, and you can save a lot of time. But what for?

Often, the time that you save, is utilised to self-destruct.

Saving time would be great, if you knew how to use that time.

But I really wonder, what is going to be a valid use of time, saved from reading Jiddu Krishnamurti? You could have heard Acharya ji for one hour, instead you heard him for only ten minutes. You saved fifty-minutes. Now, what is going to be a superior use of fifty-minutes? Please tell me. Listening to a spiritual video, was obviously to you, and inferior use of these fifty-minutes. Now that you have saved these fifty minutes, aren’t you you obliged towards yourself, to put them to a superior use? What is going to be that superior use?

Time has only one legitimate purpose – to help you move into the timeless.

Invest more and more time, into the service of the timeless.

If you want to save time, then save time from all the miscellaneous non-sense, time gets spent in.

Save time from there.

Do not save time, from the Scriptures and the Teachers.

Save time, and dedicate it to the right cause. Dedicating time to the right cause, is much more important than merely saving time. Otherwise, we said, you could as well be saving time, and using the saved time to self-destruct.

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

Watch the session:  How to bear prolonged Sadhna? || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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Why does spiritual sadhana take long to complete? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: Pranaam Acharya ji. Why does spiritual saadhana take long to complete?

Acharya Prashant Ji: The condition you have come to, is not sudden. It has taken millions of years of evolution, for you to come to this state. It’s a very, very old habit. It is like dust, that has settled over something, since centuries, millennia, aeons.

Time has brought you to your current condition. And that which time has given you, takes time to go away. After all, whose liberation are you talking of? In your question, when you say that I want to dissolve and live as Truth only, whose dissolution are you taking of?

The one whose dissolution you are talking of, is he the Truth? Obviously he cannot be the Truth. Why would one demand the dissolution of the Truth? Why would one think that the Truth can be dissolved at all?

So you are demanding the dissolution of the one, who is not the Truth. Who is he then? He is a product of time. Truth is not a product of time, and therefore Truth does not bother you. and therefore, you are not demanding the dissolution of Truth.

You are demanding the dissolution of that which is, false. Now see, now see. You are demanding the dissolution of the false. Just as it is silly to demand the dissolution of Truth, isn’t it equally silly to demand the dissolution of the false.

Truth cannot be dissolved, because Truth is timeless. And false cannot be dissolved, because the false does not exist at all. But surely, you are asking for the false to be dissolved, which means you take the false to be…..Truth.

Because you take the false as Truth, therefore you stumble, and get deceived, and get hurt. The false one, is too accustomed, to its falseness. The false one, is too sure about himself. He is right now, not in a condition, to immediately, spontaneously declare – I am false. If you could do that, then liberation would have been instantaneous.

But, you are in no position to immediately declare that you are false. You are in no position to declare that the one, who is feeling the hurt, actually does not exist. To you, he exists, which means that to you, the false exists as the Truth.

Such is the condition of the one, who is asking this question. Even asking the question proves that you identify with the false, and therefore, you are asking for the dissolution of the false.

If you identify with the false, is a quick movement into the Truth possible? No. It will take time. ‘Saadhana’ is the way. You will have to be constantly embattled against yourself. An you will have to be constantly engaged with the ones, who appear closer to the Truth. These are the only two ways of saadhana. There is no third way.

Fight against yourself, and side with the Saints – both are needed. In fact, just proceeding on one leg of the saadhana, without bothering for the other, is more dangerous than not beginning with saadhana at all. You have to fight both against yourself, and side with the Saints.

If you side with the saints, without fighting against yourself, then you will use the Saints, to fatten yourself. And if you fight against yourself, without siding with the Saints, then you will go mad, because you will keep destroying who you are, what you are, without finding anything.

You will keep declaring all is false, without getting a glimpse of the Truth. This will wreak havoc on you. This will disappoint you so much. This will turn your life so dry, that you will lose all the courage to fight any further. And you will just go bonkers.

You need to have both – a determination to defeat yourself, and devotion to be with the lovers of Truth.

And both these things take time, because you are firmly convinced that you are a product of time.

Not that time is a necessity in the process.

It’s just that you have declared yourself at a position, that makes time a necessity.

If you could change your declaration, then time would no more be a necessity. But your very declaration is that – you are the false one, posing as Truth. With that position, with that identity, you are going to take time. And time you have. what else is this life for? Time you have, just invest this time rightly.

What does this mean, when I say, “Invest the time rightly?”

Invest that time in two things: in fighting against yourself,

and in being in the company of Saints and lovers of God, Truth.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session:  Why does spiritual sadhana take long to complete? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Thoughts, Understanding and Realization

T26

Acharya Prashant: We rarely understand. We only keep thinking. And we think that we are understanding.
Naresh, there is a humongous difference between ‘thinking’ and ‘understanding’.

We ‘think’, but we rarely ‘understand’.
When you look at that mobile phone, you are ‘thinking’, you are not ‘understanding’. ‘Understanding’ is a totally different thing.

‘Understanding’ happens when thoughts have been quietened.

You think about the mobile, have you ever thought about the ‘Tack Sheek’? Is there anyone here who thinks about ‘Tack Sheek’?

Listener: We don’t know what that is!

AP: You think about the ‘mobile’, because you know about the mobile already. No one here has ever heard of ‘Tack Sheek’ before! And that’s why you don’t know about it.

All thoughts come from the past. When you are looking at something, the only thing happening is, that your mind is recalling something that it already has recorded previously.

And that is why, when I said ‘Tack Sheek’, you all were clueless about it. Because there is nothing to recall. This is not ‘understanding’. This is just a recalling of the past.
There is something previously fed into your brain, and you just recalled it again. This is not called understanding. This is highly mechanical. This can be easily done by a computer’s hard drive, which has no intelligence at all, which is purely instrumental.

So, when you are looking at this mobile, then you are just dealing in an image. That is merely a thought, not ‘understanding’.

L: So, what then is ‘Real Understanding’?

AP:

‘Understanding is the fruit of intelligence.’ It operates only in an environment of attention. When you are completely still, then the process that happens instantaneously, that is called ‘Understanding.’

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Acharya Prashant, with students: How to be contented in life?

T22

Acharya Prashant: Ishita asks, “What is contentment and why do we run behind it?”

Ishita we never run behind contentment. We run behind another thing called ‘satisfaction.’ Contentment is not a goal to be achieved. Contentment is right now. Contentment is our intrinsic fullness which opens up in the absence of any desire. When there is no desire, then you know everything is alright! That is contentment. That is intrinsic fullness, you don’t run after it to get it.

But yes there is another word. You know the dictionary would say these two are synonymous contentment and satisfaction. But in lives, these two are poles apart. Very-very different. We run after satisfaction. What do we say? We say that if we get that then we will be satisfied. That which you are after is always ahead. Always in future. Am I right?

Listener: Yes, sir.

AP: Do you ever say that in this moment if I get something I will be satisfied? Because if you say this moment, then by the time you say this moment this has already become a time. Become past. So, defacto you are always aspiring about the future. A hope into the future. If I get that then.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Brain and Intelligence

T5

Acharya Prashant: We can live in two kinds of worlds. How? Even as I am speaking to you, some of you are listening, and the others might be thinking and wandering and lost in imagination, Right? Do you see that? You have to be together in this. Is that alright?

So that means that it’s possible for man, and each of us is a human being right? So whatever is applicable to us is applicable to mankind in general. We can easily generalize whatever is applicable to us. So, it is possible for man to be simultaneously living two kinds of lives. One is that you are sitting here. The other is that you are thinking about something else. Correct? The very fact that which really is known as reality. Whereas that which is imagined, which is thought of, is called ‘the mind.’ Can you see this that even though you would be sitting here, it is possible for the mind to be at a totally different place? You could be in Disneyland or at your home or at any other place. Now is that for real? Where is a reality? Reality is that which is. Everything else is imagination. This imaginary aspect of us is what is the ‘mind’. Now, what is this thing called the mind? Write down. The mind is ‘brain + intelligence’.

Brain — Matter, Product of Evolution, Just like a computer hard disk, Just like a computer hard disk, Automatic, Prone to Conditioning, Like the Fan.

Brain is like the fan in the sense that it’s totally material. It is a slave to the commands of somebody else. You switch on the fan, you switch off the fan. Does the fan have any intelligence or any will of its own?

Remember it’s very efficient. It keeps working all the time. But does it work according to its own understanding? Does the fan know what is going on in its head? Does the fan understand what electricity is, what electromagnetism is, Faraday’s law, Ampere’s law, anything? Does it understand? Yet it keeps working. It keeps working according to the design provided to it by external forces.

Who has provided the design to it? Man – an external force. Not the fan itself. The Fan is a mechanical device which is a slave of others, albeit very efficient, efficient but dumb. With the result that everybody else can exploit it, can make use of it. It’s mechanical, dumb. You can write all these things for a brain. Everything that applies to the fan also applies to the brain. Alright? Except for one thing that the fan does not have a memory chip, the brain has a memory chip as well. The fan cannot really recall the events of yesterday. And that too can be done. You can have a fan with a memory chip. That’s not difficult at all. That’s not at all difficult.

You can have a fan that can keep registering what is happening day in and day out, and after one year when you will take that chip it will have all the data accumulated on it. That on which particular day how many hours of rotation was there, at what time, at what speed, all that can be done, right? That’s not at all difficult. You can do that as a project. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Are you getting it?

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Acharya Prashant: How to earn more money?

T4

Acharya Prashant: (Reading a question) One may have good knowledge, but he might not be having a satisfactory job or salary. What to do in such a situation?

You see, as long as knowledge to you is a means of earning a higher salary, you will have to realize the limitations of knowledge. Higher salary does not come merely on the heels of higher or deeper knowledge. This is assuming that you have already set a goal. And the goal is to get a high salary. I am going by your goal. You want to get a high salary.

If you want to get a high salary, you must know what all factors drive salaries. It is just not dependent, merely on your knowledge. It is a function of many many variables. And even those variables are variable.

Today, high salary might be a function of x, y, and z. And tomorrow, high salary might be a function of s, t, and u. So, variable variables are there. You just can’t know.

Yes, you can catch hold of one variable, and put all energy into it. But that may not necessarily help. The car might be in neutral, and you are pushing the accelerator, would that help? You would only burn more and more fuel, and the engine would get heated up. You are trying to push just one variable, and you are not seeing that the other variables are all? Choked. They will not let you progress.

So, you have two options now. Either you go out and determine all the variables that drive salary. And when you determine all the variables, you must remember that the variables themselves are? Variable. So, that which is driving salary today, might not be what would drive salary? Tomorrow. And that which is driving salary in one place, might not be what drives salary in another place, another room, another building, another company.

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Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: The world is a river; use it to cross it

T1

Acharya Prashant: Two excerpts are with us.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”

BIBLE

(JOHN 2:15)

“Prosperity, pleasure, pious deeds. Enough! In the dreary forest of the world, the mind finds no rest.”

ASHTAVAKRA GITA

(CHAPTER 10: VERSE 7)

The questioner says that he is astounded at the commonality between Jesus and Ashtavakra and asks why are both saying that engaging in the world will not be a way to peace. What does it mean to engage in the world?

The world is a tricky thing. The world has to be understood.

The world has utility but the world is not the end.

One uses it.

Ever seen a man swimming? What is he doing? Why is he swimming at all? He is crossing a river. Man is swimming. Man is crossing the river. Why is he crossing the waters? Because if he doesn’t cross the waters, he will drown in the waters. If he doesn’t cross the waters or the river, he will drown in the river.

And what is he doing to cross the water? He is using the waters themselves.

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On Jesus Christ: Why do we want to ‘see’ first and then believe?

Question:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

Thomas had a great doubt about the resurrection of Jesus. Why is it so necessary for us to see first and then believe? Then after seeing we doubt our seeing. How do we rid ourself of this suspicious attitude?

Acharya Prashant: It’s obvious Nimisha. We are people identified with the ‘body’ and the ‘senses.’ So we would believe only that which the senses tell us.

It’s not really necessary for everybody to visually, optically, see first and then believe. Such a thing is necessary only for the man who believes in his eyes. Only the man who believes in the world that he sees with his eyes would want the proof of Godliness admissible through the eyes.

He has already declared that what the eyes are showing to me is True. That’s his belief. That’s his fundamental assertion. What my eyes are showing to me is True.

So, when you would tell him that something is True, obviously he would demand that it would be visible through the eyes.

Isn’t it obvious?

He is saying what the eyes are saying is True. He believes in the body, he believes in the eyes, he believes in the world. Now, you tell Thomas such and such thing has happened. Jesus is back. He would immediately say that if he is back then my eyes should be the proof. I should be able to see him. And not only should I be able to see him, my hands should be able to feel his wounds. Because this is the man who lives by sensory experience.

He says that this is True, it exists (pointing to a glass in his hand) because the skin is offering a proof of its existence. You can feel it via the skin. So even to be certain that Jesus is back, he’s saying that I should be able to verify his existence through my skin.

The one mistake that such doubting Thomas’s make is that they do not see that what they are seeing is not really True. They do not know Trueness. Instead, they have a concept of Trueness which is ‘imperfect.’

Real trueness is time independent.

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Acharya Prashant: Is liberation possible for a householder?

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Acharya Prashant: Pradeep Ji is asking, “Dear Acharya Ji, I don’t know what kind of wound I am carrying inside me, that I am having a constant feeling of ‘leave me alone’, towards the world. From morning till evening, I am running like crazy, driving to office in mad traffic, followed by corporate pressure to do things unwillingly. Bearing stupidities of people around.

I get out of the office as if I came out of a madhouse, tired and frustrated, and it’s already night. I eat and sleep. And the roller-coaster starts again. But since I need to run this crazy race, I feel that my blood is sucked by parasites, and there is a wound, a cry from inside, that I am carrying.

I cannot get rid of this wound. I want to jump off this train, but I can’t, because of these responsibilities. I feel I am a dead machine, thrown on an assembly line, or the other things inside me, drilling holes, hammering, and finally thrown out.

I can’t leave the family, as they are dependent on me. And I am too in, some or the other way, dependent.

Acharya Ji, in such a situation, what should I do?

—————————–

Pradeep Ji, the way of instantaneous freedom, instantaneous departure, is not for the householder.

The ‘Law of Karma’, and the result of Karma, ‘The fruit of actions’, always holds good. Cannot be violated. One is held to the past, by a thousand actions, memories, and the pending fruits.

Immediate and quick liberation is then possible only through total psychic departure.

A kind of a Spiritual death. That is often unlikely. Keep working, you will have to go step by step.

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Acharya Prashant: Is plunging into sex a method to gain freedom from sex?

Question: Acharya Ji, you have said in a previous session while discussing the attraction towards sex, that one does not need to get entangled even to overcome or suppress. One rather needs to leave sex behind. One should seek that for which one is really eager. All the energy should go in that direction.

One is not rejecting sex, one is just prioritizing correctly. One is saying that the one that has a lower priority must wait because there is something immensely more important that is higher up the priority. That which is higher up the priority is so immense that it would never get completed, never get over. So the one who is waiting for his turn, the one who is lower down the order would just keep waiting.

He would not need to be killed, he would have just been permanently postponed. And she says that, in the same session, Acharya Ji has said “In the subconscious, there is a lot that terrifies you and you try to escape that fear by not trying to know more about it. When you first enter, you will find ‘that’ will scare you but if you stay with it courageously you will meet the one that delivers you from that fear.

If a person doesn’t meet ‘that’, which scares him and how you meet the one that liberates from the fear. Therefore, on your way meet all your imperfections and impurities and it is only after that you will meet the one that purifies, perfects and completes you.

So having quoted these two excerpts from a previous session, the question is, In the context of the pull of Maya and the worldly, here relating to the pull of the sexual energy, does one acknowledge it  and transcend it by focusing on the ‘Ananth’ or God ? or does one drop the defences against Maya, go through the worldly and only then arrive at the door of the Ananth.

Thank you.

Acharya Prashant: So, two excerpts have been quoted and apparently the two excerpts are in contradiction. The first one says that you do not need to get entangled, and the second one says that you need to meet all your fears, all your impurities, all your imperfections head-on.

So the questioner is a little confused and she is asking what to do? Does one seek to cleanse herself or does one need to plunge into her own conditioning? I will repeat the question for you. In the context of the pull of Maya and the worldly, here relating to the pull of the sexual energy, does one acknowledge it and transcend it by focusing on God ? or does one drop the defenses against Maya, go through the worldly and only then arrive at the door of the Ananth?

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Thought is not bad

There is the mind, and the mind has the ability to think. The question is not whether you are thinking or not. The question is, who is the thinker? If the thinker is devoted to the Truth, then thoughts are just like the dance of Shiva.

Is the river of your thoughts pure enough to allure Shiva to dance in it? And Shiva will not dance in a stream impure.

There is understanding without thought and there is understanding with thought as well. Just as there is Truth, formlessly, and there is Truth, formed as well. There will be occasions when the Truth will strike you like a thunderbolt, like a flash of lightning. And understanding will be complete in a split second. And there will be occasions when you will be required to think.

But I understand your predicament. All the spiritual masters are treating thought as the worst offender. As if thought has brought in sickness and disease to your life. Not really. Thought is your expression, just as action is your expression. As you are, so your thought is. In fact, thought is so very helpful. You cannot look at your tendencies, your vrittis, directly. But thought is gross, palpable, definite, it can be watched.

When you think, you come to know of yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have known. The thought of jealousy or the thought of fear arises, it helps you know that deep within somewhere, you are? Afraid.

Thought is not bad. ‘Useful’ or ‘Useless’ is the place, thought is coming from.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Is physical proximity to the Guru necessary?


 

Acharya Prashant: Is physical proximity to the Guru necessary?

Acharya Prashant: The next one is from Roosmarjin, from the Netherlands. And she has tried the devanagari script today. That’s what I say, you Love playing games. And you keep trying your games upon me as well. I too am a sportsman. Right? If you offer me a game, I won’t refuse.

So, yes Rosie, let’s have a ball.

“Acharya Ji pranam.” Rosie ji, “Pranam.”

Freedom is compulsory.” Of course.

“At a grace given moment, no thoughts come up in the mind any longer. I want to do or drop, whatever it takes in order to not resist the process. Day by day, the pull to be in physical proximity with you and devote my life to you, the Truth, grows stronger. Most of the thoughts that are in my mind are related to moving to India, to be in your physical proximity. Only if it would be wanted for the sake of the mission at large, will I stay there? But the thought of not coming to live close to you literally makes my heart contract. Maybe this message is not suited for the class, but it is ‘the one thing’ I am serious about. If you don’t stop me, I will come. Please tell me, what is being wanted.

Yours Roosmarjin”

[Holding a cat in his hands and showing the cat towards the screen] Say “Hi” to Roosmarjin. So what do you want from her (asking the cat), she is the Oracle (referring to the cat). So, what do you want from Roosmarjin?

Silence.

Yes, Oracle, speak !  (still holding the cat)

Nothing. Please. Just a meow would be enough. Say something, say something!

She is not refusing. She is not even saying, that consent is needed. She wants to sleep (lets the cat off his hands, and while she goes, comes a meow). And to this, she said, Yes.

A few things you have said.

You have said, “at a grace given moment, no thoughts come up in the mind any longer.” When you were here in India, I had spoken about this, I will repeat!

It is not at all necessary or advisable, to target a state of ‘no thoughts.’ To extend the metaphor of the last answer, will the Sun ever be without its radiance? It’s rays? Will the ocean ever be without its waves? Will there ever be God, sans godliness? Will there ever be the creator, without the creation?

Thoughts are like waves. And waves only give dance to the substance of the ocean. If the ocean itself has somehow become contaminated or spoilt or corrupted. Then the waves too would have that corruption.

There is the mind, and the mind has the ability to think. The question is not whether you are thinking or not.

The question is, who is the thinker?

If the thinker is devoted to the Truth, then thoughts are just like the dance of Shiva.

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The greatest dependence is psychological dependence

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future? Tell me?

To look towards future, one would have to take his attention away from the present, right?

Your goals cannot be bigger than your awareness. Goals will just be within the circumference of what you know.

Life is the present moment, there is nothing else. If you are free right now, there is no need to become enslaved the next moment. Why do you want to pretend that we are slaves? You are not! You are free this moment!

And remember, financial dependence is not a great dependence. Even physical dependence may not be a great dependence. The greatest dependence is psychological dependence.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting