Acharya Prashant: Ambition and anger

Acharya Prashant: What is your name?

Listener: Kshitij Aggarwal.

AP: The question asked by Kshitij is why do needs often dominate ambition?

And he surely thinks that it is quite unfortunate that needs to start dominating ambitions. The reason is simple, he probably gives a lower priority to needs and higher priority to ambitions because he thinks that the ambitions are his. He has kept ambitions very close to himself. He believes that they are his own.

So, he deeply wants the ambitions to be fulfilled. But finds that instead, something else has to be done, first of all, we will understand this conflict. And we all face this conflict, this conflict is not only in Kshitij’s mind, this conflict in the mind of every single one of us. But we are all confused, we rarely know, what to do. There are always one or more options in front of us, and we are unable to see clearly which one is suitable. Right?

This happens not only once in six months, at the time of admissions or at the time of choosing a job, it keeps happening daily, day in and day out. What is this conflict? you will have to understand.

Kshitij,

Our mind is dominated by ‘external influences’ which we have so far called is the development of ‘Ego.’

Our mind is not our mind, our mind is a collection of all external influences.

Our mind is divided into many many segments and many parts, and there are so many different forces that are controlling these separate parts. So, one part is being controlled by parents, one part is being dominated by media, one part is being dominated by society, one part by peers, one by corporations, one by thoughts of career, one by XYZ, and very very large number of parts.

Now, these different parts are your different masters. It’s like a person is tied to fifty different ropes being pulled by fifty different people in fifty different directions. Will that person be able to move towards any definite direction, any one direction.

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A pursuit of God is the most ungodly pursuit

 

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jaag (arise) dard-e ishq (pain of love) jaag, dil (mind) ko bekrar (restless) kar

Chhed de aansuon ka raag, jaag, jaag,

Jaag dard-e ishq jaag, dil ko bekrar kar

 

Arise, oh pain of love,

I do not want a comfortable state of mind,

I would rather have the mind become restless in love,

Let there be the music of tears,

Arise, pain of love.

AP: He is not asking for peace, he is asking for disturbance. He is saying I have had enough superficial peace, it’s useless, I would rather want to be disturbed.

When you are deeply in peace, then you do not fear being disturbed. Now, you can take on disturbances, now you can invite disturbances. Only the superficial mind begs for peace and joy, the really brave ones, they pray for troubles, for disquiet, for disturbances. The really spiritual mind does not ask for peace, it already has peace; it asks for troubles. It does not ask for love, it is already secure in love. It says fine, let there be separation, I do not want love, I want separation, let me see whether I can brave the separation.

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On Jesus: The real teacher cannot belong to a tradition, he belongs only to God

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The Authority of Jesus

And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

~ The Sermon on the Mount

Acharya Prashant: “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”.

The Real guru would always speak from an inner sureness. He would not act as an agent of the crowd, not as a social pleaser. He is not looking to get his authority from somewhere else. He is not looking to gain applause from the crowd. When he speaks it is very clear that it is not the gathering that gives him strength, his strength comes from somewhere within. And that display of inner strength is what really convinces the listeners. Read more

The real meaning of Mauna (Silence)

(Speaker in conversation with Shri Edson Mattos from Brazil)

Mattos: Thank you for allowing me to attend this session. I’ll be very quiet and just observe.

Speaker: In fact it would be even better if you speak. When we meet in our office, which happens twice a week, our discussions or deliberations center around life, mind, and the way we look at things, how we perceive what we perceive, what we want, illusions, facts, the light of Truth and then to aid us in these discussions we take texts from all times and places. We pickup stuff from the Oriental traditions, we have the Vedantic tradition, the Buddhist tradition, the Taoists. We also take stuff from the Abrahamic traditions, so the Sufis, the Bible. That is how we proceed. The clarity sessions happen twice a week in the office.

And occasionally, once a month or so we go out to a bit of a remote place for a period of around a week and we organize our learning camps there. We intend those places to be very secluded, man-less, civilization-less, almost like a jungle.

Mattos: Do you practice Silence?

Speaker: The emphasis is on the essence of things. So, Mauna (Silence) at the surface level is just wordlessness, which is good initially as a tool because the mind’s tendency is to remain busy and act. Words are a form of acting. So, to go against the tendency is to size up the tendency but that is all. If Mauna (Silence) means wordlessness then that is all one can do. It always remains on the surface; though it is useful. When we take up Silence we try to let the inner Silence let us know the real meaning of Silence. What really Silence is.

Mattos: To live Silence.

Speaker: Yes, to live Silence, and the living of Silence may actually involve lots of words. One may speak the Silence within, and that is beautiful. The entire rainbow is available, emanating from the core of Silence. Hardly have we ever practiced Silence, yet Silence pervades everything that we do, all that we talk of. Be it Silence or self-inquiry or Love or Truth, those old culprits, the spiritual subjects, Joy, Freedom.

The emphasis is on coming to the essence rather than just the functional aspect of it. What happens is that when one is looking for something then it pleases the mind if one gets that thing quickly in a form, in a way that is apparent to the eyes and rest of the senses. It pleases the mind because it is an indicator to the mind that the search has fructified. Let’s say I am looking for Love and I come across a person who promises me love and that is happening all over the world with the young and the old alike. It pleases the mind that I was looking for Love and I got love, in a form, visible, in a way that I can touch and feel. I will be quickly impressed and I will want to state and declare to myself that I have been successful, that my search has yielded results. I am not really wrong; it’s just that there is much more to it. The form is always a fraction of what the formless has to offer. Even to say that it is a fraction is to bring the form to the same dimension as the formless. So, we can’t even say that it is a fraction.

Mattos: It is impossible to speak of the formless.

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Just Pray!

Question: Whenever I listen to your videos, or read your articles on blog, my mind seems to be free of fear. But this stays only for a small duration of time. If I want to increase the frequency of reading, there is a lot of resistance, and I want to return to the same old pattern. Why does this happen?

Speaker: So there are opposing forces that you can clearly see. There is something that urges you to read. There is something that brings you here (referring to Advait Clarity sessions) and raise this question. And then there is something that doesn’t allow you to read beyond a point. Read more

What is unconditional freedom?

Question: Is there any difference between freedom and unconditional freedom?

Speaker: We live in bondage. What we call as our normal, usual, daily life, is a series of bonded movement in time. Our thinking, acting, even breathing is bondage. It is happening as per forces we have no understanding of, and hence no control over. And then suddenly, without our explicit demand, it so happens that this series, that this chain gets disrupted for a while, like a flash of lightning in dark sky, not lasting long, but having its distinct presence, an undeniable presence. It didn’t last, but it illuminated as long as it was there, and I can’t forget that it illuminated Read more

The external social order neither tolerates nor matches the innate order of Love

Question: Why does society hate lovers but like husbands and wives?

Speaker: The society is not based on love. Society is a certain external order and love is an intrinsic order, an internal order. So love and society are different, are opposites. It is simple. Read more

Intentions don’t matter; Awareness does || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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


Question: What we get from outside especially in the childhood, is the love, affection, care of our parents, family. How can that contribute to our ego?

Speaker: There is a saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” People’s intentions are good, but they end up doing a lot of harm. People’s intentions are good but they end up doing a lot of harm because they are not aware. Even their love can only cause harm to the loved ones.

Intentions don’t matter, awareness matters.

I may have all the intentions of helping my son, my friend, somebody. But how can I help if my notion of help itself is misplaced.

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How to know what is good for me?

Question: Is it necessary that I need be good in something that I like doing? Sometimes it may happen that I like something, but I can’t be good at it. So, what is best for me?

Speaker: There are two things you are talking of. One- liking something. Second- being good at it.

These are the two things on which your question rests. Right? “I like something”, that is the first one query. “Whether I am good at it”, that is the second. Right? Examine both of these.

What do you like? What does one like? See you are giving importance to both of these. Right? You are taking as ‘important’, something that you like. Right? “I like something and hence it is important for me.” This is the first important thing. Second important thing is- being good at what I like. “It is not sufficient to just like what I like. I must also excel in it. I should prove my performance. I should be able to act on what I like.” Right? It should be considered good, as per the standards of performance, considered acceptable by others and by me.
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No ritual is spiritual

Question: Sir, could the people of India be enslaved for long because they were spiritual people?

Speaker: If India was enslaved for so long, if the people here could be conquered and banished, and be made to live against their will, it was not because they were spiritual people, it was because they were not at all spiritual.
I ask you a simple question. What is the most fundamental tenet of spirituality? It is to know what is this game called ‘the world’ and ‘Who am I?’ Right? That is the foundation. ‘What is all this going on?’, and it’s a most obvious question that any intelligent man must ask. Right? Only if you are very stupid, then you will be not spiritual otherwise you have to be spiritual. What else can you be? Spirituality is common sense. Don’t you want to know what all this is? That is spirituality.

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The saint is not obliged to conform to your expectations

The saint is not obliged to conform to your expectations

In what direction am I going, how shall I find the road? I hope they will send me a map before it’s too late, or it’s all over for me, my breath all gone to waste.

– Lalleshwari

Question: Lalla had surrendered all her life to ‘That’. Now, why this confusion? Why is she saying that a road is still to be found? Why is she asking for a map? Why is she saying that it might be too late? Why is she afraid that her breath might all be gone to waste?

Acharya Prashant: The mind will go where it has to go. A surrendered mind is still mind. There is a beautiful line from the scripture Drig Drishya Viveka. It says, “Yatr yatr manoyati, tatr tatr samaadhayah.” (Wherever the mind goes, there is peace). It does not say that the mind goes nowhere, that the mind is not wandering at all. It is saying, “Yatr yatr manoyati, tatr tatr samaadhayah.” Read more

Freedom from compulsive slavery|| Acharya Prashant (2013)

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


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

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

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

Speaker: ‘It has been told to us that there exist two centers. How do I know that I am living out of the right center?’ I suppose this has been told to you very recently. Right? He says, ‘How does a young man know whether he is being made a fool of? That the ego is not taking him for a ride. How does a young man know that?’

You cannot know the truth, the reality what you call as ‘right’ unless you first know what is called as ‘false’. And that must be the first step. You cannot directly jump onto the truth. The reason is simple, our life, our minds are full of the false. You say, ‘Ego-the false center’. Do you know what ego is all about? Ego is about acquiring an identity given by the external. Someone comes and tells you that you are brilliant. This is a statement made by an external agency. You are brilliant. And what do you do? You say, ‘I am brilliant.’ This is what ego is, internalizing an external influence. Do you see that? Yes.

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Quantifying yourself leads to jealousy

Speaker: How should we get rid of jealousy and anger? By deleting the word, ‘we’ from this. Why could not you ask, “How should ‘I’ get rid of jealousy and anger?”

Listener 1: Yes, Sir.

Speaker: Why this plurality? Why does ‘me’ become ‘we’? That is why the jealousy and anger are there. See ‘M’ and it has been inverted. The letter ‘M’ in ‘Me’ when inverted becomes letter ‘W’ in ‘We’.

And then, the entire life becomes inverted. The absence of ‘I’ is the root of jealousy and anger. This ‘we’, is the cumulative mind, the collective mind, the social mind, the comparative mind that lives in ‘we’, that lives in a tribe. Jealousy cannot be there without ‘the other’.

Jealousy is born out of comparison. Jealousy is born from a mind in which many, many are living. To say that there are many, means that they are different entities. And to say that there are different entities, means you have already compared them. Can you say that ‘X’ is different from ‘Y’ without comparing ‘X’ and ‘Y’? ‘We’ means that different entities are present. And whenever there are different things, there would definitely be comparison and hence, jealousy. Read more

You have forgotten the key to yourself

Question: Sir, good afternoon. While I speak before you, I will try to choose my words very gracefully. Sir, I have many things in my life that keep me happy but it is life and we are not supposed to have everything. I have lacked something in my life that I can say as self motivation. How do I get self motivated?

Speaker: What you are really asking for is not motivation. So first of all let us make a little bit of semantic correction. Read more

Freedom from ego is freedom from fear || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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


Speaker: What to do when you encounter a person with lot of Ego? He has used two words: High ego, and bad ego. Lets understand this. When you use the term, ‘bad ego’ you necessarily mean that there is something called ‘good ego’ as well? Correct? Logical?

What is this Ego? And can it have these two varieties, good and bad? What is the Ego?

Listener 1: Ego is when you put yourself above someone, when you think yourself to be superior  than other.

Speaker: Is that the Ego? You are putting yourself above someone. What if you necessarily put yourself below someone? What if you are habituated to saying that I am the worst of all? Your conditioning and culture have told you, that when someone says that I am best of all, you immediately say that this fellow is egoistic. I am asking you, ‘What if someone says I am the worst of all’? Is this not a statement of ego?

A common misconception that many of us have is that ego is pride. You often equate ego with pride. Let us be very clear on that, ego is far more than pride. Ego is far more pervasive than pride. Ego is not merely pride. Ego expresses itself in a thousand ways other than pride. The ways of the ego are very settled, and they are to be seen everywhere. You do not keep expressing your pride every time. Your mind is not filled with thoughts of pride every time. But even the other thoughts that you carry, most often are thoughts of ego.

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What is emotion?

Question: How can we control our emotions?

Speaker: How can you control something that you do not quite understand? Our friend here is controlling the operations of this camera. How is he able to control the operations? Because he understands the functioning, he knows what leads to what, he knows when to pull the lever, he knows when to press a button; he knows all these things. To control anything, you need to understand. In fact, once you have understood that, you don’t have to even need to control.
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Freedom begins with a ‘No’ || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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


Speaker: Karan has asked that he is unable to say ‘No’ and that often lands him in trouble, gives him a lot of problems. Are there others who face this problem?

Listeners: Yes.

Speaker: Alright, so this question then comes from all of us. Let’s understand this question. I am unable to say ‘No’. Now why I am unable to say no? Obviously, there is some fear that holds me back. If I say ‘No’, then obviously such and such will feel offended, if I say ‘No’ something may happen, if I say ‘No’ I may lose a relationship, if I say ‘No’ the other person may harm me. Read more

A passionate life || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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


Question: How do I explore my passion?

Speaker: I am sure this question is relevant to many others if not everybody. First of all this question has to be asked on a clean slate. Those of us who have already believed some external passion to be the real passion, they are not eligible to ask this question. Are you getting this? When you ask this question you are standing at a point where you do not know your real passion. Right? You are confused. You have come to know that whatever is known to you can be doubted. What to do with those who live in a deep belief that they already know their passion, or a belief that knowing that passion is not important at all? Read more

Truth is not for those who sell their Freedom || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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


Question: Why don’t we have the courage to speak the truth, to show the truth to anybody?

Speaker: It is because we have traded away our freedom to speak the truth. There is no problem in speaking the truth to anybody, there is no limitation at all. The only limitation is that you are afraid that you will lose your conveniences. You are afraid that if you speak the truth, then that person will take away all the privileges, luxuries and conveniences from you. That is the reason that you do not speak the truth. That is the reason that you can’t be yourself.

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