How to develop longing for the Truth? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How to develop longing for the Truth

Question: In order to realise the Truth, we say that we have to develop the longing for Truth. But this longing is coming from the same mind, which is also desiring the material things. How to develop this longing?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You don’t have to develop a longing Indira (the questioner). Longing comes from seeing, that all that you have so far done to fulfill the longing, has gone waste. You don’t have to develop, or cultivate a longing.

Do you develop hunger? The hunger exists. At most, you can be more sensitive towards your hunger. To be human, is to be longing. We are a lump of longing. What else are you? You are longing, in person. You are longing, personified. Now how would you develop longing? Every thing about you, every bit about you, longs. And longs both actively, and passively.

Why do you think you are alive? Why do you think you wake up, every successive day? When the morning arrives, why don’t you just keep sleeping? Why do you wake up? Why do you leave the bed? Because you hope to meet ‘That’ , every new day.

Yesterday, you tried, and were unsuccessful, but probably you learnt. Yesterday’s failure was probably a teacher, probably was not. But what is certain is, it didn’t kill your determination – to meet, know, realise, be fulfilled, and disappear.

So you can’t sleep for more than eight hours, you will have to leave the bed. And that’s not purely physical reason. You will have to leave the bed, because you are longing. Because there is something to do. Because there is something pending, something important waiting. How can you keep sleeping?

Why do you take up new tasks? Why do you change jobs? Why do you enter into new relationships? Why do you make new friends? Why do you visit new places? Have you never gone into it? You are longing. Have you seen, why do your eyes keep scanning strangers? You are longing, for that one, special face. For something that cannot be found in any particular face.

This entire system, I repeat, is a big mass of longing. Just that, you may not know that.

Questioner 1: So this longing is as good, as a deep desire?

Acharya Ji: It is your deepest desire.

Questioner 1: So, when Jesus said, “Those who don’t ask for it, get it,” what did he actually mean?

Acharya Ji: Jesus actually said, “You have to ask for it, and then you get it. Knock, and the door shall be open.” He wanted your agency to function.

But equally, I will address what you are saying, yes it has been said, if not by Jesus then by many others, “Those who do not ask for it, are the ones who get it.” Why do you not get what you long for? Because you do not know what you long for, and therefore you keep asking for all the unnecessary things. Hence it is said that – when you stop asking for the unnecessary things, then you easily, rather quickly get what is necessary.

When the Teacher says, “One who doesn’t ask for it, is the one who get it,” what he means is – stop asking for all the rubbish that you so much clamor for. And then that which is necessary and important, would be immediately available.

Your desires block your deepest desire.

Your miscellaneous desires impede the fulfillment of your deepest desire.

So, if you want to really meet your deepest desire, then see the stupidity of, not merely the stupidity, the very irrelevance of your miscellaneous desires, and keep them aside.

These are two ways.

One way says, “Ask for the Highest, because that is the only One, that you are longing for. The other way says, “Stop asking for all the lowly things, because they are what blocks your way to the Highest.”

Do you get the difference?

One way says, “Ask for the Highest.” The other way says, “There is no need to ask for the Highest. The Highest is anyway immediately available. You just need to stop asking for things that are lowly.”

Question 2: Acharya Ji, do the practices, the saadhanas – Neti-Neti, the meditation techniques – be continued? Do they help? Or, direct observation is sufficient?

Acharya Ji: It is the other way round. Continue with them, as long as they help. Don’t ask me, “Do they help? Should I continue with them?” The answer is – do continue with anything that comes to you, as long as it helps. And be very honest about, when a thing has ceased helping you.

There is nothing in the world, that cannot potentially help you.

And there is nothing in the world, that can absolutely help you.

Every thing is a bit of a help, at some stage in your life.

So, all the meditation techniques, all the saadhana, obviously can be a bit of your help, at some stage in life. But, you should know with honesty and accuracy, when a technique, or saadhana, has outlived it’s utility. And when you know that a thing has outlived it’s utility, do not carry the dead mass. Don’t keep wasting your time.

Questioner 3: So, if one has decided to move towards the Truth, then which path should he choose?

Acharya Ji: Is it a decision? (Referring to Questioner 1) Indira, what did I tell you? Indira too asked the same question – ‘how do I cultivate longing?’ What did I say? “Is it a decision?” The, why do you say, “Once I have decided that I have to move towards the Truth..”?

If it is a decision, then you can reverse it. It is not a decision. It is your very fibre. It your very core. It is your very engine. It is your DNA. It is not a ‘decision’. Do you call your DNA, your decision? It is like breathing.

Do you breathe, in a decided way?

You are already longing for the Truth.

You don’t have to ‘decide’ to move towards the Truth.

Every thing that you do, is for the sake of the Truth.

However, unfortunately, mostly, in an conscious way.

Spirituality is not about kindling in you a desire for the Truth. That desire is already there.

No spiritual Teacher, or method, is needed to kindle that fire. That fire is already there. What is needed is that – you, who are sitting over that fire, and not even experiencing the blisters in the butt, are encouraged to become a little more sensitive towards yourself.

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

Watch the session: How to develop longing for the Truth? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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


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What is the real meaning of ‘self-love?’ || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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What is the real meaning of ‘self-love

Question: What is the meaning of ‘self-love’?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When it is said, “Love yourself”, then surely there are two. One – who is receiving the instruction. And another one – who is going to be loved. This has to be understood.

When I say, “Love yourself,” then the two-ness in the instruction, has to be appreciated. Who is the one I am advising to be more loving? And who is the one I am asking to be loved? They are not one, they are two.

When it is said, “Love. Go and Love,” then it is being said, surely to someone, who does not always love. It is being told to someone, who is not a natural lover. And therefore is being advised to love.

Who is not a natural lover? The Ego. The Ego is not a natural lover. The Ego, by it’s very constitution, remains in fear. And the one who remains in fear, cannot naturally or easily love. So, when it is said, “Love,” surely someone is being advised or instructed to love.

Surely you cannot advise the True Self to love, because the True Self is not in any need of any instructions or advise. Nor is the True Self deficient of love. Who is being advised to love? The Ego.

So, when we say, “Love thyself,” the ‘Love’ part stands clear now. The Ego is being told to love. And who is this ‘thyself’? This ‘thyself’ God forbid, is not the Ego itself. The Ego is not being told to love itself. This ‘thyself’ is the ‘Real you’. This ‘thyself’ is the only one, who is worthy of love. And therefore, is being asked to be loved.

Who is this ‘thyself’? The Real Self, the True Self.

So, when it is said, “Love yourself,” it is analogous to – Love the True Self, Love God, Love Atman.

Who is being told to love? The Ego.

And who is going to be loved? The True Self, that you can call as ‘the Heart’, or ‘God’, or ‘the Atman’.

‘Love thyself’ does not mean – love all your stupidities. The Ego is not being advised to love itself. Because the Ego cannot love itself. Why? Because the Ego is already in great attachment with itself.

Have you seen how self-attached Ego is? That is called ‘Narcissism’. The Ego is always greatly in self-love. Obviously, subject to the constraints, of the definition of the love that Ego knows. The Ego knows only little, petty, stinking kind of love. And with that littleness, pettiness, and stink, the Ego does love itself.

The Ego already loves itself. Nobody, therefore, in his right mind, going to advise Ego, to further love itself. But the statement has been greatly misinterpreted. And in the name of self-love, people are only furthering their Ego.

‘Self-love’ only means – do not love yourself. Love the Truth.

‘Self-love’ does not mean – love the little self, love the petty-self.

‘Self- love’ means – love the best part of yourself.

‘Self-love’ means – love the best part of yourself.

‘Self-love’ means that even if you are covered with all non-sense, know that there is something venerable, something admirable within you.

Love That.

Do not love your rubbish, your non-sense, your trivia. Do not love your filth. Love That which is precious about you. Now, instead of loving, and respecting that which is precious inside oneself, ‘self-love’ is often misconstrued as remaining more and more attached to one’s own rubbish. Don’t do that.

‘Self-love’ does not mean – Ego loves Ego. ‘Self-love’ does not mean – Ego is to love the Ego. ‘Self-love’ really means – Ego must love only Truth.

I hope it is clear.

Unless the Ego leans towards the Truth, it will not even know what ‘love’ really means. What the Ego has for itself, is some rotten variety of attraction and attachment. The Ego has to be a student of love. And the education of Ego starts when it somehow leans towards the Truth. And then, for the first time, love strikes the Ego. Otherwise, the Ego is very loveless.

If you ever find, a loving ego, rest assured that it has become fond of the Truth. Otherwise, how it would have learnt love? Truth teaches love to the Ego. Therefore, the truth is the best Teacher. And therefore, if there is a truthful Teacher, he would teach Love.

Truth and Love, therefore go together.

Now you see why all the wise ones have said this, “Truth and Love go together”? Because if there is Truth, for you, then you will definitely fall in love with it. It is impossible to perceive Truth, in whatever way possible, and not fall in love with it.

Truth has such a unique and wordless beauty about itself, that you cannot avoid, falling in love with it. In India they have said, “Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram (Truth is so beautiful).” You will have to fall in love with it.

That is the meaning of ‘Love thyself’, or ‘self-love’.

Love the Truth, it deserves your love.

Only the Truth deserves your love.

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

Watch the session: What is the real meaning of ‘self-love?’ || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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God is what you want more than anything else || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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God is what you want more than anything else

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! I have a six year old son. Me and my husband, regularly discuss on lot of issues, after watching your videos. My son has observed, that we use words like ‘God’, ‘Truth’, ‘Love’ very often.

Many times, he approaches me and asks, “What is ‘Love’?” and “What is ‘God’?” We really don’t know what reply to give to him.

Please advice.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

If you can explain these things (God, Truth, Love), to a six year old, then you really know.

If you can’t explain them to a six year old, then all you have is, words.

So, the kids to come to Muma.

Questioner: He asks me such questions. And sometimes, to his Dad as well.

Acharya Ji:

“How do you feel when Muma is far away?”

“Not good.”

“How do you feel when you are with Muma?”

“Good.”

This ‘goodness’ is God. ‘God’ is that – which you want.

“So Muma, if I want a chocolate, is God a chocolate?”

“When you want a chocolate, and I show you a toffee, what do you do? You ignore the toffee, and rush towards the chocolate. When you want a lovely toy, and I show a chocolate, what do you do? You ignore the chocolate and rush towards the toy.”

‘God’ is that, which you want, more than all other things.

“You want the chocolate, for sure. But, do you want the chocolate, more than anything else?”

“No Muma.”

“Do you want the chocolate, more than you want Muma?”

“No Muma.”

“So, God is not chocolate.”

“So, Muma, are you God?”

“If you want me more than everything else, then yes. If you seriously want me, more than everything else, then I am God.”

“Muma, if I start wanting something, even more intensely, than I want you, then?”

“Then, ‘that’ is God.”

God is not a concept, or an ideal. God is the root of our daily experiences. So how is it possible, that you will not be able to bring or explain God, to a six-year old? The six-year old, too, is pining and longing for God, in his own way.

Why do you think the new born cries?

Superficially, it is for the mother and the feed.

Deeply, it is for God.

Why do you think you are asking this question?

Superficially, for an answer.

Deeply, for God.

Why do you think we eat, live, breathe?

Superficially, for something.

Deeply, only for God.

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

Watch the session: God is what you want more than anything else || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How to cremate the dead in today’s age? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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How to cremate the dead in today's age

Question: Acharya Ji, what is the importance of rituals that follow after death? How to cremate the dead in today’s age? How to adopt eco-friendly measures while cremating the dead?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Obviously, electric crematoriums are there now. It’s not even a relevant question. It has been recognised since decades now, that the wooden pyre was not meant for an age, where there are eight billion people, and more than a billion Hindus, and Sikhs, and Jains, and Buddhists, and others who want to cremate their dead, by burning their bodies.

The method of burning the dead body on wooden pyre, was not conceived for today’s age. When that practice took shape and form, the world was full of trees. Trees were numerous and men were few, so it was alright to cut down trees and use them as fuel to burn something.

Now trees are few, and men are numerous. And it’s obviously, both stupidity and criminality, to cut down living trees, for the sake of dead people.

And what I am talking of, is not a revolutionary thought either. I suppose many sensible people already choose the electric crematorium. It’s hassle-free, and obviously eco-friendly.

One of the best methods, of disposing-off the dead bodies, is one of the Parsis – they have their towers of silence. The dead body is put there, and vultures and other birds, come over and feast themselves over the dead body. Obviously with changing times, such rituals have to adapt.

Truth is unchangeable, rituals are not.

The mark of a living religion, is that it stoutly defends it’s core, and remains very flexible about everything else.

And dead religions, who have lost their core, become stiff externally.

Do you get this?

The living religion will be very, very flexible. It will have a certain elasticity.  And dead religions, because they are dead, will become outwardly very stiff. They will not allow any changes to come with time, because they are afraid. Being dead, they are afraid. They think that if changes are allowed to come, then religion itself would die. No!

A great religion is very, very dynamic.

It responds to the demands of the time.

And what renders it, it’s dynamism?

The Truth that is at the core of the religion.

Where there is Truth, there is dynamism. Where there is falseness, there is stubbornness, rigidity, orthodoxy, and resistance to change.

Truth gives you a certain confidence.

Being inexorably with the Truth gives you the confidence that you can play around with everything else. You know that you are not going to lose the Truth, so you become very free in playing with this, putting that up, putting that down, changing things, changing arrangements. Changing forms, shapes, colours, names.

“All those things can change, you know, because the unchangeable is with me” – that’s what you say.

It does not require much to comment on various other rituals, that you might have observed in Varanasi or Gaya. They are not the essence of the Sanatan Religion. Do not give too much value to them.

When you go to Varanasi, go for Shiva, not for the men of religion, sitting by the Ganga. The banks of Ganga, are all polluted. Go right to the Source of Ganga.

Varanasi is a great city, provided you know what you are really looking for. Otherwise, you will get lost.


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

Watch the session: How to cremate the dead in today’s age? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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

Who is God, and why should one strive for Him

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

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

Next one.

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

‘God’ is the answer to all questions.

Why does anybody, ever want anything?

Because he actually wants ‘God’.

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

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

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

You don’t ‘have’ to strive for ‘God’.

You ‘are’ striving for ‘God’.

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Going with the flow, and being a lazy loser || Acharya Prashant(2016)

Going with the flow, and being a lazy loser

Question: How to differentiate between and recognize, whether one trusts in the universe to unfold one’s destiny, and goes with the flow, and allows the life to unfold, and being the one who is a loser, who is lazy and doing  nothing?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

The lazy one, does a lot. The lazy one is lazy and inactive, only externally. Internally, he is very active.

Please appreciate this.

The ones we call as ‘lazy’, are not lazy at all. They may not move their limbs, but their minds are very active. Absolute laziness, is a supreme virtue. Sages like Ashtavakra have sung greatly in praise of ‘Divine laziness’.

‘Divine laziness’ is – a total stopping of all movement.

Coming to that point within, where nothing moves at all.

That’s why is is being called as ‘lazy’.

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What is Tapasya? What is concentration? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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What is Tapasya What is concentration

Question 1: What is ‘Tapasya‘(austerity)? Why is ‘Tapasya‘ necessary?

Acharya Prashant Ji: In the cold areas of the country, it becomes important, especially in winters, to let the sunlight in. Quilts etc. are kept out in the open, so that they receive the Sun treatment. The Sun must beat down on them.

The ‘taap'(heat) of the Sun removes, a lot of impurities.

That is ‘tapas’.

Feel the heat. Feel the heat.

Questioner: Still I don’t get it.

Acharya Ji: You know where the heat is. You know where the Sun is. Face it! There are many ailments for which you require heat treatment, or you require UV rays emitters. What do you do? You just bring yourself to the heat emitter, and stand in front of it, naked. You allow the heat to bake you, roast you, cleanse you.

There was a man, who once had few microbes, you know little germs, bacteria, on his skin. The doctor told him that sunlight kills these germs, or at least makes them run away. The germs overheard the doctor’s advice.

So, when the man was gleefully returning to his house, preparing to try the heat treatment, the ‘tapas’, the germs said, “You know what, the heat would do bad things to us. But the heat would do bad things to you as well.”

“Remember that you have not been exposed to sunlight since long. And we live in a tender part of your body, which is usually not exposed to harshness, to harsh Sun. If you will subject us to heat, you will be subjecting yourself as well to the heat, because you and we are very closely associated, attached now. And not only the two of us, are very closely attached now, it is some very weak part of you, it is very tender part of you, that is attached to us. You could even say that it is your weakness, which is attached to us. So, do not try what the doctor just advised. We will suffer, but you too will suffer.”

So declared the germs.

What did the man reply?

The man said, “I will merely suffer, but I will survive. And if I can survive that suffering, I would emerge healthier. But you, would not survive that suffering. I am a man. I have something in me, that can survive the Sun, because it is related to the Sun. I will suffer a lot. But, I will suffer brighter and stronger. The suffering will help me. But as far as you are concerned, you will not come out alive, out of that suffering.”

“The same heat, the same Sun, that is life-giving to me, is life-threatening to you. So I am prepared to go through the suffering. In order to avoid the suffering, I cannot give you an extended life. It is true that you will suffer, and I too will suffer. But that suffering is a blessing to me. That same suffering, is your end.”

This is ‘tapas’.

In killing your germs, you too suffer. In killing your germs, you too suffer. You willingly take that suffering, because you know that, that which kills the germs, makes you stronger.

So the suffering, has utility.

It is very difficult to defeat someone, who is prepared to give up everything, for victory.

This is ‘tapas’.

You defeat someone, not because he is weak.

You defeat someone, when he wants to protect his weaknesses.

Understand this.

It is not your weaknesses that defeat you.

It is your fondness towards your weaknesses, it is your protective attitude towards your weaknesses, that defeats you.

If you are  prepared to give up everything, if you are prepared to give up all your tender spots, your weaknesses, you would be very difficult to be defeated.

The final fulfillment, the final victory, that we had been talking of, would then be yours.

It is therefore, no crime, to find yourself weak. Biology and society, leave no stone un-turned, to keep you weak. Therefore, it is never surprising, if you look at yourself, and discover, a hundred weaknesses. It is normal.

It is normal to be weak.

But it is not alright, not acceptable, to be protective towards your weaknesses.

Finding them is alright. protecting them, is not.

Questioner: Acharya Ji, you have made it very easy.

Acharya Ji: If at the very first step, you declare it difficult, then there is no second step. Remember, what the germs said? “It’s going to be very difficult for you.” Do not buy into what the germs speak.

Question 2: Acharya Ji, can you give clarity in ‘concentration’? How to concentrate?

Acharya Ji: To concentrate, is to allow something worldly, to occupy you fully. To concentrate, is to allow something worldly, to occupy you fully.

Does concentration have a role in spiritual process? Yes, and No. Concentration can have a very beneficial role, and a very deleterious role as well. There is stuff in the world, that can take you beyond the world. If you concentrate on that, then you move into ‘dhyaan’(meditation).

Concentration has something worldly, as your goal.

Meditation, or ‘dhyaan’, is to have ‘the Beyond’ as your goal.

Now, ‘the beyond’ as the goal, is beyond the capacity of the mind.

Therefore the mind, has to necessarily start with concentration.

But, we said that concentration, is both – a boon and a curse. Concentration is a boon, if you have discretion, if you really know what to concentrate on. If you really fall in love with the right object, to concentrate on, that is ‘Ishq-e-majazi’, then concentration will lead you to meditation.

Therefore, in Patanjali’s path, concentration is one of the steps. But if you concentrate, on something stupid, it will take you deep into itself, and far away from meditation. Therefore, concentration, is a double-edged sword.

Come to the right object, and concentrate fully. Along-with concentration, discretion is needed. Discretion is needed, so that you concentrate on the right object.

Concentration, plus discretion – a good recipe for meditation.

Concentration, without discretion – devastation.

Question 3: Acharya Ji, does Vipasanna help?

Acharya Ji: It totally depends on the person. You have to hold the hand of something, or somebody, that is evidently taking you to the beyond. And, you have to hold the hand tightly. This ‘tightness’ of the hold, is called ‘concentration’.

But, before you hold someone’s hand tightly, do determine, who he is.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session:  What is Tapasya? What is concentration? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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The utility of Yoga and methods of meditation||Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir(2016)

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Question: Why do people practice techniques like ‘Yoga’ and ‘Meditation’? Do you think they are necessary?

Acharya Prashant Ji: They have their own place. But, one should be very clear about the place that they have. What you usually call as ‘Yoga’, the kind of Yoga that is prevalent in this city(Rishikesh), is good for the body.

But do not take it as a means to salvation. If it is being sold as something mystical, or spiritual, then it is not. In fact, to try to achieve salvation through Yoga, is just an exhibition of the ego. The ego is saying that-  “By doing this or that, or by stretching my limbs, or sitting in a particular posture, I will reach God.” You sit in whatever posture you like,  you do whatever you want to do with the breath or the body, you will not get God.

Questioner: But, as I can see, one can calm the mind, by doing these asanas, these postures?

Acharya Ji: You can calm the mind, and believe that ‘you’ calmed the mind, you can calm the mind, and believe that ‘you’ calmed the mind, and in the process, cause greater agitation to yourself.

There is no method, except ‘surrender’ – direct, unconditional surrender.

If you know that your mind is calm, because the body is feeling better, and ‘you’  are the one who did something to make the body feel better, then that is just an extension of the ego.

The real happens, never, due to your planning, or your effort.

Because the real never ‘happens’.

It is already there.

It does not need to ‘happen’.

It is the only ‘happening’, how can it happen anymore?

But we are all, intent upon, somehow making the real ‘happen’. “I will go and try so hard, that I get the Truth.” Is Truth an apple or something? You don’t often get even apples due to your efforts. You can’t even get apples when you want, how will you get the Truth?

But yes, it has a certain value. When the body is fit, there is no doubt, that the mind has to think about it. So, in that space, it has a certain value.

Questioner: Does it mean that it is out of man’s control – the matter of Truth?

Acharya Ji: Yes, and the ego does not like this statement. The statement is – “This proves that it is out of your control, the matter of Truth, whether you get Truth or not.”

Yes. Please realise this, as soon as possible.

The Truth won’t come to you, because you tried this way, or that way.

It comes to you, because you see the futility of all your actions.

From morning to evening, whatever you are doing, when you see the futility inherent in them, that is the Truth.

That Silence.

And mind you, from that Silence, great action emerges. It is not as if, no action would happen. Your heart would come to ‘no action’, and the body and the mind would act vigorously.

A ‘Spiritual man’, cannot be a saint, who does nothing but eats all day, and keeps getting fat. And then everyday in the morning, he lectures for two hours. A ‘Spiritual man’, is an intense actor. He does not live as somebody, who has nothing to do with worldly concerns.

Kindly get rid of the image of the saint. In fact, if you come across any such person, who does nothing, except lecturing, and is getting fat, out of lecturing too much, then avoid him.

The ‘Spiritual man’ is a warrior.

He is one, who belongs to this  world.

He is one who partakes in the concerns of this world.

He lives life fully.

It is not that he has shed all experience. In fact, he has become more open and sensitive to experience – this happiness, this sadness, this pleasure and pain.

He is the man of the earth.

You will not find him on some great throne, somewhere. He must be someone, who moves through the streets – a commoner. He is not a general who hides in the castle. He is a foot soldier, out there in the battlefield.

Are you getting it?

Truth is not about renouncing the world of something. The man of Truth, I repeat, is a man of great action. And if you see someone, whose life is dull, lukewarm, incapable of action, then you should just know that his life has not been touched by the Truth.

Truth makes you go wild.

It does not allow you to sleep.

The dance of Truth, is a mad dance.

It is a dance of the destruction.

It is a dance in which you come alive!

You do not just sit in saffron, and say, “Hari Om.”

Kabir Sahab, never made preaching, his profession. He was a weaver, and he remained a weaver. You must ask, all the so-called spiritual ones, “What do you do, except wagging your tongue? And how do you know, anything of life, if you are not living it anymore?”

“You do not meet the commoners. You do not earn anything. You live on donations. You do not go to the markets to sell anything. You don’t but anything, because all is bought for you, by your followers. You don’t mingle with women anymore, because that destroys your reputation. Now, how do you know anything about life?”

If you are a man, and if you are not meeting women, as a man anymore, what do you know about life? From where else does anyone know about life? Does some great Truth descends from heaven? One knows the Truth, only in these simple, daily experiences of everyday living. And if you have blocked-out these everyday experiences, then how are you in touch with the Truth anymore?

How? 

Kabir’s life is a message. In continuing his life as a weaver, Kabir Sahab is saying, that professional preachers should be rejected, precisely because they are professional preachers.

You must ask the so-called spiritual ones, “Is there anything else that you do?” Your words must come out of your life, not out of some book or something. You should have gone have gone to the market, you should have seen something there. And then you should be talking, from there. 

You should be able to say that yesterday, this is what I saw, and hence we should talk about it. When Kabir Sahab talks, he makes the entire world, his instrument. He uses ‘thread’ as a metaphor, he uses the ‘loom’ as a metaphor. He uses the ‘color’ as a metaphor. He uses the ‘selling’, as a metaphor. 

There is nothing in this world, which Kabir Sahab does not use as a metaphor. Even dogs. This means that – he is a man, who is living really, intimately, with life. He is not just talking, some great high-flying theory.

Deep Awareness, Pure Consciousness – Kabir Sahib will never talk of all that. Because he is a real. He is not coming from a book, or tradition. He is not coming from rote learning. Whatever he is saying, it is arising from his heart, and hence so practical. 


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir: The utility of Yoga and methods of meditation

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What is rebirth? What takes rebirth?: Acharya Prashant

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What is rebirth What takes rebirth

Question: What is re-birth? What is transmigration of soul? What travels after death? What carries forward?

Acharya Prashant Ji: ‘You’ do not carry anything. A few things must be clearly understood. ‘You’ as a ‘person’ are not a very important carrier. That which carries, is the total stream of mankind’s consciousness.

(Referring to the people sitting in the audience) Her mind, her mind, his mind, your mind, his mind, her mind, the mind of the kid, the mind of the old man – we all are carrying remnants, carry forwards from our collective past. That is what is carried forward.

See, it is like this. There are waves in the ocean. One particular wave, is carrying, a little sugar, a lump of sugar. Now the wave rises, and falls. What happens to the lump of sugar? It gets distributed throughout the ocean. Now it belongs to everyone. That is how things are carried forward.

What you do in your life-time, has gone to many, many, many.

Through every single action of yours, you are impacting the entire mankind.

In other ways, you are responsible for forming the mind of entire mankind.

In turn, your own mind, is being formed by the entire mankind, because you are an active recipient as well.

The subtle becomes the gross. The more the mind is impacted at some point, many, many years later, that also changes your body. Have you seen that when you are angry, your face changes? When you are in love, your eyes change. So, the subtle has a way of changing the gross.

If you are impacting the mind of the mankind, always you are also impacting, even the form of the mankind. That’s how it happens. Otherwise, all that is ‘personal’ about you, gets burnt down in funeral pyre. There is no way, something can get carried forward from there. All is reduced to smoke and ashes. Nothing remains. But, what you have done in your lifetime, that remains. And that is going to affect all future generations.

Take it this way.

Suppose you are a teacher, and you have taught hundreds and thousands of students. And you are a good teacher, just for the story’s sake. Good teachers are rare. Now the students have really imbibed, what they received from you. You can say, that the rubbish in the minds of the students has been cleared-off, by your teachings. Either way.

You die, and one of your students gives birth. You die, and one of your students becomes a father, or a mother. The kid that is born, would be raised by your student. And, because your student has been a good student, and he has really imbibed your teachings, so those teachings would go to the kid. The kid would have the same, pure quality of mind, as you had.

In a poetic sense, you can say that you are being re-born as that kid. In a poetic sense, as a metaphor, now you can say that the teacher who had died, has been re-born as the son or the daughter of the student. But the re-birth has not taken place, because something arose from the dead-body, and entered the womb of the student. The re-birth has taken place, because of the stuff that has taken place, during your active life-time. Not after your death.

Whatever one person does, impacts the consciousness of entire mankind.

And that is how re-birth takes place.

And, therefore, re-birth is taking place every moment, because I might do something just now, which may cause you to transform. Now, haven’t you been re-born? That’s re-birth. And, you have been re-born, not because my soul entered you. You have been re-born, because the Truth transmitted to you, via me.

The opposite is also possible. You might be otherwise an innocent person. But you acquire bad company. And the bad company overshadows all your innocence. Now, you have been re-born, because the innocent one has died. The innocent one has been died, and someone else has been re-born.

That’s how it happens – through your actions.

You see, subtle truths cannot be conveyed very subtly, to everybody. And therefore they were figuratively, communicated. So that people somehow, at least partially, get a grasp on them. Therefore, you must not be too concerned with the literal meaning. Go deep into the myths of transmigration and such things, and figure out what they really would mean.

You know what, it is also possible, that the kid which is born to the student, has something in his eyes, that resemble the dead teacher. That doesn’t mean, that the dead teacher has physically fathered the kid. It’s just that, all eyes that are peaceful, have something in common.

All eyes, that are peaceful, have something in common. So, when you would look into the eyes of the newly born kid, you would be reminded of the dead teacher. And you would be then justified in saying that the dead teacher has taken re-birth, as this kid.

Questioner: Then why do we have such rituals after death like Tehravin, on 13th day, etc.?

Acharya Ji: No Upanishad says that. No scripture, worth it’s name, says that. The Puranic literature, that talks of such stuff, is stories and fancies. It is not serious metaphysics. It deals with a lot of imagery, a lot of fables, a lot of things that are there, just to involve you, engage you, even entertain you.

One has to understand the difference between the Upanishads and the Puraans. They are not in the same dimension. You cannot take Isavasya Upanishad and Garuda Puraana, and compare them.

The stuff that you are talking of, would be found in Garuda Puraana.

Questioner: Yes.

Acharya Ji: It’s alright. Read that. But understand that, in the light of the Upanishads. If you want to read the Puraanic literature, read it in the light of Upanishads. Then you will not be misled.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Acharya Prashant: What is rebirth? What takes rebirth?

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One day, we will have such a Temple || Acharya Prashant (2019)

One day, we will have such a Temple

 

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Question: What is a ‘Temple’, and what purpose should it serve?

Acharya Prashant Ji: A ‘Temple’ must definitely, have elements, that elevate your consciousness.

Being at a place, being with elements, being with people, being with structures, being with sites, scenes, sounds, that remind you of the beyond, that take the lowly consciousness to a high point, where it becomes receptive to signals from the sky.

That’s a ‘Temple’.

Are you getting it?

So, a ‘Temple’, first of all, must have those elements. Secondly, wherever those elements are present, that place is a ‘Temple’, even if, you call it by some other name.

So look at the effect, the whole situation, the arrangement, the whole architecture is having on you. Is it taking you beyond, the mundane things that keep circulating in your mind?  If ‘yes’, then it deserves to be called, a ‘Temple’. If ‘no’, then it is just another place – entertaining probably, imposing probably, but not elevating.

The aspect of elevation, is central.

‘Temple’ is a place, where you are elevated.

If you are not being elevated, the place is not a ‘Temple’.

And, if you are being elevated, in some place, that place is most definitely a ‘Temple’.

Are you getting it?

So, ideally, today’s temples must be great centers of learning. Temples must be spiritual universities. A ‘Temple’ cannot be just a place, where there are some stone carvings, and such things. Real Education must have to be imparted in temples. That’s elevation of consciousness.

Temples have to be centers of, not only scriptures, they must also be centers where education is imparted in arts, and sciences. Because, unless you are scientific, it will be very difficult for you, in today’s age, to be really spiritual.

In fact, I have this vision. Vishranti (Monthly Spiritual retreat) was organised in Udaipur, in the month of February. I was with Anshu (one of the volunteers), on one night, till 2 a.m., and we saw a temple on a hill-top. And I said, that one day, it is possible, that we will raise a Real Temple. Not the one where we go, ring the bell, and get the prasad. Not a temple where all kinds of superstitions breed. But, a temple that would be a center of real scientific research, a place where fine arts find great expression. A place where human consciousness is refined, broadened, elevated, in all possible ways.

I remember, I said to him, “In a temple, there must be a center of contemporary studies, where one is taught about all the current worldly issues.”

A ‘Temple’ must really be a university, in purest sense of the world.

Great creativity, must arise out of a ‘Temple’.

A ‘Temple’ must be a place where great ideas must be discussed.

A ‘Temple’ must be a place of great conversations, and healthy debate.

Great scholars from all directions, and dimensions, must converge in the ‘Temple’.

When people go to a ‘Temple’, they must return enriched.

You are able to listen to a profound lecture, or to an animated debate. You come to know of things, that you anyway do not know. Economics is being discussed, geo-politics is being discussed. The recent, cutting-edge research and advancement, are being discussed. There are physicists, there are medical-researchers, there are geologists, there are cosmologists.

And, they all are present in the ‘Temple’.

That’s what a temple must really be like.

And, obviously, when I say that, the foundation of the temple, has to be mystical.

I am only talking, of those things, that are currently missing in temples. I must correct myself. Actually, mystics too, are currently missing in temples. So I must talk of them as well.

So when consciousness is raised, only then it becomes capable of transcending into the mystical dimension. Consciousness, under the burden, with all its shackles, cannot fly away, cannot gain freedom, from the worldly entanglements.

First of all, it must gain clarity, with respect to the world. When there is clarity and knowledge, with respect to the world, only then there is a possibility, of going beyond the world. So, a temple, must first of all, be a place of knowledge, then a place of learning, and then a place of mysticism. It has to be a composite thing.

One day, God willing, we will come up with such a ‘Temple’.

Let’s see.

How would it be, to find a lab of nuclear physics, in one quarter, and an aggregation of the world’s best dancers on the other side. Both in the same campus. How would it be?

Live long everybody, to see that day!

I hope, I also live long enough, to see that day.

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

Watch the session:  One day, we will have such a Temple || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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How does Hinduism justify idol worship when Christianity and Islam forbid it? || Acharya Prashant

How does Hinduism justify idol worship when Christianity and Islam forbid it

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Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

~ John 13:16

Question: The Abrahamic religions, all of them, are against idol worship. Not only Christianity, but also Islam, Judaism. But in Hinduism , there is a lot of idol worship. How to reconcile them, and whether or not, they can be reconciled?

Acharya Prashant Ji: What is the sutra(verse)for tonight? What does it read? Read it aloud please.

Questioner: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” ~John 13:16.

Acharya Ji: Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

This establishes one relationship between the center, and the expression of the center. What is that relationship? That the One that you are seeing, is the servant of the One, who has sent him. That this world, is not really separate from the lord. It is related in the same way as, a servant is related to the world.

Are you getting it?

That it has not just come, from somewhere.

Jesus is saying that this has been sent, by Truth itself. What Jesus is saying here, is so very in tune, with the opening lines of the the Kena Upanishad. The Kena Upnishad begins by asking: “By whom is the mind sent? What is behind the ears? What is behind the eyes?”

Jesus is answering it. He is saying: “The world is a servant, sent by the Lord, the Master, the Truth.” Now, if you really are surrendered to the Lord, then an expression of the surrender is, that you worship even the servant of the Lord.

India has worshiped, the creation, as very intimate, to the creator.

So intimate, that they cannot even be differentiated.

All that Jesus is saying is: “Do not worship anybody, except the Lord. Do not worship anybody, except the Truth.”

Hinduism has said: “All of this comes from the Truth. So where do I go to worship the Truth? And having realised that all of this is sent by the Truth, I will worship all of it, without distinction. I will worship the tree, the animal, the stone, the leaf, the dung, the mountain, the air, the water, the hurricane, the man, the woman, the child, the old one.

Without exception, India has worshiped everything, because everything is coming from ‘there’ – the Truth.

Just as you keep to your heart, a letter that has been sent by the beloved, don’t you? What do you do with a letter, that has been kissed, and sent to you by the beloved? What do you do to it? You keep it here, close to the heart. You don’t throw it away.

Hinduism sees this world, the entire world, with all it’s diversity, as a letter from the Beloved.

Now, the Beloved can’t be kissed. So, the Hindu kisses the stone.

The Beloved can’t be kissed, so the Hindu kisses the river.

That does not mean that Hinduism believes in many gods. Of course, the Truth is not even one, let alone many. The Truth is a great void. But it manifests itself variously. And all aspects of the manifestation are divine. They have been worshiped.

(The questioner had especially flown from Europe, to seek answers related to God, Truth, Peace.

His curiosity coincidentally connected him to Acharya Prashant Ji. He was firstly, connected to Acharya Ji, through the YouTube videos, and then he finally got a chance to attend his Satsang, during the Myth demolition Tour, organised in Rishikesh, in the year 2016).   

Questioner: But the Bible says that do not worship a particular statue, do not worship idols.

Acharya Ji: Now pay attention. If you make, ‘a particular’ statue, then it is idol worship. But what if you say that all statues are statues of God, would you still call it as ‘idol worship’?

When the Bible says, “Do not worship idols,” it is assuming that you will make one particular statue. But what if you say, that all forms – a statue is a form – what if, you say, that all forms are the forms of the formless?

If you worship one particular form, of course, you are taking just one idol, and sticking to it. And that is false. But what if, all forms, the form itself, the universe itself, reminds you of That?

What would be the quality of that mind, that looks at the river and is reminded of the the great void?

What would be the quality of that mind, which looks at a child, which looks at a nude woman, and is reminded of nothing, but the Truth?

All forms, and any form.

That is what the Hinduism talks about.

Listener 1: So, when Shri Ramchandra ji, when he was going to Lanka, for getting his wife, Sita ji, back. I have read, that he did make a statue of Shiva, and prayed for his blessings. What my friend here said about Bible being against idol worship, may be true, because I think the God of Bible is a jealous God. He does not want anyone else being worshiped.

Acharya Ji: If your wife gets attracted to one man, then you can be jealous. But, would you be jealous, if your wife is attracted to the entire male population of the world?

(laughter)

Listener 1: There is nothing wrong now.

Acharya Ji: It is not about anything being wrong now. Now the happening is divine. When you worship one idol, that is called ‘idolatry’. Those who had condemned idol worship, had  not realised a situation where everything would be idolized. Had they known this situation, they would have said, “Idol worship is divine.”

To take one body as divine, is ‘idol worship’. That is why, thinking of Jesus as a body, as a son of God, is ‘idol worship’. Now you are taking one body as divine. But when all bodies are divine, that is not ‘idol worship’. Now it is something else. It is beyond the realm of mind, because you are not even putting any conditions. Now you cannot condemn it.

Your wife is in a loving relationship with the entire population of the world. How will you condemn it? Her love is universal – no limits, no boundaries. All is lovable. Now, you cannot condemn. Now you will not call it ‘idolatry’, or ‘adultery’.

No more.

Getting attached to certain forms, is indeed condemnable.

But seeing the divine, in every form, is another matter.

When idol worship is condemned, it is rightly condemned, because ‘idol worship’ means, giving one form, the position of God. ‘Idol worship’ means – this woman is so important. She is the idol. ‘Idol worship’ means – a man, a woman, a thought, a concept, something has become very important to me. So important, that I am worshiping it.

Now, this is heresy. Instead of worshiping the one God, you are worshiping something limited. Instead of worshiping the limitless, you are worshiping the limited, which would cause suffering to you. So, rightly idol worship is condemned.

But when, everything is worth worshiping, then you can no more call it ‘idol worship’.

Listener 2: This makes beautiful sense, Acharya Ji.

Listener 3: What happens when we start worshiping ourselves, the ego? What happens when we place the ego, the limited, as God?

Acharya Ji: What does it mean to worship everything, given that what is outside, is the inside. Right? We have repeatedly said that – the external is the internal. An now we are saying, everything carries the imprint of the divine, so Hindus have worshiped everything. So, does that mean that Hindus have worshiped ego?

Please understand.

When you are talking of every thing, what does it mean to see the presence of the divine, in every thing? Remember that the external, is the internal. It means – even when you are looking at multiple things, yet you are centered in ‘nothing’.

You might be looking at diversity, yet there is no diversity in the mind. Diversity means parts. You might be looking at many things, yet there are not many things ‘here'(the mind). There is nothing here – no parts, no presence. Pure emptiness.

When there is pure emptiness ‘here’ (the mind), then whatever is visible outside, is also empty. That is what is meant by – seeing the divine in everything. When there is Shiva ‘here'(the heart), then there is Shiva in that pole as well. But when there is ego ‘here’, then there is ego even in a pole.

To see God everywhere, there must be, first of all, God in the heart.

When God is in the heart, then your eyes open only to see God everywhere.

And when God is not in the heart, remember, you cannot see God anywhere.

Then, you will not see God, even in the Prophet of God, even in the Son of God, the Messenger of God.

So, if someone says, “No, no, I do not see godliness anywhere, but that fellow, that special one, is the messenger of God,” then he is lying. If you cannot see godliness anywhere, how did you see it in one particular form? Those who will see godliness, will see godliness, unconditionally. And those who will not see it, will not see it anywhere. Even if the very son of God is standing in front of them, they will not see godliness.

When you are not seeing godliness in the bird, in the puppy, in the stone, in the air, in water, how will you see godliness in the face of Christ?

Because you are the seer.

When the center is godly, then everything around you is godly.

And when the center is not godly, then you can only crucify Christ.


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

Watch the session:  Acharya Prashant: How does Hinduism justify idol worship when Christianity and Islam forbid it?


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Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti: The ego uses both sex and meditation as an escape

The ego uses both sex and meditation as an escape

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“Love is a state in which there is no ‘me’; 
love is a state in which there is no condemnation, no saying that sex is right or wrong, that this good and something else is bad.

Love is none of these contradictory things.

Contradiction does not exist in love.”

~ J. Krishnamurti

Question: Krishnamurti says that one craves sex, because in that, one finds no ‘me’, ego, and hence no conflict. And one uses it as an escape. Why does one not use, meditation too, as an escape? Is it because that one lacks understanding, energy, or is it because that the outside influences and inherent tendencies, acquired and hence biological, are too strong?

Does this call for an inner strength stronger than the outer influences? How would one describe this inner strength in words, if it exists?

Acharya  Prashant Ji: The basis of the question is, that one probably does not use meditation as an escape. But one does use meditation as an escape. One uses everything, as an escape.

One uses meditation, in precisely the same way, as one uses sex, or any other means of getting away.

Of course, Krishnamurti is spot on, when he says that, in the experience of sex, there is no ‘me’, no ego, and hence no conflict. So, there is a great peace, a silence, a touch of the beyond.

That peace, that silence, that touch of the beyond, is one’s ultimate desire.

But, is one ready to go beyond the touch? The ego is so afraid, and so stupid, that it is terrified of the one, it loves. That it wants to run away, from the same healing touch, it so craves for.

One will have ‘a little’ of it, one does not want ‘the whole’ of it. A little of it, ensures continuity of the ego. A little of it implies that one could have the healing touch, and yet remain what one is, yet continue with one’s ways. That much, is acceptable to the ego. But only that much, not beyond that.

The ego says, “My first priority, is to remain, exist, and after that comes everything else. Even the Truth must be subservient to my first priority.” So, liberation is alright, as long as, it is a second of liberation. Peace is alright, as long as, it is five minutes of peace. But, if silence threatens, to take over the entire life, if peace starts dominating noise, to the extent that noise might be completely annihilated, then the ego rejects.

The ego wants Truth, but only a modicum of Truth.

The ego wants peace, but only a sliver of peace.

The ego is foolish.

It’s first priority is always, it’s own sustenance.

So when, the ego will enter meditation, it will enter false meditation, it will enter limited meditation.

People meditate for five minutes. People set a particular time to meditate. I would ask, professional meditators, people who have been practicing meditation for so long: if you love meditation so much, why do you get up from it? If you love meditation so much, why do you limit it to half an hour of the morning time? Why don’t you let meditation, your entire life? Why can’t you live meditatively?

They would not have an answer. The answer is clear. The answer is: if you start living meditatively, rather than limiting, just isolating, relegating meditation to a corner of your daily schedule, then your daily schedule itself, would be threatened. You do not want to allow that.

The ego does not want to allow that. The ego says, “Meditation is good, as long as it is for half an hour. Then it will serve my my ends. I can become a little peaceful. Mind you, just a little peaceful. I can become a little peaceful, and then go about doing my usual, daily tasks.”

“Even if meditation has to be there, it has to be there as a servant of my daily priorities. I want to go to the same office, and continue with the same humdrum business, and to be effective in the same humdrum business, and to perform more efficiently in the same office, I want to be meditative.”

“I will not let meditation overpower me. I will not let meditation, become a canopy, over the space of my life. I will not let meditation become, a complete solution, that dissolves me away.”

“I will use meditation as a tool. I will use meditation as a tool, to remain more of what I anyway, and already am” – that is how the mind uses meditation, that is how the mind uses sex, that is how the mind uses Truth and God.

Because you are disturbed, dull, restless, after the entire day’s soul-sapping routine, in the night, you use sex as an entertainment, as a relief, as a getaway. Using sex as a relief, enables you, to wake up the next morning, and again continue with your routine, and then again hit the bed in the night, again use sex as a dissipator, again use sex as a temporary healer, and then again go back to the same shop, same work, same office, same society, same people, same routine, that disturb you.

Sex, Meditation, Prayer, God – in that sense, all of them, just are used by the ego, as enablers.

They enable the ego, to continue, as it is.

One returns to his shop, and then goes to the temple. Going to the temple, enables one, to return to his shop.

One does, what one does the entire day, and then in the evening, one wants to atone. One goes and confesses. It might be an evening, or it might be a Sunday in the church. One goes and confesses. Or one would write a letter of guilt, confession, admission, to a teacher. One would say that I wasted the entire day. One would say that I am a lousy man, an evil man. And all that confession in the evening, enables one, to conveniently again embark the next morning, on the same beaten path.

That is how we work.

We exploit even the highest.

If a prophet would come to us, we would use him to serve our petty purposes. Don’t you see, what people do when they go to holy places, to pilgrimage, to a Dargah, to a Guru? They go there, and they ask about their little things. That is all the relationship that they have, with the Guru, or the Pir, or the Granth, or the temple, or the Gurudwara.

Let everything exist, to allow me, to even help me, remain as rotten as I am. That is the world view of the ego. That is how we look at the entire universe. Unfortunately, that is also, how we look at the one, beyond the universe.

The ego is an exploitative being. The ego is a stupid being. It exploits the one, it ought to surrender to. It goes to the ocean, and asks only for two drops. And it thinks it is being quite clever, in asking, just as much as it can hold.

Can you look at the mind, the psychology of the person, who has the entire ocean available of him, and is instead asking for only as much, as his limitations would allow? Can you see that?

Sex is a window. Organised meditation too, is a window. Every moment in life, is a window. But the ego is scared of free, open, unlimited space. It would have only as much of the sky, as the window would allow. That is why one is so agreeable, to the five seconds of peace that orgasm brings, but one is not agreeable to Samadhi, because Samadhi is infinite peace.

One wants customised Samadhi. One wants temporal Samadhi. One wants Samadhi that can be used and exploited. One wants Samadhi, that would not be a total and final dissolution. One wants Samadhi, that one can be on the top of. And that is why, one never gets Samadhi.

And that is why, that which is so easily available, and one’s innate nature, remains elusive.


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

Watch the session:  Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti: The ego uses both sex and meditation as an escape


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Gatay, Gatay, Paragatay…

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Gatay, Gatay, Paragatay….

I will miss you so much,
Pardon me, I will have to die.
We played together for long,
Now I’m going home to the Sky.

I will miss you so much,
I’m going to where I belong.
It breaks my heart to leave you,
I tried hard to bring you along.

I will miss you so much,
My time has finally come.
As a friend I could not help you,
So a stranger I must become.

I will miss you so much,
But now the Sky is pulling me.
All the glorious stars are here,
I’ll miss my silly games with thee.

I will miss you so much,
Body is cold, faint is breath.
The mission I failed in my life,
Maybe will succeed in my death.

I will miss you so much,
My pain will make the stars cry.
I’ll come down in some other form
To bring you one day to the Sky.

I will miss you so much,
I am departing to settle my due.
When in doubt, you must remember,
I had to die because I love you.

~ 31st May’19


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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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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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coverpage

Quotes, April’19

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1.

If you want to most definitely reach,

Take the most difficult route.

2.

What is It?

More than everything, in general.

Less than nothing, in particular.

3.

If your lover speaks to you in a language you cannot comprehend,

does your love diminish?

No.

You may not comprehend his words, but still, you do understand.

What do you understand ?

Nothing in particular.

Not everything has to be intellectually comprehended.

Love is enough.

4.

Freedom is the backdrop in which bondage appears as bondage.

Freedom is the Light in which darkness looks like darkness.

If there is only darkness, there is no darkness.

Darkness means anything only in the presence of Light.

To not to feel bondage is to not to be in Freedom.

5.

Grace is available to you unconditionally, but not compulsorily.

She would come to your doorstep,and knock.

She will wait,not break open your door.

Answer the knock quickly,or the knock keeps getting dimmer and infrequent.

She isn’t short of patience,but you’re short of time.

6.

Those who are winning the war, matter.

They need to be saluted.

Those who are losing the war, matter.

They need to be helped.

Those who are absentees from battlefield, do not matter.

They need to be ignored.

7.

What you collect for your security makes you all the more insecure.

8.

Except for Prakriti,

who will tell you

of all the stories of

Parmatma?

And, well,

all his secrets?

9.

What does it mean to say “God is One? Truth is One?”

It simply means: Do not allow the many to lord over your mind. The world is many things. The world is many thoughts, moods, emotions, ideologies, objects, relationships.

Do not let these turn into your gods.

10.

The lover, the mystic, looks at the moon

and knows fullness itself.

Is the material just material?

A thing is the Source behind itself.

It appears as a thing only because you watch as something.

Watch as nothing,

and the thing reveals itself as it’s own genesis.

 

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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Quotes, May’19

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1.

Life is sacred,

the living are sacred,

the conscious are sacred,

the unconscious are sacred,

the subject is sacred,

the object is sacred.

All sacred

just because they are false.

Falseness is false.

They are not what they appear.

They are where they come from.

The Truth. The One.

2.

The storm kept raging.

The Sky didn’t utter a word.

3.

You’ve one life

and you must

spend it rightly.

4.

Restless are those who do not have answers.

Dead are those who do not have even questions.

Better to be restless than dead.

Most people appear lifeless.

Not because they do not have answers, but because they do not have questions.

Doubt, Wonder, Ask, Question, Find.

Come alive!

5.

Gratitude is not about uttering thanks when you receive a pleasant gift.

Gratitude is about remaining thankful when you are being destroyed.

6.

Live on with the patterns of your life.

Know the patterns as patterns. Don’t attempt to change them.

The pattern is tied to you by your own resistance and attachment.

Resistance is attachment.

Leave it, it will go to where it came from.

So what to do with patterns?

Nothing.

7.

When you feel incomplete,

Kindly don’t fill yourself with rubbish.

8.

Fear is useful.

One must have the right fear.

Right fear

is when one is afraid

of losing the one thing

that cannot be lost,

and yet man loses it

again and again.

Afraid of this one thing,

now one can be fearless

about all else.

This is the key to

fearlessness.

9.

Here is the method:Every small action will tell you of your centre.

You fondly said: Come.

Whom did you call?

You dryly said: Busy.

What are you busy with?

You sorely missed something.

What is it?

You dreamily thought of someone.

Who is he?

The real one has just One in mind.

10.

Acharya ji, who is a friend?

Whose friend?

Mine.

Who are you?

(Mute)

A squirming consciousness are you, desperate for its Destination.

Who is a friend?

Who rids you of all else, and points you to the Destination alone.

Who is a foe?

Who stands between you and the Destination.

~Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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God, Love and Gratitude

God Love and Gratitude

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Question: Acharya ji, how are Gratitude and Love connected with each other?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Love is the urge to move towards That.

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

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. 

And that also explains Gratitude. Gratitude says, “I did not even want it, or dream of it, and I am still receiving it. How fascinating! I don’t even deserve it, and yet I am being blessed with it.

Question: Acharya Ji, how to show Gratitude?

Acharya Ji: You distribute it.

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

Once you are grateful, you stop measuring others, on the eligibility scale. Just as you received something, irrespective of your eligibility, similarly, you start distributing it to others, irrespective of their eligibility.

Question: Acharya ji, why are there so many forms of God as Krishna, Ram, or Shiva?

Acharya Ji: Because you are so many. Even here I have to speak in two languages. You are so many, that different words, different names are needed. And if there are eight hundred crore of you, currently alive, then how many names and how many definitions and forms will be needed?

God is one, but you are many, therefore gods are many.

Listener: So, there is no difference between…

Acharya ji: For you, there is a lot of difference.

Listener: Yes, they were different for me. Now, should I try to understand the commonality and singularity that all of them represent?

Acharya Ji: The singularity is there, whether you understand it or not. I wanted some normal Dal, and my hotel waiter tells me that a normal dal, with a bit of spinach in it, is ‘palakura pappu’.

(laughter)

And I have been so fascinated by this word, ‘palakura pappu’, while driving the car, I was singing of it, – “Palakura pappu..” It is just dal. Dal-palak. Just little bit of distance, and ‘dal-palak’ becomes ‘palakura pappu’.

And God is so very distant from the common egoistic human being. Obviously, there would be a great diversity in names.

Question: Acharya Ji, are there any simpler and direct ways of Remembering?

Acharya Ji: The Zen way is there, but it is very direct. It is as direct, as a stick- straight and forward.

Zen teachers had very great respect for time. They would not even waste time in explaining. So many of them, would simply beat up.

That is the way of instant remembrance, for the forgetful mind.

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

Watch the session:  God, Love and Gratitude || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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The four grades of mind || Acharya Prashant (2019)

The four grades of mind

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Question: Acharya ji, what is the most important lesson in spiritual wisdom? How to understand the mind of a commoner? How to understand a spiritual mind? How to understand a scientific mind? What are the challenges faced in spiritual journey?

Acharya Prashant Ji: 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.

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 subjecivity. 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.

The common mind is inclined to say, “Something exists, because I feel it does.” Right? “Something exists, because I feel, or think that it does.” So he says, “Something exists.” So his world is very, very subjective. Then there is the world of the scientist. He says, “Something does not merely exist, because it appears to exist. Appearances can be deceptive. Appearances vary from person to person, even mood to mood. So I have to verify. I have to cross-check.” And that is the scientific method.

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.”

We have talked of three kinds of minds. There is another quality of mind, that is below even the common mind. It is the mind of the madman, the crazy man. The common man cares at least a bit for facts. The crazy man does not care even one bit for facts.

The common mind would atmost say, “Yes, this is the pillar. But I do not like this pillar.” So, to him this is a dis-likable pillar. The crazy mind would may even say that this is an elephant, and he would insist that this is an elephant, and this is his totally personal truth.

The more your truth becomes personal, the more crazy you are. The madman too lives in truths, but all his truths are purely personal. If he says, “This is an elephant,” – this is an elephant for him. He says, “I do not bother about universality. I do not bother about something being verifiable. I do not bother about facts. Obviously I do not bother about the Truth. All I bother about is my subjective perception.”

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

Listener: So, in the light of this, this is the good reason for travelling and wanting to explore?

Acharya Ji: Yes, very good.

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.

That does not mean that alternate ways of living are truer than your ways of living. That merely means, that there do exist alternatives, and Truth has no alternative. So, 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.

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.

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.

The key challenge in spirituality, is not the attainment of absolute Truth, because there is as such nothing to be attained. What are you going to attain with these little hands? Can you really attain immensity? You cannot. The infinite is not given to be contained in littleness. And we are all very little.

Hence, 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.

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. 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.

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

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

Watch the session:  The four grades of mind || Acharya Prashant (2019) 


Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here

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(In multiples of $10)

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