Acharya Prashant, with students: Who is collecting your sacrifice? ||(2013)

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

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Question: Why do we sacrifice in the name of Life?

Acharya Prashant: Who says that? What is your name?

Listener: Ankush.

AP: Ankush, who told you that Life is a big ‘sacrifice’? And whenever there is a ‘sacrifice’, there is somebody collecting the sacrifice. Who is collecting the sacrifice? You are giving your Life who is taking that Life? Have you ever seen this?

Life is not a sacrifice. 

It was surely a very defeated, a very sad man who has said that Life is the ‘sacrifice’. Life is there to live. It is your one precious Life and you are ‘young’. It is meant to be lived. It is not even meant to be given away. But a divine part is this that

When you live your Life fully, you actually give a lot to others as well.

Like a candle. A candle shining brightly is able to light a hundred other candles as well. And that takes nothing away from its own Light. It does not have to sacrifice its own Light.

Ensure that you are up and aflame like that candle then others will also get something from you. But that will be just incidental. You don’t have to sacrifice. Sacrifice what and why?

Attain your fullness and then there will be of great use to others as well. You will be able to help everybody and there will be no sacrifice in that. No sacrifice at all. The Upanishad, that is the very puzzling thing, it is the Shanti-Path of many of the Upanishads. They say when the full is taken away from the full what remains is still full.

There is no ‘sacrifice’. The full has not yet been reduced. It cannot be reduced.

Are you getting it?

Only a limited can be reduced. And what can a beggar give to others? If you are a beggar, of what use is a sacrifice. Gain completeness, gain richness. And then you will find that this richness is overflown and everybody is benefitting. A madman cannot help another madman. But madmen are too eager to sacrifice their lives for another madman and the entire world is becoming mad because too many madmen are sacrificing their Lives for another madman.

Don’t sacrifice.

Find yourself out.

Gain your completeness.


~ Acharya Prashant Ji speaking at the ShabdYoga Session at KEC, Ghaziabad on 29th January 2013


Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant, with students: Who is collecting your sacrifice?

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


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All suffering is false

That’s what the Aatma does. It keeps relaxing, in its seat.

All suffering is false. So, where is the question of tragedy?

Complain, and you lose even what you already have. Be grateful, and you get more than what you are grateful for.

When you are being the most serious, the Truth pokes fun at you. In fact, your seriousness is the biggest joke.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Katha Upanishad: Why do the wise call the Aatman, ‘the enjoyer’?


 

Acharya Prashant on Katha Upanishad: Why do the wise call the Aatman, ‘the enjoyer’?

Question: Acharya Ji, why do the wise call the Aatman, ‘the enjoyer?’

Acharya Prashant: Enjoyer, in the sense of the watcher. Just as in the cinema hall, you enjoy the show. How do you enjoy the show? By leaping into the screen? In Cinema Hall, how do you enjoy it? By relaxing, in your seat.

That’s what the Aatma does. It keeps relaxing, in its seat.

Listener: That means, enjoying our sufferings.

AP: Yes.

Don’t you enjoy even tragic scenes, on the screen? That’s what the Aatma does. For Aatman, there is no tragedy. We talked of it yesterday, right?

All suffering is false. So, where is the question of tragedy?

Reminds me of my college days. So, you know, young students, how they are? Brash, hard, mocking at everything sentimental. That’s the environment in hostels. Nobody likes sissies there. If you are a mama’s boy, if you display lot of emotions, then you become a butt of lot of jokes.

So, it was an inter-hostel dramatics competition. And one of the hostels was trying to enact a sentimental play, in which one of the characters was particularly sentimental. So, with due respect, the student crowd tolerated that play and that expressive actor for some one-minute twenty seconds. And then, we all as part of the audience came into our own! Now, this sentimental actor, playing an even sentimental character, is wailing, weeping, sobbing his heart out. And the more he is crying on the stage, the more is the audience laughing! Can you visualize? He is screaming with pain, and the public is going mad with laughter. People are rolling down the aisle. And hearing a lot of commotion in the audience, he is thinking he is being applauded. So, he is beating his chest, even more ferociously. And now, the public has started throwing their clothes and stuff. After around three or four minutes of such rioting, the actor finally realized that something is wrong.

That is how the Aatman probably watches us! That is why the Katha Upanishad is saying that the Aatman enjoys! We are such stupid actors. It becomes obvious that the suffering we are displaying on the stage is a false suffering. How can any intelligent watcher empathize with us? The more you cry, weep, shriek, the more the Aatman enjoys!

That is why all the Buddhas of the world, have a great time. That is why the first thing he said was, “the world is suffering.” What you missed seeing, is his faint smile, (chuckles) when he said that. Why else do you think is he smiling all the time? When the world is suffering, why else would he smile? Because even your suffering is so imperfect, fake, superficial. The actor on the screen is beating his chest, and the audience too is beating their chests. That is how the Aatman enjoys.

Read more

Series of great miracles

The subtle can be perceived only by the subtle.

We talk as if miracles happen sometimes. ‘Time’ itself is a miracle.

To believe in miracles is to believe in your personal helplessness. To believe in miracles is to accept that the center of doing is not you, that what is happening is not really your accomplishment.

The miracle tells you that neither have you done it nor do you understand what has been done that is too much for the ego.

You will never be very open to believing in miracles. To believe in miracles is to believe in grace. ‘Grace’ is a miracle. To believe in miracles is to believe in love, truth. You would much rather believe in yourself; Love, truth, grace, they obliterate you. The work of God is miraculous. The work of God is not something that the human mind can make sense of, and that is a miracle. But as we just said, if you cannot make sense of something you feel humiliated. There is another mind that feels delighted when he sees something of the beyond happening. He has faith.

The very existence of Jesus is a miracle. No other miracle is needed.

Life is nothing but a series of great miracles.

The very existence of the Jesus is a miracle. Obviously, everything that happens through him is bound to be a miracle.



Read the complete article:  Acharya Prashant on Jesus – What does it take to believe in miracles

On Jesus: What does it take to believe in miracles?

Poster 5

Acharya Prashant: The next question says:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

After reading the story of Lazarus, this is what comes to the mind. We all want to see miracles in order to believe in the existence of a God. Something that is magical or out of the ordinary. Most of us have witnessed those moments at some point in our lives. Yet those moments pass and we go on with our normal lives as if nothing has happened. So what does it then take to believe fully and completely? And why do we find it so difficult?

‘Miracles’ are continuously happening Nimisha. But to whom are the miracles happening? Who would perceive the miracles as happening? The one who is to perceive is lost in the gross material. He can perceive nothing but that which is loud, sensory, material.

The subtle can be perceived only by the subtle.

That is the reason why blunt demonstrations like the one in the case of Lazarus are talked of. That Lazarus loved Jesus was in itself the highest miracle. But that miracle would not be appreciated. It would not even be called a miracle because we are gross people. We have lost the sensitivity, the receptivity to perceive, record, register the little, the faint, the delicate and that is the reason why we talk only of some miracles. We do not talk of a continuity of miracles.

We talk as if miracles happen sometimes.

‘Time’ itself is a miracle.

Read more

The destination of all the words is Silence.

Words will always belong to the mental realm, to the path. What is beyond the path? The destination. Whatever is being said is being said so that you can be close to the destination. Words are for the sake of Silence if they are arising from silence. Words arising from the Silence are for the sake of Silence. Be directly established in the Silence.

You take a shortcut. You take a direct path. When you cannot comprehend the words, just know that the destination of all the words is Silence. So you directly go there. Why take the circuitous route? Words are like that mischievous tourist guide who wants to inflate his billing, so he will take you by the longest route possible. And in taking you through the longest route, he’s assuring you of his own importance, “You see, it was such a torturous route. You would’ve lost your way. Good that you hired me. See now I am navigating you through all this maze.” This is what words do.

Read more

Going beyond words

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L: What is beyond the words?

AP: Words will always belong to the mental realm, to the path. What is beyond the path? The destination. Whatever is being said is being said so that you can be close to the destination. Words are for the sake of Silence if they are arising from silence. Words arising from the Silence are for the sake of Silence. Be directly established in the Silence.

You take a shortcut. You take a direct path. When you cannot comprehend the words, just know that the destination of all the words is Silence. So you directly go there. Why take the circuitous route? Words are like that mischievous tourist guide who wants to inflate his billing, so he will take you by the longest route possible. And in taking you through the longest route, he’s assuring you of his own importance, “You see, it was such a torturous route. You would’ve lost your way. Good that you hired me. See now I am navigating you through all this maze.” This is what words do.

Read more

The Real Saint looks like a heretic or a lunatic than a saint

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The myth of the Saint, the Saint!

And with, the myth of the Saint we would be able to touch many associated myths. Like the myth of the respect: respectability rather, the myth of godliness. And of course Love!

When we use the word “Saint”, we use it obviously, inevitably in the same frame of mind. From the same center, as we use many other words.

Our language is a language of objects. Any and every words that we know refers to something; something that can be thought of; something that can be touched, conceptualized, seen, felt, hurt; something that is within the domain of the mental activity.

So the obvious result is that even when we use words like saint, God, Truth, freedom, joy, love they turn into objects due to the sheer fact of verbalization. Because you have put them into words, you have willingly or unwillingly turned them into objects. The same thing happens when we refer to the word “Saint”. Read more

What is Bharat?

So, if you’ll ask me, “What is Bharat?”

I will wait for you to look at the snow capped Himalayas. And then, when your eyes would be shining with wonderment, then I will say, “That is Bharat!”

Or when you would be reading The Upanishads, and your mind would suddenly be getting lighter and your face would have a sudden radiance and you would have felt for yourself deeply in your heart what it meant to say, ‘Poornamidah; poornamidam’.

Then I will say, “That! That is Bharat.”

On Upanishad: The difference between knowledge and intelligence

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Questioner: Can I say that intelligence is greater than knowledge, or vice-versa?

Acharya Prashant: They are incomparable.

To say one is greater than the other, you have to bring them to the same plane, have the same unit, the same benchmarks, and the same scale to compare them. They are in different dimensions. Read more

On Upanishad: When you are conscious of Silence, it is noise

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Acharya Prashant: What do we talk about?

L1: Silence

AP: We can talk a lot in Silence. Talking about Silence will always be a little round-about; beating around the bush. But in Silence, which is our nature, we can talk a lot.

We can even be silently noisy. (Smiles)

We can have a lot of words in Silence.

We can have wordlessness in Silence.

Silence is the pure Self – that is Silence.

L2: Sir, when we say we are silent, then there is no God.

AP: That is God.

L2: Why it is written in this phrase that you are the substratum behind the manifested universe?

You are the substratum beneath the manifested universe.

AP: You are the substratum beneath the manifested universe. You not being there, will the universe be there? You not being there, would that be there which you take as yourself? Here, you refer to the pure Self – which is the source from where the body and the mind originate. And then, from them, the whole universe comes into being. So, you are the foundation of the whole universe.

L2: So, in your videos when we refer to Source, we refer to pure Self?

AP: (Nods in affirmation)

L2: Sir, what does Sansara mean? In the bracket, it is written the cycle of transmigratory existence.

AP: (Points towards everything around)

L2: Everything?

AP: All this that keeps rising and falling. And rising again; again falling.

L2: Don’t call it good; don’t call it bad.

AP: It is there. It is there.

L3: Can you say a little bit more about one of your quotation that says, “Right action happens voicelessly, it comes from nowhere and it goes into nowhere.”

AP: Comes from nowhere means, it has no cause behind it. You have not calculated, you have not reasoned it out.

Goes into nowhere means, it bears no fruits. There is no expectations or hope attached to it.

It has no cause means it is not coming from thoughtful decision making.

It has no future, it goes into nowhere means it just disappears. It does not carry forward in time.

Often, what we do is carried forward in time, carried ahead, why? Because the action is accompanied by an expectation and the expectation is now using time to wait for the result. The action was not important for you, the result was important, so you are still not through with the action. You are waiting for the result.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Upanishad: When you are conscious of Silence, it is noise

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: To maintain silence is to maintain yourself; your silence is the noise that you are

Article 2: Only Silence communicates fully; let words come from Silence

Article 3: The real meaning of Mauna (Silence)


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The sweet conspiracies of the Heart

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Question: What’s the difference between conspiracy and belief?

Acharya Prashant: A conspiracy is a belief that you are quite clever. A belief is a conspiracy that is not known as a conspiracy.

A conspiracy is a belief that you are quite clever.

A belief is a conspiracy that is not known as a conspiracy.

Read more

Who is Kabir?

Questioner: I have a question about Kabir. As I know, he was also a kind of Sufi, not just Hindu or Muslim, he…

Speaker: See, the heart of Sufism and the heart of Vedanta, the heart of Hasidism, the heart of Christian mysticism, they are all one Heart. So, it would anyway be unwise to call anybody, any realized one, as belonging to any sect. You see, Kabir can’t be called a Hindu or a Muslim. Some people substitute it with calling him both a Hindu and a Muslim. I call him neither a Hindu nor a Muslim. Krishna cannot be called a Hindu. Jesus was even by fact not a Christian and he can’t even be called a Jew. You see, where does the Jesus lie? He revolts against Judaism, so for sure he is not a Jew, and he is not a Christian either because Christianity was not there. Read more

The Whole gives rise to parts, yet is beyond them

Speaker: Parts change, the whole remains unchanged.

First of all, this whole, that is being talked of, is not a sum of the parts. Usually, when we refer to a whole, what we mean is, that there are the parts and when they are taken together, we get the whole.

In the existential sense, the whole is not the sum of the parts. The whole is from where all the parts emerge and yet the whole remains whole. Read more

Standing still, I move so fast

Unmoving, the One, than the mind is swifter.

The senses fell back as ahead It speeded.

Though standing, It passes all others running.

The air by Its presence supports the waters.

 

It moves and yet It does not move. It is far and also near.

It is found within all this and also outside can appear.

Ishavasya Upanishad (4-5)

Speaker: “Unmoving, the One, than the mind is swifter”, that is swifter than the mind. “The senses fell back as ahead It speeded”, its speed is greater than that of the senses. “Though standing, It passes all others running”, shows no movement yet He passes all those who are displaying any movement. “The air by Its presence supports the waters”. Then, “It moves and yet It does not move. It is far and also near. It is found within all this and also outside can appear”.

So, to say that this, all this (Referring to the world), is not the Truth would not be proper, but also to say that this alone is the Truth, too would not be proper. “It (Truth) is within all this (the World) and outside all this.” This is also how they put it across in Zen – “It is not what it appears but It is also nothing different from it.” All objects arise in It and are due to It but It cannot be objectified. Everything arises in It, due to It and goes back to It but ‘It’ is not a thing. Because It gives birth to everything, so whatever qualities they possess come due to It the One, the Brahm, the Truth. But It is not the sum total of the qualities of any object or all objects taken together. All objects along with their respective qualities of movement, speed, colour, form, whatever qualities there might be, arise from It. So obviously It has the potential for all those qualities, that is why they appear from It. But at the same time those qualities do not account for the potential that It has. So, there is the potential from which all the qualities appear but even if you take all the qualities together, if they could be taken together, still the potential would be left out. So It is within it and also outside it. Getting it? Within it and outside it. No scope is left for any kind of debate here.

Read more

What stays is the Truth, what recedes is the false

सत्यमेव जयते नानृतं सत्येन पन्था विततो देवयानः  
येनाऽऽक्रमन्त्यृषयो ह्याप्तकामा यत्र तत् सत्यस्य परमं निधानम् ।।

The True prevails, not the untrue; by the True the path is laid out,
the way of the gods, on which the old sages, satisfied in their desires,
proceed to where there is that highest place of the True One.

Mundaka Upanishad (Third Mundaka, First part, Verse 6)

Question: Why does the Upanishadik seer say “Satyamev Jayate”?

Speaker: Satyam ev Jayate. Only the Truth wins. Or, Truth alone wins.” “Ev” means ‘only’. Satya hee jeet ta hai (Only the Truth wins). So the question is: Why did the Upanishad not say, “Satyam Jayate (Truth wins)”? Why did he not say it in this way? What is the significance of “ev”? Why must it be said, “Truth alone wins”?

It has been said so, because the Upanishadik seer knew that we are prone to image formation. Understand this. We see two parties fight. And when two parties are fighting, we have already labeled them, because we carry images. We say, “One is the side of Truth, and the other side is the side of falseness. One is the side of dharma, the other is the side of evil.” That we have decided even before the battle. But life is bigger than the labels that you give to it. Life is beyond our limited comprehension.

It is quite possible that the side that you have called as ‘evil’ would win. Now this will create a great problem for you, because you have decided in advance that which is the Truth party and which is the false party. Now the false party has won. What to do? Your shallow faith would stand shaken. You would say, “No. Upanishads; the very word of Truth. They said, ‘Truth wins,’ but I am seeing the false win.” Hence it is quite significant that it must be said, “Satyam ev Jayate.”

If it is winning it is the Truth. If it is winning it is the Truth. Only the Truth wins. So whatever is winning, is the Truth.

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The Teacher is the voice of Truth, not the man behind the voice

Kahlil Gibran

“A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings.

Alone must it seek the ether.

And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun”.

Kahlil Gibran

Speaker: “A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings”. You may say that you are talking, that it is your voice that is emerging. But I am asking you, how is it possible that you, who are limited, are talking of the unlimited?

Kahlil Gibran is saying, “A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings”, that the voice is not really related to the tongue, that the voice is not really related to the lips either, provided the voice is flying towards the sky. And if there are words that relate to the sky, that relate to the Truth, then those words, remember, could not be coming from the tongue or the lips. It might be appearing so, that the movement of the throat, the tongue and the lips is producing that voice but rest assured that the voice does not belong to the throat and the tongue and the lips. Because as I asked, “How can the limited throat and the petty lips talk of the unlimited?” How is it possible that a mind, a body, living in space-time, really talk of the beyond? How is it possible that a brain conditioned to think only of security and continuation, sing of fearlessness and eternity? Read more

Either go completely through the pain, or simply disown the pain

आरब्धकर्मणि क्षीणे व्यवहारो निवर्तते । 
कर्मक्षये त्वसौ नैव शामेद्धयानसहस्त्रतः 

(Avadhuta Upanishad, Verse 19)

When the results of actions set in motion are exhausted, the habitual usage also ends. This worldly usage will not cease even with repeated meditation, unless such actions are exhausted.

Question: Is there no way out? What is meant by ‘actions are exhausted’?

Speaker: ‘Exhausted’ means that all the pent-up, suppressed energy, comes into motion, and takes a release. But this is the most painful, mechanical and time-consuming way of getting rid of your burden, the Prarabdha Karma. It is like saying that your palm is kept over a burning piece of coal, and you can get relief only when all the latent energy of the coal is exhausted. This is the most painful, unintelligent and time-consuming way of coming to the end of suffering.
And even in this process, coming to the end of suffering, coming to exhaustion, is possible only if no fresh fuel is Presentation1added to the fire. It is possible only if one has the patience and the faith to bear all the results of his previous karma without creating new cause-effect cycle, without adding to his inventory of more unspent fuel. Read more

What is ego?

Quote: “The only way to find yourself is to lose yourself.”

Listener 1: (Passionately) Sir, I read this quote somewhere and really liked it.

Speaker: Good, what are you doing with this quote?

Listener 1: I have been trying to lose myself. Read more

Ego will not understand this world, but will demand a Reality beyond

Question: Taittriya Upanishad says, “Mind creates everything as ‘happening’.” If all happening is mind, then what is ‘real happening’? Is there any difference between ‘real happening’ and ‘mental happening’? Is the ‘real happening’ just a concept of mind?

Speaker: Few basics have to be understood. And they can be understood very well through the mind. Whenever you say ‘happening’, never forget time and space. Whenever you say ‘happening’, what do you mean? You mean- something is changing. Read more