Core value is ‘Clarity’

Why can’t my response to a situation arise directly of my out of my intelligence? Why do I need an ideal? Why do I need an ideal to show me the way? Why do you need to give me ideals? Don’t I have the power to understand? And can’t my action come out of my own power? Why do I need the support of an ideal? Why?

Every course of action and its opposite course of action both are alright in a different situation. So, how can there be an ideal response? 

Your very fundamental core value is ‘Clarity’ except that there is no core values.

Ideals obfuscate ‘clarity.’ So, anybody who will have ideals as core values will find that he is missing out on clarity. That clarity has also been given the name of ‘emptiness.’ Emptiness because it is clear, clear of everything. It is empty. That is the only core value. A little ahead that core value takes the shape of a few other core values. They are called Truth, Joy, Love, Freedom.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

L1: Acharya Ji, my question is on the applicability of idealism that is practicality of idealism. Basically, an idealism and practical approach both are separate, It cannot be together. But if some people try to bring idealism in the practical life. It’s always like to creates a problem. Like we all are on and off face the problem which becomes a prison for saying the Truth.

So, what my question is does idealism that applies to the practical world does it create the issue and problem that was meant to solve the issue and the problem?

Acharya Prashant: Good! Pranay?

Pranay has asked the question the gist of which is that following ideals often lands one into trouble. What to do when the situation is like this? What are the Ideals?

L2: Ideals are ethics. Just as my Life is there and there is no conflict in between me and my favorite personalities and I keep on following him and practicing him.

AP: Can you simplify it a little more? I don’t know what the ideals are. You need to educate me. What are the ideals?

L2: Which are right things.

AP: What is the right thing?

L2: Which doesn’t land us into the problem.

AP: How do you know that it is right to express your hands like this? You just did that. How do you know that it is right to look that way? You just did that. How do you know? Can you have an ideal for every situation? And life is moments and remember a moment is not a second. A moment is infinitesimally smaller than a second. And for every moment you need some kind of a response right? Some kind of a right response. Can you have an ideal to guide you?

What is an ideal answer to the question that I am posing? How do I know? How do I know that it is ideal for me to ask you this question? How do you know that it is ideal of you to listen attentively?

Ideals sound like a well-meaning word but what are they? What are the ideals?

Alright! Let me try something and tell me whether it’s okay. I am saying ideals are some kind of predetermined response to a situation. When the situation is like this you respond like this. X comes to you and your output is Y. That is an ideal, right? Input X output Y. Is that an ideal? Is that not what an ideal is?

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Pure giving

The ego is interested in its own nourishment.

Because the ego wants only that what the ego values, not which is absolutely valuable.

Getting tired of getting hurt is a rare happening. Man is extremely resilient. We keep on getting hurt again and again, at the same place and yet we are hardly ever tired of repeating the same processes, the same actions that bring us to hurt.

You can call it a stage of demolition. The old patterns are seen as worthless and hence given up.

In the first level, the ego gives, and this giving is of a nature that strengthens the ego. In the second level, the ego gives up its trust in itself and hence gets diminished.

In the third stage giving up does not happen. The third stage is of pure giving.

You just give. Meaninglessly, purposelessly, reasonlessly. You don’t even give, you are just being what you really are.

And when you just start giving, since you are giving to yourself, you start receiving a lot.

Tremendously bored we are with everything, that even an invitation to get rid of boredom sounds boring.

Your mind is already afraid of death, and Rumi is just exposing, or at worst exploiting that fear.

Given the way we are, fear is our reality. Wherever there is body identification, there would also parallely be the fear of the loss of the body.

Everything is done for a purpose, for a reason, with the expectation of gain. And where there is the expectation of gain, there is also the parallel fear of loss.

Because an action that arises from fear can never eliminate fear.

Take care of the ‘first’ in the ‘first place.’ Do not let the disease guide your actions. Rather, the first action should be to eliminate the disease. And these are the only two ways of living.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving

Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving


Before death takes away what you are given,

give away what there is to give.


Acharya Prashant: Here is something from Rumi: “Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give.”

The question says, “Statements like these are interpreted as being pleasure aversive, and we already are pain aversive, so together it means being life aversive. Is Rumi really talking about being life aversive?”

I’ll repeat the quote, “Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give.”

‘Giving’ is the keyword. Let’s go close to it and understand it. ‘Giving’ happens at three different levels. All three are connected to each other, yet there is a dimensional difference between the three. The three appear to be progressively leading to each other, yet there is also a quantum jump from the first to the second and from the second to the third. The first kind of giving is the giving that we are all very familiar with.

You give somebody a hundred rupee note and then you expect in return a value of at least hundred rupees, right? And it is great if you give hundred rupees and are in return given a value of two hundred rupees. If you just look at the event partially, then giving is happening. Is it not? You are giving something, right?

Similarly, we give gifts to each other. We give compliments to each other. We give advices to each other. We even give help to each other. We see that happening all around us. What is common between all these types of givings? We are talking about the first level of giving. What is common between all these types of giving?

Listener: It’s given to someone else.

AP: Yes, and?

L: Expectation of a return.

AP: Expectation of a return. Now what kind of return do you expect? When you give something to somebody, what do you expect in return?

L: Something of same value.

AP: Something of value at least, or do you expect something valueless? Be with me, do you expect something valueless or something you deem as worthy?

L: Something we deem as worthy.

AP: Who decides whether what you are getting in return is indeed valuable?

L: Me.

AP: You decide. So you are the one who decides that you are giving away something that has value, let’s say a note or a compliment. And you are also the one who decides that what you are getting in return too is valuable, correct? Who is this ‘you’, who is this ‘me’ who decides what to give and what to get? And whether to give and whether to get? And whether the given and taken has value? Who is this entity that decides all this? That entity is called the ‘ego.’

The ego is interested in its own nourishment.

So, whenever it enters into a transaction with the world, whenever it enters into a transaction in a relationship, its objective is always to enhance itself. Which means that if it is giving hundred, it wants hundred and fifty in return. This is our normal day-to-day giving, which appears like giving but is actually a business transaction in which the ego wants to benefit and hence enhance itself. Are you getting it?

If you give something but get something in return which the ego does not like, then you will say that this is not a fair transaction. Take an extreme example. Let’s say you have become habituated to substance abuse, drugs. You take one thousand rupees and you give it to a drug peddler. And what you get from him instead is some sane advice and a copy of the Upanishads. An entire set of the principal Upanishads, that’s what he gives you the moment you hand over your thousand bucks to him. Will you say that you have been given a fair deal? Would you?

L: No.

AP: No,

because the ego wants only that what the ego values, not which is absolutely valuable.

It has to be valuable in relation to the ego’s configuration. I want that which I think is good for me. Now even if what you are giving me is beautiful advice and a copy of the scriptures, yet I reject it because I do not value it because this is not what I expected. Give me that which I want.

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What do you want, a thousand idiots surrounding you or five real friends with you?

Why should I crave for recognition from somebody else? Remember, the one who will give me recognition, sanction, will act on his own values. He will appreciate only that which he thinks, is appreciable. If everybody thinks that ‘black’ is appreciable then what will I need to do to get their appreciation? I need to become black, wear black, demonstrate black, right? Is that not so? To get popularity and fame among people you have to do what the people like, right? Is that not so? So who is the master and who is the slave?

Remember, the common characteristics of masses is mediocrity. And to become popular among masses, you have to fall to mediocrity. Without becoming mediocre, it is impossible to become popular.

Excellence never becomes very popular.

Popularity means becoming a slave to others and secondly popularity means becoming a slave to others who are very mediocre. Not only are you a slave, you are a slave to an idiot. How does that sound? 

Following is always easier, right? Going up against the gravity is always a little more difficult. What do you think, the followers follow the leader? No, the leader follows the followers.

Popularity means I do not have an internal locus of control. I am constantly looking at others, trying to please them.

You do what you must do. You do that which brings peace to you. And let me tell you, when you are doing ‘that’, which stems from your peace and which brings peace then a few people will come to you, few people will recognize you but those will be real people.

What do you want, a thousand idiots surrounding you or five real friends with you?What do you want?

An authentic man can never be attracted towards a fake person. That is the reward of being real. When you are real, not only you enjoy being with yourself but you also find that your environment is full of the best that world can offer.

Do not make those decisions considering that how they would be perceived by society or friends. Do not make those decision considering what the convention has been. Look afresh at them. Don’t go by the traditional definitions of good-bad, right-wrong, big-small, acceptable-unacceptable. What comes from your intelligence, only that is acceptable. Everything else is totally unacceptable.

Should one strive for fame and popularity?



Question: Is it important to do something big in your life or more important is to do something big in any small work that you do?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Listener: Abhinav Gupta.

AP: Sit Abhinav. Is it important to do something big in life or is it preferable to do better in something small that you pick up? Abhinav, I need to understand your question. What do you mean by something big in life?

L: Something big in life means that if someone is Sachin Tendulkar, everyone needs to have same identity as Sachin Tendulkar or anyone can be…

AP: What do you mean by Sachin Tendulkar?

L: Sachin Tendulkar means that he has a big identity as a cricketer.

AP: Who gave that identity?

L: sir, we gave the identity…

Read more

The Myth of Yoga || Acharya Prashant on Bhagwad Gita (2016)

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Acharya Prashant: So, what is the setting of the Bhagwat Gita? The Bhagwat Gita is a part of the epic, Mahabharata, which is a story of princely clans, running over many generations. So, one side, one group of allies by the name of Pandavas, are ranged against their cousin brothers, by the name of Kauravas. The setting is a battlefield. Krishna, is the Charioteer, of the lead warrior amongst the Pandavas, his name is Arjun. We must go deeply into the setting, first of all.

There is a conflict, in which, brothers, relatives, acquaintances, have all been set up against each other. Arjun’s great grandfather is on the opposite side. Many of Arjun’s friends, are on the opposite side. Hundreds of his cousin brothers are on the opposite side. The teacher, who taught him all his martial skills, is on the opposite side. The teacher’s son too, is on the opposite side. Read more

What is the value of questions in the spiritual process?

Question: Why human beings have the capacity to question each and everything?
Acharya Prashant: You question only when you do not find something fitting in your patterns. Right? If everything is alright, you don’t question it. You don’t question why I am able to hear what you’re saying. But if I am not able to hear what you’re saying, you question it. Is that not so?
You believe the pattern to be real and when the pattern is falsified you question it. I believe if I throw a ball then it must reach there. And why it must reach there? Because I have always found it reaching there whenever I have thrown it. So this is a pattern. Throw it, find it falling there. This is a pattern.
Now, if I throw a ball and the ball hangs in the mid air then I’ll say what’s this! What’s going on? Now there is a question. So we question because we believe in the pattern. Hence, questioning can come to a mind that has first known the pattern. But this mind has known the pattern but has not seen the pattern to be false. So it starts feeling little uneasy when it finds the pattern broken. It questions.
There can be a mind lower than this—that has not even seen the pattern. This mind will not question. It is such a dumb mind. A mind that is not even  conscious of the pattern will never raise any questions. And you would have met minds like those. They don’t question anything, whatever may keep happening they don’t find any need to question it.
Then there are those who question, those who questions believe in the pattern.
And then there are those who say, “Aah! pattern!” it may continue or it may break, how does it matter; just as a dream may continue or break.
Continuation of a dream makes it no more real than a broken dream.
Then they just sit in silent; they too don’t question. We have all these three categories of people here also. Some are not questioning because they don’t even see what I am talking of is so disruptive. So they don’t question. “Oh, there is no need to question. It’s all okay much the same. Why should I question?” There are some who are questioning, they are questioning because they are seeing that what I am saying is growing against the grain of what they have been believing. So they are questioning, they are asking repeatedly.
And then there might be another category who is so absorbed, so immersed that it finds no need to question. A question is like a dissent, a question says a pattern must be continued why did it break. And if you have no affixation with the pattern then you don’t question, then you’re just silent and immersed.
May there be more people like those here.
But if you can’t be like the one who is not attached to the pattern and hence doesn’t question, then at least question!
Are you getting it?
If you can’t let it directly come to your heart, if you find that the mind is standing in the way then do express the resentment, the dissent of mind; then, question.
By questioning you may probably come to a place where you have no need to question.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: What is the value of questions in the spiritual process?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: The one answer to every question

Article 2: On Jesus: Faith does not answer questions, it laughs at them

Article 3: Attend to the facts and your imaginations will fall in place

Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant 


A Krishna is not shy of declaring his divinity

“While doing your duty, let me tell you, never bring in any of the attitudes of the outer self.

Anger, hate, jealousy, attachment, all pertain to the outer self.”

Lord Krishna (Bhagavad Gita)
Question: Above mentioned lines that Lord Krishna said to Arjuna were meant to motivate him to fight his own elders/relatives. To me, it seems as if Lord Krishna was asking him to be a cold-blooded murderer probably like a lot of criminals these days. Can someone please explain to me the correct meaning and its application in current age?

Acharya Prashant: A similar verse from Gita was raised this Wednesday as well. Krishna, the renegade, seems to be junking all traditional values. Non-violence, democracy, individuality, family, lawfulness- he would have none of these.

What he is teaching Arjuna is scary. Our society is surviving precisely because we (gladly) donot have teachers like Krishna today. A Krishna is extremely dangerous. He will demolish our minds, relationships, families, individualities, just everything.
What is worse, a Krishna will not say that his Father sent him (Jesus), or that his mother speaks through him (Ramakrishna). A Krishna is so arrogant that he says I AM IT, and this is it. No humility this fellow has.
Krishna does not comfort us like the Buddha. Krishna does not say ‘Be your own light’. He does not give us the slightest respect 🙂
Krishna will not go down well with Krishnamurti people as well. Krishna has no problem with authority. Unabashedly, he declares himself to be the absolute authority.
Krishna is not the one for liberals and democrats who sing of equality. He will not debate with us. He will not pretend ‘Sir, we are discussing as friends, equals’. Instead, he says ‘Come, and surrender to Me’.
The climax is when Krishna tells Arjun to leave all religions and be devoted just to him. It is impossible for us to tolerate such certainty, such totality (such dictatorship!)
Here is something: Give up your values!
(Dated: 11/22/2013)

Present is Present, memory of Present is past

Speaker: What is meant by value? To value is to know the importance. Can we value something we don’t understand? Is partial understanding possible? Is understanding a thought, a feel? If you understand partially, you just think you understand.

To say “something is valuable” is to give it importance. How do I give something importance if I don’t know what it is? If I am assigning importance to something without understanding what it is, how am I acting?

Everything outside you is so important, or is it not?

What is ‘T’ (time)? What is ‘L’ (length(space))?

Do we not measure them all the time? But do we understand them?

“I have a responsibility towards my family”

  • Do I understand this entity called ‘family’?
  • Do I know what is meant by responsibility?
  • The tiny little ‘I’ at the beginning of the sentence, do I know of its significance?

Are we sleepwalking?

If your mind is unclear and confused, goals will be unclear and confused. “I am successful because I have achieved goals – which are unclear and confused.

Observe, understand and pay attention.

Being aware, of the demands of the body. Being aware, of stray thoughts. This is Intelligence – it occurs!

Thought is an inadequate response to a stimulus. Adequate response is spontaneity. 


Post class discussion:

  • We are learning every moment.
  • Knowledge is to ‘recognize’, it is always from the past. Whereas, wisdom is from the Present. We don’t want to know because we have knowledge.
  • I am..? Is this question important? Is this question imported? (Let this question not come before time)
  • We give importance only to that which has passed, or to that which will pass.

What about the Present?

Present is Present, memory of Present is past. 

Present moment is beyond the realm of ‘time’.

  • Imagination – it is the image that goes into the past, not reality.
  • Who looks out from my eyes?
  • Science focuses only on the object, not on the subject.

Do not draw any conclusions yet.

~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabdyog’ session held at IIT-Delhi. This session was not recorded, it is based on the memory of the audience.

Edited for clarity.

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: What is the Present?

Article 2: How do I stay in the present?

Article 3: Why can’t I live in the present?

What is ‘Self and Value-clarity’?

Questioner: Sir, what is the exact definition of Self and Value-clarity?

Speaker: You want me to talk on Self, value and clarity?

Questioner: Yes sir.

Speaker: Self means who you really are, as simple as that. Self means me, I. So, why is it necessary to talk of the Self? It is because we are often confused about the Self. We wear so many fake selves, fake identities, not necessarily to deceive somebody. Sometimes because we are simply ignorant, that the Self gets hidden. And that is no fun. Read more

To understand something, observe without concluding

Question: Sir, in your blogs it is explained that the mind goes behind what it values, which is what ‘I’ value. But sometimes it happens is when I restrict it not to do certain things; there is an even greater temptation to do those things.

I was reading the Bible and it said that, “The forbidden fruit was eaten by Eve out of temptation”.

Why is the mind so tempted?

Speaker: The mind cannot really be understood by itself. The mind can at most observe itself. It cannot understand.  The mind can at most go close to its functioning and note the details. That is the maximum the mind is equipped to do. No machine is blessed with power of understanding. But yes, the mind is a very nicely designed machine that can observe, register, make notes, store and compare. These are the things that the mind can surely do. The mind should be utilized to these purposes and nothing more should be expected from the mind.

Let us understand a few basics here. Understanding is the dissolution of all observation, comparison, analysis and conclusion. These are the things that the mind does. When these activities of the mind either reach their climax or come to their eventual defeat. That is called dissolution of mental activity.

That dissolution of mental activity is, understanding. Read more

What is meant by inner voice?

God Emptiness

Question: Sir, how can we define the ‘inner voice’? We obviously talk to ourselves!

Acharya Prashant: There is no need to define ‘the inner voice’. You just have to see that it too is only just a voice. As there are so many voices all around you, this inner voice too is just one of them. Since the day you were born, you have been listening to so many voices. These voices have accumulated over these years. This is how the mind has been formed.

“There are so many voices everywhere, and I call one of them as ‘the inner voice’.

And that inner voice also keeps changing. Does it speak the same thing every time? It keeps changing! Have you ever observed in which language it speaks?

L1: It speaks in a language that I understand.

AP: Right. Just as there are voices around us that are making noise, there is a voice from within that is making noise. There is no need to give any value to that voice. It is actually more dangerous as compared to other voices.

The other voices are still outside, but the inner voice is seated within you. It is as if your enemy has taken shelter in your own house. If the noise is coming from outside we call it ‘noise,’ if the noise is coming from within, we call it ‘the divine voice’. We say, “My conscience is speaking.”

Silence! Silence from external voices and silence from this inner voice too.

God has no voice; he doesn’t talk to you through any language. When there is complete and clear silence, then wordlessly, language-lessly, there is a oneness– not even communication, just oneness.

All these stories, that there was a king who was sleeping and Lord Shiva came in his dream and said, “On that hill-top, you build my temple,” all this is rubbish. All these stories that “God came in my dreams and then gave instructions,” all these must be openly declared to be rubbish.

God doesn’t come in dreams.

God doesn’t talk in any language.

God has no fascination for Sanskrit, or Hebrew, or Arabic.

God is not sitting anywhere.

God is not running anywhere.

God has no reason to create anything.

And God is also not busy with helping or dissolving.

If you can keep all your concepts about God away, then you have a beautiful emptiness. If you want, you can call it God!

But first keep God away.

(Laughingly)  The most godless people that we have are the ones who have too much of God.

They are ‘full’ of God!

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

Watch the session at: What is meant by inner voice?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: The beautiful voice of the Heart

Article 2: Does God exist?

Article 3: Should I listen to the mind or the Heart?


Why do I get jealous?

Question: Sir, when two people are at a same level, and if one of the two moves ahead, the other is mostly not comfortable of this fact. Whereas had the same person, been a stranger to him, the second fellow would still have been comfortable. Why is it so that knowing someone, leads to problems including jealousy?

Speaker: There is very little left to be answered here. The fact has been rightly stated. It is just that you have known the fellow since a period of time, and now the fellow is changing. Obviously you cannot ignore the fact that you have known him. Obviously there are images from the past, and compared to those images the fact of today is different.

I am not asking you to forget the images of the past, I am not asking you to look at that man in a new light, I am not asking you to look at him as if you are looking at him for the first time today, because that is probably not possible for you. You have been too close, too intimate for too long to look at the man afresh. Yes, you have a past, and yes the changed man is standing right in front of you. Now if you really love the man is not this a cause worth celebrating? Isn’t this a development to be rejoiced!

Do not forget that earlier he was with you. Because you will not be able to forget! But today, if he is unlike you, should you not celebrate this fact? Or would you rather mourn and complain and be jealous. If jealousy is arising in you, it’s a fair opportunity to reflect on the quality of the relationship that has already been there. jealousyI have been with somebody, and I do not like the fact that he is refining. Now has this a relationship been of love? Had it been of love, I would have been happy. I would have said, “Great that you are moving ahead. I love you even more now. I loved you then, and you are far more lovable today!”

Or would you rather regret and rue? Your child gets seventy marks in one examination, and in the next examination he gets eighty, do you feel disappointed? What do you say? It’s great that he is improving. Then why do you feel disappointed when your spouse starts getting ten percent more in the exam of life? He is improving, he is a better man. Celebrate!

But you can celebrate his refinement, only if first of all you value refinement. (Sarcastically) “I loved you for your crudeness, I loved you for your ignorance, I loved you for your violence, I loved you for your servility, and I do not value freedom, refinement or wisdom.

When I do not value refinement or wisdom or freedom, how will I love a wise, refined and free man? How will I love?”

Somebody getting ten more marks is a very gross event. It is obvious and visible that from seventy, there is an increase to eighty, and I wanted that increase. Right? But if you don’t want that increase, then that same increase can be a cause of regret. “Oh, I didn’t want that increase, it has increased.” Marks increase from 70 to 80, you celebrate! But if your weight increases from 70 to 80, you don’t really celebrate that much. It’s a question of value. You value marks but you do not value weight. You start calling yourself ‘overweight’.

Do you value ‘wisdom’? Do you value ‘peace’? Do you value ‘understanding’? Do you? And if you don’t value these things for yourself, obviously you cannot value these for your husband. First of all you have to value these for yourself. A wise woman would thank the heavens that the husband is gaining in wisdom. A free mind would fill up with gratitude that the partner too is gaining freedom. So, remove the spouse from the question, remove the other person from the equation. Look at yourself. “What do I value? What have I labelled as important in life?”

When you would be rightly valuing, not somebody else, first of all yourself, when you would be rightly knowing what is valuable, then you would value all the right things, all the right people, and all the right developments. Then you would not resist them. Then you would not wish that things would have been better, had this not happened. “Oh, you were better off earlier, why don’t you become the same old man? I miss what you were one year back.” Then these things will not come to your mind.

Have your heart at the right place. When somebody is waking up, and you are really friends with him, then wake up along with him. That is the only way to keep company, that is the only way to maintain the friendship. There can be no friendship between the running and the limping.

Listener: What if there are two people, both at the same level. One person who is known to me and if this person rises up, it causes a wrath of jealousy in me. However, the other person is not known to me, and if he rises, there is no jealousy. I even think that probably he deserves it. I might even be happy for him.

Speaker: Factually unfeasible. Movement means ‘comparison’. Movement is always from A to B. If you are saying that this person is showing a movement it means that you have known him in the past. You cannot say somebody is improving without having a standard to compare him against. How do you know somebody is improving? Only by knowing firstly what he has been. Do you understand what I am saying?

Listener: What about the relationship then?

Speaker: Ah, attachment!

It’s alright. Be attached, but to what? What are you attached to? I will not just announce that attachment is bad. I am saying that it is alright, be attached, but what are you attached to? There is something about the man that was there in him two years back that you are attached to. What is it that you feel attached to? His ignorance or his love?

If you are attached to his love then he is becoming all the more worthy of love, kindly be all the more attached. Wonderful! Divine attachment! But you will have problems if you are attached to his darkness. And what gets attached to darkness? Does light get attached to darkness?

It is your own darkness that is fond of darkness. So I’m saying, forget the other person. Look at yourself. Dispel the darkness within and then you will value all that is light. Being dark within, how will you value light?dispel darkness

If there are people in your life who are not happy with the fact that your eyes are opening up, that you are able to look at the world clearly then please know that this resentment is not coming from their light. It is coming from their darkness and hence this resentment cannot be made important. If your friends taunt you, when you turn up for the clarity session, then they are not your friends in the first place. Please understand this.

Friend by definition is a well-wisher. A friend by definition is a man who would celebrate if you are improving. Not a man who would be jealous and irritated seeing you walk the path of liberation. He is not a friend at all. But don’t condemn him, because if he is not a friend to you, firstly he is not even a friend to himself! He is his own enemy, how can he be a friend to you?

We make friends with so many people, without even asking, “Is that fellow a friend to himself first?” He is his own enemy, how can he be my friend? The one who does not know what is good for him, how will he know or like, what is good for you? He is bound to resent it. How can you give importance to their resentment?

– Excerpts from a Clarity Session held at AdvaitSthal. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Why do I get jealous?

Read more article on this topic:

Article 1: Ego will not understand this world, but will demand a Reality beyond
Article 2: Place of ego either at the Master’s feet or in the Master’s embrace
Article 3: The ego hates light and truth

What is heaven and what is hell?

Swarg iti cha satsansargah swargah

Narak iti cha asat sansaar vishay jansansarga eva narakah

– Niralamba Upanishad

{Heaven is the association with the holy.
Association with the worldly folk who are unholy, alone is hell.

Acharya Prashant: ‘Heaven’ and ‘hell’ are obviously not geographies.

What is it that you call as ‘holy’? That which is untainted, uncorrupted. And obviously you call that as ‘holy’ because there is something within you which gives you that definition. There is something within you which demands cleanliness, there is something within you which does not like dirt, corruption and conditioning.

So what you call as ‘holy’ is demanded by something which is of the same ‘holy’ nature and is already present in you. Had you not been holy at all, you could not have demanded the ‘holy’. You would have been satisfied with all the dirt and filth that comes along in life. But we dislike all that. It becomes a load on the mind. We do not like it, we remain dissatisfied. We want something clean, pristine, like this sheet of snow all around. Read more

Relationships are not ‘give and take’

Question: Sir, my friends, family and relatives condition me. Do I also condition them ?

Speaker: It’s a network. You see, there is no point in blaming anybody. Those who condition you, are conditioned to condition you. Are you getting it? Those who condition you, are not really villains or evil-doers. They themselves do not know what is happening. No one has planned it. All are victims.

Read more

How to differentiate right thinking from wrong thinking?

śuddhamadvayamātmānaṁ bhāvayanti kubuddhayaḥ
na tu jānanti saṁmohādyāvajjīvamanirvṛtāḥ
-Ashtavakra Gita(18-43)

Translation: The stupid one thinks of himself, and lives in the confusion of concepts.
The wise one knows himself and lives in the joy of clarity.

Speaker: The question is: If one doesn’t meditate upon the aatman and still be redeemed, then what to meditate of. Those of dull intellect meditate upon the aatman as pure and one but they do not realize it. Through delusion they remain unhappy as long as they live. Read more

Being close to yourself is closeness to others

Question: ‘I fear coming close as I feel I will recoil. I have seen this happening in the past. Moving closer seems to be the only way.’ This is coming from a book by Osho. What do these lines mean?

Speaker: You cannot come close to something unless you value it, that is the way of thought. Understand this.

You are saying, ‘I fear coming close, as I feel I will recoil’.

Ego lives in attraction, you cannot come close to somebody unless you value what that somebody stands for. That cannot just happen. So do not try to come close to an external person, do not try to come close. Just observe, so that your thoughts start coming from another point. Read more

Man-made values versus Existential values

Questioner: Sir, on one hand we say that real values are unshakable, they do not depend upon the vicissitudes of time, they do not come and go, they are there. On the other hand, you have said in one of your articles, ‘Give up your values‘. Why is there a contradiction?

Acharya Prashant: On one hand I say that values are there- firm, embedded, essential. On the other hand I also say, ‘Give them up’! How is it possible?

The real, the valuable, the really valuable is discovered by the mind only when it gives up that which is trivial. Mind lives in its own values. We will call them as ‘man-made values’. Read more

The delusion called ‘Achievement’

Speaker: Do you really want to understand what this whole business of ‘achievement’ is? If you really want to understand, only then we can go into it. If you are into it superficially, out of an obligation, then you will not understand anything. So do you really want to understand this ?

Listeners: Yes, Sir.

Speaker: If you think this must be a very, very serious thing in which we are investing our entire life, this business of achievement, then it is very important to understand it. If you think this to be of that great importance, then only you will be able to understand. And if you think that there is nothing to do, life comes and goes, and if we waste one life then another life is waiting for us, then there is no point discussing all this. So are you really sincere about understanding ? Read more