Does Spirituality advice men to renounce women?


Listener (L):  

Yog Vasistha Sara, Chapter 3, Verse 18:

“He who does not, like one blind, recognise(lit. leaves far behind) his relatives, who dreads attachment as he would a serpent, who looks upon sense-enjoyments and disease alike, who disregards the company of women as he would a blade of grass and who finds no distinction between a friend and a foe, experiences happiness in this world and the next.” 

It gives some characteristics of the liberated one. It says, “He disregards the company of woman, like he would a blade of grass.” So, is that true in the reverse, for a liberated woman?

Acharya Prashant (AP): No. This has to be understood very clearly. “The liberated one disregards the company of woman, as he would disregard a blade of grass as insignificant, as nothing, as immaterial.” It is very proper, hence, to ask about this, because it sounds a little prejudiced.

When a saint says something, he must say it in our language. He is compelled to speak in words that the commons use, for the simple reason that he is communicating to commons. He must use the same language. When he will use language, language will point to objects. We must not think however, that he is talking about objects.

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When you chase something, you will get its opposite as well

Drunks fear the police but the police are drunk too.

~ Rumi

Speaker: We are prone to thinking that a ‘thing’ is cancelled or neutralized by its opposite and our superficial experience in the world supports this kind of thinking. When cold water is mixed with hot water what you get is water that is neither cold nor hot. When a force toward the left meets a force towards the right, what you get is equilibrium. So it is no wonder, that we think that the opposite of ‘something’ neutralizes it, finishes it, dissolves it.

If the day is hot, we wait for the night. We say, “The day is so hot, the night might bring us some relief.” And when the night comes, we are glad to say, “The night brought us relief from the heat of the day”.

For us, a ‘thing’ finds its end, its deliverance, its solution in its opposite. If the day troubles me, then my deliverance lies with the night. If white threatens me, then my succor lies with black. If going upwards, I find suffering then the correct way for me is to go downwards. That is the way of the Samsara (World). That is what our ‘normal’, everyday experience has taught us.

But the wise man looks attentively at the world. He asks, “Is really a ‘thing’ finished by its opposite?” He probes deeply into life and what he sees is that the deeper is the pain, the more is the search and the memory of pleasure. And the more is the pleasure, the more is the urge to consume the pleasure out of a fear of pain.

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Why do we blame others for our mistakes?

Question: Why do we always want to blame something on others? Why is accountability so important?

Speaker: When you are able to blame others, then you are able to earn certain rights for yourself. Those rights cannot come to you, if you do not say, that others are in a position to harm you. Even the law agrees to killing in self-defense. You kill a man just like that, you will be jailed. But if you kill a man in self-defense, it is considered alright. So, you can label somebody an aggressor, an attacker and what right do you get? The right to kill him. Even when the police wants to stage these fake encounters, they do not say that, “We brought these people here to the jungle and just shot them.” What do they say? They say, “You know these people were shooting at us, so in self-defense we had to kill them”, Even the police needs some kind of an excuse to kill. Read more

Fear can be answered only with Faith

Speaker: Mind has so much stored, that it does not even know how much is stored. There are two portions to the storage. There are two parts of this godown. One part is – where you know that you have something stored. And the other part is – where you have it stored, but have forgotten that it is stored.

Now what is happening? For example this is a place where you keep all your stuff. You brought lots vegetables and have kept here. You are like the mind- accumulative, always in a hurry to accumulate, afraid that there might be a famine, that there might be a curfew, that – “I may not get vegetables.” That is what the mind is always thinking: “Hoard, store.”

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Let the other never cloud your mind

Speaker: The question is: why does my confidence get low while speaking to others? I feel I have the required knowledge, yet when it comes to dealing with others, communicating with others, I find myself helpless, I find myself unable to put things across, unable to articulate, unable to communicate.

There are two things in this question. One, my knowledge: the content of my mind, what I claim that I know. And the second factor is the presence of the other person.

We need to carefully investigate where the problem lies. Is it the lack of knowledge, or is it the presence of the other which is causing all the anguish?
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Happiness cannot be the purpose of life

Question: Sir, what is the purpose of life?  Is it earning money, or happiness?

Speaker: The lady is asking, ‘What is the ultimate purpose of life?’ She has already presented us two options:

  1. Earning money or,
  1. Happiness.

But you already know. You have already discounted everything else and zeroed in on to two options. What are they? That the purpose could be either to earn money, or to be happy.

Alright. So let’s first look at these two. What does one earn money for?

Listener 1: For livelihood.

Speaker: And, why does one want a livelihood?

Listener 2: For comfort.

Speaker: What does comfort give you?

Listener 3: Satisfaction and happiness. Read more

Motivation and ambition, symptoms of suffering

Question: Sir, how to stay motivated and ambitious even after repeated failures in life?

Speaker: Our friend is asking that how to stay motivated and ambitious even after repeated failures.

Do you understand what is ambition? Do you understand what is motivation? Do you understand what is failure?

What is motivation? What is meant by ‘motive’?

Motive means greed. Motive means, ‘I want to get something.’

Same is ambition. Ambition is an enhanced form of motive. ‘I want to get more and more.’ That is ambition. Be it motive or be it ambition one thing is certain, you are saying that I want to get something, that I want to achieve something. I can understand that the voices around you have been constantly telling you that you must get something, that you are incomplete, that there is something missing in you, there is something wrong in you, and you must make up for it by obtaining a particular degree, a particular job, a certain respectability.
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Before you declare somebody asleep, wake up !

Speaker: Amit says, ‘Assuming that I have to go to a place where there are all foolish men, how can I retain my individuality there?’ First of all the individual does not have to go anywhere. ‘Have to’ implies compulsion. ‘Have to’ implies that there is somebody else who is your master. If he goes somewhere, then it is out of his own understanding. He truthfully understands why he is going somewhere.

Amit, how can you say that there are foolish men somewhere, unless you yourself have understood that they are foolish? This understanding that others are foolish can come only from your own intelligence. Isn’t it possible that you already are with foolish men but you cannot see that they are foolish? Isn’t it possible that you are already surrounded by foolish men but you do not know that they are foolish? When you have not opened your eyes, how it is possible for you to see this?
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Goals and Planning

Questioner: Sir, you said that in life don’t plan for a thing, just let it happen. But how to get what we want without planning? When I was sitting in the class sometime before you said, “Take your time, write , think about the question.” This is also planning. Read more

Difference between Satisfaction and Contentment

Speaker: See these are two different words- satisfaction and contentment. And one has to understand the difference between them very clearly. Satisfaction is gratification. Satisfaction comes out of achieving something. Satisfaction is a demand. A demand that is never really met. You say, ‘I will be satisfied when I get something’. So, it is always conditional. There is a condition imposed, ‘If I get this I will be satisfied’. And then there is contentment. Contentment says, ‘Not that something is to be achieved for peace, I am already alright, already full, already peaceful and in this peace I am operating.’ The satisfied person says, ‘I am working so that I may get peace’. The contented man says, ‘I am already peaceful, that is the reason I am working’. You know only the first way of living and that is a very horrible way of living. Because you are saying that I will work only when I am dissatisfied. So to keep working I must be..?
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Were you born with a sword? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Speaker: Do you see the difference between these two approaches?
Model 1 says, ‘I study so that I can get a particular result’. Model 2 says, ‘I study because I love to study’.

Now in which case are the results going to be better? And even if the results are not better for some reason, which of these is likely to be found in a good mood always? Read more

Just see clearly, and there would be no need for decisions

Speaker: The question is, ‘how do I improve my decision making power?’

Probably everybody here has written down their questions. All of you have something on your notepads to ask. But many of you are still in the process of deciding which question to ask, when to ask and how to ask. They are thinking that let a few people ask, then I will be able to sense this man’s response and accordingly, I will decide whether or not to raise a question. ‘Let me play a little safe. Let me also see if Hindi is permissible, then I will ask’. Most of us are caught in decision making, stuck in decision making. Many of you would remain stuck even after the session closes, they would still be deciding. Right now they are deciding whether or not to ask, then they would be deciding was it alright not to ask or did I miss out on an opportunity.

Indecision is our disease. Why are we indecisive? Because we always need to decide. How to get rid of indecision? It is simple. No decision, no indecision. The question of indecision is, ‘ Why I am unable to decide?’ The question of indecisiveness arises only when you have a decision to make. When you do not have a decision to make, the disease of indecisiveness is no more there. Isn’t it simple? Very simple, so simple that we cannot do anything about it.

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Don’t try to achieve; just live in achievement

Speaker: Achievement will happen, but the mind will remain non-achiever.

Achievements will happen, great achievements will happen, greater than what you have ever dreamed of, greater than your greatest goal but you will not be an achiever, and it is a beautiful thing. Achievements are just happening and I am not even trying. Isn’t that good, nice? Read more

Belief is broken, Faith remains firm || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Listener: Sir, I am Shubham. My question is that why do I find it difficult to trust anybody?

Speaker: We are examining trust. What is trust? Trust is a statement: ‘It is so’. Trust is when I say, ‘it is so’, ‘it is this way’.

‘Superstition’ is the lowest kind of trust. A little higher than superstition is ‘belief’. The highest kind of trust is ‘faith’. We will see what these three are and how they are different from each other.

(Pointing towards a member of the audience) What is your name?

Listener: Sir, Deenbandhu.

Speaker: Now, this happens, just out of coincidence, that the last three times I was in this room, the fellow who was occupying that chair was called ‘Deenbandhu’. It has somehow been happening that every time I visit this room, the fellow who sits on that chair, is called by the name, ‘Deenbandhu’. So, today when I enter this room, I look at that chair and I say, ‘Oh! you are Deenbandhu’ and I am very sure that this person is ‘Deenbandhu’. What kind of trust is this?

All Listeners: Superstition.
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What does it mean to be practical? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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Speaker: Alok is asking that what one should to be a good engineer. I will elaborate it, “What does one should do to be good at anything?”, now the question means that what does it mean to have a good life. He is wondering that whether one has to be practical or theoretical. He seems inclined towards being practical, let’s understand this.

Practical is related to practice. To practice something is to do it, ‘to practice is to do’.

Now, doing can happen out of two sources, two reasons:

The first- the force of habit, the force of conditioning from where action happens.

The second is- the force of intelligence, when you understand something then it becomes very simple to do it. Understanding and doing become parallel, concurrent, instantaneous. There remains no gap between understanding and doing.

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Two types of successes; choose yours || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Speaker: The question is, ‘What is success?’ To how many of us this question is important?

(Many listeners raise their hands)

So the question is not only of Varun (one of the listeners) but belongs to many others as well. Let all of us listen to it very carefully.

There are two ways in which we can look at success.

The first way comes from the brain, which is a product of evolution and is continuously afraid. The archetype of this type of success is exemplified by the event of examinations. So today you are here, a date-sheet comes, examinations are announced. You prepare, you write your exams, somebody evaluates your sheets and then on a particular day a result is put up, and that determines whether you are successful or not. Right? This is the first model of success.

This is the model of success that ninety-nine percent of the world thinks to be success; that there is something to be achieved in the future. And that something that you want to achieve is also hugely dependent upon others. Getting it?
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How to have no regrets? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Question : Sir, I often get affected by others. I depend on others to tell me what is right and what is wrong, and when that happens I often find myself regretting later. Later, I feel disappointed that why did I allow myself to be affected by others‘ opinions, words, actions and whatsoever. How to have no regrets?

Speaker : I would be very happy even if there is a single individual who understands what this ‘right and wrong’ are all about.

You see, we talked of two layers of education. Similarly, there are two layers of ‘right and wrong’. The first layer deals with ‘right and wrong’ which are specific to time, place, country, occasion and many other variables. Such ‘rights and wrongs’ keep changing. What is right in one country is wrong in another country, what is wrong in one house is right in another. At the same place, what was right few years back is considered wrong now.
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Success and failure || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Question : What do you understand by ‘failure’ and ‘success’? What is the relation between them?

Speaker : When do you call something a ‘success’? You call yourself successful when you have a goal, and you reach it. It is this attainment of that goal that you name as ‘success’. Right?

We know how confused we often are. We know how divided our minds are. What kind of goals will come from a confused, divided, dependent mind? Confused, divided and dependent goals. Read more

You have no strengths or weaknesses, you are just what you are || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Speaker: You have assumed that there must be strengths and weaknesses.What if you just are and there are no strengths or no weaknesses?

What are the weaknesses of a Daisy flower? What are the weaknesses of a Rose flower?

Student: Sir, it has thorns.

Speaker: The flower does not have thorns, the plant has thorns, but the daisy flower may appear to have weaknesses if compared with the rose flower otherwise, it has no weaknesses. A Sunflower is a Sunflower, a Lotus flower is a Lotus flower, a Daisy flower is a Daisy flower, none of them have any weaknesses or strengths, but if you compare their sizes, then a Sunflower and a Lotus flower will appear to be stronger than the Rose flower in terms of size.They are all perfect as they are.
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The difference between dream and vision || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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

Listener: Sir, in the last session we were told that all dreams arise from past experiences. I agree that dreams arise from past but then how do I dream of something which is not at all present in my past? How do I dream of something that I have not heard of, not read of and not experienced in past?

Speaker: To how many of you dreams are important? How many of you dream of something?

(Everyone raises hands)

Almost everybody, so is it good that this session opens with a discussion on dream. Should we proceed?

Listeners (everyone): Yes, Sir.

Speaker: Dreams are of two kinds:

The first kind of dream takes you away from yourself. This type of dream tells you that right now you are inadequate, incomplete, that there is something missing in you. This kind of dream is about becoming something. What is it about? Becoming something. I dream of becoming a millionaire, of having a lot of respect, of becoming university topper, of having a grand mansion for myself. I want to become successful and that’s my dream. This is the first kind of dream. Read more