If one is Brahm, why does one work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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

If one is Brahm, why does one work

Question: If I keep remembering that – ‘I am Brahm’ – then why should I work?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Then you won’t work, Brahm would work.

If you do not know that you are ‘Brahm’, then you work.

And you work, in your own little and illusioned ways.

When you know that ‘you’ are not, only Brahm is, then Brahm works.

And Brahm works a lot, without breaking a sweat.

Look at the entire universe. There is so much happening. Who is the worker? Do you know how much works it takes to keep a planet in it’s orbit? You want to launch a little satellite into space, and you keep crying about fuel.

The engines are not yet ready, the fuel is not compatible, and what are you trying to deliver into orbit? Just a little satellite. And here you have millions of planets, and suns and stars, all fully established. And black holes, and supernovas. Who is working so hard? Who is working so beautifully?

You cannot run one nuclear reactor properly. There are accidents, and you think of a million safeguards. And have you looked at that nuclear reactor that gives you light everyday? Who is running that nuclear reactor? And He runs it without a blemish. And it’s a very small sample of all the nuclear reactors that he runs.

Let something beyond you, work through you.

You will be amazed, you will be thrilled.

You will then know what it means to really live.

If you are living only for yourself, if you are so afraid that you cannot give up your control of yourself, then all you get is – ‘yourself’.

And are you happy with yourself?

Are you somebody whose company you would enjoy? If you have only yourself to talk to, would you prefer that? No. The proof is that you keep looking for others to talk to. You aren’t happy with yourself, and the proof is that you want to change and improve. Don’t you? And still you want to follow your own whims and desires. Isn’t that stupid?

If you are so established and arrived, and wise, then why do you want to change? But you want to change all the time. Don’t you? ‘How do I become better?’ – That’s the question you are always asking. Which means, that you accept that as you are, you are not quite alright. If you are not quite alright, why do you chase directions dictated by your own desires?

Question 2: Acharya Ji, I don’t know what the ‘other’ here is. The ‘other’ might be my boss. So, should I allow myself to be completely dictated by him?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When you do not know the ‘other’, would you ever cede control to him? When you say that you allow yourself to be dictated by your boss, is that dictation, or is that trade. Have you not deliberately decided that?

You have decided that you will let your boss control you, so that you get paid with money. Now have you really lost control of yourself? You are still very much in control. You are taking a decision. You are saying, “By letting him control your labor, you will earn money.” So have you still given up control?

Giving up control happens, when you see that all such agreements, deals and decisions are stupid.

When you see that whether you allow the other the to control you, by ‘other’ I mean, the other that you choose. Whether you allow the other to control you, or whether you control yourself, in both the situations you are just ending up as a loser always.

When you are honest enough to admit that, then you just say, “Enough of this. I give up.” Spiritually, that is called ‘surrender’. That is called ‘surrender’. But that happens only to those, who are firstly intelligent enough to see that they have been stupid and secondly, loving enough to see that they have been cruel to themselves.

If you have neither intelligence, not love, you will have a very strong desire to live life your own way.

And that is the worst violence you can inflict on yourself – to live as per your own personal desires and dictates.

Question 3: Acharya Ji, we are sitting here in an air-conditioned room. Had somebody not felt uncomfortable with the conditions, why would somebody invent it?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Has the fan helped you understand what I am saying? You are sitting near the Television, but do you still understand what I am saying? What is of more value to you – the television, the air-conditioner, or what I am saying?

You are wearing this suit which is a product of technology, and human development. Has it helped you understand anything? And if you could not understand anything, irrespective of this watch and this suit, what is the worth of all this?

I will switch-on the air-conditioner. How will that help you know? And if you can’t know, what do you live for? The air-conditioner? You live to be cooled? You live to wear this watch, when you do not know ‘time’? All you know is that it is 2 p.m., but you do not know what ‘time’ is. What will you do with the watch?

It’s better to get out of that suit, be naked and understand.

You do not live for all this – the air-conditioner, the television, the fan. All these are there, so that you can understand. Unfortunately, they become the end, rather than the medium. That which should have helped you understand, becomes the obstruction to understanding.

There is this mobile phone in front of me. And somebody can get so attracted to the mobile phone, that he loses track of me. That is what happens to the man obsessed with this and that.

Getting it?

Kabir puts it very beautifully. He says, “Hunger is like a bitch. She starts barking when you are sitting still in peace and devotion. And she disturbs. So you better throw a bread towards her, better throw a piece or a loaf of bread towards her, to keep her silent.”

That is the purpose of earning bread. To keep the bitch silent. But if your life becomes devoted to the bitch, rather than to the Silence, then you have lost it totally.

Earning bread is necessary, to keep the bitch quiet. But how do we live? Wedded to the bitch. That’s too bad. She deserves a bit of attention, so that she may be quieted. She can’t become the objective of your life. Can she? And if you want to bake the bread, you require some technology. Right?

Now do you see what is the rightful function of technology in life? To give you that, and only that much which will keep the dogs and the bitches away and silent.

If you just keep on cooking, and cooking, and cooking, then you don’t know what’s cooking.

(laughter)

The fan is wonderful, if it has brought some clarity to you. Of course, the fan cannot bring clarity. But the fan can ward that off, which could have distracted you from clarity. Had you felt a lot of heat, then it would have been like the bitch barking. So the fan is there.

That is the purpose of all technological advancement – to keep physical distraction silent, so that you may attain to the purpose of your life.

And the purpose of your life is – freedom.

Instead, what happens in all cases, except a handful, is that man’s creation, man’s work itself becomes the barrier and the bondage. It was there to get you relief from bondage, and what it has instead become? The biggest bondage itself.

You must know the medium and the end, and you must know them apart.

Otherwise, this little and precious life, will be spent chasing the unworthy.

As happens in most of the cases, unfortunately.

You will die in a super-speciality cancer hospital, getting cutting-edge treatment, and you will die unfulfilled. Now will that cutting-edge technology help you, if you are dying unfulfilled? Yes?

Do you know what it means to live and die unfulfilled? Go into that? Do you know what it means to live and die love-lessly? Go into that. The A.C. will not help, the bed will not help, if you don’t have love.

Strange are man’s ways.

We have people who make love to A.Cs., and they call it ‘cool’.


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

Watch the session video: If one is Brahm, why does one work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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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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What is desireless action? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is desireless action

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Question: Acharya Ji, how will I get motivation to do some work, if I am not attached to the result of the work?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When you come to this hall, you are probably prompted by some desire, aren’t you?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya Ji: There are desires, there are calculations, there are pluses and minuses, you probably weigh the pros and cons. All those things are there. Sometimes there is a nagging question you want to get rid of, therefore you come. That’s how the thing mostly starts. That’s how the thing mostly starts. So this ‘sakaam karma’(the desire-oriented action). Your movement in this hall is motivated by a desire.

You want something, therefore you ‘do’.

This is the common ‘sakaam karma’.

You ‘do’ because you want.

So, the action is a means of fulfilling the desire.

This is normal ‘sakaam karma’.

That’s how things are at Twelve Noon. You are sitting ready to fire your questions. You have a purpose in being here. What is the purpose? – ‘I want my questions answered.’ You have a definite purpose. That’s Twelve noon.

Now, how is it like at 1:30 p.m.? You came with a question, but the question has not reached here. You do not even intend to ask the question anymore. At Twelve Noon, when you were listening, you were listening with an objective. What was the objective? The resolution of the query. And how are you listening at 1:30 p.m.? You are ‘just’ listening. You are ‘just’ listening.

Something is still happening. But the objective is lost. Now the ‘happening’ itself is very juicy. Now the ‘happening’ is not means towards an end. Now the means itself has merged with the end. It is as if, the means has moved into the end, or the end has come to the means to bless it.

Now there is no distinction. Now you are not saying that let the others’ questions be answered fast, so that the speaker may take up my question. Hence now, there is no gap. Hence now, there is no waiting for the result. Hence now, time has stopped for you.

This is ‘nishkaam karma(desireless action)’ – the ‘doing’ is not for some objective outside of itself.

The ‘doing’ itself is the objective.

What do you work for? You work for satisfaction. Call it ‘deep contentment’. Right? You work, for the sake of that. And therefore, work is never very satisfying, because work to you is not the last thing. Work is just a middleman, for the sake of a result. Therefore, work is just a necessary evil for you.

Had it been possible, you would have removed the work, the process, the time interval, from between, and you would have said, “Is it possible to come directly to the result?” And that is why man wants to keep gaining in efficiency.

Man wants to keep gaining in efficiency.

Do you see what is this continuous movement towards more and more efficient processes, machines and systems? It is because man works for a purpose. It is because, the work, and the time invested in work, is itself, not very likable. So man says, “Minimize the work, and maximize the result.”

‘Nishkaam karma(desireless action)’ means – work is life.

Work is life, anyway.

Even when you ‘think’, you are not working, you are actually working. So, no point fooling oneself, with the effort to minimize work.

Even when you ‘think’, you are having leisure, you ‘are’ actually working.

Therefore, why not work in a way, that transcends work.

That is ‘nishkaam karma’.

Work cannot be avoided. Life is work.

You are working, even when you are sleeping. You are working, even when you think, you are relaxing. Why not choose work, with such deep discretion, that work does not remain a load that you have to reduce, work no more remains something that you want to outsource?

Why not come to a situation, where you are no longer seeking happiness, in the reduction of work? Have you seen how the common man celebrates, when his work burden is reduced? That is ‘sakaam karma’.

Have you seen how students like to achieve results, without working? Were it possible to achieve hundred percent marks, without laboring at all, students would have been the happiest? Because as a student, or as a worker, you find no joy in the process. For you, joy is a destination, mostly. For most people. That is ‘sakaam karma’.

Now, we will come to the more horrifying part of it. Whenever, work is a means to an end, ‘the end’ is never really achieved. Ha! We are beaten both ways. First of all, we expended a lot of time, trying to reach – an end. And even if we somehow manage to reach that end, what do we discover? – ‘Is this where I wanted to reach?’ And then you proceed towards, other destination. And that is what is called, ‘the vicious cycle’.

So, those who work towards ‘an end’, find that they are defeated both in the work, as well as in the end. Double defeat. And those who work, without ‘an end’, those who work, because the work itself is service, devotion, they win doubly. First of all, work is celebration. Secondly, work is the end. So, you are celebrating your way to the success. 

You are dancing towards victory. You are not dancing ‘towards’ victory, you are dancing, ‘in’ victory. You are continuously victorious, and you are continuously celebrating.

Any takers?

And compare this to the picture of the one who is striving, toiling, fighting, with the dream of some distant success in his eyes. Remember that the success that he dreams of, is merely his concept. It is an image, because he has not yet come to it. Therefore, the success that he is talking of, is merely an image.

When you come to it, you find that it simply does not match your expectations. Double defeat! First of all, you are striving, toiling, and making life hell for yourself. Though with the pride, with the vanity, that you are a fighter. That you are a warrior. You will have that satisfaction.

So, it may keep egging you on, for a very long time. Probably, even for the entire lifetime.

Listener 1: So, it is all about the journey, and not the destination?

Acharya Ji: The destination is everything, but the destination cannot be distant. The destination has to be the first step in the journey. It is not as if, it is only about the journey, and not the destination. Obviously, the destination comes first. The journey begins, upon reaching the destination.

So, reach the destination first, and then keep traveling. Destinations, upon destinations. Do not travel as if the destination is elusive, and faraway.

Listener 2: Acharya Ji, how to make my work devotion?

Acharya Ji: The work has to be worthy of devotion, first of all. Therefore, choose your work very, very carefully, everyday.

Listener 2: Is it a matter of discretion?

Acharya Ji: Obviously, it is a matter of discretion. Obviously.

It is not ‘the work’, it is the destination that is commanding the work.

It is the destination that is commanding the work.

So, what is ‘the work’ that you are talking of? – That’s what you must look at.

The destination has to be absolutely compelling.

So very compelling, that you cannot even entertain the ‘thought’, that is is distant.

If you want something really desperately, do you want it five years hence, or right now?

Listener 2: Right now.

Acharya Ji: The destination has to be that very attractive. Not only attractive, it has to be that very indispensable.


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

Watch the session:  What is desireless action? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Worrying about results of work? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Worrying about results of work.jpg

Question: Acharya Ji, what does it mean when you say, “Do not worry about the results”?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Satyam (the questioner), when I say, “Do not bother about the results,” I am saying that with the condition that you are already, assuredly, doing the right thing.

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.”

Jesus very clearly says, “A tree is known by the fruits it has.” You might by thinking that you are doing something selflessly. But how much do you know yourself? You are assuming that you are doing something selflessly, that your action is right. That is your assumption. It is needed that you must check this assumption, is it not?

Do you not want to enquire the veracity of your assumption? And how do you enquire into your assumption? By seeing what actions are leading to.

Are you getting it?

‘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 there actions are arising, must use the results of the action, to know the source of the action.

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.

You can deceive yourself about the source of your action, because only you know the source of your action. You are the declaring authority, and you can declare anything. You can commit the foulest of crimes, and say that this is being done with a holy purpose.

In fact, the foulest of crimes, have been mostly committed, citing holy purpose only. And it cannot be cross-verified. Nobody can peep into your interiors, and prove to you that you are operating from a wicked center. It cannot be demonstrated, because it is an internal thing, right?

What is it, however, that can be demonstrated, rather that which is not going to remain hidden? The results. So look at results. Even if you have successfully deceived yourself about the source of your action, the results will demonstrate to you, what the real source of your action was.

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!

Then you just are doing what the Heart commands. And the Heart knows no future. You are fully and firmly, settled in the Heart, so you too know no future.

But look at your current condition. Right now, are you someone who knows no future? No. Right now, you are not there.

So, do mind the results.

—————————————————————————————————————-

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

Watch the session video: Worrying about results of work?|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

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

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What is love? || Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

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what-is-love-jiddu-krishnamurti.jpg

Question: Dear master, Jiddu Krishnamurti says, “When you love, you are neither giving, nor receiving.” Acharya ji, does love have an object? Could you explain how can we love in daily life, without giving or receiving? What is love, if it has no object?

Acharya Prashant Ji: All objects are small, Shirin.

The object of love is so gigantic, that you cannot call it an ‘object’. Further, all objects leave ample space for you to remain. All objects leave space for the dualistic subject to remain, and prosper.

The object of love is so big, so total, so filling, so occupying, so unrelenting, so very compelling, that it leaves no space for the subject to hide and survive.

Obviously, if the subject is gone, who can call the object, an object. So, the object of love is a non-object. Those who have come before us, have called that object as – Truth, God, Beloved, Amma-Baba, Father, Maa.

Next you are asking, “How can one be in love without giving or receiving?” Giving and receiving, both imply your presence, and your activity. You have to be there to give, you have to be there to receive. And in both, your presence, your being, gets stamped, certified, further ascertained. In giving, you remain as the giver. In receiving, you strike roots as the receiver.

So, in love, there is neither giving nor receiving. Simply put, no doing of the doer. No-doing of the doer, is also the highest doing of the little doer. The highest of the little doer.

I give an example to you. I have heard of this little soldier, he was actually a civilian, in one of the wars in the last century. He was so small, he was not even trained as a soldier. His village had been invaded, the villagers had been captured, taken away for forced labour. They were being used to construct a bridge. That’s what the invading army was using the locals for, take them away and use their labour to build a bridge.

Now that the enemy has taken them away, they are with the enemy. And this little one could see a big ammunition depot. A big ammunition depot. You are already guessing it, right? There was not much, he could have done, all by himself. The enemy numbered in hundreds, hundreds of well-built, grown-up, trained soldiers, with firearms. What could the boy have done? But there was one thing that the boy could do, with a little bit of ingenuous engineering. He rammed himself into the depot, and blew the entire depot off. Obviously, nothing of him remained. But, it took down the entire non-sense with him.

So, Shirin, that’s love- attempting the impossible. The task is so damn big, that it can’t be done, if you protect yourself. If you protect yourself, it won’t happen. That’s love.

Excuse me for giving a violent analogy. But he, who has a lot of bloodshed, he is indeed involved in love. Love does involve a lot of demolition. And there are fireworks. And things come down. Great structures collapse. Formidable enemies have to be defeated. All that is love.

You want something beyond your size, you want something beyond your measure.

And it will require all of you to get that.

If you care for your safety, if you care for your survival, it just can’t happen.

That’s love.

———————————————————————————————————————————

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

Watch the session: What is love? || Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

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The real meaning of devoting one’s action to Shri Krishna || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Questioner: Dear Acharya Ji,

As you always mentioned, one must perform his actions, while remaining established in Ram, who is the essence of all actions. Your teachings have given me clarity that selfish motives behind my actions strengthen the ego. Knowing this, I practice paying little attention to my motives. And I try to work to offer everything to divine. This also reminds me of Shri Ramakrishna.

‘As long as we are continuously battling the ego, it is never going to vanish. Stop pedaling this, it will travel some distance and eventually stop.’

~ Shri Ramakrishna Paramhans

Is practice useful?

Is this the practice that Lord Krishna teaching to Arjuna through Karma Yoga?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, practice is useful. And yes, I can without consideration or analysis or any thoughtfulness, say that this is what Krishna is teaching to the Arjun because the Truth is one.

There cannot be a central difference between what Ramakrishna says and what Krishna says. And even at the level of fact, Shri Krishna does recommend to Arjun, the importance of abhyas. And abhyas is practice.

What is the practice that you have taken upon yourself?

Your practice, as you have said, is to pay little attention to your selfish motives. And you try to offer everything to divine. This is what you practice. As far as the practice of not giving importance or weight to one’s desires or motives is there, it is a good practice. One has to treat oneself a little casually. One cannot take himself seriously. Nobody deserves to be taken seriously, at least not by himself. Others might be deluded because they don’t know you. Others may take you very seriously but how can you take yourself seriously?

You know, who you are. And by that I do not mean Atman or Brahman. You know, you are the one who keeps itching at all the wrong places. You know, you are the one, who is so frequently visited by all the base desires.

You really want yourself to take seriously?

It is a great spiritual practice to not to take oneself seriously.

This practice is needed because desires are anyway visiting you. This practice is needed because, you are continuously being told by someone, to give great value and importance to yourself. So, this practice is needed as a resistance. This practice is needed as a counter. It is a good practice.

Now, we come to the practice of offering everything to the Divine. This cannot be a practice, Ashish. As long as you are not doing it for yourself, it is sufficient.

Now, do not start doing it for Krishna. I know Krishna tells Arjuna to offer all his actions to the Lord i.e. himself, Lord Krishna. But you must understand a little, you must understand the essence of what Shri Krishna is saying. When Shri Krishna is saying offer your actions to me, all that he means is do not offer your actions to yourself. Do not act for your petty personal motives.

You will ask me, ‘What is the difference of not offering one’s action to himself and offering actions to Krishna?’

There is a great difference. When you say that you are not offering your actions to yourself, it is a pure statement. This is you, the entire expanse of the petty you, and you are saying whatever you will do, the cause and the effect, will not be for yourself because that is silly.

In contrast, when you say that you are doing something for God or for Shri Krishna, then who is this God or Shri Krishna, that you are talking of or devoting to?

Is he again not a construct of your fertile imagination?

So, it will be dangerous.

Truth is formless.

Krishna really is nirakar (formless). The saakar (embodied) Krishna that you have seen in forms, and in deities, and in paintings, and statues is a Krishna belonging to a particular century, a particular era. He is not the nirakar Truth. He is Truth, as the Truth express itself in a particular time, at a particular place. That time, that place are gone.

You are separated from those times, and those places by countless miles, and countless years. The Krishna in flesh and blood, who appeared before Arjuna, and talked to Arjuna will not be very useful to you today. But if you will imagine Krishna, you will imagine Krishna only in a particular way. You will imagine Krishna as the one, with the crown on his head, with the flute in his hand, the blue colored one, the beautiful one, the one with the peacock feather, the one on the Arjuna’s chariot, the one who spoke Sanskrit, the one who wielded the Sudarshan Chakra (a kind of a mythical weapon).

I repeat, this Krishna that you are thinking of, and imagining is a particular expression of the Nirakar Brahman in a particular century at a particular place. That expression, if conceived today, will not be very useful. But when you will conceive, you will conceive only that. The result will be that your imagination will not be very useful. As imagination always is, useless.

So, don’t devote your actions to Shri Krishna because Sri Krishna that you are conceiving, imagining, is not the real Shri Krishna.

The real Shri Krishna has no form, or the real Shri Krishna has great great form.

Even Arjuna needed, mystical eyes, to know the real form of Shri Krishna. And you know, what that real form was, it was so immense that you can call it formlessness. So, it is enough that you practice to not devote your actions to yourself. Do not practice to devote your actions to the Truth, to the God or to the Lord or Shri Krishna.

You are too small to conceive or imagine who Sri Krishna really is. How then will you devote your actions to him?

You want to devote your actions to an object and Shri Krishna is so large that he cannot be objectified. How then, will you devote your actions? To whom? You can only devote something to an object, and the real Shri Krishna is not an object.

So, limit yourself to just practicing a certain casualness. A certain beparwahi. You must be able to laugh at yourself. You must never accord too much value to your desires and opinions. Do not think too much of yourself.

Take yourself as a bubble.

And if possible, crack a joke or two upon yourself.

It’s great to be the butt of one’s own jokes!


Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: The real meaning of devoting one’s action to Shri Krishna || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Taking care of child, or earning an income || Acharya Prashant on Single Parenting (2017)

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Listener: Basically I have an issue. I am unable to make a decision basically. I am very confused right now. I am in a phase of being a single parent. I have a kid with me and have no source of income right now. I have to look after my child and source of income. But I am unable to understand how to manage both.

Acharya Prashant: First of all being a single parent is great. At least for the child. Instead of two to pester him, there is only one. I am mentioning this because yesterday as well you talked of that fact as it is a bit of a handicap, it is not.

Socially we have been trained to visualize, the happy family as a kid with his two arms being held by two people of opposite gender. That’s really not needed. The kid is already being held in the palm of his real father. The real father is not even holding his arm. He is holding the kid in his palm. So if you are a single mother, great!

Now, the question of the kid being four years old. And you being needed to earn. He is four. The troublesome period is behind you. Had he been one or two, then the situation would have necessitated your constant physical presence near the kid. He is four years old now. You can have periods in the day when he can be left with the relatives, with his grandparents or even in daycare. So, get going with all sureness figure out a means of livelihood. And don’t look at your situation as if you are in a bind.

Never ever think of yourself as if you lack in fortune.

You see look at the animal world. How long does a cub stay with the lioness? For how long? For how long does the calf stay with the cow? Please?

L: Few months.

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Acharya Prashant: How to earn more money?

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Acharya Prashant: (Reading a question) One may have good knowledge, but he might not be having a satisfactory job or salary. What to do in such a situation?

You see, as long as knowledge to you is a means of earning a higher salary, you will have to realize the limitations of knowledge. Higher salary does not come merely on the heels of higher or deeper knowledge. This is assuming that you have already set a goal. And the goal is to get a high salary. I am going by your goal. You want to get a high salary.

If you want to get a high salary, you must know what all factors drive salaries. It is just not dependent, merely on your knowledge. It is a function of many many variables. And even those variables are variable.

Today, high salary might be a function of x, y, and z. And tomorrow, high salary might be a function of s, t, and u. So, variable variables are there. You just can’t know.

Yes, you can catch hold of one variable, and put all energy into it. But that may not necessarily help. The car might be in neutral, and you are pushing the accelerator, would that help? You would only burn more and more fuel, and the engine would get heated up. You are trying to push just one variable, and you are not seeing that the other variables are all? Choked. They will not let you progress.

So, you have two options now. Either you go out and determine all the variables that drive salary. And when you determine all the variables, you must remember that the variables themselves are? Variable. So, that which is driving salary today, might not be what would drive salary? Tomorrow. And that which is driving salary in one place, might not be what drives salary in another place, another room, another building, another company.

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Acharya Prashant: Is liberation possible for a householder?

(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here)

Acharya Prashant: Pradeep Ji is asking, “Dear Acharya Ji, I don’t know what kind of wound I am carrying inside me, that I am having a constant feeling of ‘leave me alone’, towards the world. From morning till evening, I am running like crazy, driving to office in mad traffic, followed by corporate pressure to do things unwillingly. Bearing stupidities of people around.

I get out of the office as if I came out of a madhouse, tired and frustrated, and it’s already night. I eat and sleep. And the roller-coaster starts again. But since I need to run this crazy race, I feel that my blood is sucked by parasites, and there is a wound, a cry from inside, that I am carrying.

I cannot get rid of this wound. I want to jump off this train, but I can’t, because of these responsibilities. I feel I am a dead machine, thrown on an assembly line, or the other things inside me, drilling holes, hammering, and finally thrown out.

I can’t leave the family, as they are dependent on me. And I am too in, some or the other way, dependent.

Acharya Ji, in such a situation, what should I do?

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Pradeep Ji, the way of instantaneous freedom, instantaneous departure, is not for the householder.

The ‘Law of Karma’, and the result of Karma, ‘The fruit of actions’, always holds good. Cannot be violated. One is held to the past, by a thousand actions, memories, and the pending fruits.

Immediate and quick liberation is then possible only through total psychic departure.

A kind of a Spiritual death. That is often unlikely. Keep working, you will have to go step by step.

Read more

Acharya Prashant, with students: What is smart work?

Blog-6Questioner: Sir, nowadays it is said that it is not the hard work that can lead you to achieve whatever you want it is actually the smart work. What is this smart work actually?

Acharya Prashant: Jugaad! Nothing else!

That’s what the world means by smart work.

Be a little cunning, chalu, no shortcuts, have connections in the right places, that’s what the world means by a smart work. Unfortunately, choosing between hard work and smart world is like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Whichever way you go, you are doomed, hard work and smart work, what does hard work mean?

Hard work means I do not know what I am doing, why I am doing, who is doing but I have been told that doing is important so I am just doing and doing; that is hard work.

What is smart work?

I’m still doing but I have been told some efficient ways of doing that save energy and time. But I still do not know what I am doing, why I am doing, who is doing yet I am just doing and doing.

Hard work at least tires you down so you will stop at some point, a physical limitation, working so hard you got a heart attack, so thank God you can relax in the hospital!

Now, smart work, you’ll never relax! Because now you have an efficient machine, you do not know what the machine is doing, why it is doing and who is doing. The doing still just doing both these are the same kind of people the hard-workers and the smart-workers, don’t think that one is better than the other, the devil and the deep blue sea.

There is a third type of man possible, who is less interested in doing and more concerned with being.

If I’m speaking to you right now I am not really bothered about what I am saying, but I will be bothered if there is a disturbance in this room. Understand this: I am not at all watchful about my words, I don’t watch what I say, or at least I try to minimize it, let it flow, I need not measure it, but I am quite concerned about the environment in the room there should be no disturbance, why?

Listener: So, that the message can be conveyed to us.

AP: It’s not about the conveying of the message. The very emergence of the message might be hampered if there is disturbance; being is more important than doing.

The mind of the speaker that must be very-very calm for the right words to emerge. You need not bother yourself with the words but you must be watchful about the mind. The mind has to be calm. The mind has to be absolutely centered and still; so if there is a disturbance then I will want to take care of it but I’ll never take care of what I’m saying.

You’re not getting the difference, are you?

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Acharya Prashant: Choosing the Right Profession

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Acharya Prashant: Kaustubh is saying he wants to be an IAS officer, and there is a huge burden of expectations and that is just draining away his life.

Kaustubh, do you want to be an IAS officer or is it out of expectations of others?

Please understand this: You are just beginning your second year of a B.Tech programme, have you really seen life? Do you really know what it means to be a bureaucrat? What makes you come to the conclusion that you must be an IAS officer?

If it is the expectations of others then you are condemning yourself to a lot of suffering.

You see, I was born in a family of bureaucrats, from both my mother’s and father’s side, and as providence would have it, I was a topper, topped the state, stood all India third rank. Read more

Just grows

Whatever you think you are, is one identity that you are carrying. And that identity can have no possibility of any Love. So, forget it that there can be any ‘self- love’! No self-love is possible. ‘Self -love’ is an oxymoron.

The Great man is not a Great man. That Great man has to be Great, every passing moment inattention.

The Great man, retains his understanding of himself, as somebody who is different from his concepts. He does not get identified with his thoughts.

A cancerous cell is very very ambitious! It multiplies like hell. That’s ambition. A normal healthy cell, does not grow out of ambition. It just grows. Just grows.

Growth is your very nature. It happens spontaneously out of understanding. It does not require ambition. You don’t need to be ambitious in order to grow.

There is no target, no ambitionThis is Self-love.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Self-love, and difference between self and the Self


 

Acharya Prashant: Self-love, and difference between self and the Self

Acharya Prashant: What is self? Me, I.

This thing that you refer to as the self, is not one thing. Understand this.

Let’s for the purpose of understanding, call it, self with a small ‘s’ and Self with a capital ‘S’. Understand this!

This is what you think you are (pointing at the ‘self’). This is what you are (pointing at the ‘Self’). We operate incessantly with this only (‘s’). With our thoughts. And here, there is no possibility of any Love. Just ruled out.

So, when you say self-love, it’s actually a redundant term. If you are dealing with yourself in this (‘s’) domain, Love is anyway not possible and this (in the domain of ‘Self’) is nothing but pure Love. Not the kind of Love that you know of while sitting here. This is an unknown thing to you, a totally unseen beast, of which you have no idea presently.

Here, nothing called self-love can be possible (in the domain of ‘self’). Here, only tension, frustration, attachment, obsessions are there. It’s another thing that you name them Love. You can call your pre-occupations as Love, you can call all your desires as Love, you can call your attachments as Love. You can call all your dependencies as Love, you can call all your possessiveness as Love. This all, what you call love is only going to give you trouble. It would be narrow, it would be jealousy-ridden, it would be insecure. And it would be of no avail at all. Are you understanding this?

But, unfortunately, this is the Love that we know of. And this operates only here (in the domain of ‘self’). What is this self that you know of?

Listeners: With a small ‘s’

AP: This is that self in which if I ask you now, that write ten statements starting with ‘I am’ which all end in some kind of noun, you will easily write them. What would you write?

You would write, “I am a daughter”, “I am a son”, “I am a student”, “I am an Engineer”, “I am an aspiring professional”, “I am an Indian”, “I am a Hindu or a Muslim”. “I am a North Indian”, “I am a male”, “I am a female”. “I am smart”, “I am intelligent”, right?

“I am thin”, “I am long”, “I am fat”, “I am suave”, all such things? Correct?

All these self-concepts, belong to this (indicating at ‘self’). Because this is what you think you are! Are we together till this point?

Whatever you think you are, is one identity that you are carrying.

And that identity can have no possibility of any Love.

So, forget it that there can be any ‘self- love’!

No self-love is possible.

‘Self -love’ is an oxymoron.

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To be alive is to be working

To be alive is to be working. You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.” Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

If the first category is where you belong to, then work is sufficient. The return, the reward, is contained in the work. If the second category is where you belong to, then work is not sufficient. Then work, plus, rewards is what you are looking for.

The salary is not contained in the work. The salary is an output of the work. This is the second way of living.

Man is the only one, who has to support his ambitions as well. Man is the only one, who has to support his psychological self as well. Then obviously, supporting yourself becomes a burden. Then obviously, just carrying on with life, becomes a burden. Because life is demanding so much.

Do not live a life that tries to escape work, and also do not live a life that uses work as a medium for psychological aggrandization.

Work must always be there as an expression of your Heart.

Action is always happening. You cannot avoid action. Even avoiding action is just another action. So, action will happen.

Fight hard and then let what is going to happen, happen. Do not worry about the result. Just say, that I did what I had to, and I have now devoted the result to you(Krishna).



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?


 

Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?

Question: What does Khalil Gibran mean, when he says, “He who works in marble and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.”

Acharya Prashant: What is Work?

All work involves action. 

As human beings, we are beings of action. We have limbs, senses, mind, all configured to act. So, action is inevitable. One cannot avoid action. So, workers we all are. There is nobody who does not work. The one who is professionally working somewhere, works. And so does the one, who is professionally unemployed. Both of us, both of them, are workers, irrespective of whether or not they are formally working somewhere.

To be alive is to be working.

You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

Then the question is of the quality of work. How does one work? From where does the work arise? Khalil Gibran takes two images and contrasts them.

First image, is of the man who is working with material, but his work is essentially an expression of his being, his center, his Self. He might be working with marble, but actually it is his soul taking shape as marble. Marble is now not only marble. Marble is now not only material. Marble is an expression of what he is. This is work of one kind.

And then he says, there is another one, who looks at soil, just as soil. For him, work is something outside of himself. I go somewhere, and I work with material. I work with material, probably, so that I may get some returns, some reward. He is not directly and organically ‘connected’ to his work. His relationship with work is transactional. I work, I put in some hours, and in return I get paid. Are you getting it? So, there is you, there is work and then there is a business like relationship between ‘you’ and ‘work.’ This is the second way of working.

The first way of working is,

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.”

Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

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Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration? Ask yourself.

Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive. Is it not?

Always remember, you will not run after something unless you are worried. All motivation has a close linkage to worry.

Always have a firm realization, let me even call it a feeling, that I am alright. I might be defeated, I might take losses, I might be rebuked, scolded, still, fundamentally I am alright. Never lose that inner faith.

No goal is bigger than you. You are bigger than anything your mind can come up with. A goal, a fantasy, an imagination, a concept, you are bigger than that.

You are not worried about goals. Goals come because you are worried. Do you get the subtle difference?

When the mind is worried, then it sets more and more goals and becomes more and more serious about them. Becomes very serious about the goals.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?


 

Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?

Question: Acharya Ji, my question is, “How to be free of botheration and still be focused on our goal”?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Questioner: Kumar Abhishek.

AP: Sit, Abhishek.

Abhishek is saying, how to be free from botheration and yet to be focused on the goal. Let’s examine.

Abhishek, where does the goal arise from?

You are asking, one – I need to be free from worries; parallelly, I need to be focused on my goal.

I am beginning by asking you, from where does the goal arise?

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration?

Ask yourself.

When you are Light and Joyful, are you still thinking of goals? Go to your moments, when you are free, light. Were you planning, were you concerned with goals? Were you concerned with goals?

It’s obvious that goals arise from botheration. The more bothered you are, the more is your sense of inner incompleteness, the more goals will be there in your mind. A goal is like a medicine. I am feeling sick, I am feeling sick, so I am searching for a medicine in the future. Goals are not only like a medicine, they are also a ‘False medicine.’ Because the botheration is right now and the medicine is in the?

Listener: Future.

AP: Future. It’s like saying, I have a severe headache, a migraine right now, but I have planned for a medicine that will work two years hence. What kind of medicine is this? If you have a migraine right now, when do you need the medicine to work? Right now. The suffering is right now, the botheration is right now, you need something that heals you?

L: Right now.

AP: Right Now.

Two things, One – goals arise from a sense of turbulence, from a sense of, there is something wrong somewhere, from a sense of there is something unworthy, inadequate about me and I need to make up for it by achieving something in future. I am not alright.  I will be alright when that goal is achieved. Right? That’s what the goal tells you. You will be good, admirable, lovable, adequate when you get that promotion when you have that amount of money when you earn that respectability. That’s what the promise of the goal is. And we fail to see that it is a false promise. A false medicine.

So, Abhishek you are asking for the impossible. You are saying, “How not to bother and how still to be focused on goals?” Do you see how you are asking for the impossible? Goals themselves arise from the poisonous soil of botheration. If there is no botheration, how will there be any goals either? How will there be any goals, if you are not worried?

Tha’s why you see, In many systems, in many institutions, in the minds of many people, it is essential that they keep those around them, worried. Because they know that unless you are kept worried, you will not run after goals. In many professions, the lure of incentives is given, to achieve targets, goals. Parallelly, there is a threat of disincentives. And in any case,

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Fight against your lazy self

Laziness means a refusal to do, a refusal to do the right thing, a refusal to change. Laziness means that one wants to remain where one is and as one is.

Because we are not total, so even our stupidities are not total.

The Buddha is alright whether he is sleeping on a bed or on a thorn bed. But this lazy man feels alright only if certain conditions are met.

Choose the right death, please. Give death to your laziness. Give death to your ego and self-preservation. Don’t protect laziness and give death to yourself. Don’t do that. Fight against your lazy self. Don’t side with it. If you don’t fight your laziness, your laziness will give you a death that you can’t even imagine.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: What does the lazy self want?

Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: What does the lazy self want?

“The craving of a sluggard is a death of him because his hands refuse to work.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 21:25)

Acharya Prashant:

Nimisha has sent something, it is not a question. I’ll read it aloud, that’s my answer.

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranaam. I want to thank you deeply for reconnecting me to the Lord. The love and connection I felt for him as an innocent child got diluted along the way. I am rejoicing in that regained love now. Jesus was always very special to me. My first love you could say. Then one grows up and starts questioning things, doubts arise, resistance occurs, and one loses that innocent reasonless love once felt. Jesus showed me the way back home through you.

In gratitude, Nimisha.

When all is alright then there is no need to speak. Yesterday, I said – “don’t fix that which is not broken.”

 

James has sent two questions from Russia. Maybe I’ll read both of them, or one of them.

Jesus says “The craving of a sluggard will be death of him because his hands refuse to work”.

The question is:

Jesus is saying that the desires of a lazy person will be the death of him because he’s saying that his hands refuse to work. He just desires but his hands say we do not want to work. So the enquiry is, what does a lazy person crave for if not work? And also, which work is Jesus referring to?

Jesus has pointed towards the special case of a lazy person. This lazy person has all the desires, great desires. But one thing he’s very clear about, ‘I will not work.’ So, James has wondered that what does he crave for if not work? And what is this work that Jesus is referring to? Is he talking about plumbing? Writing? Carpentry? What work is referring to?

Who is a lazy person? A lazy person is one who has a tremendous ego. Only the ego is lazy, and the ego is bound to be lazy. In what sense is the ego lazy?

Laziness means a refusal to do, a refusal to do the right thing, a refusal to change. Laziness means that one wants to remain where one is and as one is.

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When you work purposelessly, then you really work.

When the time for the action has arrived, go there, purposelessly, act, purposelessly. And if you find that purposelessness is unsuitable to that place, then you and the place would anyway get separated. Good for you, good for that place.

Why must you be in a place that doesn’t love you enough to bear your purposelessness.?

Why must you be with a person only with a purpose?

Why must you be working only for a purpose?

Remember that working can never be a purpose. When you say that you go to a workplace for a purpose, the purpose is never the work. Is it? 

When you say that you go to your workplace for a purpose, is the purpose ever the work? What is the purpose? The purpose is the salary check. You don’t go to work for a purpose. In fact, if work could be bypassed and you could straight away reach the salary check, who would want to work? Is work the purpose, really? No, it is not.

Now, why work in such a place then why subject to month-long torture so you get a check, in the month end. When you work purposelessly, then you really work. Now you are going to work, you are not going to get the salary check.

Now, the purpose is the doing itself, otherwise, the purposes are outside of the doing. The purposes are always in the future, somewhere ahead.



Read the complete article: What would life be without a purpose?