Searching for the beloved? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Kabir (2018)

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Searching for the beloved

I said to the wanting creature inside me, “What is this river you want to cross? There are no travelers on the river road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or nesting?
There is no river at all. And no boat and no boatman.
There is no towel rope either and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no fort. And there is no body, and no mind.
Do you believe that there is some place, that will make the soul less thirsty?
In that great absence, you will find nothing.
Be strong then and enter into your own body. There you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully.
Don’t go off somewhere else.

~ Guru Kabir Sahib

Question: Acharya Ji, the thirst of the soul cannot be quenched by anyone. True. Yet there is hope, and longing for God. What does Kabir Sahib mean by – “Enter into your own body. Don’t go off somewhere else”?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Who is thirsty? The bodied one is thirsty. Before you look around to quench your thirst, it is important to understand the nature of this thirst. It is important to go within yourself, and know why you were thirsty at all. Who is the one who is thirsty? What exactly is the definition of this ‘thirst’? That is what Kabir Sahib is saying.

Thirst, overwhelms. It simply takes over your mind. One starts panicking. One feels a strong urge to act, because one is thirsty. Something has to be done. And what can one do? One does what one is trained to do, what one is conditioned to do. One starts running. Where? In the world, towards the world.

So, something arises within. It’s a sensation of insufficiency. It’s a sensation of discomfort. It’s a sensation of unrest. The sensation implies – “C’mon. Do something. Something is not right.” So, what to you do? You do, what you can do. And, what the man can do? Run around. So man starts running around.

That is what comes to man, as a nature of his build up.

What does not instinctively come to man, is the realisation that it is first of all important to ask, “What is this thirst? What do I want? Before I ask for a solution, should I first not understand the problem. Before I say, that this is what I want, and this is how I want to get it, should I not first ask, ‘Who am I?'”

Saints have always asked you to look at yourself.

All desires are ‘yours’. Right? It is not merely a desire. It is ‘your’ desire. Fine. Let us fulfill the desire. But let’s at least know what we want. Even when you go to a shopkeeper, you have to tell him what you want. No shopkeeper will tell you what ‘you’ want. And if a shopkeeper succeeds in telling you what you want, he is surely fooling you. You have to know, what you want.

Saints are forever encouraging you, to see from where you are making your statements.

See what you have written here – “Acharya Ji, the thirst of the soul cannot be quenched by anyone, anywhere, and at any time.” How do you know? How do you know Parmeshwari (the questioner)? At most you can say, that for you, the thirst has not been quenched so far. But how are you asserting that it cannot be quenched by anybody, anywhere, and at anytime?

That is what is meant by – going into oneself.

Seeing the structure of one’s mind, seeing how things happen there. Seeing how hope arises, seeing how fear arises. Seeing how the mind concludes, seeing how one quickly gets hurt. Seeing how demands and insecurities, are deeply related. Seeing how, that which one dearly wants, is exactly what one must staunchly avoid. Seeing how that which you want to clutch, is lost, exactly because you clutch it.

All these things are happening constantly, and they are happening with you. Aren’t you in a great position, to see that these things are happening?

Kabir Sahib is saying, “Go within yourself. Enter into your own body.”

Ya ghat bheetar sat samundar (Inside the body are seven seas).” ‘Ghat’ is his preferred word for the body. If you can know what this thirst is, you are already quenched.

Paanchee uda gagan ko, dhad rahaa pardes.
Pani peeve chonch bin, bhool gayaa va dees.

The swan flew up the unknown skies, free from her gross form.
Beak-less, she drank water there, forgetting her earthly home.

~ Guru Kabir Sahab

Question 2: What does Kabir Sahib mean by – “The swan losing the gross form, and drinking the water beakless, flewing up the unknown skies”?

Acharya Ji: You think you belong to the earth. And as long as you are the body, you are right in what you think. Yes, the body belongs to the earth. But, that is not where your thirst would be quenched.

Kabir Sahib is saying, “Let the body belong to the earth, you fly up to the sky. That is where, you will drink, without the body. There is a water, that is for the body. There is a water, that is drank through the beak. There is a water that is drank though the body, and for the body. And there is the water that is drank without the beak. It is heavenly water. It is the water of the skies.”

There is a water of the earth, that can placate at most the body. The body is thirsty, the water of the earth helps. But, you are not the body, and therefore, the water of the earth will not suffice for you. You need some other water.

So, let the one, who is really thirsty, fly over, up to the skies.

And there, he shall be really quenched.

Once, you are there, you will forget all about the earthly pleasures, and attachments.

The body will still remain on the earth, but you will remain with your Beloved.

And that’s the way of living.

Let the body belong to the earth, you stay belonging to your Beloved.

Questioner 3: Acharya Ji, Guru Kabir Sahab says in a poem, “Pee le pyala, O matwala (Being in Love, drink the heavenly nectar of Lord’s name).”

(Acharya Ji humming the song, “Pee le pyala, O matwala (Being in Love, drink the heavenly nectar of Lord’s name).”

Acharya Ji: There is the pyaala(bowl) of the earth. There are the earthly taverns, which simply inebriate you. And then there is the pyaala of the skies, which brings you back to awareness.

That is what Kabir Sahib is advising you to drink. Drink the heavenly nectar. The earthly juices, you have had enough. Already. Have they sufficed? Learn at least from your experience, if not from the words of the saints.


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

Watch the session: Searching for the beloved?||Acharya Prashant, on Guru Kabir (2018)

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What qualities should one seek while electing a nation’s leader?

(Following is an excerpt from an interview conducted by a Brazilian Journalist just before the last round of voting in Brazil’s Presidential Elections, from here onwards the interviewer is being addressed as Marcos, his first name)

Marcos: When we think of qualities, what do you think one should seek in a leader, in a President, according to what you have been saying to us?

Acharya Prashant: First of all, people have to see, what kind of a person is he. Person before politics, person before policies. Policies are a function of the person and not vice versa.

Politics is about relationships. The President must truly relate to a large number of people. And the quality of one’s relationships comes from the quality of one’s mind.

If one is ambitious, aggressive, insecure, seeking to promote himself, then whatever be his stated policies be, he will end up exploiting everybody, just to further his personal goals and ambitions. It doesn’t matter which party he is contesting from. It doesn’t matter, what policies is he tom-tomming. If he is someone who has no compassion, if he is someone who knows no love, if he is someone who can use people to further his personal interests, then irrespective of his political affiliation, irrespective of his stated goals, he will be dangerous for both the country and the world in general.

What I am saying, sounds strange, because that is not the language of the political discourse. But I am saying that the voter must ask himself: Does my president know love? Does my president know humility? Is my president able to give up what shows up as false? Or is my president a very-very attached, a very possessive human being?

The President comes later, the human being comes first, obviously. And the president will not be able to supersede the human being. The president is first of all a human being.

Marcos: For most people in Brazil, it may not be very easy to understand the views that you expressed. Your approach is lovely and introspective.

Why do you think that people nowadays in the West have focussed on intellect so much, rather than meditative understanding?

AP: It is the old case of once bitten, twice shy. Just a few centuries back, religion, and tradition supported by religion, were proving to be a very depressing, debilitating, and mindless force. And that is why an intellectual uprising was needed. That is why the revolutions were needed, Reformation and Renaissance were needed. So, man has memory of all that. And that is why we are still very apprehensive towards religion. But just because a few ignorant people at one point in history misused the name of the divine, it does not mean that man can live without spirituality.

Man cannot live without spirituality. And the dangerous part, please understand, is that man will, on his own accord, usually not accept that it is the divine peace that he is looking for. Because that acceptance hurts the ego. So man will remain frustrated; man will remain restless and angry and violent but he will not admit what he really wants. Because that admission is a crushing blow to the ego.

So what will man do?

He is frustrated so he will vent his anger on the streets. He will ask for political change. He will go about bringing a fake kind of change that will not help. He will bring about radical changes in all the wrong places. And those changes are not going to suffice, so what will man do?

Man will say probably these changes are not sufficient so he will bring about more radical changes. It’s almost like having a break-up and telling oneself that I am not missing my girlfriend. It may happen sometimes: you may have a breakup and you may want to convince yourself that you were not missing your girlfriend because confessing, admitting that you are missing her makes you feel weak, makes you feel offended.

So you keep on telling a lie to yourself: that neither do you love her anymore nor do you miss her anymore. But within you are feeling angry, within you are feeling incomplete, within there is a hole now, within you are bleeding. Outside you are wearing a mask of calmness and composure; inside you are all ruffled up. So what do you do? On a small matter, on some pretence, you go and beat the neighbour up. You needed to release your frustration somewhere. That is the kind of thing that we are witnessing in the world and we are going to witness more and more.

People will clash, conflicts will grow because people are missing something. But they are not admitting what they are really missing. They are missing meditativeness, they are missing love. They are missing the surrender and dissolution of the ego. So they are trying all kind of stupid and aggressive ways to make up for what they are missing. Their ways are not succeeding, cannot succeed, but their ways will keep becoming more potent, more powerful, more destructive. That does not sound good at all.

Marcos: What is the message that you would like to give to Brazil at this moment? What do you think they should consider while voting? What do you think they should seek for their lives at this difficult moment with a word that would remind us.

AP: Reaction does not take anybody anywhere. Destruction, criticism, operating from a point of hurt, has never taken anybody anywhere. If you go out to vote as someone who has been hurt and offended and wronged, you will never cast your vote rightly. You cannot reach the right place if you are starting out at the wrong place, as the wronged one. Your very decision about the destination would be misplaced; path you choose will be misplaced. So do not operate from a center of littleness, aggression, fear.

When you decide on the one that you are supporting, see whether the arguments in his favor are the arguments of peace, understanding, innocence and love. If you are voting for someone with destructive arguments, egoistic arguments, violent arguments, then for sure your choice will hurt you.

Marcos: O, thank you very much….


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

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What is disappearance of the self? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is disappearance of the self

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Question: Acharya ji, what is the meaning of disappearance of the self?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Your interest in your interests has to disappear. Your interests can remain. Can this brain survive without interests? Your lungs are greatly interested on Oxygen, and they reject Nitrogen. Can lungs survive without interests?

Let the interested one, remain interested.

‘You’ have no business to be interested.

The intellect is curious by design. The intellect will remain interested. Have you not seen kids, three years olds, asking questions that grown-ups cannot answer. They will remain interested. Let the intellect, the design of the brain, remain interested. ‘You’ need not remain interested.

Let this physical system, including the brain apparatus, remain curious, interested, inquisitive, whatever. Even attached. ‘You’ stay wherever you must.

Spirituality does not entail that the lungs must give up oxygen. Renunciation is not for the lungs, Sir. Do not stretch it to absurd limits. That will give you another excuse to stay away from spirituality.

You will say, “Baba was asking me to renounce oxygen. If I have to have no relation with the world, why must I even breathe?” Because breathing is the continuous relationship with the world. And seeing is the continuous relationship with the world. So if spirituality means renunciation, even at the physical level, or at the psychological level, then you have to cease existing as an embodied entity.

Spirituality is not committing suicide, or is it? Then we do not need satsang, we need mass suicide halls. Over! It has happened, you know. There have been cults in Japan and other places, where incidents of mass suicides have been reported. They thought, that is ‘liberation’. So, 300-400 hundred people would get together, and would just breathe in some nice gas. And all are liberated. That is not spirituality, obviously!

Do not deprive the stomach of food. And do not deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Just as it is stupid to deprive body of food, it is equally stupid to deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Thought is not the enemy. Feelings are not the culprit. Your misplaced presence is the culprit. The needless presence of ‘I’ in the thoughts, is the culprit.

Be fully secure about the ‘I’, and then think as much as you want to. Feel, in whichever dimension you want to. You can laugh, you can sing, you can cry. You can even hate, or fall in love. All that is okay. All that is part of the rainbow.

Spirituality is not about banishing certain things, from your life.

Spirituality is just about seeing, that life is beautiful, and does not get any better, with the intervention of the little self, the ‘I’.

It is one thing to think, it is a totally another thing, to think with the objective of self-preservation. Can you see the difference these two thoughts? There is just thought, as is needed to solve a mathematical problem. And then there is the thought, that feeds on fear. Are these two the same?

Thought is not the problem.

Your insecurities about yourself, your utter loneliness –  that is the problem.

And that is an assumed, imagined problem.

A problem that does not exist, but is taking to be.

Now how smart is that – to be fretting over an imagined problem?

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

Watch the session:  What is disappearance of the self? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Quotes, April’19

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1.

If you want to most definitely reach,

Take the most difficult route.

2.

What is It?

More than everything, in general.

Less than nothing, in particular.

3.

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

does your love diminish?

No.

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

What do you understand ?

Nothing in particular.

Not everything has to be intellectually comprehended.

Love is enough.

4.

Freedom is the backdrop in which bondage appears as bondage.

Freedom is the Light in which darkness looks like darkness.

If there is only darkness, there is no darkness.

Darkness means anything only in the presence of Light.

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

5.

Grace is available to you unconditionally, but not compulsorily.

She would come to your doorstep,and knock.

She will wait,not break open your door.

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

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

6.

Those who are winning the war, matter.

They need to be saluted.

Those who are losing the war, matter.

They need to be helped.

Those who are absentees from battlefield, do not matter.

They need to be ignored.

7.

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

8.

Except for Prakriti,

who will tell you

of all the stories of

Parmatma?

And, well,

all his secrets?

9.

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

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

Do not let these turn into your gods.

10.

The lover, the mystic, looks at the moon

and knows fullness itself.

Is the material just material?

A thing is the Source behind itself.

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

Watch as nothing,

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

 

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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Suffer, but suffer rightly || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Suffer, but suffer rightly

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Question: Is suffering necessary to reach the Truth? Once I have identified pain and fear, or something like this, where I know that it is creating unpleasant situation or suffering for me, what are the next ways for me to be this….peaceful. What is next?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

A lot of suffering is just unnecessary. If it is unnecessary, give it up. A part of it is necessary. If it is necessary, go through it.

We can see the next question coming. What is the next question?

Listener: How do we know which part of the suffering is necessary, and which part is unnecessary?

Acharya ji: How do we know which part of the suffering is necessary, and which part is unnecessary?

You see, you move about like a drunkard on the road, and get hit or keep hitting, and abuse and get abused, and blow up your money, and all of that has a suffering component attached to it. That is unnecessary. Even if you suffer for a thousand years, you won’t be spiritually elevated. Right?

If you get cursed by a thousand men, for a thousand years, it won’t elevate your spiritual status, even a  little. So that kind of suffering is totally foolish, just give it up. You don’t need to suffer. Ego finds a perverse pleasure, even in suffering.

People meet me, and so many of them say that all the great Yogis and Rishis(Sages), they suffered so much, and that is why they arrived at greatness. To this, I said that, not everybody who suffers, arrives at greatness. There has to be a particular quality, even in suffering. Not all suffering is necessary. Most of human suffering, is totally unnecessary. Give it up!

A monk met me once, I was in Dharamshala at that time. Had a very long conversation with him, he had come to visit. It’s a cold place, Dharamshala. And the fellow would be, always, in just one piece of cloth. I said to him, “Why are you doing this to yourself?” He replied, “Suffering is necessary.” I asked him, “Are you sure that this kind of suffering will lead you somewhere?”

But he was very determined. He was a senior monk, and he had done that all his life. It was very difficult for him to accept that all the suffering that he had accumulated, rather earned over his lifetime, is needless. It’s needless!

Technology is good. Science has provided man with medicine. All that is not just hot air, all that is meaningful. If you are having a great headache, don’t tell me that your peace won’t be disturbed. If modern medicine can help you get rid of physical disorders at least, that helps. No point quoting again and again, that you are the Atman, and nothing but the Atman, so no migraine, or no headache affects you.

Those who have headaches and migraines, know that these do affect. Keeping the migraine upon you, and saying that suffering helps, and suffering cleanses and purifies, is non-sensical. Give it up!

And then there is legitimate, and genuine suffering, that comes to you, in the process of self-realisation. You will have to go through it.

I will give an example. You think of yourself as a very worthy man. You think of yourself as an honest man. You think of yourself as a loving father, or a loving son, or a loving husband. Or you think of yourself as devoted wife, or a caring mother, or a loving daughter. Something.

The more you open your eyes in the spiritual sense, the more you realise, that you have been exploiting others, just every bit, as much as others have been exploiting everybody else. And then, it is not pleasant to come up on this realisation.

One suffers.

What I am saying is, that awareness brings suffering, in it’s wake. You cannot wake up, and not suffer. this is what I am calling as ‘genuine suffering’. And many people prefer not to wake up, just because they want to avoid the genuine suffering as well.

And, I assure you, what you call as ‘self-realisation’, is never going to be pleasant.

It’s not going to be blissful or something. It’s always a bit of a heartbreak.

One sees the futility of one’s life.

One sees that how tremendously misled, one has been. And all that hits the ego.

One gets hurt.

It is never pleasant to get hurt.

But one has to pass through that. One has to let that suffering come, and one has stand very vulnerable to it. One has to bow her head down. One has to say, “I see that I have been not only blind, but I have been needlessly blind. All my life, I have just deceived myself.” One’s self-esteem falls into pieces. One has to be prepared for all that. And all that, I said, entails suffering.

You will not reach Truth, with your ego intact.

Listener: To realise one thing, like somebody realises in one instance, I take ten-eleven instances, and then also I get half the part of it. It happens often. How do I reduce this gap, or time? Why do I need to get hurt so much, that I lose everything, and then only I realise?

Acharya ji: Love yourself more. Love yourself more. We have been taught to hate ourselves. We have been taught to hate ourselves, and therefore, love the world.

When you look at a nice shirt, what do you say? “Let me wear this shirt, this shirt will add value to me.” So, what do you hate, and what do you love? You despise yourself. You say, “I am of inferior value.” You think of even a shirt, that can add value to you, don’t you? And therefore, when you find people wearing expensive shirts, you look upto them.

We have been taught to look down upon ourselves.

Love yourself. Respect yourself.

And then you will not accept hurt.

And then, you will not be prone to inviting hurt.

We do not have basic, simple, innocent, self-love. We keep inviting hurt, and equally we are afraid of hurt.

Loving yourself is very different from improving yourself, or adding value to yourself. In fact, they are opposite in a sense. Understand this. I hope you don’t misinterpret me. By loving yourself, I do not mean that you should wear the best saree – “Because I am loving myself so much, so I am gifting myself the best saree.” No, no, no!

Loving yourself means, that you look upto yourself, and respect yourself, already as you are. You tell yourself, that it is not the world that will add value to me. The value resides within.”

O! The value does not reside, even in this structure of flesh and bones. It is somewhere else that the value resides. The value resides in neither in this(the flesh), or in this(the mind), nor in all that(the world outside). It is somewhere else that the value resides. And that somewhere else, is not a distant point. That somewhere else is, in here(the heart). And if it is in here, I love myself. Why do I love myself? Because that valuable one is, right in here.

Listeners: Within.

Acharya ji: I love myself because, this structure itself is the abode of the valuable one. I do not love the structure. The structure will fall into pieces. The structure might get killed tomorrow, who knows?

That is self-love! Love yourself a lot.

Listener: It seems too far.

Acharya ji: It is not too far. It is your natural state. It seems far, only because you have come too far from yourself. So return!

And returning is easier than coming so far. Just don’t remain too dependent on this and that.

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

Watch the session:  Suffer, but suffer rightly || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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Happiness and self-knowledge||Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

Happiness and self knowledge

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“We seek happiness through things, through relationship, through thoughts, ideas and do not realise their impermanence. To find out the true meaning of happiness, we must explore the river of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is not an end in itself. Is there a source to stream?”

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: Acharya ji, can you please explain what JK said in the above paragraph?  JK mentioned that exploring the river of self-knowledge and happiness, is to be found where you are on this river.

Acharya Prashant: What Krishnamurti is referring to here is – Joy. Not happiness. That is linked to pleasure. So, not your usual meaning of happiness is to be applied to Krishnamurti’s words here.

I would have loved it, had he been a little more precise with his choice of words. Joy is what he is talking of. As far as worldly happiness is concerned, it is available at all points in the river. In fact, the river is flowing, just for the sake of happiness. Otherwise, why would the river flow at all? Source would have been sufficient.

So it is not really happiness that is to be found through self-knowledge. In fact, self-knowledge often is a danger to happiness.

Self-knowledge dissolves both happiness and sadness,

and you are left with nothing, but a naked and silent Joy. 

Now the next point. “It is to be found, where you are, on the river of self-knowledge.” What does ‘self-knowledge’ mean? Self-knowledge is about seeing the self in it’s activities, in motion, constantly.

‘You’ are the little self. And self-knowledge is about seeing yourself. What do you do? How you behave? What your instincts are? What your reactions are? And such things.

If you can see your self, clearly, without motivation, then the seeing itself is great fun. That I call as ‘Joy’. Just the seeing is great fun.

Nothing more than that is contained in this excerpt.

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

Watch the session:  Happiness and self-knowledge || Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

Read more articles on this topic:

Acharya Prashant: How to be free of happiness and sadness?

Acharya Prashant: Do success and happiness go together?

Acharya Prashant: Joy – absolute happiness – is possible


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What is meant by ‘oneness with all’? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is meant by Oneness with all

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Question: What is the meaning of : meeting the other person with oneness?

Acharya Prashant: Meeting the other person, with oneness, does not imply – being one with the other ‘person’. It means – you are one within, even as you look at the diverse world of many-ness, spread in space around you.

Outside you might be fragments, distinctions, numbers, diversities, within is no such fragmentation.

How does fragmentation arise within?

It arises within, when the within becomes a mirror of  the without.

If that which is outside you, gains a part of you, then you get divided.

Take this, right now.

Here is me, if you take me as someone outside of you, then this figure will occupy, a bit of mental space. There is him, he too will occupy a bit of mental space. One of these posters will occupy a bit of mental space. May be this color appeals to you, this too will occupy some space. The brand of this equipment may be nice, that too will occupy some space. So, the divisions outside, will become the divisions inside.

Nothing outside of you, should be allowed to occupy you within, because ‘the within’ is the sacred province of the Absolute. And the Absolute knows, no divisions or fragments. Inside must sit ‘the One’, and outside, the world may keep taking various forms and shapes. That is Oneness, oneness within.

There would never be oneness in the world. If there is oneness in the world, you will have to physically disappear, because then you and the earth would be one. So, you are gone. Either the earth has become you, or you have become the earth. And then there is no atmosphere either, because there is just oneness.

So, outside, there is never really going to be oneness, as long as you are an embodied being. Oneness must be within.

Listener: Acharya ji, can you please elaborate on this. For example, I met Alok ji and Pranay, what does it mean that meeting them will not create any division inside?

Acharya ji: It means that the Absolute Truth within you, must meet Alok or Pranay. These two are outside, and they are different. But the point that meets them, must be the point of integrity, oneness. It must not be, that, a figure created by Alok, meets Alok, and a figutre created by Pranay, meets Pranay.

Normally, as we are, we do not meet a minister, and a miserable one, in the same way. Even before we meet them, we have turned different, because of their influence upon us.

Are you getting it?

The minister might be five minutes away, but you have already changed, in anticipation of his arrival. The one who is meeting the minister, is not the same as the one who is meeting the commoner. And I am ot talking of your behaviour towards these two persons. I am talking of the entity that it meeting.

Of course, the behaviour is bound to be different. You cannot behave in the same way with everybody. I am talking about the identity of the one, who is meeting the different objects in the world.

Your identity, when you are meeting an object, is decided by the object that you are meeting. Is that not really a miserable condition? Even before you meet the minister, the minister has cast his spell upon you. He is still some distance away, and you are already bowing down. So, the person has changed, in influence of the field of the object he is meeting. That must not happen.

Who gave you the impression that the contents of your mind, are the Truth, or Sacred, or Absolute. That which arises within you, is just your mental content. Why are you according it a lot of sanctity? Turning ego into God!

A rapists instincts too, arise from within, don’t they? You don’t have to motivate him. You don’t have to really exert yourself, to motivate a rapist. It’s strongly from within. It’s just  that their acts are definitely showing up as gruesome and horrible. So, you put them in jail.

But, the other hallucinating ones, might be holding respectable tags of spiritual seekers and Yoga practitioners, so you do not put them in jail. But hallucinations are, hallucinations.

Listener: So, is everyone hallucinated?

Acharya ji: If you are hallucinating, how will you know what everyone else is doing? Why not bother only about yourself?

If you are in a dream, will you ever be able to know who are all the others, who are dreaming?

If you are asleep, will you be able to know who is awake?

So why not bother, only on your own awakening?

This is one of the great fallacies: widely accepted, quite the norm, not merely socially circulating, but even in spiritual circulation. You start calling your instincts, and feelings, and intuitions, as the Truth. And you start saying that you know, it is arising from within, so it must be the Truth, without ever seeing that, that which is within, is just a pale imprint of that, which is without.

From where did something reach within?

Listener: Outside.

Acharya ji: From here and there.

Do not turn feelings and such things into, Truth. They are not.

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

Watch the session:  What is meant by ‘oneness with all’? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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How to stay spiritual all the time?|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: When I read spiritual books, it feels like I am conditioning myself in a different way. Sometimes, worldly desires take over me, and I am not able to stay spiritual all the time.

What can I do, to stay spiritual, all the time?

Acharya Prashant: See, spirituality is not something that you can pick off the shelf, and start practicing. Who told you that the yama and niyam that you are practicing, are the best for you?

Listener: But, as the Yoga Sutra says….

Acharya ji: Were the Yoga Sutras told to you?

Listener: But, we have to practice them, and follow them.

Acharya ji: Who mandated it? Did Patanjali recite the Yoga Sutras to you? How do you know that they are meant for you?

Listener: How do we then, what is meant for us?

Acharya ji: Then you have to go and ask someone who knows. You don’t seem to be trying. You seem to have concluded. You seem to have come to the conclusion that the yama and niyama path will take you beyond your self.

You have already started implementing something. You are not even at the decision state. You don’t even have the humility to stay put, before executing something.

Listener: But, what when anyone does not even have a desire to go beyond?

Acharya ji: Then don’t go beyond. There is no compulsion to go beyond. Man is really not born to go beyond.

Going beyond, is the highest, and the most exquisite pursuit.

If you don’t pursue that path, you are not a sinner. You are just, normal.

If you not spiritual, you are not a sinner. You are just normal!

It is not necessary to be spiritual. There is nothing in man’s composition, that specially, eggs him on, towards spirituality.

Your senses, they look outside at the world. You mind keeps on thinking of things, material stuff. You live by your thoughts, your feelings, your opinions. And you can live a decent life, even without being spiritual. Why are you forcing spirituality upon yourself?The bulk of mankind, is not spiritual at all, and is yet living almost satisfactorily.

Spirituality, is a most exquisite pursuit.

It is only for those, who are not at all contended with, what the world can maximally offer.

Not only are they not contended with what they already have, they are not contended even with the best, what the world can potentially offer.

Those are the ones, who must take the spiritual path. Others must satisfy themselves, with the worldly beauties.

And I come across this, so often. People come and say that we have turned spiritual, but that is making us all dry, and that is leaving us totally dissatisfied. And the, I ask them, “Who asked you to go spiritual?” First of all, you go out and have fun in the world. And when you get beaten up soundly, if you do, if you do, then come back, and try the spiritual path.

And it is not necessary, that in the world, you will receive a beating. Not everybody is so lucky.

(laughter)

Most people are condemned to, almost succeed in the world. The misfortune of most people is, that they never get beaten up so soundly, that they will see the futility of the world. So they should remain well-adjusted and compromised. They should continue with the worldly life. They should not, unnecessarily, invite the spiritual trouble. You know, for the sake of it, just because some great names have talked of spirituality, you too start dabbling. And then, you burn your fingers.

Spirituality, is for the ones, who are ripe enough.

If you are not ripe enough, keep hanging for the tree. Enjoy the birds and the breeze. a time comes, when you are, ready. Spirituality has never been for the masses, believe me. Never!

In fact, Indian scriptures, very strictly say, that if you are not yet ready, and if you still approach us, then you will meet harm. And how to test that you are ready? There are very definite, clear guidelines. Test yourself clearly, before you open this book, before you enter this scripture. Only when you honestly see that you are ready, must you enter the scripture.

There are many guidelines given in many forms. But the one, that I like the most, and the one that is the most elaborate, is the saadhan chatushtaya.

The first thing that is needed is, viveka(discretion).

The second thing that is needed is, vairagya(dispassion).

The third thing that is needed is, shad sampatti, the six qualities (shama, dama, uprati, titiksha, shraddha, samaadhaan).

And finally, and most importantly, you need, mumuksha(desire for liberation).

When you see that you have all these, only then must you turn, a seeker.

Do you have discretion(viveka)? Do you clearly see: what is eternal, and what is ephemeral? Do you clearly see: what holds substance, and what is insubstantial? If not, then you are disqualified, in the very first test.

There are four tests. The very first one, disqualifies you. The second test, is a little more stern. The second test is, vairagya. Are you totally fed up of the world, or not? If you are not totally fed up of the world, what are you doing in the spiritual domain? You go and enjoy the world.

And then, there is the shad sampatti. Six tests at one go – rapid fire. And finally, do you have a burning desire for liberation, mumuksha? If you do not have a burning desire for liberation, stay away! Go and enjoy the world.

You are young. Do not unnecessarily hassle yourself. go and enjoy the markets. Get a girlfriend, have kids.

Listener: I want to ask one more thing Acharya ji. My personal life is not working, so I am trying to be more spiritual. So, it’s like let’s stay away from the house, let’s stay away from this, let’s stay away from that.

Acharya ji: Who told you that spirituality demands staying away from the house? Who told you that science and spirituality, are distinct domains? Science is, a little subset of spirituality. You cannot say, “Right now I am scientific, and now I am spiritual,” as if they are two exclusive sets. They are not exclusive. They overlap.

Science is fully contained in spirituality. Spirituality, that does not contain science, is superstition. However, science is too small, to overlap with, all of spirituality. But one thing is certain, when you are scientific, you are, spiritual as well. However, all spirituality, is not science. spirituality goes way, beyond science.

Spirituality begins, when you have a strong feeling, that things are not the way they must be.

If you are alright, and well-adjusted, then stay well-adjusted.

Listener: Cannot face the fluctuations of feelings, and emotions, any more.

Acharya ji: So that’s something that you want to correct, right?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya ji: Now you can begin.

But to begin, first of all, you must know what is, going wrong. If you do not know your disease, to which doctor will you go? Even to go to a doctor, even to benefit from the guidance of a doctor, you at least need to go to the right department, don’t you?

So, you have to begin with yourself. You have to honestly ask yourself, “What is this going on?”

This is the stepping stone.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: How to stay spiritual all the time? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Are psychedelic drugs helpful in spirituality? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: Recently, I came across an article on psychedelic drugs. I was surprised to know that a large part of spiritual community consumes such psychedelic drugs, and claims that it has helped them immensely to remain in a peaceful state.

I was even more surprised to find that many spiritual teachers encourage their people to take psychedelic drugs, especially LSD etc. He also mentions that Osho has once said, “So, the drug opens up a door and helps you to understand that man’s life and his experience need not be confined to the ordinary, mundane world. He can fly high towards the stars. That he is capable of knowing things which are not ordinarily available. Psychedelics  can open doors, not lead you through them.”

Acharya Prashant: When you want to be intoxicated, there is lot to be intoxicated upon.

First of all understand this: that yes the mind is eager to go beyond the daily, mundane experiences, and that’s why the seeker goes to a teacher. But, if the teacher fails in bringing the seeker to the beyond, then this is the option that the teacher has.

So, recommending the use of psychedelic drugs, in fact, just tells of the inability of the teacher, to take the seeker , beyond usual consciousness, through other means.

It’s like this, that you want samadhi(peace), and instead of that, you are given nidra(sleep). There is at least something in common between samadhi and nidra. Both are removed from your usual state of consciousness.

So, having given you nidra, now the teacher can claim that he has given you something, something that was not, usually, experience-able to you. But, is this what the seeker wanted? Instead of taking him to the higher level of consciousness, you are actually lowering his state of consciousness. You are turning him unconscious.

What will be the result? He  will definitely experience a change. But, is the change for the good? Is it a change that takes you higher? No. It’s a bad change. And if this is the route that many spiritual seekers are seeking, then this route is nothing, but a verdict upon the disciple and the teacher both. Having failed in the mission, now they are using obnoxious, useless, self-deceptive means.

Osho’s statement too here is laden with danger.  Yes, when you are under the influence of drugs, then you certainly know of one thing – that the universe is not confined to, as you see it in your usual consciousness. That is alright. That is true.

See, what do most people feel?

They feel a particular type of universe, just because they live in a particular type of consciousness.

They feel the universe, in a particular way, all the time.

So, they start taking the universe, as Truth.

After all, what is Truth? That which does not change. 

So, this wall remains white and standing, and it has remained white and standing since the last twenty years. And I have been looking at it, and it has remained white and standing since the last twenty years. So, to me, it becomes some kind of a truth, because it does not change. And that which does not change is, Truth.

Now, extend this example to include the entire universe. The Moon and the Sun have not changed in the last twenty years. So, to me, they become – truth. The names of my relationships have hardly changed over the last twenty years, so to me they become – truth. And there are so many things that do not change in my little life-time. And so, it becomes intuitive for me to consider them as the – truth, when actually they are not the truth.

Now, you have taken some drug. And now, the wall, which was till now white and standing, now becomes a rainbow, and is dancing. The standing, white wall has become a dancing rainbow. And you are actually experiencing it. You are experiencing that the wall is a rainbow, that is, dancing, because you are under the influence of LSD.

So, of at least one thing you come to know – that experiences are deceptive. And the wall has no objective reality. The wall is, as you see it. You come to know of that, that the wall is not the truth. 

The whiteness of the wall was in my eyes, was in my mind rather. And my mind changed under the influence of the drugs, and now see that the wall is a rainbow. And the wall appeared stationary and standing, just because my mind appeared it that way.

Now that the mind has changed, because the brain is under the influence of stuff, so the wall has started dancing. So, this much you can infer – that the usual universe that you perceive, is not the Truth.

But, a great danger arises. Now you start thinking that the rainbow is the truth. And if the rainbow is the truth, so you want to be with the truth all the time. So, you want to be with drugs all the time. Because you have an unflinching desire for truth, you see.

The white wall was the truth until now. And if that truth is gone, you quickly want some other truth. The position of Truth cannot remain vacant. The white wall gone, now the rainbow is the truth.

It is not at all a very useful method. You are negating one thing acceptable, right? You have negated the whiteness of the wall, but you have substituted it with something more problematic.

The world is a habit, but drugs are a worst habit. At least when you are free of drugs, then you can look at the facts. Under the influence of drugs, you cannot even know the facts. And I have repeatedly said that – the facts are the door to Truth.

If you do not know even the facts, then you are one step further away from the Truth.

The one who is finding refuge in drugs, is fed up of the usual stuff of consciousness. That is certain. But, he is taking a very wasteful route. It’s like feeling cold in Delhi in the month of December, and wanting to escape away, and so you go to Shimla. That kind of wisdom

“Darling we must go somewhere. It’s freezing cold in Delhi.” So darling books the flight to Srinagar. That’s the kind of wisdom contained in using drugs for spiritual attainment.


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

Watch the session: Are psychedelic drugs helpful in spirituality?||Acharya Prashant (2019)


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

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Why do I speak to you? || Acharya Prashant (2016)

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Questioner: This process that you mention, of observation, is that something that you put into your life?

Acharya Prashant: I don’t think about my own life, so how can I take care of it?

And I am not giving an ideal answer.

Since you asked, I am saying. I really think very very little of my own life. Last nine days, I don’t know whether I have thought of myself. I don’t know whether any of these people have thought of themselves. Thinking about yourself is a sure way of missing yourselves

Q: I am asking this because I have not heard anyone saying what you are saying…

AP: So, what does that prove?

Q: How do you formulate these…

AP: I am not formulating any of this.

Q: Why are you up there and saying all that you are saying, from where does this come? How did that happen?

AP: Why is the wind blowing?

Go, ask the wind.

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In going close to problems one gets strength to go beyond problems || Acharya Prashant on Vivekananda (2018)

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The world is great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.

~ Swami Vivekananda

Acharya Prashant: By being in the world you reach the source of all strength, what happens in the gymnasium by being in the gymnasium? Where do you reach?

To your strength.

The implication is, the world is a gymnasium that will facilitate your access to the source of all strength. The source of all strength is the Self, the Truth, the Atman, you are anyway in the world, you have to go to the root of the world, and there you find the Truth, the source of all power.

Which means you cannot really avoid the world, which means you cannot avoid your situations, you have to acknowledge them, and you have to understand them, you cannot escape away, you must know what is going on, and to know what is going on, first of all, you must honestly admit to what is going on.

If you keep giving it false names if you keep calling attachment as love, then what will you come to know? You have already said it is love. You have to, first of all, see what your real life condition is, in seeing that you will only see how powerless you are, how weak you are; that seeing is the key to strength.

This is strange!

When you see that you are weak, the seeing is the strength. When you see that you are conditioned, that seeing is the freedom from conditioning.

When you will look at the world, you will only see a lot of chains, bondage; but that seeing is the freedom from bondage.

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Has India lost its spiritual heritage? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Questioner: We have such a rich heritage and history. India is the land of the vedas, the Upanishads and so many perfect masters. As a country, how did we get so far from the Truth or was the Truth always for just a limited few?

Acharya Prashant: Taruna, the misfortune of India is that it is the land of Upanishads, it is the land of the Budhas, the Kabirs, the Nanaks and the Farids, that which is too abundantly available becomes unavailable.  And, the one who is very abundantly available, must become little unavailable, so that he becomes again available.

Masters after Masters, scriptures upon scriptures, the common folk start taking things for granted.

Every village has a dozen fakirs. You throw a stone in any direction and it is going to hit a sadhu!

That’s the way the human constitution is, we respect that which is rare.

What do you value? Everyday events or festivals that come once in a year?

If you meet Kabir every two hours, then you will start avoiding him. It is too much!

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Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: The world is a river; use it to cross it

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Acharya Prashant: Two excerpts are with us.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”

BIBLE

(JOHN 2:15)

“Prosperity, pleasure, pious deeds. Enough! In the dreary forest of the world, the mind finds no rest.”

ASHTAVAKRA GITA

(CHAPTER 10: VERSE 7)

The questioner says that he is astounded at the commonality between Jesus and Ashtavakra and asks why are both saying that engaging in the world will not be a way to peace. What does it mean to engage in the world?

The world is a tricky thing. The world has to be understood.

The world has utility but the world is not the end.

One uses it.

Ever seen a man swimming? What is he doing? Why is he swimming at all? He is crossing a river. Man is swimming. Man is crossing the river. Why is he crossing the waters? Because if he doesn’t cross the waters, he will drown in the waters. If he doesn’t cross the waters or the river, he will drown in the river.

And what is he doing to cross the water? He is using the waters themselves.

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On Jesus Christ: Why do we want to ‘see’ first and then believe?

Question:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

Thomas had a great doubt about the resurrection of Jesus. Why is it so necessary for us to see first and then believe? Then after seeing we doubt our seeing. How do we rid ourself of this suspicious attitude?

Acharya Prashant: It’s obvious Nimisha. We are people identified with the ‘body’ and the ‘senses.’ So we would believe only that which the senses tell us.

It’s not really necessary for everybody to visually, optically, see first and then believe. Such a thing is necessary only for the man who believes in his eyes. Only the man who believes in the world that he sees with his eyes would want the proof of Godliness admissible through the eyes.

He has already declared that what the eyes are showing to me is True. That’s his belief. That’s his fundamental assertion. What my eyes are showing to me is True.

So, when you would tell him that something is True, obviously he would demand that it would be visible through the eyes.

Isn’t it obvious?

He is saying what the eyes are saying is True. He believes in the body, he believes in the eyes, he believes in the world. Now, you tell Thomas such and such thing has happened. Jesus is back. He would immediately say that if he is back then my eyes should be the proof. I should be able to see him. And not only should I be able to see him, my hands should be able to feel his wounds. Because this is the man who lives by sensory experience.

He says that this is True, it exists (pointing to a glass in his hand) because the skin is offering a proof of its existence. You can feel it via the skin. So even to be certain that Jesus is back, he’s saying that I should be able to verify his existence through my skin.

The one mistake that such doubting Thomas’s make is that they do not see that what they are seeing is not really True. They do not know Trueness. Instead, they have a concept of Trueness which is ‘imperfect.’

Real trueness is time independent.

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Acharya Prashant: Is liberation possible for a householder?

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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?

—————————–

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.

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Acharya Prashant: Live through pain, beautifully

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Acharya Prashant: Laxman is asking a question, he is saying that he has undergone two major surgeries and accidents – he says I understand that I’m identified with the body and it is the reason for my suffering. I’ve read many books, scriptures and listened to masters’ teachings that tell me that I am that not the body, yet I do not know how to come out of this pattern. Kindly guide me.

Laxman, you’re bearing physical pain. Keep bearing it. You cannot avoid it. Stop resisting the pain. Bear it gracefully. Live beautifully in pain and then you’ll not suffer. When you shout about, throw your hands about, stamp your feet, complain like a petulant child, that’s when suffering is.

You were born a human being. You’ve come to a certain age. You’ve had accidents, you’ve surgeries and now you’ve pain.

What else do you expect?

You were not born a human being to live painlessly. To be born is to be born in pain.

Do you know how much pain your mother went through when you were born?

What do you mean by complaining against pain?

Bodhidharma was asked, ‘What is greatest fortune?’ And he said, ‘The greatest fortune is not to be born at all.’

The greatest fortune is not to take birth at all because if you were born, then pain is inevitable. Pain is a necessary accompaniment of living a human life.

Don’t grudge! Don’t whimper! Don’t crib!

Your very expectation is misplaced. You will have pain. Go to the great athletes and they’ll tell you, ‘We play through pain’, one fellow is retiring, and he has won multiple grand slams and he says, ‘Now, one thing is certain; I won’t wake up every morning in terrible pain!’

Who gave you the expectation that you were born to rejoice and celebrate and have a gala time?

Maybe the advertisers told you that!

The Buddhas have never told you that you were born to be felicitated or decorated or rewarded. That’s why India has since long said that when you’re punished, then you’re cursed to take birth! This session began with myths. Do you know how the myths go often?

So, there was the great angel and she made a mistake, so she was cursed to take birth! And you’ve dozens of stories like this. The great spirit was cursed to take birth because it made a mistake.

That’s what human birth is all about. You’re here to bear. You aren’t here to have a party.

Even if you’ve party, you will…

Listeners: Suffer

AP: Have a lot of pain.

No, I didn’t say suffer. I’ll come to that. The very concept that life can be painless is false. Pain is due and legitimate. You will have pain. Now, live through like a man.

What is suffering?

Suffering comes only when you start espousing the flawed concept that life must be pain-free. When you start feeding that concept, when you start nourishing and identifying with that concept that life must be painless, then you’ve suffering because now when pain comes, you’re shocked.

You say, ‘Life should’ve been painless and from where has this pain arrived? No, no, you go away, and it is unjust! I was born to dance and now something unfair is happening. See, pain has arrived.’

Now you’ll suffer.

Suffering is non-sensical, ignorant resistance to pain.

Welcome pain! You’ve no option.

So better welcome it.

Just live through it, play through it, as champions do.

Go and ask Roger Federer. He’ll say, ‘I pay through pain!’

Ashish Nehra retired, and he said, ‘It isn’t as if there was pain in my body. Sometimes, I was searching, for my body in the pain! Pain is everywhere, where is the body?’

He used to have one surgery every two days! You get the idea, right?

So many surgeries he had on his body and he kept playing till he was thirty-six or thirty-eight or forty something.

Play through pain.

Play in pain.

Just keep playing!

Pain is life.

Just keep playing and there is such a great delight, you know, in playing through pain. If you don’t have pain, then playing isn’t as beautiful. If you can smile through tears and in tears, oh what a beautiful smile it is!

Only then, is smile really beautiful.

The lyricist might not even know what he has written and he has written maybe for an entirely different context but his lines make a lot of sense: (speaking in Hindi) Jab dard nahi tha seene mein, kya khaak maza tha jeene mein?(When there was no pain in the heart, there was no joy in living at all)

How will you live without pain?

And if you can embrace pain, then pain is your beloved.

In our case, it is the other way around: our beloved is the pain!

If you don’t turn pain into your beloved, then your punishment will be that your beloved will be the pain. Doesn’t matter whether it is, the beloved or pain; don’t resist!

That’s the way life is meant is to be.

You aren’t born a deity or an angel. You’re born a human being. Kindly lower down your expectation. Be a little grounded and if you can’t be grounded, then watch a moth rushing towards its incarceration in a flame. It is designed to go through that pain, isn’t it?

Ever seen a flame and insects jumping into it from all directions? That’s how they are designed, and you too are designed a human being and Buddha said, ‘The first of four noble truths: That life is suffering’. Life is suffering because not only are you designed to have pain, you’re also designed to resist pain. Now, that’s a double whammy!

Now that’s doubly harmful. You’re designed to both, have pain and resist pain, and that is called suffering.

Have pain, and have a lot of depth in your being.

So much depth that it can take in all the pain.

Keep soaking in pain, keep soaking in pain, and if you can keep soaking in pain, you find that something strange is happening; now you can rejoice because now you’re not really human. Had you been human, you’d have resisted pain. When you don’t resist pain, you’re no more human and if you’re not human, then you’ll not suffer as humans do.

Instead, you’re blessed with delight and delight is not available to the so-called normal human. Why?

Because they’re rushing after delight and how do they run after delight? By trying to avoid or resist pain.

If you resist pain, all you get is suffering.

If you embrace pain, then there is delight.

How is the day?

‘Sir, really painful!’

That’s the way it should be.

So, Rajiv Ji, ‘How’s life?’

‘Purely painful, sir! Purely painful.’

That’s something!


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

Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant: Live through pain, beautifully


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Acharya Prashant on Veganism: Is it possible to be spiritual and eat animals?

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Question: Acharya Ji, is it possible to be spiritual and eat animals?

Acharya Prashant: No, it is not at all possible.

It is just not possible.

Because to be spiritual, is to simply know, the spiritual one would know who he is and what is happening through him. He would not be blind to what is kept on his plate. To be spiritual is to be not-fragmented. One would then really know, what is this thing called hunger, what is this thing called food, and what is thing called food-chain.

One would just not open the can, take the flesh and munch it. One would know where the whole thing is coming from, both in a physical way and in a mental way.

When you know where the entire thing is coming from, it simply does not happen. You see, a spiritual man does not relate to the other, in terms of body. It is something of the eye.

I often ask those who consume meat, instead of proceeding with a packaged product like meat, why don’t you slaughter the thing yourself, and when you slaughter the animal yourself, why don’t you know it fully?

Even as you slaughter it, after all, even from a perspective of self-interest, if something is going into your body it makes sense to know it fully.

Why don’t you look into its eyes as you slaughter it? Read more

Acharya Prashant: How to deal with limitations of those around you?

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Acharya Prashant: Shweta is saying we all are limited and we may have this interaction here but as I move into the world, the so-called real world. I only encounter limitations.

The help that we are talking of, is not always forthcoming. But then Shweta, why do I need to be dependent upon somebody else. We have said life itself is the biggest help.

Life itself is the biggest help.

Others are limited but it depends upon you, whether you allow others limitations to become your own limitations. We might be living in the world of the blinds but that does not mean that we too close our eyes. Yes, of course, there is great pressure upon us to do that.

You know there is a story. There was a village. And that village had only one well from where everyone drew water. Someone came, some mischievous fellow came and put a poisonous drug in that water and now that water became such, whosoever will drink it will go mad. Everybody in the village drank that water except for one man he looked at the people around, he looked at their insanity and he understood that drinking this water would make me insane. He said I will not drink this water.

But now everybody around him was made! Just as now you said Shweta, everybody around you is limited. All of the mad people would say, that we are fine and they made a society of normal people and of course, all these so-called normal people were mad. And this society declares there is only one mad person in the village and who is he? The fellow who did not drink the water and who was not mad.

Now, this sane fellow started facing a lot of difficulties because wherever he would go, all other madmen would treat him with disrespect and Life became very difficult for him. Life became very very difficult for him. What was the way remain in front of him? Yes…To himself drink the water. So one fine day he decided.

He said if I want to live then I have to become like them, mad. Because only a madman can survive in the society of madman. He said let me also become mad only then I can survive. So he decided that I will go the well and drink that water and become one like them.

Read more

Acharya Prashant on Brazil Elections

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(Following is an excerpt from an interview conducted by a Brazilian Journalist just before the last round of voting of Brazil’s Presidential Elections, from here onwards the interviewer is being addressed as Marcos, his first name)

Marcos: So, Brazil will be voting for who will be the President, on Sunday.

Acharya Prashant: On the 28th, Yes. And that would be the final round.

Marcos: Yes, the second round. We have, on the one hand, a candidate from the worker party. The left party of Brazil. And on the other hand, we have an extreme rightist guy, who is very aggressive and who is using the ancient tactics of causing fear to give a solution. And as the leftists have been making some mistakes in Brazil – they are accused of corruption etc – a lot of people are voting for this rightist guy. So, there is a very aggressive scenario and people are beating each other on the streets. Some people have died unfortunately. And I would like to give a message, or be the translator of the message from you, of consciousness, of peace, of better understanding, of the importance of this moment for Brazil, because there is a lot of anger, a lot of chaos and a very hazy consciousness and analysis of what’s really happening.

AP: You see, rightist tendencies are gaining prominence in all parts of the world. It’s not merely Brazil, we have seen that happen in the Americas, in Europe, in West Asia, in India. And, we must go into the reasons behind this surge. When the center, or the left of the center, promises a great deal, but that great deal does not include a true sense of identification, a deep peace of mind, then there is disenchantment from the left. To understand what is happening, we must go into the mind of the human being, for the human being is the voter.

What does the human being want? Does the human being want merely bread-butter, sustenance, houses, cars? Yes, obviously we need all these things, but we also need something beyond all this. So, beyond the material, does the human being want the grand concepts of equal opportunity, liberty, fraternity, secularism, justice, and other great concepts? Yes, these principles are all needed, but even these principles are not sufficient.

The human being in his totality obviously needs food for the stomach, and shelter and education. And going ahead, human being obviously also needs a secure society. Secure, in terms of providing employment, taking care of old-age, providing medical facilities and such things. Now, obviously we all want to live in societies where there is justice, where there is no oppression, where there is no racism or misogyny. So, these are definitely needed, but, let me ask again, do they suffice? That is one question that leaders, politicians, thinkers, well-wishers, the world over, must ponder upon.

The material alone does not suffice, and what do I mean by the material? By material, I mean houses, cars, air-conditioners, jets, and bread and butter, obviously. So, not only does the material not suffice, even great intellectual and social concepts and their realisation do not prove to be the final fulfillment.

Read more

Acharya Prashant: Is plunging into sex a method to gain freedom from sex?

Question: Acharya Ji, you have said in a previous session while discussing the attraction towards sex, that one does not need to get entangled even to overcome or suppress. One rather needs to leave sex behind. One should seek that for which one is really eager. All the energy should go in that direction.

One is not rejecting sex, one is just prioritizing correctly. One is saying that the one that has a lower priority must wait because there is something immensely more important that is higher up the priority. That which is higher up the priority is so immense that it would never get completed, never get over. So the one who is waiting for his turn, the one who is lower down the order would just keep waiting.

He would not need to be killed, he would have just been permanently postponed. And she says that, in the same session, Acharya Ji has said “In the subconscious, there is a lot that terrifies you and you try to escape that fear by not trying to know more about it. When you first enter, you will find ‘that’ will scare you but if you stay with it courageously you will meet the one that delivers you from that fear.

If a person doesn’t meet ‘that’, which scares him and how you meet the one that liberates from the fear. Therefore, on your way meet all your imperfections and impurities and it is only after that you will meet the one that purifies, perfects and completes you.

So having quoted these two excerpts from a previous session, the question is, In the context of the pull of Maya and the worldly, here relating to the pull of the sexual energy, does one acknowledge it  and transcend it by focusing on the ‘Ananth’ or God ? or does one drop the defences against Maya, go through the worldly and only then arrive at the door of the Ananth.

Thank you.

Acharya Prashant: So, two excerpts have been quoted and apparently the two excerpts are in contradiction. The first one says that you do not need to get entangled, and the second one says that you need to meet all your fears, all your impurities, all your imperfections head-on.

So the questioner is a little confused and she is asking what to do? Does one seek to cleanse herself or does one need to plunge into her own conditioning? I will repeat the question for you. In the context of the pull of Maya and the worldly, here relating to the pull of the sexual energy, does one acknowledge it and transcend it by focusing on God ? or does one drop the defenses against Maya, go through the worldly and only then arrive at the door of the Ananth?

Read more