The utility of Yoga and methods of meditation||Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir(2016)

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Question: Why do people practice techniques like ‘Yoga’ and ‘Meditation’? Do you think they are necessary?

Acharya Prashant Ji: They have their own place. But, one should be very clear about the place that they have. What you usually call as ‘Yoga’, the kind of Yoga that is prevalent in this city(Rishikesh), is good for the body.

But do not take it as a means to salvation. If it is being sold as something mystical, or spiritual, then it is not. In fact, to try to achieve salvation through Yoga, is just an exhibition of the ego. The ego is saying that-  “By doing this or that, or by stretching my limbs, or sitting in a particular posture, I will reach God.” You sit in whatever posture you like,  you do whatever you want to do with the breath or the body, you will not get God.

Questioner: But, as I can see, one can calm the mind, by doing these asanas, these postures?

Acharya Ji: You can calm the mind, and believe that ‘you’ calmed the mind, you can calm the mind, and believe that ‘you’ calmed the mind, and in the process, cause greater agitation to yourself.

There is no method, except ‘surrender’ – direct, unconditional surrender.

If you know that your mind is calm, because the body is feeling better, and ‘you’  are the one who did something to make the body feel better, then that is just an extension of the ego.

The real happens, never, due to your planning, or your effort.

Because the real never ‘happens’.

It is already there.

It does not need to ‘happen’.

It is the only ‘happening’, how can it happen anymore?

But we are all, intent upon, somehow making the real ‘happen’. “I will go and try so hard, that I get the Truth.” Is Truth an apple or something? You don’t often get even apples due to your efforts. You can’t even get apples when you want, how will you get the Truth?

But yes, it has a certain value. When the body is fit, there is no doubt, that the mind has to think about it. So, in that space, it has a certain value.

Questioner: Does it mean that it is out of man’s control – the matter of Truth?

Acharya Ji: Yes, and the ego does not like this statement. The statement is – “This proves that it is out of your control, the matter of Truth, whether you get Truth or not.”

Yes. Please realise this, as soon as possible.

The Truth won’t come to you, because you tried this way, or that way.

It comes to you, because you see the futility of all your actions.

From morning to evening, whatever you are doing, when you see the futility inherent in them, that is the Truth.

That Silence.

And mind you, from that Silence, great action emerges. It is not as if, no action would happen. Your heart would come to ‘no action’, and the body and the mind would act vigorously.

A ‘Spiritual man’, cannot be a saint, who does nothing but eats all day, and keeps getting fat. And then everyday in the morning, he lectures for two hours. A ‘Spiritual man’, is an intense actor. He does not live as somebody, who has nothing to do with worldly concerns.

Kindly get rid of the image of the saint. In fact, if you come across any such person, who does nothing, except lecturing, and is getting fat, out of lecturing too much, then avoid him.

The ‘Spiritual man’ is a warrior.

He is one, who belongs to this  world.

He is one who partakes in the concerns of this world.

He lives life fully.

It is not that he has shed all experience. In fact, he has become more open and sensitive to experience – this happiness, this sadness, this pleasure and pain.

He is the man of the earth.

You will not find him on some great throne, somewhere. He must be someone, who moves through the streets – a commoner. He is not a general who hides in the castle. He is a foot soldier, out there in the battlefield.

Are you getting it?

Truth is not about renouncing the world of something. The man of Truth, I repeat, is a man of great action. And if you see someone, whose life is dull, lukewarm, incapable of action, then you should just know that his life has not been touched by the Truth.

Truth makes you go wild.

It does not allow you to sleep.

The dance of Truth, is a mad dance.

It is a dance of the destruction.

It is a dance in which you come alive!

You do not just sit in saffron, and say, “Hari Om.”

Kabir Sahab, never made preaching, his profession. He was a weaver, and he remained a weaver. You must ask, all the so-called spiritual ones, “What do you do, except wagging your tongue? And how do you know, anything of life, if you are not living it anymore?”

“You do not meet the commoners. You do not earn anything. You live on donations. You do not go to the markets to sell anything. You don’t but anything, because all is bought for you, by your followers. You don’t mingle with women anymore, because that destroys your reputation. Now, how do you know anything about life?”

If you are a man, and if you are not meeting women, as a man anymore, what do you know about life? From where else does anyone know about life? Does some great Truth descends from heaven? One knows the Truth, only in these simple, daily experiences of everyday living. And if you have blocked-out these everyday experiences, then how are you in touch with the Truth anymore?

How? 

Kabir’s life is a message. In continuing his life as a weaver, Kabir Sahab is saying, that professional preachers should be rejected, precisely because they are professional preachers.

You must ask the so-called spiritual ones, “Is there anything else that you do?” Your words must come out of your life, not out of some book or something. You should have gone have gone to the market, you should have seen something there. And then you should be talking, from there. 

You should be able to say that yesterday, this is what I saw, and hence we should talk about it. When Kabir Sahab talks, he makes the entire world, his instrument. He uses ‘thread’ as a metaphor, he uses the ‘loom’ as a metaphor. He uses the ‘color’ as a metaphor. He uses the ‘selling’, as a metaphor. 

There is nothing in this world, which Kabir Sahab does not use as a metaphor. Even dogs. This means that – he is a man, who is living really, intimately, with life. He is not just talking, some great high-flying theory.

Deep Awareness, Pure Consciousness – Kabir Sahib will never talk of all that. Because he is a real. He is not coming from a book, or tradition. He is not coming from rote learning. Whatever he is saying, it is arising from his heart, and hence so practical. 


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity. Watch the video session: Acharya Prashant on Saint Kabir: The utility of Yoga and methods of meditation

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Anything that promises to make you better is an allegation upon you

To be in Yoga is to not touch anything, anybody, any situation that causes a sense of littleness in you. Even if that littleness is induced in you in a holy pretext. Even if it is induced in you as an ostensible means of welfare. You refuse to admit it in.

Somebody may come and say, “You need protection.” You quickly see through what he is saying. You realize that what he is saying that I am weak. If I am not weak, why would I need protection? You refuse to entertain the advice. You refuse to take that person seriously, this is Yoga. Somebody comes and tells you, “You need God and God is all that you need.” You refuse to entertain this person. Because if he is saying that you need God then surely he means that you do not have God. He is proving that you are God-less. You refuse that person.

Somebody comes and says, “You need a lot of self-enquiry.” You immediately refuse this person because if you need to look, see and discover then surely first of all you must believe that you do not know that you are ignorant, which you are not. To be in Yoga is to refuse everything that keeps you little and limited. Littleness would not come to you as littleness. Littleness would come to you as friendly advice. Littleness would come to you as brotherly concern. Littleness would come to you as the sermons of a teacher. Littleness would come to you as a promise of security.

Had littleness would be honest enough to admit its real name, you could have easily refused it. But littleness rarely admits its real name. Littleness comes, wearing the mask of things that appears nice and sweet and promising. Be very cautious of all this stuff that is always ready to enter your mind. Anything that promises to make you better is an allegation upon you. Why is it an allegation? It is an allegation that you are currently not alright.

Anybody who offers to improve your life or help you realize that which you do not know, is actually proving to you that ignorance is what you are. The advertiser who is telling you that the next home or the next position or the next car will add something to your life, is actually causing Viyoga in you. Because he is proving to you that unless you have that house or that car, there is something missing in life. And you buy that in. Why do you buy that in? Arjuna too must have bought a lot of those things!



Read Complete Article: Action without attachment is Yoga

Action without attachment is Yoga || Acharya Prashant on Bhagwad Gita (2016)

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योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि संग त्यक्त्वा धनंजय |

सिध्यसिध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ||

~श्रीमद भगवद गीता

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Perform your actions, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna),

Being established in or integrated with Yoga,

Abandoning attachment and

Remaining even-minded both in success and failure.

This evenness of mind is called Yoga.

~Bhagwad Gita

Acharya Prashant: The science of uniting the individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness, this equanimity is known as Yoga. Which equanimity is he talking of? Becoming equipoised in success and failure. Could you get a more concise and direct definition of Yoga? Perform your activities, giving up attachment and become equipoised in success and failure – this is Yoga.

What does it mean to remain equipoised in success and failure? Read more

If you are an Arjuna, then there has to be a Krishna for you

Arjuna is nothing but a flow of thoughts. Krishna is an inviting stillness. Till the time thoughts keep flowing you will try to be your own master. Till the time you want to live life based on your planning, you will never be able to know the right action for you because the right action cannot come from planning. The right action cannot come from the memories of the past or fear or hope of the future.

If Krishna is a man then there is no possibility for you to know and be guided by the Krishna, because the Krishna who spoke to Arjun in the bodily form is long dead. So are you so unlucky. Was grace reserve for Arjun? No, if you too are Arjun then there has to be a Krishna for you, as well. You surely are Arjun because Arjun’s dilemma is your dilemma. If you are Arjun, there surely will be Krishna in your life. That will not be evident to you if you in anyway want to appropriate this beautiful words of Krishna, leave them untouched. Do not interpret them using your little intellect. You will only come to wrong conclusion and all conclusion anyway that you have are wrong.



Read the complete Article: Krishna is the heart of Arjun

Krishna is the heart of Arjun

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Acharya Prashant: The ‘Bhagwad Gita’ discourse, the form of a dialog, commences in the theater of Kurukshetra. The first thing to be understood is that when a wise man, a sage, a prophet speaks, he is not really aiming to communicate concepts. It is just the limitation of the listener that he must be spoken to in words. A deep emptiness, a vast field of clarity is sought to be communicated. Words are just a medium. The immediate context is just that, a context, a pretext.

The Krishna-Arjun dialog apparently is about a particular situation, a particular man, his relatives, but really it is something else.

Arjun represents the mind. Krishna represents the center, the “Aatman”. The mind is lost as it always is. Read more

Yoga is freedom from that which you think yourself to be

 

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न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्ध : कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ।।

श्रीमद भगवद गीता (४. ३८)

(Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge.

A man who has become perfect in yoga, finds it within himself in course of time.)

Acharya Prashant: Krishna, brings us to Yoga, along with certain words – Knowledge, time, the self. Let us discover, what Yoga is, and what is the relationship of Yoga to knowledge, to time and to the self.

न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

“Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge” – It is always, easy to misinterpret, misunderstand a Krishna, a Buddha. They speak from their highness. We listen from where we are. And they too are confined by language. Though they are artists of language, though their language plays around, though their language breaches the  of usual boundaries of meaning. Still, language is language, something man-made. And whatever is man-made, will always struggle is fully carrying the import of that which is beyond man, which is not man’s creation.

So, Krishna says, “Nothing purifies like knowledge.” In the world of Krishna, ‘Knowledge’ has a very special meaning. The word, ‘Gyana’ there, does not refer to the usual, sensual, memory based knowledge, that we are accustomed to. When Krishna says, “Knowledge”, he means, that which helps you see the limitation of what you generally call as knowledge.  Krishna says, “Knowledge is a great purifier.” But for most of us, knowledge, is the prime agent of corruption. For most of us, knowledge is the greatest bondage. Knowledge is, what keeps us heavy. Elsewhere in classical literature, The Shiv Sutra, very crisply put it in two words, “Gyanam bandhah”, Knowledge is bondage. Read more

Sushupti is the final frontier of Maya

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अविवेको मायासौषुप्तम्

(Unconsciousness and lack of self-awareness create the illusion of deep sleep)

~Shiva Sutra (1.10)

Acharya Prashant: Tenth Sutra, अविवेको मायासौषुप्तम् – Unconsciousness and lack of self-awareness create the illusion of deep sleep. That which we called as ‘deep sleep’ is the final frontier of ‘Maya’ because it gives the illusion that, no objects remain.  So, it appears so much like Samadhi.

Sushupti is the final frontier of Maya. You know what is ‘Maya’? What is ‘Maya’? –Illusion.

Why is Maya mentioned only in the context of ‘Sushupti’? Because only in ‘Sushupti’ do you feel that ‘Maya’ has vanished. If the objects are illusory then you feel and see no objects in Sushupti. So, only in Sushupti, can you be assured that because objects are not there so ‘Maya’ too is not there. Read more

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

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

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

Peace that comes and goes is not peace

Listener 1: Mind creates so much illusions, so how to accept reality totally?   

Acharya Prashant: How do you know they are illusions? How do you know mind creates illusions?

L1: Doubts, like whenever I  try to thinking this or something then illusions like intellect  are all around you “You are not That…”

AP: Intellect can give you arguments in support of being fake. But does intellect ever tell you that you are not being fake? Intellect will give you something to justify yourself. But will intellect ever tell you, “No this is not being fake?”

When you are being fake – kindly notice – there is always an element of deliberation in it. You know you are being fake. You have to do it. It is not spontaneous. And when you are doing it deliberately obviously you know that this is not natural, this is fake.  

Read more

A Course in Realization: Bhakti & Purushottam Yoga from Bhagavad Gita

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Reading scriptures on a regular basis is most central to spiritual growth.

Ancient spiritual texts like the Upanishads and Gita are more relevant today than they were ever before.

To spend a lifetime without the words of the saints, the avatars and the gurus is to lose a lifetime.

Today, if mankind seems to be nearing catastrophe — if climate change, social injustice and violence have become the norm — it is because man’s mind has gone astray.

A Course in Realization, a classroom-based learning program led by Acharya Prashant, is a humanitarian initiative towards disseminating clarity and intelligence in the world.

The methodology of this program is to engage in an in-depth and rigorous examination of scriptures by relating them to the everyday realities of life. Relevant sections from scriptures like Srimad Bhagawad Gita, Upanishads, Brahm Sutras, Ashtavakra Gita, etc. are studied to unpack the ancient mysteries contained in them. Sessions are conducted by Acharya Prashant himself at Advait BodhSthal, Noida.


Course Title:
Bhakti Yoga and Purushottam Yoga from Bhagavad Gita

Dates:
6th March onwards

Time:
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Venue:
Advait Bodh Sthal, G-39, Sec. 63, Noida, U.P.

Total duration:
840 minutes

To register, send an email to requests@prashantadvait.com
Or contact, Sh. Apaar @ +91-9818591240

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Attention

Attention is when the mind that is split, the mind that has come far away from the home wants to return; when all these splinter elements of the mind want to get reunified and reunified at the center.

So, when you just want to know about something, it is not attention.

When you are really curious in your inquiry that is also not attention.

Attention is when you want to reach the utter depth and you will not stop at any point in between.

Attention is when you say that I have to reach the very Truth, which is at the foundation of anything.

Love is the desire of the mind to settle into a Peace

Bhakti yog and Gyan yog are not at all different.

But because we live in differences, so we want to ensure and believe that Gyan and Bhakti are different. That’s why the Bhakti yogis are rarely interested in a text of Advait Vedanta. They say, “No, it is not talking about love.” But what else do you read here? It is love, love and love, nothing else. We want to divide. We want to categorize this as that and that as something else.

But what else do you read here? It is love, love and love, nothing else. We want to divide. We want to categorize this as that and that as something else.

When a Dattatreya speaks, he is beyond categorization. You can’t call him as talking of Advait or Vedanta or Gyan or Bhakti.

I find only love here.

Love is not about being attracted towards a person.

Love is the desire of the mind to settle into a Peace.

Silence calls, this calling is called Love.

The great emptiness beckons, this beckoning is called Love.


To read the complete article: The one answer to every question

Neither Yoga, nor Japa, nor Mantra || Acharya Prashant (2016)

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Question: Is there value in practicing Yoga, and meditation?

Acharya Prashant: No.

There is some physical value involved, and that is an important value. But unfortunately, the value that we are looking for is a Spiritual value. In that dimension, there is no value. It is very good if we want to take care of the body. And it must be honestly acknowledged as being good in taking care of the body. But if it is sold as salvation, then it is a case of misleading branding.

Read more

Meditation is nothing but a cessation

Meditation is a huge myth. Given what you are, you will continue doing what you are, even when you are meditating. Your act of meditation will be as per what you are, because you are the one who decided to meditate.

Meditation is your decision, so you are bigger than meditation. Even in the act of meditation, you will continue to be. You will continue to be, and the same patterns that exist otherwise, will exist, may be in changed forms, but will exist even during the process of meditation.

Meditation is not about sitting in a particular posture and trying to do something for ten, twenty, thirty minutes per day. All that is just an escape from the daily routine. All that just guarantees that you go back to your daily routine. In fact that is what you do, right?

You say, “Let me meditate and now let me get on with my routine”. So you are saying that let the routine continue, along with the meditation. No, that is not meditation.

But because real meditation is so disruptive, hence we do not want to look at it. Hence there is an abundance of teachers who keep teaching all these shortcuts in the name of meditation.

Real meditation requires your complete surrender; complete and continuous.
It is twenty-four hours surrender.
That is meditation.

The very structure of the mind must change. The arrogant mind must be able to look at its arrogance, and drop it – that is meditation and for that, you need not do anything, because your doing itself is arrogance. You have to stop putting your energies into the doing. And you have to pray to get the inspiration to stop putting your energies in that foolish direction.

Meditation is nothing but a cessation.

Cessation of what you have been doing and who you are.

That is meditation.


~ Excerpts from the article,The best way to meditate‘.

Watch the session at: The best way to meditate | Youtube

Read more articles on this topic:

Do you understand the arrogance contained in the methods of meditation?

What is the final point that one wants to reach in meditation?

What you want is Peace, right?

What you want is Peace. Now Peace cannot be the outcome of a ten minutes or forty minutes daily process, because the process is decided by you and adhered-to by you. So you are bigger than the process.

And Peace is bigger than you.

Whatever you choose will never bring you to Peace. Only Peace can bring you to Peace.

When you adopt a method of meditation, what you are saying is, “I will reach Peace using my methods”. You are saying, “I am the smart enough to reach the Truth, using my own road”. You are not willing to surrender. You are not saying, “Let the Truth decide, how I will reach the Truth. I will just surrender!

 Do you understand the arrogance contained in methods of meditation?

You are saying, “I am choosing this method”, even if on the advice of somebody. “I am choosing this method. And this method will take me to Peace and Truth”. You are saying, “I am choosing this particular method, and this method will take me to Peace and Truth”.

Your methods cannot take you to Peace and Truth.

The Truth comes first and the Truth is eternal. The Truth is twenty-four hours.
The Truth will continuously guide you about the Right action.

This guidance is meditation, and the Right action is meditation.


~ Excerpts from the article,The best way to meditate‘.

Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi: The best way to meditate

Read more articles on this topic:

The best way to meditate || Acharya Prashant (2015)

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Question: How to meditate? Whenever I try to meditate, I get stuck with thoughts, relevant and irrelevant.

Acharya PrashantMeditation is a huge myth!

Given what you are, you will continue doing what you are, even when you are ‘meditating’. Your act of meditation will be as per what you are, because you are the one who decided to meditate. Meditation is your decision, so you are bigger than meditation. Even in the act of meditation, you will continue to be. You will continue to be, and the same patterns that exist otherwise, will exist, may be in changed forms, but will exist even during the process of meditation. Read more

Constant remembrance of “I am” takes me beyond what I think I am

Questioner: Nisargadatta Maharaj says to be constantly in the “I am” realization. What does that mean? What is this “I am” realization? This he said was the mantra that his Guru gave him and this was also the advice that he would give to all his listeners. He used to say never forget “I am”. What does that mean?

Acharya Prashant: It means two things, of which one is ‘nothing’. We will first discuss the thing.

There is this entire world and its happenings, and seemingly you at the centre of this world and there are events that are happening all the time: thoughts, discussions, accidents, destiny, love, hate, anger, profit, loss, news, knowledge. All that is happening all the time and the mind is kept active, busy with all that.

To remember “I am” means to remember that none of that which is happening really has an objective existence. So whatever is happening is ‘you’. If you find it difficult to digest initially that if there is a war happening in the Middle East, how could this war be me? Then start off by at least remembering that whatever is happening is being given a color by you. At least this much can be remembered. Read more

What is your ultimate desire?

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I once had a thousand desires,

 but in my one desire to know you,  all else melted away.

– Rumi

Acharya Prashant: “I once had a thousand desires.” We all have a thousand desires. We all have thousand desires, right? What does each desire say? Each desire says, “Fulfil me, and you will get satisfaction.” Now, what is this satisfaction? When you are satisfied, do you still have desire? Does the desire say, “Fulfil me and still I will remain?” No, what does the desire say? “Fulfil me and I will go.”

So what does each desire want? To be fulfilled. And to be fulfilled means that the desire gets vanished. So each desire wishes for its own disappearance. So the desire only desires the disappearance of itself. That is what every desire wants. That is the nature of desire. Read more

The mark of a good word is that it takes you to silence

Question: When I talk about it, it is easy and understandable. But when the real moment comes, every part of the body feels fear. Is talking anymore important for me now? Do I need to be just there and not deviate when the moment comes? Read more

What is unconditional freedom?

Question: Is there any difference between freedom and unconditional freedom?

Speaker: We live in bondage. What we call as our normal, usual, daily life, is a series of bonded movement in time. Our thinking, acting, even breathing is bondage. It is happening as per forces we have no understanding of, and hence no control over. And then suddenly, without our explicit demand, it so happens that this series, that this chain gets disrupted for a while, like a flash of lightning in dark sky, not lasting long, but having its distinct presence, an undeniable presence. It didn’t last, but it illuminated as long as it was there, and I can’t forget that it illuminated Read more