You are not missing the secret; you are missing the obvious

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Acharya Prashant: I want to begin this morning by talking of ‘living in facts’ versus ‘living in thoughts’.

Is not the whole system, the being, the personality, even the face very different when you are there, connected to the fact? You visit a shopping mall. Have you observed our behaviour when we are there? Have you observed the expression on the face, the whole drive, the whole energy? You want it. Now you are not looking lost, wandering, assuming. Have you ever seen somebody maintaining a safe distance from the goods while standing in a shopping mall? You go to buy clothes. What do you do? You stand at a distance and look at them? What do you do? You go and touch them, right? You go close. You want to know what the whole thing is about. You want to know the price; you want to know the quality. Or do you stand five metres away?

And what I am talking of is a ‘fact’. And the next fact is that it is a very common fact. You are aware of it. I am talking of your own behaviour. So, you surely know this. You very well know what happens to your being and your behaviour when you are genuinely interested and not faking.

You go to watch a movie, one of these common movies that we watch. And have you seen how your eyes are glued to the screen? And how your ears hear nothing except the soundtrack, the dialogues? How many people have you seen in a cinema hall looking the other way while watching a movie? Or even looking downwards, as if they are introspecting? So, in a cinema hall, you very well know that you ought to look at the screen, right? And again am talking of a fact. And again am talking of a very common fact. You need not even be taught about this. When you visit a cinema hall, you very well know that it is common sense that when there are visuals and when there is audio, I will look at the visuals and I will listen to the audio. There you know. And we are talking of, I repeat, one of those common movies that hold really so little value. Ever seen somebody sitting in a cinema hall and introspecting? There you very well know that that kind of introspection will be foolish. Even the thought does not cross your mind to stare at your hands or your pen when the visual is right in front of you. The visual is there. Are you getting it?

All these abnormalities in our behaviours will be so easily discernable, so clearly detectable, if only we just look at the fact of what we are doing right now. Most people keep saying, “All that we get is world, world and more world. Where is the divine? Why don’t we get that?” Is the answer not obvious? When the world comes in front of you, your eyes are all open, and you are dying to come close. “Let me touch that skirt, feel it. Let me try it out”. “Let me know. Let me pay attention to the movie”.

Ever seen a man looking towards the walls when the screen is on the other side? Ever seen that? Then why does that happen in the sessions? When the speaker is here, how can you look towards the mountains? Why does that not happen in the cinema hall? But see, in the cinema hall, do you ever do that? When you are teaching your students, Professors, do you look at the walls? And would you like it that when you are teaching, your students are looking at the walls? Then how could you be right now looking at the mountains? And am I not talking about simple, basic and obvious facts? Am I not?

Lao Tzu will not come to tell you this. He assumes, he believes, and he knows that we all have the capacity to display basic intelligence. These basic things need not be told. Is it due to some great, divine conspiracy that we miss the divine? Or is it because of these commonplace daily stupidities? Yes?

I said earlier that we are not missing any secret. The Truth, the divine, is not any complicated puzzle.

You are not missing the secret; you are missing the obvious.

Had there been a secret, it could have been revealed. Had there been a puzzle, it could have been solved. But the trouble is that there is nothing left to solve. Everything is laid open, bare, resolved, right in front of you. And now nothing more can be done. So, if it is not happening even now, then it is just because of your own mischief. Now you cannot cite any other reason. Now you just have to say that “Only that is happening which I want to let happen.” And you wanted this to happen. You wanted this suffering to happen and continue. And so it is happening. Now there is no question of relief. What relief? You are already getting what you want. Now, relief from what? Relief from the fulfilment of your own desire?

When you are reading a book, Sir, do you look heavenwards? So, then when you are talking to the heavens, why do you look book-wards? When you are reading a book, you do not look at the sky, do you? Then when the sky talks to you, why do you look at the book? And then you say that “The book is unable to take me to the sky”. The book is an obstruction because you are looking at the book when the sky is taking to you. And you are looking at the book hoping that the book will take you to the sky. Raise your head. Look upwards. The sky is talking. You are not listening precisely because you are looking at the book. And then you blame the book. And then you blame the sky.

Is it so difficult to understand? Am I talking anything that requires great intelligence? Or is it all just obvious? Does one require complicated, cutting-edge research to say and see all this? Yes, does one? Am I coming from somewhere special, or am I just saying these things as one of you? With a little bit of honesty and intent, would you not say the same things, would you not? Does it require a special teacher to be sitting on this chair? Are these not all very simple matters? Are they not?

We were talking yesterday of how we give preference to the trivial and miss out on the important. How the time goes towards the needless. And this is not a concept. What I was saying comes out of and is proven by the common, recurring, very present facts of life. How many of us missed the Shanti Path this morning, or at least a part of it. And what is meant by missing out on the important and tethering to the trivial? What is meant by that? It is happening. It is happening even now.

We are just drifting Sir, we are just drifting, waiting for the current to carry us somewhere. And we are living in an illusion that “I know where the current would carry me next because the current is flowing according to a schedule prepared in advance.” We are drifting for one thing to be over and next thing to start, with no thing meaning anything to us. You have a schedule with you which say that today you are here, tomorrow you will be somewhere else, day after that you will be somewhere else. Then you will be sleeping somewhere. Then you will be catching a flight. Then you will be taking a train and then reaching somewhere else. Then again taking a bus and then reaching somewhere. And you are drifting. You are letting the schedule carry you.

Where is understanding in all this? It’s like a drunken man lying in a lorry, hitting the driving, do what he pleases, and feeling secure in, that the driver has been appointed by you. The fact that it is your schedule, made by you, is not a security. It is a bane because the lorry is man-made and the driver has been set by your own mind. You are the driver.

Spirituality is no abstract subject. When it is said that it comes from an unknown source, that you can never know from where the words of the Upanishads came, from where all the divine revelations came, you interpret it as meaning that they must be coming from a very esoteric source, some really deeply hidden source. Is that not the interpretation? But allow me to open it up a little more for you if it is not already open to the maximum. It is said that the Upanishads come from a source that you cannot know because the Upanishads really come from nowhere. For something to come from anywhere, the source must be at a distance from you. The source must be at least a little inaccessible, a little away, requiring a little effort to reach. But when the happening is so obvious, then you cannot say that it has come from anywhere.

The Upanishads come from nowhere, meaning what the Upanishads are saying is just obvious, is just so simple. So what to say from where they come? They are like the palm of your hand. It is simpler to know an Upanishad than to know your thumb, your nails, the back of your hand.

If you are sitting in front of me and somebody asks me, “How exactly did you learn about her?” I will have no answer because I did nothing to learn about her. What did I do? I just saw. So, how can I tell you how did I learn about her? Simply, how can the Rishi tell you anything about the source of his utterances? He did nothing to know all that. He did absolutely nothing to know all that. He just saw that as True.

Normal seeing is facts. A little more dedicated seeing is Truth. But it is all just seeing, not trying, not getting, not comprehending, not thinking, not analysing; but just seeing that which is anyways obvious.

It comes from the Quran, a verse indicates – ‘Let me take you easily into the easiest’. The verse says – ‘Let me take you easily into the easiest’. That’s all.

Now will you tell me why the easy is so difficult for you?


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: You are not missing the secret; you are missing the obvious


Further Reading:

Advait in Everyday Life

final-book-cover_advait-in-everyday-life-4-copyAdvait has since long been revered as the crown jewel of all spiritual philosophies. However, there are very few books, if any at all, that practically demonstrate the presence, applications, methods and benefits of living as per the golden teaching of Advait-Vedanta.

This book is a much needed and rare attempt to bring spirituality and philosophical teachings to everyday life. The author’s genius lies in being delightfully able to bridge the abstract world of theorizations and principles with day-to-day circumstances, happenings, emotions and relationships.

Paperback: https://goo.gl/GbHByV

Kindle: https://goo.gl/VXdQdA

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