Question: I just want to say that many times in a day we all think the same thing that we all want to become free. I mean free from all relations, am I right? My question is, we all think that we should have the understanding of individuality, freedom of thoughts, attachment and at the same time my religion says that in the holy books of Quran, it is mentioned that Allah says to worship me. Believe in me. If you want something then ask me, I’ll give you. But then, this is contradictory, this means that we are bounded.
Do we firstly need to understand what is religion or is it fine to go on talking about individuality, attachment and freedom etc?
Acharya Prashant: Freedom and bondage are not in the world, situations, other people, relations, or in religious practices, or in holy books.
Both freedom and bondage exist in the human mind.
If my mind is in bondage, I can never experience freedom even if I am given the best of external situations.
So, do not look at others, situations, or religions. Just look at your own mind.
If the mind is greedy, it will use relationships and religion just to fulfill its own greed.
If the mind is afraid, it will create a God who protects and is merciful.
If the mind is insecure, it will create institutionalised relationships where there can be hope of permanent security.
If the mind is full of desires, it will use prayers just to ask for more and more.
You talked of religion. Religion is a very simple and meaningful word. Religion just means living in awareness.
Religion just means that I will not lead a stupid life of imaginations and conditioned reactions.
Religion means ‘I am Intelligent’. That’s all that religion is.
So you see, even religion is dependent upon you. You donot become religious by following an external commandment, or a holy book. You become truly religious only when you live in the joy of your OWN intelligence.
Q: Yes, I agree. Moreover, in my religion, one worships Allah 5 times in a day and it is a must for everyone. This is a condition on us. Then how can one be free of condition?
From your statement: If mind is greedy then we create God; it means there is no God.
AP: What we call as truth is not the truth, but that does not mean that there is no truth.
What we call as love is not love, but that does not mean that there is no love.
What we call as freedom is not freedom, but that does not means that there is no freedom.
The God that we have imagined for ourselves is surely just an unreal imagination coming from the human mind.
But does that mean that there is nothing sacred, nothing divine, nothing beyond the world?
God is that which gives the mind the power to understand, but which Itself cannot be understood by the mind. The very existence of the mind proves that there is something beyond the mind. That is God.
You get all your thoughts from outside, but do you also get the power to think from outside? That itself is God.
God is a simple beyondness.
God is not a person, not a power, not a deity, not a law, not anything that the mind can think of.
God is just the fundamental base of the mind.
God is humility.
God is, when the mind knows that it is so limited. God is, when the mind bows down in gratitude.
You get your conditioning from the world and the past, but does the world and the past also give you intelligence? That is God.
When the mind surrenders itself to the intelligence beyond itself, then you are a real faithful. Then you have known God.
An intelligent mind is a religious mind. A religious mind is a humble mind.
Of course, you can see that religion does not much to do with following certain practices or commandments.
However,these commandments, practices etc sometimes do have a practical use. For example, praying 5 times a day means the mind is reminded 5 times a day to surrender to intelligence.
And why only 5 times? A truly religious mind prays every single moment.
Q: I am not agreeing with your statements, sorry. I am a religious person, your every statement is contradicting my thoughts and religion. I am in a very bad situation. Don’t know what to think.
AP: There is nothing called ‘my religion’. There are no two religions. Religion is just one, just as Truth is just one.
Can there be two truths? Then how can there be multiple religions?
You can have multiple imaginations and beliefs, however.
And that one Religion has no name, just as ‘God’ really has no name, no form, no place.
Q: I think to know the truth, firstly, I should know completely about the religion. Why are there many religion instead of one? Good discussion with you Sir. Getting some clarity.
AP: There are many names. Not many religions. Names are what are causing all the confusion. Learn to look beyond the names. It is so simple.
Q: I will, Sir.