“The wine we really drink is our own blood, our bodies ferment in these barrels.
We give everything for a glass of this. We give our minds for a sip.”
Acharya Prashant: What does it mean when it is said ‘The wine that we drink is our own blood?’ What does wine stand for?
Listener 1: Pleasure
AP: No, Real Joy! Something that makes you lose your thinking mind, something that intoxicates you, something that takes away all your cleverness. That is wine. Divine Joy that overpowers you is referred to as wine. The wine that we drink is our own blood. Now, what does that mean?
L2: It is our nature.
L3: Is it the ‘I’, the Ego?
AP: Yes. Blood means body identification, body—the material. Unless you are prepared to shed the blood, unless you are prepared to be beaten, bruised, hurt, bleeding, there is no wine for you. Your own blood, your own hurt, your own wounds come to you as wine. So those who love wine must not be afraid of bleeding. Those who love to be intoxicated by divine wine must not be afraid of receiving wounds and bleeding.
If you are too afraid to bleed, then God’s bar is not for you.
There you first go, offer your blood and it comes back to you as a tequila shot.
“Our bodies ferment in these barrels”
AP: So the body has to ferment. What does that mean?
That means that all our life we have lived as the body taking care of everything that is related to the body. What is related to the body? Nationality, parents, family, gender, desires; everything specific to the time, age and place of your birth, identities; all of them have to ferment. Ferment means to be destroyed.
“We give everything for a glass of this”
AP: The taste of wine, the charm, the pull, the intoxication of that wine is such that you are prepared to give everything away just to have one sip of that wine. Pretty exotic wine! After all, it is God’s bar, you sell off everything else and all you get is one glass and you’re happy with the deal.
“We give our minds for a sip”
AP: You give your mind, your body, your life, your concepts, your religion; everything just for a sip!
L4: But I don’t understand it actually. Is this wine something that is divine?
AP: This wine is a life spent in Joy. A life spent without worries, care and tension. This wine is that life. To get that kind of a life anything and everything can be put at stake. That life is so lovely, so beautiful that you cannot compromise with it.
L4: My mind maybe compromises with the Christian theology which regards this as sinful and bad to enjoy.
AP: Joy and Pleasure are different. When Christ was being crucified, he was in Joy. Christianity or any other mythology would always be talking about pleasure as ego, never Joy.
Joy is the mind’s closeness to the Truth. Joy cannot be evil.
AP: A Jesus is in Joy even at the time of his hanging. He is in pain. He is bleeding. Yet because he is so near to the Truth, he is still in Joy. So Joy is never a sin, pleasure might be. This wine is not at all about pleasure. You are giving everything away for a sip. Is there a pleasure in it? There is devastation, not pleasure.
L4: But some people do it.
AP: Ah! They are the mad ones, the drunkards.
L5: In the second line, do barrels really symbolize anything?
AP: It means that just as liquor is fermented in a barrel, here it is not some liquid that is fermenting; it is the body itself that is fermenting to produce the liquor. So the barrel contains no fluid, it contains the body.
Be with this. Let it be there and keep drinking the wine. The more you drink it, the more you don’t want to leave it. Yesterday I was saying that even Truth is in some way like a habit. Drink the wine more and more. Then you will keep discovering how much you love it. The more your love opens up the more difficult it will be for you to then let the Truth go.
Spend time with it. Time is all you have. Spend more time with it, more time, more time and then there comes a point when you say, “Oh my God! time doesn’t matter, whatever be the time I want to be here.” Now that is called going beyond time. But for timelessness to come, you have to first begin in time.
Don’t just take this as another piece of paper, let it be close to you. (Referring to the sheet containing the verses of Rumi)
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: On Rumi: If you are too afraid to bleed then God’s bar is not for you
Since eternity mankind has been running in search of happiness and equally shying away from sadness or miseries. With every chapter of this book, the Author takes you to a place away from these two ends of duality. The book throws light on how the search of happiness is a futile one.
With utmost simplicity, he explains how freedom from both happiness and sadness is the ultimate peace. Author’s genius lies in the fact that he does not talk of happiness and sadness as some far off terms and does not throw concepts of ‘higher living’ to the readers. Rather, he deals with issues in a very simple, personal way and through this book extends an invitation to join the ongoing existential party.