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.
Listener: Why are you telling us about the Truth?
AP: I don’t know. Wind blows, leaves move, why do they move? One day they fall, and then they are one with the soil, now they no longer move, why don’t they move now?
L: You said Yoga and other such practices do not help in the spiritual dimension. What does?
AP: This honesty does. When you really want to know—that is Spirituality. Now there is nothing else left to achieve. Here you are and in your present position, this is the best that you could do honestly, and that is Spirituality, nothing else. You cannot go beyond yourself, jump out of your skin to the stars. You are a limited being. That’s what you take yourself to be, that is what your whole self-concept is. Now as this limited being, when you exert your utmost, to stretch yourself, to go beyond yourself, then that is spirituality.
L: Singing, chanting a Mantra, is that a good thing?
AP: When you are in attainment, then you sing. But just by singing, you will not reach anywhere. Otherwise, there are so many professional singers. Somebody once said, “You know, if you travel a lot, then your experience is widened, and you become a wise man.” I said that I know a couple of air hostesses, and they are two of the dumbest people I know. And they have travelled the whole world twenty times over.
In wisdom, whatever you do is beautiful. But just by copying the beautiful acts of somebody else, you will not become wise. Start from wisdom, which is the right point to start with. And you cannot reach that right point because you are already there. Just give up the belief that you are not there. Having known that you are there, now you sing. And your song will be so beautiful.
A CD player can keep chanting all its life, what will it get? A parrot can keep parroting all its life, what will it get? And those who have known, they have specifically cautioned against such things. They have said that it is foolishness. Yes, of course, once you are there, then all the time, whatever you are saying is the name of Truth, and that is called Japa.
And that is the right definition of Japa—The Wise man, though he might be using different words and saying the diverse thing, yet, in essence, he is always saying the Truth. So it is only Truth Truth Truth, this is Japa. This is the definition of Japa.
Mantra means, ‘right thought’.
Right thought is the one that immediately tells you that thought is inadequate.
That is right Mantra. Mantra is not something that you pick up from a special book. Anything can be a mantra for you. Whatever shows you the inadequacy of words, those words are the right Mantra.
But those words, again, cannot be a pattern. Those words will keep changing. You cannot pick up just a limited set of words and keep circulating them.
Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Neither Yoga, nor Japa, nor Mantra
Book of Myths
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