Question: Whenever you’re looking for spirituality, you tend to leave some things and you tend to walk towards some things. And in doing that, you are obviously, creating some disturbance in the ecosphere that you are leaving behind. So, how do you justify this?
Acharya Prashant: You see, what is it that you want – a superficial peace, or real welfare?
If I really am in love with myself and hence, in love with you, would I want you to live in a superficial peace or would I want your real welfare?
What you are calling as a disturbance in that which you leave behind, is just a superficial disturbance, yes? And that disturbance, is not of your creation. Unstable systems are prone to be disturbed. They have no equilibrium. What have you done? Why do you hold yourself responsible for all that?
And this question that you are asking is behind so much of human misery.
“I know what the right thing is, but if I do this, my wife will feel bad, so I am not doing this.”
That’s what this question amounts to, right?
“I know that I am not in the right job, but if I leave my job, then my project will suffer, or my boss will feel bad. So I am not leaving it.”
“I know what the right thing is, but if I do the right thing, then my society will not approve and will be disturbed, so I am not doing it.”
“I am in all sorts of filthy relationships, but if I drop those relationships, if I change the quality of those relationships, then the other will not be happy. So, I am not changing anything.”
Why don’t you see that if you are really in love, then it is not the other’s happiness that you want; it is the other’s welfare that you want? And these are two extremely different things.
Sometimes, Ah! Most of the times rather, what is really helpful to the other, would not make the other happy.Why use the word “other”?
Look at your own case – what is really helpful to you, does it make you happy? No, it rather makes you shiver.
L1: Yes, when you think it first.
AP: Yes, now don’t you want to endure that pain? Don’t you know that it is important to pass through that pain? Can you avoid that pain and still be free?
And if you can’t be free without passing through that pain, why do you want to insulate your loved ones from that pain, why?
Let them pass through this pain and when they will pass through this pain, if you love them, you too will pass through a pain. This pain will purify both of you.
Are you getting this?
In trying to avoid disturbance, we create hell for everybody including ourselves.
Don’t avoid disturbance. What you are calling as peace is not peace at all. If it is peace, then it is peace of the graveyard. It is not the peace of the meditating yogi.
L2: You said that, most often that which helps us actually brings us pain rather than happiness, but the help is needed because some pain or sadness is already there. So, that must help us. How is it bringing more pain and more sadness? Why is it going in the opposite direction?
AP: It is not bringing more pain. When you are sad, what do you do with your sadness?
Quickly, please tell me! When you are sad, what do you do with your sadness?
L3: You push it!
AP: You push it away, you suppress it; you hide it under the carpet, don’t you?
The words of the teacher don’t give you more sadness. They just expose your pre-existing sadness. You suppress your sadness and suppression makes it all the more powerful.
The work of the teacher is to show you that you are unnecessarily sad.
Both — that you are sad and that sadness is unnecessary;
that you are unnecessarily sad.
Firstly, he must show you that you are in fact sad and then, he must show you that you are unnecessarily sad. But if you have not been shown firstly, that you are so sad, how will he show you that you are dealing in un-necessities?
But it is a common complaint — People come grudging that the teacher makes them unhappy! It only shows how out of touch we are with ourselves.
The teacher didn’t make you unhappy. He just held a mirror in front of you and said, “Look, how unhappy you already are.”
“See, how unhappy you are, that you must keep smiling!”
Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho… (You are smiling so much – singing a song)
He just shows you your smiles and says, “See, you are weeping!”
Kya gam hai jisko chhupa rahe ho? (What worries are you trying to hide?)
Now, would you say that the teacher has made you sad? Yes? But we often shoot the messenger, don’t we?
L4: What is wrong with suppressing your sadness?
AP: Because, it doesn’t go away. It doesn’t go away just because you have suppressed it.
L4: But for you, it is no longer there.
AP: No, It is very much there. It is very much there. Otherwise, why would you have acted in ways that oppose sadness? If there is no fear of the enemy, why are you walking around with your gun?
L5: Having that gun is better than facing the enemies, sometimes at least.
AP: What about not having the enemy at all? What about showing you, that the enemy is unnecessary? You think that the gun gives you protection. No!
The gun only keeps proving again and again to you, that you indeed do have an enemy. The enemy is a fiction. Your answer is the gun!
The gun is not the solution.
Miserable and bored, you go out to party. You really think you are partying? Left to yourself, with everybody else gone from that venue, do you know how you would feel? You are just trying to hide behind noise. That is why you must have loud speakers and woofers there. That’s why all those thousands of watts of music are needed.
Suppressing something cannot make it go away.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: You are unnecessarily sad
‘Advait in Everyday Life’ by Acharya Prashant
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.