Question: It has been a long time that I have been listening to you and I have been engaged with a lot of words and everything. And so many words and so many misunderstandings have come and gone but still, the restlessness remains; but still, the will to consume remains. Like I am sitting here right now, it is of great disturbance to me that I am thinking that I want to eat a burger.
Acharya Prashant: Is this the first time that you have wanted to eat a burger?
AP: Is this restlessness something recent? It has always been there, right?
AP: Were you as tired of this restlessness two years back?
L1: Not at all.
AP: You have this ancient restlessness, right? But till two years back, you were not even tired of it. You were raveling in it, correct?
AP: Today, you express frustration at it. Don’t you see there is already a big change?
You have wanted burgers all your life, but have you ever felt so uneasy at wanting a burger? Don’t you see that things have already changed?
L1: Even chasing things or having a big thing.
L1: But why doesn’t this just end?
AP: Why didn’t you ask this two year back? Two years back you didn’t even want it to end. Two years back, you thought that this itself is the good life. Two years back, you were alright that it is continuing. Today, that you have realized that it must end, you are becoming impatient that it must end right now.
L2: Sir, that means he was better off two years back.
AP: No, that only means that right now what is happening will prevent this stuff from ending. You see, if you are impatient about stuff, then if it doesn’t happen too quickly, you give up. You were totally tolerating all your non-sense till two years back. Now, you say that why is the non-sense not ending? And you cannot tolerate the wait. And if you cannot tolerate the wait, what will happen?
You will say, “Oh! the non-sense is not ending, which means improvement is not happening.” And if improvement is not happening, then the argument given by Sambhav is wonderful, and what is that argument?
Listeners: That I was better off…
AP: That I was better off two years back and hence, I must stop this process. That’s why I am asking, that if your thirst is so genuine, how were you able to tolerate yourself till two years back?
Till two years back, you were tolerating every bit of yourself. Now, that you are seeing change, now that you are realizing that stuff need not be tolerated that there is something that needs to be given up, you are acting impatient. Why didn’t you act impatient then? Then you were perfectly alright. Now you are acting as if it’s getting too late for you.
There are things that you have accumulated over centuries. And then, you didn’t say, “Why am I accumulating them? Why am I accumulating them?”
Had you been so intolerant towards accumulation, would you have been in this state? Then, you kept on merrily accumulating all nonsense. And now, when it is the time to give up that nonsense, you are acting impatient. You are saying, all that which I have accumulated over two-billion years must go away in two years. And now that it is not going away in two years, I will act as if something unjust is happening.
“You know, two years! And the whole rubbish is not going away. This means that the process is not working. So I need to?”
L1: Stop the process.
AP: Stop the process.
L1: Or am I lacking somewhere or is it that you know, maybe subconsciously I am questioning the process. But, it has been upon my mind that a lot has to do with me only. There has to be some loophole that I am not covering; there has something that I am missing. Then, I listen to you and you say that I am not missing anything, then…
AP: Again the same question – Were you asking all these questions till two years back? Till two years back, if you were not asking these things, then why are you acting as if these things have become so important to you right now.
L1: Because these days I see that everything is lose; everything is so inattentive; everything is so careless; everything is so unmanaged.
AP: And it was always unmanaged, right? Or is this chaos very recent?
L1: I just started to…
AP: …notice it. Notice it.
L1: Even basic moment is so haywire.
AP: So, they have not just come right now. They were there always. And not only they were there, they were there in far greater intensity and you were alright tolerating them.
L1: I wouldn’t say ‘alright’. Because if I were alright, I wouldn’t have come here, I wouldn’t have listened to you.
AP: If you were not alright, why would you have carried them so long? Carried them so long, itself means, that you were reasonably okay with everything. Now that you were okay with that, you were tolerant towards that, continue to retain some of that tolerance; continue to retain patience.
L1: But now, when I see that the thirst for even sex or may be respect and everything and consumption, these things look very good, but they are actually causing disturbance.
AP: They are not causing disturbance; they are revealing disturbance.
And be very clear about the difference between these two.
L1: I can’t.
AP: The disturbance is being caused by what you have always been. The causes lie in antiquity. What is happening right now is that all the rubbish is being exposed.
Exposure is not causation.
Every time something is being exposed, feel grateful.
Because it was always there; it is just being brought to light now.
L1: It is not that I am not grateful.
AP: Complaints and gratefulness don’t go together.
L1: I am not even complaining; I am just saying that where is it…
AP: Are you sure you are not complaining? Stay with that.
L1: (Laughs) I am just frustrated.
AP: Is that not a complain? Or is that an expression of deep gratitude!
You were not asking all these things two years back.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Feel grateful when your confusions get exposed