Acharya Prashant: Man loves identities. Castes are just another identity. If you take away castes, man will just stick to some other identity.
Listener 1: Man just wants to belong.
AP: We want to have some name to address ourselves with, so it doesn’t matter. I mean, if you have money, officially, money is not a caste, but why is it not? It is actually, you ask communists, they will say, “Of course, if not caste then class.”
L2: So, the addiction of mankind to cling to something, makes him a slave of whatever.
AP: And whatever you are clinging to, you are just clinging to it searching for the infinite. The proof of that is, you have never been able to satisfactorily cling to any one thing. You cling to one thing, and then you cling to the next, hoping that the next thing would be better. You don’t stop till you find the infinite – which you never do. So, all clinging is because you are searching for yourself. All clinging exists because you are searching for that which you anyway are.
L2: And that’s not the divine playing with himself?
AP: The divine might be playing with himself, but why are you suffering?
L2: (Laughs) Well, that’s another question.
AP: There is no question in this.
Let the divine play with himself, in that whole game, suppose there is a game being played, why must you necessarily be playing the fool?
There is a drama being enacted on stage, why must you necessarily be playing the clown? Why can’t you play the heroin?
L2: It depends on what you enjoy playing.
AP: If you enjoy being a clown, wonderful!
But do you think people are enjoying the situations they are in?
To enjoy any particular role, you must first know the role as a role.
L2: And then choose if you want to proceed with the role.
AP: That’s not quite what I meant.
What I meant was that when you are in the role, if you are totally-totally secure, that you are not the role, then you can go fully into that role. People talk of detaching themselves from the role, I say the opposite. People say, “Know that the role is just a role, and hence, just act. The world is a stage and you are acting. Don’t identify with the role.”
I say, identify fully with the role.
The role is all that you are when you are on the stage.
When you are on the stage, you have no right to call yourself by your so-called ‘actual’ name.
If on the stage, I am playing Jack, then I am Jack. But I will be able to call myself Jack fearlessly, only when I am totally-totally secure in what I am. Then, I will say, “Okay, I know who I am.’
See, you go to a swimming pool. It starts from a depth of let’s say, 4 ft. and goes right up till 25 ft., right? Who is the one who is able to dive deep into the 25ft area? Who is the one?
L3: Who is assured that he can swim.
AP: Who is assured that nothing will happen to him even if he goes into the depths of the water. Which means, that the one who is assured that he is – in spite of going into the depths of the role – he is the only one who can really play the role with any conviction and vigor.
Do you see this? Most of us are terrible at playing roles because we do not feel secure. We feel, if we take the roles too seriously, then maybe we will lose ourselves.
Go deeply into whatever you are playing.
And that depth can happen only when you are alright; just alright.
You are so alright that you are free now to take up any role and become the role.
Now, you have an infinite variety available to you. Now, you are not constrained. Now, life is dynamic. Now, you don’t have to resist, now, you don’t have to divide and say:
“No, no, no, that threatens me!”
“No, no, no, only this much is my country!”
“No, no, no, I won’t meet people of other faiths!”
You know, such things.
Your role is what you are here for and there is nothing else.
Had God wanted you to just know Silence, you would not have been born as a body.
You are born as a body not to experience Silence but to experience the world.
Do you get this?
After you are gone as a body, there will be only Silence. So, don’t be too eager about Silence. Silence is anyway waiting for you. Till you are as a body, please experience all this. And in experiencing all this, you are just playing the game of the Beyond.
Because no experience is possible without That which enables the experience.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Caste, Identities and Spirituality