Listener: Why is it that people don’t recognise?
Acharya Prashant: There is nobody who does not recognises. Everybody recognises. They just don’t speak about it, it’s a secret. It’s a well kept secret. If you speak about it you will be ostracized.
L1: Because you are then a threat ..
AP: You all know about it, but everybody will pretend as if you all don’t know about it.
L2: Don’t know what?
AP: That which is worth knowing. But we all keep it in the wraps. You see, most of what I say is against what you hear at the other places, right? But have you not seen that it takes no time and no effort for people to silently acknowledge it. They are able to very quickly acknowledge it, because they already know it. I am not bringing anything new to them. Everybody knows. I am only spilling the beans. I am only saying ‘that’ which you already know. It’s just that we are afraid to say that. And I just say that. That is the only difference between the audience and me. At the level of realization, we are all the same. I am no special.
L1: That which is beyond words can be spoken in any ways, often contradictory ways. For example Osho was a master of contradiction. I read that He used to enjoy the both sides of the argument and defeating himself. Now if we say ‘presence’ depends on what we understand by the word.
AP: Depends on the intention. It does not depend on what you understand. It depends totally on the intention.
L1: Now that is a perfect example of contradiction. A few days ago when we had an exchange, I was saying intention is more important, and you were arguing, no the word is more important.
AP: When you are saying – ‘intention’, then you are talking of your intention. When I say ‘intention’ then I refer to the center, the place from where it is coming. I give no importance to intentions at all.
L1: Is it not human to give importance to intentions a person is speaking from? Even if it is a false center.
Even if it is a show of warmth, friendliness and compassion, but if it is coming from the wrong center – then even the person who is displaying that warmth, knows very well where it is coming from. There can be no leniency on this account. If one is talking rubbish, he ‘knows’ that he is talking rubbish. Because the Atman can never be deceived. The truth can never be deceived. You are essentially the truth, then how is it possible that you do not know.
L1: I am saying if as a leader, you want to help someone recognise that they already know, then it would need a bit of empathizing with their point of view..
AP: Does that happen?
L1: Possibility is less, it depends…
L2: I think the answer is not that important..
AP: No, it is important. Because if you are saying you are taking all kinds of detours and diversions, in order to reach the straight and immediate truth. Then I am asking, have you ever seen reaching the immediate by taking diversions. Have you ever seen anybody to take a diversion to reach where he is?
Any diversion that you take will only take you further away from your position, will only deteriorate your position. See, if I start to take a diversion….
L1: If, the endpoint is reached…..
AP: Reached by whom?
L1: By the one who is lost.
AP: So, I start to take a diversion by believing that I am lost. I start to take a method, or a route, by firstly believing that I am lost. When I am taking this kind of a route or that kind of a route, what is my belief about myself, Who am I?
L1: Someone who is lost.
AP: So, any action that is starting from the belief, and is based on the belief that I am lost, will it ever lead to finding.
L1: But if the skill of the teacher is……
AP: It is not a question of the skill. That is the dimension of finding, this is the domain of remaining lost. Whenever you will operate in this domain, whenever you will have the belief that I am lost and you will try to find, because you are lost- you will move a lot, but you will keep moving only in this plane – in this domain of being lost. Now I am asking you, even if you move a million years in this plane, in this domain, will you reach there?
L1: No, the movement will have to be ..
AP: The movement will have to be direct towards ‘there’. The movement can not be in the same domain. But when you are saying I am lost and you want to find the way, you are continuously believing that you are lost. One has to first of all, just drop the belief that he is lost. And the belief came from somewhere, it was never intrinsic.
So, dropping the belief is so easy because it is anyway an external thing. It is not you. I am re-emphasizing it,
A million years of walking on the ground will not make you fly. So, if you are using this method or that method, yes, you will cover a lot of distance, you will see exotic places, you will have wonderful experiences, you will meet fascinating teachers, but all on this level. You will never reach there.
L2: But, as I see, the purpose of these methods is to built you wings so you can fly.
AP: Who gives you wings? You are the lost one, you are the one who feels that his wings have been cut. I am asking you, who will give you wings?
L2: My awareness that my wings are not cut.
AP: Had you been so clever and powerful and smart, why would your wings be lost in the first place? Now, are you not the one who lost the wings or feels that he lost his wings? You are the one who feels he has lost his wings, you are so smart. Now, you are saying, out of your volition you will choose some method which will lead to regaining of wings. Had you been so capable, why would you have lost your wings in the first place?
I am the one who can only lose. The moment you surrender this sense of power, you are there. The more you keep trying on your own, you remain on your own.
L1: Was Krishnamurti not frustrated towards the end of his life?
AP: What’s wrong with being frustrated? Krishnamurti’s frustration is beautiful, and our beauty is frustration. When a Krishnamurti is frustrated, it’s a very beautiful frustration and when we call something as beautiful, it is a very frustrating beauty. So, a Krishnamurti may suffer, die, be frustrated, bleed; a Jesus is beautiful even on the cross.
L1: I heard somewhere, almost somewhere near his death, he said – “not a single new mind”.
AP: Almost at the time of his death. People asked him, ” How many?” He said,” Not a single one.” Now, tell me, do we have the guts to tell that after the end of a long fought life – that I failed miserably.
L2: That’s admirable, but
That’s everything. That’s not only admirable, that’s everything. To fight a long-long battle and boldly say that I failed. Not only I failed but I failed miserably.That’s Leela. To set up a shop, a canopy, give your heart, blood and sweat to it, and at the end of the day say, “I earned not even a single rupee.” Now, that is Godliness. Beautiful failure, Godly failure. Let more of us fail like that. Let’s have the guts to fail like that.
Success and failure, belong to this world, they keep coming and going, they are not important. What is important is the center from where you are acting. Keep failing, how does it matter? You can fail only if you take up a tremendous challenge. Go for the stars and fail. Failing is beautiful. Go for the God and fail.
L1: But succeeding can also be beautiful by the same measures.
AP: Yes, success can also be beautiful, but it doesn’t matter whether it is success or whether it is failure.
Success is beautiful because it lies in that domain of beauty. Failure is beautiful because it lies in the domain of beauty. The domain of beauty matters, not success or failure.
Krishnamurti could have been successful. Osho did achieve some measure of success, it’s beautiful. And Osho, met with tremendous failure, equally beautiful.
L1: Have you heard of Vimla Thakkar? I think she was a success.
AP: Is Krishnamurti not a success, if we are doing this at this time. Why must we take the name of Vimla Thakkar? Why not take your own name? Could you have been talking, had Krishnamurti not been there? One never knows the full extent of the cause – effect chain. One never knows, from where what would sprout? You had Ramakrishna Paramahansa – not an attractive personality, few people knew him, not a crowd puller, a very ordinary priest. And then a Vivekananda comes from there. You do not know why and how somebody lived. Krishnamurti’s life is always successful.
L1: I have heard from a reliable source that at one point in Vivekananda’s life he was struggling with having thoughts of woman and at one instance when he found himself staring at the buttocks of a lady, he wanted to teach himself a lesson- he threw himself on a hot burning iron and burnt himself. Is that not utter stupidity?
AP: Yes, no doubt about it. But who says that more Vivekanandas will not come? How do you know that the work of Paramhans is over. How do you know that Vivek was the only disciple that he was to give birth to? How do you know that the wave that started from Paramhans has gone waste? So to say that the wave that emanates from Paramhans has got waste is to say that the wave that emanates from the center has gone waste.
Even in the utter stupidity shown by a disciple, the truth is still the truth.
It doesn’t matter what you do with the truth, it doesn’t matter what your concept is, it doesn’t matter what becomes of you, the truth is still absolute. You may kick it, dust it, fry it, tear it, wear it.
L1: But who would be the authority on Truth?
AP: Truth. Author- means the originator. Authority- means the place from where it all comes.
L1: And truth prevails ultimately.
AP: Not ultimately, always. This is a great refuge for the ego, that the truth will prevail ultimately in the future. So, if the truth will prevail in the future, it means, ‘I’ can prevail right now.
L1: But the prevailing of truth in Krishnamurti’s life resulted in failure.
AP: Who says that failure is outside the province of truth? Life and death are both within the province of great life. Success and failure are both within the province of the absolute Success.
L2: It’s like imagining a movie without failure, it would be so boring movie.. So, everything has a place.
L1: But we like the movie to turn out well somehow.. The movie is running..
AP: If it is running, then what is the need to say that it must turn out well?
L1: Take an example, you pay Rs 200 for a bad movie, do you now stay until the end to get your money’s worth?
AP: Ah, that example is there to talk in terms of time, because mind has a tendency to recover investments. So, it is pointing at the tendency of the mind to somehow act smart and recover the investment.
It’s not about the cosmic movie, it’s about the man made movie. I make a movie and then I want to recover my investment in the movie. Not knowing that trying to recover the investment leads to more losses.
I have a very simple question to ask, If at this moment I am feeling hunger,or boredom, or drowsiness, if I am so dumb that I cannot know that, can there be anything in the world that can help me?
There is a man who does not realise the fact that he is feeling angry or lazy, now can any method in the world, save this man?
L1: Life itself..
AP: By offering him suffering. And that too will be an experience. An intense experience that may probably shake him up. The easiest thing to do is to know that there is this stuff in my hands, it goes into the mouth and it is oily, and the rest of it. And if I can’t know this what do I mean by trying fancy things.
My girl comes in front of me and there is a cyclone of thoughts and passions, it’s happening. It’s even physically visible, if you are so blind that you can’t look at the mind, then you can at least look at the body. Look at your aroused organ, look at your palpitations, body heat, and the perspiration can’t you observe that? Is it too difficult?
Somebody asks you a question, and you stammer because you don’t have the guts to speak out the facts. Can’t you observe that. And don’t you know that you have been lying. Do you ever lie, without knowing. And lying always comes with its share of physical things, that is why a lie-detector can catch it. If a lie-detector can catch it, why can’t you catch it? So, you obviously know that you have been lying, if you can’t go into the fact of your lying, how can any method save you. That is all that I have been saying, nothing else.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: You already know, just declare
Article 2: You already know everything
Books by the speaker: