Acharya Prashant: When you do not realize, you constantly live in a feeling that you are a separate entity. You are asking, how does self-realization help others?
When you keep feeling that you are a separate entity and that others are separate, that others ‘are’, that there is an ‘otherness’, there would always be a gap, a kind of violence. Realization reduces this gap. Realization reduces the very feeling of separation, of otherness. When the feeling of otherness reduces, that is called love. So, realization of oneself is simultaneously love towards others. More you realize yourself, the more this feeling that others are others, reduces.
What is meant by others? Others mean foreign, separate, alien, not me, somebody else. The more you close you come to yourself, parallelly you find that you are coming close to others also. And the ultimate point in all this is, when you say that the self is so immense that it encompasses, it includes, everything, everybody. There are no separate individuals at all. There are no others. The deeper is your belief in your separation, your boundaries, the more violent will be your relationship with others. Do you get this?
The more you believe in your limits, the more insecure you will be, about yourself. And when you are insecure, you obviously cannot have goodwill towards others. Your very concern will be to, save yourself.
But the primary objective of the spiritual mind is not others. The fact that he helps others, is incidental and has to be incidental. If primary concern is himself and if he places his primary concern outside of himself. If he says, “I do not know who I am, but I want to do social service. I want to help others.” He would only end up, harming the so called others.
With no awareness of your own mind, it is impossible to be of any help to anybody else. But we do not want to take this, right?
We say, it doesn’t matter what my own situation is, let me help others according to my concept of what helping means. Now, when you do not know yourself and your entire energy is directed towards the world, what is your self-concept? Ignorance. Right?
Ignorance, worships ignorance. Ignorance likes and begets ignorance. Your very concept of helping too, would be to further ignorance. “Who am I?” Ignorance. I “Want to help others. What would my concept of helping spread?” Ignorance. Now is this what you call, help? Spread more ignorance?
There is no point, even trying to help others. Be with yourself. And given that all is really fundamentally one, and connected. When you do the right thing for yourself, then everyone benefits, entire existence benefits. And remember, whenever I say, the right thing for yourself, I do not mean the right thing for your ego. I mean the right thing for yourself, not the right thing for your ego. Do the right thing for yourself and that is also the right thing for others. They are just One. Very parallel. Exactly the same. What really benefits you, benefits the entire world.
There is a very clear convergence and oneness between your interests and the interests of everybody else. Which also means that in harming others, you surely could not be helping yourself. Because there has to be a convergence. That convergence is the basic law. The law of Oneness. When all is one, then it is impossible to have a conflict of interests.
Listener: Here in this reading also the questioner has asked, “How do I help others?” And the master has replied that when you move inside the concept of other’s will not remain. And then again in another conversation the questioner has asked, ” Does my realization help others?” And then the master replied, “Yes, certainly, it is the best possible help. But there are no others to be helped, for a realized being sees only the self just like the goldsmith estimating the gold in the various items of jewelry and he sees only the gold. When you identify Yourself with the body, only shapes and size are there. But when you transcend the body, the others disappear along the body consciousness.
AP: Start with yourself, as only then you can know the real meaning of helping.
Take this as a basic thumb rule. Whenever and wherever you feel that you are trying to advance your interests by harming someone else. Rest assured that your own real interests are not being advanced. That’s the test to determine whether you are doing the right thing for yourself.
If in doing the right thing for yourself, you are harming somebody else, then that thing could not be the right thing, even for you. And what do I mean by harm?
The only benefit, is knowing oneself. The only harm, is keeping someone in illusion.
That is a clarification that must be added.
Whatever you are doing, if it keeps others, in illusion, if it furthers their dreamlike state, if it deepens their identity, then your action is not good even for yourself.
Somebody believes in a particular identity and you behave with that person according to that particular identity, you are only deepening that person’s identity. Now, identities exist in pairs. When you are deepening your wives identity, your identity as a husband is also getting deepened. You too will suffer. What is bad for the wife, cannot be good for the husband. Because the more the wife becomes a wife, the more the husband has to become the husband. It is impossible for the wife to be deeply a wife, without the husband being deeply a husband.
L: You said in the earlier session that I don’t have and even then I share, give, and I get even more. And later you said, that if you don’t have it, how will you distribute it?
As you are now saying that ‘your first responsibility is towards yourself’, so how does it converge?
AP: So, I said “I don’t have anything and I distribute freely.” Right?
I don’t have anything. So, what do I have?
AP: So, I have a big Zero and I take the Zero, I divide it in as many parts as I want to. So what remains? Zero. So, I divide it and distribute freely. Zero is all I give and distribute. And you love the Zero that you get, right?
Don’t you? Or do you want One, Two, Four, Four point four? You already have enough of that, numbers, calculations, this and that. Don’t you have enough of that?
It’s this Zero that you crave for. It is this Zero that you are so thirsty for. Everything else, you have in abundance, what you don’t have is the Zero.
I have it because I don’t have anything else. This Zero is so easy to distribute. Why? Because it never reduces. Take away, as much as you want from the Zero, the Zero will remain?
AP: Divide the Zero into infinite number of parts, yet the Zero won’t reduce. So, I have the license to keep giving.
Want a little more Zero?
L: In an official setting, some people are not performing well and naturally you have to ask them to go. So, in a way they are getting harmed.
AP: What did I say is Harm? Did I not make it very clear what is Harm?
But we miss. We miss. Because even at this moment, the official setting, is going on in the mind. So, you will miss.
What is Harm?
To keep somebody in illusion about himself, about his real identity is Harm. Nothing else is harm.
Stealing somebody’s money is hardly a harm. But to reinforce somebody’s identity is a grave harm.
L: When we are around the opposite sex, then the body identification heightens. In fact you become the body. So, the whole thing about intercourse is that you are just furthering an illusion.
AP: So, you harm yourself by putting yourself in such a situation?
Right now, you are not harming yourself. Because you remember this much. And you will forget. So, what is the meaning of practice then? To remember to not put yourself in such situations. That is practice.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How does one’s Self-realization help others?
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