Listener : Seeing the actions and responses that what I call a teacher gives, so the argument comes that maybe they are coming from the influential part of the mind, they are not coming from the essential just like you said that the faces are real till the time they are not coming from the influence. So gossiping about the teacher, gossiping about the physical appearance of responses, it comes, again and again, that maybe this is not essential, maybe this is not coming from him.
Acharya Prashant: But what you are saying may exactly be what is happening yet how does that entitled us to come to any conclusion?
You see that we all are influenced entities, there is no doubt about it. But so what? If you are not influenced then you are not alive. Your very birth happens out of influence.
This nose, these eyes, this language, these clothes, these thoughts, they are all influences. Influences by themselves are no guarantors of suffering.
Influences are like people passing in front of a mirror. The moment somebody passes in front of a mirror, he influences the mirror. Does he not? What does the mirror do?
AP: Reflects. But that does not change the essential nature of the mirror. In fact, that only makes the mirror more respondent, more beautiful. You through light on the mirror, the mirror reflects that light and if there are multiple mirrors, then a single ray of light can lead to wonderful celebration or total festival of lights.
Have you seen the kind of things that can happen when multiple mirrors operate in tendons?
AP: So there is nothing wrong that which you call as influences.
Influences are the celebration of life.
However, consider a situation when the mirror gets stuck with one particular image when the mirror refuses to let go of one particular imprint. Something happened, somebody passed in front of the mirror and the mirror has become so obsessed, so attached that it’s simply won’t let go of that image.
Now there is suffering.
In fact, in being totally open to influences, you are leading a total life.
Now you are totally responsive whatever is happening. You are prepared to respond to that. Comes black, you respond to black. Comes white, you respond to white. The whole spectrum of life is now available to you.
Contrasted to that, when you have ideals like black and yellow are wonderful. Then even if there blue and green in front of you, what is it that you are reflecting?
L: Black and Yellow.
AP: Black and Yellow. Now there is suffering. Now there is suffering.
The teacher is one who is totally open to influences, who is totally available to the situation.
The disciple is one who lives in standards in benchmarks.
For him, blue and green are ordinary and yellow and black are special, extraordinary, wonderful-respectable. So you are right that a lot of what the teacher does might be coming from influences. Not only you are right, you need to be even more right by saying that everything that the teacher does, actually comes from influences, the environment because the teacher has nothing of his own. So he is totally prepared to be open to the environment.
Comes the situation, comes the response. But then your conclusion that if somebody is acting from influences then that is an inferior kind of behavior, this conclusion needs to be examined. Are you getting this?
For us, respect and Love and Truth are very loaded words loaded with mental stuff.
We have not let them remain ordinary. Respect comes from an entire test of qualifications. You say this qualification, and when all the six hurdles are cleared then the fellow will be called respectable. It may not really be so. In fact, the really respectable one will not able to cross any hurdle because his interest never lies in behaving in one definite way-his indefiniteness, his suppleness, his ability to flow his non-resistance. That is his beauty.
But you will take non-resistance as weakness. You will say, you see this fellow has succumbed to influences. What you are calling as his succumbing is actually his surrender. What you are calling as his weakness is actually his non-resistance.
You are saying, see such a thing happened and he started laughing or crying, how weak is he? No, he is not weak, he is simply non-resistant because he has no stakes in resistance, because he has nothing to defend. So he can allow him to be carried away.
You would have heard a story of a traveler. He was moving and the wind was blowing in the opposite direction. Things are getting difficult for him, so he changed his direction and started moving in the opposite way.
To you, this is a matter of getting influenced. To you, this is a great weakness.
See he has no strength. Ordinary winds were able to persuade him to change his direction.
To him, this directionlessness, this non-resistance is his total oneness with existence.
He has no destination, so it doesn’t matter where he goes. He is just moving. So if the wind wants to carry him elsewhere, he is prepared, I will go.
I will go. He is not going to his home. He has no home. If the winds want to carry him to sea, he will go to the sea, he is at home in the sea also.
But when purpose-driven men, but when someone with goals and prejudices, will look at this men, he is obviously will not going to praise or appreciate him, Right?
We believe in toughness. We believe in the ability to defend ourselves.
The real one has nothing to defend, so he never defends.
Which also means that if a situation comes where he is demanded of him to defend, he will defend. Now in defending, he is showing that he has nothing to defend.
It comes from the battle of 1857, what is called in the history books as the first battle of independence. So all the rebels had gathered outside a city that the British were controlling and the British wanted to fight the Indian rebels.
So they started quickly raising people, they wanted to raise an army. There were very few British soldiers, so they needed Indian soldiers to be recruited, to fight the rebels.
So the recruiters, runt about the town, pulling in all the young and able-bodied people into the army. You come, you also do army service and it was being done perforce.
And there was one Sadhu, an old one, who hardly had life left in him. He would go about naked, sleep under a tree, have his Chimta(tongs), sing it out hours.
And when he saw, all this going on, he became very interested, curious like a child. What is going on? Soldiers in colorful dresses. Now he, himself would never wear anything. But such are the ways of Sadhus. He became very curious. It was like a game to him- an entertainment.
Now the recruiters are instructed only to look at healthy, young, able-bodied people. But this one goes all by himself and says, “I also want to join the game. I also want to join the game.” And they say, we do not need you. First of all you are too old and secondly, you are a Sadhu, a peaceful man, how will you pick up arms?
He just knows. If this thing is happening in this city, I will also come. And he chases them and he bucked them till they have enrolled him.
And then they brought him weapons and in arms, you wear this. He was reluctant. He said I don’t need this. I have this chimta(tongs) and I will beat them with this.
So you take me. So somehow they managed to give at least the basic dressing to him so that the enemy does not die simply of laughing. And they took him to the battlefield. And that 80 years old fought like crazy. And you know what the rebels are beaten back and after the rebels had been beaten back. He turned upon this British themselves. He said, now it is your turn. It is such a good game. I can’t help playing it. I must carry on. Of course, you are skilled very soon.
In this senseless story, in the madness of the sadhu, do you see what an empty mind is like? He has no agenda, he belongs to nowhere, he has no ideals to follow. He is so unpredictable that you have no other word for him except madness. And you are justified if you call him mad.
You are justified even if you call him immoral and immoral he was called because he was fighting against fellow Indians. And you are justified if you call him vain, an absurd.
And after calling him all the names, you are left with no more names, that’s when you fall silent and that is teaching.
You may call me this or that, ultimately you will be tired of calling me anything and then you will realize that your words are so impotent. None of what you say is large enough and capable enough to encircle me and describe me. So don’t even try. Don’t even try.
The leaf that falls from the tree on the soil, on the dry dirt makes many shapes on the earth, on the dust when the wind blows. Don’t try to find a pattern there. You will not find any pattern and you are even more unfortunate if do find a pattern because now you are imagining a pattern. There is no pattern.
The wind blew this way, the leaf was carried this way. When the leaf was carried this way, it drew a particular line on the dust. Then it was carried some other way and then the other way and finally, some kind of a meaningless shape appears.
That meaningless shape is the meaninglessness of life.
If you will try to find a mathematical pattern there, there will be a disappointment. And if you look at it- as a child looks at clouds, then there will be wonderment. Then there will be bliss.
If grown-ups, look at clouds. They may even manage to find geometrical consistencies. A child finds no geometrical consistencies. He just looks at them and says wow! And wow is the only word that you must have.
When you look at the actions of the empty one, oh! even this is possible?
This Chimta that was used to sing Bhajans till date, it was in the service of divinity, is today being used to hit and attack a human being and that too for no reason? Wow!
Do not try to judge it on your moral platforms. That judgment will not be wrong, it will be simply irrelevant.
L: Acharya ji, motive to start about, as a concerned is very lucrative, that you know- directionless, I don’t have any concept and everything is so free (not audible). Till the keys, lot of space to really intelligent modulary want to do, hiding behind the concept. So is that really possible to know that we are actually open up? We have actually opened up? Or if it is possible then how?
AP: You have no way to know whether you are directionless but obviously you know it when you have direction.
If you have a direction then you are not directionless.
L: But sir that is what the direction keeps on changing as if the mind is same.
AP: No, you are mistaken here.
The direction does not keep on changing. Your ways keep on changing. The destination that you have set for yourself that does not change. Your destination is pleasure.
The means and methods you adopt to gain pleasure, they keep on changing. Your little mental construct of a pleasurable life never changes.
Do not try to figure out whether you are directionless. Just see that you already have a direction. And as long as you are directionless?
L: We have no direction.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
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