Question: Acharya Ji, can the ego ever be free of troubles?
Acharya Prashant: You need to have faith, that there is life beyond troubles; otherwise troubles are so sweet. Who am I ~ The troubled one.
Troubles, give you so much to fill your self up. Troubles gives you a nice identity, an identity that you can get so easily use to.
I am, the one, stung by problems. I am the one, who is the victim of troubles. Troubles, problems, all of them, can so easily, give you something, to live by. You must, first of all, let yourself, acknowledge, that there can be life, beyond problems, not without problems.
Life without problems is not possible but there can be life, beyond problems.
But we have a great belief in problems. No?
In fact, you know, it is an insult to problems, that we call them problems. Our problems are our intimate friends. The proof is that you will not let them go. Will you ever let your problems go? Even if the problem is willing to go, you will catch it, by its collar and you’ll say, no, you don’t have to. Okay, you can go at a more opportune time. You have been a guest here for so long and now its late at night and out there, there are thief’s and thugs so you can go in the morning.
AP: That morning never comes. No problem, I assure you, can stay with you, without your active involvement in the problem.
The moment you withdraw from the problem, the problem will fall. There is no problem that you experience that comes to you, without your consent, participation and active involvement.
L: Why we can’t see life beyond the problem?
AP: Because you have been made to believe, through the whole process of your evolution, that there is no life beyond problems and if there is no life beyond problems, then problem-lessness to you means life-lessness. You do not want to die. You have a belief that the moment problems disappear, life too will disappear, and you do not want to die.
Life has become synonymous with problems. You want to live, so you want to have, problems. Your whole journey, till this point, has pe-fed you with the notion that problems must be there. You will not be comfortable without problems. If there are no problems, we want to raise problems. Have you not seen yourself in the moments that are light, free, what do you do then?
You immediately concoct the problem. You make a problem, out of the freedom of the moment. Even lightness becomes a trouble. Let us fill it, let’s have something to do.
Are you comfortable with nothingness? Are you?
Our upbringing has been such that it scares us. One thing, one person leaves our life and we become desperate to fill that void with something else. We don’t take it as a blessing. We don’t say, thank God, the load is off, I am relieved. We say, no, this not emptiness, this loneliness, I must have something, somebody.
Don’t you see that this is the best that could have happened to you? Don’t you see that somebody wants to bless you? You’ll not let that lightness remain. You will soon corrupt it. Operating from the same center, you will fill, this void, that grace has given you, with some other kind of the same stuff because you are the same. So, names may change, faces may change, situations may change but essentially you will fill it up with the same thing because you are the same.
We have great problems with not having problems. If there is something, that is anathematic, death-like, to us, it’s this – a life free of problems. What will I do then? How will I even exist? What will I prove to the world? What then, would remain to be, and if there is nothing that remains to be done, I will fall. If there are no problems, if there is nothing, that is pinching me and hurting me, how do I plan my progress and my revenge?
How? And if I can’t plan my progress and my revenge, then I don’t exist. My entire self-definition is that I am the troubled one. My name begins with a capital T. Doesn’t matter what my name is, it begins with a T. The T might be silent, like in tsonga.
What’s the spelling of your name?
L: It begins with ‘P.’
AP: Mine obviously begins with P, but I don’t need problems. Both P and R are present.
L: We love problems actually, that’s why we marry.
We don’t, marry and get problems.
We, marry problems.
By that, I do not imply the conventional wedding that happens once or twice in a lifetime. When I say marriage, I mean something that you commit yourself to live with. We have committed ourselves to live with problems. And we are committed without even a formal wedding. Such a shame.
See how uneasy we feel, when it comes to dropping problems. You know, how can I drop it, it is so important.
To drop problems means to drop the ego, drop the troubling self.
And by dropping problems, I do not mean that you stop doing anything about problems. My words are, sometimes peculiar, so you must know what I imply. When I say, drop problems, all I mean is?
L: Go beyond it.
AP: Go beyond it and then if you want to do something about it, keep doing it. Do whatever you want to do about your troubles, but don’t be troubled. Is that clear?
If there are troubles and you want to take action, take action. You can take the right action, only when troubles don’t trouble you, now you can do something about the troubles.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
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