Acharya Prashant: No action can lead to liberation

Question: Acharya Ji, can you please speak something on Karma (Action) and Karmphal (Fruit of action)?

Acharya Prashant:

All Karma, all action is for the actor.

And if the actor is a desirous actor, then all action just leads to a continuation of the cycle of desire!

You look at your Karma and the Karmphal. Does any Karmphal ever mean a ‘full stop?’ Is any result, ever so very satisfying that it is final? So, Karma and Karmphal are a continuity. They are a cycle and they are a cycle of ignorance. The doer, the actor, behind the Karma keeps feeling that, action will lead to Liberation. Now, action cannot lead to Liberation.

Action emanating from the actor, that is the ego, the “I” tendency, can never lead to Liberation. Because the very beginning is flawed. The beginning itself is ‘loneliness,’ the beginning itself is in ‘incompleteness.’ The results of such beginnings cannot be auspicious.

When you start from a wrong place,

then you cannot reach a right place.

That sounds counterintuitive because we do see this happening in the world, right? You are standing at some undesirable place, and from there, you can reach a desirable place. But in the domain of Truth, there is no interdimensional-ladder.

A wrong place is a wrong dimension.

You will keep moving in that dimension. Starting from a wrong center, a wrong place, you will keep moving in a space that is wrong. In that space, you can travel far and wide. The space of the ‘Ego’ too is an infinite space.

“Manakaash”, that too is infinite, just like the Truth. The space of imagination is also very infinite. You can keep roaming there all your Life. But you will never be able to go beyond that space. It’s like walking inside a closed room. You can keep walking all your Life, but that will not take you out of the room.

So, within the room is action, within the room is the result of the action. Then out of the result of the action, there is more action, then again more action. And all of that? Within the room. In the hope of?

Listener: Getting out of the room.

AP: Getting out of the room. That is not going to happen! That is just not going to happen. What is the room? The tendency to ‘act’ itself is the room. You do not run inside the room. The running itself defines the room.

Stop running, and the room disappears. The question that would be arising within you is, “I am stuck inside that room, now, how do I come out of that room?” You are stuck inside that room because you are running inside that room. Karma, Karmphal, action, more action, more running, more desires, more running, more action. The ‘running’ is the room.

Stop!

And you will find there is no room. The dimension has changed. You are now in free space.

Stop!

More action will not take you out of action. More effort will not lead to effortlessness. More desires will not lead to desirelessness.

L: In your one desire, can it be your desirelessness?

AP: No, not even that. That is the final trap. That is the final trap in which most seekers and Gurus are caught. I will give you desirelessness; Impossible. I will give you the experience of desirelessness, even more impossible. I will give you the experience of Truth; impossibly impossible.

L: And what about “mumukshtva”?

AP: “Mumukshtva” means ‘seeing the futility of desire.’ Now, seeing the futility of desire is not the same as desiring the end of desire, or desiring the futility of desire.

Seeing is effortless.

Desiring is an effort.

There is a great deal of difference between ‘action’ and ‘realization.’ Don’t confuse the two.

“Mumukshtva” is realization.

Not further action. “Mumukshtva” is to see, that I am stuck. And it’s no good trying anymore because I have anyway been trying since the beginning of time.

L: So, I am born because of the ‘Law of Karma,’ to my parents.

AP: Yes, good.

But, your death will not be due to Law of Karma. I am talking of real death. Real death, cannot happen due to Karma. Real death happens when you see the fallacy of Karma. When you see the falseness of all Karma. Then there is ‘real death.’

So,

You are born, so that you may totally die.

People keep asking me, “What is the purpose of life?”

The purpose of life is total death. That is the only purpose of life.

Total death.

L: Most of the cases, this is not fulfilled — Total Death.

AP: That is why you have all those stories. That even after dying, he was roaming here and there. Have you heard of these stories?

L: Yes.

AP: But we believe as if something is really roaming here and there, and we get scared and we do all kinds of rituals and rites. And we say, it is for Aatma-Shaanti(Silent soul). First of all, the phrase is foolish. As if, Aatma is ever ashant(restlessness)!

But yes, symbolically what those stories indicate, has substance. Because you have not totally died. You are still there. Of course, you are not there in space-time. You are not there as some material roaming here and there. But you are still there.

L: The “I” tendency.

AP: The “I” tendency is still there.

L: Waiting for a body?

AP: Waiting for something! See, the “I” tendency is so thirsty, it can attach to anything. It can get attached to soil, to body, to idea, to imagination. Don’t you see that happening with you? What all do you get attached to? Just about everything. Whatever you can think of is a possible object of attachment.

L: So, the “I” tendency is present even in plants?

AP: Don’t talk of something outside of you. Because plants as you see them, are a result of your “I” tendency. So, don’t talk of stuff here and there. Yes, theoretically what you are saying is correct. It can get associated to plants, it can get associated even with a rock, or air. Yes, that is possible. But it is useless to talk of all of these things. Just look at his life as it is right now and see the “I” tendency in action. It’s pointless asking whether a rock has “I” tendency and Ego. And those questions too come. Does a rock have Ego? Pointless question. First of all, you look at how the Ego operates in your daily Life. That is far more important.

L: This “I” tendency is Universal, it happens to everyone. When the realized one knows this, his “I” tendency drops?

AP: His “I” tendency gets fulfilled. That is what we call as dropping of “I”.

L: But still it continues in others.

AP: Yes.

L: So, death is not predetermined?

AP: It is predetermined. Because it is decided in advance that once the body reaches a certain age, the cells will become weak and they will not be able to anymore remain united with the “I” tendency. But that also means that as Science advances, your cells can be manipulated to stay in contact with “I” for longer and longer periods of time.

In fact, it is possible that you can have a physical configuration that remains attached to “I” almost endlessly. But that would not mean immortality. Even if you live for 2000 years, you will live as a ‘Lonely being.’ Even if you are living for 10,000 years, you are still living an ‘Unfulfilled Life.’ That is not immortality.

Immortality is to feel so fulfilled that you are not counting years anymore.

You are not asking, am I going to die at 50 or 80? That is Immortality.

When you are no more bothered about time, then you are immortal.

L: Acharya Ji, this seeing “I” is because all I must see is an Immortal?

AP: This is seeing. This, that is happening right now. This listening is seeing. You see, how you are immersed in listening? This is seeing.

This total devotion to the Truth. ‘I want to know’, this is seeing.

L: So, Death, in an accident, is the Law of Karma, or combined for everybody?

AP: It is the Law of Karma.

You see, accidentally you can take a compound and put it on fire, and it splits.

When you are looking at the decomposition of compounds, you are actually studying your own decomposition.

L: This Karma, is done by the body?

AP: The body becomes a medium. All Karma is initiated by the unfulfilled “I” tendency.

L: I came to know about this camp by a facebook group. So, me coming here and becoming member of that group, it is destined, or it would have come automatically?

AP: You look at something, that ‘something’ is not an objective. That ‘something’ is given a shape, a meaning by your “I” tendency. Are you getting it?

You could either come here, because you interpreted the information in a particular way, or you could come here because you read of it and then you surrendered to the event. You said, “I look at it and I don’t even have to apply my mind; I see that there is something of the Truth here. I face many an obstacle in going. But still, I will go.” Now, you are letting the action happen without the “I” tendency. Now, you are acting without the actor. Or, you could have said that going there would give me that kind of benefit, this kind of benefit. Then, you are performing Karma.

Karma is always associated with desire. That is why, to give you pure Karma, Krishna talks of ‘Nishkama Karma’. Karma, without the expectation of Karmaphal. Then you are acting without the actor.

L: In Vedas or Upanishads says that there was initiated no voice in the Sky. There was nothing except for the word “OM” and from that word OM word’s vibration, everything got created.

Can you please shed light on this?

AP: Even OM, is not the first one.

Even OM comes from a ‘total emptiness.’ There is the Bindu(Point), then there is the Naada. OM is the Naada. And before the Naada, there is just a point. Point means, not even space. So, Nothing.

Nothing, as ‘we’ can know of. Nothing that ‘we’ may talk of. Nothing that is existing as per ‘our’ definitions of existence. So, when we say ‘nothing,’ it means ‘nothing’ as per our mind. Or, you could say, everything. Because only from that Great, everything at another level, can everything at this level arise. So, it depends on how you want to put it verbally. You could say, ‘Nothing.’ You are right. And you could say, Everything; You are again right.

L: Acharya Ji, “I” tendency is different in different conditions?

AP:

“I” tendency does not differ. “I” tendency is the same. The objects that the “I” tendency gets circumstantially attached to, they differ.

And the object that you are currently associated with, guides the next object that you would be associated with.

But this craving for association and subsequent association; the tendency to get attached is the same.



-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: No action can lead to liberation


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