Acharya Prashant: Has India lost its spiritual heritage?

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Questioner: We have such a rich heritage and history. India is the land of the vedas, the Upanishads and so many perfect masters. As a country, how did we get so far from the Truth or was the Truth always for just a limited few?

Acharya Prashant: Taruna, the misfortune of India is that it is the land of Upanishads, it is the land of the Budhas, the Kabirs, the Nanaks and the Farids, that which is too abundantly available becomes unavailable.  And, the one who is very abundantly available, must become little unavailable, so that he becomes again available.

Masters after Masters, scriptures upon scriptures, the common folk start taking things for granted.

Every village has a dozen fakirs. You throw a stone in any direction and it is going to hit a sadhu!

That’s the way the human constitution is, we respect that which is rare.

What do you value? Everyday events or festivals that come once in a year?

If you meet Kabir every two hours, then you will start avoiding him. It is too much!

That’s the misfortune of India.  Too much grace.  And, that’s how we are.  We need to be hungry to enjoy a meal.  If meals become too abundant, then we start choosing hunger, because unless hunger is there, meals are of no value.  It is a strange thing, you know, to respect a Kabir, you must first of all not be a Kabir.  A Kabir is one with Kabir.  There is no question of respect there.  And, to greatly respect a Kabir, you must be greatly separated from a Kabir.  So, there is separation.

Even today, you see, when I speak, when I speak at Rishikesh, the western crowd, the foreigners, they listened to me with a wrapped attention, because it is uncommon for them to come across the kind of stuff that I deal with. Indians, here everybody is a BrahmaVid.  You tell them that we are going to talk wisdom, the Guru will speak and they will say, ‘I have my bhabhi and a dog, and they are great Gurus, four fakirs live in the basement of my house. What Guru do I need?  Even my cat sings bhajans! Even my goat has a beard! What respect do you deserve?’

For the foreigners, it is a different affair,  their jaws drop,  if you look at their pictures, clicked when they are absorbed in the session, then you would know what it means to be attentive.  It is cyclical.  You get a lot and then you are deprived.

All land is just land. India was blessed to be the spiritual center of the world. With spirituality comes wellness, health, greatness and when greatness and wellness and openness are lost, you must know that there is nothing spiritual left about that land.

It’s a strange thing, you see, but in their compassion, the saints sometimes do a disservice.  They bring great words, teachings to even those who don’t deserve them, even those whose time has yet not come.  So, the words become popular in the wrong domains.

The word, ‘Brahm’, for example, should have never been present in the dictionary at all.  This word should never have fallen in the ears of those who are not yearning for it.  But the saints popularized the word.  They made it very public.  They turned it into something of a cheap public utility by the road side.  That every town they travelled is using and using without the required payment. Now that the word is the only way, one of the few ways to bring the mind to the Truth and when the word becomes the cheap currency, then that rare way is lost, compromised, becomes ineffective.

The great method has rendered useless due to excessive usage.

Now, when you listen to the word Brahm, it does not stir up the great ocean within you.

Nothing happens, because you have listened to it many times.

Now, when you come upon a Shiva statue, you just look at it with your eyes full of usual boredom.  Shiva does not infuse vigor into you, because Shiva is a household thing now. You may have never been surrendered to Shiva, You may have really never met Shiva, but you have been given so many stories about Shiva, that you feel that you know it all.

And, daily morning there is the reading of the Shiv Puran and thousands of mantras, japas, and stories, and rituals, and deities, what not. You start feeling that you know, you have it. And God comes only to those who first of all declare that they don’t have him.

In India, everybody is an asectic. In India everybody knows, when you know, then He does not come to you. We know. India is a religious country.

When everybody is religious, then nobody is religious.

Festivals after festivals. There is no day in the entire calendar,that does not host half a dozen festivals. There are more festivals than days. Festivals are now competing with each other. Don’t you see that on one particular day there are three festivals. Now ones who wants to wish you, they say, wishing you this and this and this!  That’s how the hoardings go, don’t they?

And, all the festivals are related to God, almighty.  You are celebrating him so much and so often that you have no real celebration left.

Diwali comes and goes. You remain dark.

What is therefore now needed is a flattening of the old religious order.  It was useful once upon a time. It has served it’s time. It must go. You must start again afresh.

As fresh as the Upanishads.

As fresh as the revelation of the Quran.

Totally new.

Ancient, but totally new, totally relevant and contemporary.

Still ancient, because Truth cannot be new.  But the declaration must now be very-very contemporary, very applicable, very useful, very upto date.

Only that will bring back spirituality to India. And, when spirituality will return to India then greatness would come to the whole world.

In fact, that is my definition of India.  The place where spirituality is. Not the landmarks.  Wherever there is spirituality, that place is India.

India is lovable.

~ Acharya Prashant Ji speaking in a ShabdaYoga Session at Advait Bodhsthal, Noida on 15th March, 2018


Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant: How to never make the Guru unhappy?

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