The speck of dust and the sky, you are both || Acharya Prashant on Rumi (2018)

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Questioner: Pranaam, Acharya Ji.

Rumi says ‘Wisdom tells us, we are not worthy, love tells us, and we are. My life flows between the two’.

Taruna asks, Acharya Ji could you please elaborate on the above. I feel that my life is a little short of love and self-acceptance. Am I just over-judging myself or is there any way, I can actually enhance self-love?

Thank You.

Acharya Prashant: That’s Rumi’s way of bringing out the difference and the oneness between the seeker and the sought, between the lover and the beloved, between the bhakt and bhagwan. Kindly, do not read his words to mean that love and wisdom are exclusive of each other.

I repeat, what he has said, ‘Wisdom tells us, we are not worthy, love tells us, and we are. My life flows between the two’. Kindly do not take these words to mean that wisdom and love are mutually exclusive. They are not. What is he saying here, he is talking of the last dichotomy, and we live in. And that dichotomy is the difference, separation between our fact and our destiny, our life and our destiny, our periphery and our center, our performance and our potential.

This is the separation between the lover and the beloved, the bhakt and bhagwan.

We are two, Taruna. We are the one, who is all the time, engrossed in littleness, doubts, fear, in separation, in time, in desires and anger. And then, we are also the one, who knows very well that to be a little and afraid, and shrunken is not destiny. That one is needlessly confining himself, so, we are two.

The speck of dust in the sky and the sky itself.

And none of them can be dismissed as false. How do you dismiss the daily facts of your life, how dismiss that you haggle over a few rupees, how to dismiss that one is suspicious of even his intimate ones, how to dismiss that there is nothing beyond doubt in one’s life, how to dismiss that nothing called immensity exists for us, and how to dismiss that the fear of death is always lurking close by.

That’s the life of the speck of dust.

And much as we may want to forget, we also can not dismiss that something within yearns for the infinite, and something within remains continuously thirsty, seeking unfulfilled thirst. His thirst is proof that something beyond the finite exists.

You see, there are these two things. We know only the finite but the finite never satisfies us. So, we are not quite equipped or authorised to talk of infinite. But we can surely talk of something beyond the finite. These are two different things, beyond the finite and infinite. If the human tongue ventures to utter infinite, it is just being loud-mouthed. What can a pity human being talk of infinite, but surely, one can say, that one wants to go beyond the finite. And beyond the finite speck of dust, is nothing but sky because all else is finite.

If the speck of dust is finite, then the moons and the stars are also finite. Just the degree of finiteness varies. But if the degree of finiteness varies, that does not mean that even the largest finite is anything more than that of finite.

So, if you can just say that I am longing for something beyond the finite, you have very honestly and very totally uttered the word infinite. That’s how, a man should talk of Truth, that is beyond falseness. Beyond falseness. And that is why, the sages of Upanishads talked in the negativa. They would just say, not this, not this, beautiful, very honest.

Not false is truer than the Truth.

When you talk of Truth, you are exceeding your limit. But, when you lovingly sing out to that which is not false, then it’s an honest song. Not false, give me something, that is not false. The speck of dust says, ‘Give me something, which is not finite. I feel suffocated. In this little less, give me something, where I cannot see boundaries’.

‘Wisdom tells me, we are not worthy, love tells, yes we are’.

Yes, you are both.

The little speck of dust and the infinite sky.

‘My life flows between the two.’

Yes, both are present because we are two. And the purpose of life is to accept your unworthiness, acknowledge your unworthiness, so honestly and so completely that you have no option but to move into the worthy, dissolve into the worthy.

Do you see how one is a door to other?

So, without the one, you cannot get the other. Hence, both have to be acknowledged.

Those who talk only stuff like pure consciousness, miss everything, because they are not acknowledging where they factually are. They live in the domain of impurity. Living in the domain of impurity, they constantly are yelling purity, purity. That doesn’t help.

The trick is to acknowledge the impurity, so clearly, so consistently, so honestly that you are left with no option but to clean-up. The speck of dust must acknowledge its limitations, must keep crying out, and must never forget the asphyxia it lives in.

And then, the boundaries break open.

Then, there is a great dissolution.

Sky, melts into the sky.


Acharya Prashant speaking in a Shabdyog session at Advait Bodhsthal, Noida on 20th July 2018.

Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: The speck of dust and the sky, you are both || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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