Acharya Prashant on single parenting: Taking care of child, or earning an income

T23

Listener: Basically I have an issue. I am unable to make a decision basically. I am very confused right now. I am in a phase of being a single parent. I have a kid with me and have no source of income right now. I have to look after my child and source of income. But I am unable to understand how to manage both.

Acharya Prashant: First of all being a single parent is great. At least for the child. Instead of two to pester him, there is only one. I am mentioning this because yesterday as well you talked of that fact as it is a bit of a handicap, it is not.

Socially we have been trained to visualize, the happy family as a kid with his two arms being held by two people of opposite gender. That’s really not needed. The kid is already being held in the palm of his real father. The real father is not even holding his arm. He is holding the kid in his palm. So if you are a single mother, great!

Now, the question of the kid being four years old. And you being needed to earn. He is four. The troublesome period is behind you. Had he been one or two, then the situation would have necessitated your constant physical presence near the kid. He is four years old now. You can have periods in the day when he can be left with the relatives, with his grandparents or even in daycare. So, get going with all sureness figure out a means of livelihood. And don’t look at your situation as if you are in a bind.

Never ever think of yourself as if you lack in fortune.

You see look at the animal world. How long does a cub stay with the lioness? For how long? For how long does the calf stay with the cow? Please?

L: Few months.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: How to be contended in life?

T22

Acharya Prashant: Ishita asks, “What is contentment and why do we run behind it?”

Ishita we never run behind contentment. We run behind another thing called ‘satisfaction.’ Contentment is not a goal to be achieved. Contentment is right now. Contentment is our intrinsic fullness which opens up in the absence of any desire. When there is no desire, then you know everything is alright! That is contentment. That is intrinsic fullness, you don’t run after it to get it.

But yes there is another word. You know the dictionary would say these two are synonymous contentment and satisfaction. But in lives, these two are poles apart. Very-very different. We run after satisfaction. What do we say? We say that if we get that then we will be satisfied. That which you are after is always ahead. Always in future. Am I right?

Listener: Yes, sir.

AP: Do you ever say that in this moment if I get something I will be satisfied? Because if you say this moment, then by the time you say this moment this has already become a time. Become past. So, defacto you are always aspiring about the future. A hope into the future. If I get that then.

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Acharya Prashant: Attention wipes your sins away

T21

Question: How is the karma of the past linked to my current state of mind?

Acharya Prashant: What you call as your current state of mind is always a friction, a conflict, a tug-of-war, between two opposing forces. One is the ‘force of the past’, one is the ‘force of conditioning’, and the other is ‘the call of peace’. The call of the untouched, the call of the core.

What we call as the mind is nothing but a sandwich between these two. But it is not a normal sandwich, it is not a normal conflict, it is a conflict between two parties in which the first party is the first party, and also the power provider to the second party.

Are you getting it?

So, there is that which you can call as the core, and then there is that which you can call as conditioning, or illusion, or Maya. What is happening in the mind? A tussle between the call of the core, and the lure of the Maya. But in this, we will remember that Maya is not really a power opposing the core, because Maya itself is being powered by the core. So, two parties are in conflict. Yes, there is a tussle, yes, there is a tug-of-war. But, it is a special conflict in which one party is powering the opposite party as well; that’s why it is called ‘Leela’. I want to have a good time, so you know, I am powering the other party.

Sometimes, it happens, when you are very playful. Let’s say you want to have a race, a sprint, with someone, who can’t run too fast. So, what do you do? You run slow, or you give him a lead. You say, alright, I will cover 100 meters and you have to cover only 60 meters. So, you are powering the other party, because you want to just have a little bit of fun. That kind of a war it is. But nevertheless, it is a war, and the mind is a battleground.

When you say, ‘Is my state of mind, a result of my karma, my past?’ Yes, it is.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Is the ego a gift from God?

T20

Acharya Prashant: Himadari’s question is, “Does ego have a negative impact on one’s life?”

Himadri, we found out that ego is a disease. What effect can ego have upon you, except a negative impact? There is no positive impact that the ego can have.

We have been saying all along that ego is slavery, ego is lifelessness. Are these not clearly negative? Do you know what ego means? Ego means that you will be always afraid. Those of you who have experienced fear. Fear of any kind they must know. That all forms of fear come only from the ego.

Don’t you see directly that ego is such a terrible thing? It makes life hell. Because ego comes from the outside and you start internalizing it. You also realize that it can also go back to the outside. So, you are always afraid. You always think that someone can take it away from you. Your sense of self is given to you by a group of people. So, those group of people will become your master. You will remain always afraid because they can take back their acceptance. You are at their mercy.

When you come over to speak on a podium. Don’t you see why you are so terribly nervous? Many of you? Would you be nervous had you been told to speak in a vacant room, just in front of the mirror? You won’t be nervous. Right? But you are nervous in front of the audience. Why? Because your self-image comes from that audience. If the audience tells you, “You are wonderful.” You start believing that you are. And you are afraid that now the audience may say that I am a coward. So you start shivering. All forms of fear come from the ego. From a borrowed sense of the self. There is no other cause of fear.

Now you tell me, “Whether it is positive or negative?” Yes, what is it?

Listener 1: Sir, if it is always responsible for fear and other things. So, should one be egoistic?

AP: You tell me.

L1: I am asking you.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: How to have confidence in oneself?

T19

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Question: I don’t have confidence in myself. How to gain it?

Acharya Prashant: The question comes from an extreme – “I do not have confidence in myself.” But surely, this question addresses a pain that all experience in varying degrees, on various occasions.

There is nobody who does not feel short of confidence at one point or another. There are many, who keep feeling perpetually short. There are others, who feel confident most of the time, but find that their confidence is deserting them often when they need it.

You say you want ‘confidence’ in yourself. You want confidence in yourself only when you are in doubt. When things are just flowing smoothly, is there need for confidence? When there is no fear, is there need for confidence?

Confidence is a medicine.

Confidence is not your natural state.

Just as, medicine is not health. When you feel sick, then you ask for medicine and the role of medicine should be to make itself unnecessary. You do not want to have a medicine that you will perpetually need. What you must rather perpetually have, is a normal and ordinary state of health. What you must normally have is a state of fearlessness, in which confidence is not needed at all.

If you are requiring confidence, it means that something has already gone wrong.

Now, do you want to cover up what has gone wrong? Or do you want to directly address what has gone wrong? Because if the wrong stays wrong, then you will keep on needing confidence more and more, and more frequently.

When you are addressing your friends, do you require confidence? No! But when you are making a public presentation, then you require confidence. Do you notice that? When you are with your family members, do you require confidence? Hardly ever! But when you are in front of an interviewer, then you say that you require confidence.

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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!

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Acharya Prashant: The fallacy of expression of love

T16

Acharya Prashant: In matters of Love and all these things, you want the other person to be ‘nice.’

We are such idiots, we want the other person to be ‘nice.’ And if the other person is not nice, we feel, there is no Love.

We have no capacity to see where the whole thing is coming from. We do not see anything. We do not understand anything. And by anything, I mean absolutely anything. Black is white and white is black.

We are ready to give up our Life probably somebody comes and says two sweets words to us. Oh! he is my friend. Why? Because he talks sweetly and we do not realize that the sweet talk maybe so poisonous because we see only the actions, because we see only the actions, the words. He comes and hugs me and then he says, ‘baba how are you? Nice!’

And because I am already living at the surface, I am alright with that. I do not want to offend him. And he asks something, I will give.

But there is another one who admonishes, who chastises, who calls a spade, a spade, who is terribly real. And I’ll say, this fellow is my enemy because he tells me that I am an idiot. You have cancer. The doctor is telling you, you have cancer. Is he your friend or enemy?

Listener: Friend.

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