Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving

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Before death takes away what you are given,

give away what there is to give.

Rumi

Acharya Prashant: Here is something from Rumi: “Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give.”

The question says, “Statements like these are interpreted as being pleasure aversive, and we already are pain aversive, so together it means being life aversive. Is Rumi really talking about being life aversive?”

I’ll repeat the quote, “Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give.”

‘Giving’ is the keyword. Let’s go close to it and understand it. ‘Giving’ happens at three different levels. All three are connected to each other, yet there is a dimensional difference between the three. The three appear to be progressively leading to each other, yet there is also a quantum jump from the first to the second and from the second to the third. The first kind of giving is the giving that we are all very familiar with.

You give somebody a hundred rupee note and then you expect in return a value of at least hundred rupees, right? And it is great if you give hundred rupees and are in return given a value of two hundred rupees. If you just look at the event partially, then giving is happening. Is it not? You are giving something, right?

Similarly, we give gifts to each other. We give compliments to each other. We give advices to each other. We even give help to each other. We see that happening all around us. What is common between all these types of givings? We are talking about the first level of giving. What is common between all these types of giving?

Listener: It’s given to someone else.

AP: Yes, and?

L: Expectation of a return.

AP: Expectation of a return. Now what kind of return do you expect? When you give something to somebody, what do you expect in return?

L: Something of same value.

AP: Something of value at least, or do you expect something valueless? Be with me, do you expect something valueless or something you deem as worthy?

L: Something we deem as worthy.

AP: Who decides whether what you are getting in return is indeed valuable?

L: Me.

AP: You decide. So you are the one who decides that you are giving away something that has value, let’s say a note or a compliment. And you are also the one who decides that what you are getting in return too is valuable, correct? Who is this ‘you’, who is this ‘me’ who decides what to give and what to get? And whether to give and whether to get? And whether the given and taken has value? Who is this entity that decides all this? That entity is called the ‘ego.’

The ego is interested in its own nourishment.

So, whenever it enters into a transaction with the world, whenever it enters into a transaction in a relationship, its objective is always to enhance itself. Which means that if it is giving hundred, it wants hundred and fifty in return. This is our normal day-to-day giving, which appears like giving but is actually a business transaction in which the ego wants to benefit and hence enhance itself. Are you getting it?

If you give something but get something in return which the ego does not like, then you will say that this is not a fair transaction. Take an extreme example. Let’s say you have become habituated to substance abuse, drugs. You take one thousand rupees and you give it to a drug peddler. And what you get from him instead is some sane advice and a copy of the Upanishads. An entire set of the principal Upanishads, that’s what he gives you the moment you hand over your thousand bucks to him. Will you say that you have been given a fair deal? Would you?

L: No.

AP: No,

because the ego wants only that what the ego values, not which is absolutely valuable.

It has to be valuable in relation to the ego’s configuration. I want that which I think is good for me. Now even if what you are giving me is beautiful advice and a copy of the scriptures, yet I reject it because I do not value it because this is not what I expected. Give me that which I want.

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He can not

He remained occupied
in graveyards
while you waited
for him
with moon
and dew
Smile, 
for such foolishness 
and disloyalty 
is the preserve 
of a lucky 
few.
Smile,
for if the one 
cannot abandon
even a corpse,
will he ever abandon
you?
~ Acharya ji
(09.03.2017)

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Forget winning, first choose the right battle

Question: “What are the reasons due to which we remain trapped in defeat? We continue with our irregularities, knowing fully well that we are not doing justice to ourselves. At times there is a strong feeling to do better, but this feeling or commitment does not last.”

Acharya Prashant: In the right battle there can be no wrong result. Defeat is possible only when one is fighting the wrong battle. If you find yourself defeated, and defeated regularly, just know that you have picked up a battle that you should never have been fighting in the first place.

Defeat is hardly ever to be measured in terms of the events that happen outside of you. Defeat hurts exactly because defeat happens inside of you.

How is it possible for any movement outside of you to hurt you? That is the reason Kabir had to say, “Mann k haare haar hai, mann ke jeete jeet”(You lose, if the battle is lost in the mind). Mind is shaken up, impacted, and hurt by an external happening. This is what we call as defeat. Did this defeat happen when a particular event took place? Is this defeat the result of an action? No, every defeat is a defeat right since the inception of the action that at some point hurts.

If you are fighting a battle, if you are involved in something, and somewhere along the way that thing, the process, the result of an action, starts hurting you, it only means that you started from a position of inadequacy, incompleteness in the very first place. That is why this session on defeat comes after the last session on incompleteness. You start from a point of incompleteness and you fight, you strive, to somehow get over the incompleteness.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning.

When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

You are proceeding with the wrong idea. You are proceeding with an assumption. You’re driving from the wrong place with the wrong map. Now even if the process of driving is immaculate, yet it would not help.

You might be a great driver, but if you do not know where you are coming from and where you are going, then your driving skills will only take you quicker to the wrong place.

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Acharya Prashant: From where do the actions of the Teachers arise?

Listener : Seeing the actions and responses that what I call a teacher gives, so the argument comes that maybe they are coming from the influential part of the mind, they are not coming from the essential just like you said that the faces are real till the time they are not coming from the influence. So gossiping about the teacher, gossiping about the physical appearance of responses, it comes, again and again, that maybe this is not essential, maybe this is not coming from him.

Acharya Prashant: But what you are saying may exactly be what is happening yet how does that entitled us to come to any conclusion?

You see that we all are influenced entities, there is no doubt about it. But so what? If you are not influenced then you are not alive. Your very birth happens out of influence.

This nose, these eyes, this language, these clothes, these thoughts, they are all influences. Influences by themselves are no guarantors of suffering.

Influences are like people passing in front of a mirror. The moment somebody passes in front of a mirror, he influences the mirror. Does he not? What does the mirror do?

Listeners: Reflects.

AP: Reflects. But that does not change the essential nature of the mirror. In fact, that only makes the mirror more respondent, more beautiful. You through light on the mirror, the mirror reflects that light and if there are multiple mirrors, then a single ray of light can lead to wonderful celebration or total festival of lights.

Have you seen the kind of things that can happen when multiple mirrors operate in tendons?

Listeners: Yes.

AP: So there is nothing wrong that which you call as influences.

Influences are the celebration of life.

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Acharya Prashant: The result of action can neither enhance you nor reduce you

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Question: If I want to do something, I plan that and do every planning. I know what will I get and if I don’t do like that with planning and all with full botheration or with consideration, that will not get the result as I want, then I don’t know what should I do, as spiritually it is right. Without botheration, if I want to do that work, what should be there in my mind?

Acharya Prashant: No,

Bother fully, plan fully and execute fully with all your mind but remember fully that neither the action nor the result of the action, can mean much to you. Neither can it reduce you, nor can it enhance you.

What is the fun in playing the game if you are not playing wholeheartedly?

Even if you are playing with a kid, the kid feels insulted if he comes to know that you are not playing with all your heart. Even in the most casual of games, you must be fully engaged. So, be fully engaged, give everything, every ounce of your energy, every last drop contained in your cells to what you are doing, apply all your intellect, there is no need to detest planning, plan with all your might but in the middle of all this, remain fully convinced that this cannot give much to you nor can it take away much from you. Which will be little paradoxical, a little hard to manage, right?

So you are playing the game with all your might and yet are a little away, a little unconcerned, you are fully concerned yet you are remembering that it is just a game.

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Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: The Final Breakup!

 “For not one of us lives for himself and not one dies for himself.”

BIBLE (ROMANS 14:7)

“So as to live the rest of the time in flesh no longer for the lusts of men but for the will of the God.”

BIBLE (PETER 4:2)

Acharya Prashant:

I’ll repeat.

<Repetition follows>

So, Nidhi is asking:

Acharya Ji, what I understand from the above verse is – Live for the Lord and die for the Lord.

Yes Nidhi, well captured.

But what does it mean to live for the Lord or die for him? I am not clear. Also, what is the will of God that Jesus is talking of?

What does it mean to live for the Lord and to die for him?

That is already happening Nidhi. Jesus is already saying – For none of us lives for himself and not one dies for himself. What does it mean? Your ‘self’ is anyway continuously changing. If you are to die for yourself, I would ask, which particular ‘self’? People vouch that they are living to improve. Everyone wants betterment.

There is nobody who has no desires.

There might be people who might not know that they are still desirous. There are people who might have suppressed or latent desires. But desires are still there, and if desires are still there, it means you want to change yourself, right?

A desire means that you want the situation to change. And whose situation? Even if you want the world situation to change, you want your situation that looks at the world to thereby change.

Right? Desire means that you are not alright with yourself and you want something else to happen, correct? So, we are anyway not living for ourselves. We are rather living to change ourselves. And are these not two very different things? If you are living for yourself as you are, then why would you want change? Why would you say I want a bigger car? Why would you say I want respect, or a beautiful man or woman? Then continue being as you are. But you don’t want to continue being as you are. You don’t live for yourself. You live for a better self. Is that in?

You don’t live for ‘yourself.’ You live for a ‘better self.’

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Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: What does the lazy self want?

“The craving of a sluggard is a death of him because his hands refuse to work.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 21:25)

Acharya Prashant:

Nimisha has sent something, it is not a question. I’ll read it aloud, that’s my answer.

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranaam. I want to thank you deeply for reconnecting me to the Lord. The love and connection I felt for him as an innocent child got diluted along the way. I am rejoicing in that regained love now. Jesus was always very special to me. My first love you could say. Then one grows up and starts questioning things, doubts arise, resistance occurs, and one loses that innocent reasonless love once felt. Jesus showed me the way back home through you.

In gratitude, Nimisha.

When all is alright then there is no need to speak. Yesterday, I said – “don’t fix that which is not broken.”

 

James has sent two questions from Russia. Maybe I’ll read both of them, or one of them.

Jesus says “The craving of a sluggard will be death of him because his hands refuse to work”.

The question is:

Jesus is saying that the desires of a lazy person will be the death of him because he’s saying that his hands refuse to work. He just desires but his hands say we do not want to work. So the enquiry is, what does a lazy person crave for if not work? And also, which work is Jesus referring to?

Jesus has pointed towards the special case of a lazy person. This lazy person has all the desires, great desires. But one thing he’s very clear about, ‘I will not work.’ So, James has wondered that what does he crave for if not work? And what is this work that Jesus is referring to? Is he talking about plumbing? Writing? Carpentry? What work is referring to?

Who is a lazy person? A lazy person is one who has a tremendous ego. Only the ego is lazy, and the ego is bound to be lazy. In what sense is the ego lazy?

Laziness means a refusal to do, a refusal to do the right thing, a refusal to change. Laziness means that one wants to remain where one is and as one is.

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