Individuality is neither acquired nor influenced

Question: My beliefs have come out of my experiences and my experiences have shaped my individuality. If I give up my beliefs, then I am giving up on my individuality?

Acharya Prashant: (quoting the questioner) My beliefs have come out of my experiences and my experiences have shaped my individuality. If I give up my beliefs, then I am giving up on my individuality?

If I ask you to write down what I just said in the last fifteen-twenty minutes and I say, write down in three clear points what has been said. And you write it down. And then I say, compare it with your neighbor, what he or she has written. You will be deeply surprised. You will be deeply surprised at the variation. You will look at your neighbors’ sheet and say, did he ever say this? What have you written?

Now I am one and I am saying the same thing, but all of you are experiencing different things. What is this experience? Where does it come from?

What is an experience?

Experience is nothing but the experiencer.

Kindly do not think that the experience is factual, that experience has any objective reality to it. You only experience what you have been conditioned to experience. Take a clear example. Even as we speak right now, a cricket match is going on. India versus England, right? Suppose we project the game here, live. On this side are Indians and on this side are Englishmen. And India quickly loses three wickets. What does this side experience? Gloom, disaster, three wickets in two overs, long faces. What does this side experience (pointing to the other side)? Cheerfulness, enthusiasm, right? Same happening, different experiences. Now, can these people call their experience as my own experience? Are ‘you’ experiencing it? Or is the ‘Indian’ experiencing it? Similarly, can these people call the cheerfulness their own experience? Are they experiencing it? Or is the Englishman experiencing it?

You do not experience anything! You are the experiencer who is a bundle of his
conditioning.

Born in England, you would be experiencing something totally different. You would be sitting on this side, same happening and you would be feeling glad. Are you getting it?
Listener: Acharya Ji, what is the experience

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On Jesus Christ: How to be free of envy and jealousy?


May 2018 TL_Poster 13

“Heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 14:30)

Acharya Prashant:

Shilpi is asking:

Namaste Acharya Ji,

The bible says “Heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones”. I see that I’m stricken with jealousy or envy for my fellow co-workers, or people I hear about in the media, sometimes even friends, as I feel like they have something I don’t. It is very draining and disturbing and I do not want to focus on this anymore. Please guide me away from this trait.

Thank you.

Shilpi, when you are alright with yourself then the way your energy flows towards others, your attitude towards others, your relationship with others, is called as Love. When you are not alright with yourself then your attitude towards others, the way your energy flows towards others, is called as envy or desire.

If you are envious that somebody has something, then rest assured, you too desire that something. So, envy and desire go together.

Unless the other has something that you too are desirous of, you won’t feel any envy.

So, the question is not about how you feel towards others. It’s not about your coworkers or the people been talked of in the media. The question fundamentally is about your relationship with yourself. When you are great with yourself, then to others you have only Love to offer, and when you are not alright with yourself, then to others you offer all the vitriol that is consuming your life. How to have envy-free relation with others? By having ignorance free relation with oneself.

The more you look at yourself in erroneous ways, the more you will be compelled to look at the world as the provider of a sucker, or as a threat to your identities and comforts. No feeling of any kind is to be promoted. I am not qualifying my statement by saying that feelings of littleness or envy or loneliness or incompleteness are to be selectively discouraged. I am saying no feeling of any kind is to be fueled.

Are you getting it?

No feeling of any kind.

All feelings are fundamentally feeling of incompleteness, of completeness, there is no feeling.

Completeness is a different entity altogether. It comes to you but not as a feeling. If I switch off all the lights in this room you will stop seeing me. When the light is switched on you’ll start seeing me. Does that mean that I have emerged from the tube light? Think of it. All the lights are switched off and you do not see me, and then you go to the button, you switch something on and I appear. Why can’t you say that I have sprung up from the switchboard, or dropped down from the tube light? Why can’t you say that? That’s the thing with completeness.

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On Jesus Christ: Why is Jesus asking to hate one’s life?

Poster 5

“If anyone comes to me and doesn’t hate his

brother, father, wife and children and

his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”

BIBLE (LUKE 14, VERSE 26-27)

 

Acharya Prashant:

Question says:

Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and doesn’t hate his brother, father, wife and children and his own life, he cannot be my disciple”. What does this mean? Because it seems something opposite to what I have been hearing all my life.

Thanks.

I’ll repeat the verse quoted.

Luke 14, Verse 26-27, Jesus is saying “If anyone comes to me and doesn’t hate his brother, father, wife and children and his own life, he cannot be my disciple”.

Turbulent and choppy, hmm? But we’ll sail through it. “If anyone comes to me and doesn’t hate his brother, mother, father, wife and children and his own life,” you must read the series of the names backward — my own life, my children, my wife, my father, my mother, my brother. So what comes first in the list of those that Jesus says deserve to be hated? One’s own life. Jesus says, look at your life and see the kind of relationships you have established with your children, with your father, brother, mother, wife. And unless you are totally dissatisfied, how can you be my disciple? If you feel alright with the way you are, with the way relationships exist in the world, then remain satisfied then you need no improvement, and I’m not available to entertain you. I do not treat those who are not convinced of their sickness.

We live in relationships. A man never exists and a silo. You are always with somebody.

Aloneness is an elusive mirage for mankind.

Real aloneness is a prerogative only of the Buddhas.

The others, they all live in mandatory relationship. I’m saying mandatory because they have brought themselves to a point where they cannot be alone.

We are always related.

We always find our identity in the other through the other.

As you’re sitting here, you are related to the cold. As you are sitting here, your identity is being defined even by whether you have taken a bath today or not. Have you seen how your clothes define your identity? Every single thing that you are in contact with, starts defining you.

We exist as someone with respect to something or somebody or this or that, that is not the best way of existing, but that’s the de-facto mode of our existence.

We cannot deny that.

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On Jesus Christ: Lover at heart; disciple from mind

Poster 5

The fear of the Lord adds length to life

but the years of the wicked are cut short.

BIBLE (PROVERBS 10:27)

Acharya Prashant:

“The fear of the Lord adds length to life but the years of the wicked are cut short.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 10:27)

Nimisha has quoted from the bible “The fear of the Lord adds length to life but the years of the wicked are cut short”.

Then she says:

Dear Acharya Ji Pranam, having studied in a convent school, I was exposed daily to the teachings of Lord Jesus and stories from the Bible from a very young age. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the Christ. His warm compassionate gaze and loving demeanor were so comforting. However, one thing that tainted this was the continual reminder that we are all out of sin and need to repent and fear God as well as feel guilty about Christ’s crucifixion. That we are incomplete and need him to redeem us. Something within me rejects this theory of incompleteness. Why do we need to fear the Lord? Why can’t we love him unabashedly?

Thank you.

Nimisha you’ve written that something within you rejects this theory of incompleteness. Look into this statement carefully. Something within you rejects this theory of incompleteness that something, as you say, is within you that something is not the whole of you as you are. That something might be your heart, might be your core, but you are not always and fully abiding as the heart, as the core. Otherwise you would have written ‘I reject this theory of incompleteness’. No, you don’t fully reject it, and that is why this incompleteness is something that we must not turn our backs to. This incompleteness is not something to be swept under the carpet. This incompleteness has to be talked about. It has to be addressed. It has to be healed. We are strongly identified with the ego, with the incompleteness. We live as that.

When you say that in the convent school there were continuous reminders that man is born out of sin and needs to repent, and fear God and feel guilty, it is very much all right. The assertion is well placed. The one who is being referred to is indeed born out of sin.

Who are we?

Limited beings with their limited desires, limited scope, limited understanding, limited vision.

The limitation itself is the sin.

And man is born limited. Would you deny that? Man is born limited, the limitation itself is the sin. Christianity asks man to repent. The word repent is quite subtle with meaning. It means to go back, to return to home. As man is born, man is born as a wanderer, as a homeless recluse.

Somebody who has a continuous thirst to return to the home. But the thirst finds expression in a million ways except the direct way. And that is why repentance is very useful as a tool because it helps man remember that he is indeed incomplete as he is.

There is no point talking of completeness as an abstraction. There is no point talking of completeness as a concept and believing in it. Look at mankind, look at the daily life of man. Do we live in a sense of fulfillment? Every sense, every feeling, every thought that we have is a thought of incompleteness. We want more, and we want to get rid of stuff that we do not want.

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On Jesus: What does it take to believe in miracles?

Poster 5

Acharya Prashant: The next question says:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

After reading the story of Lazarus, this is what comes to the mind. We all want to see miracles in order to believe in the existence of a God. Something that is magical or out of the ordinary. Most of us have witnessed those moments at some point in our lives. Yet those moments pass and we go on with our normal lives as if nothing has happened. So what does it then take to believe fully and completely? And why do we find it so difficult?

‘Miracles’ are continuously happening Nimisha. But to whom are the miracles happening? Who would perceive the miracles as happening? The one who is to perceive is lost in the gross material. He can perceive nothing but that which is loud, sensory, material.

The subtle can be perceived only by the subtle.

That is the reason why blunt demonstrations like the one in the case of Lazarus are talked of. That Lazarus loved Jesus was in itself the highest miracle. But that miracle would not be appreciated. It would not even be called a miracle because we are gross people. We have lost the sensitivity, the receptivity to perceive, record, register the little, the faint, the delicate and that is the reason why we talk only of some miracles. We do not talk of a continuity of miracles.

We talk as if miracles happen sometimes.

‘Time’ itself is a miracle.

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On Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: Don’t accompany the thief!

 

Poster 5

The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of the poisonous snake.

To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith. Be joyful.

Ashtavakra Gita

(Chapter 1, VERSE 8)

Acharya Prashant: Ashtavakra Gita has been quoted.

“The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of the poisonous snake. To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith. Be joyful.”

Ashtavakra Gita (Chapter 1, VERSE 8)

The question says “The Ashtavakra here is saying that doership is sin. But Jesus says ‘Let me do it. I’m the doer’. So why is there this contradiction? ”

Obviously there can be no contradiction. If Ashtavakra is saying that doership is sin, and Jesus is saying that He’s the doer, then obviously Ashtavakra and Jesus are not talking about the same entity. When Ashtavakra says doership is sin, he’s saying let not the ego act. Only the ego is interested in claiming doership. Only the ego is interested in creating and maintaining a divide in which one part can do something to the other.

The doership of the ego is always an exercise in fear, incompleteness and exploitation. Therefore, Ashtavakra is saying that doership is sin. When Jesus says in many place, on multiple occasions that He is the doer or the knower, he’s not talking as a limited person. He is not talking because the talking would gratify him, inflate him, magnify him, or help him become something. His doing is no doership at all because the common doership that we see is always the doership of fear and faithlessness.

When Jesus is acting and he is doing, then it is not arising from a motivation to serve his own personalhood. He has already arrived. He is home. He does not want to go anywhere or reach or become better. He is now merely doing. He is not aspiring. He is the doer, not someone who wants to be transformed through the doing.

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Acharya Prashant on Rumi: Dance amid your own blood!

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Dance, when you’re broken open.

Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of the fighting.

Dance in your blood.

Dance when you’re perfectly free.

(Rumi)

 

Acharya Prashant:  What is dance? Why is dancing such a favorite of the poets, the saints, the worshipers of freedom? Why? First of all, in the spiritual sense when one uses the word dance, then dancing does not refer to any kind of organized movement of limbs or the body. That would just be a rehearsed system of pre-scripted action, having very little to do with the heart. So we are not talking of the kind of dance one learns in dance classes. We are not talking of organized and named dance forms. We are talking of the dance of the butterfly. We are talking of the dance of the winds. We are talking of the dance of the stars. You look at the stars, how they all have been unevenly scattered on the dark plate of the sky, that dark canopy up there. No organization, no pattern, and yet they are so beautiful. One looks at the way trees, plants grow in a jungle. They have not been planted there in an order. They have not been planted in an order. And yet there is an intrinsic beauty. Probably the absence of order itself contributes to the beauty. Are you getting it?

The dance of the jungle, the dance of the waves, the dance of the stars, the monkey’s dance, the elephant’s dance, the dance of the toddler that is the dance that a Rumi loves.

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