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: How to choose the right partner for marriage?

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Acharya Prashant: Companionship is wonderful. Be with one person, ten persons, anybody who helps your mind be centred. Being with such a person or a group of persons is wonderful. If marriage is another name for beautiful companionship, marriage is wonderful.

But, what matters is not the social institution of marriage, but the fact that you are with someone. And when you are with someone, the presence of that someone will necessarily have an effect upon you and vice-versa. You must know the effect that the other’s presence has upon you. If someone’s presence has a becalming effect on your mind, soothing effect on your mind, illuminating effect on your mind, liberating effect on your mind, go ahead. Boldly be with that person or persons as much as you want to.

But be with them only as long as their effect upon you is liberating. And be with them only as long as you do not become dependent on them, neither do they become dependent on you. It has to be a mutually healthy relationship. Not a relationship in which you enter because of sexuality or loneliness or social pressure.

You already have enough troubles, right?

You don’t want to invite another trouble into your house, into your bedroom, do you?

But yes, if someone can bring joy and truth to you, invite them right into your heart. And then marriage is inconsequential. With the right person, you marry, wonderful, you don’t marry, wonderful. And with the wrong person, you marry, bad luck, you don’t marry, bad luck.

What do you think?

Only married people have troubles?

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Acharya Prashant: Living fully means whatever is, is always full. Just go close to it.

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Questioner:  This one thing that comes up when said ‘Live fully’. So, let us take an example of bath. By fully what occurs to me is you can use hundred types of products to wash your body.

Acharya Prashant: Living fully does not mean that you have to add something to life.  Living fully means that life is already full and you must not be disrespectful towards that fullness.

I think that it’s an important thing that I missed.

Living fully does not mean that you have to go out and consume life. Living fully does not mean you have to enhance life. Living fully means that whatever is, is always full. There is nothing except fullness. Just go close to it.  The separation is the issue.

Eating fully means that every morsel is a great opportunity to know the total. It does not mean what you are eating, how much you are eating.

Q: Yes. The volume, the quantity doesn’t matter, it is the quality that matters.

AP: Yes. It’s the quality. You see, it’s not only the religious ones and the spiritual ones who teach nonsense, the corporates and the consumerists are not behind. They too are eager to teach nonsense.  This is consumerist nonsense that living fully means consuming a lot, having a lot, it does not mean that.

Life is anyway always, already happening and whatever is happening, ‘whatever’ not some special happening, is a gateway.

You get lot to eat, that is your opportunity, an opportunity to know through eating what is eating and what is it that is beyond eating and if you get to eat a little that again is an equal opportunity.

There are two tables. On one is laid out a sumptuous dinner and on the other table is a measly piece of bread.  Are the persons on these two tables having unequal opportunities?

Just tell me.

No.

The opportunity is same because the Truth is one.  Are you getting it?

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Acharya Prashant with Students: The real use of ambition

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Questioner: Why are we running when we don’t have anything to achieve in life?

Acharya Prashant: Ofcourse, when you don’t have to achieve anything in life then you don’t run; but are you that person who doesn’t have to achieve anything? The one who doesn’t have to achieve anything, ofcoursem doesn’t run; but are are you that person who doesn’t have to achieve anything?

You aren’t, so you are running.

Q: But what is the use of having ambitions in life?

AP: The use of having ambitions in life is that they prevent you from looking at your current state, you see there is that quotation that, ‘I might be lying in the gutter but still I am looking at the stars’, that’s what ambition is.

I am not doing anything about the gutter and stink that I am in, I am preoccupied looking at the stars; ambition takes you away from the present, that’s the use of ambition.

The use of ambition is: It takes you away from the present moment; it takes you into a dream future; it helps you avoid effort, if I live in the present then I have to be acutely aware of my situations right now, and I’ll have to act right now, ambition is a dream that helps me comfortably avoid the present.

Ambition is a plan about the future, something you want to happen in the future, and it is a beautiful thing, beautiful device, tool of the cunning mind is to be ambitious.

Q: Sir, but ambition helps us to act in the present because we know that we have something to achieve in the future so we act in the present moment to get that…

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Acharya Prashant: The purpose of life is to come to purposelessness

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Question: What is the purpose of human life?

Acharya Prashant: See, we ask this question assuming that there is a purpose.

We ask this question assuming just as everything about us is purposeful so life must also be purposeful. Is there any validity to that assumption?

Purpose means a finality, it means an end. But if we begin right from where we are, then we always feel a purpose, don’t we?

Because we feel a purpose, so we want to know what is the right purpose. Correct?

That is our situation.

None of us is ever without a purpose, we may be confused about the purpose — and that is another matter — but a purpose or bag of purpose is always present. The challenge then is not knowing about whether there must be purpose, the challenge we face is determining the right purpose from many that we imagine.

What about freedom from this confusion?

What about not having to choose at all?

Maybe, that is the purpose of the life. Maybe, all our purposes, this entire bag is an unnecessary load, hence, maybe the purpose of the life is to come to purposelessness.

Of course, that is not something that we can absorb here from the speaker. We all carry purpose, maybe, it is far more important to see the limitations of those purposes. The very recurring cycle, the infinite loop those purposes are. Does any purpose ever end fully? Or does it simply makes way for another purpose? Have you ever had a goal which was the final one? Have you ever had a purpose the fulfilment of which will bring all the purposes to an end?

Yes?

Have you ever had a destination beyond which you would not need to travel?

Now that invalidates the very definition of purpose.

Purpose by itself means something which when attained would give us a sense of completion, fulfillment. You would say that the purpose has been fulfilled. But where is the fulfillment? In fact, the more you go on conquering purposes, the more purposeful you feel; because more your confidence grows that purposes can give you something.

You feel that you have not achieved that something yet, and your next conclusion is purposeness is not giving me something, so let’s try hard enough; it is not as if the very premise, the very assumption is flawed, it is just that I am lacking in effort so let me put in little more efforts; let me set the next goal even further.

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Acharya Prashant: Is it selfish to love oneself first?

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Questioner: Is it love to take care of myself and my belongings?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, it is love to take care of yourself; but to take care of anything you must know what that thing is. Can you take care of a car engine without knowing the engine? Can you take care of anything without knowing what that thing is?

Yes, love is about taking care of yourself; but really taking care of yourself, you must first know what your real problems are, you must know what you really want, you must first know what keeps you afraid, nervous, alert, and then you will be able to take care of yourself. and yes that is love.

Q: Is it not selfishness to love myself only and not the rest of the world?

AP: What do you mean by myself?

If your definition of myself separates you from the world, then this self that is separate from the world is anyway not worth loving. If your definition of love is that you and world are separate entities then this you is anyway not worth loving because this is not the real you.

First of all, figure out who you are and what your relationship with the world is, then you would be able to answer the question, ‘Whether it is possible to love yourself while simultaneously being indifferent to the world?’

It is not at all possible!

If you really love yourself while being apathetic to the world, that self-concept which places you as separate from the world is a flawed concept like all concepts.

That concept will only lead to violence.

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Acharya Prashant: What is effortless action?

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Acharya Prashant: It is true, where there is no action, there is no effort, but is it also true where there is no effort there is no action?

Is that true as well?

There is something called effortless action as well.

It is true where there is no action there will be no effort. True, that is right because effort itself is an action; because effort itself has born out of thought, and that thought itself is an action, whether or not it translates physically, but is it so that for action to happen there must always must be accompanying effort?

Is that so, if that is so then life is hell, because life is then labour. Life is action, and if action is effort then all the time you just have to keep labouring.

There is effortless action, what is effortless action?

It happens, happens without your planning, without your intervention, without your ownership. That is the fun of life, we don’t even know whether it is complete or incomplete, we don’t bother to give it a name.

Simple and direct, just like a raindrop falling down. Somebody has said like a flower opening in the morning. It is nothing but the mind and body expressing the Source.

Where there is mind there will be action.

Action in the form of movement in space, what you call as physical action.

So mind and body exist to act. That is the only way they know of being, action. So if they want to be in service of the Self — we talked of a faithful mind right — what can a faithful mind do?

Act in the service of the Self, act to express the Self, act as if it is the Self.

The mind has just become like the Self, the body has just become like the Self.

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