The must-know real colours of Holi || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Isa (from Netherlands): It’s my first time in India and there are a lot of new things, lot of impressions and now that Holi is coming I really want to know what is it about? What does it mean?

Acharya Prashant: What have you seen so far regarding Holi?

Isa: It’s just that colours and the powders and everyone is dancing and singing, playing music

AP: So, Holi is a festival celebrated over a full day and the preceding night. It’s a very prominent Indian festival. Obviously with the spread of the Indian diaspora, it is now celebrated almost across the world. Of course in the Indian subcontinent, plus in the US, UK, Canada, Australia. Also, where there are pre-existing communities of Indian origin – places like Fiji, Trinidad, Tobago, Surinam, Mauritius, Maldives, Indonesia. So, that’s what the festival of colours is all about. People smear each other with colours and it could be powder colours or liquid colour which is thrown on people. Continue reading

What is love? || Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

What is Love Jiddu Krishnamurti

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Question: Dear master, Jiddu Krishnamurti says, “When you love, you are neither giving, nor receiving.” Acharya ji, does love have an object? Could you explain how can we love in daily life, without giving or receiving? What is love, if it has no object?

Acharya Prashant: All objects are small, Shirin.

The object of love is so gigantic, that you cannot call it an ‘object’. Further, all objects leave ample space for you to remain. All objects leave space for the dualistic subject to remain, and prosper.

The object of love is so big, so total, so filling, so occupying, so unrelenting, so very compelling, that it leaves no space for the subject to hide and survive.

Obviously, if the subject is gone, who can call the object, an object. So, the object of love is a non-object. Those who have come before us, have called that object as – Truth, God, Beloved, Amma-Baba, Father, Maa.

Next you are asking, “How can one be in love without giving or receiving?” Giving and receiving, both imply your presence, and your activity. You have to be there to give, you have to be there to receive. And in both, your presence, your being, gets stamped, certified, further ascertained. In giving, you remain as the giver. In receiving, you strike roots as the receiver.

So, in love, there is neither giving nor receiving. Simply put, no doing of the doer. No-doing of the doer, is also the highest doing of the little doer. The highest of the little doer.

I give an example to you. I have heard of this little soldier, he was actually a civilian, in one of the wars in the last century. He was so small, he was not even trained as a soldier. His village had been invaded, the villagers had been captured, taken away for forced labour. They were being used to construct a bridge. That’s what the invading army was using the locals for, take them away and use their labour to build a bridge.

Now that the enemy has taken them away, they are with the enemy. And this little one could see a big ammunition depot. A big ammunition depot. You are already guessing it, right? There was not much, he could have done, all by himself. The enemy numbered in hundreds, hundreds of well-built, grown-up, trained soldiers, with firearms. What could the boy have done? But there was one thing that the boy could do, with a little bit of ingenuous engineering. He rammed himself into the depot, and blew the entire depot off. Obviously, nothing of him remained. But, it took down the entire non-sense with him.

So, Shirin, that’s love- attempting the impossible. The task is so damn big, that it can’t be done, if you protect yourself. If you protect yourself, it won’t happen. That’s love.

Excuse me for giving a violent analogy. But he, who has a lot of bloodshed, he is indeed involved in love. Love does involve a lot of demolition. And there are fireworks. And things come down. Great structures collapse. Formidable enemies have to be defeated. All that is love.

You want something beyond your size, you want something beyond your measure.

And it will require all of you to get that.

If you care for your safety, if you care for your survival, it just can’t happen.

That’s love.

Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: What is love? || Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

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What is devotion? Do observation and devotion go together || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Devotion and Observation

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Question: What is real meaning of devotion in spirituality? How can devotion help one to reach the Truth? What is the path of devotion? How to prepare oneself for devotion? Which one is greater, observation or devotion?

Acharya Prashant: Devotion is a million times more powerful than observation. With devotion, if you are uttering the name of ‘Ram’, or saying, “Om Namah Shivaya,” with genuine heartfelt love and devotion, then forget everything about observation. Observation will happen on its own.

That which is precious, is observed. Full stop. The mind is the road to Truth. And only the mind can be the road to Truth, because you have no other road. May be after a point, the road too disappears. But till that point, you do walk on that road, don’t you? Then the mind will be obviously observed, if you love the Truth.

Love for Truth, or God, comes first. Observation then is a petty thing.

It just happens. Just happens.

You are in so much love with cleanliness and purity, that any rubbish shows up on its own.

That is observation.

Obviously, observation cannot show the truth to you. What do you see in observation? All the falseness.

Why would falseness ever become noticeable? Falseness becomes noticeable only when you are in love with Truth. Otherwise, falseness passes of. Otherwise, falseness is just everyday stuff – agreeable, acceptable. Those who are on the path of observation, very well know that all the blemishes show up. All the falsenesses, the biases, the inaccuracies, the prejudices, the attractions, the attachments, they are what is seen, right? Why must they become noticeable?

On the wall, why must a certain spot catch your attention? It does, when you want the wall to be clean, and pristine, and white. And then that little blemish is observed. Truth cannot be observed, obviously.

Love comes first. And where there is love, attention becomes compulsory.

Attention is an immediate obedient to Truth.

What is attention? Attending. Attending. Attending to whom? The Truth. That is also the only difference between focussing and observing. And also, it is the only difference between concentration and attention. In concentration, you want some little object, so you are pointing at it. And if you want a little object, you remain little, which means you remained secured, because little you already are.

In attention, you want something big, really big. And that is love. And if you want something really big, you cannot afford to stay small. And that is one very unfortunate tragedy. We want the big, remaining small. And then we curse the big that it doesn’t come to us.

“O! you don’t come to me!”

“How will I come to you? You are so small.”

But then, the argument is superb. You say, because I am so small, so you should come to me. The Truth responds. It says, “I can begin to come to you, because you are small. But if I come close to you, and you are still determined to stay small, then I cannot come any closer.”

“Little girl, how will you put an elephant in your little pocket? I am an elephant, and your pockets are so small. And you refuse to grow up. So, I have no option, but to watch from a distance.”

In attention, it becomes mandatory for you to grow up, or dissolve. Concentration does not change you. That thing, that you are concentrating on, is small. So you too can remain small.

In attention, you are targeting something bombastic. Boom! So, you better be big. And why will you target something so big, and therefore so very distant?

Love, love. Devotion.

Attention is possible only if you are devoted to the Truth.

Otherwise, why would you attend to the Truth? Why would you become an attendant, a servant of the Truth? Why? Without love, attention is tension, a lot of tension. A tension. And you already have so many tensions.

Will you remember that? Without love and devotion, attention is just another tension. And there are so many who think that they will be able to be attentive, without being devoted. They end up turning very, very dry. Very dry.

I have come across so many of them. They keep uttering – observe, observe, attend, attend. And ‘surrender’ and ‘devotion’ are words they are allergic to. The moment you utter the word ‘surrender’ to them, the moment you utter the word ‘surrender’ to them, it’s like they have been pricked by a pin at their backside. They jump up.

“Ha! Surrender. No, don’t talk of that. We will observe. Let’s observe. No devotion, just observation.”

Very sorry samples, they turn out to be. They can’t sing a crazy Kabir Sahib, or a Bulle Shah Bhajan, Kaafi, Sakhi, Wakh. They can’t. When a Meera is dancing madly, they will say, “I am observing.” When a Bulle Shah has gone crazy in the love of his murshid, they will say, “I am listening. I am listening.”

And all that is so idiotic. That pretense of intelligence.

Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: What is devotion? Do observation and devotion go together || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Simplicity and Truth || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Simplicity and Truth

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Question: How to test whether one has simplicity and freedom from desires?

Acharya Prashant: Whether simplicity and freedom from desires is there, is tested only when, that which you want, and you have, and you are therefore calm and patient, is taken away from you.

It is possible that one is a moral man, and has been taught in a moral way, to want only ‘a little’. And that ‘little’ that one wants, is already available. So, one does not seem to be wanting more.

Whether one is truly free from wants, and whether one is truly simple, is tested only in adversity. It is tested only when there is a challenge to the existing pattern of life. So, so-called simplicity and innocence can be superficial as well, and therefore deceptive.

As long as situations are favourable, a lot of people appear peaceful, don’t they? Whether or not you are truly peaceful, is determined, only when the situation turns inclement, unfavourable. And then it is tested, how deep your patience and peace are.

Listener: It appears, what you are saying is that, he is peaceful, but he has no devotion towards God.

Acharya Prashant: No, that is not needed. That is not needed. That is not needed.

Does he have compassion towards the world?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya Prashant: If that is there, it’s okay. You don’t need to have devotion towards a conceptual god. If you have compassion towards sentient beings, that is far better.

Listener: Will he get the Truth?

Acharya Prashant:  If compassion is there, then Truth is already there, provided the compassion itself is not superficial.

Listener: Is taking care of the needs of anybody, those you see around you, compassion?

Acharya Prashant: Taking care of the genuine needs. Selflessly, taking care of genuine needs.

In a hotel, if I ask for whisky, the waiter will come and serve it to me. So, he is taking care of my needs. Now there are two factors involved here. First of all – the need that I am expressing; bringing me a whisky, is not a genuine need. Secondly, he is not selflessly meeting my need. He is fulfilling my need, because he will get something. So, it is not merely about meeting the needs of the other person.

First of all, you should know, what kind of needs are you serving. Secondly, you should check your own mind. Is it serving the other in order to get something? Then it is not service. Then, it is merely transaction.

Listener:  If I get good feelings in helping others, then is this also transaction?

Acharya Prashant:  Yes, yes. Well caught. Lot of times, that’s what lot of compassion and social service are about. In helping the other, you start feeling good about yourself. That is nothing but, reinforcement of the ego. You rise in your own eyes. Your self-esteem gets a boost. That’s not compassion.

Listener: If I help others silently, without others knowing about it, is this also compassion?

Acharya Prashant: You may silently help others. Sometimes, you may have to be loudly helping others. All possibilities are open. The help has to be genuine.

The help should be of a nature that should reduce the other person’s need to be helped.

You should help in a way that the other person demands less and less help. And the act of helping should not lead to your own aggrandization. Not in the world’s eyes, and more so, not in your own eyes.

Listener: Acharya ji, you had once said, “A courageous mind solves itself rather than its problems.” How can I get a courageous mind?

Acharya Prashant: By having a sincere, to solve the problem. It is the problem that troubles you, right? That’s what you think and feel. Your statement remains – I am being troubled by the problem. So, fine. Have a sincere desire to solve the problem.

Go deep into the problem, and see what would really solve it.

And then you will find, that to solve the problem, you have to solve yourself first.

When it is said, “The courageous mind solves itself rather than the problem,” that does not mean that the courageous mind ignores the problem, and is busy solving something else, that is itself. It just means – being sincere about solving the problem.

The courageous mind sees, that the problem is not distant from the mind of the problem-ed one. And therefore, if the mind can be solved, the problem disappears on its own.

Listener: Acharya ji, once you had said, “Today, violence lies more in giving birth than killing.” Please explain this.

Acharya Prashant: Mostly birth is not a result of wisdom, clarity or love. Conception and birth happen mostly because of the need to consume the other’s body. In the process of consumption of the other’s body, and sometimes in the process of satiation of one’s own insecurities and desires, conception takes place, the baby comes into being, and all that is violence.

The mother-in-law has heckled the daughter-in-law, and now she is getting pregnant. Or the man decides, that it’s a social norm to become a father, and therefore, he decides to impregnate the wife. Or conception just happens in a moment of mad lust. All these are just instances of violence.

Listener: Violence against whom?

Acharya Prashant: What is violence? Lack of love. Disunity.

Whatsoever happens in an environment of absence of love, is violence. Surely, when you are consuming somebody’s body, you are not thinking of that body as your own. You are greedily looking at an object and pleasing yourself using that object. That’s what lust is, right?

You look at something, a human body that is, as an object that would satisfy your hunger. This disunity, this separation, this distance between you and the object of your consumption, is what is violence.

Listener: Acharya ji, what is meant by ‘Samadhi’, and is it worthwhile to aspire to attain it?

Acharya Prashant: Peaceful mind. Samadhan. What is samadhan? Solution. So, Samadhi is dissolution. Samadhi is nothing exotic, or extra-ordinary. Peaceful mind is samadhistha.

Do not turn samadhi into something of the stars, something glittering and beyond the reach. It is a very simple, ordinary, dissolved state of the mind. The mind has no worries, the mind has no great concerns to be serious about. That is samadhi.

Life is simple, ordinary.

This is happening, that is happening, but whatsoever is happening, is not big enough to trouble you.

That is samadhi.

Listener: Are there many types of Samadhis?

Acharya Prashant: It’s almost like this. I have answered eight types of questions here. And corresponding to each of the answers, you may as well say, in a poetic way, that you have experienced eight kinds of samadhis. When I answered him, then it was one kind of samadhi. When I answered your first question, that was the first samadhi. Then your second question, that was second kind of samadhi.

Ultimately, peace has no distinctions, or flavours or colours. Peace is just peace. You do not have many, different kinds of zeros. Zero is a zero. What kind of division do you want to create?

Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session:  Simplicity and Truth || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Only spirituality is liberal, all else is shallow and constrained|| Volunteer’s Diary (2019)

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It’s 18th March’19 today, yet another Free Hearts Camp with Acharya Prashant Ji came to a closure in the city of Rishikesh, the spiritual capital of the world, a popular attraction for thousands of spiritual seekers from all over the world and home to the much coveted Myth Demolition Tour of Acharya Prashant Ji.

After the camp, the team of volunteers decided to visit a nearby Shiv-Durga Temple with Acharya Prashant Ji, we left our vehicle almost half a kilometer from the temple and had to walk for rest of the distance. Right from coming out of the car, I heard some music being played a bit far away, it was not a bhajan or a song dedicated to either Shiva or Durga, I was able to appreciate this much. After going even further into the narrow street, I recognised that it was a sufi song of Amir Khusro, those who don’t know who Amir Khusro is, let me quote a few lines from his wiki-page,

Amīr Khusro (1253 – 1325), was a Sufi musician, poet and scholar from India. He was a mystic and a spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi, India. Khusro is sometimes referred to as the “voice of India” (Tuti-e-Hind), and has been called the “father of Urdu literature.”‘

His beautiful sufi song was being played near a Shiv-Durga Temple!

To which, Acharya Ji, helped me see that how Amir Khusro Sahab’s popular song ‘Chhap Tilak Sab Cheeni Re’ is being played as a tribute from Shakti (Durga) to Shiva. Now, you too should read the lyrics in the same light:

छाप तिलक सब छीनी रे मोसे नैना मिलाइके

बात अगम कह दीनी रे मोसे नैना मिलाइके

प्रेम भटी का मधवा पिलाइके

मतवाली कर लीनी रे मोसे नैना मिलाइके

गोरी गोरी बईयाँ, हरी हरी चूड़ियाँ

बईयाँ पकड़ हर लीनी रे मोसे नैना मिलाइके

बल बल जाऊं मैं तोरे रंग रजवा

अपनी सी रंग दीनी रे मोसे नैना मिलाइके

ख़ुसरो निजाम के बल बल जाए

मोहे सुहागन कीनी रे मोसे नैना मिलाइके

बात अजब कह दीनी रे मोसे नैना मिलाइके

Isn’t it beautiful?

A song coming from the disciple of Hazart Nizzamuddin Auliya Sahab fits so well even near-by a Shiv-Durga Temple. This struck as a lightening to me, made me ask my guru, Acharya Prashant Ji, ‘What exactly is real tolerance? What is to be a liberal?’

To which Acharya Prashant Ji said,

What is real tolerance towards the other?

” When you forget that the other is the other. Real tolerance is spiritual surrender and union, in which neither the self nor the other remain. Real tolerance is spiritual love, which dry intellect can never know.”

What is it to be liberal?

“To be liberal is to liberally allow the demolition and dissolution of one’s identity, intellect, ideology, and beliefs. Only spirituality is liberal.”


Now, I was almost in front of the temple.

And what I saw there, left me awestruck.

The song was being played inside the Temple itself!

I hurried towards my phone to record this bit because I very well knew that this won’t be telecasted on the prime time news debates, because this stark fact can’t trigger any debates. This is an end to all the mental gymnastics we see all over the Internet and Television in the name of liberalism and religion.

Now, listen to this for yourself:

This video shows Real tolerance. Let the liberals learn a lesson.

Amir Khusro, a Muslim. His songs being sung in Shiv-Durga mandir.

Real Rishikesh.

Tolerance is not acceptance of diversity. Tolerance is love.

Most importantly: Real tolerance is NOT secular. Real tolerance is deeply spiritual.

And: Only spirituality is liberal. All else is shallow and constrained.

Let the liberals learn.


This post is written by a volunteer of PrashantAdvait Foundation


 


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How to be less dependent on others? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Question: Acharya ji, my mind is fully occupied and surrounded by one person. A problem is there. When I’m away from him, I’m totally free but when I’ll go back to him, how will I be myself? Not sure where the problem is, within me or somewhere else?

Acharya Prashant: Lata, it’s not a thing between you and that person, please. We talked about it the other night. First of all it has to be between you and the impersonal One. If you are with Him then it really doesn’t matter whether you are with one other person, ten more persons or with nobody at all. Your mind should not be occupied by a person. If your mind is occupied by a person, then the mind is never going to find peace. It doesn’t matter who the person is. The mind must be the seat of the Absolute. You must belong to the real one. And then you may be with five persons, ten persons, and we said, or no person at all. It won’t bother you.  Continue reading

The Guru is not a person

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Question: Acharya Ji, I would want to know a little bit about the Master’s Grace, the master as a person.

Acharya Prashant: What happens is that, sitting as you are, you take yourself to be a person. When I speak in Hindi, it becomes a little difficult for you because the person that you are does not know Hindi. So even to be a recipient of grace, the person’s struggles with his personal limitations, matters.

Grace might be falling freely, but you are not in a position to receive it because you are confined with the limits of the person; and the person does not know Hindi. Hence you require a medium on the outside that tally’s with; who is conducive to, who matches with the requirements of your personality. Continue reading