Do you have the Buddha nature?

Do you have the Buddha nature? Moo. Neither “Yes” nor “No”. If you say, “Yes”, then you mean that you, as you are, you as you think you are, have a Buddha nature. No, no way! The way we have built ourselves up, the way we have conceptualized ourselves, there is no possibility of Buddha nature. There is only the force of habit, conditioning, biology and evolution. All of them are ‘something’, none of them is ‘nothing’. All of them are space-time, none of them are beyond the mind.

So, saying “Yes”, would not be proper. When asked, “Do you have Buddha nature?” Saying, “Yes” would not be proper. This question is the same as you say, “Are you Brahm? Are you Atman?” Saying “Yes” would not be proper! Asking, “Do you have Buddha nature?” is the same as asking, “Are you the Atman?” Saying, “Yes”, would not be proper. Saying, “No” would also not be proper. If you don’t have Buddha nature, if you are not the Atman then you must be something other than the Atman? Which means something other than the Atman exist? Which means there is multiplicity of Truths?

Because, the Atman, the Buddha nature is the sole Truth. By saying that you exist and are yet not the Atman, you are saying, something besides the Atman exists. And thereby you are raising parallel rods! Parallel Truths. And if truths are parallel, they are just false.

The Truth, by definition, is the one that has no end, no substitute, no parallel. So, neither can you say, “Yes, nor can you say, “No”, all you can say is, “Moo”. This moo is such a beautiful word, language does not normally have it. But spirituality stretches language. It forces language to do things which language normally cannot do. That’s what saints do, that’s what seers do, that’s what Zen does – Moo is a classical example.



Read the complete article: The only right answer to all real questions

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The only right answer to all real questions

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A monk asked Joshu, “Has the dog Buddha nature?”

Joshu replied, “Moo”

Acharya Prashant: Moo stands for nothing. Everything about the dog and the Buddha is different. As long as you compare a thing about the dog and the Buddha, you’ll only find differences. As long as the dog is something or anything, as long as the Buddha is seen as something or anything, all you will see is differences. The dog and the Buddha are alike only in their nothingness. Has dog the Buddha nature? Yes, of course! The dog is Buddha when the dog is nothing. Continue reading

Anything that promises to make you better is an allegation upon you

To be in Yoga is to not touch anything, anybody, any situation that causes a sense of littleness in you. Even if that littleness is induced in you in a holy pretext. Even if it is induced in you as an ostensible means of welfare. You refuse to admit it in.

Somebody may come and say, “You need protection.” You quickly see through what he is saying. You realize that what he is saying that I am weak. If I am not weak, why would I need protection? You refuse to entertain the advice. You refuse to take that person seriously, this is Yoga. Somebody comes and tells you, “You need God and God is all that you need.” You refuse to entertain this person. Because if he is saying that you need God then surely he means that you do not have God. He is proving that you are God-less. You refuse that person.

Somebody comes and says, “You need a lot of self-enquiry.” You immediately refuse this person because if you need to look, see and discover then surely first of all you must believe that you do not know that you are ignorant, which you are not. To be in Yoga is to refuse everything that keeps you little and limited. Littleness would not come to you as littleness. Littleness would come to you as friendly advice. Littleness would come to you as brotherly concern. Littleness would come to you as the sermons of a teacher. Littleness would come to you as a promise of security.

Had littleness would be honest enough to admit its real name, you could have easily refused it. But littleness rarely admits its real name. Littleness comes, wearing the mask of things that appears nice and sweet and promising. Be very cautious of all this stuff that is always ready to enter your mind. Anything that promises to make you better is an allegation upon you. Why is it an allegation? It is an allegation that you are currently not alright.

Anybody who offers to improve your life or help you realize that which you do not know, is actually proving to you that ignorance is what you are. The advertiser who is telling you that the next home or the next position or the next car will add something to your life, is actually causing Viyoga in you. Because he is proving to you that unless you have that house or that car, there is something missing in life. And you buy that in. Why do you buy that in? Arjuna too must have bought a lot of those things!



Read Complete Article: Action without attachment is Yoga

Action without attachment is Yoga

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योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि संग त्यक्त्वा धनंजय |

सिध्यसिध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ||

~श्रीमद भगवद गीता

//2.48//

Perform your actions, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna),

Being established in or integrated with Yoga,

Abandoning attachment and

Remaining even-minded both in success and failure.

This evenness of mind is called Yoga.

~Bhagwad Gita

Acharya Prashant: The science of uniting the individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness, this equanimity is known as Yoga. Which equanimity is he talking of? Becoming equipoised in success and failure. Could you get a more concise and direct definition of Yoga? Perform your activities, giving up attachment and become equipoised in success and failure – this is Yoga. What does it mean to remain equipoised in success and failure? Continue reading

Pleasure is a forced concept

Question:  Both pain and pleasures are unreal. But why is pain more sought after than pleasure?

Acharya Prashant: Because pain gives the hope of pleasure, because pleasure is always a hope. And that hope is called pain.

You see, can you feel pain except in comparison with an imagined pleasure? You say that you are deficient in something. How do you know that you are deficient? How do you know that you are deficient except with an imagined fullness?

You have two units of a resource. You say, you know what, it is so less. How do you know it is less? Only by comparison of time with an imagined state in which you have ten units. That ten units you defined as pleasure. These two units, you defined as pain. Both of these have been put as quantities by the mind.  To go to ten units is to prepare to feel bad when you come down to two. To be at two is to keep crying till you have ten.

When you are at ten, you are shivering in apprehension that you may now fall to two. Look at the conditions of those who have the riches. They are so eager about protecting them. The fear that this may go away keeps assaulting them. So their hope lies in securing them what they already have.

And look at those who have two. Their desperation lies in having only two and then they live in ambition, the ambition of one day reaching up to ten. Ten does not give them security. Ten only gives them the additional responsibility of securing the ten that they have now got. They fully well know that time can take away this ten.  This ten does not belong to them. This ten is just accidental. Something may snatch it away. So even if you have ten, you still cannot have pleasure. Whereas, when you were at two, you said that ten will give me pleasure. Having come to ten, you find that ten cannot give you pleasure because the ten is temporary. Now what do you want to do? You want to secure ten. And no security is ever be permanent. You know that.

You very well know that all your attempts to secure something will fail. You cannot secure even your own body. How will you secure your riches? You do not know even whether the next breath would be there, How do you know whether the next moment all your stuff in the bank would be there?

That is why you keep still shivering. Both pain and pleasure are pain. Both pain and pleasure are suffering. It is not as if spirituality is about moving away from pain. Spirituality is about moving away from both pain and pleasure. And having returned to your innate fullness is the point of joy. That point where pain and pleasures are just visitors – they come, they go, I live in my house. The house is named joy.

L: So, pleasure is actually a concept.

AP: Of course!

L: It is not a reality.

AP: No, not at all.

L: It is a forced concept.

AP: Of course! Pleasure is a forced concept.

You know what! One of the biggest instruments of pleasure — you will be surprised to know this — even sex is just a concept.

All those things that you associate with pleasure, with pain, with hurt are all concepts that we have been indoctrinated into. Remove those concepts and then show me where is pleasure and where is pain? Then there is just life. Just life! Simple, total and joyful.



Read Complete Article: What is meant by living totally?

What is meant by living totally?

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Acharya Prashant: The question is that both of these statements appear to be imperative.

First, “Whatever you do, do it totally.”

Second, “Whatever you do, you remain unaffected by the doing.”

How are these two to be put together? Is there a contradiction? If yes, how is to be reconciled? What is meant by doing something totally?

We need to go into this to understand this.

Usually, when we say that something is to be done totally, we equate that with an expanse in time, an expanse in energy, instead of investing five units of resources in it, I invested fifty units of resources because I wanted to do it totally. Instead of going one mile, I went all the way for ten miles because I wanted to do it totally. So we equate this total-ness with a stretch, with an expanse. In other words, what we say is “doing something totally” means going as far as our desire, our motivation wants us to go, right?

Continue reading

The false will drop

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Whenever anyone asked him about Zen,

the great master Gutei would quietly raise one finger into the air.

A boy in the village began to imitate this behaviour.

Whenever he heard people talking about Gutei’s teachings,

he would interrupt the discussion and raise his finger.

Gutei heard about boy’s mischief.

When he saw him in the street, he seized him and cut off his finger.

The boy cried and began to run off,

but Gutei called out to him.

When the boy turned to look,

Gutei raised his finger into the air.

At that moment the boy became enlightened.

Acharya Prashant: Very fond of saying cute things when asked questions about Zen. Raising his finger and stuff. What does the master do? He cuts off the raised finger. And he screams and runs away, the master calls him back and when he comes back, what does the master do?

Listeners (in unison): Raise his finger in air.

AP: And in that instant, the boy is immediately…?

Listeners (in unison): Enlightened.

AP: What’s this about?

A couple of things first: Gurus, monks, teachers, have been conventionally known to be very compassionate people. So it shocks us a little that a teacher cuts off a boy’s finger. Right? The anecdote just illustrates that for the teacher, it is not your body that counts. The teacher would not be shaken even a little if you tell him that you are tired or that there is pain in your stomach. The teacher will say, “So what? Your body doesn’t matter, come over! Its about something far bigger than the body.”

Even if you have to compromise on your health, still come over. The teacher will not allow you to escape! For the teacher, cutting off the boy’s finger was a very obvious thing, if cutting off the finger would lead to the boy gaining some wisdom. The teacher says, “Its such a beautiful deed. It is not at all bad for the boy if he can give a finger, sacrifice a finger and be wise in return. It’s okay.” And it’s not only about a finger, even giving your right hand, is no big deal. Even laying down your life, is no big deal because what you are getting is much-much bigger than life, it is immortality. Your finger is just a token payment, it’s not even a full payment.

“Alright, give me your finger.”

“Fine.”

That is one thing about the Koan. The second thing, what does the master mean by raising ‘his’ finger? What does the master mean by raising his own finger?

Listeners (in unison): That there is only one reality.

AP: And that One is personified in the form of the Guru, the teacher. If the student tries to emulate that One, he is trying to create an alternate, a duplicate Truth. And that is sacrilege. That cannot be tolerated. After he comes back to Guru, he says, “Listen, if the finger were to be raised, if the finger were to indicate One, that finger has to be a single finger belonging to the Teacher. By cutting off your finger, I am only cutting off the false finger. I am only cutting off that which was trying to compete with the Truth. By raising this finger, I am telling you that only the Truth prevails. That which is false, gets cut off.”

And surely, the student is a deserving student. He immediately gets, in an instant, without thinking, without interpreting, he immediately gets the import of what the teacher is saying. And that’s what is meant by saying that he gets immediately enlightened. Hmm?

The raised finger of the Guru is the one Truth, the one Truth that bears no comparison, no second, no alternative.Yes?



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Zen: The false will drop



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