Who is experiencer?

What is an experience? Experience is nothing but the experiencer.

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

Whatever you experience is not really ‘your’ experience. It is the experience that you have been conditioned to experience. But you think, Oh I am experiencing this. If your identity is changed then your experience changes totally.

The ringing of the temple bell is a delight for the Hindu and means nothing to the Muslim. The call of the Azaan is deeply significant to the Muslim but is a disturbance to the Hindu. Now, are you experiencing the ringing of the bell and sound of the Azaan? Are ‘you’ experiencing it? Or is it the Hindu that is experiencing it? Were you born a Hindu? Hinduism is something that was given to you. It is part of your conditioning. You have acquired it, you have absorbed it. Same for the Muslim. He has acquired it. Taken it in.

What is conditioning? The mind acquiring and acquiring beliefs and layers and layers of thoughts. That is the process of conditioning.

Individuality is that silence that untouched point, which can never be conditioned, which really looks and understands in an untouched way, Simple.

You need to believe when you don’t know. When you know then there is no question of beliefs. Only those who do not know, ‘they’ need to take the support of beliefs.



Read the complete article: Individuality is neither acquired nor influenced 

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

AP: Does that happen? Don’t imagine. Does that happen? If you have Indians sitting this side, does that happen? We are not talking in imaginations. We are talking on how the mind really operates.

Whatever you experience is not really ‘your’ experience. It is the experience that you have been conditioned to experience.

But you think, Oh I am experiencing this. If your identity is changed then your experience changes totally.

All experience has no objective value. It is completely subjective. What is happiness for one is sadness for the other. And it is not sadness for the other out of his individuality. It is sadness for the other out of his conditioning. Out of what he has been made to believe.

The ringing of the temple bell is a delight for the Hindu and means nothing to the Muslim. The call of the Azaan is deeply significant to the Muslim but is disturbance to the Hindu. Now, are you experiencing the ringing of the bell and sound of the Azaan? Are ‘you’ experiencing it? Or is it the Hindu that is experiencing it?

Were you born a Hindu? Hinduism is something that was given to you. It is part of your conditioning. You have acquired it, you have absorbed it. Same for the Muslim. He has acquired it. Taken it in.

But then, because we are living with it for a long long time, we start thinking that it is “My” experience. And because you are under that illusion, so you provide an opportunity for everybody to exploit you. How? The filmmaker very well knows that you do not know how to differentiate between conditioning and intelligence. So, he can do a lot of things on the screen which will give you varying kinds of experiences. And you will think these are my experiences and you will pray to those experiences. He can make you cry, he can make you laugh, he can titillate you with his item numbers and he knows very well that you will think that this is ‘my’ experience. You will be identified with it, attached to it. And then you can be exploited.

We are saying, one – Your experience depends upon the experiencer that you are. The experiencer that you are, the mind, comes out of a long process of conditioning.
You understand conditioning?

What is conditioning?

The mind acquiring and acquiring beliefs and layers and layers of thoughts. That is the process of conditioning.

Third, you are beyond your conditioning. There is something in you that is not conditioned. That is your individuality. Your very premise that my experiences come from my individuality, is deeply misplaced. Your experiences do not come from your individuality, experiences arise from your conditioning. From individuality, what you get is not at all an experience; it is a realization. That is why, it has been clearly said that what is essential in life is never really an experience and if you are experiencing it, then you don’t know it.

L: Acharya Ji, what is individuality according to you.

AP: Not according to ‘me’. Individuality is individuality. It is not my belief or opinion. It
is a fact. It is not according to me.

Individuality is that silence that untouched point, which can never be conditioned, which really looks and understands in an untouched way, Simple.

Can I stand a distance away from all my conditioning, can I just look at the happening as a non-participant? And then the realization that happens is individuality. And remember that is not just ‘your’ individuality, that is just ‘individuality’.

Just ‘individuality’, not ‘your individuality’.

L: But then again Acharya Ji, the term individuality that you have defined, this has come
from somewhere! And then again this was someone else’s belief?

AP: The word comes from somewhere. Why do you think that every word is a belief Why do you think that every word is a belief? It is a belief only when you have taken it from somewhere. But there is another possibility. Of having that faculty that just realizes, that doesn’t need to believe. You need to believe, you know when?

You need to believe when you don’t know. When you know then there is no question of beliefs.

Only those who do not know, ‘they’ need to take the support of beliefs.

When you know, why do you need to trust or believe? You know. And that knowing is very very first hand. That is the work of individuality.



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

Watch the session: Individuality is neither acquired nor influenced



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coverpage

For ‘Him’

He remained occupied
in graveyards
while you waited
for him
with moon
and dew
Smile,
~ Acharya Prashant


Read the complete Poem : He can not

Pure giving

The ego is interested in its own nourishment.

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

Getting tired of getting hurt is a rare happening. Man is extremely resilient. We keep on getting hurt again and again, at the same place and yet we are hardly ever tired of repeating the same processes, the same actions that bring us to hurt.

You can call it a stage of demolition. The old patterns are seen as worthless and hence given up.

In the first level, the ego gives, and this giving is of a nature that strengthens the ego. In the second level, the ego gives up its trust in itself and hence gets diminished.

In the third stage giving up does not happen. The third stage is of pure giving.

You just give. Meaninglessly, purposelessly, reasonlessly. You don’t even give, you are just being what you really are.

And when you just start giving, since you are giving to yourself, you start receiving a lot.

Tremendously bored we are with everything, that even an invitation to get rid of boredom sounds boring.

Your mind is already afraid of death, and Rumi is just exposing, or at worst exploiting that fear.

Given the way we are, fear is our reality. Wherever there is body identification, there would also parallely be the fear of the loss of the body.

Everything is done for a purpose, for a reason, with the expectation of gain. And where there is the expectation of gain, there is also the parallel fear of loss.

Because an action that arises from fear can never eliminate fear.

Take care of the ‘first’ in the ‘first place.’ Do not let the disease guide your actions. Rather, the first action should be to eliminate the disease. And these are the only two ways of living.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving

Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving

IMG-20180628-WA0017 

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.

Continue reading

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)

Continue reading

Beginning itself is wrong

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.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning. When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

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.

What has begun wrongly cannot be corrected by the finesse involved in the process.

And one feels bad about his condition only when he strongly identifies with his condition.

Defeat is not the end of the war. Defeat is not in the end of the war. Mostly defeat lies in the beginning of war.

The more you pick unnecessary battles, the more you will feel defeated. The more you will feel defeated, the more will be the urge to fight another unnecessary battle. It’s a downward spiral. Once caught you remain caught.

Willpower, commitment, determination they are of so little use because they are extremely superficial. One can be a very committed person and yet have a very petty mind because one is needlessly committed. Committed to the wrong thing from the wrong center.

Efficiency or discipline or determination or commitment make sense only when the fundamental has been taken care of.



Read the complete article: Forget winning, first choose the right battle