The difference between realization and escapism?

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Acharya Prashant: Escapism is – I am moving from city to village, from wife to mother, from job A to job B, from office to ashram, from object to object. Realization is from object to the core. In both, there is a movement involved, there is no doubt about it. And the movement sometimes is physical also. May or may not be physical, but it can be physical. So, there is a movement involved but if the movement is from one object to another object then you call it escapism. If behind the movement is something else, then it is not escapism. Is this clear? The difference between these two? Moving from tea to coffee is? Continue reading

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You cannot have a spiritual culture

You cannot have a special land that enables the coming of the spiritual mind. You cannot have a spiritual culture, where it is easier to be spiritual. But for sure, you can have a mind that is attentive to its own falseness. That you can have! Not something definitive or particular, like a culture. Not something positive and affirmative. But, rather something reductive and destructive. Getting it?

“You know, nothing can lead me to God, let me just find out what keeps me away from God.” That kind of an approach.

Instead, we have cultures that claim to lead you to God. And that’s what all God-men do, right? They say, “I’ll take you to God.” The approach must be! You cannot be taken to Truth or God. You only need to find out what keeps you away. What makes you think that you are away. That kind of a thing can be there. That rigor, that…you can even equate it to the intellectual rigor, so it is not really intellectual. That rigor, even if it is found, even if it has been found in India, has been found only intermittently and that too very privileged and very tiny pockets.

You know, the people from whom, this…from whom the holiest…why even call them holy? Let’s call them “Intelligent Scriptures”. From whom these books came, they were in extremely tiny minority and most of them were not socially absorbed. We cannot even call them a part of society or a part of India. The fellow is living on the top of the hill. He has nothing to do with the country, nothing to do with the society. Would you call them belonging to a certain nation? He doesn’t even know whether nation exists, or has been conquered, or an earthquake has wiped out the entire population. He is so absorbed in his own meditation. So, he hardly has a nationality.

And those numbers, they were  extremely small, very-very small. The common masses were doing what they were doing. They had nothing to do with all this. In fact, even in India today, you see, all kinds of spiritual myths are popular. But if you go to somebody and you ask him to name even one Upanishad, one out of hundred people can do it. There are more than 200 Upanishads but when you do the general survey on the streets of India, and ask them to tell the name of even one of the Upanishads. I might be over-estimating in saying one by hundred.



Read Complete article: There is no such thing as a spiritual place or spiritual land

There is no such thing as a spiritual place or spiritual land

Presentation6Question: Do you think that with this modernization of INDIA, this global modernization or to say Post Industrial…so called Post Industrial! is, in a way, destroying Indian culture? At least our Spirituality…or its health?

Acharya Prashant: You see , no culture is spiritual. Indian, Western, Martian…no culture is spiritual. Spirituality has nothing to do with culture. All culture is just a social phenomenon. Spirituality doesn’t have much to do with that. India is said to have had so called spiritual culture since centuries. As you have gone about… Is it your first visit to India?

Listener:Yes.

AP: As you have gone about travelling here, do you really feel this is a spiritual land?

L1: No. I mean I have met a few. Not land but some people. Some people, not the complete.

AP: And those people are probable to be found anywhere. If you have met a few good people here, you would surely meet a few good people even in Russia or Germany or you know in your home country or you know even on some God for-saken satellite. So, that is just by chance. Continue reading

Self-realization is an empty cup that is empty even of the cup.

We always exist in relation to something or somebody. So, if you want to know yourself, you just see, what is the effect that the other has had upon you and we then, are a sum total of all those effects.

What are we?

We are mental fragments, devoted to the nation, the society, the education, the upbringing, the commerce, the culture, the civilization. You want to look at yourself, you will have to look at the effect all these external influences have had upon you. We exist with respect to these influences. There is nothing in us that is not coming from somewhere or the other. So, to know yourself is to know these things that are coming from somewhere or the other.

“So, this part of me, well it is coming from religion; this part of me, well it is coming from ethnicity; this part of me, well it is coming from culture; this part of me, well it is coming from a gender; this part of me, well it is coming from my genes, this part of me, well it is coming from my education.” And, this way you can know all that you see yourselves to be. Are you getting it?

This way, you can know everything that you see yourselves to be. All the conditioned bit that we are; and remember that we are very totally conditioned. There is nothing in us that is not conditioned, every single cell in the body is conditioned. So, the conditioned bit that we are, can be known only by seeing the genesis of that conditioning.

If you can see where your conditioning is coming from, you have seen who you are. This is called self-knowledge. Do you see what Self-knowledge is? To know yourself, see where your actions are coming from. How do you know that? You watch your actions. You watch every bit of yourself, your activities from morning till night, your thoughts, your inclinations and you come to appreciate all the conditioning that has gone into making ‘you’. Right? This is Self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is obtained by self-observation.

Then there is something called, Self-realization. Self-realization is a little different from Self-knowledge, and also very closely related to Self-Knowledge.

You see, how deeply conditioned you are. The ‘conditioning bit’, amounts to Self-knowledge. And the ‘seeing bit’, amounts to self-realization.

I repeat, you ‘see’ how deeply conditioned you are. And everybody is deeply conditioned. As I said, every single fiber in the body is conditioned. So, you ‘see’, how deeply conditioned you are. The deeply conditioned part pertains to Self-knowledge. And the ‘seeing’ part — I am seeing how deeply conditioned I am — pertains to Self-realization.

Self-realization is not objective; Self-realization is not knowledge; Self-realization cannot be wrote down, conceptualized, or summarized or expressed; Self-realization, or Self-understanding is just Silence. It is an absence of everything you thought yourselves to be. Everything that you thought yourselves to be, is bracketed under Self-knowledge. Your name, your gender, your caste, your religion, your profession, your family, your views, your ideologies – all of them come under Self-knowledge.

Self-knowledge is the result of observation of life. Self-knowledge means you watch how you behave, when you pass in front of a temple compared to when you pass in front of a railway station. Self-knowledge is to see, how your relationships are with the man who owes you money, compared to the man, to whom you owe money.

When you look at all that, what you get is, Self-knowledge. This is the way I am, this is the way my habits and tendencies are. Getting it?

And the power to see all this, the beginning of seeing all this, and the ending of seeing all this, the entire environment of seeing all this, that is called Self-realization. Self-realization is nothing because anyway the Self is nothing, the Self is all false. The Self is all nothing, the Self is all false, so Self-realization too is just nothing. Just Nothing. It is an emptiness. It is a peaceful silence. If you say you are Self-realized, and still you have something more to say about yourself, then all you have is a concept of Self-realization.

Self-realization is actually not a word at all because a word ought to have some meaning, a word ought to have some content, Self-realization has no content at all.

Self-realization is an empty cup that is empty even of the cup. You usually have cups that are empty of contents. Self-realization is a cup that is empty even of the cup.


Read the complete article: The right relationship tells you about yourself

The right relationship tells you about yourself

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Question: Acharya Ji, J.Krishnamurti says, “In a right relationship, you come to know yourself.” Please explain.

Acharya Prashant: The question is, Krishnamurti says, “In the right relationship, you come to know yourself.” So, how does one know himself?

That which you have quoted, is in itself the solution. He is saying, “You know yourself in relationship.” What is it meant, when it is said that you know yourself in a relationship?

We always exist as somebody related to something. You take away everything outside of yourself, and it will become impossible for you, to say even one sentence about yourself. Everything and anything that we utter about ourselves is related to the world. And the world is supposedly, outside of yourself, is it not? Continue reading

All knowledge will come only from the outside.

One contrary piece of information can prove all your accumulated knowledge wrong. Can it not?

One little evidence piece of evidence can prove all theorems of Physics wrong. One little bit of information can destroy all your trust in whatever you trust. A fifty-year old relationship can be shattered by just one bit of news.

But, that knowing that arises from heart is not so weak. It does not crumble so easily. It has a great certainty about it.

Are you getting it?

You come to a scripture, and you have never read that scripture before. It may not even belong to your organized religion. Nobody has ever recommended it to you and yet you read it, and you know that something worth worshiping is in front of you. You meet someone and you just fall in love; nobody tutored you to fall in love. And ostensibly there is nothing in that person which is very attractive. You do not know what pulls you there, and you are not an ignorant being, you are not drunk, you are awake in your senses, and yet you know what is happening is not sensible.

If someone asks you to explain, you will not be able to explain but deep down you know that you are doing the right thing – causeless, proof-less, and yet certain. This is the quality of knowing. Now phased with this knowing, all the knowledge that the world gave you, appears so weak and trivial and also deceptive because it had been lying to you all this while. What was it that the worldly knowledge was suggesting to you? That all knowledge will come only from the outside. All knowledge will always have a cause, that all knowledge will be something that can settle in the memory, all the worldly knowledge was always memory-to-memory transfer.

And here, neither is it arising from memory, nor is it going to the memory. It is so subtle that sometimes even consciousness even fails to detect it. How will it then move into memory?

When you live in such a way, where there is grace, where there is love, where there is a reason-less devotion, then you are free from the bondage of worldly knowledge.

 This is what is being called by Ramana Maharishi as the elimination of false knowledge.



Read the complete article: The elimination of false knowledge

The elimination of false knowledge

Question: Acharya Ji, what is ‘elimination of false knowledge’ that Ramana Maharishi talks of when he says, “The individual is miserable because he confounds the mind and the body with the Self. This confusion is due to wrong knowledge. Elimination of wrong knowledge is alone needed. Such elimination results in Realization.”

So the question is what is the knowledge that should be eliminated?

Acharya Prashant: All knowledge that we have, comes from the world. The world gives us knowledge in various forms, ways, structures, fields. But, whatever be the structure of the knowledge that is provided to us by the world, there is one underlying theme always common in all knowledge coming to us from the world through our senses.

What is that common theme? Continue reading