Tag Archives: Ashtavakra

The Great Magic of Scriptures || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

The Great Magic of Scriptures

Question: Acharya ji, Pranaam! While reading and meditating on Nitnem, something happened within me, which is difficult to explain. And this happening is same, while we were reading Ashtavakra Gita, and Upanishads.

These words do not create any images, but they take away my chains, and cut me down. Whatever we see around, most of the combinations of the alphabets a-z, in this world, all that is just with an agenda – to protect our ego, or fear, or greed. But when these same letters a-z, combine, to produce the Jaap Sahib, or Ashtavakra Gita, why is there a magic?

Acharya Prashant Ji: There is just a magic, Sandeep! The ‘why’ is not necessary. But if you are asking, I will speak on it.

There is a Sacredness, a Trueness, that is at the root of the world. The world keeps changing, coming and going, the Trueness remains. The world is many things. To the Lover of the Truth, the world is an expression of the Truth. To the hater of the Truth, the world is a competitor of the Truth.

Do you see how the meanings of the world can change, according to the mind, that is looking at the world?

If you are the lover of the Truth, the world is a manifestation of the Truth.

If you are a worshiper of the Truth, then the world is an offering, a gift, a prasad from the Truth.

Whereas, if you are a hater of the Truth, somebody who loves to say that, the Truth doesn’t exist, then the world is a substitute to the Truth.

You hate the world. if you hate the Truth, you would say, “There is no Truth. there is only the world, the material world.” So what does the world become? A substitute, a competitor. It depends on who you are.

Those who love the Truth, their world becomes truthful.

Everything in their world, gets arranged to serve the Truth.

It comes from the Truth, it serves the Truth.

It serves the Truth, so more comes from the Truth.

More comes from the Truth, there is more to serve the Truth.

The Truth is served even more, there is even more that comes from Truth. 

And all this expression is material. But that expression is merely a result of the commitment, of the expressing one, to the Truth. It is not merely their words, that are now arranged, configured, in the design of Truth, in the light of Truth, by the virtue of Truth. Everything, even their body.

Just as their words take you beyond their chains, even their body, their eyes, their looks, will take you beyond your chains. It is obvious, is it not? If the words of Ashtavakra have so much power, what power would be there, in sitting next to Ashtavakra? Words are material thing, are they not? And the body too is a material thing. In fact, the words require the body, to emerge.

If the words are so beautiful, there would certainly be great beauty, in sitting next to the ‘person’ of Ashtavakra. The way they wear their clothes, the way they eat, the way they work, everything would be a scripture, provided you know how to read. It is because everything that they have, everything that they are, is first of all, an offering to the Truth.

They have not kept anything for themselves, privately, reserved, personal. All is there to serve, the One. The One. When all is to serve the One, then all gets arranged, aligned, in the music of the One. It depends on what you want to do, with your earthly existence. It depends on your fundamental concept is.

If your concept is – “I am false, because I am incomplete. I am false because my daily inadequacies prove to me, that I cannot be the Final One. My daily existence is the proof, that this little structure cannot be the finality” – if this is your concept, then you will surrender this little, incomplete thing to that which is complete, because the complete is, that which you are anyway craving for. Nobody has to teach you that. It is your basic urge. You are seeking completeness. And if you are seeking completeness, then why not submit the incomplete, in the service of the complete?

Is that not common sensical?

Your brain, your intellect, your decisions, your life, your body, your past, your experiences, your knowledge, everything keeps failing, everything is incomplete. And there are abundant and daily porofs. Are there not?

On one hand you know that, on the other hand you also know that the incomplete one, does not satisfy you. Anything that is limited, and bounded, does not quench your thirst. So you know that you want something big. You want something big, you have something small, what to do with the small thing that you have? Use it to reach the big thing, that you really want. Logical, obvious, common sensical!

You want thousand, you have hundred, what to do with the hundred? Invest it in a way, that it would become a thousand. It is a very gross way of putting it, but may be the only way it would make sense to you.

You have hundred, but you are not happy with hundred. What do you want? A thousand. What to do with the hundred then?

Listeners: Invest.

Acharya ji: Invest it in the service of the thousand. What are the saints doing? They are targeting a billion, a trillion. A billion trillion. A trillion trillion. Using just, hundred. That’s some smartness. Those are the really smart ones. Not these dudes, that are hanging around, wearing the tags of smartness.

Somebody gets fifteen percent return on his investment, and you start calling him ‘smart’. Somebody makes a million dollars, and you say, “Wow! Really smart chap.”

He is dumb.

(laughter)

“Fortune 500. It is really something big!” They have wasted it. Buggers, you have lost it! You know what, you have just lost it.

Misfortune!

Change your concept of smartness.

When your concept of smartness changes, then you know who the real dude is. That’s worship.

If you are dumb, then you will just admire a few other dumb people.

If you are intelligent, then you worship. You worship the really smart ones.

They are called ‘saints’.

That requires you to be super-smart.

Dumb people will admire only dumb people!

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

Watch the session:  The Great Magic of Scriptures || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

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Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: The world is a river; use it to cross it

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Acharya Prashant: Two excerpts are with us.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”

BIBLE

(JOHN 2:15)

“Prosperity, pleasure, pious deeds. Enough! In the dreary forest of the world, the mind finds no rest.”

ASHTAVAKRA GITA

(CHAPTER 10: VERSE 7)

The questioner says that he is astounded at the commonality between Jesus and Ashtavakra and asks why are both saying that engaging in the world will not be a way to peace. What does it mean to engage in the world?

The world is a tricky thing. The world has to be understood.

The world has utility but the world is not the end.

One uses it.

Ever seen a man swimming? What is he doing? Why is he swimming at all? He is crossing a river. Man is swimming. Man is crossing the river. Why is he crossing the waters? Because if he doesn’t cross the waters, he will drown in the waters. If he doesn’t cross the waters or the river, he will drown in the river.

And what is he doing to cross the water? He is using the waters themselves.

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Acharya Prashant: How to really listen to the Guru?

Question: In one video, you said that to listen to Krishna, you need to be Arjuna. To Listen to Ashtavakra also you need to be Janak.

To listen to you, what should the person be?

Acharya Prashant: The person should not be insistent on being the ‘person.’ That begins with not seeing the speaker as a person and not imagining the listener to be the person. If here a person is speaking sitting on this chair, then surely there is another person sitting on another chair who is listening. Now, listening cannot really happen. Because persons cannot really relate to each other.

A person is a limitation.

Limitations can associate with each other. But limitations cannot relate to become limitless.

You take one limitation and you associate it with another one, you do not get limitlessness. What you get is another limitation.

One person listening to another person will not listen to the Truth. He will come to some opinion, some conclusion, something of the mind or attitude. But he won’t come upon Truth or silence.

To listen to me you need to forget all about yourselves. And you need to forget that what you are listening to is a person’s personal viewpoints.

If you will insist on saying that what is coming to you is somebody’s personal opinion, then no person ever has the obligation to be non-resistant to another person’s opinions. Opinions by definition are meant to be analyzed, judged, dissected, then partially accepted or rejected.

You will have to see that that which speaks from this chair is the same that listens from that chair, or listening simply doesn’t happen.

Till the time there is A speaking to B, listening cannot happen.

Only Truth listens to the Truth.

Only that within you can listen to me which speaks from within me. And they are one. Which means that there has to be a certain unity between the ‘listener’ and the ‘speaker.’ I said,

to listen to Krishna you need to be Arjuna. But it’s not really Arjuna who listens to Krishna. It’s Krishna within Arjuna that listens to Krishna. No Arjuna can ever know Krishna. Even to look at Krishna, Arjuna requires eyes that are bestowed upon him by Krishna.

You’ll have to give your listening a total chance, a total freedom. And that is a very impersonal freedom. You’ll have to simply drop giving importance to all that is personal about the speaker.

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Identify with God

When Jesus is acting and he is doing, then it is not arising from a motivation to serve his own personalhood. He has already arrived. He is home. He does not want to go anywhere or reach or become better. He is now merely doing. He is not aspiring. He is the doer, not someone who wants to be transformed through the doing.

 

When you just do then you have the right to call yourself the doer.

 

You are not discontented, your tendencies are discontented.

 

Fear is subjugating you. Fear has dominated you to the extent that it has stolen your identity. So in spite of you not being the doer, fear being the doer, you identify with the doer because you’re identified with the fear. You are not getting mad in lust, it’s your deep latent sleeping tendencies that are so lustful.

 

But because you in your ignorance, in your childish cleverness fight the truth, so you have no option but to identify with lust. And when you identify with lust, the doing of lust becomes your doing.

 

Very often you have to pay the price in spite of you not being the culprit.

 

What does it mean to identify with God? It means to identify with completeness.

Identify with God.

 

Give yourself up, and if you cannot do that then submit yourself as you are to the truth, that’s what the devotee does.

He says accept me as I am, O Lord! I’ve given myself totally to you. Good or bad I’m yours.

I’ll not even try to improve myself. I’ll not even try to correct myself.

I’ve lost all doership. Even to improve myself I must be left with a modicum of doership. I have no doership left at all.

If I am evil, cunning, ugly, deceptive, I’m giving myself to you. You take care of me. I’m nobody to improve myself.



Read the complete article: On Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: Don’t accompany the thief!

On Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: Don’t accompany the thief!

 

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The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of the poisonous snake.

To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith. Be joyful.

Ashtavakra Gita

(Chapter 1, VERSE 8)

Acharya Prashant: Ashtavakra Gita has been quoted.

“The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of the poisonous snake. To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith. Be joyful.”

Ashtavakra Gita (Chapter 1, VERSE 8)

The question says “The Ashtavakra here is saying that doership is sin. But Jesus says ‘Let me do it. I’m the doer’. So why is there this contradiction? ”

Obviously there can be no contradiction. If Ashtavakra is saying that doership is sin, and Jesus is saying that He’s the doer, then obviously Ashtavakra and Jesus are not talking about the same entity. When Ashtavakra says doership is sin, he’s saying let not the ego act. Only the ego is interested in claiming doership. Only the ego is interested in creating and maintaining a divide in which one part can do something to the other.

The doership of the ego is always an exercise in fear, incompleteness and exploitation. Therefore, Ashtavakra is saying that doership is sin. When Jesus says in many place, on multiple occasions that He is the doer or the knower, he’s not talking as a limited person. He is not talking because the talking would gratify him, inflate him, magnify him, or help him become something. His doing is no doership at all because the common doership that we see is always the doership of fear and faithlessness.

When Jesus is acting and he is doing, then it is not arising from a motivation to serve his own personalhood. He has already arrived. He is home. He does not want to go anywhere or reach or become better. He is now merely doing. He is not aspiring. He is the doer, not someone who wants to be transformed through the doing.

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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

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Question: 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? Continue reading