Tag Archives: Atman

How to know one’s calling in life?|| Acharya Prashant

How to know one’s calling in life

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Question: How can I understand my ‘calling’ in life?

Acharya Prashant Ji: What do you mean by ‘calling’?

The question is: How do I understand my ‘calling’? How do I decide what to do?

Do you mean in terms of profession, or career? Are you already not confused, about whether to do this or that? Are you asking from clean slate?

Questioner: I am confused.

Acharya Ji: If you are confused, that means you already attach importance to two or three options, right? And you are confused only because you cannot choose, from in-between those pptions. That is your confusion. Correct?

Questioner: Yes.

Acharya Ji: Right?

Questioner: Yes.

Acharya Ji: You are confused because you cannot choose between Wine, Vodka, Gin, or Whisky. And even when you want to ask regarding your calling, you want me help you, put your finger on one of the four bottles, right? Wine, Vodka, Gin, and Whisky.

That is the reason behind your confusion. What is the reason? You have these four options. Now where is the apple juice? Where is the apple juice? Unless you first remove these four, would apple juice ever figure in your mind? That is what is meant by – asking from a clean slate.

Whenever you ask a question, you already have a set of ready-made answers. All you want from this speaker to do, is to help you choose from A, B, C and D(Wine, Whisky, Gin, and Vodka). Now had these A, B, C, D  not been already there with you, you would have anyway not asked the question, because there would have been no confusion.

Instead of trying to know your genuine calling, just remove all the options that are there in your mind. Just remove them. Now, that appears so dangerous. You will say, “I am anyway not able to figure out when I have four options, how will I figure out, when I have zero options?” But that is the beauty of the game.

With four options, all you get is – confusion.

With zero options, all you get is – direction.

The solution to the confusion, that four options cause, is not a fifth option, not a sixth option. Not eight options. When four options are causing confusion, the solution will emerge, when you remove all four. Remove all four, and now you are free to know. Now, a decision will arise from your freedom. As long as these four options are available, there is no possibility of any kind of solution.

That is the thing with questions. They have preset answers, ready with them. The question already decides the scope of the answer. And when the question has pre-decided the scope of the answer, then the answer cannot dissolve the question. Then the answer is just a continuation of the question. And the question is a problem. So the answer then, is the continuation of the problem.

Remove all the options that you have.

See that you are just newly born.

See that you have no experiences.

See that you can decide on a totally clean slate.

That totally clean slate, is called ‘the Self’, or ‘the Atman’.

And now see what is possible for you.

Don’t imagine about it. Just keep all your existing priorities away, and then ask yourself, “Had these not been in my life, how would have my life gone?”And then you would know, what to do with your life.

As long as you keep deciding, from within your existing priorities,

you will only get that, which is anyway already existing in your life.

For a moment set aside all of this, and ask yourself, “Had all of this not been there, how would have I lived?” then you would know what calls. Then you will know the meaning of ‘calling’. Right?

A fellow comes to commit suicide. And you are on the other side of the counter. And he is asking you to choose between four kinds of poisons. Is there any real choice involved in this? Would you say, “I am helping him choose rightly?”

“I will give him the best kind of poison.”

Choice can happen, only when there are no choices.

Remove it from his mind, that he needs to be poisoned. And then see what is the fresh decision that arises. Then he will know how to live his life.

When you are shopping, for a car, may be what you actually need, is a bike, or a cycle. There is no point in asking for expert advice, to choose the best car.

The real thing that you want, may lie outside the domain of your choices,

the whole set of your choices.


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

Watch the session:  Acharya Prashant: How to know one’s calling in life?


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What affects you from outside is actually present inside|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

What affects you from outside is actually present inside

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Question: Acharya ji, I am a doctor by profession. When i treat my patients, I too get depressed by looking at their suffering. What should I do?

Acharya Prashant: Keep doing what you are doing, or drop the intention to help people. The very intention to help people, indicates that you know of a state, beyond sorrow. Had sorrow been acceptable to you as a norm, why would you aim to pull other people out of their sorrow? You would say, “Sorrow is the norm.” If sorrow is the norm, why does anybody need to be helped?

The intention to help, itself is proof of your deep inner conviction, that sorrow is transient, that sorrow will go.

And sorrow must go.

But then, there is the heartfelt conviction versus the age-old habits of the mind. The mind is acquisitive. And it loves to acquire all kinds of diseases. So with sorrowlessness in your heart, you go to help others. And as you go to help others, you find that the same sorrow has started affecting you.

That’s bound to happen!

Keep doing what you are doing. If you think that by retreating, or giving up, you would be able to save yourself from sorrow, that is not going to happen. The sorrow that you think is an infection coming from outside, is not really coming from outside.

Coming face-to-face with sorrowed people, it is your own ancient sorrow, that wakes up. Had it not been present in the recesses of your mind, it couldn’t have affected you. Seeing the agony of others, you are reminded of your own.

And it’s great, if hidden angst, hidden sorrow, come to the fore. Now, at least consciously, you know that it exists. Otherwise you can live in the delusion, that you are sorrow-free.

Do you see how the whole thing operates? When you decide to help others, it is yourself you end up helping. So in your own self-interest, continue helping others. Who said that it is going to be easy?

The doctor must know that he himself is the most difficult patient to treat. So difficult, that he can’t treat himself directly. He will have to treat himself, via other patients.

Listener: Acharya ji, sometimes my patients get angry and jealous because I don’t show sympathy towards them, even if I know their suffering.

Acharya ji: Every trait that your patients are displaying, is present within you as well. Had it not been present within you, you wouldn’t have been affected by their behaviour.

If somebody’s anger perturbs you, that is proof of your own anger. If you can identify jealousy in somebody, it is proof that you know what jealousy is. The highest point of sainthood is, when you lose the capacity to even detect disease. That is total freedom from disease.

If you can, still detect disease, it means that disease is still present in you, even if in the most rudimentary way.

You go to one who is totally free, and you talk of anger to him, he won’t really know what you are talking of. That is freedom, absolute.

The totally free one has forgotten, totally forgotten. That’s why he doesn’t experience fear. He has lost a particular faculty. It is as if he cannot see. It is as if he cannot think. Therefore, so many thoughts just don’t come to him. That’s freedom absolute.

Even if you try to introduce, a lot many thoughts to him, you will find that he is just incapable of receiving those thoughts. It is not that he is resistant to those thoughts. Kindly know the distinction.

It’s not that the free one is resistant to thoughts.

He has simply become innocent of thoughts.

He cannot have a lot of those things, that we have, even if he wants to.

It’s not a decision that he makes, to not to be angry. It is now beyond him, to be angry.

He has become incapable!

Now seeing others, he may enact anger. But still, he can never really be angry. It is now, outside of him, to really harm anybody. Funnily enough, even if decides to harm anybody, he will end up doing good.

Even if, with a lot of conscious determination, he one day decides – I have to hurt this one, this one seriously deserves a slap – you would find, that he is only delivering healing, through the slap. And that’s powerlessness. He is now powerless, in a way of saying.

On the other hand, if you find that you have make a decision to be good, if you find that badness is still a real threat to you, then you must know that you are still not totally free of badness.

That which affects you from the outside, is actually present inside.

Otherwise, it couldn’t have affected you.

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

Watch the session:  What affects you from outside is actually present inside || Acharya Prashant (2019)


Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here

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What stops you from being your true self?

What stops you from being yourself

Question: Acharya ji, I feel there are certain things in me, which I am not able to trace out or figure out. There is some shame, or something else, which does not allow me, to be what I am. How to overcome that?

Acharya Prashant: You see, you are what you are. That can neither be disputed, nor changed, nor challenged. There is no threat ever, to who you are. Never! Your deepest identity is safe, secure, inviolable. But ‘you’ – the ‘person’,, the ‘woman’, the ‘lady’, has an unfortunate power. And that power is bestowed on each one of us. What is that power? That power is – to not to take refuge in your real identity. The power is to choose something else except the – Real One.

And that’s the only shame. Call it ‘shame’, call it ‘suffering’. Call it whatever! You can use any of those so-called negative words.

Any concept you believe in, will take you away from what you really are!

The leaf cannot have a concept about the roots. The leaf has to just look at it’s leafness. The leaf has to look at the life juice flowing in its veins. And that’s the blessing of the roots and also the proof of the roots. The sap in the leaf is both – the blessing of the roots and the proof of the roots.

But instead, the leaf decides to apply memory, and knowledge, and intellect, to have a model framework about the roots. Then the leaf would burden itself, and grow pale very soon.

Getting it?

Drop your concepts. You don’t need any concepts. Your being, your physical being, your psychological being, itself is the proof of the great Truth. Beyond that you don’t need any concept.

A silent mind, is the final proof of Divinity.

Why do you want to rush the mind here and there, to search for Divinity?

Look at the foolishness, the contradiction. Where lies the proof of Divinity? In the Silent Mind. So, if the mind is silent, Divinity is already proven.

A silent mind itself is the great self, the Atman.

But the mind says, “I will wander, and rush, and explore, and figure out, and find, and search, and what not. And in doing all that, it has gone….away from Divinity. And that is such a tragic thing to happen- tragic and amusing, both. Amusing and bemusing. In searching for yourself, you…..go away from yourself.

The more concepts you have about Holiness, the more you will find yourself starved of Holiness. Holiness is not a concept.

Don’t try to live in paradigms.

If you live in paradigms, you will lose out on paradise.

There was this man. He had a fight with his woman. So, he won’t talk to her. He won’t talk to her. But you look at his mobile phone, and you see two things. One, a lot of disconnected calls. She would call him, and he would not receive the calls. Secondly, the screen saver was the face of the beloved.

That’s how we live.

When he calls, we choose not to….receive the call. And to compensate for his real presence, what do we do? We keep his photo on the mobile screen. Those photos are the concepts that we carry about God! The mobile is not there to look at his photo, the mobile is there to receive his calls, when he calls. Here, I am talking of mind, the mobile.

Mind is troubled when it has to receive the call, but it finds security in keeping his image, his photo. Don’t receive his calls, but keep his…..image. Use your mobile as a spiritual reminder. Receive the call, don’t keep thinking about it.

The image will never be, even a patch on what HE actually is.

Drop the images!

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: What stops you from being your true self?

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The scriptures, and parallelly observation of life, I stress equally upon the two.

There are two things that must be parallelly done. One, knowing it from those who have known, supposed to have known, if you are a skeptic then. Learning it from those who have known or are supposed to have known. Secondly, testing it out, for yourself.

So, first thing, the scriptures, and parallelly observation of life. I stress equally upon the two. Please be very very observant, what’s happening. How am I spending my day? Why are those two countries fighting? You will learn a lot about the mind. A lot, a lot, a lot. It’s great to watch yourself. But if you can’t watch yourself or in addition to watching yourself, also watch the world. Watch, how people are going about on the streets? Watch how communities are behaving? Watch, what’s there in the newspapers? That too is useful.

But if you just let that in, there is a danger, it can just become accumulated knowledge. I know, I have general knowledge. You can become, worldly wise. So, parallelly there must be the blessings of scriptures. These are like you know, two wings of the bird. Together they make you, help you, fly.

Seek it from all the Gurus of the world, and also rely parallelly on the unique and the independent capacity of your mind. Be so confident of yourself that you are not hesitant in seeking help. You must have so much confidence that you can confidently seek help.



Read the complete article: Is it necessary to go to scriptures?

Is it necessary to go to scriptures?

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Question: May I ask a question here? Once you feel that you are determined for this journey, is it necessary to go to the scriptures?

Acharya Prashant: It is not necessary but it’s wise. It is advisable.

Listener: When I started the journey, the first task that called me, was to throw away what I had read. Now, I feel empty and again the question arises that should I go to the scriptures or a living Guru, or should I listen to my inner voice that let the right time come?

AP: What if the call, brings you to the scriptures? Is it an either-or situation?

L: I didn’t understand that!

AP: You said, “Should I do this, or should I do that?” What if these two are one? What if the inner voice you are talking of takes a formal shape, in the form of…?

L: Form of urgency to read scriptures!

AP: Yes, the scriptures themselves. What if the inner voice you are talking of take a formal shape, a worldly shape, a material shape? The material shape could be that of a book, a Granth, or a person, a Guru. The inner voice that is there of the Truth or the Center or the Atman at all is not a voice at all, you see. You cannot hear it. The Atman does not know any language.

Continue reading

Individual enlightenment is a myth.

Don’t ask for your personal freedom. Help others around you, be free. You will never be personally liberated, never. It’s impossible. Individual enlightenment is a myth. Either all get it together or nobody gets it. We all are in the same boat. Either we all cross or we all sink together.

To help yourself, help the other.

This is not merely altruism. You are not being charitable. This is the holiest form of selfishness. Help the other crossover, on your back. When the other reaches the other shore, you would find that you too have reached the other shore. Also, without having the other on your back, you will find that you cannot swim. This is the nature of the ‘world’ river.

The ‘world’ river is a flow of relationships. Nobody cuts through it alone. Take everybody with you, as many as you can. The more you take along with you, the more strength you get to take more and more with you. And do not take this as an exaggeration. I am saying, one day you may find that have been carrying the entire Universe with you.

It is not a matter of just the relationship between two people – Father and son, and husband and wife. No, not at all.



Read the complete article: Relief from Loneliness

Relief from loneliness

BFB1Acharya Prashant: The word ‘loneliness’ or ‘lonely’ is actually a misnomer. The one who calls himself lonely is actually never ‘lonely’. If lonely means not being with anybody, not having anybody to accompany you, then the one who is lonely is actually never without company. He or she always has company. Yes?

And whose company does this person have? This person always has his own company. Okay?

This will make it easier for us to understand.

Traditionally, generally, it has been said that the lonely person is the one who is needing somebody else’s company, right?

You look at it a little differently. You go a little deeper into it. The lonely person is not just needing somebody’s company, in fact, it is possible that at times, he may even think that he does not need anybody’s company. He may think that he is not in need of somebody’s company because he already is in the company of his own thought. Continue reading