Tag Archives: Attraction

On distraction of mind || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2019)

On distraction of mind

Question: Acharya ji, I am unable to concentrate on anything. For e.g., I get easily distracted while studying my Maths book, and get attracted to playing online games.

What should I do then?

Acharya Prashant: You see, two types of things attract us.

One – where the attraction is tremendous. And the attraction is so tremendous, that you get totally lost in the thing that attracts you, and you are left with no space, or desire to enquire further.

Now something really spectacular, something really eye-catching, something really interesting, is attracting you. This attraction becomes so dominant on us, that we do not even want to ask that what that thing is, and why this thing is attracting us. And whether that thing holds any importance in our lives.

What the eyes see, becomes so heavy, that it totally occupies the mind. And the mind is then not free at all, to ask any questions. You could even say that we become dumb. We become dumb. But it’s a very pleasurable dumbness, because we are, as we say, enjoying that state of being attracted.

The one who is getting attracted, is getting totally lost in the thing, that is attracting him. And because he is totally, completely lost, therefore nothing is left of him, to make an inquiry, to ask a question.

What question?

“Why is this thing is attracting me?”

“Is it really important for me?”

“What would this give me, after the initial period of attraction?”

“Would I be left with anything substantial, for five minutes, or let’s say five months?”

“There would be a lot of pleasure, but what after these five minutes? What after these five minutes, and what was before these five minutes? What really happened, that this thing became so tremendous on me?”

These are important questions, but we are left with no space to ask these questions. Because the thing, the attractive thing, or thought, totally overpowers us. It overpowers us, it controls us. It has taken us in it’s arrest.

Now, we are left with no capacity to ask an intelligent question.

These are the first kind of things that we come across – attractive things. Attractive things, where the possibility of asking question, or inquiring, is impeded.

And, in contrast, there are other kinds of things, that do not look attractive on the surface at all. The moment you look at them, the moment you hear of them, the moment you think of them, no interest arises within. In fact, a disinterest may arise.

You may say, “O! What is there in it?” Or you probably don’t say anything, and just want to ignore that object. You would say, “It’s not exciting.” And now, what happens in this case? Please see.

It’s a step-by-step thing. It’s a scientific thing. Because you have already said that this thing does not interest me, therefore you are left with no possibility of asking a question. The matter has been closed, so why ask a question?

In the first case, why was no question asked? Because the thing appeared so attractive, that you were left with no time, space, or desire, to ask the question.

You didn’t ask, “What this thing really is?”

“It appears nice and beautiful, but what is it really, and what would it give me?”

“Am I being intelligent, by getting attracted towards it? Probably I am. Then I will allow myself to be attracted even more. But if I am not being intelligent by moving towards this thing, why should I hurt myself?”

That was the first case. In this case, again there is no inquiry. In the second case, why there is no inquiry? Because the thing appears so unattractive, that you say, “Oh! C’mon. Move on. I don’t want to look at it. It’s not exciting, I don’t like it. There is nothing in it. It does not arouse me, so I will not ask any question.”

Here again if you could ask, “What is in it for me?,” then the picture would change. You say that when you are with your Maths book, then you do not feel any urge or attraction. Then do something else. What is it that you must do?

Ask yourself, “In the first place, why am I with this Maths book? Why am I holding it at all? Is there a reason? What is the importance of this book?”

If this book really has some importance, then you will find that you are compelled to read. And if it has no importance, then you will throw away the book. Let’s see whether the book has some importance? All that you need to do is, ask a sincere question. Whether it’s the Maths book, or some online game, that is attracting you. Ask the same question.

“What is in it for me? What will I really get from this?”

“After the five minutes, or fifty minutes of interest, or disinterest, what would I be left with?”

Ask, “Is it so that I am being cheated? Is it so that somebody is making a fool of me, and exploiting me by giving me, a little dose of excitement?”

There answer would sometimes be ‘Yes’, and sometimes be ‘No’. We need not predict the answer. Let it emerge. Just as when you conduct an experiment, in a science lab, the result, the observation, emerges. You don’t want to predict it.

And you don’t want to conclude beforehand. You want to see what is happening, don’t you? Similarly, just ask this question, and see what happens. You may find that magic is happening.

Before you accept or reject something, before you get wildly drawn to something, or before you just ignore something and move on, pause for five seconds, just five seconds, and ask, “What is in it for me? What is the real importance it holds?”

Do not be carried away by emotions. Do not be carried away by thoughts. Do not be carried away by impulsive conditioning. Just wait for five seconds, and ask,”Is it important?”

And that is the most important question, most life-giving question to ask.

“Is it really important?”

You will find that you are able to avoid a lot of trash.

And you will find that now you are able to love and respect, a lot of valuable things, and people, in life.

The moment you ask this, “What is this thing, this person, or this activity, bringing to me?”

Would you do that?

The Maths book is not just a Maths book. It stands for something. There are benefits from reading, and there are repercussions of not being with it. Dwell over them. “What is Mathematics? Why should I read it?” May be you will find that Mathematics is nothing, that it is a foolish thing to read Maths. And if you find that, then feel free to throw away the Maths book.

But, in case you discover, that the thing, the person, or an activity, is indeed important, then obviously, we are all honest people. And having discovered that something is precious, we will want to keep it.

Having discovered that somebody is lovable, we would want to be with him. Having discovered that the field of study, is indeed important, we would want to pursue it, right?

Five seconds.

“What is in it for me?

“How does it hold any importance?”

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

Watch the session:  On distraction of mind || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2019)

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Acharya Prashant: About changing one’s religion for love

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Question: Can I change ‘my’ religion for the sake of someone I Love?

Acharya Prashant: What do you mean by religion?

If religion just means following a particular code of conduct, if it means that I am loyal to a particular book, if it means that such and such will be my pilgrimage centers; If that is what is religion, then this religion is just something that you have been conditioned to believe in, it is just a belief system! And belief systems come and go.

Today you can believe in one thing, tomorrow you can believe in something else. These beliefs anyway have no permanency. They don’t have a deep root. Because these have been externally implanted. They are not coming from a very depth, the very soil of the mind. So, they can change. That is how people keep on changing their religions. Every year, lakhs of people change their religion. These religions that can be changed, they anyway don’t have any worth.

But that is not the true meaning of religion.

Real religion cannot be changed.

What you can change is your cult or your sect, ‘panth’, that can be changed. ‘Dharm’ cannot be changed.

Because there are no different religions.

True religion is just one.

How will you change it? There is no second religion.

Where will you go? Yes, there are many sects. There are thousands of sects, but there is only one True religion. And that religion is not about the following something. That religion is not about visiting a temple or a church or a mosque. That religion is not about being loyal to a particular book.

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Who would believe in poor Jesus?

When you follow even without understanding, that is Surrender.

That is what Surrender is. You do not know what the whole thing is about and yet there is something that tells you, to just go along with it.

AP: You have a beautiful body; how will you use it to make people come to you?

L: Display it.

AP: Now look at Mahavir and Lalla. If you want people to listen to you, they must first of all be present in front of you. Why not attract them this way?

Stories have no use, in fact, those stories must be dropped, after a point. After a point, if you are really wise, you will see the foolishness and the falseness of those stories.

L: Why are Miracles added to all the stories?

AP: We need them.

Otherwise, who would believe in poor Jesus.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on a Sufi story: The obvious falseness of our stories


 

Acharya Prashant on a Sufi story: The obvious falseness of our stories

Mojud – The man with the inexplicable life

There was once a man named Mojud. He lived in a town where he had obtained a post as a small official, and it seemed likely that he would end his days as inspector of weights and measures.

One day when he was walking through the gardens of an ancient building near his home, Khidr, the mysterious guide of the Sufis, appeared to him, dressed in shimmering green.

Khidr said, “Man of bright prospects! Leave your work and meet me at the riverside in three days’ time. ” Then he disappeared.

Mojud went to his superior in trepidation and said that he had to leave. Everyone in the town soon heard of this and they said, “Poor Mojud! He has gone mad.” But, as there were many candidates for his job, they soon forgot him.

On the appointed day, Mojud met Khidr, who said to him, “Tear your clothes and throw yourself into the stream. Perhaps someone will save you.”

Mojud did so, even though he wondered if he were mad.

Since he could swim, he did not drown, but drifted a long way before a fisherman hauled him into his boat, saying, “Foolish man! The current is strong.

What are you trying to do?”

Mojud said, “I don’t really know.”

“You are mad,” said the fisherman, “But I will take you into my reed-hut by the river yonder, and we shall see what can be done for you.”

When he discovered that Mojud was well-spoken, he learned from him how to read and write. In exchange, Mojud was given food and helped the fisherman with his work.

After a few months, Khidr again appeared, this time at the foot of Mojud’s bed, and said, “Get up now and leave this fisherman. You will be provided for.”

Mojud immediately quit the hut, dressed as a fisherman, and wandered about until he came to a highway.

As dawn was breaking he saw a farmer on a donkey on his way to market. “Do you seek work?” asked the farmer, “because I need a man to help me bring back some purchases.”

Mojud followed him. He worked for the farmer for nearly two years, by which time he had learned a great deal about agriculture but little else.

One afternoon when he was baling wool, Khidr appeared to him and said, “Leave that work, walk to the city of Mosul, and use your savings to become a skin-merchant.”

Mojud obeyed.

In Mosul he became known as a skin-merchant, never seeing Khidr while he plied his trade for three years.

He had saved quite a large sum of money, and was thinking of buying a house, when Khidr appeared and said, “Give me your money, walk out of this town as far as the distant Samarkand, and work for a grocer there.”

Mojud did so.

Presently he began to show undoubted signs of illumination. He healed the sick, served his fellow men in the shop during his spare time, and his knowledge of the mysteries became deeper and deeper.

Clerics, philosophers and others visited him and asked, “under whom did you study?”

“It is difficult to say,” said Mojud.

His disciples asked, “How did you start your career?”

He said, “As a small official.” “And you gave it up to devote yourself to self-mortification?”

“No, I just gave it up.” They did not understand him.

People approached him to write the story of his life.

“What have you been in your life?” they asked.

“I jumped into a river, became a fisherman, then walked out of his reed-hut in the middle of the night. After that, I became a farmhand. While I was baling wool, I changed and went to Mosul, where I became a skin-merchant. I saved some money there, but gave it away. Then I walked to samarkand where I worked for a grocer. And this is where I am now.”

“But this inexplicable behavior throws no light upon your strange gifts and wonderful examples, ” said the biographers.

“That is so,” said Mojud.

So the biographers constructed for Mojud a wonderful and exciting story: because all saints must have their story, and the story must be in accordance with the appetite of the listener, not with the realities of life.

And nobody is allowed to speak of Khidr directly. That is why this story is not true. It is a representation of a life. This is the real life of one of the greatest Sufis.

~ Idries Shah.

Tales of the Dervishes.

Acharya Prashant: When it comes to you, it is never the output, of anything. It is never part of story. No story can ever explain. Why things happened? Why the real happened? You may as well say, “I climbed a tree, I feel down a tree, I chased a dog, I hopped on to a bus, I ate a fruit, I slapped a stranger and it happened.” That’s the most logical, it can get. This is what happened. Now, real is not happening because of any of these, it just happens. And mind you one is not allowed to talk of Khidr directly. How do you, narrate the role that Khidr has been playing in your life.

Khidr is?

Listener: Truth.

AP: Grace. Yes, Truth, Grace whatever.

And how do you tell someone, how and when Khidr comes to you and what he says? Because even you do not understand. How can others understand?

When you follow even without understanding,

that is Surrender.

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Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: The beautiful woman who shows no discretion

8“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful

woman who shows no discretion.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 11:22)

Acharya Prashant: Tarun has asked me to speak on two verses, and I’ll pick the most spicy one of the two.

“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 11:22)

There is that which has been given to you, and then there is that which lies at the center of all that which has been given to you. You can not only gift a pig with a gold ring in her snout but actually drape her with all kinds of gold fineries, ornaments, in fact, gold clothing. Now all around the pig is gold. And what lies at the center of all the gold? ‘The pig.’ So, there is gold all around, and within the gold is the pig. Yes, Tarun? All around there is the gold. Over the legs, over the back, on the snout, on the forehead, even the tail is covered in gold and at the center of the gold is the pig.

Similarly, there can be talents and attractiveness and proportionate body all around somebody, and at the center of all the attractiveness is the pig. So lovely eyes outside, lovely body outside, fair complexion, proportionate limbs, glowing skin, flying hair, shining teeth, lovely elocution, banks of knowledge, praises and, praises, all-enveloping somebody. What is inside the envelope? ‘A pig.’ It’s a beautiful envelope, lovely eyes. What nose, what curves, the most curvaceous envelope you’ll ever see, and you come close to the envelope and open it, and out jumps the pig. The face was so beautiful that you went close and close and looked little behind the face, and you saw that the pig was searching for some shit.

Man’s talents, man’s intellectual prowess, man’s knowledge, man’s accomplishments, man’s senses, man’s ability to analyze, memorize, compare, contrast, conclude, all of these things are given to man. All of these things are given to somebody that somebody must not be a pig. What will a pig do with gold? You must have heard the story of the monkey who got a sword. What did he do with the sword? He only brought misery to everybody around him and to himself. In fact, there was a monkey, it’s another story, who loved his master greatly and the master had a gun. And once when the master was asleep, the monkey picked up the gun, aimed at some place and fired, and he fired as monkeys fire.

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The moment you think about it, you have lost it.

You have to already be there to reach there. Those who travel a lot, they never reach. Those who are already there, they keep reaching again and again and again. But when you are getting it again and again and again, then there is no verification of the happening, then there is no satisfaction in the happening because then there is nobody to tell you that you are accomplishing something. So, now you cannot be proud. Now you cannot say that an achievement has happened.

You wanted to say that you achieved. But, the ones who really achieved are the ones who are continuously in achievement. So, they cannot claim any achievement, which brings us to something interesting.

We do not want salvation. We want the thought that we are salvaged. We do not want enlightenment. We want the thought that we are enlightened. We do not want the Truth. We want the thought that we now have the Truth. So that is the reason why you chase so much, why you miss so much because ultimately you want to have the credit that you succeeded in your chase. You will never succeed.

The one who has it does not feel great about it. That which you really want is very simple, very present, very much within reach, but it is not at all the way you probably imagine it to be. The ones who have it they do not find it special at all.

It is there, all right, nothing special about it. Neither is there anything special about that which is wanted nor are those in any sense special who have it. And that is another reason why you miss them because you are looking for special people and special places and special occasions. You have it and let that remain a secret. The moment you talk about it; the moment you disclose it, the moment you think about it, you have lost it.



Read the complete article: Nothing

Nothing

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Acharya Prashant: Topic in hand is ‘Nothing’.

It is remarkable that just as other words have a certain call — because they mean something because they point at an object — the word ‘Nothing’, too attracts. When Kunal (one of the listeners) said that the topic right now would be ‘Nothing’, was it totally disappointing? Did you feel like ringing your hand and saying that, well there ought to be a substantial, material topic? How can the topic be ‘Nothing’? Did that happen? Even ‘Nothing’ arouses a certain curiosity; it has a certain pull, a certain charm.

What is it that happens to the mind when it hears the word – ‘Nothing’? When the mind first hears the word ‘Nothing’, it is just language. A word in the language has come to the mind, the word is ‘Nothing’. The specialty of this word is that unlike other words, it does not point at something substantial, something positive, rather it points at only at an absence, there is nothing. And ‘Nothing’ means that, which usually won’t be there. What is it that is usually there? We are talking life, as we always do. We are not talking some high flowing, esoteric spiritual concepts. We are talking life. The life that you and me, everybody experiences.

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