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

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Series of great miracles

The subtle can be perceived only by the subtle.

We talk as if miracles happen sometimes. ‘Time’ itself is a miracle.

To believe in miracles is to believe in your personal helplessness. To believe in miracles is to accept that the center of doing is not you, that what is happening is not really your accomplishment.

The miracle tells you that neither have you done it nor do you understand what has been done that is too much for the ego.

You will never be very open to believing in miracles. To believe in miracles is to believe in grace. ‘Grace’ is a miracle. To believe in miracles is to believe in love, truth. You would much rather believe in yourself; Love, truth, grace, they obliterate you. The work of God is miraculous. The work of God is not something that the human mind can make sense of, and that is a miracle. But as we just said, if you cannot make sense of something you feel humiliated. There is another mind that feels delighted when he sees something of the beyond happening. He has faith.

The very existence of Jesus is a miracle. No other miracle is needed.

Life is nothing but a series of great miracles.

The very existence of the Jesus is a miracle. Obviously, everything that happens through him is bound to be a miracle.



Read the complete article:  Acharya Prashant on Jesus – What does it take to believe in miracles

On Jesus: What does it take to believe in miracles?

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Acharya Prashant: The next question says:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

After reading the story of Lazarus, this is what comes to the mind. We all want to see miracles in order to believe in the existence of a God. Something that is magical or out of the ordinary. Most of us have witnessed those moments at some point in our lives. Yet those moments pass and we go on with our normal lives as if nothing has happened. So what does it then take to believe fully and completely? And why do we find it so difficult?

‘Miracles’ are continuously happening Nimisha. But to whom are the miracles happening? Who would perceive the miracles as happening? The one who is to perceive is lost in the gross material. He can perceive nothing but that which is loud, sensory, material.

The subtle can be perceived only by the subtle.

That is the reason why blunt demonstrations like the one in the case of Lazarus are talked of. That Lazarus loved Jesus was in itself the highest miracle. But that miracle would not be appreciated. It would not even be called a miracle because we are gross people. We have lost the sensitivity, the receptivity to perceive, record, register the little, the faint, the delicate and that is the reason why we talk only of some miracles. We do not talk of a continuity of miracles.

We talk as if miracles happen sometimes.

‘Time’ itself is a miracle.

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Knowing right and wrong

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Acharya Prashant: Can intelligence be wrong sometimes?

Tell me, all of you, “What is right and what is wrong?” How do you know what is right? And how do you know what is wrong? Someone told you what is right and someone told you what is wrong and not only that, someone also told you that there is something called right, and something called Wrong. And you have started believing in it so deeply, you have been made a fool of.

What do you mean by right? What do you mean by wrong? All our sense of right and wrong is a borrowed sense of right and wrong. All this ethics, morality, they are coming from outside, we never found it on our own. You are this old and mamma says, “Don’t hurt others, be respected to elders, speak the truth, be a loving person.” And all this is right. And the opposite of this happens to be wrong. But if you are a smart kid, you turn around and ask “Mamma why should I speak the truth always?” But mamma doesn’t know because her own mamma told that to her, and her mamma got it from her own mamma and nobody really knows. But a mantra is being repeated, “Speak the truth” And the world is now full of liars. Would have all been told in the childhood, “speak the truth”.

All have been told, “Respect others, don’t hurt others, don’t be violent.” But the world is entirely full of rapists. Have you not wondered why that happens? That happens because nothing comes out in our lives from our intelligence, all comes from outside. And when it comes from outside, that’s what we get, a botched up human being, a caricature of a human being, not a really healthy intelligent man.

All these rights and wrongs that you soak it like a sponge, from here, from there, have you ever paid attention, you would have discovered how incomplete and false they are. What is wrong in one country is right in another country, what is wrong in one house is considered right in other house, what is wrong in one age is right at another age, what is wrong in one religion is right in another religion, what is wrong in one’s viewpoint is right in other’s viewpoint.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

What do you mean by right and wrong? The only wrong if you are insistent on asking “What is wrong?” The only wrong is to be stupid. That is the only wrong. Don’t be stupid. This course that you are undergoing is essentially aimed at making you foolproof. You understand this? Not being stupid. Not being foolish, so foolproof.

The only wrong is to be stupid, and what does stupidity mean? Being distracted, not being attentive, not understanding, not exercising one’s own intelligence. And just taking things as they come. And we have only taken things.

We have taken so many beliefs, we have taken religions from outside, we have taken a sense of patriotism from outside. We have taken a sense of purpose from outside. All our life is nothing but the garbage bin and everyone keeps on throwing his rubbish into it. Nothing is our own. That what really is your own, your own intelligence, you are afraid of it. You are insecure about that, that how I dare be intelligent? That’s your right. you are intelligent, you must act intelligently. Don’t be afraid of that. Right? There is nothing wrong.

You know why you are asking this question that Sir, what is right? Because the moment you act intelligently, the first time you are afraid. Because till date what is right has come from others and that makes you feel secure. You know, I am happy and I am feeling safe that I am doing the right thing. Why? Because so and so told me that this is the right thing to do.

And everybody does it, so it must be the right thing to do. When you act on your own, like an individual, like an intelligent being, then you are afraid. Face that fear. Face that fear, don’t run away. The only wrong is to not be your own man. To not to be an individual, that is the only wrong. And the only right is to act intelligently. Nothing else is right.

When you will act in your intelligence, let the society say that you are wrong, let them keep on saying, let them keep declaring you a fool or a criminal, but still you will know, you will know deep within that you are right. You will know it so deeply that nobody will be able to convince you that you are wrong. Are you getting it? But that will require some guts. And that will require a great deal of understanding which I am so sure that you are capable of. You are surely capable of that. Yes. I know, it is a little scary, but don’t you want a life that is totally your life, not a dictated life. Yes, don’t you want that?

“Sir we want that but there is a too heavier price to pay. We have to give up these luxuries and comforts and we have become so attached to them. What to do? Our false sense of security. We have become too attached to it, Sir what to do? This course threatens us.”

If Truth threatens you, then surely you are living in lies. And I repeat, You are capable of understanding. You surely are capable of understanding and you have to a particular age when you must understand. You must act intelligently. You are no more six years old.



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Knowing right and wrong



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Man’s consciousness is not pure consciousness at all.

When we say consciousness, what we mean is the perception that there is the universe and there is the me. If you cannot perceive things, if you cannot perceive the universe, then you will not say that you are conscious. And because we are what we are, we have taken consciousness as the consciousness that we experience; that is what is ego centered behavior.

What is our consciousness? Consciousness is the content of mind. Consciousness is our thoughts, ideals, emotions, feelings, relationships. What is our consciousness? Our consciousness is doubt, fear, convictions, beliefs, attachments, imaginations, effort, attainment, beginning, end. That is what we call as consciousness.

In the language of spirituality, all of that is not consciousness at all. What we call as consciousness is the interference of “I” in the facts of life. That is what we referred to as consciousness. And if we take that to be consciousness, then we would be mislead into believing that Vasugupt is saying that ego is the self because he is saying, “Consciousness is the Self.”

And if consciousness means our consciousness, then our consciousness is an ago centered consciousness, an “I” centered consciousness. We look at the world as we are. We are greatly attracted to that which has a meaning to us. We are repelled by that which we have been taught to dislike.

So man’s consciousness is not pure consciousness at all. If a sage would look at the expanse of our consciousness, He would say, “This is so mechanical. Why do you even call it consciousness? Why do you even label yourself as conscious? You are not conscious at all.”

To be conscious means to know and to really know you must be free of the blockage to knowing. You yourself, what you take yourself to be, are the biggest blockage to knowing. You don’t really know.



Read the complete Article: Common consciousness is a burden

Common consciousness is a burden

Triyog at PAF 3

Acharya Prashant: Shiv Sutras are the basic, canonical aphorisms of Advait. They come from a ninth century sage called Vasugupt from Kashmir. Very brief, very secant, they contain everything that there is to the understanding of non-duality. The first sutra says:

Chaitanyam aatma

Consciousness is the Self.

If we go carefully into this one, this Sutra alone, the first one alone would open up everything that deserves to be known about self enquiry. It will open up the beginning, the end and also the method of Self Enquiry. What does it say?

Consciousness is the Self.

You will have to keep coming along with me. If I am an active speaker, you will have to be an active listener. Yes? I like it when we all move together.    Continue reading

Who is a real hero?

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AP: So today, we are going to take a look at something that perhaps fascinates all of us.

“Heroism

We’ll talk about heroism. Heroes enthrall us, fascinate us.

Who is a “Hero”? Whom do you call a ‘Hero’? And we must keep in mind that the question of heroism is intimately connected to our lives because the mind has a deep-seated desire to be heroic.

Who is a ‘Hero’?

Alright! When we say, “Hero”, what kind of images come to the mind?

Listener: Fearless.

AP: Fearless. And?

L2: Powerful.

AP: Powerful. And?

L3: Excitement.

AP: Excitement.

L4: The man who fights.

AP: Fighter.

L5: Who brings a change; who does something good.

AP: Who did something good. Who brings a change. And?

L: Inspiring.

AP: Inspiring. And? Continue reading