Yoga is freedom from that which you think yourself to be

 

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न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्ध : कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ।।

श्रीमद भगवद गीता (४. ३८)

(Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge.

A man who has become perfect in yoga, finds it within himself in course of time.)

Acharya Prashant: Krishna, brings us to Yoga, along with certain words – Knowledge, time, the self. Let us discover, what Yoga is, and what is the relationship of Yoga to knowledge, to time and to the self.

न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

“Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge” – It is always, easy to misinterpret, misunderstand a Krishna, a Buddha. They speak from their highness. We listen from where we are. And they too are confined by language. Though they are artists of language, though their language plays around, though their language breaches the  of usual boundaries of meaning. Still, language is language, something man-made. And whatever is man-made, will always struggle is fully carrying the import of that which is beyond man, which is not man’s creation.

So, Krishna says, “Nothing purifies like knowledge.” In the world of Krishna, ‘Knowledge’ has a very special meaning. The word, ‘Gyana’ there, does not refer to the usual, sensual, memory based knowledge, that we are accustomed to. When Krishna says, “Knowledge”, he means, that which helps you see the limitation of what you generally call as knowledge.  Krishna says, “Knowledge is a great purifier.” But for most of us, knowledge, is the prime agent of corruption. For most of us, knowledge is the greatest bondage. Knowledge is, what keeps us heavy. Elsewhere in classical literature, The Shiv Sutra, very crisply put it in two words, “Gyanam bandhah”, Knowledge is bondage. Continue reading

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The Myth of Yoga

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Acharya Prashant: So, what is the setting of the Bhagwat Gita? The Bhagwat Gita is a part of the epic, Mahabharata, which is a story of princely clans, running over many generations. So, one side, one group of allies by the name of Pandavas, are ranged against their cousin brothers, by the name of Kauravas. The setting is a battlefield. Krishna, is the Charioteer, of the lead warrior amongst the Pandavas, his name is Arjun. We must go deeply into the setting, first of all.

There is a conflict, in which, brothers, relatives, acquaintances, have all been set up against each other. Arjun’s great grandfather is on the opposite side. Many of Arjun’s friends, are on the opposite side. Hundreds of his cousin brothers are on the opposite side. The teacher, who taught him all his martial skills, is on the opposite side. The teacher’s son too, is on the opposite side. Continue reading

In the name of spirituality, entertainment sells, titillation sells, pleasure sells

Question: Do you believe in [Censored]?

Acharya Prashant: What is [Censored] I have not read any such thing. Do not quote this and that author here. We are talking real stuff, not entertainment. If you know, this particular author that you are talking of, for sure you will not know Dattatreya.

L1: Who?

AP: That’s what. The result of knowing such pop authors, is that you do not know the real ones. You will be able to go to the real one, only if you get rid of the popular ones.

L1: Finally, if they are all saying the same thing. Ramayana says the same thing, Mahabharata says the same thing, [Censored] says the same thing. They are all saying the same thing. They all mean the same thing. There is nothing different. I mean, nothing different in anyone. The question was asked because there is a confusion in my mind…

AP: If they say the same thing, why are you confused? Could they say the same thing, that same thing would have cut through all the confusion? You can have billions who are saying the same thing, does that matter? Does that matter?

Continue reading

A Course in Realization: Bhakti & Purushottam Yoga from Bhagavad Gita

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Reading scriptures on a regular basis is most central to spiritual growth.

Ancient spiritual texts like the Upanishads and Gita are more relevant today than they were ever before.

To spend a lifetime without the words of the saints, the avatars and the gurus is to lose a lifetime.

Today, if mankind seems to be nearing catastrophe — if climate change, social injustice and violence have become the norm — it is because man’s mind has gone astray.

A Course in Realization, a classroom-based learning program led by Acharya Prashant, is a humanitarian initiative towards disseminating clarity and intelligence in the world.

The methodology of this program is to engage in an in-depth and rigorous examination of scriptures by relating them to the everyday realities of life. Relevant sections from scriptures like Srimad Bhagawad Gita, Upanishads, Brahm Sutras, Ashtavakra Gita, etc. are studied to unpack the ancient mysteries contained in them. Sessions are conducted by Acharya Prashant himself at Advait BodhSthal, Noida.


Course Title:
Bhakti Yoga and Purushottam Yoga from Bhagavad Gita

Dates:
6th March onwards

Time:
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Venue:
Advait Bodh Sthal, G-39, Sec. 63, Noida, U.P.

Total duration:
840 minutes

To register, send an email to requests@prashantadvait.com
Or contact, Sh. Apaar @ +91-9818591240

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On Ashtavakra Gita and Bhagawad Gita: The man beyond the world

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There is no aggression nor compassion, no pride nor humility,
no wonder nor confusion for the man whose days of samsara are over.

Ashtavakra Gita (Chapter 17, Shlok 6)

Acharya Prashant (AP): Whose days in Sansara are over.

Must be closer to death, some terminal disease. Must be dying.

It is a good point to begin with. It’s a good word to use. Live in the world, don’t be worldly. When Ashtavakra says that his days in the world are over, all he means is that his worldliness is over.

There is no aggression nor compassion, no pride nor humility, no wonder nor confusion for the man whose days in Samsara are over.      Continue reading

The real meaning of Mauna (Silence)

(Speaker in conversation with Shri Edson Mattos from Brazil)

Mattos: Thank you for allowing me to attend this session. I’ll be very quiet and just observe.

Speaker: In fact it would be even better if you speak. When we meet in our office, which happens twice a week, our discussions or deliberations center around life, mind, and the way we look at things, how we perceive what we perceive, what we want, illusions, facts, the light of Truth and then to aid us in these discussions we take texts from all times and places. We pickup stuff from the Oriental traditions, we have the Vedantic tradition, the Buddhist tradition, the Taoists. We also take stuff from the Abrahamic traditions, so the Sufis, the Bible. That is how we proceed. The clarity sessions happen twice a week in the office.

And occasionally, once a month or so we go out to a bit of a remote place for a period of around a week and we organize our learning camps there. We intend those places to be very secluded, man-less, civilization-less, almost like a jungle.

Mattos: Do you practice Silence?

Speaker: The emphasis is on the essence of things. So, Mauna (Silence) at the surface level is just wordlessness, which is good initially as a tool because the mind’s tendency is to remain busy and act. Words are a form of acting. So, to go against the tendency is to size up the tendency but that is all. If Mauna (Silence) means wordlessness then that is all one can do. It always remains on the surface; though it is useful. When we take up Silence we try to let the inner Silence let us know the real meaning of Silence. What really Silence is.

Mattos: To live Silence.

Speaker: Yes, to live Silence, and the living of Silence may actually involve lots of words. One may speak the Silence within, and that is beautiful. The entire rainbow is available, emanating from the core of Silence. Hardly have we ever practiced Silence, yet Silence pervades everything that we do, all that we talk of. Be it Silence or self-inquiry or Love or Truth, those old culprits, the spiritual subjects, Joy, Freedom.

The emphasis is on coming to the essence rather than just the functional aspect of it. What happens is that when one is looking for something then it pleases the mind if one gets that thing quickly in a form, in a way that is apparent to the eyes and rest of the senses. It pleases the mind because it is an indicator to the mind that the search has fructified. Let’s say I am looking for Love and I come across a person who promises me love and that is happening all over the world with the young and the old alike. It pleases the mind that I was looking for Love and I got love, in a form, visible, in a way that I can touch and feel. I will be quickly impressed and I will want to state and declare to myself that I have been successful, that my search has yielded results. I am not really wrong; it’s just that there is much more to it. The form is always a fraction of what the formless has to offer. Even to say that it is a fraction is to bring the form to the same dimension as the formless. So, we can’t even say that it is a fraction.

Mattos: It is impossible to speak of the formless.

Continue reading

God and scriptures are not matters of personal belief

Question:  Sir, belief in God often stops us from doing wrong things. What is your point of view?

Speaker:  Belief in God stops us from doing wrong thing. How does the whole thing operate? You are saying that my belief in God prevents me from doing the wrong. Do you see how the mind operates in this situation? The mind is saying that there is a God and that God will punish me, if I do any of these things. So you have a list ready with you; these are the good thing and these are the bad things. If I do good things then Gods will give me some reward and if I do bad things then God will come with a stick and punish me.

What kind of God is this? And what kind of list is this?

Today what you consider as right, did you always consider it right?

How do you know what is right and what is wrong? Continue reading