Tag Archives: Brain

What is disappearance of the self? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is disappearance of the self

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Question: Acharya ji, what is the meaning of disappearance of the self?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Your interest in your interests has to disappear. Your interests can remain. Can this brain survive without interests? Your lungs are greatly interested on Oxygen, and they reject Nitrogen. Can lungs survive without interests?

Let the interested one, remain interested.

‘You’ have no business to be interested.

The intellect is curious by design. The intellect will remain interested. Have you not seen kids, three years olds, asking questions that grown-ups cannot answer. They will remain interested. Let the intellect, the design of the brain, remain interested. ‘You’ need not remain interested.

Let this physical system, including the brain apparatus, remain curious, interested, inquisitive, whatever. Even attached. ‘You’ stay wherever you must.

Spirituality does not entail that the lungs must give up oxygen. Renunciation is not for the lungs, Sir. Do not stretch it to absurd limits. That will give you another excuse to stay away from spirituality.

You will say, “Baba was asking me to renounce oxygen. If I have to have no relation with the world, why must I even breathe?” Because breathing is the continuous relationship with the world. And seeing is the continuous relationship with the world. So if spirituality means renunciation, even at the physical level, or at the psychological level, then you have to cease existing as an embodied entity.

Spirituality is not committing suicide, or is it? Then we do not need satsang, we need mass suicide halls. Over! It has happened, you know. There have been cults in Japan and other places, where incidents of mass suicides have been reported. They thought, that is ‘liberation’. So, 300-400 hundred people would get together, and would just breathe in some nice gas. And all are liberated. That is not spirituality, obviously!

Do not deprive the stomach of food. And do not deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Just as it is stupid to deprive body of food, it is equally stupid to deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Thought is not the enemy. Feelings are not the culprit. Your misplaced presence is the culprit. The needless presence of ‘I’ in the thoughts, is the culprit.

Be fully secure about the ‘I’, and then think as much as you want to. Feel, in whichever dimension you want to. You can laugh, you can sing, you can cry. You can even hate, or fall in love. All that is okay. All that is part of the rainbow.

Spirituality is not about banishing certain things, from your life.

Spirituality is just about seeing, that life is beautiful, and does not get any better, with the intervention of the little self, the ‘I’.

It is one thing to think, it is a totally another thing, to think with the objective of self-preservation. Can you see the difference these two thoughts? There is just thought, as is needed to solve a mathematical problem. And then there is the thought, that feeds on fear. Are these two the same?

Thought is not the problem.

Your insecurities about yourself, your utter loneliness –  that is the problem.

And that is an assumed, imagined problem.

A problem that does not exist, but is taking to be.

Now how smart is that – to be fretting over an imagined problem?

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

Watch the session:  What is disappearance of the self? || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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What is the ego tendency? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

What is the ego tendency

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Question: What is ego tendency? What is maya? Why does the mind get distracted? How to be attentive?

Acharya Prashant: You see, we often say that suffering is when things start cluttering the mind. Kabir Sahib says, “Maya is that, which occupies your mind.” We need to ask, “To whom is the occupation?”

Let us say a girl keeps dancing in your mind. To whom is she dancing? Who is watching her? To whom has she come? Has she come to a nobody? Has she come to an empty house? She is dancing in your mind. To whom has she come? Had you not been there, would she have come? That’s the ego tendency.

Whenever you see something, you must that, that which you are seeing, is for you. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been there. Your universe is, for you. Otherwise, it is not there. That girl has come to your mind, for you. You go away from yourself, the girl too wouldn’t be there.

Listener: What is this ‘going away from oneself’?

Acharya ji: First of all, you are attached to the brain. ‘I’ tendency attached to the brain, is called ‘mind’. And therefore she comes to the mind. To merely the brain, she will not be a big trouble. But to the mind? She is a big attraction, or distraction.

A male dog does not keep dreaming of the female dog. That does not happen. But a man can keep dreaming of a woman, for fifty years.

You are so attached to the brain, that now there is all kind of mischief. So, now when things start appearing to you, when things start becoming important to you, when things start occupying you, you must ask, “To whom have they come?”

You must ask, “So many unwelcome guests have arrived. But who is the host?” So many unwelcome guests have arrived to the mind. The mind is the house. So many unwelcome guests have arrived to the house, but who is the host?

And then you will hear a resounding voice, “I am.” That’s what Nisargadatta teaches. The guests are surely all bogus. But who is the host? I am. Had I not been the host, the guests would not have arrived. So don’t blame the guests.

Don’t chase away the guest. Because even if you chase away the guests, you still are. You go away from the house, the guests too will go away. Which is the house to which firstly you came, and then the guests came? The body.

First of all, you are very attached to the body. And then, therefore, the girl starts circulating in the mind.

Listener: When you say that you leave the mind, what is this ‘leaving’? How can it happen?

Acharya ji: I don’t need to be here. I don’t need to be here. Right now you are in the house, just as a patient is in the hospital. A patient does not visit the hospital on his own, in his bliss. The patient needs to be in the hospital.

Similarly, you need to be in this house, that’s bad. Very bad. You have turned yourself into a patient, needlessly.

Had you been a visitor, a casual visitor to the body, an occasional visitor, it was okay. But you are here, as a new visitor, to the emergency. As a new enrollment in the trauma centre. Freshly admitted.

Listener: So is the detachment possible, of a patient with the hospital?

Acharya ji: You tried a lot of mischief, and you held yourself very wise. Now ask yourself, “Is the hospital any good? Am I being treated?”

First of all, you needlessly got admitted. And now kinds of things are being performed upon you. Are you liking it? Somebody is holding you to the stretcher. Two nurses who think that you are a helpless baby, are trying to nurse you, in your own personal ways.

One is may be the mother, and the other is the wife. They are trying to nurse you all the time. And one fellow, who considers himself a master surgeon, is rushing towards you, with a large saw. And now that you have started yelling at him, another one is dipping your face in anesthesia. They are trying to make you unconscious. Do you like this hospital?

Listener: No, but what is the choice available to me? Where to go?

Acharya ji: All places are within the hospital. There is nowhere to go to. That is your ‘to go to place’ – nowhere to go to. As long as hope remains, you will get relieved from Fortis(name of a hospital), only to get admitted to Apollo(name of another hospital). Your entire journey will be from one hospital to another hospital, from one trauma centre to another emergency ward.

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You don’t need to be ‘anywhere’. You don’t need to be ‘anybody’.

There is nobody to hold onto, and there is nothing to defend.

You don’t need to protect anything. 

You don’t need to safeguard anything.

There are no vulnerabilities.

You are not hurt.

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

Watch the session:  What is the ego tendency? || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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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Acharya Prashant, with students: Brain and Intelligence

T5

Acharya Prashant: We can live in two kinds of worlds. How? Even as I am speaking to you, some of you are listening, and the others might be thinking and wandering and lost in imagination, Right? Do you see that? You have to be together in this. Is that alright?

So that means that it’s possible for man, and each of us is a human being right? So whatever is applicable to us is applicable to mankind in general. We can easily generalize whatever is applicable to us. So, it is possible for man to be simultaneously living two kinds of lives. One is that you are sitting here. The other is that you are thinking about something else. Correct? The very fact that which really is known as reality. Whereas that which is imagined, which is thought of, is called ‘the mind.’ Can you see this that even though you would be sitting here, it is possible for the mind to be at a totally different place? You could be in Disneyland or at your home or at any other place. Now is that for real? Where is a reality? Reality is that which is. Everything else is imagination. This imaginary aspect of us is what is the ‘mind’. Now, what is this thing called the mind? Write down. The mind is ‘brain + intelligence’.

Brain — Matter, Product of Evolution, Just like a computer hard disk, Just like a computer hard disk, Automatic, Prone to Conditioning, Like the Fan.

Brain is like the fan in the sense that it’s totally material. It is a slave to the commands of somebody else. You switch on the fan, you switch off the fan. Does the fan have any intelligence or any will of its own?

Remember it’s very efficient. It keeps working all the time. But does it work according to its own understanding? Does the fan know what is going on in its head? Does the fan understand what electricity is, what electromagnetism is, Faraday’s law, Ampere’s law, anything? Does it understand? Yet it keeps working. It keeps working according to the design provided to it by external forces.

Who has provided the design to it? Man – an external force. Not the fan itself. The Fan is a mechanical device which is a slave of others, albeit very efficient, efficient but dumb. With the result that everybody else can exploit it, can make use of it. It’s mechanical, dumb. You can write all these things for a brain. Everything that applies to the fan also applies to the brain. Alright? Except for one thing that the fan does not have a memory chip, the brain has a memory chip as well. The fan cannot really recall the events of yesterday. And that too can be done. You can have a fan with a memory chip. That’s not difficult at all. That’s not at all difficult.

You can have a fan that can keep registering what is happening day in and day out, and after one year when you will take that chip it will have all the data accumulated on it. That on which particular day how many hours of rotation was there, at what time, at what speed, all that can be done, right? That’s not at all difficult. You can do that as a project. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Are you getting it?

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What is the difference, and the relationship between, the brain and the mind?

Question: What is the difference, and the relationship between, the brain and the mind?
Acharya Prashant: Who is asking this question? You. You are the ego, the incomplete self-principle (I-, I minus). 
 
What is the proof that you, the questioner, are the incomplete self-principle, the ego?
The proof is that you are asking this question. If you were not incomplete, why would you ever ask a question?
 
Fine. Come back to the topic. So, what is the brain?
The brain is the body. Conditioned like any other part of the body. An evolutionary product. Thoughts, feelings, intuitions, impulses, all are conditioned processes of the body. That’s the brain.
 
The brain projects the world. The brain, body, and world are one. So are perceptions, emotions, thoughts etc. All the same. Prakriti.
 
You are the ego. I- (I minus, or the ego) seeks completion. It can attach itself to the body, and then what results is the suffering mind.
 
I- + Brain Body World = Suffering mind (normal mind)
 
I- + That(Good old Brahm) = Peaceful mind (no mind)
 
But the question is far from dissolved:
What is this I-, or ego?
 
Hint: It can not be in the same dimension as Brain-Body-World, because when I- combines with BBW, the result is disastrous. First of Buddha’s noble utterances.

Continue reading

Your brain has nothing but the past.

AP: Brain. Time and space are properties of the human brain, or brain. It is not somewhere there (Pointing at the roof), it is here (Pointing at head). Time and space are here (Pointing towards the head). The brain itself is time and space. All that it can perceive is time and space. It is a product of time and space and it perceives only time and space.

It will sound a little strange to you initially. The brain is nothing but time and space. Time fills it up. What is time? Change. How do you know time is passing? When something changes its place. That’s what we are telling you. That’s what all those experiences in time and space have made this brain, otherwise its nothing. Every single cell of the brain comes from that past. Your brain has nothing but the past.



Read the complete article: Evolution and brain

Evolution and brain

21762214_1227353527370622_921021697824714700_nQuestion: How did the brain evolve?

Acharya Prashant: There is absolutely nothing. You could say, “Just material exists.” And then a few chemicals get together, a few chemicals get together, then few more chemicals, longer chains, longer polymers which are today called as proteins. These proteins get together and they form a soupy, slippery substance called the protoplasm. What do they form?

Listeners: Protoplasm.

AP: Protoplasm. This protoplasm is still is inert, it has no consciousness. But given the way these chemicals, these molecules have come together, this protoplasm starts developing something which is not totally inert. It learns a way to respond to the environment.  And slowly, gradually, your first single cell organism is born. Relatives of that are today called by the name of amoeba, paramecium, and such names. Continue reading

Ambition is nothing but the great granddaddy of the desire.

Ambition is nothing but the great granddaddy of the desire.

So, desire is small, ambition is large.

There is nothing wrong with ambition except that it is not new, not fresh. Being ambitious is like asking for repetition of the past. That is the only thing wrong with ambition. You believe that you are ambitious and you want to create a new future for yourself, but that can happen only in intelligence, that cannot be a product of conditioning. That cannot be a product of conditioning. And the one who is living intelligently, anyway gets a wonderful future. He doesn’t desire, he doesn’t plan it. He just gets it as a surprise gift. A beautiful and wonderful future he gets. But not a future that has been pre-planned for him, that has already been scripted for him by others.

Ambition, firstly understand that these words belong to the same family. Ambition, Goal, Purpose, Target, Desire, they all belong to the same family. They are very closely related.  You could just say that they are just one word, Desire. And all desire comes from the past.



Read the complete article: What is ambition?