Tag Archives: Clarity

Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)

Is willpower really needed

Question: Acharya Ji, how to improve willpower?

Acharya Prashant Ji: So, what has Aditya (the questioner) asked? “What can we do, to improve will power?” Right?

What is ‘willpower’, and why do we need it? What is ‘will power’?

Listener: To have determination.

Acharya Ji: To have determination. Determination, for what?

Listener: For our goal.

Acharya Ji: For our goal. To ‘do’ something. Right? To ‘do’ something. You need willpower in order that, something happens, that something gets done, right? Now, why does something, not get done? We often find that we are unable to act, to ‘do’.

Why are we unable to act, and ‘do’?

Listener 1: Because of fear.

Listener 2: Because of restrictions.

Acharya Ji: Fear. Restrictions.

If fear is there, if restrictions are there, and you give them importance, then obviously you cannot act. And when you cannot act, then you get up and say that you need willpower.

So, willpower is needed, only when you feel fear, only when you feel restrictions.

In order to overcome them, you need willpower. And that is what you are asking – “How can I enhance willpower?” What could be a better question?

Would it not be a better question: How not to be afraid? How not to be restricted?

Are you trying it, with me? We say, “We need willpower.” What if the willpower is actually not needed? What if you are fighting imaginary demons? You say, “You know, I require a lot of willpower, to enter that room, because in that room, there are ghosts, are there are demons?”

And as long as you believe, that there are ghosts, and there are demons, what will you require? Will power.  Willpower, motivation, somebody to give you courage. Somebody to pump you up. What if you come to see that there are no ghosts, and there are no demons? Would you still require willpower? Would you still require willpower?

(Pointing at one of the listeners) You are shaking your head, would you require willpower, to shake your head? You are again shaking your head, do you again require willpower? You are saying, “No, Sir,” do you require any willpower to say, “No, Sir”?

You just know, and out of that clarity, a simple action is happening. There is no willpower needed. But, if you are told that the fellow sitting in front of you, is a maniac, and the moment somebody shakes his head, nods his head, he shoots from the podium itself, then you will need a lot of willpower, to nod in ‘Yes’, or ‘No’. Right? Otherwise the action is simple. If you have to enter a room, you have to just step in. If you have to shake your head, you just shake it. A simple nod.

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

When we look into these obstacles, we find that they are only, as long as, we believe in them.

Then, you do not need willpower. Wisdom is enough.

Then, you do not need courage. Clarity is sufficient.

But, instead of asking for clarity, we often ask for courage. Now, courage is not needed, clarity is needed. Instead of asking for wisdom, we ask for will power. Will power is not needed, wisdom is enough.

If you are deeply afraid, and you believe that everybody will laugh at you, when you will ask a question, then you will need a lot of willpower. But if you are wise, and you say, “First of all, not many people are going to laugh. Secondly, even if somebody laughs, how does it matter to me?” then, will you still need will power?

You don’t need willpower. You need willpower, only as an antidote to fear. Where there is no fear, there is no need of willpower. So, don’t ask me, “How to enhance will power?” The more afraid you are, the more will power you need.

Is that not so?

Listeners: Yes, Sir.

Acharya Ji:

The more restricted you feel, the more willpower you need. Is that not so? Just open your eyes and see, that there is no restriction, except those, that you subscribe to, except those, that you willingly self-impose.

Then you will say, “Well, willpower! Who needs it?” When you are enjoying a particular sport, then you run around a lot. You expend a lot of energy. Do you need willpower? Do you need willpower?

Listeners: No.

Acharya Ji: But you will need a lot of willpower, if you are told to go jogging, and if you don’t enjoy jogging, then jogging even fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, you will say, “O my god, I am just dragging my feet. Give me some willpower.”

When you are really into something, when there is no fear, who asks for will power?

It is not needed.

Are you getting it?

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

Watch the session:  Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

coverpage

Quotes, April’19

1.

If you want to most definitely reach,

Take the most difficult route.

2.

What is It?

More than everything, in general.

Less than nothing, in particular.

3.

If your lover speaks to you in a language you cannot comprehend,

does your love diminish?

No.

You may not comprehend his words, but still, you do understand.

What do you understand ?

Nothing in particular.

Not everything has to be intellectually comprehended.

Love is enough.

4.

Freedom is the backdrop in which bondage appears as bondage.

Freedom is the Light in which darkness looks like darkness.

If there is only darkness, there is no darkness.

Darkness means anything only in the presence of Light.

To not to feel bondage is to not to be in Freedom.

5.

Grace is available to you unconditionally, but not compulsorily.

She would come to your doorstep,and knock.

She will wait,not break open your door.

Answer the knock quickly,or the knock keeps getting dimmer and infrequent.

She isn’t short of patience,but you’re short of time.

6.

Those who are winning the war, matter.

They need to be saluted.

Those who are losing the war, matter.

They need to be helped.

Those who are absentees from battlefield, do not matter.

They need to be ignored.

7.

What you collect for your security makes you all the more insecure.

8.

Except for Prakriti,

who will tell you

of all the stories of

Parmatma?

And, well,

all his secrets?

9.

What does it mean to say “God is One? Truth is One?”

It simply means: Do not allow the many to lord over your mind. The world is many things. The world is many thoughts, moods, emotions, ideologies, objects, relationships.

Do not let these turn into your gods.

10.

The lover, the mystic, looks at the moon

and knows fullness itself.

Is the material just material?

A thing is the Source behind itself.

It appears as a thing only because you watch as something.

Watch as nothing,

and the thing reveals itself as it’s own genesis.

~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait

Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Begin from where you are and what you realise

Question: Acharya ji, I am only a beginner on spiritual path, and my experience complicates things. Which tool can I adapt for myself, to take the right decision?

Acharya Prashant: The response is hardly spiritual in the classical sense. I will not say that for life’s decisions, kneel down in front of the unknowable. I will not say that what you need, lies beyond the grasp of your mental faculties.

I am saying – live by what you already know. First of all, you have no other option. Secondly, what you already know, is very sufficient, to make a beginning. And you said that you are a beginner.

The trouble with most of us, is not that we do not know some transcendental, ecclesiastical Truth. The trouble is: we just don’t live by that which is within our mental province.

It is not as if we have come to the boundary of our knowledge, and our limited realisation. We haven’t. If we come to our own boundaries, then the beyond, cannot be far enough.

The boundary of the little self, is where the Truth stands to greet  you.

So you don’t have to really search for the Truth.

You just have to come to the boundary of your own province. 

Come to your own boundary, and there you will find something, of the beyond.

But, do we care enough to come to even our own boundaries? I am not telling of leaping out of your self. You don’t need to leap out of your self. But, at least, putting in a very cliched way, do the best you can.

If you cannot go beyond your self, at least, do the best you can. And when you have come to the utter limit of your personal resources, there you find something, a bit magical happening.

Our situation is strange! We do not do, what we can. We cannot challenge ourselves enough. We do not make the best, utter, and desperate use of our own, personal, limited resources. But we want some kind of a helping hand, to descend from the heavens.

It won’t!

And this is good news. Because it means that each one of us, as he or she is, is fully capable of helping herself or himself. May be we cannot see, beyond the hills. But there is nobody who does not see clearly enough, to take even the next step. And that is all that you need. 

Inspiration, energy, and clarity- just to take the next step. What after the next? That’s not our business to ask. Sitting where we are, let us not demand the whole blue-print, the road-map of the entire state. Then we are transgressing.

One step is sufficient.

And that one step, each one of us, is endowed enough to take.

That one step happens to be so simple and obvious, that it does not appeal to us. We want things – big and glamorous. Just as in the material world, size and shine appeal to us. Similarly, in the spiritual domain, we want things – colossal, magnificent, sensational, to happen.

Instead of those things, if we are advised to take, one little, baby step, it appears like a bit of let down.

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

Watch the session:  Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

coverpage

Be sincere with even your wrong choices || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2019)

Be sincere even with your wrong choices

Question: Acharya ji, is it a right decision to dedicate one’s whole life to the pursuit of something unknown?

Also, kindly throw light on how should we choose something in life.

Acharya Prashant: Whatever you are doing, there has to be honesty in that. What is important is: you cannot say one thing, and do another thing.

If you look at the great scientific discoveries and inventions, the scientist, or the explorer, would be busy in his chosen area of pursuit, having disregarded everything else.

Columbus set out for India. And you very well know for how long a period was he, on the seas. And he was not reaching anywhere. Certainly, he was not reaching India, because he was not even headed towards India.

Now, in that period, if you would have gone to him, and looked at him: the food material, the ration, as well as the motivation, all were in short supply. You would have said that this fellow is a fool. He has left everything. In fact, he has left the entire continent, for the sake of nothing. Not only that, he is going in the wrong direction as well. But look at what he got. He got America.

He got America, because, what he was doing, was not a pretense. He was doing it sincerely. At times, there were rebellions on his little ship. People even thought of killing Columbus. They said that let us get rid of this man, throw him in water, and return.

But he persevered.

It doesn’t matter, what you are chasing.

Be very-very sincere.

You must know that you are committed to it.

And you must be very-very assured that you are not blindly chasing something. You understand that, that which you are looking for, is important.

Discovering an entire continent, is important. Finding a new sea-route to India, was important. So, if this fellow feels, that there is something, very important, that he must discover, let him get into it. Let him plunge into it.

The only condition is: if you are doing it, do  it fully.

Do it completely, do it honestly.

If you have left behind one kind of life, if you have left behind one kind of job, at least  do the other job honestly, diligently. Work really hard.

You have all the right, to make a choice. But if you make a choice, and don’t do justice to it, then that is very bad. In fact, correction of choices only happen, when first of all, you have fully tried out, what you are doing.

Please see. You choose something. Now, unless you dedicate yourself fully to it, how will you know whether your choice is correct? May be your choice is incorrect. But if you are not trying out your chosen area, in a complete sense, you would always be left with the hope, that something is still left to be tried out. So, let me stay put. Let me not opt out.

Once you make a choice, plunge fully into it.

Commit yourself completely.

And then, only then, if your choice is misplaced, you will come to know that you need to change something.

You know why people continue with even wrong choices, for very long in their life? Because they don’t do justice to their right choices, and even to their wrong choices.

If you are choosing a particular way, go down fully. Cover a lot of distance. And that will tell you, whether the way, the path, the road, that road that you have chosen, is right or not. If you choose particular road, and don’t go far on it, how will you know whether the road is right or wrong?

So when you say that you are making a choice, commit yourself to the choice, so that if the choice is wrong, you can quickly change it. Otherwise, you might find that you are spending the entire life-time just being in the wrong profession, with the wrong people, with the wrong thoughts, with the wrong ideologies, with the wrong habits.

Test, test and Test! That scientific rigour must be there. That spirit of inquiry is essential to the youth. Ask, and test. Laziness – you probably have enough time for that, once you are ninety. This is the time for some real hard work. Hard work that involves the muscles, and hard work that involves the brain.

Did you get this?

Even if we have made a wrong choice, like Columbus did. He had chosen a wrong path, had he not? The navigational path that he opted for, would have never brought him to India. Or it would have brought him to India, only after covering the entire earth, because he was going in exactly the opposite direction.

From Europe, instead of coming eastwards, he was actually traveling, westwards. But even if he was travelling westwards, he at least had confidence, that he was doing something worthy. Have that confidence. And that confidence can only come by serious questioning and examination. It cannot just come from belief. It cannot just come from a kind of superstition.

You must never be afraid of questioning others,

and also never be afraid of questioning oneself.

The second part is tougher. It is easy to ask questions to others, at least it is relatively easy. Questioning oneself, hurts the ego. But that’s one must practice.

Question yourself: what am I doing? Initially, there might be confusion. But this confusion will lead to clarity. Is it not better to be initially confused, than to have false clarity? So, afford a little confusion. That will give you a lot of clarity. And a young man, and a young woman, has to make lot of decisions. Some of those decisions have consequences for the entire life.

Therefore, you must have clarity. I have seen very, very bright people, from the best institutions, in the country and in the world, just get lost, because they made some awful decisions, and persisted with them.

The best of the country, the best of the world, even they need to continue questioning themselves. That alone leads to continuous correction, and continuous light.

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

Watch the session:  Be sincere with even your wrong choices || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2019)

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

coverpage

What is the process of gaining mental clarity?

What is the process of gaining mental clarity

Question: What is the process of clarity? Is it just listening with immersion, in no resistance? What is Truth? How do we decide that it is listening without effort? If there is Truth in what you hear, there is change and transformation, and then Truth becomes the Master.

Acharya Prashant: We will take it step by step.

What is the process of clarity?

So, there is a lot that the mind has acquired. There is a lot that the mind has acquired. Whatever has come to the mind, has come with a promise.

What is the promise? The promise is – I will give you peace! It can have different names – Love, Joy. But the promise is always there. Nothing has been accepted by the mind without that promise.

The mind’s whole objective in accepting conditioning is that, conditioning is worthwhile. Otherwise the mind won’t accept anything.

Mind feels inadequate. Mind feels incomplete. Whosoever promises it completion, the mind latches on to it; it, him, her, whatever.

Wherever, from any direction, there is the faintest possibility of emancipation, of freedom from that incompleteness and inadequacy, the mind says, “Please give it to me. Whatever it is, give it to me.” That is the promise that the mind is holding on to.

So, what is the process of clarity?

The process of clarity is – I accepted something based on a promise! Is the promise being met? That’s it.

Ask.

This ideology came to my life with the promise that – it will give me peace! Organised religion came into my life with the promise that – it will give me peace. A particular person came into my life with the promise that- it will give me peace. Is it giving me ‘that’? This is the process. Ask this question. And if it’s not giving you that, clear it away. That is clarity.

Whatsoever comes to you, if it is not giving you ‘that’ which is your deepest longing, and your deepest longing is for peace. Whatsoever comes into your life, if it is not giving you that, clear it away. Get rid of it.

That is clarity.

“It is not that! It is not that. I was deceived. I made a mistake. And it is alright. I made a mistake. It can be cleared. It can be corrected.”

It could be a thought, it could be a vision, it could be a target, it could be an identity, it could be your self-image! Whatever it is, is it giving me ‘that’, or is it a source of strife? Is it a source of conflict? Ask – whatever is present in your mind, what is it doing to your life? What is it, that it is bringing to you?

How do you feel when you are with a particular idea? When you are with it, in awareness, how do you feel?

How do you feel when you are really with a particular person? Not just bodily, sitting side by side. When you are really with him in attention, how do you feel? Does it bring peace to you? Or, in fact, looking closely at that person, makes him all the more despicable! He can be tolerated, if you do not look at him closely. But the more attentively you look at that person, the more repugnant it is. So, that’s it!

Similarly with books! Ultimately, is this giving ‘that’  to me? Or when you are with a teacher! “Jaa guru se bhram naa mitey, bhranti naa jeev kaa jaaye, saa guru jhootha jaaniye, tyagat der naa laaye!”

Is it clearing away confusion? Is bhram/bhranti(illusion) dissolving? If it is giving you that, that the clouds are being cleared, the Sun is now shining in my inner sky, then it’s alright. What is that book doing to you? What is that video doing to you? That is the only way of knowing. And that is the process of clarity.

Ask yourself!

“Is it making the mind even more clouded? Is it loading me with more beliefs, more content, more stuff, more load, more baggage? Or is it making me lighter? Featherweight, flying around in the wind.”

And once you have seen it, then please be honest. Please be honest.

So, you are asking – what is the process of clarity? Is it just listening with immersion, and no resistance?

No, you see, it is not only a particular action, which you are calling as ‘listening’. Hearing something out, in a particular period of time, will not be sufficient. Is this what you are calling as ‘listening’, is this something that is a part of entire life, or is it something that is limited to a few hours? If by this, what you mean is, that I listen to ‘life’ with immersion and in a resistance-less way, it is beautiful. But if by this, what you mean is that – I hear a out particular person, or a particular book, then that won’t help much!

‘Listening’ is a quality of life itself. It’s an all-pervasive thing.

Not limited to just a few hours.

If what you mean, extends to the whole spread of your life, then what you are saying is very nice! Good.

But, immersion cannot be time-bound.

Immersion cannot be time-bound.

Resistance-lessness cannot be time bound.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: What is the process of gaining mental clarity?

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

coverpage

Core value is ‘Clarity’

Why can’t my response to a situation arise directly of my out of my intelligence? Why do I need an ideal? Why do I need an ideal to show me the way? Why do you need to give me ideals? Don’t I have the power to understand? And can’t my action come out of my own power? Why do I need the support of an ideal? Why?

Every course of action and its opposite course of action both are alright in a different situation. So, how can there be an ideal response? 

Your very fundamental core value is ‘Clarity’ except that there is no core values.

Ideals obfuscate ‘clarity.’ So, anybody who will have ideals as core values will find that he is missing out on clarity. That clarity has also been given the name of ‘emptiness.’ Emptiness because it is clear, clear of everything. It is empty. That is the only core value. A little ahead that core value takes the shape of a few other core values. They are called Truth, Joy, Love, Freedom.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

Acharya Prashant: Your ideals will always limit you

L1: Acharya Ji, my question is on the applicability of idealism that is practicality of idealism. Basically, an idealism and practical approach both are separate, It cannot be together. But if some people try to bring idealism in the practical life. It’s always like to creates a problem. Like we all are on and off face the problem which becomes a prison for saying the Truth.

So, what my question is does idealism that applies to the practical world does it create the issue and problem that was meant to solve the issue and the problem?

Acharya Prashant: Good! Pranay?

Pranay has asked the question the gist of which is that following ideals often lands one into trouble. What to do when the situation is like this? What are the Ideals?

L2: Ideals are ethics. Just as my Life is there and there is no conflict in between me and my favorite personalities and I keep on following him and practicing him.

AP: Can you simplify it a little more? I don’t know what the ideals are. You need to educate me. What are the ideals?

L2: Which are right things.

AP: What is the right thing?

L2: Which doesn’t land us into the problem.

AP: How do you know that it is right to express your hands like this? You just did that. How do you know that it is right to look that way? You just did that. How do you know? Can you have an ideal for every situation? And life is moments and remember a moment is not a second. A moment is infinitesimally smaller than a second. And for every moment you need some kind of a response right? Some kind of a right response. Can you have an ideal to guide you?

What is an ideal answer to the question that I am posing? How do I know? How do I know that it is ideal for me to ask you this question? How do you know that it is ideal of you to listen attentively?

Ideals sound like a well-meaning word but what are they? What are the ideals?

Alright! Let me try something and tell me whether it’s okay. I am saying ideals are some kind of predetermined response to a situation. When the situation is like this you respond like this. X comes to you and your output is Y. That is an ideal, right? Input X output Y. Is that an ideal? Is that not what an ideal is?

Continue reading