Tag Archives: Desire

Market, Money, Food, and Liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Market, Money, Food and Liberation

Question: Acharya Ji, which are the industries I should invest my money in?

Acharya Prashant Ji: There are two industries those are not going to fail. First one, that thrives on kids. Second, that thrives on sickness. And the two are one. The school industry is never going to starve, and they will always make very big bucks. What else do we earn for? To pay to the schools. And the hospital industry is always going to prosper, and they will make very big bucks. What have we earned for? To pay to the hospitals.

You can avoid spending anywhere else, but these two places, you will not only spend, you will always overspend – kids education, and health.

And it should be obvious to you, that these both have to do, with your deepest vrittis (latent tendencies). We began this evening, talking of what this Prakriti rely on. It relies on continuation of this body, and procreation. This body should continue, and more bodies should keep coming. So, these two are also the two ways, to loot away your hard earned money.

I recently found out, the apparels of a fully grown-up man, are only as expensive as apparels of a two-month old. If you purchase something for yourself, for two-thousand rupees, and that thing is this big, size forty-four, rest assured, if you buy something for your infant who is one month old, that too will cost equally the same.

Look at the margins. And you will not be able to question it. It’s a matter of love, you know. Don’t you love your child? Can you question the fees that the schools charge you? It’s preposterous.

Listener: It’s a matter of pride now-a-days, to say that our kid’s fees is higher than the fees of your kid.

Acharya Ji: You are being looted in broad daylight, in the name of your kid’s fees. And you will accept it, even if you happen to be the intellectually strongest person in the world. The fellow is IQ 140, emerging from the best institute of the world, a post-graduate in Astrophysics. But the moment he gets a kid, he can be looted in broad daylight. And he won’t be able to resist it. Because he is hitting you, where it hurts the most.

You might be very, very smart, but you can still be looted, because now you have a kid. Same with the doctor. It doesn’t matter who you are. If he says, “Twenty lakhs,” twenty-lakhs is ‘twenty-lakhs’. You don’t argue with him.

It’s actually not the doctor, it’s the hospital. Just as it’s not the teacher, it’s the school. If the hospital says, “Twenty lakhs,” it is twenty lakhs. It’s all spiritual, if you can see.

This is what tells you, how Prakriti fails you. Man gets attached to continuation, and in the name of continuation, man is robbed-off the precious resources, that should have gone towards his liberation.

Your precious resources, that should have been invested towards your liberation, rather go towards your, continuation.

To hell with such continuation.

I don’t even have an insurance. I have no medi-claim. I am very clear, the day she comes and says, “I have to take you away,” I will say, “Why wait? I don’t even have to pack up. Come, let’s go! I am done.” I neither have life-insurance, nor medical insurance.

For my small medical needs, I have enough. And if a giant medical need comes up, I will not meet that need. I will not allow Prakriti, to rob me, of my real occupation.

My real work is not to save, for the furtherance of my physical life.

My real work is: this.

My real work is not to fill, and bloat my bank account, for the sake of my physical security, and physical continuation.

My real work is – liberation. My liberation, your liberation.

I must work for that.

Getting it?

Listener: There is no point in living on, if you cannot live for liberation.

Acharya ji: Wonderful! There is no point in living on, even for one day more, if liberation is no more possible, or if you have no desire for liberation. Kabir Saheb has put it so succinctly, in so many verses. “Jaa tan prem na sanchare, so tan jaan masaan. Jaise khaal luhaar kii, saans letu bin praan.” (If you do not have love for Him, then your body is just a graveyard. You are breathing, but you are really not alive).”

Life should either be a great rhapsody in love, or otherwise it is just a spell of irritating noise. Who wants to tolerate it? There is no valor, or pride, in continuing to live. Finish -off your work, and retire. Go away! Go to sleep. 

There is no great virtue in living for a hundred years, and living like a maggot. Turtles, crocodiles, they all live longer than men. So what? 

Question: Acharya Ji, does poor food habit become an obstacle in the path of liberation?

Acharya Ji: In general, you eat badly, only when only food starts becoming meaningful to you. The body knows it’s food. Does it not? Do you have to teach the cow to take grass, and not flesh? Do you see any animal species, that needs to be tutored on the topic of food? Monkeys, mosquitoes, they all know the kind of food that is right for them. Why does this question become pertinent for ‘man’? Because man identifies himself with, just about everything.

Man is different from mosquitoes, in the sense, that man has more heightened desire for liberation. So he searches for liberation, everywhere. Even in paani-puri, he searches for – liberation. In titillation of taste buds, he assumes liberation.

If paani-puri becomes liberation for you, then your kidney will complain. So, rather than regulating your food habits, you should rather ask the question: Who am I? Once you know, that you are the one who can never be satisfied through paani-puri, you will lose all fascination for paani-puri. You don’t need to be tutored on what to eat, and what not to eat. All that is largely useless. 

Why do you get attracted to mithai, or pizza?

Listener: Because of desire.

Acharya ji: And desire is really for?

Listener: Liberation.

Acharya ji: And that has to be realised. “That that which I really want, will not come to me, through mithai.” And then mithai will lose its charm.

Listener: That is known, but for now instant gratification is demanded.

Acharya ji: That you have to remember, at that moment. As you said that, one has to be constantly reminded. That is why ‘ing’ is needed. You will have to create mechanisms, that will keep constantly reminding you.

Have somebody by your side, who shouts into your ears, right when you are about to pop in the next puri. This is not That. That’s the mantra that you need. What?

Listeners: This is not That.

Acharya ji: This is not That. So, you will just spoil the body, and get nothing in return.

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

Watch the session:  Market, Money, Food, and Liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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What are honesty and simplicity? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What are honesty and simplicity

Question: Acharya ji, please explain about honesty and simplicity.

Acharya Prashant ji: When do things become complex? When there is fear between you and the obvious. Neither can you deny the obvious, nor can you overcome your fear. Then one goes round and round.

It is very difficult to break away from the Truth, and habituated as we are to ourselves, it is probably equally difficult, if not more difficult, to overrule ourselves, and leap directly towards the Truth.

So ours is a funny situation. Can’t go away, can’t directly come close. And at the same time, we want to tell ourselves, that we are busy and occupied, and doing something constructive. So we start with the merry-go-round, maintaining a safe distance from the center. As if that safety is any less discomfiting, than a total separation from the center that invites us.

This is complexity, and this is dishonesty – the in-between-ness.  The safe, middle path. The position, the movement, the locus that convinces us that we are not totally dishonest.

You see, without a love for honesty, there can be nothing called ‘dishonesty’. Obviously, we love that which is real, that which will not deceive us, that which we eagerly want. But in spite of our love, in spite of our deep, and true desire, we still deny ourselves, we defy ourselves.

We defy the command of our own hearts.

So, simply put, dishonesty is to not to see what you are seeing, to not to get what you want, not to be what you are, not to live by what you know. If you don’t know, you cannot be dishonest. If you don’t love, you cannot be disloyal.

It’s absolutely fantastic, that we know, we want, we love.

And it’s equally tragic, that in spite of, knowing, wanting, loving, we somehow still choose to remain deprived.

Complex!

A kid would ask,”But why would you not just take it, if you want it so much? That is what I do all the time. If I want it, I pick it up.” Somehow, adults have more complicated explanations for everything.

They will say, “Well kid! You are not yet seasoned enough. With age and experience you will realise that you cannot always get what you want. There are other priorities.” But the kid will say, “Isn’t what I want, always my top most priority? And must not one always go for his highest priority?”

You will say, “Well Kid, these are complex matters. Life is not all about loving. Life is not all about knowing and realizing. One has to keep allowance for various other things as well.”

The kid will say, “No! If I want it, I will go straight at it.”

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

Watch the session:  What are honesty and simplicity? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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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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All that the mind knows is love || Acharya Prashant (2019)

 

All that the mind knows is love

Question: Acharya ji, Pranaam! How to understand the different states of mind?

What we are, is the mind always dwelling in fear and desire. Mind is always afraid of its death, as a deal for love to flower. But at the same time mind’s ultimate desire is – love. Kindly elaborate.

Acharya Prashant: That is the human condition. You have to see, that all mental states are – one. It doesn’t matter what the mind wants, it doesn’t matter which direction it chooses to go. It doesn’t matter whether it is burning in jealousy, or burning in affection. It doesn’t matter whether you call the mental state as ‘positive’, or ‘negative’.

All mental states can be called by just one name – love.

Greed is love, fear is love, jealousy is love, disgust is love, violence is love, separation is love. All mental states are nothing, but different ways of describing your separation from the Source, from the Lord, from the center, from the God, from the Truth. It doesn’t matter what name you assign to That.

Are you getting it?

So these mental states that you have written, or quoted, are all pointing in the same direction. Let not vocabulary confuse you.

The difference in different mental states is just, at the level of description. Words are causing you to think, that sometimes you are afraid, and sometimes you are not. When you are afraid, it is because you think that you will not be able to meet Him. When you are not afraid, then it is, because you think that not being afraid, will take you to Him. In either of the situations, your target, your desire, is just for Him.

Are you getting it?

Then you should ask: if all goodness, and all badness, is just the same, and differs only in name, the difference is only at the level of words, then why should one be good at all? Then, you should all tell that why should one follow spirituality, why should one not remain just worldly.

You should ask, “Acharya ji, if all desires are desires of Him, then why should I not pursue my carnal desires? Why should I not pursue money, and prestige, and possessions, if even they are going to lead me to the same end?”

You may do that. But you have to factor in, who you are. I have said that it doesn’t matter what the colour, flavour, name, direction, of the desire is. All desire is actually for the One only. So, I am saying, that your question should be that why should we reject certain desires.

I am saying, to get the answer to this question, you have to look at your mortal condition. You are – mortal – which means that you have limited time. Even when you are using the GPS, it often suggests multiple routes to a destination. All of the routes are valid routes. I am saying, take any of the routes, you will reach the same place. Even if you decide to stuff you life, with material possessions, money, furniture, bungalows, property, car, real estate, whatever, you would reach there.

But, which route do you choose, when the GPS shows you five competing routes? You choose the shortest route.

So, Spirituality is not the only route to God. If someone says that spirituality is the only route to God, then he doesn’t understand the mind.

Spirituality, is one of the routes to God.

It is just the shortest route.

And, the fact that it is the shortest route, is very, very important, because, you are mortal. Because your time is limited.

There are five routes from your place to the airport. If you do not choose the shortest route, there is a great chance that you will miss the flight. Do not miss the flight!

There is the path of fear, there is the path of desire, and then there is the path of love. The destination is same.

Now make the right choice!

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

Watch the session:  All that the mind knows is love || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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What is luck? How to get lucky? || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

What is luck How to get lucky.jpg

आयहू हर रस कर्मी पाइआ सतगुर मिलाई जिस आय

~तिलांग, पहला महला, शब्द हज़ारे ( नितनेम)

The Essence: Name of the Lord, His love, is obtained by good luck, good deeds, when the True Guru: the True Master, meets and tells you to recite the Name of God.

~ Tilang,1st Mehla, Shabad Hazzare (Nitnem)

Question: Pranam Acharya Ji, can you please help me understand what does ‘luck’ mean, and what role it has in our life?

Acharya Prashant: The use of the word ‘luck’, merely means – something that is beyond cause and effect chain. When you do something, and you get something as a result of your doing, then you do not call it ‘luck’, do you?

Then you claim ownership, and therefore is ‘Ego. The ego loves the cause and effect paradigm. The ego says, “The effort is preceded by a cause. So, if I can cause something to happen, I will get the desired result.”

“I can cause the effect,” says the ego.

‘Luck’ or ‘Grace’, or as some people may call it, ‘randomness’,

lies outside the cause-effect framework. 

Therefore the word has been used here. The Ego will not get it, using its doership. That which, a thing brings, cannot be of a quality, dimension-ally superior to the thing itself.

Please understand this.

The effect cannot be dimensionally, beyond the cause. Which is to say – the fruit of the action, cannot be dimensionally superior to the action. Which is to say – the fruit of the action, is actually just the quality of the actor.

The result is dimensionally same as the action, and the action is dimensionally the same as the actor.

Therefore, the result is in the same dimension as the actor.

But the ego does not want to believe that. The ego wants to believe that all the possible dimensions, are contained in its one little dimension. So it keeps hoping, its entire little life, that it will be able to obtain, something of the beyond, while just remaining itself.

It feels that it can remain, continue to remain, in it’s own lowly dimension, and yet through its actions and cleverness, and manipulations, obtain something of the beyond. That’s the false hope of the ego. But the ego does not see it as false.

The ego says, “I can remain earthly, but through my clever tricks, I can attain the sky.” The ego does not want to leave the earth. It is scared and attached. But, it also has the longing for the sky. It is stuck. The ego says, “I would remain on earth, but I will devise a trick through which I can also have the sky.”

That is not going to happen.

Now you see, why the word ‘luck’ is used? Your actions, your plans, your cleverness, your manipulations, all will fail, in getting the desired result, because that which you truly desire, is beyond you. Whereas, your actions, and your plans, and your thoughts, would always be..? Just like you.

Are you getting it?

You want to get Him through your actions, but your actions are just like you.  And what is it that you want? A beyondness from your self. You want to go beyond your self, being yourself. That won’t happen.

“How does it happen then?”

“Who knows. Let’s call it – luck.” It’s very difficult for the ego to submit to this statement.

“How does it really happen?”

“Neither do I know, nor can I ever know. It is not merely unknown, it is unknowable.”

The ego does not want to accept that. So it continues with its blind efforts, gets tired, and expires. And expiry does not mean liberation. For the ego, the expiry means – re-birth. Re-birth not in the sense of assuming another body, re-birth in the sense of just coming back, as another type of ego. Ego in another name.

Old wine in new bottle, that’s what re-birth is all about. Re-birth is not about the Atman in a new bottle. People often say that this(the body), is the ghat, the bottle. And the Atman moves from bottle to bottle. No!

The Atman does not move from anywhere to anywhere.

It is achal, it is unmovable.

Re-birth is – the rotten old wine, in an apparently new bottle. And then, another cycle of effortfulness starts. The ego again says, “I will cause the effect.” What is the effect that it wants? Liberation. What is the effect that it wants? God. But how does it want to have that effect?

Listener: By  doing something.

Acharya ji: It does not want to surrender to that effect. It wants to cause that effect. In other words, the ego wants to cause God. Whereas God is the one, who is utterly uncaused, unborn.

The ego in wanting to attain liberation, is wanting to give birth to God. If you can cause something, you are it’s father, aren’t you? If the ego can cause liberation, then ego becomes the…? Father of liberation. Such is, the ego of ‘ego’.

(laughter)

Such is, so deep, the egoistic darkness. It wants to cause Liberation. It wants to cause Godliness.

Can it be caused? No. It just happens. And therefore, it is referred to as – luck.

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

Watch the session:  What is luck? How to get lucky? || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

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Should one want liberation? || Acharya Prashant, on Vivekachudamani (2018)

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Mumukshatva is the burning desire to free oneself by realising one’s true self from all bondages, from that of egotism to that of identification with the body, which are bondages imagined due to ignorance.

~ Vivekachudamani (Verse 27)

Questioner: Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam,

Desire seems to the root cause of misery. Should be even desire for liberation, freedom and guru?

To have the right intention in conscious and to remain surrendered in everything we do. Is it right? Is liberation even possible without grace?

With this I do not justify, living a lazy life. Continue reading

Acharya Prashant: Living fully means whatever is, is always full. Just go close to it.

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Questioner:  This one thing that comes up when said ‘Live fully’. So, let us take an example of bath. By fully what occurs to me is you can use hundred types of products to wash your body.

Acharya Prashant: Living fully does not mean that you have to add something to life.  Living fully means that life is already full and you must not be disrespectful towards that fullness.

I think that it’s an important thing that I missed.

Living fully does not mean that you have to go out and consume life. Living fully does not mean you have to enhance life. Living fully means that whatever is, is always full. There is nothing except fullness. Just go close to it.  The separation is the issue.

Eating fully means that every morsel is a great opportunity to know the total. It does not mean what you are eating, how much you are eating.

Q: Yes. The volume, the quantity doesn’t matter, it is the quality that matters.

AP: Yes. It’s the quality. You see, it’s not only the religious ones and the spiritual ones who teach nonsense, the corporates and the consumerists are not behind. They too are eager to teach nonsense.  This is consumerist nonsense that living fully means consuming a lot, having a lot, it does not mean that.

Life is anyway always, already happening and whatever is happening, ‘whatever’ not some special happening, is a gateway.

You get lot to eat, that is your opportunity, an opportunity to know through eating what is eating and what is it that is beyond eating and if you get to eat a little that again is an equal opportunity.

There are two tables. On one is laid out a sumptuous dinner and on the other table is a measly piece of bread.  Are the persons on these two tables having unequal opportunities?

Just tell me.

No.

The opportunity is same because the Truth is one.  Are you getting it?

Continue reading