Tag Archives: Devotion

What is devotion? Do observation and devotion go together || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Devotion and Observation

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Question: What is real meaning of devotion in spirituality? How can devotion help one to reach the Truth? What is the path of devotion? How to prepare oneself for devotion? Which one is greater, observation or devotion?

Acharya Prashant: Devotion is a million times more powerful than observation. With devotion, if you are uttering the name of ‘Ram’, or saying, “Om Namah Shivaya,” with genuine heartfelt love and devotion, then forget everything about observation. Observation will happen on its own.

That which is precious, is observed. Full stop. The mind is the road to Truth. And only the mind can be the road to Truth, because you have no other road. May be after a point, the road too disappears. But till that point, you do walk on that road, don’t you? Then the mind will be obviously observed, if you love the Truth.

Love for Truth, or God, comes first. Observation then is a petty thing.

It just happens. Just happens.

You are in so much love with cleanliness and purity, that any rubbish shows up on its own.

That is observation.

Obviously, observation cannot show the truth to you. What do you see in observation? All the falseness.

Why would falseness ever become noticeable? Falseness becomes noticeable only when you are in love with Truth. Otherwise, falseness passes of. Otherwise, falseness is just everyday stuff – agreeable, acceptable. Those who are on the path of observation, very well know that all the blemishes show up. All the falsenesses, the biases, the inaccuracies, the prejudices, the attractions, the attachments, they are what is seen, right? Why must they become noticeable?

On the wall, why must a certain spot catch your attention? It does, when you want the wall to be clean, and pristine, and white. And then that little blemish is observed. Truth cannot be observed, obviously.

Love comes first. And where there is love, attention becomes compulsory.

Attention is an immediate obedient to Truth.

What is attention? Attending. Attending. Attending to whom? The Truth. That is also the only difference between focussing and observing. And also, it is the only difference between concentration and attention. In concentration, you want some little object, so you are pointing at it. And if you want a little object, you remain little, which means you remained secured, because little you already are.

In attention, you want something big, really big. And that is love. And if you want something really big, you cannot afford to stay small. And that is one very unfortunate tragedy. We want the big, remaining small. And then we curse the big that it doesn’t come to us.

“O! you don’t come to me!”

“How will I come to you? You are so small.”

But then, the argument is superb. You say, because I am so small, so you should come to me. The Truth responds. It says, “I can begin to come to you, because you are small. But if I come close to you, and you are still determined to stay small, then I cannot come any closer.”

“Little girl, how will you put an elephant in your little pocket? I am an elephant, and your pockets are so small. And you refuse to grow up. So, I have no option, but to watch from a distance.”

In attention, it becomes mandatory for you to grow up, or dissolve. Concentration does not change you. That thing, that you are concentrating on, is small. So you too can remain small.

In attention, you are targeting something bombastic. Boom! So, you better be big. And why will you target something so big, and therefore so very distant?

Love, love. Devotion.

Attention is possible only if you are devoted to the Truth.

Otherwise, why would you attend to the Truth? Why would you become an attendant, a servant of the Truth? Why? Without love, attention is tension, a lot of tension. A tension. And you already have so many tensions.

Will you remember that? Without love and devotion, attention is just another tension. And there are so many who think that they will be able to be attentive, without being devoted. They end up turning very, very dry. Very dry.

I have come across so many of them. They keep uttering – observe, observe, attend, attend. And ‘surrender’ and ‘devotion’ are words they are allergic to. The moment you utter the word ‘surrender’ to them, the moment you utter the word ‘surrender’ to them, it’s like they have been pricked by a pin at their backside. They jump up.

“Ha! Surrender. No, don’t talk of that. We will observe. Let’s observe. No devotion, just observation.”

Very sorry samples, they turn out to be. They can’t sing a crazy Kabir Sahib, or a Bulle Shah Bhajan, Kaafi, Sakhi, Wakh. They can’t. When a Meera is dancing madly, they will say, “I am observing.” When a Bulle Shah has gone crazy in the love of his murshid, they will say, “I am listening. I am listening.”

And all that is so idiotic. That pretense of intelligence.

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

Watch the session: What is devotion? Do observation and devotion go together || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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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

The real meaning of devoting one’s action to Shri Krishna || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Questioner: Dear Acharya Ji,

As you always mentioned, one must perform his actions, while remaining established in Ram, who is the essence of all actions. Your teachings have given me clarity that selfish motives behind my actions strengthen the ego. Knowing this, I practice paying little attention to my motives. And I try to work to offer everything to divine. This also reminds me of Shri Ramakrishna.

‘As long as we are continuously battling the ego, it is never going to vanish. Stop pedaling this, it will travel some distance and eventually stop.’

~ Shri Ramakrishna Paramhans

Is practice useful?

Is this the practice that Lord Krishna teaching to Arjuna through Karma Yoga?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, practice is useful. And yes, I can without consideration or analysis or any thoughtfulness, say that this is what Krishna is teaching to the Arjun because the Truth is one.

There cannot be a central difference between what Ramakrishna says and what Krishna says. And even at the level of fact, Shri Krishna does recommend to Arjun, the importance of abhyas. And abhyas is practice.

What is the practice that you have taken upon yourself?

Continue reading

Acharya Prashant on Saint Lalleshwari: Who needs devotion and who does not?

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Life is given. Nothing is earned.

So, learn to serve others, not your own desire, greed and ego.

They steal your energies.

Whereas devotion builds your strength and protects the intelligent flame that leads to the Truth within.

~

Saint Lalleshwari

Acharya Prashant: So, Kamlesh is asking, ‘Is the intelligent flame vulnerable? Does the strength fade away too? Is Truth a by-product of devotion, intelligence and strength? Can I not be in Truth prior to it? Are devotion and serving others necessary stepping stone?’

Kamlesh, it is not a question of whether and if and assumptions. If one is firmly established in Truth, then one does not need devotion. The establishment is devotion.

If one is Lalleswari already, to the extent that one has given up identities with all sheaths, just as Lalleswari had given up her identification with the social regiment, clothing, then obviously serving others as a tool is not needed, then serving others is just an expression of who you are.

But one is not there. One is at a distance from one’s own heart; and therefore tools and methods are needed.

The distance is both an illusion and a reality. Absolutely seeing, no-one is ever at a distance from Truth; because Truth is the only reality, where else will you go? But relatively speaking, looking at oneself from one’s own eyes, from one’s own deluded eyes, one is obviously at a distance.

One does not look at himself as the absolute Truth. One looks at himself as a limited person. This limited looking and subsequent conclusion that I am this person, leading this life, mired in such responsibilities, troubled by such fears, hoping for such gains. This limited person needs that flame of intelligence. Needs the help of devotion. The limited person needs all the help possible.

Yes, later on a point may come when the transformed person may say, Oh! All that was not really needed! Oh! All that was just a game! But the fellow who says is not the fellow who is deluded right now. For the deluded one, help is needed. Methods are needed.

~ Acharya Prashant speaking at a Shabd-Yoga Session at Advait BodhSthal Ashram, Greater Noida on 1st October 2017


Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant on Saint Lalleshwari: Who needs devotion and who does not?

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To be alive is to be working

To be alive is to be working. You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.” Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

If the first category is where you belong to, then work is sufficient. The return, the reward, is contained in the work. If the second category is where you belong to, then work is not sufficient. Then work, plus, rewards is what you are looking for.

The salary is not contained in the work. The salary is an output of the work. This is the second way of living.

Man is the only one, who has to support his ambitions as well. Man is the only one, who has to support his psychological self as well. Then obviously, supporting yourself becomes a burden. Then obviously, just carrying on with life, becomes a burden. Because life is demanding so much.

Do not live a life that tries to escape work, and also do not live a life that uses work as a medium for psychological aggrandization.

Work must always be there as an expression of your Heart.

Action is always happening. You cannot avoid action. Even avoiding action is just another action. So, action will happen.

Fight hard and then let what is going to happen, happen. Do not worry about the result. Just say, that I did what I had to, and I have now devoted the result to you(Krishna).



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?


 

Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: How to know the right work for oneself?

Question: What does Khalil Gibran mean, when he says, “He who works in marble and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.”

Acharya Prashant: What is Work?

All work involves action. 

As human beings, we are beings of action. We have limbs, senses, mind, all configured to act. So, action is inevitable. One cannot avoid action. So, workers we all are. There is nobody who does not work. The one who is professionally working somewhere, works. And so does the one, who is professionally unemployed. Both of us, both of them, are workers, irrespective of whether or not they are formally working somewhere.

To be alive is to be working.

You are working all the time, because ‘action’ is happening all the time.

Then the question is of the quality of work. How does one work? From where does the work arise? Khalil Gibran takes two images and contrasts them.

First image, is of the man who is working with material, but his work is essentially an expression of his being, his center, his Self. He might be working with marble, but actually it is his soul taking shape as marble. Marble is now not only marble. Marble is now not only material. Marble is an expression of what he is. This is work of one kind.

And then he says, there is another one, who looks at soil, just as soil. For him, work is something outside of himself. I go somewhere, and I work with material. I work with material, probably, so that I may get some returns, some reward. He is not directly and organically ‘connected’ to his work. His relationship with work is transactional. I work, I put in some hours, and in return I get paid. Are you getting it? So, there is you, there is work and then there is a business like relationship between ‘you’ and ‘work.’ This is the second way of working.

The first way of working is,

“Work is not outside of me, work is an expression of me.”

Work is not outside of me, work is just an expression of who I am.

Continue reading

Beginning itself is wrong

Defeat is hardly ever to be measured in terms of the events that happen outside of you. Defeat hurts exactly because defeat happens inside of you.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning. When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

You might be a great driver, but if you do not know where you are coming from and where you are going, then your driving skills will only take you quicker to the wrong place.

What has begun wrongly cannot be corrected by the finesse involved in the process.

And one feels bad about his condition only when he strongly identifies with his condition.

Defeat is not the end of the war. Defeat is not in the end of the war. Mostly defeat lies in the beginning of war.

The more you pick unnecessary battles, the more you will feel defeated. The more you will feel defeated, the more will be the urge to fight another unnecessary battle. It’s a downward spiral. Once caught you remain caught.

Willpower, commitment, determination they are of so little use because they are extremely superficial. One can be a very committed person and yet have a very petty mind because one is needlessly committed. Committed to the wrong thing from the wrong center.

Efficiency or discipline or determination or commitment make sense only when the fundamental has been taken care of.



Read the complete article: Forget winning, first choose the right battle