Tag Archives: Divine

How does Hinduism justify idol worship when Christianity and Islam forbid it? || Acharya Prashant

How does Hinduism justify idol worship when Christianity and Islam forbid it

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


Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

~ John 13:16

Question: The Abrahamic religions, all of them, are against idol worship. Not only Christianity, but also Islam, Judaism. But in Hinduism , there is a lot of idol worship. How to reconcile them, and whether or not, they can be reconciled?

Acharya Prashant Ji: What is the sutra(verse)for tonight? What does it read? Read it aloud please.

Questioner: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” ~John 13:16.

Acharya Ji: Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

This establishes one relationship between the center, and the expression of the center. What is that relationship? That the One that you are seeing, is the servant of the One, who has sent him. That this world, is not really separate from the lord. It is related in the same way as, a servant is related to the world.

Are you getting it?

That it has not just come, from somewhere.

Jesus is saying that this has been sent, by Truth itself. What Jesus is saying here, is so very in tune, with the opening lines of the the Kena Upanishad. The Kena Upnishad begins by asking: “By whom is the mind sent? What is behind the ears? What is behind the eyes?”

Jesus is answering it. He is saying: “The world is a servant, sent by the Lord, the Master, the Truth.” Now, if you really are surrendered to the Lord, then an expression of the surrender is, that you worship even the servant of the Lord.

India has worshiped, the creation, as very intimate, to the creator.

So intimate, that they cannot even be differentiated.

All that Jesus is saying is: “Do not worship anybody, except the Lord. Do not worship anybody, except the Truth.”

Hinduism has said: “All of this comes from the Truth. So where do I go to worship the Truth? And having realised that all of this is sent by the Truth, I will worship all of it, without distinction. I will worship the tree, the animal, the stone, the leaf, the dung, the mountain, the air, the water, the hurricane, the man, the woman, the child, the old one.

Without exception, India has worshiped everything, because everything is coming from ‘there’ – the Truth.

Just as you keep to your heart, a letter that has been sent by the beloved, don’t you? What do you do with a letter, that has been kissed, and sent to you by the beloved? What do you do to it? You keep it here, close to the heart. You don’t throw it away.

Hinduism sees this world, the entire world, with all it’s diversity, as a letter from the Beloved.

Now, the Beloved can’t be kissed. So, the Hindu kisses the stone.

The Beloved can’t be kissed, so the Hindu kisses the river.

That does not mean that Hinduism believes in many gods. Of course, the Truth is not even one, let alone many. The Truth is a great void. But it manifests itself variously. And all aspects of the manifestation are divine. They have been worshiped.

(The questioner had especially flown from Europe, to seek answers related to God, Truth, Peace.

His curiosity coincidentally connected him to Acharya Prashant Ji. He was firstly, connected to Acharya Ji, through the YouTube videos, and then he finally got a chance to attend his Satsang, during the Myth demolition Tour, organised in Rishikesh, in the year 2016).   

Questioner: But the Bible says that do not worship a particular statue, do not worship idols.

Acharya Ji: Now pay attention. If you make, ‘a particular’ statue, then it is idol worship. But what if you say that all statues are statues of God, would you still call it as ‘idol worship’?

When the Bible says, “Do not worship idols,” it is assuming that you will make one particular statue. But what if you say, that all forms – a statue is a form – what if, you say, that all forms are the forms of the formless?

If you worship one particular form, of course, you are taking just one idol, and sticking to it. And that is false. But what if, all forms, the form itself, the universe itself, reminds you of That?

What would be the quality of that mind, that looks at the river and is reminded of the the great void?

What would be the quality of that mind, which looks at a child, which looks at a nude woman, and is reminded of nothing, but the Truth?

All forms, and any form.

That is what the Hinduism talks about.

Listener 1: So, when Shri Ramchandra ji, when he was going to Lanka, for getting his wife, Sita ji, back. I have read, that he did make a statue of Shiva, and prayed for his blessings. What my friend here said about Bible being against idol worship, may be true, because I think the God of Bible is a jealous God. He does not want anyone else being worshiped.

Acharya Ji: If your wife gets attracted to one man, then you can be jealous. But, would you be jealous, if your wife is attracted to the entire male population of the world?

(laughter)

Listener 1: There is nothing wrong now.

Acharya Ji: It is not about anything being wrong now. Now the happening is divine. When you worship one idol, that is called ‘idolatry’. Those who had condemned idol worship, had  not realised a situation where everything would be idolized. Had they known this situation, they would have said, “Idol worship is divine.”

To take one body as divine, is ‘idol worship’. That is why, thinking of Jesus as a body, as a son of God, is ‘idol worship’. Now you are taking one body as divine. But when all bodies are divine, that is not ‘idol worship’. Now it is something else. It is beyond the realm of mind, because you are not even putting any conditions. Now you cannot condemn it.

Your wife is in a loving relationship with the entire population of the world. How will you condemn it? Her love is universal – no limits, no boundaries. All is lovable. Now, you cannot condemn. Now you will not call it ‘idolatry’, or ‘adultery’.

No more.

Getting attached to certain forms, is indeed condemnable.

But seeing the divine, in every form, is another matter.

When idol worship is condemned, it is rightly condemned, because ‘idol worship’ means, giving one form, the position of God. ‘Idol worship’ means – this woman is so important. She is the idol. ‘Idol worship’ means – a man, a woman, a thought, a concept, something has become very important to me. So important, that I am worshiping it.

Now, this is heresy. Instead of worshiping the one God, you are worshiping something limited. Instead of worshiping the limitless, you are worshiping the limited, which would cause suffering to you. So, rightly idol worship is condemned.

But when, everything is worth worshiping, then you can no more call it ‘idol worship’.

Listener 2: This makes beautiful sense, Acharya Ji.

Listener 3: What happens when we start worshiping ourselves, the ego? What happens when we place the ego, the limited, as God?

Acharya Ji: What does it mean to worship everything, given that what is outside, is the inside. Right? We have repeatedly said that – the external is the internal. An now we are saying, everything carries the imprint of the divine, so Hindus have worshiped everything. So, does that mean that Hindus have worshiped ego?

Please understand.

When you are talking of every thing, what does it mean to see the presence of the divine, in every thing? Remember that the external, is the internal. It means – even when you are looking at multiple things, yet you are centered in ‘nothing’.

You might be looking at diversity, yet there is no diversity in the mind. Diversity means parts. You might be looking at many things, yet there are not many things ‘here'(the mind). There is nothing here – no parts, no presence. Pure emptiness.

When there is pure emptiness ‘here’ (the mind), then whatever is visible outside, is also empty. That is what is meant by – seeing the divine in everything. When there is Shiva ‘here'(the heart), then there is Shiva in that pole as well. But when there is ego ‘here’, then there is ego even in a pole.

To see God everywhere, there must be, first of all, God in the heart.

When God is in the heart, then your eyes open only to see God everywhere.

And when God is not in the heart, remember, you cannot see God anywhere.

Then, you will not see God, even in the Prophet of God, even in the Son of God, the Messenger of God.

So, if someone says, “No, no, I do not see godliness anywhere, but that fellow, that special one, is the messenger of God,” then he is lying. If you cannot see godliness anywhere, how did you see it in one particular form? Those who will see godliness, will see godliness, unconditionally. And those who will not see it, will not see it anywhere. Even if the very son of God is standing in front of them, they will not see godliness.

When you are not seeing godliness in the bird, in the puppy, in the stone, in the air, in water, how will you see godliness in the face of Christ?

Because you are the seer.

When the center is godly, then everything around you is godly.

And when the center is not godly, then you can only crucify Christ.


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

Watch the session:  Acharya Prashant: How does Hinduism justify idol worship when Christianity and Islam forbid it?


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


Donate

Support Acharya Prashant’s Work:

$10.00

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

In all that you want, Liberation is all you want || Acharya Prashant (2019)

In all that you want, liberation is all you want

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


Question: Acharya ji, only sometimes do I consciously know that I really want liberation. How to increase one’s quality, so that this want is continuous?

Acharya Prashant: Only sometimes do you use the word ‘liberation’. At other times, you use a lot of other words for liberation. So the mistake is mostly, semantic. You just need to expand your vocabulary, and remember that every word in dictionary, is a synonym of liberation.

Right now, when you think of liberation, you say, “I am thinking of liberation.” But when you think of having a Pizza, then according to you, you are thinking of something other than liberation.

The desire for food, and the desire for liberation, are according to you, diverse things. And from that divergence, is arising your question. You are saying, only for let’s say an hour a day, am I consciously thinking of liberation. For the remaining twenty-three hours, I am thinking of miscellaneous things. A, B, C, D……and L is for Liberation. And the other twenty-five letters are all for various miscellaneous things in the world, that occupy and attract us.

So, you just have to tell yourself, and deeply-deeply remember, that A=B=C=……X=Y=Z. And all of them equal L. L is for Liberation.

You cannot think of anything, but liberation. All thoughts are thoughts of, liberation in disguise. It is the limitation, and constraint in language, that only sometimes do you call liberation as ‘liberation’. At other times, you name the desire for liberation as a pizza, or money, or clothes, or relationships, or a book, or something else.

Man moves for one central purpose. And that purpose is…?

Listeners: Liberation.

Acharya ji: Liberation. It’s just that he does not consciously know, rather admit and acknowledge, how liberation thirsty he really is.

We keep denying to ourselves, that there is just one thing that we want. We think that we want multiple, various things. No. We want just one thing. The various things that we go to, are nothing but mediums to go that one single, final thing. If this much can be remembered, then all the mediums will become useful.

Then all the mediums will become godly, divine, because they will become a medium between you and the divine.

If you can remember, that this is a medium, then it is divine.

But if this becomes the end, if this becomes a purpose in itself, then this becomes an obstruction.

Why do you breathe? Breathing is for the sake of liberation.

Why do you see? What are these eyes looking for?

What is this mind anxious, and waiting for?

Why do you think that these eyes are constantly looking out at the world? What are they searching for? Have you never thought of this?

You come to a crowd, and have you seen how your eyes scan the faces of strange, unknown people?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya ji: You want to see that one special face. We all are looking for that one, final thing. These eyes, are always scanning, scanning. That’s why these ears are always….But that one, final sound, is not heard.

That one, final experience, remains elusive. We exist for the sake of That. That which is liberation. We breathe for the sake of that. We come to tomorrow, so that tomorrow, That may come. So, it is for the sake of That, that time exists. It is for the sake of That, that all future exists.

Do you see how liberation-minded we are? We eat, breathe, live liberation. And then innocently we say, “Why are we not liberated?”

The mistake has to do with linguistics, not with reality. And man’s language, and man’s thoughts, go together. Thoughts are diverse, so is language. Language means separation and diversity. This is ‘this’, and that is ‘that’. This cannot be that, and that cannot be this. Every word points at one particular object, which is not the next object, so no liberation.

In the world of thoughts, there is no liberation.

In the world of remembrance, there is liberation.

Remember, all the thoughts are from and for That. That which is – liberation. And that is liberation.

If you try to find liberation in thoughts, it is not there.

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

Watch the session: In all that you want, Liberation is all you want || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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

Donate

Support Acharya Prashant’s Work:

$10.00

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

coverpage

What stops you from being your true self?

What stops you from being yourself

Question: Acharya ji, I feel there are certain things in me, which I am not able to trace out or figure out. There is some shame, or something else, which does not allow me, to be what I am. How to overcome that?

Acharya Prashant: You see, you are what you are. That can neither be disputed, nor changed, nor challenged. There is no threat ever, to who you are. Never! Your deepest identity is safe, secure, inviolable. But ‘you’ – the ‘person’,, the ‘woman’, the ‘lady’, has an unfortunate power. And that power is bestowed on each one of us. What is that power? That power is – to not to take refuge in your real identity. The power is to choose something else except the – Real One.

And that’s the only shame. Call it ‘shame’, call it ‘suffering’. Call it whatever! You can use any of those so-called negative words.

Any concept you believe in, will take you away from what you really are!

The leaf cannot have a concept about the roots. The leaf has to just look at it’s leafness. The leaf has to look at the life juice flowing in its veins. And that’s the blessing of the roots and also the proof of the roots. The sap in the leaf is both – the blessing of the roots and the proof of the roots.

But instead, the leaf decides to apply memory, and knowledge, and intellect, to have a model framework about the roots. Then the leaf would burden itself, and grow pale very soon.

Getting it?

Drop your concepts. You don’t need any concepts. Your being, your physical being, your psychological being, itself is the proof of the great Truth. Beyond that you don’t need any concept.

A silent mind, is the final proof of Divinity.

Why do you want to rush the mind here and there, to search for Divinity?

Look at the foolishness, the contradiction. Where lies the proof of Divinity? In the Silent Mind. So, if the mind is silent, Divinity is already proven.

A silent mind itself is the great self, the Atman.

But the mind says, “I will wander, and rush, and explore, and figure out, and find, and search, and what not. And in doing all that, it has gone….away from Divinity. And that is such a tragic thing to happen- tragic and amusing, both. Amusing and bemusing. In searching for yourself, you…..go away from yourself.

The more concepts you have about Holiness, the more you will find yourself starved of Holiness. Holiness is not a concept.

Don’t try to live in paradigms.

If you live in paradigms, you will lose out on paradise.

There was this man. He had a fight with his woman. So, he won’t talk to her. He won’t talk to her. But you look at his mobile phone, and you see two things. One, a lot of disconnected calls. She would call him, and he would not receive the calls. Secondly, the screen saver was the face of the beloved.

That’s how we live.

When he calls, we choose not to….receive the call. And to compensate for his real presence, what do we do? We keep his photo on the mobile screen. Those photos are the concepts that we carry about God! The mobile is not there to look at his photo, the mobile is there to receive his calls, when he calls. Here, I am talking of mind, the mobile.

Mind is troubled when it has to receive the call, but it finds security in keeping his image, his photo. Don’t receive his calls, but keep his…..image. Use your mobile as a spiritual reminder. Receive the call, don’t keep thinking about it.

The image will never be, even a patch on what HE actually is.

Drop the images!

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: What stops you from being your true self?

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

coverpage

It is simpler to know Upanishads than to know your thumb

Spirituality is no abstract subject. When it is said that it comes from something that you can never know, from where the words of the Upanishads came, from where all the divine revelations came, you interpret it as meaning that they must be coming from a very esoteric source, some really deeply hidden source. Yes? Is that not the interpretation? But allow me to open it up a little more for you-if it is not already opened to the maximum. It is said that the Upanishads come from a source that you cannot know, because the Upanishads really come from nowhere.

For something to come from anywhere, the source must be at a distance from you. The source must be at least a little inaccessible, a little away, requiring a little effort to reach. But when, the happening is so obvious, then you cannot say that it has come from anywhere. The Upanishads come from nowhere, meaning-what the Upanishads are saying is just obvious, is just so simple. So what to say from where they come? They are like the palm of your hand. It is simpler to know Upanishads than to know your thumb, your nails, the back of your hand.

If you can pay attention to your slippers, I assure you that they will reveal to you, the scriptures.



Read the complete article: Living in facts versus living in thoughts

Living in facts versus living in thoughts

Presentatio2

Acharya Prashant: Want to begin this morning by talking of living in facts versus living in thoughts.

Is not, the whole system, the being, personality, even the face, very different when you are there connected to the fact? You visit a shopping mall. Have you observed our behavior when we are there? Have you observed the expression on the face; the whole drive, the whole energy? You want it. Now you are not looking lost, wondering, assuming. Have you ever seen somebody maintaining a safe distance from the goods while standing in a shopping mall? Continue reading

You are already alright.

“In awareness whatever is chosen will be beautiful.

In awareness whatever gets done is divine.”

~ Acharya Prashant

 

Acharya Prashant: In awareness whatever is done is right and beautiful and divine – that’s what you want to understand?

L1: Yes, I saw that in the poster. “Whatever is chosen”

AP: Yes. In awareness, whatever is chosen is the right choice, is the right decision.

L1: Yes, something like that.

AP: To know this, we will have to first know, what is meant by being in awareness. We know consciousness – you are perceiving me, you are perceiving this candle, you are conscious of these things – this is consciousness. To see as something separate from you, to see something out there, to see something with the help of the senses and find it registered upon the mind – this is consciousness.

In consciousness, you are always separate from what you see. In consciousness, you are always dependent upon what you see, because what you see has an effect upon you. If you look at a big dog vs if you look at a mouse vs if you look at a large lion – your own state will change. So, the subject is dependent on the object – that is the normal process of consciousness.

Continue reading

If you want to escape, escape Totally

Listener 1: Traditionally this idea of  ‘hankering around and everything that goes on in the mind is nonsensical’ has led to escapism. People have started saying that the pains that I experienced, the pleasures I experienced, the responsibilities, the duties that I have, are all nonsensical; neither would I go into pleasure nor would I go into pain; neither would I take up any responsibility and so on so forth.

And that is what I see with myself. When you said that all is nonsense, a kind of a nice breeze, I mean passed in my head. I can see that was not of the lightness you are talking about. That is actually of, “oh, I don’t have to do all that.”

Acharya Prashant: You have not gone deeply in your experience. Let me say something –

Escape is not at all a dirty word, if it is total escape. Total escape is liberation. 

What most of us do is that we don’t escape ‘away’, we escape ‘to’. We don’t escape away from all, we escape to something. So then you hear a teacher saying that all is nonsense then you don’t mean “all is nonsense.” Then you mean that — Okay that means my responsibilities are nonsense, my studies are nonsense, my commitments are nonsense but fun is not nonsense, sex isn’t nonsense — all that which gives me pleasure isn’t nonsense so let me escape away to that.

Continue reading