Tag Archives: expectations

Acharya Prashant, with students: Freedom from expectations || (2012)

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Acharya Prashant: Are we young? Are we really young? To be young means, to be energetic, means to be open. Oscar Wilde had said, youth is lost on the young. Do you understand its meaning? That we only turn young in the body. Either we remain a child throughout life or enter old age directly, bypassing the real youth.

Do I really have to go too far, to enquire why am I living like this! And ‘Why’ still comes later. First, do I know ‘How am I living?’ Why am I doing engineering? Whenever I sit in a class, why do I get bored? Are we able to clearly look at these ways of our day to day living? Am I just dancing to the tunes of the external world in this life? Is there something really mine. One doesn’t need to go and read books to see ‘How am I living?’ One just needs to look at oneself, one’s actions with clarity. You are in the second year, most of you must be thinking about the jobs, whether you will get a good one or not? Always, buffeted by doubts, queries, insecurities, confusions.

Wherever I am, am actually never there. Strained between the pulls of the past and the pulls of the future. Let us first look at our life. When we honestly do this, only then will I realize that life is precious. I am important. And it cannot be wasted away like this. There must be something more to life. But that wholeness, that completeness, which life deserves, that you can give to it only when you first realize the incomplete, the fragmented, the divided, ways in which we are living.

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Acharya Prashant: How to earn more money?

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Acharya Prashant: (Reading a question) One may have good knowledge, but he might not be having a satisfactory job or salary. What to do in such a situation?

You see, as long as knowledge to you is a means of earning a higher salary, you will have to realize the limitations of knowledge. Higher salary does not come merely on the heels of higher or deeper knowledge. This is assuming that you have already set a goal. And the goal is to get a high salary. I am going by your goal. You want to get a high salary.

If you want to get a high salary, you must know what all factors drive salaries. It is just not dependent, merely on your knowledge. It is a function of many many variables. And even those variables are variable.

Today, high salary might be a function of x, y, and z. And tomorrow, high salary might be a function of s, t, and u. So, variable variables are there. You just can’t know.

Yes, you can catch hold of one variable, and put all energy into it. But that may not necessarily help. The car might be in neutral, and you are pushing the accelerator, would that help? You would only burn more and more fuel, and the engine would get heated up. You are trying to push just one variable, and you are not seeing that the other variables are all? Choked. They will not let you progress.

So, you have two options now. Either you go out and determine all the variables that drive salary. And when you determine all the variables, you must remember that the variables themselves are? Variable. So, that which is driving salary today, might not be what would drive salary? Tomorrow. And that which is driving salary in one place, might not be what drives salary in another place, another room, another building, another company.

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Pure giving

The ego is interested in its own nourishment.

Because the ego wants only that what the ego values, not which is absolutely valuable.

Getting tired of getting hurt is a rare happening. Man is extremely resilient. We keep on getting hurt again and again, at the same place and yet we are hardly ever tired of repeating the same processes, the same actions that bring us to hurt.

You can call it a stage of demolition. The old patterns are seen as worthless and hence given up.

In the first level, the ego gives, and this giving is of a nature that strengthens the ego. In the second level, the ego gives up its trust in itself and hence gets diminished.

In the third stage giving up does not happen. The third stage is of pure giving.

You just give. Meaninglessly, purposelessly, reasonlessly. You don’t even give, you are just being what you really are.

And when you just start giving, since you are giving to yourself, you start receiving a lot.

Tremendously bored we are with everything, that even an invitation to get rid of boredom sounds boring.

Your mind is already afraid of death, and Rumi is just exposing, or at worst exploiting that fear.

Given the way we are, fear is our reality. Wherever there is body identification, there would also parallely be the fear of the loss of the body.

Everything is done for a purpose, for a reason, with the expectation of gain. And where there is the expectation of gain, there is also the parallel fear of loss.

Because an action that arises from fear can never eliminate fear.

Take care of the ‘first’ in the ‘first place.’ Do not let the disease guide your actions. Rather, the first action should be to eliminate the disease. And these are the only two ways of living.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving

Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving

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Before death takes away what you are given,

give away what there is to give.

Rumi

Acharya Prashant: Here is something from Rumi: “Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give.”

The question says, “Statements like these are interpreted as being pleasure aversive, and we already are pain aversive, so together it means being life aversive. Is Rumi really talking about being life aversive?”

I’ll repeat the quote, “Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give.”

‘Giving’ is the keyword. Let’s go close to it and understand it. ‘Giving’ happens at three different levels. All three are connected to each other, yet there is a dimensional difference between the three. The three appear to be progressively leading to each other, yet there is also a quantum jump from the first to the second and from the second to the third. The first kind of giving is the giving that we are all very familiar with.

You give somebody a hundred rupee note and then you expect in return a value of at least hundred rupees, right? And it is great if you give hundred rupees and are in return given a value of two hundred rupees. If you just look at the event partially, then giving is happening. Is it not? You are giving something, right?

Similarly, we give gifts to each other. We give compliments to each other. We give advices to each other. We even give help to each other. We see that happening all around us. What is common between all these types of givings? We are talking about the first level of giving. What is common between all these types of giving?

Listener: It’s given to someone else.

AP: Yes, and?

L: Expectation of a return.

AP: Expectation of a return. Now what kind of return do you expect? When you give something to somebody, what do you expect in return?

L: Something of same value.

AP: Something of value at least, or do you expect something valueless? Be with me, do you expect something valueless or something you deem as worthy?

L: Something we deem as worthy.

AP: Who decides whether what you are getting in return is indeed valuable?

L: Me.

AP: You decide. So you are the one who decides that you are giving away something that has value, let’s say a note or a compliment. And you are also the one who decides that what you are getting in return too is valuable, correct? Who is this ‘you’, who is this ‘me’ who decides what to give and what to get? And whether to give and whether to get? And whether the given and taken has value? Who is this entity that decides all this? That entity is called the ‘ego.’

The ego is interested in its own nourishment.

So, whenever it enters into a transaction with the world, whenever it enters into a transaction in a relationship, its objective is always to enhance itself. Which means that if it is giving hundred, it wants hundred and fifty in return. This is our normal day-to-day giving, which appears like giving but is actually a business transaction in which the ego wants to benefit and hence enhance itself. Are you getting it?

If you give something but get something in return which the ego does not like, then you will say that this is not a fair transaction. Take an extreme example. Let’s say you have become habituated to substance abuse, drugs. You take one thousand rupees and you give it to a drug peddler. And what you get from him instead is some sane advice and a copy of the Upanishads. An entire set of the principal Upanishads, that’s what he gives you the moment you hand over your thousand bucks to him. Will you say that you have been given a fair deal? Would you?

L: No.

AP: No,

because the ego wants only that what the ego values, not which is absolutely valuable.

It has to be valuable in relation to the ego’s configuration. I want that which I think is good for me. Now even if what you are giving me is beautiful advice and a copy of the scriptures, yet I reject it because I do not value it because this is not what I expected. Give me that which I want.

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Living for others happen only to the one who has nothing personal to live for.

Have you not seen parents do this to their kids? “We raised you, we fed you, we taught you.” You can visualize the same being done to a cow. You would never quote “We milked you.” You would only say, “We fed you, we protected you.” What about the milking? What about the expectation of the milking? If one is really doing something genuinely for others, there are no conditions attached. There never are any fine prints. Neither are there conditions attached in the beginning nor are there conditions attached in the action. You will be prepared to do anything. And, anything means anything.

You can love someone so much that you can lay down your own life for that person. And you can love someone so much that you can be prepared to kill that person. Anything means anything.

Kindly get over this notion that we live for others. That is the privilege granted only to a Buddha. Living for others happen only to the one who has nothing personal to live for. If you have a lot that is personal in your life, personal time, personal freedom, personal money, personal thoughts, personal relationships, personal choices, as long as you have all this personal stuff in your life, you will live only for this stuff.

You have a personal family. You fight for that family. You do a lot for that family. Does that mean you are doing anything for others? Your self-interest, your conditioning is related to the ones you are striving for.

Yes, you are right. Your suspicion is not pointless. You are asking, “Are our day-to-day battles wrong?” Most of them are. What was the definition of a wrong battle? That starts from incompleteness. We fight to win, we fight to gain, we fight to conquer, we fight to get. Hence, our battles are wrong.” If I win, I would be richer by so much. If I win, I would be bigger by so much.” Obviously, the battle is wrong. Equally, parallelly, without any change in the intention, it can be said, “If I win, my daughter would be bigger by so much. If I win, my son would be richer by so much, if I win, my wife would be happier by so much.” Same thing, just the same thing.

If your wife is happier, she makes you happy. Ultimately we are trying for your own personal self. If your son is richer, you feel that the riches would, or at least, some kind of gratefulness would come to you. It is this gratification that you are after. Even if your son does not give you a single paisa, you still feel gratified, saying what, “My son – he is earning so much, and you know what, I’m independent enough to not accept a single paisa from him. That is the tradition of our honored clan. We raise sons but we do not demand anything from them.”

Being what we are it is hardly possible for us to do anything for others. Let us never weigh the other down with stories of our unconditional help or love. That does not happen with us. We are trying to make the other feel guilty for something he has never done. And we are trying to make ourselves feel inflated, superior, for something that we have never given. This is bad. Simply bad.

To give really fully, to give really unconditionally, have a huge heart. Really huge heart.




Read the complete article: Only a Buddha can really help others

If anger besets you, look at your entire life, the full spectrum.

If anger besets you, look at your entire life, the full spectrum. Nothing short of that would do. Anger is not a disease in itself. Anger is an indicator. And, anger is a very powerful and gross indicator. Anger becomes necessary so that you may see how bad your condition is. Subtle signs of discomfort and bad living are always there, but one misses those signs. Because you miss those signs or ignore them, hence your system has to forcibly show you that there is something wrong with you, hence you erupt.

When you erupt then you cannot miss what is happening with you. It is so violent, so loud, so apparent. You might get slapped. How will you miss the marks on your face? Something this gross has to be done because you are not ready to read the fine print, the subtle message. Are you getting it?

Anger is a message. Anger is not a message that the twenty-fourth hour is misplaced, or infected. Anger is a message that the entire spectrum of twenty-four hours is going wrong. You are not living rightly. You are just not living rightly. If there is sugar in your urine, do you start treating the urine? You are not eating rightly. The malaise lies elsewhere. Don’t take a canister of urine to the ICU. The urine is merely an indicator. You are living wrongly.

What is it to live wrongly? There cannot be anger without the frustration of desire. You cannot be angry if your desire has not been defeated. Anger is an upsurge of energy. Do you see what happens when you are angry? What happens? There is a rush of adrenaline. Your limbs start shaking with energy. Your eyes lit up. Your cheeks get flushed with blood. You are all ready with more energy to do something. Do what? Have you never noticed?

It’s like this, you have a desire to reach there and there is an obstacle in the way. Now you are angry, now there is so much of energy and it is needed to overcome the obstacle. That is why anger provides you with so much energy, so that you may defeat the obstacle and fulfill your desire. Where there is frustration of desire, there is anger. Do you get it? Whenever you would place your desire outside of you, you would find that there is an obstacle.

Do you know what is that obstacle? That obstacle is yourself. All anger in some way, therefore, is against yourself and hence is self-destructive. Are you getting it?



Read the complete article: Is anger really the problem?

Only a Buddha can really help others

IMG-20180504-WA0033Question: “My understanding is that the right battle is the one fought not for self but for others. Is my understanding right? Please elaborate more on right battles. Is it so that most of the battles we fight day to day are wrong battles?”

Acharya Prashant: You may fight for others. But, who are these others? Do you fight for every other? You feed your own cat. You are fighting for your cat. Now is it really the same as fighting for others. You are protecting your cow. You milk her. You have a vested interest there. Would you say that your motive is charitable? Would you say that you are doing it because you are a world lover, your altruism knows no bounds? But we do that don’t we? We feed the cow because we want to milk the cow and later on we tell the cow that we have been very charitable towards her. Don’t we? Continue reading