Tag Archives: Freedom

Simplicity and Truth || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Simplicity and Truth

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Question: How to test whether one has simplicity and freedom from desires?

Acharya Prashant: Whether simplicity and freedom from desires is there, is tested only when, that which you want, and you have, and you are therefore calm and patient, is taken away from you.

It is possible that one is a moral man, and has been taught in a moral way, to want only ‘a little’. And that ‘little’ that one wants, is already available. So, one does not seem to be wanting more.

Whether one is truly free from wants, and whether one is truly simple, is tested only in adversity. It is tested only when there is a challenge to the existing pattern of life. So, so-called simplicity and innocence can be superficial as well, and therefore deceptive.

As long as situations are favourable, a lot of people appear peaceful, don’t they? Whether or not you are truly peaceful, is determined, only when the situation turns inclement, unfavourable. And then it is tested, how deep your patience and peace are.

Listener: It appears, what you are saying is that, he is peaceful, but he has no devotion towards God.

Acharya Prashant: No, that is not needed. That is not needed. That is not needed.

Does he have compassion towards the world?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya Prashant: If that is there, it’s okay. You don’t need to have devotion towards a conceptual god. If you have compassion towards sentient beings, that is far better.

Listener: Will he get the Truth?

Acharya Prashant:  If compassion is there, then Truth is already there, provided the compassion itself is not superficial.

Listener: Is taking care of the needs of anybody, those you see around you, compassion?

Acharya Prashant: Taking care of the genuine needs. Selflessly, taking care of genuine needs.

In a hotel, if I ask for whisky, the waiter will come and serve it to me. So, he is taking care of my needs. Now there are two factors involved here. First of all – the need that I am expressing; bringing me a whisky, is not a genuine need. Secondly, he is not selflessly meeting my need. He is fulfilling my need, because he will get something. So, it is not merely about meeting the needs of the other person.

First of all, you should know, what kind of needs are you serving. Secondly, you should check your own mind. Is it serving the other in order to get something? Then it is not service. Then, it is merely transaction.

Listener:  If I get good feelings in helping others, then is this also transaction?

Acharya Prashant:  Yes, yes. Well caught. Lot of times, that’s what lot of compassion and social service are about. In helping the other, you start feeling good about yourself. That is nothing but, reinforcement of the ego. You rise in your own eyes. Your self-esteem gets a boost. That’s not compassion.

Listener: If I help others silently, without others knowing about it, is this also compassion?

Acharya Prashant: You may silently help others. Sometimes, you may have to be loudly helping others. All possibilities are open. The help has to be genuine.

The help should be of a nature that should reduce the other person’s need to be helped.

You should help in a way that the other person demands less and less help. And the act of helping should not lead to your own aggrandization. Not in the world’s eyes, and more so, not in your own eyes.

Listener: Acharya ji, you had once said, “A courageous mind solves itself rather than its problems.” How can I get a courageous mind?

Acharya Prashant: By having a sincere, to solve the problem. It is the problem that troubles you, right? That’s what you think and feel. Your statement remains – I am being troubled by the problem. So, fine. Have a sincere desire to solve the problem.

Go deep into the problem, and see what would really solve it.

And then you will find, that to solve the problem, you have to solve yourself first.

When it is said, “The courageous mind solves itself rather than the problem,” that does not mean that the courageous mind ignores the problem, and is busy solving something else, that is itself. It just means – being sincere about solving the problem.

The courageous mind sees, that the problem is not distant from the mind of the problem-ed one. And therefore, if the mind can be solved, the problem disappears on its own.

Listener: Acharya ji, once you had said, “Today, violence lies more in giving birth than killing.” Please explain this.

Acharya Prashant: Mostly birth is not a result of wisdom, clarity or love. Conception and birth happen mostly because of the need to consume the other’s body. In the process of consumption of the other’s body, and sometimes in the process of satiation of one’s own insecurities and desires, conception takes place, the baby comes into being, and all that is violence.

The mother-in-law has heckled the daughter-in-law, and now she is getting pregnant. Or the man decides, that it’s a social norm to become a father, and therefore, he decides to impregnate the wife. Or conception just happens in a moment of mad lust. All these are just instances of violence.

Listener: Violence against whom?

Acharya Prashant: What is violence? Lack of love. Disunity.

Whatsoever happens in an environment of absence of love, is violence. Surely, when you are consuming somebody’s body, you are not thinking of that body as your own. You are greedily looking at an object and pleasing yourself using that object. That’s what lust is, right?

You look at something, a human body that is, as an object that would satisfy your hunger. This disunity, this separation, this distance between you and the object of your consumption, is what is violence.

Listener: Acharya ji, what is meant by ‘Samadhi’, and is it worthwhile to aspire to attain it?

Acharya Prashant: Peaceful mind. Samadhan. What is samadhan? Solution. So, Samadhi is dissolution. Samadhi is nothing exotic, or extra-ordinary. Peaceful mind is samadhistha.

Do not turn samadhi into something of the stars, something glittering and beyond the reach. It is a very simple, ordinary, dissolved state of the mind. The mind has no worries, the mind has no great concerns to be serious about. That is samadhi.

Life is simple, ordinary.

This is happening, that is happening, but whatsoever is happening, is not big enough to trouble you.

That is samadhi.

Listener: Are there many types of Samadhis?

Acharya Prashant: It’s almost like this. I have answered eight types of questions here. And corresponding to each of the answers, you may as well say, in a poetic way, that you have experienced eight kinds of samadhis. When I answered him, then it was one kind of samadhi. When I answered your first question, that was the first samadhi. Then your second question, that was second kind of samadhi.

Ultimately, peace has no distinctions, or flavours or colours. Peace is just peace. You do not have many, different kinds of zeros. Zero is a zero. What kind of division do you want to create?

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

Watch the session:  Simplicity and Truth || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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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: What is the best thing you can get for free?

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If you can understand the answer to this question, then you already have the best free thing. The best free thing is ‘understanding’ itself. Well, just that understanding is not a thing, and the best things in life are, as they say, not things.

Think of it. Many machines, many computers can read this answer that I am writing here. But only a human being can ‘understand’ this answer. A machine can mechanically analyze, or interpret this answer. A machine can even translate this answer to a hundred different languages. But no machine can ever ‘understand’ what I am saying. For that matter, no machine can ever ‘understand’ a verse from the Gita, or a common statement as ‘I love you’.

We get that gift free, right? Understanding. But since it comes free, many of us don’t value it and don’t live by it.

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Acharya Prashant: Difference between believing and realizing?

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It is a strange thing, and paradoxical. Must be understood with care.

Is there a need to tell the free one that he is already free? It would be absurd and useless to do do.

When I say, “You are already free”, to whom do I say that? To the free one? No!

To the free one, I say nothing. He needs no advice. He can, though, give advise to many.

I say “You are already free” to the one who staunchly believes that he is NOT free. Why do I say that? The answer must be obvious.

In spirituality, no statement is a statement of Truth. Truth cannot be contained in a statement. So, statements by Teachers are not Truth, but just useful devices.

Useful devices? For what? Useful devices to cut down that which is untrue or false, and therefore damaging.

Since “I am unfree” is a highly damaging belief, so to counter it, I say “You are free”.

The purpose is not to give the listener another belief: “I am free”. So, if someone comes to me with a strong belief that he is free, I tell him, “You are not free”.

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Acharya Prashant: About changing one’s religion for love

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Question: Can I change ‘my’ religion for the sake of someone I Love?

Acharya Prashant: What do you mean by religion?

If religion just means following a particular code of conduct, if it means that I am loyal to a particular book, if it means that such and such will be my pilgrimage centers; If that is what is religion, then this religion is just something that you have been conditioned to believe in, it is just a belief system! And belief systems come and go.

Today you can believe in one thing, tomorrow you can believe in something else. These beliefs anyway have no permanency. They don’t have a deep root. Because these have been externally implanted. They are not coming from a very depth, the very soil of the mind. So, they can change. That is how people keep on changing their religions. Every year, lakhs of people change their religion. These religions that can be changed, they anyway don’t have any worth.

But that is not the true meaning of religion.

Real religion cannot be changed.

What you can change is your cult or your sect, ‘panth’, that can be changed. ‘Dharm’ cannot be changed.

Because there are no different religions.

True religion is just one.

How will you change it? There is no second religion.

Where will you go? Yes, there are many sects. There are thousands of sects, but there is only one True religion. And that religion is not about the following something. That religion is not about visiting a temple or a church or a mosque. That religion is not about being loyal to a particular book.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Will living without ego cause one to starve?

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Acharya Prashant: The question is how do I fill this stomach if I don’t have an ‘ego’?

Firstly, you must see that you are deeply afraid. You are deeply afraid that if you don’t follow the orders of this ‘other’, that that other could be society, friends, family, corporations, the entire trend of career making. You are deeply afraid that If you don’t follow ‘that’ then you will end up starving. You won’t have enough eat.

Now, is this fear yours?

Even, this fear has been instinct to your mind by ‘that’ other. Don’t you see how cunning that other is? He repeatedly tells you that unless you become my slave, you will starve. But is that the Truth?

Is that the Truth?

Would you really starve if you don’t toe the others line? If you don’t develop an ego, that is If you don’t develop a sense of ‘Self’ dependent upon the other. You won’t.

I Invite you to find out whether you would really starve. The world will always have enough for you to eat. You won’t starve but you may not be able to fulfill these ambitions.

The funny part is even the ambition has been given to you by outside. So there is nothing lost if you can’t fulfill it. You don’t lose anything at all if you don’t meet your ambitions. Remember, there will always be enough to meet your needs. And a free man will always find enough to meet his needs. Because his needs are always so small.

You don’t need too much but yes, your ambitions depend upon your subservience to the society.

Needs don’t make you a slave, ambitions make you a slave.

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Acharya Prashant: How to really listen to the Guru?

Question: In one video, you said that to listen to Krishna, you need to be Arjuna. To Listen to Ashtavakra also you need to be Janak.

To listen to you, what should the person be?

Acharya Prashant: The person should not be insistent on being the ‘person.’ That begins with not seeing the speaker as a person and not imagining the listener to be the person. If here a person is speaking sitting on this chair, then surely there is another person sitting on another chair who is listening. Now, listening cannot really happen. Because persons cannot really relate to each other.

A person is a limitation.

Limitations can associate with each other. But limitations cannot relate to become limitless.

You take one limitation and you associate it with another one, you do not get limitlessness. What you get is another limitation.

One person listening to another person will not listen to the Truth. He will come to some opinion, some conclusion, something of the mind or attitude. But he won’t come upon Truth or silence.

To listen to me you need to forget all about yourselves. And you need to forget that what you are listening to is a person’s personal viewpoints.

If you will insist on saying that what is coming to you is somebody’s personal opinion, then no person ever has the obligation to be non-resistant to another person’s opinions. Opinions by definition are meant to be analyzed, judged, dissected, then partially accepted or rejected.

You will have to see that that which speaks from this chair is the same that listens from that chair, or listening simply doesn’t happen.

Till the time there is A speaking to B, listening cannot happen.

Only Truth listens to the Truth.

Only that within you can listen to me which speaks from within me. And they are one. Which means that there has to be a certain unity between the ‘listener’ and the ‘speaker.’ I said,

to listen to Krishna you need to be Arjuna. But it’s not really Arjuna who listens to Krishna. It’s Krishna within Arjuna that listens to Krishna. No Arjuna can ever know Krishna. Even to look at Krishna, Arjuna requires eyes that are bestowed upon him by Krishna.

You’ll have to give your listening a total chance, a total freedom. And that is a very impersonal freedom. You’ll have to simply drop giving importance to all that is personal about the speaker.

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