The only problem is – you want to change, but you want the changed state to be a derivative of current state.
You want the changed state, to be organically linked to your current state, which means that you really don’t want to give up your current state.
So, all ‘becoming’ fails.
All change is defeated.
Change is wonderful.
When you want change, see what you really want.
Don’t change halfheartedly.
Love is the urge to move towards That.
Gratitude is the lightness you keep experiencing, as you move towards That.
Love is what brings Sudama to Krishna.
Gratitude is what Sudama feels, as he keeps coming closer to Krishna, and as he returns, after meeting Krishna.
Out of these, obviously, love will come first.
You love Him, you move close to Him.
He showers his bounties on you, Gratitude arises.
But obviously love cannot be in expectation of bounties.
Gratitude is the realisation, that you have something beyond your capacity, beyond your eligibility.
Often, the time that you save, is utilised to self-destruct.
Saving time would be great, if you knew how to use that time.
Time has only one legitimate purpose – to help you move into the timeless.
Invest more and more time, into the service of the timeless.
If you want to save time, then save time from all the miscellaneous non-sense, time gets spent in.
Save time from there.
Do not save time, from the Scriptures and the Teachers.
Truth is – freedom from the false. See what all is false, in the way you currently live.
Two things – ‘currently’, and ‘living’.
Go into your life, right now.
Why is your time not committed, not dedicated to a higher purpose?
If you will have free time, what will you do? You will only use that time to destroy yourself.
Your time must be a something, that you are merely a trustee of.
When you are a trustee of something, then you don’t own it. Then you just look after it.
You maintain it, you keep it.
You don’t possess it, you don’t utilize it.
Given a chance to really re-live your life, you will never want to live the same way you have done.
Even the most self-assured person, would want to greatly amend his life, if allowed a chance to begin again.
Is it not true?
And these two must go hand-in-hand – a universal consciousness, and local action.
You cannot say that because I act locally, so my consciousness is also local.
Because if your consciousness is local, then your entire person-hood will become very-very local.
You will become, in simple words, very-very narrow-minded.
One need not always ask a question.
Listening is enough.
The ego tendency is one, and therefore, fundamentally the mind of mankind, is just one.
Therefore, the question asked by one person, is in some way, the question of entire mankind.
Even if you say that your question is different, you still have a question.
If you have a question, this means the fundamental tendency still stands unresolved. The central knot, is still there.
So, the knot exists in one person, the knot exists in another person.
In one person, it manifests itself in the form of one question. In the other person, it manifests itself in the form of another question.
So it doesn’t matter what the content, or the language, or the direction of the question is, it is actually pointing towards the knot, it is actually coming from the knot.
And that knot is common to all.
Fundamental knot is the same, queries differ on the surface.
When the Teacher responds, then even to a superficial query, the answer is deep.
So, he might be starting from anywhere, but he will go right to the central knot.
And the central knot stands untied, problematic, for all.
Therefore all answers are useful, even if one just listens, benefit would follow.
Questions arise, you know, when one’s pre-existing concepts are challenged.
Then there is a question.
Questions arise when one’s conceptual and imaginary world, hits against facts.
Then questions arise, then one feels woken up.
A question represents an inconsistency in your life.
Only when there is something inconsistent in your life, then you want to ask a question.
One has to arrive at an inconsistency, only then a question will arise.
One has to arrive at something unusual, only then a question will arise.
If the daily life is such that, it is just a repetition of the usual patterns, then obviously no question will arise.
A question arises, when something strange happens.
Outside our little, arranged and ordered world, everything is unusual. Everything is beyond our knowledge and comprehension.
It’s just that we are not exposed to it.
New situations are needed. Extra-ordinary events are needed.
A breaking out, rather a coming out, is needed.
And then, things will happen that you would be curious about. And then things would happen, in a way, that would belie your expectations.
If everything happens according to your expectations, why would someone ever ask a question?
There is a Sacredness, a Trueness, that is at the root of the world.
The world keeps changing, coming and going, the Trueness remains.
The world is many things.
To the Lover of the Truth, the world is an expression of the Truth.
To the hater of the Truth, the world is a competitor of the Truth.
Do you see how the meanings of the world can change, according to the mind, that is looking at the world?
If you are the lover of the Truth, the world is a manifestation of the Truth.
If you are a worshiper of the Truth, then the world is an offering, a gift, a prasad from the Truth.
Whereas, if you are a hater of the Truth, somebody who loves to say that, the Truth doesn’t exist, then the world is a substitute to the Truth.
Those who love the Truth, their world becomes truthful.
Everything in their world, gets arranged to serve the Truth.
It comes from the Truth, it serves the Truth.
It serves the Truth, so more comes from the Truth.
More comes from the Truth, there is more to serve the Truth.
The Truth is served even more, there is even more that comes from Truth.
All this expression is material.
But that expression is merely a result of the commitment, of the expressing one, to the Truth.
It is not merely their words, that are now arranged, configured, in the design of Truth, in the light of Truth, by the virtue of Truth.
Everything, even their body.
If the words are so beautiful, there would certainly be great beauty, in sitting next to the ‘person’ of Ashtavakra.
The way they wear their clothes, the way they eat, the way they work, everything would be a scripture, provided you know how to read.
It is because everything that they have, everything that they are, is first of all, an offering to the Truth.
They have not kept anything for themselves, privately, reserved, personal.
All is there to serve, the One. The One.
When all is to serve the One, then all gets arranged, aligned, in the music of the One.
It depends on what you want to do, with your earthly existence.
It depends on your fundamental concept is.
On one hand you know that, on the other hand you also know that the incomplete one, does not satisfy you.
Anything that is limited, and bounded, does not quench your thirst.
So you know that you want something big.
You want something big, you have something small, what to do with the small thing that you have?
Use it to reach the big thing, that you really want.
Logical, obvious, common sensical!
Change your concept of smartness.
When your concept of smartness changes, then you know who the real dude is. That’s worship.
If you are dumb, then you will just admire a few other dumb people.
If you are intelligent, then you worship. You worship the really smart ones.
They are called ‘saints’.
That requires you to be super-smart.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A lot of suffering is just unnecessary.
If it is unnecessary, give it up.
A part of it is necessary.
If it is necessary, go through it.
Technology is good. Science has provided man with medicine. All that is not just hot air, all that is meaningful.
If you are having a great headache, don’t tell me that your peace won’t be disturbed. If modern medicine can help you get rid of physical disorders at least, that helps.
No point quoting again and again, that you are the Atman, and nothing but the Atman, so no migraine, or no headache affects you.
Those who have headaches and migraines, know that these do affect. Keeping the migraine upon you, and saying that suffering helps, and suffering cleanses and purifies, is non-sensical. Give it up!
And then there is legitimate, and genuine suffering, that comes to you, in the process of self-realisation.
You will have to go through it.
The more you open your eyes in the spiritual sense, the more you realise, that you have been exploiting others, just every bit, as much as others have been exploiting everybody else.
And then, it is not pleasant to come up on this realisation.
And, I assure you, what you call as ‘self-realisation’, is never going to be pleasant.
It’s not going to be blissful or something. It’s always a bit of a heartbreak.
One sees the futility of one’s life.
One sees that how tremendously misled, one has been. And all that hits the ego.
One gets hurt.
It is never pleasant to get hurt.
One has to let that suffering come, and one has to stand very vulnerable to it.
One has to bow her head down.
One has to say, “I see that I have been not only blind, but I have been needlessly blind. All my life, I have just deceived myself.”
One’s self-esteem falls into pieces. One has to be prepared for all that.
And all that, I said, entails suffering.
You will not reach Truth, with your ego intact.
We have been taught to look down upon ourselves.
Love yourself. Respect yourself.
And then you will not accept hurt.
And then, you will not be prone to inviting hurt.
We do not have basic, simple, innocent, self-love.
We keep inviting hurt, and equally we are afraid of hurt.
One of the key lessons in spiritual wisdom, is to keep imagination apart from facts, is to not take your ‘personal world’, as ‘the’ world.
It is already bad enough that we take ‘the factual world’, ‘the world’ to be real.
And it would become far worse if we started taking even our ‘personal world’, ‘the imaginary world’ to be real.
The mark of the commoner is, he lives in his personal world, and attributes to it, the finality of Truth.
The mark of the scientist, is that he does not live in his world, he does not care about subjective interpretations of the world, he lives fully in facts. So his science is fully objective, and does not contain trace of personal subjectivity.
The scientist is obviously, an advancement over the common psyche.
And then the mark of the spiritual mind, is that, it does not lend veracity even to the factual world.
Prove it, and any number of proofs do not suffice to ascertain the veracity of something. But one proof against the veracity of something, suffices to prove that it is false.
That’s the scientific mind.
And then there is the spiritual mind.
The spiritual mind says, “Not only is the imaginary world unreal, even this objective, factual, scientifically proven world, that you see, expanded all around you and inside you, is not quite real.”
The more you live in your world of subjective perceptions, the more foolish you are.
Travel helps you see that several of the things, opinions customs, mindsets, you were taking as absolutes, or general, universal, are not universal at all.
There are alternate viewpoints possible.
There are alternate ways of living possible.
A thing to which an alternative does exist, is just not the Truth.
If it is not the Truth, it must not be given the position of Truth.
It must be taken lightly, casually, with a pinch of salt.
Do not be sold out to it.
Do not become a fanatic.
Do not hold your opinions, as if they are the last thing.
But, if you have seen nothing, apart from opinions of your personal kind, then you would be much more inclined to believe that you opinions are not personal, or subjective opinions of a person, or a place, but that they are the final Truth.
It is always helpful to see an alternative.
It is probably even more helpful, to watch your point of view challenged, even defeated.
All of that helps you, come out of your false truths.
The key challenge is not the attainment of the infinite.
The key challenge is to come out of the finite.
And that is far more difficult.
We keep talking of the immense, the great, the unknowable, the unreachable, the absolute.
But hardly do we bother to challenge all the relatives, all the littlenesses, all the subjectivities, that we so very identify with.
And not only do we identify with them, we label them as the – final Truth.
Challenging your personal truths, is most of spirituality. Those are the ninety-none steps. Ninety-nine steps of the personal demolition.
And the final step, that just happens.
What is incumbent upon you, that for which you are responsible, is personal demolition.
You are not responsible for attainment of the absolute Truth.
That is not at all your responsibility, because you are too small to do that.
However, you are surely, definitely, responsible to challenge yourself.
That responsibility everyone must bear. That is the basis of personal integrity, personal honesty.
Personal integrity is – to not to take the ‘person’ too seriously.
When was the ego born?
When ‘I’ was born.
As long as you keep taking yourself, as the born one, as the one who took birth one day, and who would die one day, the ego is definitely going to remain.
This is what is ego – a thing of time and space.
A thing that is severely limited by time and space.
And therefore suffers.
And is therefore debilitated.
Do you now see what desire is?
All your desires are limited to time and space.
You could also say that, all your desires are related to your limitations in time and space.
All your desires are related to your limitations in time and space.
That is why, those who have known, the saints, they have said, that it was not the great thing that happened to you – the human birth. But now that it has occurred, you better make the best use of it.
But it would have been far-far better, had you never really been born. Now that you are born, strive to come out of this incessant cycle of birth, and re-birth, and death. In fact, that’s what is liberation. That’s how the orient has known liberation – liberation from the cycle of birth, re-birth, and death.
Because the moment you are born, that is born, from which you seek liberation. The moment you are born, you are born along with that, from which you seek liberation.
So, why be born at all?
If you are burdened and troubled, then surely you must move.
But if you are burdened and troubled, but your movement has to be, with the intention of, and in the direction of, un-burdening.
If I am burdened, and as a result of the burden, I run, then the purpose of the run should be to un-burden myself. So, it’s great that you are running everyday.
Now, what remains to be asked, is the question, that whether your race is helping you to be unburdened.
I am a great supporter of movement. If one is at the wrong place, one must move, and one must move fast. One must run indeed. And one must energetically run. I seriously support action. But action ought to have a purpose. The purpose is decided by the state of the actor.
If the actor is in bondage, then the sole purpose of the action has to be, the liberation of the actor. Now, are you acting towards your liberation. Look at your daily actions. Are they contributing to your liberation? Or are you rather acting to enslave yourself, even more deeply?
Action is good, action is inevitable. But what is your action leading to?
You can even ask yourself, “What am I doing? What am I expending precious time and energy towards?”
While it is a matter of celebration, that you are capable of running, capable of energy, it is an equally serious concern, how you are expending yourself?
Because time and energy won’t last forever.
Something that remains untouched, unmoved, only that is something, that can really look at what is trying to move it.
You will be able to ‘see’ nothing, if that which you are seeing, moves you.
That which you are ‘seeing’, must not be able to move you.
Otherwise, your seeing will stop.
You do not merely ‘see’ something.
You allow the thing to influence you. You become the influenced one.
You forget that the seen thing, and the seer of the thing, are both not you.
You become one with the seer.
The seer is bound to get influenced. That cannot be avoided. What can be avoided is, that ‘you’ do not become the seer.
The place where you are, is not a place of consciousness. All consciousness is in between these two – the subject and the object. You are where you always were. You are at your one unshakable position. You are, where there is no space. You are where there is no territory to run to. Now where is the question of running? Even if you want to run away, there is no space to run away.
You are at a place where space and time do not exist. All space and time is here, in the dimension of consciousness, in between these two(the subject and the object). You are somewhere else.
Let the interested one, remain interested.
‘You’ have no business to be interested.
Let the intellect, the design of the brain, remain interested.
‘You’ need not remain interested.
Let this physical system, including the brain apparatus, remain curious, interested, inquisitive, whatever. Even attached.
‘You’ stay wherever you must.
Do not deprive the stomach of food. And do not deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings. Just as it is stupid to deprive body of food, it is equally stupid to deprive the mind of thoughts and feelings.
Thought is not the enemy. Feelings are not the culprit.
Your misplaced presence is the culprit.
The needless presence of ‘I’ in the thoughts, is the culprit.
Be fully secure about the ‘I’, and then think as much as you want to. Feel, in whichever dimension you want to. You can laugh, you can sing, you can cry. You can even hate, or fall in love. All that is okay. All that is part of the rainbow.
Spirituality is not about banishing certain things, from your life.
Spirituality is just about seeing, that life is beautiful, and does not get any better, with the intervention of the little self, the ‘I’.
It is one thing to think, it is a totally another thing, to think with the objective of self-preservation.
Thought is not the problem.
Your insecurities about yourself, your utter loneliness – that is the problem.
And that is an assumed, imagined problem.
A problem that does not exist, but is taking to be.
If fear is there, if restrictions are there, and you give them importance, then obviously you cannot act. And when you cannot act, then you get up and say that you need willpower.
So, willpower is needed, only when you feel fear, only when you feel restrictions.
We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.
When we look into these obstacles, we find that they are only, as long as, we believe in them.
Then, you do not need willpower. Wisdom is enough.
Then, you do not need courage. Clarity is sufficient.
Instead of asking for clarity, we often ask for courage. Now, courage is not needed, clarity is needed.
Instead of asking for wisdom, we ask for will power. Will power is not needed, wisdom is enough.
You don’t need willpower. You need willpower, only as an antidote to fear. Where there is no fear, there is no need of willpower. So, don’t ask me, “How to enhance will power?” The more afraid you are, the more will power you need.
The more restricted you feel, the more willpower you need. Is that not so? Just open your eyes and see, that there is no restriction, except those, that you subscribe to, except those, that you willingly self-impose.
When you are really into something, when there is no fear, who asks for will power?
It is not needed.
~ Excerpts from Shabd-Yoga Sessions.