Tag Archives: Hard Work

Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Begin from where you are and what you realise

Question: Acharya ji, I am only a beginner on spiritual path, and my experience complicates things. Which tool can I adapt for myself, to take the right decision?

Acharya Prashant: The response is hardly spiritual in the classical sense. I will not say that for life’s decisions, kneel down in front of the unknowable. I will not say that what you need, lies beyond the grasp of your mental faculties.

I am saying – live by what you already know. First of all, you have no other option. Secondly, what you already know, is very sufficient, to make a beginning. And you said that you are a beginner.

The trouble with most of us, is not that we do not know some transcendental, ecclesiastical Truth. The trouble is: we just don’t live by that which is within our mental province.

It is not as if we have come to the boundary of our knowledge, and our limited realisation. We haven’t. If we come to our own boundaries, then the beyond, cannot be far enough.

The boundary of the little self, is where the Truth stands to greet  you.

So you don’t have to really search for the Truth.

You just have to come to the boundary of your own province. 

Come to your own boundary, and there you will find something, of the beyond.

But, do we care enough to come to even our own boundaries? I am not telling of leaping out of your self. You don’t need to leap out of your self. But, at least, putting in a very cliched way, do the best you can.

If you cannot go beyond your self, at least, do the best you can. And when you have come to the utter limit of your personal resources, there you find something, a bit magical happening.

Our situation is strange! We do not do, what we can. We cannot challenge ourselves enough. We do not make the best, utter, and desperate use of our own, personal, limited resources. But we want some kind of a helping hand, to descend from the heavens.

It won’t!

And this is good news. Because it means that each one of us, as he or she is, is fully capable of helping herself or himself. May be we cannot see, beyond the hills. But there is nobody who does not see clearly enough, to take even the next step. And that is all that you need. 

Inspiration, energy, and clarity- just to take the next step. What after the next? That’s not our business to ask. Sitting where we are, let us not demand the whole blue-print, the road-map of the entire state. Then we are transgressing.

One step is sufficient.

And that one step, each one of us, is endowed enough to take.

That one step happens to be so simple and obvious, that it does not appeal to us. We want things – big and glamorous. Just as in the material world, size and shine appeal to us. Similarly, in the spiritual domain, we want things – colossal, magnificent, sensational, to happen.

Instead of those things, if we are advised to take, one little, baby step, it appears like a bit of let down.

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

Watch the session:  Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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In going close to problems one gets strength to go beyond problems || Acharya Prashant on Vivekananda (2018)

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The world is great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.

~ Swami Vivekananda

Acharya Prashant: By being in the world you reach the source of all strength, what happens in the gymnasium by being in the gymnasium? Where do you reach?

To your strength.

The implication is, the world is a gymnasium that will facilitate your access to the source of all strength. The source of all strength is the Self, the Truth, the Atman, you are anyway in the world, you have to go to the root of the world, and there you find the Truth, the source of all power.

Which means you cannot really avoid the world, which means you cannot avoid your situations, you have to acknowledge them, and you have to understand them, you cannot escape away, you must know what is going on, and to know what is going on, first of all, you must honestly admit to what is going on.

If you keep giving it false names if you keep calling attachment as love, then what will you come to know? You have already said it is love. You have to, first of all, see what your real life condition is, in seeing that you will only see how powerless you are, how weak you are; that seeing is the key to strength.

This is strange!

When you see that you are weak, the seeing is the strength. When you see that you are conditioned, that seeing is the freedom from conditioning.

When you will look at the world, you will only see a lot of chains, bondage; but that seeing is the freedom from bondage.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: What is smart work?

Blog-6Questioner: Sir, nowadays it is said that it is not the hard work that can lead you to achieve whatever you want it is actually the smart work. What is this smart work actually?

Acharya Prashant: Jugaad! Nothing else!

That’s what the world means by smart work.

Be a little cunning, chalu, no shortcuts, have connections in the right places, that’s what the world means by a smart work. Unfortunately, choosing between hard work and smart world is like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Whichever way you go, you are doomed, hard work and smart work, what does hard work mean?

Hard work means I do not know what I am doing, why I am doing, who is doing but I have been told that doing is important so I am just doing and doing; that is hard work.

What is smart work?

I’m still doing but I have been told some efficient ways of doing that save energy and time. But I still do not know what I am doing, why I am doing, who is doing yet I am just doing and doing.

Hard work at least tires you down so you will stop at some point, a physical limitation, working so hard you got a heart attack, so thank God you can relax in the hospital!

Now, smart work, you’ll never relax! Because now you have an efficient machine, you do not know what the machine is doing, why it is doing and who is doing. The doing still just doing both these are the same kind of people the hard-workers and the smart-workers, don’t think that one is better than the other, the devil and the deep blue sea.

There is a third type of man possible, who is less interested in doing and more concerned with being.

If I’m speaking to you right now I am not really bothered about what I am saying, but I will be bothered if there is a disturbance in this room. Understand this: I am not at all watchful about my words, I don’t watch what I say, or at least I try to minimize it, let it flow, I need not measure it, but I am quite concerned about the environment in the room there should be no disturbance, why?

Listener: So, that the message can be conveyed to us.

AP: It’s not about the conveying of the message. The very emergence of the message might be hampered if there is disturbance; being is more important than doing.

The mind of the speaker that must be very-very calm for the right words to emerge. You need not bother yourself with the words but you must be watchful about the mind. The mind has to be calm. The mind has to be absolutely centered and still; so if there is a disturbance then I will want to take care of it but I’ll never take care of what I’m saying.

You’re not getting the difference, are you?

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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

Forget winning, first choose the right battle

Question: “What are the reasons due to which we remain trapped in defeat? We continue with our irregularities, knowing fully well that we are not doing justice to ourselves. At times there is a strong feeling to do better, but this feeling or commitment does not last.”

Acharya Prashant: In the right battle there can be no wrong result. Defeat is possible only when one is fighting the wrong battle. If you find yourself defeated, and defeated regularly, just know that you have picked up a battle that you should never have been fighting in the first place.

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.

How is it possible for any movement outside of you to hurt you? That is the reason Kabir had to say, “Mann k haare haar hai, mann ke jeete jeet”(You lose, if the battle is lost in the mind). Mind is shaken up, impacted, and hurt by an external happening. This is what we call as defeat. Did this defeat happen when a particular event took place? Is this defeat the result of an action? No, every defeat is a defeat right since the inception of the action that at some point hurts.

If you are fighting a battle, if you are involved in something, and somewhere along the way that thing, the process, the result of an action, starts hurting you, it only means that you started from a position of inadequacy, incompleteness in the very first place. That is why this session on defeat comes after the last session on incompleteness. You start from a point of incompleteness and you fight, you strive, to somehow get over the incompleteness.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning.

When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

You are proceeding with the wrong idea. You are proceeding with an assumption. You’re driving from the wrong place with the wrong map. Now even if the process of driving is immaculate, yet it would not help.

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.

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Our hard work is just labor, labor done to get result.

Since childhood we have been told about effort as a duty, hard work as an obligation, hard work as a result oriented investment. “Work hard so that you can have dividends later on.”

But there is another kind of hard work, very energetic hard work, which arises from your happiness, which arises from your completeness, and it’s not result oriented.

It’s like a herd of deer running in a jungle. It’s not that a tiger is chasing them, and it’s not like they are running towards a grassland. They are just running and they are running terribly hard; you can’t catch them. Have you seen? At least video recordings of animals running very very fast in a jungle, of birds soaring high, it’s not necessary that they are hungry, they are just soaring high, must have climbed to that height and that requires energy. They could have decided to sleep, why put in so much effort, why climb to that height? Why keep gliding? Why flap your wings?“No no, I am happy so I am working hard.”

Our hard work is just labor, labor done to get result. And the result that you want never satisfies you. The proof is, that you want more. At no point do you stop and say that I have had enough. And because you want more, you have to put in more labor. So, in all your life you are just a laborer.



Read the complete article: Real hard work is a result of a really happy mind

Real hard work is a result of a really happy mind

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Question: Happiness is the only key to success, isn’t it some hard work is also required to become successful in life?

Acharya Prashant: So you are assuming that the happy one does not work hard.

Listener: We are always told that only happiness is required to become successful.

AP: Yes only happiness and happiness excludes hard work, is that so?

L: That’s what we read.

AP: You read that, happiness excludes hard work?

L: No sir, only just you need happiness to become successful.

AP: Yes, happiness is the key to success, correct, but does happiness excludes hard work? If happiness excludes hard work then all those who work hard surely must be very sad. Can’t you work hard happily? Can’t hard work emerge out of your joy? “I’m so happy that I am working very hard.” Or must you work hard only with a long face? “I am so frustrated, that I am slogging.” Continue reading