Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: The world is a river; use it to cross it

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Acharya Prashant: Two excerpts are with us.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”

BIBLE

(JOHN 2:15)

“Prosperity, pleasure, pious deeds. Enough! In the dreary forest of the world, the mind finds no rest.”

ASHTAVAKRA GITA

(CHAPTER 10: VERSE 7)

The questioner says that he is astounded at the commonality between Jesus and Ashtavakra and asks why are both saying that engaging in the world will not be a way to peace. What does it mean to engage in the world?

The world is a tricky thing. The world has to be understood.

The world has utility but the world is not the end.

One uses it.

Ever seen a man swimming? What is he doing? Why is he swimming at all? He is crossing a river. Man is swimming. Man is crossing the river. Why is he crossing the waters? Because if he doesn’t cross the waters, he will drown in the waters. If he doesn’t cross the waters or the river, he will drown in the river.

And what is he doing to cross the water? He is using the waters themselves.

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The Real Saint looks like a heretic or a lunatic than a saint

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The myth of the Saint, the Saint!

And with, the myth of the Saint we would be able to touch many associated myths. Like the myth of the respect: respectability rather, the myth of godliness. And of course Love!

When we use the word “Saint”, we use it obviously, inevitably in the same frame of mind. From the same center, as we use many other words.

Our language is a language of objects. Any and every words that we know refers to something; something that can be thought of; something that can be touched, conceptualized, seen, felt, hurt; something that is within the domain of the mental activity.

So the obvious result is that even when we use words like saint, God, Truth, freedom, joy, love they turn into objects due to the sheer fact of verbalization. Because you have put them into words, you have willingly or unwillingly turned them into objects. The same thing happens when we refer to the word “Saint”. Continue reading

You are the salt of the earth

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“Ye are the salt of the Earth; but if the salt have lost his savour,

Wherewith shall it be salted?

It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out,

And to be trodden under foot of men.”

-Mathew 5:13

AP: What does earth represent? And what does the salt of earth represent? Earth represents the material. Salt of earth represents the essence of the material. When you look at the earth, what do you find? Stone, soil, dirt, dust, sand. Do you really find salt somewhere? Have you ever been able to go and just pick up salt? No. salt lies embedded, deep within. So salt here, stands for something that is a little inside. That lies at the heart. Inside! That which is the essential.

Earth represents the body, salt of earth represents the Atman, the Self, the core, the heart. It is being said you are not the earth really, you are the salt of the earth. You are not the body really, you are the pure Self. And then he is saying that if you are someone who has distanced himself from the Self, the Centre, then he will only be trampled under the feet of man. He will have no value. He will live a joyless life. Continue reading

If a Christian is one who loves Christ, I am absolutely a Christian

Listener: Sir I have heard or maybe read somewhere that you are a Christian, is that right?

Acharya Prashant: I love Jesus, l love Krishna, I love Buddha, they are all wonderful. There is no doubt that there is a lot about me which is Christian. I won’t even say Christian, I would say – in tune with Christ, in accordance with Christ, in love with Christ. Obviously I do not follow the way of life suggested by the Church. So going by rituals and organized conduct, there is hardly anybody who would call me a Christian, but essentially if a Christian is one who loves Christ then I am absolutely a Christian.

You know what I love about the Christ the most, you would be surprised – His words are wonderful, his short life was glorious but what I like the most about him is that he was a very handsome young man. Obviously all we have is images of his physical form but I am so sure that he would have been one hell of a beautiful man. In fact a lot of my students are in there 20’s and I often quote ‘Jesus on the Cross’ to them as a perfect example of what vigorous youth is like, what is means to be fully young. To me Jesus epitomizes the fullness of life, the rebellion of a young man. He is absolutely lovable.

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On Jesus Christ: What is woman? What is Adultery? What is sin?

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You have heard it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’

But I say to you that anyone who even looks at a woman with a lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in her heart.

So, if your eye — even your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

And, if your hand — even your stronger hand — causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.

For it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  

Jesus
~ Sermon on the Mount ~ Continue reading

How to read the scriptures?

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Listener 1:  I come from a very orthodox Muslim family. I have read a bit of Quran and it makes a lot of sense when it comes to particular stuff but at the same time, one of its perspective gives a feeling of narrow-mindedness. Right now, I am in a very big dilemma where to start with because I am quite illiterate in spiritual matters, and also I have been taught the same thing by the society like they condition everybody.

Acharya Prashant: Because you named the Quran, the center of Quran is Tauheed Oneness. There are no two Truths. Just That, and nothing else. Which means that be it the Prophet Mohammad or anybody else who ever could say anything of wisdom and value, the source is always the same because there are no two Truths, which means that even if you understand anything, including the Quran, the source of understanding has to be That One only.

Quran can be understood really only when you—as the ego mind; as the person, are connected to the same source that blessed the Prophet. Otherwise, one will misinterpret. And Quran has been badly misinterpreted, all religious scriptures have been misinterpreted.

The reason is obvious, very simple: the fellow who is speaking; the point from where his words are coming, that point is up there on that hill. Up there and pure, snow-like, beautiful, up there in the sky, the very peak, the climax, that is from where those words come. But words are words. Words belong to human languages. Be it Sanskrit or Aramaic or Arabic, doesn’t matter, words are words. The source of words is there but words are in the language of the commoners. So the commoners feel that they can interpret those words because they are in the commoners’ language, and commoners interpret those words standing in the valleys.

Words are coming from the sky and you are listening to them standing in the valley. You don’t want to rise up to that point. You don’t want that closeness; that oneness; unity with the source. You are so full of ego that you want to remain what you are. You want to protect your house which is in the depths of the valley. Remaining what you are, you apply your intellect upon the scriptures. Obviously, you will distort the scriptures. 

Sometimes you do it deliberately, sometimes you do it inadvertently, but invariably it does happen. Before you go to the Quran or the Bhagwad Gita or Bible or any book of any wisdom or any man of any wisdom, before you go anywhere you must first be in a condition to understand what that man or that book or that situation is saying.

Is it not right?

Suppose you are drunk and you start reading a holy book. Will you be able to make any sense of it? The whole of mankind is perpetually drunk. Can you allow a dunker to even touch the Quran? If you find that somebody has come to the Quran and he is stinking of alcohol, is it advisable, permissible that in that state he can read the verses, recites, interpret it? Is it alright? It cannot be alright in any religion.

In fact, it is said that you must be pure, you should’ve taken a bath, you should be fully awake, and then in a nice peaceful place, you should go to the scripture. The question is: Is it about the peace of the external? Is it about the peace of the words? Is it about the cleanliness of the body?

You should go to the scriptures with a very clean mind. You don’t just have to take a bath to purify the body, your mind should’ve been first purified, and only then you can go to the scriptures. Otherwise, you’ll make the mess of the teachings.

L2: Sir in due course of time the scriptures have been modified and altered as per the interests of a few. I have seen that people have started creating scriptures in their own way. The scriptures are the same but they interpret it accordingly so as to suit them. Therefore in my view people should not consider scriptures very much because they try to alter the sayings in their own way, but it seems so negative.

AP: No, it’s not at all negative, you see, what you are saying is exactly what at least the Indic scriptures say. They say that the highest point is to forget the scriptures. The scriptures do not recommend that you must constantly remember them. They say your mind is full of rubbish, you come to us so that the rubbish is cleared. And once you’ve gotten rid of the rubbish, you must also get rid of the scripture. In the same way, as one gets rid of the boat after crossing the river. Now, that you have crossed the river why are you still sitting in the boat.

So, if one can drop all the nonsense that is there in the name of religion then one is truly religious.

It requires a really religious man to drop all the religious nonsense.

Unless you have faith how will you really rebel against religion?

You look at Jesus, was the Jesus following the Bible? Not at least the new testament. Maybe, even the old testament, he wasn’t really following, he was clearly giving it new meanings. He said that the commandments are there but let me tell you what those commandments really mean. So it is an expression of the deep religiosity of Jesus that he rebels against the existing religion.

Only when you can rebel against the existing religion then you can be assured that God is powering you. Because without the support of that One reality, that one Truth, how will you have the courage to stand against the false?

The false is so overwhelming, you know, today you have communities that number in billions—Christians are over two billion, Muslims must be approaching two billion, more than one billion Hindus are there and Buddhists and numbers and numbers. Now, when such a huge number is following a particular way, then from where will you get the strength to not to follow that way?

That requires the support of God.

So that is real religiosity.

You see, be it, Jesus or Mohammad, they are first and foremost rebels. Mohammad didn’t carry forward a pre-existing religion. He had something new to say, and that is why it is said that He was in direct touch with Allah. Because without being in direct touch with God how will you ever come upon something new? You’ll just keep repeating the old.

So, feel free, totally free, don’t have that fear that you must follow the conventional.

Religion is not at all about going in a particular line, going down the beaten track, not at all.

Religion is extremely dynamic, religion is more modern than modern.

Religion does not consist of rituals.

Religion means, ‘I will live my life with Honesty and Truth.’

And are Honesty and Truth outdated things? Are Honesty and Truth something that belongs to the seventh or first centuries?

They don’t!

Is love something that you would take as primordial? And without religion what love are you talking about?  

So, religion is cool; religion is young; religion is vigour.

But not the religion that is touted, not the religion that is being publicised.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How to read the scriptures?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: God and scriptures are not matters of personal belief

Article 2: On Quran: You cannot guess the ways of God

Article 3:Spiritual scriptures have no meaning


Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant :

Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant
Flipkart:  https://goo.gl/fS0zHf

Whatever takes you towards your beautiful Heart is Beautiful

Whether or not your wife is beautiful, is not determined by the way she talks and looks.

It is determined by how you feel when you are next to her.

Does she bring you to that beautiful silence, or do you get further agitated in her company?
Does her very presence calm you down?
If her presence calms you down, then she is beautiful.

I keep calling Jesus, ‘handsome’.

It is not because he was young, tall, fair, and muscular.
I keep calling him ‘handsome’ for what he is.

Kabir is beautiful, Meera is beautiful.

Meera is beautiful for her devotion.

Meera is beautiful because when you are with Meera, then some of her devotion simply rubs-off on you.

Sitting next to Meera, you get a taste of Krishna. That is why Meera is beautiful.

So, what is Ugly?
Whatever takes you away from the beauty in your Heart is Ugly.

What is Beautiful?
Whatever takes you towards your beautiful Heart is Beautiful.