Question: Acharya Ji, I just keep feeling burdened most of the times, and to escape this burden, I keep racing all day long. But I find myself feeling heavy again. Please help me unburden myself.
Acharya Prashant Ji: You are burdened, that itself is the proof of the burden. The burden surely does exist, otherwise, why would there be a burdened one. So, you are burdened, and you are moving. That movement, you are describing as a race. Great!
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.
You wake up in the morning, and the entire day you have been running, has this running helped you by the evening? If it has helped you, congratulations! Again tomorrow, run more, run faster. Running is exactly what you need. But, if it has not unburdened you, then all your running has been in vain, and it has been a stupid thing, to run without knowing the destination, or the purpose.
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? Run, run fast. But run in the right direction. Sometimes we run so fast, and in such scare, and with such blindness, that we become incapable of knowing where we are going. Then, a second of rest, helps. A bit of a pause, brings in some sanity.
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.
Today you are able to run. Tomorrow? As long as you can run, make good use of the running. A day will come, when the running will anyway cease. Is it too much to enquire into? “Am I getting any better, by doing what I am continually doing?” Is this too difficult a question to ask.
“This is what I am doing everyday. The same pattern, the same repetition. Is it taking me anywhere, or I am just feasting on blind hope?”
Today, somebody quoted me on one of the groups. I was told. Many years back, maybe five, six, or seven years, I had said that had Kabir Sahib been alive today, and looked at the railway station, and the railway engine and the train, then he would have spontaneously uttered something. This was long back.
So, jokingly I had said, that Kabir Sahib would have said, “Dhak dhak dhak engine chale, chalta chati phod. Sahib maarg jaane nahin, jaayegaa kis or. (The engine is running, and running, making a lot of noise, and moving with so much power. It has no clue of route to God, where will it lead itself to.”
So you are a very powerful engine, and you are running your heart out. “Dhak dhak dhak dhak engine chale, chalta chati phod.” That’s probably the state of most middle-class hard-workers. See how hard they work. Look at the roads at 8:30 a.m. every morning, congested with all the hard-workers. And then look at the roads at 8:30 p.m. every night. Again congested with all the hard-workers. Obviously they are working very hard.
Had they invested even a quarter of their time and energy towards liberation, they won’t have needed to congest the roads anymore. Our energy is going towards self-destruction. And our energy is going towards fattening our slave masters. You work so very hard, and who reaps the benefit of your labor? Some fat man sitting at the top of the food chain, right?
Sometimes you don’t even know of his name. And it would be extremely rare, if you have ever met him. And he is real recipient, of the fruit of your labor. What you get, by way of salary, a profit, is so meager. But still you do get something. That is sufficient to meet all your expenses. You are also able to save a bit for the rainy day.
And given the kind of life that you are leading, obviously cancer is not very far away. Everything that you are doing every day, every hour, is an invitation to cancer. But don’t worry, you will have savings.
In your last six months, you will duly transfer all your savings to the hospital, the fruit of your hard work, all your life. And you will feel vindicated. You will say, “See, I knew I will have cancer. And therefore, with great responsibility, like a good citizen, I kept saving every month. And all those savings, are standing by me now. Otherwise, what would have I given to the hospital?”
And not even once do you realise, that your cancer, is nothing, but a product of your hard work – the kind of life that you have lived. Look at your statement – ‘I get up every morning, and I feel burdened, and then I race through the entire day, and I repeat the vicious cycle the next day’.
Do you really think that this kind if lifestyle will spare even your physical health?
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: How to unburden the mind? || Acharya Prashant (2019)
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