Tag Archives: Light

What is the process of gaining mental clarity?

What is the process of gaining mental clarity

Question: What is the process of clarity? Is it just listening with immersion, in no resistance? What is Truth? How do we decide that it is listening without effort? If there is Truth in what you hear, there is change and transformation, and then Truth becomes the Master.

Acharya Prashant: We will take it step by step.

What is the process of clarity?

So, there is a lot that the mind has acquired. There is a lot that the mind has acquired. Whatever has come to the mind, has come with a promise.

What is the promise? The promise is – I will give you peace! It can have different names – Love, Joy. But the promise is always there. Nothing has been accepted by the mind without that promise.

The mind’s whole objective in accepting conditioning is that, conditioning is worthwhile. Otherwise the mind won’t accept anything.

Mind feels inadequate. Mind feels incomplete. Whosoever promises it completion, the mind latches on to it; it, him, her, whatever.

Wherever, from any direction, there is the faintest possibility of emancipation, of freedom from that incompleteness and inadequacy, the mind says, “Please give it to me. Whatever it is, give it to me.” That is the promise that the mind is holding on to.

So, what is the process of clarity?

The process of clarity is – I accepted something based on a promise! Is the promise being met? That’s it.

Ask.

This ideology came to my life with the promise that – it will give me peace! Organised religion came into my life with the promise that – it will give me peace. A particular person came into my life with the promise that- it will give me peace. Is it giving me ‘that’? This is the process. Ask this question. And if it’s not giving you that, clear it away. That is clarity.

Whatsoever comes to you, if it is not giving you ‘that’ which is your deepest longing, and your deepest longing is for peace. Whatsoever comes into your life, if it is not giving you that, clear it away. Get rid of it.

That is clarity.

“It is not that! It is not that. I was deceived. I made a mistake. And it is alright. I made a mistake. It can be cleared. It can be corrected.”

It could be a thought, it could be a vision, it could be a target, it could be an identity, it could be your self-image! Whatever it is, is it giving me ‘that’, or is it a source of strife? Is it a source of conflict? Ask – whatever is present in your mind, what is it doing to your life? What is it, that it is bringing to you?

How do you feel when you are with a particular idea? When you are with it, in awareness, how do you feel?

How do you feel when you are really with a particular person? Not just bodily, sitting side by side. When you are really with him in attention, how do you feel? Does it bring peace to you? Or, in fact, looking closely at that person, makes him all the more despicable! He can be tolerated, if you do not look at him closely. But the more attentively you look at that person, the more repugnant it is. So, that’s it!

Similarly with books! Ultimately, is this giving ‘that’  to me? Or when you are with a teacher! “Jaa guru se bhram naa mitey, bhranti naa jeev kaa jaaye, saa guru jhootha jaaniye, tyagat der naa laaye!”

Is it clearing away confusion? Is bhram/bhranti(illusion) dissolving? If it is giving you that, that the clouds are being cleared, the Sun is now shining in my inner sky, then it’s alright. What is that book doing to you? What is that video doing to you? That is the only way of knowing. And that is the process of clarity.

Ask yourself!

“Is it making the mind even more clouded? Is it loading me with more beliefs, more content, more stuff, more load, more baggage? Or is it making me lighter? Featherweight, flying around in the wind.”

And once you have seen it, then please be honest. Please be honest.

So, you are asking – what is the process of clarity? Is it just listening with immersion, and no resistance?

No, you see, it is not only a particular action, which you are calling as ‘listening’. Hearing something out, in a particular period of time, will not be sufficient. Is this what you are calling as ‘listening’, is this something that is a part of entire life, or is it something that is limited to a few hours? If by this, what you mean is, that I listen to ‘life’ with immersion and in a resistance-less way, it is beautiful. But if by this, what you mean is that – I hear a out particular person, or a particular book, then that won’t help much!

‘Listening’ is a quality of life itself. It’s an all-pervasive thing.

Not limited to just a few hours.

If what you mean, extends to the whole spread of your life, then what you are saying is very nice! Good.

But, immersion cannot be time-bound.

Immersion cannot be time-bound.

Resistance-lessness cannot be time bound.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: What is the process of gaining mental clarity?

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Who is collecting your sacrifice? ||(2013)

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Question: Why do we sacrifice in the name of Life?

Acharya Prashant: Who says that? What is your name?

Listener: Ankush.

AP: Ankush, who told you that Life is a big ‘sacrifice’? And whenever there is a ‘sacrifice’, there is somebody collecting the sacrifice. Who is collecting the sacrifice? You are giving your Life who is taking that Life? Have you ever seen this?

Life is not a sacrifice. 

It was surely a very defeated, a very sad man who has said that Life is the ‘sacrifice’. Life is there to live. It is your one precious Life and you are ‘young’. It is meant to be lived. It is not even meant to be given away. But a divine part is this that

When you live your Life fully, you actually give a lot to others as well.

Like a candle. A candle shining brightly is able to light a hundred other candles as well. And that takes nothing away from its own Light. It does not have to sacrifice its own Light.

Ensure that you are up and aflame like that candle then others will also get something from you. But that will be just incidental. You don’t have to sacrifice. Sacrifice what and why?

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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 on Khalil Gibran: You know your real face, and your real home?

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“Your life, my friend,

is a residence far away from any other

residence and neighbours.

Your inner soul is a home far away from

other homes named after you.

If this residence is dark,

you cannot light it with your neighbour’s lamp;

If it is empty you cannot fill it

with the riches of your neighbour;

Were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a

garden planted by someone else…

Your inner soul, my friend,

is surrounded with solitude and seclusion.

Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion

you would not be you and I would not be I.

If it were not for that solitude and seclusion,

I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking;

Yet, if I saw your face, I would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.”

~ Khalil Gibran

Acharya Prashant: Poets have a way, of presenting the Truth. The way helps. The way is beautiful. But as happens with all ways to the Truth, the way itself is a bit of a hindrance to the destination.

What Khalil Gibran is saying here, is essentially very straightforward. The inner seclusion and solitude that he is talking of, is nothing, but your calm, peaceful, silent, immovable, center.

Seated at that center, with the calmness, the immovability, of the center, vested in the mind as well; the mind gains intelligence, the mind gains discretion.

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Acharya Prashant: Ambition and anger

Acharya Prashant: What is your name?

Listener: Kshitij Aggarwal.

AP: The question asked by Kshitij is why do needs often dominate ambition?

And he surely thinks that it is quite unfortunate that needs to start dominating ambitions. The reason is simple, he probably gives a lower priority to needs and higher priority to ambitions because he thinks that the ambitions are his. He has kept ambitions very close to himself. He believes that they are his own.

So, he deeply wants the ambitions to be fulfilled. But finds that instead, something else has to be done, first of all, we will understand this conflict. And we all face this conflict, this conflict is not only in Kshitij’s mind, this conflict in the mind of every single one of us. But we are all confused, we rarely know, what to do. There are always one or more options in front of us, and we are unable to see clearly which one is suitable. Right?

This happens not only once in six months, at the time of admissions or at the time of choosing a job, it keeps happening daily, day in and day out. What is this conflict? you will have to understand.

Kshitij,

Our mind is dominated by ‘external influences’ which we have so far called is the development of ‘Ego.’

Our mind is not our mind, our mind is a collection of all external influences.

Our mind is divided into many many segments and many parts, and there are so many different forces that are controlling these separate parts. So, one part is being controlled by parents, one part is being dominated by media, one part is being dominated by society, one part by peers, one by corporations, one by thoughts of career, one by XYZ, and very very large number of parts.

Now, these different parts are your different masters. It’s like a person is tied to fifty different ropes being pulled by fifty different people in fifty different directions. Will that person be able to move towards any definite direction, any one direction.

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The scripture’s final aim is to bring you to the living scripture

Where the light is, there the lamp is.

The Self and the Ego are not the two ends of duality. It’s non-duality talking to duality.

That is what happens when a teacher exposes the falseness of one’s existing religion. When the teacher exposes the falseness of one’s existing motivations! The teacher says you know, the route that you are taking will lead you deeper into darkness. And what is the immediate conclusion that the mind draws? The mind says, he does not want me to go there, it means that he wants me to come to him. He is telling me that all those shops are false. And that surely proves that he wants me to come to his own shop. That is a quick suspicion, rather conclusion, that the mind jumps into.

You will not have your lamp, where your forefathers found their lamp. You will have to find your lamp using your own eyes. And the only mark of lamp is, Light. Don’t disregard the Light. The Light is the only proof of the lamp.

Searching for Truth, but in the wrong way, and at the wrong places, and from the wrong center. That is what the ego does. It wants light. The ego too wants light. But it won’t get it.

The scripture’s final aim is to bring you to the living scripture.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on a Sufi Story: The Lamp shop


 

Acharya Prashant on a Sufi Story: The Lamp shop

The Lamp Post

One dark night two men met on a lonely road.

‘I am looking for a shop near here, which is called The Lamp Shop,’ said the first man.

‘I happen to live near here, and I can direct you to it, ‘ said the second man.

‘I should be able to find it by myself. I have been given the directions, and I have written them down,’ said the first man.

‘Then why are you talking to me about it?’

‘Just talking.’

‘So, you want company, not directions?’

‘Yes, I suppose that that is what it is.’

‘But it would be easier for you to take further directions from a local resident, having got so far; especially because from here onwards it is difficult.’

‘I trust what I have already been told, which has brought me thus far. I cannot be sure that I can trust anything or anyone else.’

‘So, although you once trusted the original informant, you have not been taught a means of knowing whom you can trust?’

‘That is so.’

‘Have you any other aim?’

‘No, just to find the Lamp shop.’

‘May I ask why you seek a lamp shop?’

‘Because I have been told on the highest authority that that is where they supply certain devices which enable a person to read in the dark.’

‘You are correct, but there is a prerequisite, and also a piece of information. I wonder whether you have given them any thought.’

‘What are they?’

‘The prerequisite to reading by means of a lamp is that you can already read.’

‘You cannot prove that!’

‘Certainly not on a dark night like this.’

‘What is the “piece of information”?’

‘The piece of information is that the Lamp Shop is still where it always was, but that the lamps themselves have been moved somewhere else.’

‘I do not know what a “lamp” is, but it seems obvious to me that the Lamp Shop is the place to locate such a device. That is, after all, why it is called a Lamp Shop.’

‘But a “Lamp Shop” may mean “A place where lamps may be obtained”, or it could mean “A place where lamps were once obtained but which now has none”.’

‘You probably have an ulterior motive, sending me off to some other shop. Or perhaps you do not want me to have a lamp at all.’

‘I am worse than you think. I want to find out if you could read at all. I want to see whether a lamp shop exists where you are going. I want to see whether you can have your lamp in another way suited to you.’

The two men looked at each other, sadly, for a moment. Then each went his way.

Idries Shah, Tales of the Dervishes

Acharya Prashant: To make things simpler at the outset itself, let it be clear that the one coming to seek the lamp shop, is a seeker full of knowledge. A seeker from a distant land, who does not belong really to the land of meditativeness. Knowledge has brought him to the boundary of the land of meditativeness, but cannot take him any further ahead. On the boundary, he meets this second person who is a teacher, who is the resident of this second land, who belongs there.

So, one of the first things that this teacher asks this knowledgeable seeker is, that, ‘you have come so far, having read some book that told you that you must search for lamps in a lamp shop that is thus located. But has the book also told you, how to find the one who will take you to the lamps? And if your book does not tell you ‘that,’ then your book is useless. He says, ‘‘has your book taught you, whom to trust? Has your book given you the eyes to figure out the real teacher?’’

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