Tag Archives: Limitations

When there are no questions to ask the Teacher || Acharya Prashant (2019)

When there are no questions to ask the Teacher

Question: Dear Acharya ji, Pranaam! I know that the online sessions are interactive. A question needs to be asked, and the question will be addressed by you. Acharya ji, sometimes I desperately search for a question to ask, may be just so that I may participate, and my presence is acknowledged, but nothing comes to mind.

At other times, I feel the need to say something, but then it is all garbled in the mind. No clear thoughts emerge. It’s like a dumb person, who is trying to speak, but can’t say something. Am I not able to express myself clearly? Is something holding me back?

Sometimes these thoughts come to mind, especially when we are urged to ask questions in the sessions. So I thought I will put it out to you, to bring it to light. Thank you for your love and guidance, and infinite patience with all of us.

In deep gratitude, Nimisha, from Mumbai.

Acharya Prashant ji: Nimisha, there are many aspects to this, you see. First thing, 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. 

It could be anybody’s question. You may feel that you don’t have this doubt, but still the answer will be greatly beneficial to you, because all doubts are one. It is not proper to say that half your doubts are clear. If your doubts are really clear, no doubt would remain. You cannot say that your doubts belong to another area.

One person’s doubt, is another person’s doubt. One query, is everybody’s query. And if you say that a particular query is not yours, you are actually making a very tall claim. You are saying de-facto, that all your queries have been resolved.

Do you get what I am saying?

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.

And second thing is, one has to figure out why the questions are not arising. I said that the first thing is, it is not necessary to ask questions. You may just as well listen, benefit would follow. Now I am saying, it is equally important to ask why questions are not arising.

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.

If everything appears resolved, in place, in order, squared, fair enough, explained, then there would be no questions. Now, you see, why, it may portend a danger, if one doesn’t have questions? If you don’t have a question, it may mean, that you are not really striking against your boundaries. It may mean, that you are living for too long, or too comfortably, within your confined world.

And within that confined world, everything is orderly. Within that confined world, everything stands explained, structured, resolved, refined, sorted out. And because everything sands explained, refined, sorted out, therefore there is no query at all. Now, I said, that portends danger. You know very well, why?

Because that means that you are not hitting hard enough against your boundaries. It might mean that it is quite comfortable within the boundaries. So instinctively, you are not feeling like cracking the boundaries open.

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.

The kid says, “Mumma, what is that?” No. But for the kid to raise a question, the kid has to be taken on a tour. If you are not taking the kid out on a tour, it should not surprise you that the kid has no questions to ask.

So, Nimisha, you need to take the kid out. Probably, you are being over-protective of the kid, that is you. Or you are keeping the kid too busy in homework, you know for the sake of progress or something. The kid needs to encounter something abnormal, something beyond it’s concepts. Something that it has not seen or experienced. And the whole world is full of such things.

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? 

And if everything is happening as per expectation, even expectations are being broken, as per expectations, then it means that life is just too structured, predictable, probably boring as well.

Get into new activities. Challenge your limits. Wear different caps, play different games. Test that which you might have taken for granted.

And then you will flood the session with questions!

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

Watch the session:  When there are no questions to ask the Teacher || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Acharya Prashant: How to really listen to the Guru?

Question: In one video, you said that to listen to Krishna, you need to be Arjuna. To Listen to Ashtavakra also you need to be Janak.

To listen to you, what should the person be?

Acharya Prashant: The person should not be insistent on being the ‘person.’ That begins with not seeing the speaker as a person and not imagining the listener to be the person. If here a person is speaking sitting on this chair, then surely there is another person sitting on another chair who is listening. Now, listening cannot really happen. Because persons cannot really relate to each other.

A person is a limitation.

Limitations can associate with each other. But limitations cannot relate to become limitless.

You take one limitation and you associate it with another one, you do not get limitlessness. What you get is another limitation.

One person listening to another person will not listen to the Truth. He will come to some opinion, some conclusion, something of the mind or attitude. But he won’t come upon Truth or silence.

To listen to me you need to forget all about yourselves. And you need to forget that what you are listening to is a person’s personal viewpoints.

If you will insist on saying that what is coming to you is somebody’s personal opinion, then no person ever has the obligation to be non-resistant to another person’s opinions. Opinions by definition are meant to be analyzed, judged, dissected, then partially accepted or rejected.

You will have to see that that which speaks from this chair is the same that listens from that chair, or listening simply doesn’t happen.

Till the time there is A speaking to B, listening cannot happen.

Only Truth listens to the Truth.

Only that within you can listen to me which speaks from within me. And they are one. Which means that there has to be a certain unity between the ‘listener’ and the ‘speaker.’ I said,

to listen to Krishna you need to be Arjuna. But it’s not really Arjuna who listens to Krishna. It’s Krishna within Arjuna that listens to Krishna. No Arjuna can ever know Krishna. Even to look at Krishna, Arjuna requires eyes that are bestowed upon him by Krishna.

You’ll have to give your listening a total chance, a total freedom. And that is a very impersonal freedom. You’ll have to simply drop giving importance to all that is personal about the speaker.

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Acharya Prashant: How to deal with limitations of those around you?

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Acharya Prashant: Shweta is saying we all are limited and we may have this interaction here but as I move into the world, the so-called real world. I only encounter limitations.

The help that we are talking of, is not always forthcoming. But then Shweta, why do I need to be dependent upon somebody else. We have said life itself is the biggest help.

Life itself is the biggest help.

Others are limited but it depends upon you, whether you allow others limitations to become your own limitations. We might be living in the world of the blinds but that does not mean that we too close our eyes. Yes, of course, there is great pressure upon us to do that.

You know there is a story. There was a village. And that village had only one well from where everyone drew water. Someone came, some mischievous fellow came and put a poisonous drug in that water and now that water became such, whosoever will drink it will go mad. Everybody in the village drank that water except for one man he looked at the people around, he looked at their insanity and he understood that drinking this water would make me insane. He said I will not drink this water.

But now everybody around him was made! Just as now you said Shweta, everybody around you is limited. All of the mad people would say, that we are fine and they made a society of normal people and of course, all these so-called normal people were mad. And this society declares there is only one mad person in the village and who is he? The fellow who did not drink the water and who was not mad.

Now, this sane fellow started facing a lot of difficulties because wherever he would go, all other madmen would treat him with disrespect and Life became very difficult for him. Life became very very difficult for him. What was the way remain in front of him? Yes…To himself drink the water. So one fine day he decided.

He said if I want to live then I have to become like them, mad. Because only a madman can survive in the society of madman. He said let me also become mad only then I can survive. So he decided that I will go the well and drink that water and become one like them.

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You are a man of patterns

You are a man of mind. You are a man of reactions. You are a man of patterns. Who wants to talk to such a man?

An ordinary man in the name of learning from failures, Just tries to react differently. The second time a similar situation arises. And this he labels as learning from failure.

Zen is your essential core that reacts not, that it’s his own master. Has it’s own way of living.

Two or three years are needed so that all the pre-existing answers get clear. Not that the new answer is needed but the old answer need to go.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Zen: Have you any God?


 

Acharya Prashant on Zen: Have you any God?

Acharya Prashant: Joshu went to Hermit and asked, “What’s up? What’s up?” The Hermit lifted up his fist and Joshu said, “Water is too shallow to enter here and went away”. Joshu visited the Hermit once again, a few days later and said, “What’s up? What’s up?” The Hermit raised his fist again then Joshu said, “Well given, well taken, well killed, well saved” and he bowed to the Hermit.

A few things Right-living, Wisdom, Spirituality, Zen are all about a non-reactionary way of living. A non-reactionary way of living. So, Joshu asks the hermit, “What’s up?” He isn’t parlance as indicated. It means, “Have you any Zen?” Now, Zen is not an object. Zen is not a part of ‘duality.’ The answer to the question that asks, Have you any Zen, can neither be ‘yes’ nor ‘no’ as such. When Hermit raises his fist. It is inferior to remain in silent. It comes across as a reaction to Joshu’s question.

The situation become such that Joshu’s question becomes actually a provocations, a stimulus to which the Hermit reacts this is not really the way of Zen. The question demanded no answer. The question demanded rather the stillness of Zen or the silence of Zen. The question, “Have you any Zen?” is aching to the questions — “Are you God? Is the universe same as or different from it’s source? Are you in God or God is in you? Have you any Zen? Have you any God? Have you the Truth? Have you Love?” All these are questions in the same dimensions. To such questions ordinary answers don’t suffice.

So, upon seeing the response of the Hermit, upon seeing the raised fist of Hermit. Joshu says, “The water is to shallow to enter here.” Zen is still an intellectual thing for you, ‘shallow.’ It is not yet reached your depth. Zen has not yet reached your depth. It has still not yet penetrated your heart. No point talking to you.

You are a man of mind.

You are a man of reactions.

You are a man of patterns.

Who wants to talk to such a man?

Joshu walks away. Who wants to talk to a monk? For whom, Zen is a matter of questions and answers. Then comes another day, Joshu goes to the same Hermit and asks the same questions.

Now, see what happens. The first time the Hermit has had an experience. The experience say that when somebody asks you about Zen and you respond by raising your fist, you get an insulting answer and the questioner walks away. That is what the experience of Hermit has been, right?

In one situation, the Hermit has given one particular answer and that answer has ostensibly not sufficed. The questioner has walked away dissatisfied. Not only has he walks away dissatisfied. He has blatantly on the face of the Hermit said, “The water is to shallow here.” Now, what would an ordinary man do then when faced with the similar situation again?

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Real destiny is Peace

Destiny, really means, that, which is unavoidable, that which, cannot be changed.

Destiny is not the ‘fruit of action,’ but because we live in our limited prospective, so we take the results of our actions as our destinies.

Your real destiny is the Truth, the ‘real destiny’ is ‘peace.’

Remember that even when you trying to get the Truth or Peace, it is Truthand Peace that drive you.

Your destiny is the great silence, that is where you are and if you do not consciously acknowledge that, that is where you have to reach. Nothing else is your destiny.

Destiny is related to the word destination. And what does destination means? The finality. The climax. The highest. The ending and the dissolution. You are already there.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Destiny is That which is unavoidable


 

Acharya Prashant: Destiny is That which is unavoidable

Acharya Prashant: What do you mean by destiny?

Listener: Blessed, that which is blessed or that which is decided, or pre-decided. I think it is from the law of karma.

AP: No Karma is pre-decided, so destiny obviously cannot be related to karma. That which pre-exists, pre-exists karma also, so karma cannot be the decider of the destiny. Obviously.

L: I heard of the three types of karma – Agami, Parabda, Sanchitta.

AP: All three have a background.

All three have a background, Agami, Parabda, Sanchitta, all three have a background. And all three have their respective fruits. When you say destiny is something that is preordained, then obviously it has to go, prior to karma and even the cause of karma.

Destiny, really means, that, which is unavoidable,

that which, cannot be changed.

That which is inevitable. That pre-exists everything that happens. And that will exist post all happenings. And what is that? Nothing, but emptiness, Truth. Which was there before the beginning of time and which exists, even after, the time has withdrawn. That alone is destiny, nothing else.

I repeat,

Destiny is not the ‘fruit of action,’ but because we live in our limited prospective, so we take the results of our actions as our destinies.

No,

Your real destiny is the Truth, the ‘real destiny’ is ‘peace.’

The proof of that is unless you get that real unless you get Truth and Peace. You will not relax.

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