Acharya Prashant: What is the ultimate purpose of life? || (2017)

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Question: As the years go by many of us remain confused about the ‘Goals of Life.’ I would like to be guided about the ‘Ultimate purpose of Life.’

~ Colonel S. D. Joshi

Acharya Prashant: But we have had purposes throughout our Life. Is there ever a purposeless moment in one’s Life. One is always driven by purpose.

You are going to the market to buy a vegetable, you have a purpose. You are going to your office, you have a purpose. Even if you embracing a stranger, you still have a purpose. Even if you are smiling at a kid, you still have a purpose.

Rare is the one who can even kiss purposelessly. 

We are very purposed human beings. 

You know what purpose is, benefit. What will I get from this? Do you ever do anything without a purpose? So Life has always been ‘purpose driven.’ You are asking, what is the ‘Ultimate purpose of Life?’ That question can be asked only if firstly the futility of all other purposes is seen.

Life has been a series of purposes. Parallel purposes, contradictory purposes, conflicting purposes, but purposes nevertheless. One doesn’t take a step purposelessly, that is the curse of our Life. The question ‘why?’ is always present.

If You tell someone, you are going to someplace what is the first thing that you are asked? Why? And what does ‘why?’ mean?

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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, with students: How to have confidence in oneself?

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Question: I don’t have confidence in myself. How to gain it?

Acharya Prashant: The question comes from an extreme – “I do not have confidence in myself.” But surely, this question addresses a pain that all experience in varying degrees, on various occasions.

There is nobody who does not feel short of confidence at one point or another. There are many, who keep feeling perpetually short. There are others, who feel confident most of the time, but find that their confidence is deserting them often when they need it.

You say you want ‘confidence’ in yourself. You want confidence in yourself only when you are in doubt. When things are just flowing smoothly, is there need for confidence? When there is no fear, is there need for confidence?

Confidence is a medicine.

Confidence is not your natural state.

Just as, medicine is not health. When you feel sick, then you ask for medicine and the role of medicine should be to make itself unnecessary. You do not want to have a medicine that you will perpetually need. What you must rather perpetually have, is a normal and ordinary state of health. What you must normally have is a state of fearlessness, in which confidence is not needed at all.

If you are requiring confidence, it means that something has already gone wrong.

Now, do you want to cover up what has gone wrong? Or do you want to directly address what has gone wrong? Because if the wrong stays wrong, then you will keep on needing confidence more and more, and more frequently.

When you are addressing your friends, do you require confidence? No! But when you are making a public presentation, then you require confidence. Do you notice that? When you are with your family members, do you require confidence? Hardly ever! But when you are in front of an interviewer, then you say that you require confidence.

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Acharya Prashant: The fallacy of expression of love

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Acharya Prashant: In matters of Love and all these things, you want the other person to be ‘nice.’

We are such idiots, we want the other person to be ‘nice.’ And if the other person is not nice, we feel, there is no Love.

We have no capacity to see where the whole thing is coming from. We do not see anything. We do not understand anything. And by anything, I mean absolutely anything. Black is white and white is black.

We are ready to give up our Life probably somebody comes and says two sweets words to us. Oh! he is my friend. Why? Because he talks sweetly and we do not realize that the sweet talk maybe so poisonous because we see only the actions, because we see only the actions, the words. He comes and hugs me and then he says, ‘baba how are you? Nice!’

And because I am already living at the surface, I am alright with that. I do not want to offend him. And he asks something, I will give.

But there is another one who admonishes, who chastises, who calls a spade, a spade, who is terribly real. And I’ll say, this fellow is my enemy because he tells me that I am an idiot. You have cancer. The doctor is telling you, you have cancer. Is he your friend or enemy?

Listener: Friend.

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Acharya Prashant: How to choose the right partner for marriage?

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Acharya Prashant: Companionship is wonderful. Be with one person, ten persons, anybody who helps your mind be centred. Being with such a person or a group of persons is wonderful. If marriage is another name for beautiful companionship, marriage is wonderful.

But, what matters is not the social institution of marriage, but the fact that you are with someone. And when you are with someone, the presence of that someone will necessarily have an effect upon you and vice-versa. You must know the effect that the other’s presence has upon you. If someone’s presence has a becalming effect on your mind, soothing effect on your mind, illuminating effect on your mind, liberating effect on your mind, go ahead. Boldly be with that person or persons as much as you want to.

But be with them only as long as their effect upon you is liberating. And be with them only as long as you do not become dependent on them, neither do they become dependent on you. It has to be a mutually healthy relationship. Not a relationship in which you enter because of sexuality or loneliness or social pressure.

You already have enough troubles, right?

You don’t want to invite another trouble into your house, into your bedroom, do you?

But yes, if someone can bring joy and truth to you, invite them right into your heart. And then marriage is inconsequential. With the right person, you marry, wonderful, you don’t marry, wonderful. And with the wrong person, you marry, bad luck, you don’t marry, bad luck.

What do you think?

Only married people have troubles?

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Acharya Prashant: Is it selfish to love oneself first?

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Questioner: Is it love to take care of myself and my belongings?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, it is love to take care of yourself; but to take care of anything you must know what that thing is. Can you take care of a car engine without knowing the engine? Can you take care of anything without knowing what that thing is?

Yes, love is about taking care of yourself; but really taking care of yourself, you must first know what your real problems are, you must know what you really want, you must first know what keeps you afraid, nervous, alert, and then you will be able to take care of yourself. and yes that is love.

Q: Is it not selfishness to love myself only and not the rest of the world?

AP: What do you mean by myself?

If your definition of myself separates you from the world, then this self that is separate from the world is anyway not worth loving. If your definition of love is that you and world are separate entities then this you is anyway not worth loving because this is not the real you.

First of all, figure out who you are and what your relationship with the world is, then you would be able to answer the question, ‘Whether it is possible to love yourself while simultaneously being indifferent to the world?’

It is not at all possible!

If you really love yourself while being apathetic to the world, that self-concept which places you as separate from the world is a flawed concept like all concepts.

That concept will only lead to violence.

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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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