Acharya Prashant on Saint Lalleshwari: Who needs devotion and who does not?

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Life is given. Nothing is earned.

So, learn to serve others, not your own desire, greed and ego.

They steal your energies.

Whereas devotion builds your strength and protects the intelligent flame that leads to the Truth within.

~

Saint Lalleshwari

Acharya Prashant: So, Kamlesh is asking, ‘Is the intelligent flame vulnerable? Does the strength fade away too? Is Truth a by-product of devotion, intelligence and strength? Can I not be in Truth prior to it? Are devotion and serving others necessary stepping stone?’

Kamlesh, it is not a question of whether and if and assumptions. If one is firmly established in Truth, then one does not need devotion. The establishment is devotion.

If one is Lalleswari already, to the extent that one has given up identities with all sheaths, just as Lalleswari had given up her identification with the social regiment, clothing, then obviously serving others as a tool is not needed, then serving others is just an expression of who you are.

But one is not there. One is at a distance from one’s own heart; and therefore tools and methods are needed.

The distance is both an illusion and a reality. Absolutely seeing, no-one is ever at a distance from Truth; because Truth is the only reality, where else will you go? But relatively speaking, looking at oneself from one’s own eyes, from one’s own deluded eyes, one is obviously at a distance.

One does not look at himself as the absolute Truth. One looks at himself as a limited person. This limited looking and subsequent conclusion that I am this person, leading this life, mired in such responsibilities, troubled by such fears, hoping for such gains. This limited person needs that flame of intelligence. Needs the help of devotion. The limited person needs all the help possible.

Yes, later on a point may come when the transformed person may say, Oh! All that was not really needed! Oh! All that was just a game! But the fellow who says is not the fellow who is deluded right now. For the deluded one, help is needed. Methods are needed.

~ Acharya Prashant speaking at a Shabd-Yoga Session at Advait BodhSthal Ashram, Greater Noida on 1st October 2017


Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant on Saint Lalleshwari: Who needs devotion and who does not?

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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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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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The more you think about love, the more you remain just a thinker.  

The more you think about love, the more you remain just a thinker.  

Is love a product of thought? Will more and more thinking bring you to love? Chances are, it may actually block love. Thought, by nature is insecure and aims at self-preservation. Love by nature is care-free and does not bother for security. These two just do not go together. Why don’t you see? The very function of thought is to maintain the status quo. Thought can aim at superficial change, peripheral change but it would always maintain the center it springs from. Thought is never going to challenge its own center. And the center of all thought is the ‘I’ feeling, the ego. That’s where the thoughts spring from.

The nature of love is to go against the ‘I’ feeling. The nature of love is to challenge the ‘I’ feeling, the very validity of it, the very presumptuousness contained in saying ‘I’; Love challenges that. Love not only challenges it, love actually mocks it, laughs at it.

Sex, love and meditation

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Acharya Prashant: First question reads, “What are your views on sex, love and meditation?”

What exactly do you want to know? I have no views really on any of these. Neither of them is something to be thought about.

L: What is the role of meditation in realization?

AP: None of these has any role to play anything. None of these are means or methods. There is the body and the body breathes. There is the body and the body bleeds. The body asks for food and digests, assimilates. And then there is the mind. The mind is driven by instincts, desires, conceptualizes, fears, analyses, projects, forecasts; that’s what the mind does. And both of these can pretty much remain independent.

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