Acharya Prashant, with students: Brain and Intelligence


Acharya Prashant: We can live in two kinds of worlds. How? Even as I am speaking to you, some of you are listening, and the others might be thinking and wandering and lost in imagination, Right? Do you see that? You have to be together in this. Is that alright?

So that means that it’s possible for man, and each of us is a human being right? So whatever is applicable to us is applicable to mankind in general. We can easily generalize whatever is applicable to us. So, it is possible for man to be simultaneously living two kinds of lives. One is that you are sitting here. The other is that you are thinking about something else. Correct? The very fact that which really is known as reality. Whereas that which is imagined, which is thought of, is called ‘the mind.’ Can you see this that even though you would be sitting here, it is possible for the mind to be at a totally different place? You could be in Disneyland or at your home or at any other place. Now is that for real? Where is a reality? Reality is that which is. Everything else is imagination. This imaginary aspect of us is what is the ‘mind’. Now, what is this thing called the mind? Write down. The mind is ‘brain + intelligence’.

Brain — Matter, Product of Evolution, Just like a computer hard disk, Just like a computer hard disk, Automatic, Prone to Conditioning, Like the Fan.

Brain is like the fan in the sense that it’s totally material. It is a slave to the commands of somebody else. You switch on the fan, you switch off the fan. Does the fan have any intelligence or any will of its own?

Remember it’s very efficient. It keeps working all the time. But does it work according to its own understanding? Does the fan know what is going on in its head? Does the fan understand what electricity is, what electromagnetism is, Faraday’s law, Ampere’s law, anything? Does it understand? Yet it keeps working. It keeps working according to the design provided to it by external forces.

Who has provided the design to it? Man – an external force. Not the fan itself. The Fan is a mechanical device which is a slave of others, albeit very efficient, efficient but dumb. With the result that everybody else can exploit it, can make use of it. It’s mechanical, dumb. You can write all these things for a brain. Everything that applies to the fan also applies to the brain. Alright? Except for one thing that the fan does not have a memory chip, the brain has a memory chip as well. The fan cannot really recall the events of yesterday. And that too can be done. You can have a fan with a memory chip. That’s not difficult at all. That’s not at all difficult.

You can have a fan that can keep registering what is happening day in and day out, and after one year when you will take that chip it will have all the data accumulated on it. That on which particular day how many hours of rotation was there, at what time, at what speed, all that can be done, right? That’s not at all difficult. You can do that as a project. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Are you getting it?

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Life is not that tragic

The mind is like that. It has no independent existence of its own. It lives only in relation. Only in comparison. If it cannot relate something to the past it will not be able to make any sense of it.

It derives its very existence from a relationship with knowledge. The thing must already be there in the mind by way of knowledge for it to make any sense to you. So that’s all the mind can do.

Life is not that tragic. The new is there, every moment is new. We are leaving continuously in the new but the faculty that will know the new is not the conditioned.

The only way to come close to the happening is by way of direct approach. Comparison is indirect approach and you have the capability to approach rife directly.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Why does the mind compare everything with the past?

Acharya Prashant: Why does the mind compare everything with the past?

Listener: Why does my mind compare everything with the past?

Acharya Prashant: What else can it do? Do you want to think without having a benchmark? That’s impossible.

The mind is like a ‘businessman.’ It weighs everything. And have you seen weighing scale? It always has two parts that are weighed against each other. Have you ever seen a weighing scale that does not compare? That does not have a standard or a benchmark?

The mind is like that. It has no independent existence of its own. It lives only in relation. Only in comparison. If it cannot relate something to the past it will not be able to make any sense of it.

Assume I utter word right now that you cannot relate to your past, will your mind make any sense out of that word? If you have never heard that word before. Would that word be meaningful in the language of the mind? Yes? So, that is the all mind can do. Compare.

It derives its very existence from a relationship with knowledge. The thing must already be there in the mind by way of knowledge for it to make any sense to you. So that’s all the mind can do.

If it says something is good it is because it has been made to believe in the past that such are the benchmarks of ‘goodness.’ If it says something is moral or ethical then it is because it is made to believe that such are the standards of ethics otherwise it hardly knows anything.

So if your question is why does my mind compare anything and everything with the past? Then the answer is because that’s the only thing it can do nothing else is possible for the mind.

The question now needs to be broadened. The question must now be – “Do I need to know everything by way of comparison?” Alright!  the conditioned mind will only know something by comparing it. Right? The conditioned mind will only know something by comparing it. But will I also know everything by comparing it?  Is that an obligation upon me as well? No, that’s not really an obligation upon you. That is an obligation upon the conditioned part of the cells. But not really upon you. If that is an obligation upon you then, Life will become very terrible. Because it would imply that there is no possibility of any ‘newness.’ Only that will come to me that has a relation to the past. So, nothing new then can come to me. That is a terrible thing to happen.

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The greatest dependence is psychological dependence

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future? Tell me?

To look towards future, one would have to take his attention away from the present, right?

Your goals cannot be bigger than your awareness. Goals will just be within the circumference of what you know.

Life is the present moment, there is nothing else. If you are free right now, there is no need to become enslaved the next moment. Why do you want to pretend that we are slaves? You are not! You are free this moment!

And remember, financial dependence is not a great dependence. Even physical dependence may not be a great dependence. The greatest dependence is psychological dependence.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting


Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting

Question: Acharya Ji, we should have future plans also. What should set that in our minds that what we are going to be in future!

Acharya Prashant: Alright, that is a very sensible question. What’s your name?

Questioner: Aanchal.

AP: Right. Aanchal, suppose if one day, you give one of your friends a call. And say, tell me, which road goes to Chandigarh? How do I reach Chandigarh? And you are feverishly asking her. How do I reach Chandigarh, tell me, how do I reach Chandigarh? If your friend is sensible enough, what is the question she is going to ask you?

Listeners: Where are you, now?

AP: Where are you right now? To reach anywhere, shouldn’t you firstly know where are you right now? To talk about future, shouldn’t you firstly know what the present moment is? And if the present moment is known, is Chandigarh too far away?

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

And right now means exactly right now! Are you aware of how your thoughts are wending? Are you aware, from where are these questions arising? Are you even aware, why there is incessant thirst for the future?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future?

Tell me?

Have you noticed? Have you been attentive to the fact that when is it that you really start thinking of the future?

When you are? Insecure. When you are insecure, and tense and anxious, that’s when your mind rushes to the future.

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Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration? Ask yourself.

Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive. Is it not?

Always remember, you will not run after something unless you are worried. All motivation has a close linkage to worry.

Always have a firm realization, let me even call it a feeling, that I am alright. I might be defeated, I might take losses, I might be rebuked, scolded, still, fundamentally I am alright. Never lose that inner faith.

No goal is bigger than you. You are bigger than anything your mind can come up with. A goal, a fantasy, an imagination, a concept, you are bigger than that.

You are not worried about goals. Goals come because you are worried. Do you get the subtle difference?

When the mind is worried, then it sets more and more goals and becomes more and more serious about them. Becomes very serious about the goals.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?


Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?

Question: Acharya Ji, my question is, “How to be free of botheration and still be focused on our goal”?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Questioner: Kumar Abhishek.

AP: Sit, Abhishek.

Abhishek is saying, how to be free from botheration and yet to be focused on the goal. Let’s examine.

Abhishek, where does the goal arise from?

You are asking, one – I need to be free from worries; parallelly, I need to be focused on my goal.

I am beginning by asking you, from where does the goal arise?

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration?

Ask yourself.

When you are Light and Joyful, are you still thinking of goals? Go to your moments, when you are free, light. Were you planning, were you concerned with goals? Were you concerned with goals?

It’s obvious that goals arise from botheration. The more bothered you are, the more is your sense of inner incompleteness, the more goals will be there in your mind. A goal is like a medicine. I am feeling sick, I am feeling sick, so I am searching for a medicine in the future. Goals are not only like a medicine, they are also a ‘False medicine.’ Because the botheration is right now and the medicine is in the?

Listener: Future.

AP: Future. It’s like saying, I have a severe headache, a migraine right now, but I have planned for a medicine that will work two years hence. What kind of medicine is this? If you have a migraine right now, when do you need the medicine to work? Right now. The suffering is right now, the botheration is right now, you need something that heals you?

L: Right now.

AP: Right Now.

Two things, One – goals arise from a sense of turbulence, from a sense of, there is something wrong somewhere, from a sense of there is something unworthy, inadequate about me and I need to make up for it by achieving something in future. I am not alright.  I will be alright when that goal is achieved. Right? That’s what the goal tells you. You will be good, admirable, lovable, adequate when you get that promotion when you have that amount of money when you earn that respectability. That’s what the promise of the goal is. And we fail to see that it is a false promise. A false medicine.

So, Abhishek you are asking for the impossible. You are saying, “How not to bother and how still to be focused on goals?” Do you see how you are asking for the impossible? Goals themselves arise from the poisonous soil of botheration. If there is no botheration, how will there be any goals either? How will there be any goals, if you are not worried?

Tha’s why you see, In many systems, in many institutions, in the minds of many people, it is essential that they keep those around them, worried. Because they know that unless you are kept worried, you will not run after goals. In many professions, the lure of incentives is given, to achieve targets, goals. Parallelly, there is a threat of disincentives. And in any case,

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