Tag Archives: Past

Past life karma, goal of life, and liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Past life Karma, goal of life, and Liberation

Question: Acharya Ji, do you believe in past life?

Acharya Prashant Ji: That is irrelevant. Will I find you after your death? Will even you find yourself after your death?

Listener: I may be in a different body.

Acharya Ji: In a different body, will you have the same psyche, the same identity? You are a ‘person’, and a person is driven by identities. Forget about having a new life after death, even in this life, if I give you the option that your personality will be totally wiped out, your memory will be totally wiped out, your body will be totally changed, and you will be taken to a different place, a different planet, will you still say that you are ‘you’? Will you still say that you are ‘you’?

Even in this life, if your memory gets wiped out, do you remain what you are? Then why do you talk of ‘past life’, and ‘future life’?

Even in this life, if somebody strokes your head with a hammer, and your memory is totally gone, which means your identities are totally gone, you are as good as dead. You are no use to anybody then. You do not remain. You have disappeared, because you are a man of identities, because you are a personality. You live in a personality. And once the personality is gone, once the ‘person’ is gone, you are no more.

‘Eternity’, and ‘continuity’, is a word for those, who do not live in the personality.

If you live in the personality, you need not wait even for your physical death. You are dying continuously. Even tomorrow, you will not be who you are today, then how will you continue to be the same, in your next birth?

Even today you are not, what you were, fifteen years back, are you? Then how will you continue to remain, two hundred years from today? But, it is such a stupid thought, still very common. Do you feel one, or identified with, the self that you were, when you were ten years of age? Go into this!

You, as you see yourself, were once ten years of age, right? Today do you find much in common with that ten year old kid? Today, in fact, ninety percent, is not common, with that ten year old kid. Right?

In the same life-time, you are almost a totally different person, are you not? Then how will you remain the same after death, even if there is a rebirth? So what is the point in talking about this and that?

Listener 1: So, thirtieth birthday means, thirty years of death?

Acharya Ji: Yes, nice. Good.

Listener 2: Acharya ji, we said that memories being wiped out, is equivalent to you not being there. Now, this is a bit confusing, as we talked about we not being the body.

Acharya Ji: But, are you the Atman. I said that ‘Eternity’ and ‘Continuity’ are words applicable only to those, who live as the Atman. Do you live as the Atman? If you live as the Atman, then you will not talk of this birth and the previous birth, because the Atman never really dies, so how can it take the next birth?

To take the next birth, something must firstly die. Atman is eternal, it does not die. How can it take a new birth?

Question: Acharya Ji, many religions like Hinduism, Jainism, they talk of past lives and rebirth. You do not want to be consistent with them.

Acharya Ji: What do you want?

Listener 3: I just want……

Acharya Ji: Those who just want anything, do not get anything. Talk of one thing that you want, and then don’t talk of anything else.

Listener 3: I want the Truth.

Acharya Ji: Yes. So, Truth is – freedom from the false. See what all is false, in the way you currently live. Currently live. Currently live. Two things – ‘currently’, and ‘living’. Go into your life, right now.

How do you spend your day?

Where do you eat?

Where do you earn your money from?

These are the questions that should bother you. Not fancy intellectual questions.

Listener 4: Is it part of spirituality, the worldly matters – what I do, and all that?

Acharya Ji: What do want to do with ‘spirituality’ and ‘worldly matters’? The one who is in trouble, wants freedom from trouble. If the name of that freedom is ‘spirituality’, fine. If the name of that freedom is ‘worldliness’, fine. What the person wants is – freedom.

If I am thirsty, I want want water, you want to call it ‘jal’, ‘ambu’, ‘waari’, anything, I do not mind. Give me that, which will quench my thirst. Full stop.

Question: I have the same question related to thoughts. He said that thoughts increase the level of concentration. How can we manage that level of concentration?

Acharya Ji: Goal.

Listener 4: How to magnify and amplify that goal?

(laughter)

Listener 2: I am not even asking about amplifying the goal. In the example that you gave, when we were playing football, you mentioned that there was a clear distinction, that each team knew where their goal post is.

In real life, there are ten goal posts being shown, and each one is trying to instruct that this is where you have to reach. Unfortunately, sometimes the goal posts look similar also, and one gets confused.

Acharya Ji: Who is suffering?

Listener 2: I am suffering.

Acharya Ji: So who will know, whether or not you are getting freedom?

(silence)

Who is suffering?

(silence)

It is like this – “I am thirsty, one guru tells me to put water in this hole(the ear). Another guru tells me to put water in this hole(the mouth). Another one talks about the other holes of the body. Who is thirsty? You are. Don’t you know when your thirst is going to be quenched. Why are you acting so ignorant?

Don’t you contact with your own thirst, with your own suffering? Don’t you know when it is being quenched?

Listener 2: I have not even reached the level where my thirst is being quenched.

Acharya Ji: At least you know when it is not being quenched. This much, at least, you know?

Listener 2: Yes.

Acharya Ji: Next time, don’t put water in your ear. Reject the guru who teaches you to put water in your ear. At least this much you can do? Do this much.

Listener 2: But the problem is, I will give a parallel example. When one is thirsty, it is the water that one needs. When one gets a cool drink near by, one is tempted to take it.

Acharya Ji: Try it, immediately.

Listener 2: You are already thirty or forty years old, or may be, twenty-five. How many more trials do you need? Have you already not given everything a shot? Are soft drinks, or ice creams, or petroleum, new things to you? You have already tried them a thousand times. Are you still not fed up?

If you are not fed up, give them one more chance. And then, be absolutely fed up. But please, at some point, learn to be honest. Learn to quit. Learn to honestly face the mirror, and tell yourself, “I have been cheating myself all my life.” If you don’t do that, there are thousand kinds of fluids in the universe.

You will keep trying them endlessly.

Water is simple water – pure, direct.

I have no issues, if you want to give various things, various methods, various means, various books, various teachers, a chance. Please do that. But do that with all honesty. Having given the chance, ask yourself, “Is the thirst being quenched?” If ‘yes’, then stay put. Then don’t budge at all. If ‘no’, then you have no business looking at that face, ever again.

Man is strange creature, you know. He develops a stake, even in thirst. If you have conditioned yourself, to find pleasure in thirst, in suffering, in non-sense, then…

Question: Acharya Ji, what is the significance of sleep? What really happens in sleep? What is the spiritual significance of the sleep?

Acharya Ji: Are your problems in your sleep time, or are your problems related to your waking state? Just don’t be interested in miscellaneous knowledge. Focus on the goal. Any kind of knowledge that does not lead you directly towards the goal, is merely a burden. Disregard it.

If you have genuine problems, sleeping disorders, then talk to me about sleep. But if your problems are related to your life, stuff that you think of in your waking state – your relationships, your transactions, then why be interested in sleep?

I can speak for fifteen minutes on sleep, but that will not help you.

Be direct, be honest.

Question: Acharya Ji, why is mu mind constantly trying to become something?

Acharya Ji: Everybody is trying that, because nobody is contended with the current state.

The only problem is – you want to change, but you want the changed state to be a derivative of current state.

You want the changed state, to be organically linked to your current state, which means that you really don’t want to give up your current state. So, all ‘becoming’ fails. All change is defeated.

It’s like just changing clothes. That will not cure you of your lung cancer. It’s like wearing make-up. That will not fundamentally cure your any skin disorder.

Change is wonderful.

When you want change, see what you really want.

Don’t change halfheartedly.

Change fully.

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

Watch the session:  Past life karma, goal of life, and liberation || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Thoughts, Understanding and Realization

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Acharya Prashant: We rarely understand. We only keep thinking. And we think that we are understanding.
Naresh, there is a humongous difference between ‘thinking’ and ‘understanding’.

We ‘think’, but we rarely ‘understand’.
When you look at that mobile phone, you are ‘thinking’, you are not ‘understanding’. ‘Understanding’ is a totally different thing.

‘Understanding’ happens when thoughts have been quietened.

You think about the mobile, have you ever thought about the ‘Tack Sheek’? Is there anyone here who thinks about ‘Tack Sheek’?

Listener: We don’t know what that is!

AP: You think about the ‘mobile’, because you know about the mobile already. No one here has ever heard of ‘Tack Sheek’ before! And that’s why you don’t know about it.

All thoughts come from the past. When you are looking at something, the only thing happening is, that your mind is recalling something that it already has recorded previously.

And that is why, when I said ‘Tack Sheek’, you all were clueless about it. Because there is nothing to recall. This is not ‘understanding’. This is just a recalling of the past.
There is something previously fed into your brain, and you just recalled it again. This is not called understanding. This is highly mechanical. This can be easily done by a computer’s hard drive, which has no intelligence at all, which is purely instrumental.

So, when you are looking at this mobile, then you are just dealing in an image. That is merely a thought, not ‘understanding’.

L: So, what then is ‘Real Understanding’?

AP:

‘Understanding is the fruit of intelligence.’ It operates only in an environment of attention. When you are completely still, then the process that happens instantaneously, that is called ‘Understanding.’

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Acharya Prashant: Attention wipes your sins away

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Question: How is the karma of the past linked to my current state of mind?

Acharya Prashant: What you call as your current state of mind is always a friction, a conflict, a tug-of-war, between two opposing forces. One is the ‘force of the past’, one is the ‘force of conditioning’, and the other is ‘the call of peace’. The call of the untouched, the call of the core.

What we call as the mind is nothing but a sandwich between these two. But it is not a normal sandwich, it is not a normal conflict, it is a conflict between two parties in which the first party is the first party, and also the power provider to the second party.

Are you getting it?

So, there is that which you can call as the core, and then there is that which you can call as conditioning, or illusion, or Maya. What is happening in the mind? A tussle between the call of the core, and the lure of the Maya. But in this, we will remember that Maya is not really a power opposing the core, because Maya itself is being powered by the core. So, two parties are in conflict. Yes, there is a tussle, yes, there is a tug-of-war. But, it is a special conflict in which one party is powering the opposite party as well; that’s why it is called ‘Leela’. I want to have a good time, so you know, I am powering the other party.

Sometimes, it happens, when you are very playful. Let’s say you want to have a race, a sprint, with someone, who can’t run too fast. So, what do you do? You run slow, or you give him a lead. You say, alright, I will cover 100 meters and you have to cover only 60 meters. So, you are powering the other party, because you want to just have a little bit of fun. That kind of a war it is. But nevertheless, it is a war, and the mind is a battleground.

When you say, ‘Is my state of mind, a result of my karma, my past?’ Yes, it is.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: Brain and Intelligence

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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