Tag Archives: Peace

In all that you want, Liberation is all you want || Acharya Prashant (2019)

In all that you want, liberation is all you want

Question: Acharya ji, only sometimes do I consciously know that I really want liberation. How to increase one’s quality, so that this want is continuous?

Acharya Prashant: Only sometimes do you use the word ‘liberation’. At other times, you use a lot of other words for liberation. So the mistake is mostly, semantic. You just need to expand your vocabulary, and remember that every word in dictionary, is a synonym of liberation.

Right now, when you think of liberation, you say, “I am thinking of liberation.” But when you think of having a Pizza, then according to you, you are thinking of something other than liberation.

The desire for food, and the desire for liberation, are according to you, diverse things. And from that divergence, is arising your question. You are saying, only for let’s say an hour a day, am I consciously thinking of liberation. For the remaining twenty-three hours, I am thinking of miscellaneous things. A, B, C, D……and L is for Liberation. And the other twenty-five letters are all for various miscellaneous things in the world, that occupy and attract us.

So, you just have to tell yourself, and deeply-deeply remember, that A=B=C=……X=Y=Z. And all of them equal L. L is for Liberation.

You cannot think of anything, but liberation. All thoughts are thoughts of, liberation in disguise. It is the limitation, and constraint in language, that only sometimes do you call liberation as ‘liberation’. At other times, you name the desire for liberation as a pizza, or money, or clothes, or relationships, or a book, or something else.

Man moves for one central purpose. And that purpose is…?

Listeners: Liberation.

Acharya ji: Liberation. It’s just that he does not consciously know, rather admit and acknowledge, how liberation thirsty he really is.

We keep denying to ourselves, that there is just one thing that we want. We think that we want multiple, various things. No. We want just one thing. The various things that we go to, are nothing but mediums to go that one single, final thing. If this much can be remembered, then all the mediums will become useful.

Then all the mediums will become godly, divine, because they will become a medium between you and the divine.

If you can remember, that this is a medium, then it is divine.

But if this becomes the end, if this becomes a purpose in itself, then this becomes an obstruction.

Why do you breathe? Breathing is for the sake of liberation.

Why do you see? What are these eyes looking for?

What is this mind anxious, and waiting for?

Why do you think that these eyes are constantly looking out at the world? What are they searching for? Have you never thought of this?

You come to a crowd, and have you seen how your eyes scan the faces of strange, unknown people?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya ji: You want to see that one special face. We all are looking for that one, final thing. These eyes, are always scanning, scanning. That’s why these ears are always….But that one, final sound, is not heard.

That one, final experience, remains elusive. We exist for the sake of That. That which is liberation. We breathe for the sake of that. We come to tomorrow, so that tomorrow, That may come. So, it is for the sake of That, that time exists. It is for the sake of That, that all future exists.

Do you see how liberation-minded we are? We eat, breathe, live liberation. And then innocently we say, “Why are we not liberated?”

The mistake has to do with linguistics, not with reality. And man’s language, and man’s thoughts, go together. Thoughts are diverse, so is language. Language means separation and diversity. This is ‘this’, and that is ‘that’. This cannot be that, and that cannot be this. Every word points at one particular object, which is not the next object, so no liberation.

In the world of thoughts, there is no liberation.

In the world of remembrance, there is liberation.

Remember, all the thoughts are from and for That. That which is – liberation. And that is liberation.

If you try to find liberation in thoughts, it is not there.

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

Watch the session: In all that you want, Liberation is all you want || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Which direction to take in life? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

which direction to take in life

Question: Acharya Ji, which direction to take in life?  

Acharya Prashant: What is it, that matters to you? The direction in which you must go, is determined, by where you will feel the pain. And if you feel no pain, no discomfort, why must you go in any direction?

You move only because your current station, discomforts you. So what is your discomfort? Your discomfort will decide, where to move to and how to move. And if you are already well-settled, and alright, then that’s samaadhi. Why must you contemplate any movement then?

I find it strange to see that why do we keep talking about moving, without caring to examine: what makes us move. Why must there be any movement at all?

You are a human being. Any movement that you make, physical, psychological, involves costs, time, resources. Every movement, is a chunk of your limited life-span. That’s why movement is life. Must you then move irresponsibly? Is life there to be wasted?

Life, as you know it, is just time. Why must you move randomly, hither-thither? Yes, there is a movement, that is aimless, purpose-less. That is just like – the dance of a child. But that movement is only for those, who are not looking to move, who have internally come to the end of all movement. Have you come to the end of all movement? No. You are still eager to move.

And if you are eager to move, then you better move with discretion.

Use your suffering, as the compass.

Your suffering will give you the direction.

Be very very alert and sensitive to your suffering. Just do not surrender at the wrong place. Do not start considering that suffering, and restlessness, and boredom, and loneliness, and fear, are the natural modes of life. They are not. Never, never allow this belief to settle within you.

If life is boredom, and loneliness, and fear, that is unnatural. Just because you see a lot of sorrow and anger, and uprooted-ness, around you, that does not mean that anger and sorrow, are our natural states. They are not.

Don’t give in. Don’t surrender.

Remain a little rebellious. Remain a little compassionate towards yourself.

If the mind remains heavy, don’t just move on with it.

Pause and ask: what’s going on?

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

Watch the session:  Which direction to take in life? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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What is secularism? How to become secular? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

What is secularism How to become secular

Question: Please tell us how we can keep a fine divide between the religious and the secular, and grow holistically, as an individual and as a society?

Acharya Prashant: There is no divide between the religious and the secular. True religion is about eliminating all divisions. How are you trying to have a division between religiosity and secularism?

What do you mean by ‘secularism’? You mean that no person should be blinded by his creed or belief. No person should just turn unjust, or biased, or prejudiced, because of his ideological or religious inclinations.

But that which you are trying to achieve through secularism, can actually be never achieved through secularism, because this, that you are trying to achieve – an unbiased and just mind – is exactly what religion and only religion can deliver you. So, secularism is self-defeating.

You have to understand this.

When you say that you want a secular person, or a secular state, what is it that you want? You want someone, who is not prejudiced, not blinded by belief, who can keep a distance between his duties, and his conditioning, who must know what the right action to do is, in spite of what his religious condition is, right?

You want a person who does the right thing, irrespective of whether he is a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Muslim, or whatever. Right? That’s what you want to achieve through secularism.

When you say that X is a secular person, what you mean is, that he is prepared to read the Quran, even if he is a Hindu. And that he is prepared, to respectfully go to the Upanishads, even if he is a Muslim, right? When you say that a country Y is a secular state, what do you mean? You mean that in that country, people are not discriminated on the the basis of their professed religious association, right? If this is what you want, then you should be deeply religious.

Who teaches you equanimity? Religion.

In secularism, you want to be equanimous. But who teaches you equanimity? Religion.

In secularism, you want a certain detachment. But who teaches you detachment? Religion.

In secularism, you want to be respectful towards divergent opinions. But who teaches you, to be respectful towards divergent opinions? Religion.

In secularism, you want not to hurt the other, even if the other is holding beliefs, that go against yours. But who teaches you ahinsa (non-violence)? Religion.

So, truly religious person, and only a truly religious person, can be secular, in real terms.

In other words, if secularism is dear to you, you will have to turn to religion.

If secularism, is in strife with religiosity, it means, both are misplaced. The religiosity is fake, and the secularism is shallow.

You need not teach, a truly religious person, to be secular. In fact, ‘secular’ is such a small and shallow word, in front of religion.

If one is deeply religious, truly religious, then one is not only secular, one is way, way beyond secular.

Secularism only wants you to tolerate differences.

True religion, celebrates differences.

So, when you will talk about secularism, to a truly religious person, he will laugh. He will laugh, not because he opposes secularism. He will laugh because he has gone..beyond secularism.

There is communalism. Higher than communalism, is secularism. And much, much higher than secularism, is religiosity.

So, obviously you see, that communalism and secularism are at odds with each other. But, not secularism and religiosity. It is naive to say, that secularism, and religiosity, confront each other. No! Shallow belief, shallow communalism, that is what, is at odds with secularism.

Secularism is a, short-term treatment. You have bigots on this side, you have bigots on that side. None of the sides, is prepared to listen to the other. It is in this kind of an environment, that secularism is irrelevant. Only in this kind of environment.

So seeing that there are just bigots all around, you say, “Alright, keep religion, to your houses. On the street, everyone has to follow secular principles.” So only in a very, very poor quality environment, does secularism has some place. In a truly religious environment, secularism has no place.

In fact, a truly religious environment, is so much better than secularism, that if you impose secularism on a really religious place, it would be a deterioration of that place. So, it is great if you are not communal. If you are not communal, you are probably, secular.

Now if you are secular, and you want to do still better, then move into religion. Then you would forget everything about secularism. you would have transcended secularism.

You would have entered into something far more joyful.

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

Watch the session:  What is secularism? How to become secular? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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All that the mind knows is love || Acharya Prashant (2019)

 

All that the mind knows is love

Question: Acharya ji, Pranaam! How to understand the different states of mind?

What we are, is the mind always dwelling in fear and desire. Mind is always afraid of its death, as a deal for love to flower. But at the same time mind’s ultimate desire is – love. Kindly elaborate.

Acharya Prashant: That is the human condition. You have to see, that all mental states are – one. It doesn’t matter what the mind wants, it doesn’t matter which direction it chooses to go. It doesn’t matter whether it is burning in jealousy, or burning in affection. It doesn’t matter whether you call the mental state as ‘positive’, or ‘negative’.

All mental states can be called by just one name – love.

Greed is love, fear is love, jealousy is love, disgust is love, violence is love, separation is love. All mental states are nothing, but different ways of describing your separation from the Source, from the Lord, from the center, from the God, from the Truth. It doesn’t matter what name you assign to That.

Are you getting it?

So these mental states that you have written, or quoted, are all pointing in the same direction. Let not vocabulary confuse you.

The difference in different mental states is just, at the level of description. Words are causing you to think, that sometimes you are afraid, and sometimes you are not. When you are afraid, it is because you think that you will not be able to meet Him. When you are not afraid, then it is, because you think that not being afraid, will take you to Him. In either of the situations, your target, your desire, is just for Him.

Are you getting it?

Then you should ask: if all goodness, and all badness, is just the same, and differs only in name, the difference is only at the level of words, then why should one be good at all? Then, you should all tell that why should one follow spirituality, why should one not remain just worldly.

You should ask, “Acharya ji, if all desires are desires of Him, then why should I not pursue my carnal desires? Why should I not pursue money, and prestige, and possessions, if even they are going to lead me to the same end?”

You may do that. But you have to factor in, who you are. I have said that it doesn’t matter what the colour, flavour, name, direction, of the desire is. All desire is actually for the One only. So, I am saying, that your question should be that why should we reject certain desires.

I am saying, to get the answer to this question, you have to look at your mortal condition. You are – mortal – which means that you have limited time. Even when you are using the GPS, it often suggests multiple routes to a destination. All of the routes are valid routes. I am saying, take any of the routes, you will reach the same place. Even if you decide to stuff you life, with material possessions, money, furniture, bungalows, property, car, real estate, whatever, you would reach there.

But, which route do you choose, when the GPS shows you five competing routes? You choose the shortest route.

So, Spirituality is not the only route to God. If someone says that spirituality is the only route to God, then he doesn’t understand the mind.

Spirituality, is one of the routes to God.

It is just the shortest route.

And, the fact that it is the shortest route, is very, very important, because, you are mortal. Because your time is limited.

There are five routes from your place to the airport. If you do not choose the shortest route, there is a great chance that you will miss the flight. Do not miss the flight!

There is the path of fear, there is the path of desire, and then there is the path of love. The destination is same.

Now make the right choice!

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

Watch the session:  All that the mind knows is love || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Simplicity and Truth || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Simplicity and Truth

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Question: How to test whether one has simplicity and freedom from desires?

Acharya Prashant: Whether simplicity and freedom from desires is there, is tested only when, that which you want, and you have, and you are therefore calm and patient, is taken away from you.

It is possible that one is a moral man, and has been taught in a moral way, to want only ‘a little’. And that ‘little’ that one wants, is already available. So, one does not seem to be wanting more.

Whether one is truly free from wants, and whether one is truly simple, is tested only in adversity. It is tested only when there is a challenge to the existing pattern of life. So, so-called simplicity and innocence can be superficial as well, and therefore deceptive.

As long as situations are favourable, a lot of people appear peaceful, don’t they? Whether or not you are truly peaceful, is determined, only when the situation turns inclement, unfavourable. And then it is tested, how deep your patience and peace are.

Listener: It appears, what you are saying is that, he is peaceful, but he has no devotion towards God.

Acharya Prashant: No, that is not needed. That is not needed. That is not needed.

Does he have compassion towards the world?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya Prashant: If that is there, it’s okay. You don’t need to have devotion towards a conceptual god. If you have compassion towards sentient beings, that is far better.

Listener: Will he get the Truth?

Acharya Prashant:  If compassion is there, then Truth is already there, provided the compassion itself is not superficial.

Listener: Is taking care of the needs of anybody, those you see around you, compassion?

Acharya Prashant: Taking care of the genuine needs. Selflessly, taking care of genuine needs.

In a hotel, if I ask for whisky, the waiter will come and serve it to me. So, he is taking care of my needs. Now there are two factors involved here. First of all – the need that I am expressing; bringing me a whisky, is not a genuine need. Secondly, he is not selflessly meeting my need. He is fulfilling my need, because he will get something. So, it is not merely about meeting the needs of the other person.

First of all, you should know, what kind of needs are you serving. Secondly, you should check your own mind. Is it serving the other in order to get something? Then it is not service. Then, it is merely transaction.

Listener:  If I get good feelings in helping others, then is this also transaction?

Acharya Prashant:  Yes, yes. Well caught. Lot of times, that’s what lot of compassion and social service are about. In helping the other, you start feeling good about yourself. That is nothing but, reinforcement of the ego. You rise in your own eyes. Your self-esteem gets a boost. That’s not compassion.

Listener: If I help others silently, without others knowing about it, is this also compassion?

Acharya Prashant: You may silently help others. Sometimes, you may have to be loudly helping others. All possibilities are open. The help has to be genuine.

The help should be of a nature that should reduce the other person’s need to be helped.

You should help in a way that the other person demands less and less help. And the act of helping should not lead to your own aggrandization. Not in the world’s eyes, and more so, not in your own eyes.

Listener: Acharya ji, you had once said, “A courageous mind solves itself rather than its problems.” How can I get a courageous mind?

Acharya Prashant: By having a sincere, to solve the problem. It is the problem that troubles you, right? That’s what you think and feel. Your statement remains – I am being troubled by the problem. So, fine. Have a sincere desire to solve the problem.

Go deep into the problem, and see what would really solve it.

And then you will find, that to solve the problem, you have to solve yourself first.

When it is said, “The courageous mind solves itself rather than the problem,” that does not mean that the courageous mind ignores the problem, and is busy solving something else, that is itself. It just means – being sincere about solving the problem.

The courageous mind sees, that the problem is not distant from the mind of the problem-ed one. And therefore, if the mind can be solved, the problem disappears on its own.

Listener: Acharya ji, once you had said, “Today, violence lies more in giving birth than killing.” Please explain this.

Acharya Prashant: Mostly birth is not a result of wisdom, clarity or love. Conception and birth happen mostly because of the need to consume the other’s body. In the process of consumption of the other’s body, and sometimes in the process of satiation of one’s own insecurities and desires, conception takes place, the baby comes into being, and all that is violence.

The mother-in-law has heckled the daughter-in-law, and now she is getting pregnant. Or the man decides, that it’s a social norm to become a father, and therefore, he decides to impregnate the wife. Or conception just happens in a moment of mad lust. All these are just instances of violence.

Listener: Violence against whom?

Acharya Prashant: What is violence? Lack of love. Disunity.

Whatsoever happens in an environment of absence of love, is violence. Surely, when you are consuming somebody’s body, you are not thinking of that body as your own. You are greedily looking at an object and pleasing yourself using that object. That’s what lust is, right?

You look at something, a human body that is, as an object that would satisfy your hunger. This disunity, this separation, this distance between you and the object of your consumption, is what is violence.

Listener: Acharya ji, what is meant by ‘Samadhi’, and is it worthwhile to aspire to attain it?

Acharya Prashant: Peaceful mind. Samadhan. What is samadhan? Solution. So, Samadhi is dissolution. Samadhi is nothing exotic, or extra-ordinary. Peaceful mind is samadhistha.

Do not turn samadhi into something of the stars, something glittering and beyond the reach. It is a very simple, ordinary, dissolved state of the mind. The mind has no worries, the mind has no great concerns to be serious about. That is samadhi.

Life is simple, ordinary.

This is happening, that is happening, but whatsoever is happening, is not big enough to trouble you.

That is samadhi.

Listener: Are there many types of Samadhis?

Acharya Prashant: It’s almost like this. I have answered eight types of questions here. And corresponding to each of the answers, you may as well say, in a poetic way, that you have experienced eight kinds of samadhis. When I answered him, then it was one kind of samadhi. When I answered your first question, that was the first samadhi. Then your second question, that was second kind of samadhi.

Ultimately, peace has no distinctions, or flavours or colours. Peace is just peace. You do not have many, different kinds of zeros. Zero is a zero. What kind of division do you want to create?

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

Watch the session:  Simplicity and Truth || Acharya Prashant (2018)

(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here)

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Acharya Prashant: Attention wipes your sins away

T21

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 on Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: The world is a river; use it to cross it

T1

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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