Tag Archives: Reality

Where is your Home? || Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran (2013)

Where is your Home

Question: In the book, ‘The Prophet’, the protagonist wants to got to his home; his people are calling out for him.

Acharya ji, what is ‘this home’, ‘his people’, and ‘journey back home’?

Acharya ji: ‘Home’ is where you are. ‘Outside’ is where you think you are.

‘Home’ is, where you are.

‘Outside’ is where you think you are.

Do you get the difference?

You are always in Home, but there are some people who open their eyes and see that they are always at Home. And there are some people, who are in the Home, and yet they keep sleeping and dreaming that they are somewhere far away.

And not only are they dreaming that they are somewhere far away, they are actually planning, of course in their dreams, to go further far away. That is the ‘Home’ that Khalil Gibran is talking of – where you really are. And you can never go away from that Home. That Home is ‘you’. You are always homed. You are always at Home. It is impossible to be anywhere else. It is just that you don’t know that.

You think you are away from Home.

Listener: Acharya ji, why do these people, call him?

Acharya ji: We will have to look at this. When you say ‘these people’, it appears that there are many people at Home. It is not as if there are many people at Home.

In your dreams, what you see is ‘many’. All occurrence of many, is a dream. There are no ‘many’, except in dreams. To the extent we perceive many people, sitting in this room, we are dreaming. However, among these people that you see in your dream, some call out. After all, you only dream of, what you know. Dreams do not come from anywhere else.

Some of these people, in your dreams, you know them. They belong so much to your past, that they belong to the beginning of time. They belong to the source of time itself, in that dream. You know them, because they are your very past, your very source.

In that very dream, where there are many people, some of these people call out to you. They call out to you, to wake up. Have you not noticed, and I am saying something new today, that some dreams have the power to wake you up? Have you not noticed that when you fell down a cliff in your dream, you suddenly wake up?

Have you not noticed that?

Now, it’s a very dangerous thing to say, because mind the will misuse it. The mind will say, “Yes I am dreaming, but this is a very useful dream.” I don’t want to say that, but you raised it, so saying this. So, some of these people, they call out in the dream.

Remember, they are not really ‘people’. They are not really ‘people’. To the extent, they are only characters in a dream.

Listener: Isn’t it the source manifesting itself in the dream?

Acharya ji: You are the source. You are source. And that is why, you know those people. And that is the only reason why they can be there in the dreams, because there is intimacy at a deep level. The other people that you know, your relation with them is only very superficial.

But, there are these ‘people’, and your relation with them is very-very deep. They are coming right from that source, from where you come. They are identical to you. They are just the same as you. They call out. And they call out, in a way, in which the dream can be broken.

That’s what he is referring to.

Listener: But in this dream only, he talks about many things, and says most of the times some existential truth, in that dream only.

Acharya ji: When he is talking of many people?

Listener: Yes, when he is talking of many people.

Acharya ji: Yes, of course. When he is talking of ‘many people’, ‘many’ that he is talking of, are ultimately coming from his own experience. These people, who are calling him back to Home, are also coming from his own experience.

These people, who are calling out to him, are nobody else, but Khalil Gibran (the protaganist). If they can call out to him, that means he knows. He can surely talk of existential truths. It’s Khalil (the protaganist), in his own dream.

Are you getting it?

It’s Khalil in his own dream. The real Khalil, in his own dream. And that Khalil will know far more, than the dreaming Khalil can know.

Listener: Can real Khalil dream, go into dream?

Acharya ji: Yes, of course. That’s a part of his freedom. Think of it: where else can dreams come from? Where else can illusions come from? If there is one Reality, one Truth, how can there be space for illusion?

If everything is just Truth, just Reality, how illusion is possible? But illusion is there.

Listener: Illusion is there to the illusive mind.

Acharya ji: How can the illusive mind be possible? If only Truth is there, how can there be any space for, any kind of ignorance? Tell me.

Ignorance is a part of Truth.

Listener: We are validating Truth.

Acharya ji: Of course. Who are you to not to validate it?

Ignorance is the freedom of  Truth.

It is so absolutely free, that it is free even to be ignorant.

You are so absolutely free, that you are free to wake, and you are also free to sleep.

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

Watch the session: Where is your Home? || Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran (2013)

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Where is the real me? || Acharya Prashant, with Students (2013)

real me

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Acharya Prashant: It has been told to us that there exists two centers. I suppose it has been very freshly told to you, very recently. He says, ‘How do I know that I am living out from the right center? How does a young man know whether he is not being made a fool of? That the ego is not taking him for a ride, how does a young man know that?’

You can not know the Truth, the reality, what you call as the right, unless you first know what is false and that must be the first step. You cannot directly jump on the Truth. Reason is simple, our lives, our minds are full of the false. You say, the ego, the false center, what this ego is about?


This is about acquiring an identity given by the external. Someone comes and tells you that you are brilliant. This is the statement made by an external agency, that you are brilliant. And what you do, you say, ‘I am brilliant’, this is what ego is:

Internalizing an external influence.

Do you see this?

So, something external has been taken-in by me, and I started believing that this is me. This is what false center is; and unfortunately our minds are full of imported beliefs. To be more accurate all beliefs are imported beliefs. Taken from outside, someone comes and tells you something and you take it in. Our minds are full of that only.

Our religion has been given to us by somebody else. Name, way of life, definitions of what life is, success is, livelihood is, work is, career is, love is, freedom is; all of this has come from outside. We have not understood them on our own. The entire script is coming from outside and we are just living that script. That’s what our life is. If life is like this, why should we ask what is real?

First step is to look at this life that we are leading.

Why ask for a real?

Which would be nothing but just an imagination for you, right now.

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Acharya Prashant: Real communication can happen only from the Heart

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Questioner: I want to increase my communication with my mom and dad or with my friends; because this is what which is trembling me: They want something from me, and they think I think only of myself, but I am not able to do either of them. What to do?

Acharya Prashant: When an insecure mind talks to another insecure mind, anyway there is no communication. There is only an apparent exchange of words.

Only the heart can talk, only the heart can listen, so conversations are either genuine or they are not. Fake communication is no communication. So, when you say that ‘I am afraid of consequences, how do I act because my parents might feel bad, how do I take them into the loop?’

Please understand, the situation is already very bad and whatever else happens will be better than this. The key to improvement is to realize that you are already at the rock bottom. Things cannot go any worse, we keep waiting for more damage, we say this much damage is acceptable.

You know, that is the nature of mind, everything in the mind is limited, so even your perception of the damage being done to you is limited. You can never know the full extent of your loss. In the domain of mind everything has boundary, so when it rises to figure out how much it is losing, even that has boundary, so it says I am not losing anything beyond that. No! You are losing a lot! And when you see that then these inhibitions and concerns become very petty then you say how can I stop because of these hindrances.

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All thoughts arise from external influences || Acharya Prashant, with Students (2013)

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Questioner: Most of the thoughts are coming from society and family. So, how can I judge that which thought is mine or not?

Acharya Prashant: No thought is yours; no thought is ever your own. You have very rightly said that all thoughts come from this place or that place, this influence or that influence. No thought is your own. Understanding is your own; that can be your own.

Let me give you an example: Continue reading

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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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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Acharya Prashant on Veganism: Vedas and Milk

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Question: Acharya Ji, there are people who quote the Vedas and say “A Hindu is a good Hindu only if he drinks milk from the mother cow.” What is your take on that?

Acharya Prashant: See if you have named the Vedas, what is the central teaching of all the Vedic literature?

If you want to really know what the Vedic teaching is, you will have to go to the Upanishads. The Upanishads are called the “Vedanta”, which means the summit or the climax of Veda. And they go into the reality of man. What is the reality of man? The Upanishads are very forthright and unequivocal about it. They say, “Man is the Truth itself (Aham Brahmasmi).” Nothing else except the Truth. You are the ultimate finality. You are the total.

Now, if this is the position that the Vedic literature takes, then one cannot operate from a point of incompleteness, hollowness or desirousness. A lot of what we do, please see we do just in order to gain fulfillment. We say that the purpose of human Life is progress, don’t we? And we asses a human being according to how much he has been able to progress and contribute to progress.

And what is progress for us?
Knowing more; collecting more.

I’m not trying to unnecessarily be simplistic. Please go into it.

When you know more, when you collect more, is it something that happens only on the outside or does it also affects your self-worth? When you know more, your self-worth rises; when you collect more, again your self-worth rises. The Upanishads say, that your self-worth, that which you are, is any way infinite, you are anyway total. Now, go out and play. You are anyway perfect and complete. Now, do whatever you want to do. But do it from a point of perfection. Do it from a point of completion.

Do not do in order to gain something. Do not do in order to rise.

Act as if you are already there as if you are already complete.

That is what Vedas are all about.

Now, around this center, a lot has been said. Just a whole lot.

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