Tag Archives: Self-interest

The wise one is not afraid of acting stupid

Spirituality is not about taking away your earthly nature from you. Yes, there is the sky in your heart, but the rest of you is just earth. Let the earth blossom. Do not be ashamed of your own flowers. And when you flower, then there would be relationship. When the earth blossoms then butterflies and birds come to you, and then there would be relationship. How can you say you are isolated? How can you say, “You are not affected?”

The sky in you is at least for you an abstraction. But the earth in you is your mind, your muscle, your flesh, your bone, your blood., let it take form. Let it flower. And when the butterflies come to the flower, please have a sensitive relationship. Then do not say that I’m not affected by the butterflies, I have no relationship with butterflies. Butterflies come here just to distract me. I’m a yogi, I do not look at butterflies. Love the butterflies. And if you do not know that, then learn that.

The sky contains all the butterflies. You have no right to renounce them. You have just no right to renounce them. When you see somebody suffering around you, you have no right to say that you remain untouched. In fact, such right is claimed only by those who are too afraid of being touched. Their aloneness is still very fragile. So, they think that if somebody touches it, it might be broken. So, they raise a boundary, a protective boundary around their aloneness.

They say, “No No No, I’m a renouncer. I’m a spiritual man. I’m a Sadhak, a Yogi. Do not touch me, otherwise, I will crumble.”

Are you so weak that you would crumble?

Are you so weak that you can’t even weep?

Are you so weak that you can’t even laugh?

Are you so stupid that you can’t even act stupid?

The wise one is not afraid of acting stupid. And only the stupid one feels obligated to keep acting wise all the time. You have no obligation to keep acting wise. You have all the rights to play the fool. You are so clean that you can allow yourself to be drenched in mud, and you’d still remain clean.

So, do not be afraid of the mud. You are insoluble and indivisible. The rains won’t dissolve you. So, go and enjoy the rains. Don’t be afraid of getting wet. And you are indispensable to the universe. So let yourself be put in risks. The universe cannot afford to let go of you. You will remain. You are the essence of all this. How will you go away? Have that confidence. You do not need to protect yourself because you are central to all this. I know this sound like an abstract statement. But just take it. Take it for a while. You do not need armors, defenses. Let Yourself be vulnerable. And you can be vulnerable only if you’re very very strong.

You must know that no wound can hurt you too deeply. Be prepared to take the wounds. Yes, of course, relationships have their highs and lows and relationships often tend to destroy people. Still, do not abhor relationships. Know that you cannot be destroyed. So, you can play. When you know how strong you are then you are not afraid of taking risks. And all of us are very very strong. Stronger than we can ever imagine. So don’t even imagine your strength. Whenever you would imagine you would come to a limitation. Just know that you are extremely strong so you don’t need precautions.



Read the complete article: Being one with the suffering of the world

Living for others happen only to the one who has nothing personal to live for.

Have you not seen parents do this to their kids? “We raised you, we fed you, we taught you.” You can visualize the same being done to a cow. You would never quote “We milked you.” You would only say, “We fed you, we protected you.” What about the milking? What about the expectation of the milking? If one is really doing something genuinely for others, there are no conditions attached. There never are any fine prints. Neither are there conditions attached in the beginning nor are there conditions attached in the action. You will be prepared to do anything. And, anything means anything.

You can love someone so much that you can lay down your own life for that person. And you can love someone so much that you can be prepared to kill that person. Anything means anything.

Kindly get over this notion that we live for others. That is the privilege granted only to a Buddha. Living for others happen only to the one who has nothing personal to live for. If you have a lot that is personal in your life, personal time, personal freedom, personal money, personal thoughts, personal relationships, personal choices, as long as you have all this personal stuff in your life, you will live only for this stuff.

You have a personal family. You fight for that family. You do a lot for that family. Does that mean you are doing anything for others? Your self-interest, your conditioning is related to the ones you are striving for.

Yes, you are right. Your suspicion is not pointless. You are asking, “Are our day-to-day battles wrong?” Most of them are. What was the definition of a wrong battle? That starts from incompleteness. We fight to win, we fight to gain, we fight to conquer, we fight to get. Hence, our battles are wrong.” If I win, I would be richer by so much. If I win, I would be bigger by so much.” Obviously, the battle is wrong. Equally, parallelly, without any change in the intention, it can be said, “If I win, my daughter would be bigger by so much. If I win, my son would be richer by so much, if I win, my wife would be happier by so much.” Same thing, just the same thing.

If your wife is happier, she makes you happy. Ultimately we are trying for your own personal self. If your son is richer, you feel that the riches would, or at least, some kind of gratefulness would come to you. It is this gratification that you are after. Even if your son does not give you a single paisa, you still feel gratified, saying what, “My son – he is earning so much, and you know what, I’m independent enough to not accept a single paisa from him. That is the tradition of our honored clan. We raise sons but we do not demand anything from them.”

Being what we are it is hardly possible for us to do anything for others. Let us never weigh the other down with stories of our unconditional help or love. That does not happen with us. We are trying to make the other feel guilty for something he has never done. And we are trying to make ourselves feel inflated, superior, for something that we have never given. This is bad. Simply bad.

To give really fully, to give really unconditionally, have a huge heart. Really huge heart.




Read the complete article: Only a Buddha can really help others

Being one with the suffering of the world

 

21762214_1227353527370622_921021697824714700_nQuestion: I feel blessed to be a person who is already on another side. Religion doesn’t affect me. The job doesn’t affect me. The family doesn’t affect me. All the barriers, most of them don’t affect me. Only the one factor is the law of the land I live in, that affects me. I don’t treat it as a barrier for me. And I’m confused for many months, what next. Probably, I’ve got some answer to it. It will not be possible for me to explain it. But, the answer is love. Going back and giving them some guidance. I am really thankful to you.

Acharya Prashant: While it’s wonderful to not to be affected. It is even more beautiful, more humane to be affected once again. This might sound as if I am appending, inverting conventional spirituality. But, please listen to it.

To be wise, or spiritual does not mean that one becomes impervious or unrelated to the world. At one extreme is the mind that allows itself to be ruled by the world. At the other extreme is the mind that becomes insensitive to the world. And these two minds are the one. These two minds are just one. I’ll repeat this. On one extreme is the mind that is so worldly that the world rules over it. It follows the world’s trends, world’s interests, world’s religions, world’s traditions, world’s fashions. All the dictates of the world it follows. This is one extreme. Continue reading

Only a Buddha can really help others

IMG-20180504-WA0033Question: “My understanding is that the right battle is the one fought not for self but for others. Is my understanding right? Please elaborate more on right battles. Is it so that most of the battles we fight day to day are wrong battles?”

Acharya Prashant: You may fight for others. But, who are these others? Do you fight for every other? You feed your own cat. You are fighting for your cat. Now is it really the same as fighting for others. You are protecting your cow. You milk her. You have a vested interest there. Would you say that your motive is charitable? Would you say that you are doing it because you are a world lover, your altruism knows no bounds? But we do that don’t we? We feed the cow because we want to milk the cow and later on we tell the cow that we have been very charitable towards her. Don’t we? Continue reading

Do we seriously want love?

Do you love from the heart? And if you love from the heart then you’ll not really come to know that you love. Man is strange, his take is more in knowing, knowing as in ascertaining, validating, certifying. Man’s take is more in certifying than in getting. It is as if a hungry man wants to be certified that he is full. He does not want food, he wants the certificate that he is…Full.

If a hungry man does that you’ll call him just mad. But that is what the entire mankind has been constantly doing. When you are hungry, we do not look for the real thing- the food. We look for certification, the thought, the inner validation that we are full. You do not look for love, you look for impressions of love, you look for behavior that confirms one’s images of love.

Do we seriously want love? No. Do we seriously want innocence? No. We want behavior that looks like love. We want behavior that looks like innocence. And if from a loving heart, behavior comes to us that does not comply with our images and expectations of love, we go as far as to say that this is not love and love at all. We say, “This fellow, is not love,” because he loves only when he comes to me with such and such behavioral patterns. Only when he smiles at me would I agree that he loves. Only when he gifts me, Only when he says sweet things to me, would I say that he loves.”

We don’t have love. We have stuff that looks like love. If we don’t get that stuff we feel severely disappointed.

We don’t know innocence. We have images of innocence.



Read the complete article: We don’t want love, we want behavior that looks like love

We don’t want love, we want behavior that looks like love

SR Generic_ EnglishQuestion: Acharya Ji, what is the difference between ‘conscious innocence’ and ‘innocent consciousness’?

Acharya Prashant: If you are consciously innocent, or if you are consciously loving, or if you are consciously truthful, or if you are consciously simple, or if you are consciously religious, then all your religion, love, truth, simplicity, innocence is just thought. Because you are conscious about it because you are doing it consciously.

To do something consciously is to act from the center of the little self the ego. So, conscious innocence is no innocence at all. Conscious truth is no truth at all. Conscious living is no living at all. Conscious spirituality is no spirituality at all. Then, it is not the real thing. Because consciousness does not live in reality.

Consciousness lives in duality. Consciousness lives in images. If you are consciously innocent, then you’ll have an image of innocence and you’ll try to comply with that image. Then the image of innocence will predate innocence itself. Not only predate but also dominate. Then your innocence will not be rooted in Truth, then your innocence will be an idea of behavior, of action, of personality, and you will just try to abide by that idea.

Not only will you try to abide by that idea, you’ll also assure yourself, console yourself, that in behaving as per the idea of innocence you have actually become innocent. Consciousness equates reality with the image of reality. And, because reality, the non-dual reality is beyond dualistic consciousness, hence consciousness always makes do which images themselves.

Consciousness has a great stake in avoiding the real. Because, where the real is there dualistic consciousness itself will evaporate. So, how can consciousness be fond of the real? When the real arrives then consciousness with all its dualistic insistence, sings, settles into silence, into just pure awareness. An awareness that has no object, an awareness that does not want to do anything, an awareness that does not know anything. So, it cannot be called awareness in the usual way we use it in language.

Now it’s an opportunity for all of us to figure out whatever we are is it consciously that. You say, for example, that you love someone, all that someone loves you, hmm. Is not our love a very conscious attempt at loving? And when we want to ascertain whether or not we are being loved. Don’t we do that with consciousness? Consciousness is mind, with all its impressions.

Do you love from the heart? And if you love from the heart then you’ll not really come to know that you love. Man is strange, his take is more in knowing, knowing as in ascertaining, validating, certifying. Man’s take is more in certifying than in getting. It is as if a hungry man wants to be certified that he is full. He does not want food, he wants the certificate that he is…

Listeners: Full.

AP: Full. If a hungry man does that you’ll call him just mad. But that is what the entire mankind has been constantly doing. When you are hungry, we do not look for the real thing- the food. We look for certification, the thought, the inner validation that we are full. You do not look for love, you look for impressions of love, you look for behavior that confirms one’s images of love.

Do we seriously want love? No. Do we seriously want innocence? No. We want behavior that looks like love. We want behavior that looks like innocence. And if from a loving heart, behavior comes to us that does not comply with our images and expectations of love, we go as far as to say that this is not love and love at all. We say, “This fellow, is not love,” because he loves only when he comes to me with such and such behavioral patterns. Only when he smiles at me would I agree that he loves. Only when he gifts me, Only when he says sweet things to me, would I say that he loves.”

We don’t have love. We have stuff that looks like love. If we don’t get that stuff we feel severely disappointed. We don’t know innocence. We have images of innocence. The proof is, if I say innocence, and if I say kindly say something about innocence, all of us will have something to say. If I say, draw innocence, you’ll be able to draw innocence. If I say, give me an image of Truth, you’ll be able to give an image.

If 10 paintings are put up here, and you are asked to say which of these differs to The Truth, there would be nobody who would say how can image differ to the Truth. You’ll be able to point your finger at something. You would not be pointing your finger at the Truth. You would be pointing your finger at your version of the Truth, at an image of the Truth. To you, Truth looks like that.

And that is what we’ll be happy with. Getting what we feel is our version of Truth. And, that is why most of us live totally truthless and loveless lives. Because love is something we anyway in our want. What do we want? We want stuff that…

Listeners: Looks like love.

AP: Looks like love. We want happenings that we have been told are love. Somebody comes to you with a bouquet of red roses, it is…

Listeners: Love.

AP: Somebody is chivalrous enough to open the car gate for you, that is…

Listeners: Love.

AP: Somebody doesn’t say bitter stuff to you that is…

Listeners: Love.

AP: Somebody notes your mistakes that is..?

And if the opposite of this starts happening, you’ll waste no time in saying that the fellow is loveless and the relationship os loveless. Is that not so? Because for us everything is conscious. Conscious means thought out. Conscious means living in images. Conscious means mental creation.

Then, the second phrase used was ‘innocent consciousness’. His question was, “What is the difference between ‘conscious innocence’ and ‘innocent consciousness’?” What is, ‘innocent consciousness’?

Innocent consciousness is a consciousness innocent of the ego. Innocent means free. Innocent means not guilty. Innocent means not corrupted. Innocent consciousness means a consciousness that is not been corrupted by the ‘I’ center. So, thought is still there but the thought is not to worry about the self.

One might be thinking, but one is not necessarily thinking with the objective of self-preservation. One’s thoughts are now not in the narrow direction of furthering one’s self-interest. And, if and if they are then one’s self-interest have now not been narrowly defined to mean the personal self. That is innocent consciousness.

A consciousness that is not full of fear, insecurity, ambition, violence, that is an innocent consciousness. That is an innocent mind.  That innocent consciousness will show up not in the quality of thoughts, but obviously in the quality of entire being. An innocent consciousness radiates as innocence in the whole personality. Your eyes, your walk, your living your talking, your holding, your touching, your eating, your breath, your touch. All have a very special quality about them that cannot be captured in images.

You cannot put your finger on it and say, “This is innocence,” yet it is there. It is not something that can be perceived with senses, it is not something that can be named with the worlds yet it is there. You will never be able to categorically defined it yet it is there. How do you come to know of it? Well… you cannot tell that. But you do know of it. That is innocent consciousness. Yes?



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: We don’t want love, we want behavior that looks like love.

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One has to know the center one is operating from

Willpower, commitment, determination – they are of so little use because they are extremely superficial. One can be a very committed person and yet have a very petty mind because one is needlessly committed; committed to the wrong thing from the wrong center.

There are autocrats and dictators, and they have armies of committed soldiers. Commitment in itself is not at all any value. Value belongs to the place the commitment is coming from and therefore the place the commitment is going to. Same with discipline. One can be a very disciplined idiot. Disciplined by itself is again no value. One could be going to the wrong workplace every day at the right time. Of what use is such discipline?

One might be very diligent with the wrong tasks. One might be very efficient in the most nonsensical of procedures. Of what value is efficiency? Efficiency, or discipline, or determination, or commitment make sense only when the fundamental has been taken care of. After you are devoted to the right thing from the right center, then comes the question of discipline, of remaining committed, of hard work, diligence, etc. One has to know the center one is operating from, otherwise, the action can be very deceptive.

You are digging the earth. You’re just digging the earth. Now you might be digging a grave or you might be digging the foundation of your palace. Who knows? And you’re very diligent and very efficient. But what really are you digging?



Read the complete Article: Fight the right battle