Acharya Prashant on Upanishads: The limited, the limitless, and the dance

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Acharya Prashant: Hema, is saying, “Good, bad, evil, are all reflections of our inner-selves. How do we understand the limitless, with our limited mind?”

As long as you keep calling yourselves limited. You will continue to have a fascination towards comprehending the limitless.

You must ask, “Why does the infinite, the immense, appeal to you so much?” It appeals to you only because you have fundamentally defined yourself as limited.

What is bondage? Except the word ‘bondage’. The moment you say that there is a word called ‘bondage’, you have brought something fictitious to Life. The moment you call something as a bondage; you have called yourself a limited entity, vulnerable to bondage. Is the limitless susceptible to bondage? Just by talking of a few things, or even by seeking solutions to a few problems, you needlessly substantiate those things and problems.

You are saying, “How does one understand the limitless, with the limited mind?”

It’s exactly the other way round, Hema. You are asking, “How does one understand the limitless, with the limited mind?”

You know how it works?

You understand the limited because you are limitless.

Obviously the limited cannot comprehend the limitless.

But the limitations can be comprehended.

By whom?

By the limited one? Obviously not!

The limitations can be comprehended, because ‘you are unlimited’.

The unlimited one is not to be comprehended. The unlimited one is the one shining behind all comprehension!

How are you able ‘to know anything’? All things are limited. But if the knowing of the thing is also limited, would you ever ‘know’ really?

The ‘thing’ is limited. The ‘knowing’ of the thing, the ‘understanding’, is never limited.

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Self-knowledge is an empowerment

Self-knowledge would mean, being conscious of the actions of the body and the thoughts of the mind. Knowing what do I do and what do I think.

All this is ‘Self-knowledge.’ Watching your actions and watching your thoughts.

‘Self-knowledge’ is a process of reduction. It’s a process of inhalation. It is also called Neti-Neti. The more you see, the more you realize it’s falseness.

Self-knowledge means that the more you know ‘yourself,’ the less you see that what you call yourself is ‘your’ ‘self.’ It is not your self at all. It is a puppet, a machine.

Self-awareness is the vast empty sky that remains after all the dust, dirt, haziness and clouds have been removed.

Before you ask for ‘self-awareness,’ ask for ‘self-knowledge.’ ‘Self-knowledge’ is also called as ‘self-consciousness.’

That is what is an absence of ‘Self-consciousness.’ We do not know what we are doing.

Self-knowledge is empowermentgreat empowerment.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: What is self-awareness?


 

Acharya Prashant: What is self-awareness?

Question: Acharya Ji, what does it mean to be ‘self-aware?’

Acharya Prashant: What does it mean to be self-aware? For this, we have to go first into ‘self-knowledge.’ Knowledge of the ‘self’ and awareness of the ‘self.’ We will have to take these two together. What is ‘self?’ Simple, the ‘self’ that which we call as ‘me,’ ‘I.’

What’s your name?

Listener: Acharya Ji, Dev.

AP: So, for Dev, ‘self’ is Dev, right? Self-knowledge would simply mean, “knowing that what this Dev thing is all about.” A very basic start. What is this creature called ‘Dev?’ Self-knowledge means, “Dev is a body and Dev is a mind. Dev acts and Dev thinks. The body acts and the mind thinks.”

So,

Self-knowledge would mean, being conscious of the actions of the body and the thoughts of the mind.

Knowing what do I do and what do I think.

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Acharya Prashant: Thought and the thinker are both not needed

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Acharya Prashant: Azaz is saying, “I think a lot in relationship, no matter whom I am related to. Even when I am sitting here, I am thinking a lot about how to frame a question. How to know the right response while being related? How do I know my right response while I sit here? Why is there so much thinking in me?”.

Thought arises as a conscious mechanism to solve something, that is not quite conscious. Thought is like a skin ointment, applied to a heart problem. Thought is a superficial way to solve a problem that is deeper than the surface. Thought always proceeds with images about the world. Thought always tries to find a solution, in the domain of space and time, reasoning, cause and effect, planning, events, addition, reaction, movement. Thought is like trying to find a solution through the leaves when the root is diseased. Continue reading

Self-realization is an empty cup that is empty even of the cup.

We always exist in relation to something or somebody. So, if you want to know yourself, you just see, what is the effect that the other has had upon you and we then, are a sum total of all those effects.

What are we?

We are mental fragments, devoted to the nation, the society, the education, the upbringing, the commerce, the culture, the civilization. You want to look at yourself, you will have to look at the effect all these external influences have had upon you. We exist with respect to these influences. There is nothing in us that is not coming from somewhere or the other. So, to know yourself is to know these things that are coming from somewhere or the other.

“So, this part of me, well it is coming from religion; this part of me, well it is coming from ethnicity; this part of me, well it is coming from culture; this part of me, well it is coming from a gender; this part of me, well it is coming from my genes, this part of me, well it is coming from my education.” And, this way you can know all that you see yourselves to be. Are you getting it?

This way, you can know everything that you see yourselves to be. All the conditioned bit that we are; and remember that we are very totally conditioned. There is nothing in us that is not conditioned, every single cell in the body is conditioned. So, the conditioned bit that we are, can be known only by seeing the genesis of that conditioning.

If you can see where your conditioning is coming from, you have seen who you are. This is called self-knowledge. Do you see what Self-knowledge is? To know yourself, see where your actions are coming from. How do you know that? You watch your actions. You watch every bit of yourself, your activities from morning till night, your thoughts, your inclinations and you come to appreciate all the conditioning that has gone into making ‘you’. Right? This is Self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is obtained by self-observation.

Then there is something called, Self-realization. Self-realization is a little different from Self-knowledge, and also very closely related to Self-Knowledge.

You see, how deeply conditioned you are. The ‘conditioning bit’, amounts to Self-knowledge. And the ‘seeing bit’, amounts to self-realization.

I repeat, you ‘see’ how deeply conditioned you are. And everybody is deeply conditioned. As I said, every single fiber in the body is conditioned. So, you ‘see’, how deeply conditioned you are. The deeply conditioned part pertains to Self-knowledge. And the ‘seeing’ part — I am seeing how deeply conditioned I am — pertains to Self-realization.

Self-realization is not objective; Self-realization is not knowledge; Self-realization cannot be wrote down, conceptualized, or summarized or expressed; Self-realization, or Self-understanding is just Silence. It is an absence of everything you thought yourselves to be. Everything that you thought yourselves to be, is bracketed under Self-knowledge. Your name, your gender, your caste, your religion, your profession, your family, your views, your ideologies – all of them come under Self-knowledge.

Self-knowledge is the result of observation of life. Self-knowledge means you watch how you behave, when you pass in front of a temple compared to when you pass in front of a railway station. Self-knowledge is to see, how your relationships are with the man who owes you money, compared to the man, to whom you owe money.

When you look at all that, what you get is, Self-knowledge. This is the way I am, this is the way my habits and tendencies are. Getting it?

And the power to see all this, the beginning of seeing all this, and the ending of seeing all this, the entire environment of seeing all this, that is called Self-realization. Self-realization is nothing because anyway the Self is nothing, the Self is all false. The Self is all nothing, the Self is all false, so Self-realization too is just nothing. Just Nothing. It is an emptiness. It is a peaceful silence. If you say you are Self-realized, and still you have something more to say about yourself, then all you have is a concept of Self-realization.

Self-realization is actually not a word at all because a word ought to have some meaning, a word ought to have some content, Self-realization has no content at all.

Self-realization is an empty cup that is empty even of the cup. You usually have cups that are empty of contents. Self-realization is a cup that is empty even of the cup.


Read the complete article: The right relationship tells you about yourself

The right relationship tells you about yourself

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Question: Acharya Ji, J.Krishnamurti says, “In a right relationship, you come to know yourself.” Please explain.

Acharya Prashant: The question is, Krishnamurti says, “In the right relationship, you come to know yourself.” So, how does one know himself?

That which you have quoted, is in itself the solution. He is saying, “You know yourself in relationship.” What is it meant, when it is said that you know yourself in a relationship?

We always exist as somebody related to something. You take away everything outside of yourself, and it will become impossible for you, to say even one sentence about yourself. Everything and anything that we utter about ourselves is related to the world. And the world is supposedly, outside of yourself, is it not? Continue reading