Acharya Prashant on Veganism: Vedas and Milk

Blog-11

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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The World will take back, what it has given

You can either keep plucking each single leaf, trying to get rid of, trying to destroy the different kinds of fears or you can strike straight at the root.

We have cultivated a feeling within us that we are incomplete and that incompleteness is to be filled with objects brought from outside, thoughts, ideologies, people, relationships, money, respect, qualifications.

Your entire sense of being, your entire self-esteem, self-worth, self-concept is now dependent upon the World. All identities are coming from outside. Everything that you think is precious is now coming from outside.

What comes from the World can always be taken back by the World.

That is the root of fear, the assumed sense of inner incompleteness.

There was nobody and there is hardly anyone today who comes and tells you that you are complete, beautiful and wonderful, as you are.

Whosoever wants to control you, can control you only if you feel small about yourself.

The disease itself does not exist! Why are you treating yourself with all these fake medicines? Ambition, accomplishment, recognition. All these are false medicines for a non-existent disease. That is fear. Something will be taken away from me. The World will take back, what it has given me.

The really important was never given to you by the World, so how can the World take it back? The really important is something so intrinsic, so innate to your being that nobody can touch it.

Those who want to live fearlessly must get rid of their dependencies. And you can get rid of dependencies, only when you first realize that you don’t need to dependent. That you are good, complete, alright. Perfect as you are. Essentially!



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to completely drop fear?


 

Acharya Prashant: How to completely drop fear?

Question:  We understood in our HIDP class that ‘fear’ is a ‘state of mind.’ But Acharya Ji, different kinds of fear generally arise in a human. It is natural to a human. For example, fear of getting low marks or fear of losing our near and dear ones. So Acharya Ji, can we completely come out of these fears ever in our life or is it not at all possible to come out of it?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Questioner: Nitesh.

AP: Nitesh, the different kind of fears that you are talking of are just like different leaves of the same tree. It’s a very horrible tree. The tree of fear. Now, you can either keep plucking each single leaf and there are thousands and thousands of such leaves.

You can either keep plucking each single leaf, trying to get rid of, trying to destroy the different kinds of fears

or you can strike straight at the root.

And remember even if you keep plucking the leaves, leaves have a way to emerge again, as long as the root is there. Right? One leaf is gone, two leaves are gone and you find four new leaves have arisen. What is the root of fear, let’s look at that.

All fear arises from a sense of cultivated incompleteness. Will you attend to this phrase, ‘Cultivated incompleteness?’ All fear arises from a sense of learned inadequacy. Both mean the same, cultivated incompleteness and learned inadequacy.

We have cultivated a feeling within us that we are incomplete and that incompleteness is to be filled with objects brought from outside, thoughts, ideologies, people, relationships, money, respect, qualifications.

We want to keep acquiring these in order to fill an assumed inner incompleteness. All the urge to achieve is based on an assumption. That assumption is, that I need to achieve.

Do you see this?

The urge to achieve, accomplish, acquire, become something, that is based on an assumption that I need to achieve, I need to become. We never question, enquire or challenge that assumption.

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What does it mean to be free from both happiness and sadness?

What does it mean to be free from both happiness and sadness?

It means being free from obligations to label happiness as joy.

It means being free from obligations to label sadness as loss of self-worth.

When you say, “Happiness, is happiness,” then you are free from happiness. When you say, “Sadness is just sadness,” then you have gained freedom from sadness.

Being free from happiness and sadness does not mean that you will prohibit yourself from experiencing happiness and sadness.

Let happiness come. And when happiness comes, you must allow its unrestricted entry. This boldness, to not to restrict happiness is the Truth. It is unconditional.

When happiness has notions attached to it, then happiness is no more happiness. When happiness becomes significant to you, when happiness means much more to you, then it is no more happiness, happiness becomes a proxy for joy.

Spirituality means to know happiness just as happiness.

Spirituality means happiness is not a proxy for joy. So, I do not need to label the conditional as unconditional. So, I do not need to label the changeable as unchangeable. So, I do not need to label happiness as contentment.



Read the complete article: How to be free of happiness and sadness?

How to be free of happiness and sadness?

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Acharya Prashant:

What does it mean to be free from both happiness and sadness?

It means being free from obligations to label happiness as joy.

It means being free from obligations to label sadness as loss of self-worth.

When you say, “Happiness, is happiness,” then you are free from happiness. When you say, “Sadness is just sadness,” then you have gained freedom from sadness.

Being free from happiness and sadness does not mean that you will prohibit yourself from experiencing happiness and sadness.

Let happiness come. And when happiness comes, you must allow its unrestricted entry. This boldness, to not to restrict happiness is the Truth. It is unconditional.

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You don’t have to do anything to improve yourself

But sitting here and simply expressing that you are not born with obligations, you don’t have to DO anything to improve yourself, let the game play out.

Things change, stuff happens, what appears not good, starts appearing good.

But in the middle of all these changes, you are still perfect!

You may gain weight, you may lose weight. How does that diminish or enhance your value, your core value, does it? And have you not seen people, who link their self-worth to their weight? And the weight is a number, just as your bank balance is a number. Right? Just as your graduation degrees are a number.

In middle of all your troubles and problems, kindly do not feel small because you are NOT! Never let anything diminish you, never let anything become too much for you.  

Even in the movement of your physical death, you must know the track, “Its OK. Am I to die the next minute? Can I take a nap before that? Fine, thank you. One hot cappuccino please.”



Read Article: You were born with clothes; learn to die naked.

You were born with clothes; learn to die naked

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Question: I really believed that I had all things that happened to me, that it was terrible. Oh! that I was so unlucky. Oh! everything happened to me. I really believed that, until.

But, I mean, I still cannot not feed my mind. But I am at a point that I see that it is all fantasy, that it’s my mind. So I hope that I already make some steps. I mean, I see. You know, I say it, or go to bed and it starts again.

I don’t believe it anymore, the mind. But how to handle it? I am still learning. But I am already that I say, “Oh my God! here he is. Oh, here he is. Here he is. That little language. But now the other steps. Ya?

AP: There are no other steps. If there are five steps, you need to remember all five. Do you want to take that much of burden? Really? You want to remember steps, just as you learn the alphabet, and mathematics, and geography, and science? Do you want to remember the steps as well?

Listener 1: No, let me say…no.

AP: Then just walk around like a girl. Why not?

Listener 1: Ya…here I am OK. Ya. Let’s enjoy…life.

AP: You are seriously considering being not serious. Right?

Listener 2: Ya ya…she is on the phase.

Listener 3: Please can you repeat it.

Listener 1: Sometimes I don’t understand it. Or I don’t…

AP: I said you are very seriously considering, being not serious.

Listener 1: Ya…

Listener 3: So, where are you? Very serious!

Listener 1: Ya.

Listener 3: Ya…ya…that is the strategy for me, that’s the improvement.

AP: You know, it is the most difficult thing for us to believe. Right? If I come here, I will sit on this chair and declare that life means obligations and responsibilities. And you must do this, and if you don’t do this, you will be fried in hell. Then you find it so credible! You say, “Yes…Yes…tell us more about it. Tell us the next thing we must do.”

Listener 2: Next step.

AP: Next step…yes, yes, yes. I need to learn…yes. Is that the whole package? Do I need to do more?

Listener 3: How many hours a day? (adding to Acharya ji’s questions)

AP: Ya

Listener 1: Yeah.

AP: But sitting here and simply expressing that you are not born with obligations, you don’t have to DO anything to improve yourself, let the game play out.

Things change, stuff happens, what appears not good, starts appearing good.

But in the middle of all these changes, you are still perfect!

You may gain weight, you may lose weight. How does that diminish or enhance your value, your core value, does it? And have you not seen people, who link their self-worth to their weight? And the weight is a number, just as your bank balance is a number. Right? Just as your graduation degrees are a number.

In middle of all your troubles and problems, kindly do not feel small because you are NOT! Never let anything diminish you, never let anything become too much for you.

Even in the movement of your physical death, you must know the tract, “Its OK. Am I to die the next minute? Can I take a nap before that? Fine, thank you.”

“One hot cappuccino, please.”

Listener 3: One last cup of coffee before I go…

AP: And why one say the last cup of coffee? That unnecessarily… you know… that…that…ya…..ah… yes, yes…yes.

Listener 3: Yeah…That’s right…

AP: That makes it so very…

Listener 2: Dramatic…

AP: Dramatic, then melodramatic rather

Listener 2: Before I go…

AP: Like if I had at shows.before I go… one last one… ya. Can I have one last kiss, please? You know… like you have… you know.

Ya…one cappuccino. And you say that with…all…your verve. And if he doesn’t serve it right… you actually curse him…you better…  What do you think, I am going to die?

Listener 3: Where is my cappuccino?

AP:  So you can get away with it..eh?

NOT let even death make you feel small.

Listener 1: Even death let you feel…?

AP: Small.

Listener 2: Make you feel small (Adding to Acharya ji).

AP:  Yes?

Listener 1: Thank You…yeah.

AP: You will consider it. OK.

Listener 3: Still considering…

AP: Considering…

Listener: Ya… I am  not saying. I mean…Yeah, they told me that was going to die very soon. And I felt nothing anymore, nothing. But now — I mean — I recuperate myself. But that is what is. You know when — also did — that take you all over then all of a sudden you feel nothing anymore.

AP: You felt nothing, right? Now throw away that nothing as well.

Listener 1: But now, better.

AP: You throw away that better as well. The sun rises, the sun sets. Are you obliged to feel anything about it? Are you obliged, even to feel nothing about it?

Listener 1: No.

AP: Let it be there. Ya… fine… ya. Yes…death is coming…so what? So what? What do you have to lose?

Listener 3: Even, how you think about this, is a thought.

AP: Thought. Yes, death is there. That tree is also there. So what? Death is there and you are stupid. Both are facts. Now tell me what to do? That’s what you must tell the doctor. Right?

Death is as much of a fact, only as much of a fact as your stupidity and my prettiness. Now tell me, what must I do? Yes? Fine! Yes…you have given me two months to live. Fine. Who knows the doctor himself might pass away for two months.

Listener 1: Yeah.

AP: Remember that you were born naked.

Listener 1: That we are born…?

AP: Naked

Listener 3: Ya…nice…nice

AP: Learn to die naked.

Listener 1: Oh! Yes. Without… this. You mean …without this.

AP: In fact you must die more naked than you were born

Listener 1: Oh! how beautiful. That is beautiful what you say!

AP: We all are beautiful. Very very beautiful.

Listener 1: Oh..ya. Thank You.

AP: And let’s not make a big thing of this – thank yous’ and gratitudes’. I mean the wind blows and it pleases all of us. Does it not? So do the seagulls, the ocean.

We need not say an elaborate thank you to them. It is their nature to please…right? Yes? There is nothing extraordinary about what they give us. Do you go to the sun and thank him every day?

Listener 1: Today?

AP: The sun, you need to thank the sun every day for giving you?

Listener 4: Ya ya…I do. And it’s for some years. Every time when I am going to bed. Thank you.

AP: You know that’s just another myth that you must be full of this thoughtful gratitude…

Listener 1: Ya…gratitude…ya.

AP: The sun is you. You and the sun are together.

Now, whom are you thanking

You need not thank even God!

When we thank this way, as we have been taught to, you know what you are saying? You are saying, “You know,I was not qualified to receive your grace, dear sun…and thank you.”

Listener 1: So you say,  we just thank the God?

AP: You don’t even need to thank God.

Listener 1: Oh…oh…also not.

AP: Did you send an application to God, to be born?

Listener  4: She doesn’t remember. (Laughter) So…

AP: You don’t need to thank even God. If you live with a smile, that is the only and the biggest thank you that you can send to the entire existence.

Live well.

Live rightly.

Live in love.

That is the only gratitude you can express.

Otherwise, you keep on saying, “Thank you, thank you.” You know people come here, people sit here and there are bigger gatherings that I address, and people express their gratitude in such a profound and overflowing manner. And the next day, on the streets, they are miserable again. What is the worth of such gratitude?

In fact,

You have expressed your gratitude really, if you live as you are this moment –

carefree

light

childlike

If you can live this way, that would be the only expression of your gratitude. Otherwise, you need not express gratitude in words.

Prayer is not something you do with folded hands, “Oh lord, thank you for giving me my daily bread.” What rubbish. Are you telling him, he has an option to not to give you bread? Are you telling him that his love is to be doubted? When you really love someone, do you thank him for every small thing?

You must take God for granted, totally.

Listener 1: Oh really!

AP: You thank him or not thank him, he is anyway providing you with your breath. Now, what do you mean by thanking him?

Listener 2: You create a distance.

AP: You create a distance. You unnecessarily break away from him.

Breathe properly.

Live rightly.

Let the mind be surrendered, devoted…

Let the mind be at peace.

That is the only gratitude that you can offer.

Take care of you.

Listener 1: But I realize, the western culture is to thank everybody. You know if he only does something for me, Peter, I say, “Oh! thank you Peter. Oh! so nice, thank you so much.” Ah! that’s the western culture. Thank you. A little bit more, I go on my knees, “Thank you.” It is the western culture.  But, because we are afraid, because if I don’t thank him, next time…

Listener 3: He might not do it next time…

Listener 1: Exactly! And I thank my dear husband the whole day, “Oh, thank you. Are you there again to cook for me?” So, by today…yup… stop! (Laughter)

AP: No, seriously, only yesterday also, Kundan was saying that, all this really does not look good. This business of thanking elaborately and thanking for every small thing and pleasing and saying perfect, excellent and all that. I am not saying that it’s about one culture versus the other. I am not looking at it from the eyes of an Easterner. It simply looks so artificial.

Listener 1: Yes…

AP: You know, he does something for me, he must do it. Not for me, for himself. He loves me, that’s why he does it. Now, why must I thank him?

By ‘thanking’ him, I am only pushing him away from me. I do so much for everybody and I don’t even remember it and when you come and thank, it’s kind of…

Listener 1: Beautiful.

AP: Not beautiful. Not beautiful at all!

Listener 1: No.

AP: It is, in fact, an insult, you know.

Listener 1: I know, I understand.

AP: It is an insult. It is almost as if you kiss someone and he says, “Thank you.” What is going on?

How do you feel if after sleeping with someone, having intense, passionate sex, the fellow gets up and says, “You know what? Thank you so much. And to materialize his gratitude, he offers you twenty Euros. How really would you feel?

Listener 3: Oh my god!

AP: How? How would you feel? Seriously. What is going on?



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: You were born with clothes; learn to die naked



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