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.

Continue reading

There can be no controller and no controlled

Few things about the dualistic nature of mind, of existence, probably needs to be seen.

First, there is no control ever – in the sense, that there can’t be a controller and a controlled. There would always be a controlled one and another controlled one, out of which one would appear to be the controller. But no one is really the controller.

Similarly, there can never be an exploiter and an exploited. There would always be the exploited and the exploited. And out of the two exploited, obviously, one would appear to be the exploiter. And the one who appears like the exploiter, need not be a definite one. Among these two, the role of the exploiter would keep changing hands. So, sometimes the man would appear like the exploiter and other times a woman would appear like the exploiter.

Whenever, the natural harmony of things, of movement, of existence is upset then there is disease; disease on both sides – the man and the woman. When things are healthy, then, nobody controls anybody. Neither the man controls anybody nor does the woman control anybody. When things are diseased, then both parties control each other.

It is not as if, because we have named it a patriarchal society, which it does appear on the surface, right? That it is dominated by man; the man is the head of the family; the man controls 97% of the wealth; the man is at the top in most organizations, so the man does appear to be the controller. Which, I would like to submit, is just an illusion.

Man controls in his own way. But because, there can be no controller and no controlled, so the woman controls in her own way. Both are at war with each other. Both are trying to enslave each other. Both are trying to get on top. It’s the exploited and the exploited, just that their ways are different because their respective constitutions are differently from a woman. A man is constructed differently from a woman. So, the way the man tries to control has got to be different from the way a woman tries to control.



Read Complete Article: Is the man-dominated society fearful of women?

Is the man-dominated society fearful of women?

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Question: We come from a society which is patriarchal in nature, everything around revolves around a man and there is a general subjugation of a woman in the sense that the laws, the rules and regulations around whatever woman can do, not do; things like that. My question is that, is there a general fear of a woman in the man’s mind and society at large? Because we control things, we subjugate a thing to rule or regulation only when we feel a threat, may be inferiority, if I may say. So, that is my question – “Is there a fear of a woman?”

Acharya Prashant: So, you see you are already in hold of something important. At one end you see that it’s a patriarchal society that we are coming from. On the other end your question is – “Is the man afraid of woman?” 

Firstly, we are saying that the man is the controller and then we are asking that is the man afraid of woman. Continue reading

While talking of the Buddha, keep eating your sandwich

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Acharya Prashant: Mind of the so called ordinary Sansari (worldly man), is full of thoughts about obtaining power, prestige, comforts, money and such things. And often the mind of the so called spiritual seeker is filled with thoughts of obtaining liberation.

Right?

The concept of liberation is such that it stands with the concept of addition and subtraction, which is the law of mind, and stands against certain other concepts. For example it says that if you have to obtain enlightenment then you have to drop certain things.

Gaining enlightenment, dropping certain things, are said to go together. Gaining enlightenment and dropping certain things have one thing in common: gaining and dropping. What is often ignored is that gaining and dropping are very well within the purview of mind. The mind  actually loses nothing, by adding another concept or by declaring another concept to be false. Continue reading

Your one and only responsibility

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Listener 1: The question of responsibility—Whether we are responsible for our actions or they are just happening. If life is happening as it is then how can we be responsible for our actions?

AP: No, you are responsible. You are responsible to let it happen through you. Your only responsibility is towards the Truth. That is your first and only responsibility to let it happen. You are greatly responsible. Who says you are not responsible? Continue reading

On OSHO: Is sex momentary Samadhi, and Samadhi eternal sex?

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Question: Sir, kindly explain this statement—Sex is momentary Samadhi, and Samadhi is eternal sex.

Acharya Prashant: It’s a way to point at the beyond using your language. A way to point at the one beyond experience using your experience.

Sex is momentary Samadhi—First of all, Samadhi is never momentary, it is not even spread out infinitely in time. Samadhi is a total forgetfulness of the moment. If you still remember the moment, then where is the question of Samadhi?

The word ‘Samadhi’ is so beautiful, it means ‘being exactly placed,’ or ‘being appropriately placed.’ Placed where?  Placed in the truth.

When the mind is placed exactly in the truth, that is Samadhi. 

A related word is ‘Samadhan’, which means dissolution. Dissolution is the mind coming close to the seat, to the center, the drop coming close to the sea, and dissolving.

What gives you the impression that you are separate? Before we talk of union, it is important to talk about separation.

Listener: Thought.

AP: Thoughts. The whole functioning of our internal system. The very presence of me as the body. If I am there as the body, then there is something that is non-bodily outside of me. My very presence is a separation, a division. My existence is a compartment. My existence is a wall. Is it not? This skin is so easily the wall of a prison. And all of this – the skin, the wall, this and that, has no meaning in deep sleep.

You may have burnt skin, does the burnt skin have any meaning when you are sleeping deeply? So the boundary disappears when that internal system relaxes. When thought ceases, then the mental activity just comes to a standstill.

A very faint glimpse of something similar to that is available in the moment of orgasm. The reason being, all your energy is then physically directed towards the mating process. That is how evolution has designed the body.

The very fact that you exist as the body demands that you continue as the body. That is the only thing that evolution wants: You have a body, and this bodily thing must continue, so you must procreate. Existence, which is the so-called physicality, wants not enlightenment from you; existence has no stake in you being a Buddha, but existence has a lot of stake in you producing babies.

So that is something that your body is designed to do. Every cell is in some way a sexual cell. That is the bodies top most priority. That is why winning over that is the final frontier. Hence, when the top most priority comes into question, then the system is designed to direct all resources towards that.

Look at the ordinary man—he might be engaged in anything, but if a sexual opportunity presents itself, everything else is forgotten, and all energy, all concentration starts flowing towards sex. Sex becomes the over-riding concern. We are designed physically to be like that. It is not a matter of morality, it is just a matter of the machine being programmed to be like that.

So, in the moment of sexual union, the entire energy, the whole system goes into a standby mode, and you become just your hormones, your genitals, your reproductive instinct. Now, the brain has no opportunity to think, even the blood flow to the thinking part of the brain diminishes. Because all the blood supply is now directed towards the physical process. Evolution wants that to be important, now evolution does not want you to be a philosopher. What will you do by thinking? You better produce babies.

So, just inadvertently, the brain comes to a stand-by mode. It becomes a little dormant. This is mind on an artificial tranquilizer. It is just that the tranquilizer is not being injected from outside, rather it is being secreted from inside. Whether the chemical comes through an external syringe, or through an internal secretion from the gonads, irrespective of that it is totally chemical and hormonal, hence it can’t really be called Samadhi.

There is no understanding involved in this. It is just the equivalent of people trying LSD and other drugs in the hope of experiencing something similar to enlightenment. And a lot of that happens. In fact, most of the alcoholism is due to this reason. Alcohol takes away your capacity to think.

So the mind is now not besotted with you regular concerns. And so people take it. If sex can give you a glimpse of Samadhi, then even alcohol can, then even more precise drugs can be carefully manufactured, which will give you the ‘Buddha experience’. In fact, this has actually been tried. People have said that enlightenment is nothing but a particular configuration of the brain. That it is something totally material. Why not operate the brain to produce enlightenment? And this has been taken quite seriously.

So, this statement that Sex is momentary Samadhi, has to be taken for what it is. A blind man, being apprised of colors using his blindness. The attempt is bound to fail. And whenever you say that the sexual experience is a kind of Samadhi experience, it only leads to more ferocious, more involved, more indulgent sexual activity. If sex can give me a glimpse of Samadhi, then more sex can get me probably a trailer of Samadhi, and even more sex, can probably get me Samadhi itself, why not?

All this just leads to a certain internal degeneration, nothing else. Now the other half of the statement, which says, ‘Samadhi is eternal sex’, this is more meaningful. The mind coming to its foundation, its source, its center, is also what saints have often described as the lover meeting the beloved.

Why?

For a simple reason—Just as the lover is restless without meeting the beloved, the ego is restless without coming to its dissolution. That is why saints from the bhakti and the Sufi traditions have referred to God in very loving terms, very romantic terms, often even in amorous terms. The mind that keeps going closer and closer, gets a taste of that which it has always desired. And that is the end of all desires. The mind going close to the center is going close to its final desire.

It’s a curious expression: final desire.

Final desire means both, the climax and it also means the end.

So it is certainly a union. And the word union is beautiful even in the sense of the ending of separation. Separation of not only the mind from its peace but also of the various fragments of the mind from each other. The various fragments in the mind, the various divisions in the mind can never actually reconcile with each other unless the mind is reconciled in total with its source. So, that is the end of all fragmentation that we see in the world. Why talk about it so much? Why use such evocative metaphors? Why not go directly to it?

Why talk about it so much? Why use such evocative metaphors? Why not go directly to it?

L1: Because it is easier to talk about it than to do it.

L2: What about the Shaiva Tantra, where they say that the Shiva and Shakti union happens through the Yoni? And that is a tradition in the Indian system. The say that if it is misused, then it is not a good thing.

AP: You see, whenever words emerge from a Saint, from a Seer, they emerge from a particular center. So even though they may look like ordinary words in the dictionary, yet their meanings are totally different. And they have to be decoded from the same center.

If one is speaking from a particular depth of consciousness, a particular settled awareness, and if I happen to listen to it with my ordinary mind, full of expectations, full of images, then what will I do?

L3: You will mold the meaning accordingly.

AP: Obviously, the meaning in my head will not at all be what he has sought to communicate. Just as Shiva is nothing material, just as Shakti too does not exist as a particular object, similarly when they are talking of the yoni, the yoni too is not a certain material or physical part.

You see you go to a Shiva temple, you find both the Lingam and the Yoni there, and together. Now, have we gone there to worship our genitals? Or are they saying something of the beyond? But if I am obsessed with sex, what will I say? “This temple stands for reckless pursuit of sex!” Then the temple becomes a certification of one’s licentiousness.

The day before, we were talking about Kabir praising the Sati. Now when Kabir says Sati, is he referring to a particular woman, or is he referring to a particular quality of mind? Depends on who we think Kabir is. If Kabir is a man, then Kabir’s

Depends on who we think Kabir is. If Kabir is a man, then Kabir’s Sati to us, will be a woman. And why would Kabir be a man to us? Because we are severely body-identified. So when Kabir is there, we say that he too is a body, and if Kabir is a body, and he says, ‘Sati’ then the Sati has to be a woman in the body.

That is how we read the scriptures. And that is why the scriptures very clearly lay down the conditions. They say that only such and such mind is qualified to come to us. They say that unless you have let go of your expectations, desires, and your ordinary ways, do not come to us. Patrata – You have to be someone who can first of all decode us, understand us.

When an Ashtavakra speaks, he requires a Janaka to listen. And when a Krishna speaks, at least an Arjuna is required. He did not go about speaking to just anybody in general. But the scriptures fall in wrong hands. And then they are interpreted to suit one’s own personal convictions. And that is why so much of perversion happens with the alleged sanction of religion.

Would religion really sanction all that? Would the scriptures really support all that you see happening in the name of spirituality or religion? The words might be divine, alright, the words might have descended straight from heaven, alright, but who is reading those words? You. And who are you? The one who does not know how to read.

If I cannot observe simple things directly, if I distort them, if I imbue them with imaginary meanings, will I really be able to read clearly? A Gita, a Bible, a Quran, anything, even the newspaper! I am someone who can’t even read the newspaper directly, and what do I pick up to read?

L4: Gita.

AP: And what will I make out of it!

Yoni refers to the seat of all creation, so in that sense, it simply refers to the creative power inherent in nothingness. It is just an indication, nothing else. In fact, in that sense, the Lingam and the Yoni are just one. Seen with one kind of mind, you would want to represent That as the phallus, with another kind of mind you would want to represent That as the Yoni. With another kind of mind, you would want to represent That as the two in a union. It is just the same.

Are there multiple truths?

No, but there can be multiple ways of expression, images.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Osho: Is sex momentary Samadhi, and Samadhi eternal sex?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Why do we suppress sexuality?

Article 2: The image of the so-called enlightened one makes one scared of enlightenment

Article 3:  Enlightenment is not one event, it is a continuity in one empty joy


Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant are available on AMAZON:

http://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Why do we suppress sexuality? || Acharya Prashant (2016)

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Questioner: I want to talk about sexuality. Are there ways in which a person can healthily express sexuality?

Acharya Prashant: Whatever we do is an expression.

Breath is an expression, eating is an expression, these hand gestures they are an expression, and the way you are nodding your head is an expression, the way I do my hair is an expression. Everything that we do, every bit of what we are is an expression.

Even repression is an expression. Please understand this. Continue reading