Acharya Prashant: What is effortless action?

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Acharya Prashant: It is true, where there is no action, there is no effort, but is it also true where there is no effort there is no action?

Is that true as well?

There is something called effortless action as well.

It is true where there is no action there will be no effort. True, that is right because effort itself is an action; because effort itself has born out of thought, and that thought itself is an action, whether or not it translates physically, but is it so that for action to happen there must always must be accompanying effort?

Is that so, if that is so then life is hell, because life is then labour. Life is action, and if action is effort then all the time you just have to keep labouring.

There is effortless action, what is effortless action?

It happens, happens without your planning, without your intervention, without your ownership. That is the fun of life, we don’t even know whether it is complete or incomplete, we don’t bother to give it a name.

Simple and direct, just like a raindrop falling down. Somebody has said like a flower opening in the morning. It is nothing but the mind and body expressing the Source.

Where there is mind there will be action.

Action in the form of movement in space, what you call as physical action.

So mind and body exist to act. That is the only way they know of being, action. So if they want to be in service of the Self — we talked of a faithful mind right — what can a faithful mind do?

Act in the service of the Self, act to express the Self, act as if it is the Self.

The mind has just become like the Self, the body has just become like the Self.

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Does the Aatma (soul) leave the body after death?

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Acharya Prashant: What is the Aatman?

Do you already know what I am going to tell you?

Listener: No

AP: Yet you will understand, right? Now, how do you understand, without knowledge? How do you understand, without having already known? How does something absolutely new come to it and yet you are enamored by its beauty?

That, which remains active, even in your absence, even in the mind’s absence, even in knowledge’s absence, is Aatma.

Hence, it is utterly reliable. Because it is not a product of circumstances, because it is not a product of time. So, it can never desert you. It never came to you. It is not a product of some happening. Did somebody teach you that these mountains are beautiful? Then why are you captivated by them. You have been looking at them, over and over, again and again, and your eye seems to have some strange fascination for these mountains. Every day or the other, I am seeing, somebody or the other, just standing, lost, absorbed. Who taught you exactly that these are beautiful?

That, which you know, without being taught, is the Aatma.

Who taught you that silence is soothing? Who taught you? Then why do you all look so peaceful in silence?

Aatman is innate. And that is what is peaceful, and that is what is soothing.

That, which is so intrinsic, so innate, that man has neither made it, nor can man comprehend it, is the Atman.

And the proof of Atman is everywhere. Just open your eyes and you will see nothing but Atman. And that is such a relief that man does not have to do everything. That there is something so beautiful, so all encompassing, present before us, present in spite of us, and would be present, even in our absence. Is that not a great relief?

That takes away, a lot of burden from our shoulders. You don’t have to try to understand. You don’t have to define beauty, you don’t have to enter in love. You don’t have to fall silent. You don’t have to be liberated. All this just is. Peace, relief, I don’t have to do all these things, not my responsibility. The Atman is ready-made (smilingly).

Listener: Does the Atman leave the body after death?

AP: The Atman does not reside the body, how can it leave the body.

The Atman, mind you, is the foundation of that which sees the body take birth and die.

I repeat. There is somebody who is talking about birth and death. There is somebody who is saying, “I take birth and I die.” The Atman is the foundation of the one, who is talking about the body, who is talking about birth, who is talking about death. Even as you say, that I have died. Surely, there is somebody who is talking about death. So, not all is over. Or, is all over? If all is over then who is asking this question?

L: Others.

AP: Where do others exist?

L: In their body.

AP: If they are existing in their body, how do you know of them? If they are totally outside of you, how do you know of them? In fact, not only you know of them, you are utterly sure that even after your death, others will be there and would be talking about you. How are you so sure?

After the death, there is no talking. But still there is so much of talking. And, this talking never ceases. The Atman is the source of all this talking, of all this wondering.

The Atman does not reside in the body. The body is material, the body is an object in the Mind. And the Atman is the very source of the Mind.

May I repeat it? The body is an object in  the mind, the body is an object in the consciousness. And the proof of that is that as your consciousness changes, your body too, keeps appearing and disappearing. Does the body exist for you, when you are snoring away, at dawn? Does body exist in the thick of your sleep? Had the body been an absolute reality, how can an absolute reality keep appearing and disappearing. The body is just an apparition in the Mind. And hence, as the Mind keeps on changing, the body also keeps on changing.

So,

When you talk of the body, you are actually talking of the Mind that is perceiving the body. The Atman is the very foundation of the Mind. In the Mind the bodies keep on appearing and disappearing. In the Mind, there is birth and death. In the Mind, there are all these changes. The Atman is that which is unchangeable. Within the Atman, within the expanse of the Mind, a thousand births and deaths are taking place every moment. Those are births and deaths of objects and appearances. The Aatma, the Truth, is not affected by objects and experiences. All of them are happening within the Aatma.

You walk into a room, you come out of the room, does that change the room? But your question is analogous to, “What happens to the room, after my death?” The room was there before your birth, the room would be there, after your death. All this drama is taking place within the room. People are coming, people are going. But there is a very common misperception that there is Aatma inside the body.

There is no Aatma inside the body, the body is inside the Aatma. Kindly, totally get rid of this idea that the Aatma resides somewhere in the body. The body is material, the body is space – time. Everything that is inside the body, occupies space. Is the Aatma, in space? No. Space is an expression of Aatma. Aatma may express itself as space and it may not express itself as space. It may express itself as time and may not express itself as time.



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Does the Aatma (soul) leave the body after death?



Connect to Acharya Prashant:

1. Advait Learning Camps (ALC): Advait Learning Camps are monthly 4-day retreats under the guidance of Acharya prashant in the Himalayas. To participate in the camps, ContactSh. Anshu Sharma: +91-8376055661 or Sh. Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998 

2. Course in Realization (CIR): Course in Realization is a seven-day scriptures based learning program led by Acharya Prashant. To join, either physically or online, contact:  Sh. Apaar: +91-9818591240

3. Month of AwakeninG (MAG): Attend Satsangs from Home! MAG is an online series of discourses on handpicked topics by Acharya Prashant on practical and relevant topics like Love, Fear, Achievement etc. To join the online discourses, contact: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

4. Meet the Master (MTM): Meet the Master is an opportunity to meet and seek detailed guidance from Acharya Prashant, either in person or online. Contact: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

 To join any of the above programs, send your specified application to:

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

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The Source is one with the material and the movement

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The source and the manifestation-the progeny

and the material, the body

and the actions of the body-the kala,

are all one.

Shiv Sutra(1.3)

Acharya Prashant: The source and the manifestation-the progeny and the material, the body and the actions of the body-the kala, are all one.

The ‘source’ refers to the origin of it all. ‘Kala’ refers to activity or movement. ‘Sharir’ obviously refers to the body or the material. The source, the material and the movement all are one. They can be one only if you stop expecting that the source lies elsewhere. Please understand what is being said. If the source is one with the rock as well as the movement of the rock, then do you need to transform the rock into a temple? If the source is one with all this, then the source is just one with the fact of all this. Then you don’t need to have a creator God. Continue reading

Krishna is that within you that already knows

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Krishna is that in Arjun that already knows. In a physical setting Krishna appears like a man outside of Arjun. Actually speaking, Krishna and Arjun are not separate. Krishna is the one that Arjun goes to, when he wants to validate all that which he already knows. Krishna is the Heart of Arjun. That Heart is also known by the names – Lover, Friend, Guru. Are you getting it?

That within you which already knows, is Krishna. Now, That may appear outside of you also, just take a form, a shape, a name but essentially That is not outside of you. That is your own heart, your own core, essence, centre. Whatever you may call it – source. That is the relationship between Krishna and Arjun. Arjun is confused mind; Krishna is the centre of that mind. Arjun is the problem; Krishna is the solution.


 

 

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Krishna is that within you that already knows


Connect to Acharya Prashant:

1. Advait Learning Camps (ALC): Advait Learning Camps are monthly 4-day retreats under the guidance of Acharya prashant in the Himalayas. To participate in the camps, ContactSh. Anshu Sharma: +91-8376055661 or Sh. Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998 

2. Course in Realization (CIR): Course in Realization is a seven day scripture-based learning program led by Acharya Prashant. To join, either physically or online, Contact:  Sh. Apaar: +91-9818591240

3. Month of AwakeninG (MAG): Attend Satsangs from Home! MAG is an online series of discourses on handpicked topics by Acharya Prashant on practical and relevant topics like Love, Fear, Achievement etc. To join the online discourses, contact: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

4. Meet the Master (MTM): Meet the Master is an opportunity to meet and seek detailed guidance from Acharya Prashant, either in person or online. Contact: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

To join any of the above programs, send your specified application to:

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

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How to come back to the Source?

Question: What method is now needed to come to the Source?

Acharya Prashant: We have already used many methods. The methods have already taken us far from the Source. That is why you are asking this question that what method is now needed to come to the Source. Continue reading

Guru is neither a person nor a qualification, Guru is the mind surrendered to learn

Question: Is the mind a product of duality?

Acharya Prashant: Mind is duality. Do you want to say duality is something apart from the mind? No, it is not. Mind is duality.

Listener: Duality in oneness?

AP: See, the source of all duality has to be something non-dual.

L1: If the mind is silent, peaceful, calm…

AP: Then, this duality, is silently resting in its Source. It is still there. The duality has not gone anywhere, it is still there. It can exist as a dissolved entity; it can exist as a sleeping entity but it is still there. But now, the very touch of the source has sanctified this duality. The mind is still the mind; the body is still the body, but now it is a sacred mind; now, it is a sacred body because it is in touch with the sacred.

L2: Sir, my question is on duality. The source is again Advait. The source of duality is…

AP: … non-dual.

L2: So, nothing is dual?

AP: Whatever you call as ‘is’, is dual. This wall, this floor, and all of this is dual. That is the reason why the Buddha had to say that – “The Source is not”. And in fact, that is the proper way of using language. Because when we say that, “The body is, that the earth is,” then, we cannot say in the same flow that, “The Source is’, because they are not in the same dimension. If the wall is, if the mud is, if the sky is, then the Source is not. Getting it?

But that way, you solve one problem and move into another, because in our language, is not is the opposite of is. And the opposite of a thing is always in the same dimension as the thing — Black and white are always in the same dimension. So, to get rid of is, you go to is not. But when you go to is not, you find that you are still in the same dimension. So, the sage says, “I will just be quiet. I will not speak anything about the Source because to say anything is to use language and our language cannot stand the strain, the weight of the Source. It cannot stand that.”

Language is small; language is the product of human mind. It is unbearable for the language to accommodate the source.

L3: If every element is created by some source, whether it is matter, or consciousness, or the light. When, the source is one which the man can observe in oneself. At some position, un-duality is there. You reached the state where the things are non-dual. The language, the words, speeches, expression, they are the same. Then there is no difference in calm and quietness and the words coming from that source. They are the same. Word is the guru, the guiding source and the disciple is the same and the creating words of this universe are the same. So, this realization is basically the words with which we can come to know?

AP: No, not really. Essentially, all words are just the same. Be it the crying of a toddler, the ranting of a mad man, or the utterances of the wisest man ever – they are all the same. To credit a man with the ability to cause a change in another man’s mental condition, is to say that there surely exists a benevolent ego.

There is something that happens between two human beings. Here is Priya (addressing one of the listener) and she says that there was a dog she recently met, who acted as her guru. Now, what great words is the dog uttering? I didn’t say that. What great words is the dog uttering? It is just Grace. Neither is there anything in the dog nor is there anything in the guru. That same for His own reasons, unfathomable to you, sometimes presents himself in the form of a man and sometimes in the form of a dog.

Could the guru do anything, we had a ready-made recipe in our hands. (Sarcastically) Bring the guru in front of ten people per day; he will create ten more and in no time, will there be a transformation in the world?

The guru himself is helpless. What can he do? Without grace shining on the disciple, what can the guru do? And is the guru a guru, if there is no grace shining on him? And with grace, the dog is a great guru; the greatest guru!

L3: Sir, it is not the existence of physical body. It is the intellect I am talking about, that Guru.

AP: The intellect is worthless; the intellect accounts for nothing. There have been so many intellectuals and the world is just too full of intellectuals. An intellectual is not at all a mystic.

L3: Wisdom you can say…

AP: No, wisdom is not intellect. Wisdom is not raw intellect. And to think just because somebody can speak well, has read few books, appears confident – none of that.

There is only one guru — the Super Boss.

Go to That.

And that Super Boss does not tolerate middlemen.

He can only be approached directly.

That is one of His commandments — Middlemen not tolerated.

You must have your own unique, personal relationship with the Super Boss.

Is that clear? No middleman is needed, not at all. Or are you saying that you are less worthy? Or are you saying that grace is selective?

Yes, of course, Guru is wonderful; Guru is divine; Guru is God, simple! The Guru is the Source itself. What else is the guru? Why do you need another guru?

The Source itself is the Guru — always present, always ready, always knocking.

Closer than the closest.

L2: Sir, you said about middlemen. So, any way, any method, any discussion, reading, anything that we used to reach the source, is it acting as a middlemen?

AP: You don’t use the methods to reach the Source. You do things situated in the Source. Is the source somewhere that you will reach it! Then what do you mean by reaching the source? Is it located somewhere that you will reach it?

You can be in it;

you can play in it;

you can have fun in it;

you can exist in it;

you can dive in it;

you can swim in it;

you can breathe in it.

But you cannot reach it.

How can you reach it? 

L3: Sir, there are two persons, one blind and one with the eyes. Blind one cannot support the other, while the one with eyes has the power to hold the blind one and bring him out.

AP: The analogy is all right in affairs of matter. When you say, that a man is blind, all you mean is he cannot see matter. So in affairs of matter, you are very right. But here, are we talking of affairs of matter? Nobody is blind. Forget about a human being, even a blade of grass is not blind. What do you mean by blindness? There is no blindness. Nobody is blind.

To think that the Source creates imperfection is an insult to the Source. What you mean by blindness is imperfection. There is nobody blind. Nobody is blind. There is only the illusion — I am blind. And that illusion is there when you are separate from That. And the more you search for a guru, the more you will be separated from the Real Guru.

Do you know who are the people who never meet the real guru? Who never get the joy of submergence in the Source? Who are those people?
Those who are always in search of a guru. And that is their punishment. Because you are always searching for a guru, you will always be separated from the real guru, which was always present but you never cared for it. All your illusion is because all your life you have been hunting for a guru. The guru is there. Closer than the closest.

A man is driving a truck. There are two ways he can wake up. One, he meets an accident. Let’s say, a small accident or let’s say, a pot hole on the road. The truck falls on the pot hole and comes out and he wakes up. “What a shock, what a jerk!”

The other way is there is somebody sitting by his side and says, “Sardar Ji, neend aari tussi(Hey, mate! You are feeling a little sleepy) and he wakes up. He has woken up. The other man is just as much of a guru as a pothole.

Life anyway does a lot of things to everybody which help them wake up. We are just one of those things, we are no special. That fellow may fail in his semester exams and wake up. That fellow may break up with his girlfriend and wake up. The girlfriend is a guru, the exam is a guru. We are only as much of a guru. If you want to call us a guru, then the exam is also a guru; then the girlfriend is also a guru because life itself is presenting situations and these situations are present in front of everybody.

Buddha woke up by looking at a corpse – a dead body! Life is giving you opportunities all the time. Life is the guru. We are a part of life. Yes, we are a guru, of course! Why not? Because when the Source itself is the guru, everything in the life is guru. So we are guru but that does not mean that the piece of chair, the wood is not the guru. Wood is also a guru. All is guru. It is just incidental that how the light of the divine will shine upon someone.

Some get it through dancing, some get it through singing. Some get it just through serving somebody. Some get it through listening to a man but that does not mean that the man is somebody special. If the man is somebody special, then the ornaments of dancing are also equally special. Then that dead man, that Buddha saw is equally special.

Uddhava Gita lists 24 gurus of an Avadhuta. And what kind of gurus are they? What kind of gurus? Snake, pigeon, Vaishya (Prostitute).

All guru! Life is a guru.

Do you want to know what is it to be a Guru?
To be a guru is to be That; because the Source itself is the guru.
When the mind is immersed in the Source, you are the Guru
.

Wonderful!
Only then you are the guru.

So, do you want to know who the guru is in this room?
Anybody who is immersed in the Source.

Guru is not a qualification.
Guru is a state of mind.
An immersed mind is the guru.

It may be quite possible that I, the speaker, might be speaking from a state of disturbance. Whereas, somebody over here, might be totally immersed, who is a guru? Me or the person?
That person.

Just because somebody appears to be speaking a lot, he does not become a guru. The guru is one who is in the Guru. And what is the Guru?

Listeners: The source.

AP: The source. The one who abides in the source is the guru.

L3: What we have named as “guru”, what can he do?

AP: Why to bother about that?

L3: But the thing is he has bliss, powers, and…

AP: You are still personalizing the whole thing. What do you mean by what can a guru do? Guru never does anything. Everything is done by situations. Guru has never anything to do; he has no agenda. Whatever is done, is done by situations because doing itself is a metaphor applicable only to the world. Guru is the Source. There is no world there. So, what can he do? He never does anything.

L3: There is some effect?

AP: Effect is felt. Yes, of course! But not because he wants to do anything, it’s the presence – simple and direct! And that presence is not a personalized presence. That is a more important thing because the moment you utter guru, the image that comes to your mind is that of a person. Please get rid of that notion.

I mean this is a personality cult. You are running after personalities. You have personified the guru.

L4: Sir, you are speaking, you understand, you are doing everything. Is it not that the guru exists within us?

AP: Yes, of course. Within us, outside us.

L4: The introspection that we do with us, the exploration…

AP: Always, yes.

L4: Right perspective, right direction?

AP: Right and wrong, both.

L4: Both?

AP: Both.

L4: So somebody is the source, we can say.

AP: (Smiling) No. It’s not somebody.

L4: I mean there is an existence of wisdom inside…

AP: It does not exist. We said that whatever exists, is here. The samosa (referring to a food item) exists, this fan exists. The source does not exist. It does not exist, because, “existence” is the word that you use for the bird and the trees and the stones.

L4: Omniscient, omnipresent. It doesn’t exist?

AP: Never use only one side of the duality to describe the Source.

When you say “all”, also say “none”. When you say, “It is everything”, also say, “It is nothing”. Only then you will be able to make some sense of it, if any sense can be made at all. So, all and nothing; everywhere and nowhere; always and never; ever and never.

L4: Combined?

AP: Not combined; not not combined.

That’s the reason why Koans are needed in Zen. So that we may not be able to capture it, you cannot capture a Koan? You want to capture the Source, you cannot capture a Koan.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Guru is neither a person nor a qualification, Guru is the mind surrendered to learn


 

Further Reading:

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Commentaries on Ashtavakra Gita

Commentaries on Ashtavakra Gita is a collection of 8 Questions asked by a seekers when they were not able to relate the verses of Ashtavakra Gita in their daily living.

Even the greatest texts in the world can be just a mental load if they don’t bring you to peace. This text on Ashtavakra Gita is essence of Ashtavakra bringing one to his/her essential nature and simplicity of life.

Paperback: https://goo.gl/3RsGAm

Kindle: https://goo.gl/T3GGnP

That which you do to solve your problem becomes the problem

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Question: I suffer a lot because I do not know my child has an incident, I suffer, I cry. What can I do then?

AP: Whatever you do, if you do, knowing that you are going to do it, are you doing it or is the thought doing it?

Listener 1: It is the thought.

AP: And we have just discovered that you need not have thought before the doing.  You really do not need to have thought before the action. Thoughtless action is possible and it is not as bad as the popular culture makes it out to be. We use thoughtlessness almost as an abuse.

We say, ‘What a thoughtless man!’ Don’t we? When someone acted in a stupid way then, we say what a thoughtless action. First of all, that is not a thoughtless action, secondly, if it indeed happens to be thoughtless actions, it is something of the highest quality.

That which we want to do in order to solve our problems, only feeds our problems.

My request is, for a moment stop resisting your problems.

Continue reading