Tag Archives: Teacher

When there are no questions to ask the Teacher || Acharya Prashant (2019)

When there are no questions to ask the Teacher

Question: Dear Acharya ji, Pranaam! I know that the online sessions are interactive. A question needs to be asked, and the question will be addressed by you. Acharya ji, sometimes I desperately search for a question to ask, may be just so that I may participate, and my presence is acknowledged, but nothing comes to mind.

At other times, I feel the need to say something, but then it is all garbled in the mind. No clear thoughts emerge. It’s like a dumb person, who is trying to speak, but can’t say something. Am I not able to express myself clearly? Is something holding me back?

Sometimes these thoughts come to mind, especially when we are urged to ask questions in the sessions. So I thought I will put it out to you, to bring it to light. Thank you for your love and guidance, and infinite patience with all of us.

In deep gratitude, Nimisha, from Mumbai.

Acharya Prashant ji: Nimisha, there are many aspects to this, you see. First thing, one need not always ask a question. Listening is enough. The ego tendency is one, and therefore, fundamentally the mind of mankind, is just one. Therefore, the question asked by one person, is in some way, the question of entire mankind. Even if you say that your question is different, you still have a question.

If you have a question, this means the fundamental tendency still stands unresolved. The central knot, is still there.

So, the knot exists in one person, the knot exists in another person.

In one person, it manifests itself in the form of one question. In the other person, it manifests itself in the form of another question. 

So it doesn’t matter what the content, or the language, or the direction of the question is, it is actually pointing towards the knot, it is actually coming from the knot.

And that knot is common to all. 

It could be anybody’s question. You may feel that you don’t have this doubt, but still the answer will be greatly beneficial to you, because all doubts are one. It is not proper to say that half your doubts are clear. If your doubts are really clear, no doubt would remain. You cannot say that your doubts belong to another area.

One person’s doubt, is another person’s doubt. One query, is everybody’s query. And if you say that a particular query is not yours, you are actually making a very tall claim. You are saying de-facto, that all your queries have been resolved.

Do you get what I am saying?

Fundamental knot is the same, queries differ on the surface. When the Teacher responds, then even to a superficial query, the answer is deep. So, he might be starting from anywhere, but he will go right to the central knot. And the central knot stands untied, problematic, for all. Therefore all answers are useful, even if one just listens, benefit would follow.

And second thing is, one has to figure out why the questions are not arising. I said that the first thing is, it is not necessary to ask questions. You may just as well listen, benefit would follow. Now I am saying, it is equally important to ask why questions are not arising.

Questions arise, you know, when one’s pre-existing concepts are challenged. Then there is a question.

Questions arise when one’s conceptual and imaginary world, hits against facts.

Then questions arise, then one feels woken up.

A question represents an inconsistency in your life.

Only when there is something inconsistent in your life, then you want to ask a question.

If everything appears resolved, in place, in order, squared, fair enough, explained, then there would be no questions. Now, you see, why, it may portend a danger, if one doesn’t have questions? If you don’t have a question, it may mean, that you are not really striking against your boundaries. It may mean, that you are living for too long, or too comfortably, within your confined world.

And within that confined world, everything is orderly. Within that confined world, everything stands explained, structured, resolved, refined, sorted out. And because everything sands explained, refined, sorted out, therefore there is no query at all. Now, I said, that portends danger. You know very well, why?

Because that means that you are not hitting hard enough against your boundaries. It might mean that it is quite comfortable within the boundaries. So instinctively, you are not feeling like cracking the boundaries open.

One has to arrive at an inconsistency, only then a question will arise.

One has to arrive at something unusual, only then a question will arise.

If the daily life is such that, it is just a repetition of the usual patterns, then obviously no question will arise. 

A question arises, when something strange happens.

The kid says, “Mumma, what is that?” No. But for the kid to raise a question, the kid has to be taken on a tour. If you are not taking the kid out on a tour, it should not surprise you that the kid has no questions to ask.

So, Nimisha, you need to take the kid out. Probably, you are being over-protective of the kid, that is you. Or you are keeping the kid too busy in homework, you know for the sake of progress or something. The kid needs to encounter something abnormal, something beyond it’s concepts. Something that it has not seen or experienced. And the whole world is full of such things.

Outside our little, arranged and ordered world, everything is unusual. Everything is beyond our knowledge and comprehension. It’s just that we are not exposed to it.

New situations are needed. Extra-ordinary events are needed. A breaking out, rather a coming out, is needed. And then, things will happen that you would be curious about. And then things would happen, in a way, that would belie your expectations. If everything happens according to your expectations, why would someone ever ask a question? 

And if everything is happening as per expectation, even expectations are being broken, as per expectations, then it means that life is just too structured, predictable, probably boring as well.

Get into new activities. Challenge your limits. Wear different caps, play different games. Test that which you might have taken for granted.

And then you will flood the session with questions!

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

Watch the session:  When there are no questions to ask the Teacher || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Acharya Prashant: Difference between believing and realizing?


It is a strange thing, and paradoxical. Must be understood with care.

Is there a need to tell the free one that he is already free? It would be absurd and useless to do do.

When I say, “You are already free”, to whom do I say that? To the free one? No!

To the free one, I say nothing. He needs no advice. He can, though, give advise to many.

I say “You are already free” to the one who staunchly believes that he is NOT free. Why do I say that? The answer must be obvious.

In spirituality, no statement is a statement of Truth. Truth cannot be contained in a statement. So, statements by Teachers are not Truth, but just useful devices.

Useful devices? For what? Useful devices to cut down that which is untrue or false, and therefore damaging.

Since “I am unfree” is a highly damaging belief, so to counter it, I say “You are free”.

The purpose is not to give the listener another belief: “I am free”. So, if someone comes to me with a strong belief that he is free, I tell him, “You are not free”.

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Acharya Prashant, with teachers: Are you the suppliers for society’s demands?


Acharya Prashant: The first question that a teacher must ask himself is, “What does he mean by change? Is he going to teach the habitual subjects, the habitual ways? Is he going to prepare the student to become another social machine? Right?

It seems that the end result of all habitual teaching is nothing but the production of a human being who fits in nicely in the social machine.

Let’s try to see. Let’s try to understand what is it, that we are producing in our classrooms.

There is the activity of teaching going on. It starts when the student is how many years old? “When the process of teaching starts? How old is the child when his teaching process starts?”

Listener: Five years.

AP: Right. Organize teaching?

L: Three or four years.

AP: 3 years or 4 four years. And goes on till the age of?

L: Till the death.

AP: Organise teaching?

L: Twenty.

AP: Twenty to twenty-five.

Let’s see clearly that a period of at least twenty years is being dedicated to the student who is emerging out of our education system. Are we one of this? Are we clear on this? For twenty years, the time has come to prepare a student who eventually comes out of our system as a product.

Now, what are we doing? Are we acting as suppliers? Please be attentive because we are trying to understand what is meant by saying are we preparing a child to be a cog in our social machine. We want to understand what does it mean? Twenty years we teach him and what is happening twenty years later?

We are supplying to the child back to the society. Correct? So it enters us in a process and then he leaves us and then he enters the society. Right? The society wants a certain kind of output from the teacher. Is that true?

L: Yes.

AP: The society wants a certain kind of output from the teacher that becomes such and such personality. Right? And what is the teacher doing? The teacher is supplying to the society what it wants from the teacher.

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Acharya Prashant: How to really listen to the Guru?

Question: In one video, you said that to listen to Krishna, you need to be Arjuna. To Listen to Ashtavakra also you need to be Janak.

To listen to you, what should the person be?

Acharya Prashant: The person should not be insistent on being the ‘person.’ That begins with not seeing the speaker as a person and not imagining the listener to be the person. If here a person is speaking sitting on this chair, then surely there is another person sitting on another chair who is listening. Now, listening cannot really happen. Because persons cannot really relate to each other.

A person is a limitation.

Limitations can associate with each other. But limitations cannot relate to become limitless.

You take one limitation and you associate it with another one, you do not get limitlessness. What you get is another limitation.

One person listening to another person will not listen to the Truth. He will come to some opinion, some conclusion, something of the mind or attitude. But he won’t come upon Truth or silence.

To listen to me you need to forget all about yourselves. And you need to forget that what you are listening to is a person’s personal viewpoints.

If you will insist on saying that what is coming to you is somebody’s personal opinion, then no person ever has the obligation to be non-resistant to another person’s opinions. Opinions by definition are meant to be analyzed, judged, dissected, then partially accepted or rejected.

You will have to see that that which speaks from this chair is the same that listens from that chair, or listening simply doesn’t happen.

Till the time there is A speaking to B, listening cannot happen.

Only Truth listens to the Truth.

Only that within you can listen to me which speaks from within me. And they are one. Which means that there has to be a certain unity between the ‘listener’ and the ‘speaker.’ I said,

to listen to Krishna you need to be Arjuna. But it’s not really Arjuna who listens to Krishna. It’s Krishna within Arjuna that listens to Krishna. No Arjuna can ever know Krishna. Even to look at Krishna, Arjuna requires eyes that are bestowed upon him by Krishna.

You’ll have to give your listening a total chance, a total freedom. And that is a very impersonal freedom. You’ll have to simply drop giving importance to all that is personal about the speaker.

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Truth is not the thought of truth

Who is a sage? A sage is the one who is extremely sensitive, who is able to catch even that which we normally ignore.

The saint is one who has realized that life is not also hell but just hell.

Because in thinking and concluding thus, you’ve missed the happening.

Gratefulness is not the thought of gratefulness. Joy is not the thought of joy. Truth is not the thought of truth.

Gratefulness means not having any sense of like or dislike.

The spiritual man is neck deep into action. He is not an escapist.

Because all your imagination proceeds from the centre of what you currently have made yourself to be, what you currently are.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?


Acharya Prashant: How to get rid of pain and suffering?

Question: Explain ‘bad.’

Acharya Prashant: OK. Let’s take something which you call as ‘bad.’ We will begin with that. Tell me anything which you call as ‘bad.’

Listener: Inadequate idea.

AP: Too abstract. I’ll then have to make it more abstract and Do you call a disease as bad?

L1: Yes.

AP: OK. A disease is bad only when you experience the pain and suffering associated with it. Only when a disease shows up in medical report. Let’s say there is a wound here. The wound has become infected and it is oozing puss. Now, you’ll say this is bad. Won’t you say that? Don’t be so guarded as if you want to block my next step.

L1: I just…one might say it’s bad, yes.

AP: What would you call as bad? Because I have to start from there. What do you see all around that you would call as unacceptable? Is there anything that you dislike?

L1: I’m just grateful.

AP: Then, then everything is alright. You are home.

L1: I’m celebrating.

L2: If I see somebody beating a child, I call it bad.

AP: Yes, yes. I like honest statements. He’s saying he’s grateful when somebody beats up a child.

L1: I’m not saying this, I never said that

AP: Then, why not say that when you find somebody raping somebody you don’t like it. Do you like it?

L1: I don’t like it.

AP: Yes, just say that. See, living in the fact means an honest acknowledgment of what life for you really is like. Do you really like it if you’re beaten up? Then why not simply say that. Why put it in abstractions?

So, you don’t like it when somebody beats a child right, Okay? Now, beating the child is a gross act. It is visible. Let’s say somebody is carrying a cane and spanking the child with it. It is visible. Stay with this…so, it is visible when the child is being beaten and these eyes can look at that visible, material act. Something goes up, something comes down, somebody cries. You can look at that, it’s a gross thing. It’s very difficult to miss it. Now, make it more subtle, bring it down a level. Suppose the violence is not so gross. It’s a more subtle violence. What happens in a more subtle violence? Come on, speak.

L3: Shaming.

AP: Shaming. So, now he’s not beating. He’s just accusing. He’s making the child feel ashamed using words. Now, words are also gross. A little less gross than action but the words are also gross because sensory mechanism can catch them. So you still call it violence. If you’re sensitive enough you still call it violence but somebody might say that no… no… no, beating was violence, this is just counseling. Right? You make it even more subtle. Now, the violent one is neither using a cane nor is he using words. He’s just using..?

L2: Ignoring.

AP: Ignoring. Wonderful. So using nothing or just using a glance. Now, it’s very subtle. Now, only the sensitive mind will say that it is violence. If you’re not sensitive, you’ll not even know that it is violence. But violence is continuing. Violence is continuing. It is just that now you are not calling it violence. Only 1% people are now calling it violence. What have you done? You’ve done nothing. You have just been apathetic to the child. Make it even more subtle.

L4: Thinking.

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The scripture’s final aim is to bring you to the living scripture

Where the light is, there the lamp is.

The Self and the Ego are not the two ends of duality. It’s non-duality talking to duality.

That is what happens when a teacher exposes the falseness of one’s existing religion. When the teacher exposes the falseness of one’s existing motivations! The teacher says you know, the route that you are taking will lead you deeper into darkness. And what is the immediate conclusion that the mind draws? The mind says, he does not want me to go there, it means that he wants me to come to him. He is telling me that all those shops are false. And that surely proves that he wants me to come to his own shop. That is a quick suspicion, rather conclusion, that the mind jumps into.

You will not have your lamp, where your forefathers found their lamp. You will have to find your lamp using your own eyes. And the only mark of lamp is, Light. Don’t disregard the Light. The Light is the only proof of the lamp.

Searching for Truth, but in the wrong way, and at the wrong places, and from the wrong center. That is what the ego does. It wants light. The ego too wants light. But it won’t get it.

The scripture’s final aim is to bring you to the living scripture.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on a Sufi Story: The Lamp shop