Tag Archives: Thought

When to think and when to act? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

When to think and when to act

Question: Acharya ji, all my thoughts are unable to come to expression because of fear of judgement or social restraints. Should I free them only by deeds? Kindly throw light on this.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Yes, Parmeshwari, of course. There is no more a final arbiter than action, deeds, life. What else is life? A continuous flow of actions. One finally has to give oneself the liberty, to do it. Talking, as a precursor to doing, is alright, acceptable. But, talking as a substitute to doing, is evil.

If you want to use talking, or thinking, or discussing, as a preparatory method, before leaping into action, it is okay. Sometimes, the beginner needs that. Sometimes, everybody needs to think a little, before one takes a leap.

Sometimes one needs to talk to herself, sometimes to others. All that is understandable. But, if one becomes a professional thinker, specializing in nothing but thought and deliberation, and therefore vacillation, and therefore inaction, then it is merely self-deception. Also, I must warn you against the temptation, to be fully sure at the level of thought.

No absolute clarity is possible, at the level of thought.

Thought can bring you a certain level of clarity.

It would be a relative level.

So, if you insist that unless you are totally clear with your thoughts, you won’t move, then you have ensured that you are never really going to move. Then you will always have  a reason to think a little more. Because thought by it’s very design, can never be fully certain. An iota of doubt would always be residually present. And you can very well exploit that last iota, to keep stretching the thought.

This is where Faith is important. Faith is needed so that you can act, without being fully certain even at the level of thought. Thought is still, raising it’s habitual objections. But you say to thought, “You might not be clear. I am clear.”

Have you ever found thought coming to a final conclusion? That which appears like concluded today night, reopens for discussion tomorrow morning. Because final conclusion would mean the death of thought. So, why would thought ever lend itself to conclusivity? Thought would always leave a little scope for doubt to remain. And then based on that doubt, that uncertainty, more thinking can be justified.

So, think, if you must.

But never expect thought to come to a solution.

Thought is useful.

But in matters of living, loving, and Truth, the utility of thought is limited.

Do not try to over exploit thought, you will end up being exploited. And Parmeshwari, if you are saying that social restrictions etc., are preventing you from enacting what you you know, then you will have to weigh the security that you get from social conformity, against the suffering that you get from this willing avoidance of your destiny.

What is bigger – your demand for security, or your love for Truth? This answer will determine your life.

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

Watch the session:  When to think and when to act? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Does positive thinking work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

 

Does positive thinking work

Question: What is ‘thought’? Why is thought dualistic? What is ‘positive thinking’? Does positive thinking work? Why is positive thinking, a hype?

Acharya Prashant: Positive thought is never fully positive, negative thought is never fully negative. That is the meaning of the uncertainty, that always tags any thought.

What is ‘uncertainty’? ‘Uncertainty’ means, that when you are positive, you cannot be certainly positive. The doubt, that positivity is flanked by negativity, always remains. What do you call as a ‘positive thought’? Thought that makes you happy. A thought about your well-being, a thought that – you would be alright or better-off. A thought of hope.

But hope is not ever certain. Hope is always accompanied by fear. You hope that you might win, but somewhere you are also afraid that you might not. So, uncertainty is there. Similarly when there is a negative thought, yet you keep hoping that the negative might be averted. Even in matters of despair, you are not fully certain. You keep clinging to some hope, howsoever unreasonable. This is what is meant, when it said that – thought is dualistic.

Total certainty is non-dual. Non-duality is possible, only when the other side, any kind of otherness, totally ceases to exist. When there is no ‘other’, there is no duality. But where there is thought, there would always be the other side of the coin.

When you are being positive, then you are looking at one side of the coin, but deep within you know that the other side also exists, and is just waiting to show-up. A little flip, and everything would change, right?

So, thought never gives you total assurance. You remain a bit iffy. Everything remains dicey. You cannot fully relax. You cannot just go to sleep. It always remains important, therefore, to carry your defenses.

With thought, therefore, fear always is there. First of all, fear is there. And second, a continuation of thought is there. When something has not been concluded, it would continue. And with thought, there is never any conclusion, and therefore, an indefinite continuation is there.

You keep thinking. It is like an infinite snakes and ladders game. Just when you think that you are about to reach the conclusion, you land in the mouth of a giant snake, and you are back to square one. And now again you continue with your long, arduous journey. And back again, to the same old point, and then again, a resumption, and then again despair. But all this helps you to while away life.

Thought serves a great purpose, it eats away your time. Otherwise, time will become such a burden.

Thinking, thinking, you continuously think, and you comfortably let days, months, years, decades, slip away.  And then you are so thankful when the death arrives. Otherwise, living eighty years, and that too in awareness, would have been such a pain.

You will have, had to go through the rigors of right action.

Thoughts facilitate an avoidance of right action.

Thought is helpful. Someone comes to you and demands, “Now is the time to climb up the hill, are you ready with your trekking gear?” And you say, “No, I am still thinking.” So, all the effort and the pain, that would have come with climbing the hill, has been successfully avoided. You are still thinking.

Thinking is nice, scaling the heights is arduous.

Have you ever asked yourself – if positive thought is really ‘positive’, then why are there ever any negative thoughts, after a positive thought?

If positive thought is really ‘positive’, it should have ended even the possibility of any future negativity. But that possibility remains, and vice versa.

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

Watch the session: Does positive thinking work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Books by the Speaker are available at:

Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkarthttps://goo.gl/fS0zHf

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All thoughts arise from external influences || Acharya Prashant, with Students (2013)

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Questioner: Most of the thoughts are coming from society and family. So, how can I judge that which thought is mine or not?

Acharya Prashant: No thought is yours; no thought is ever your own. You have very rightly said that all thoughts come from this place or that place, this influence or that influence. No thought is your own. Understanding is your own; that can be your own.

Let me give you an example: Continue reading

Acharya Prashant, with students: Thoughts, Understanding and Realization

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Acharya Prashant: We rarely understand. We only keep thinking. And we think that we are understanding.
Naresh, there is a humongous difference between ‘thinking’ and ‘understanding’.

We ‘think’, but we rarely ‘understand’.
When you look at that mobile phone, you are ‘thinking’, you are not ‘understanding’. ‘Understanding’ is a totally different thing.

‘Understanding’ happens when thoughts have been quietened.

You think about the mobile, have you ever thought about the ‘Tack Sheek’? Is there anyone here who thinks about ‘Tack Sheek’?

Listener: We don’t know what that is!

AP: You think about the ‘mobile’, because you know about the mobile already. No one here has ever heard of ‘Tack Sheek’ before! And that’s why you don’t know about it.

All thoughts come from the past. When you are looking at something, the only thing happening is, that your mind is recalling something that it already has recorded previously.

And that is why, when I said ‘Tack Sheek’, you all were clueless about it. Because there is nothing to recall. This is not ‘understanding’. This is just a recalling of the past.
There is something previously fed into your brain, and you just recalled it again. This is not called understanding. This is highly mechanical. This can be easily done by a computer’s hard drive, which has no intelligence at all, which is purely instrumental.

So, when you are looking at this mobile, then you are just dealing in an image. That is merely a thought, not ‘understanding’.

L: So, what then is ‘Real Understanding’?

AP:

‘Understanding is the fruit of intelligence.’ It operates only in an environment of attention. When you are completely still, then the process that happens instantaneously, that is called ‘Understanding.’

Continue reading

Acharya Prashant, with students: You are the mother of all importance

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Acharya Prashant: All your student life, you have been talking and studying about this and that. The languages, Science, Social Sciences – History, Geography, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry. Now, Technology.

But there is one entity that you have forgotten so much, that it is very difficult at this moment, to even remind you of that entity. That entity has never been in the domain of your education. You have studied about a lot of things, but there is one entity that you have never studied about. Never bothered to attend to.

What is that entity?

Listener: Personality.

AP: Personality?

You will get to study a lot of Personality.

In fact, you have been studying about nothing but ‘Personality’!

‘Personality’ by definition is nothing but what you gather from outside.

Continue reading

Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: You know your real face, and your real home?

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“Your life, my friend,

is a residence far away from any other

residence and neighbours.

Your inner soul is a home far away from

other homes named after you.

If this residence is dark,

you cannot light it with your neighbour’s lamp;

If it is empty you cannot fill it

with the riches of your neighbour;

Were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a

garden planted by someone else…

Your inner soul, my friend,

is surrounded with solitude and seclusion.

Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion

you would not be you and I would not be I.

If it were not for that solitude and seclusion,

I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking;

Yet, if I saw your face, I would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.”

~ Khalil Gibran

Acharya Prashant: Poets have a way, of presenting the Truth. The way helps. The way is beautiful. But as happens with all ways to the Truth, the way itself is a bit of a hindrance to the destination.

What Khalil Gibran is saying here, is essentially very straightforward. The inner seclusion and solitude that he is talking of, is nothing, but your calm, peaceful, silent, immovable, center.

Seated at that center, with the calmness, the immovability, of the center, vested in the mind as well; the mind gains intelligence, the mind gains discretion.

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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.

Continue reading