Tag Archives: Truth

Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Begin from where you are and what you realise

Question: Acharya ji, I am only a beginner on spiritual path, and my experience complicates things. Which tool can I adapt for myself, to take the right decision?

Acharya Prashant: The response is hardly spiritual in the classical sense. I will not say that for life’s decisions, kneel down in front of the unknowable. I will not say that what you need, lies beyond the grasp of your mental faculties.

I am saying – live by what you already know. First of all, you have no other option. Secondly, what you already know, is very sufficient, to make a beginning. And you said that you are a beginner.

The trouble with most of us, is not that we do not know some transcendental, ecclesiastical Truth. The trouble is: we just don’t live by that which is within our mental province.

It is not as if we have come to the boundary of our knowledge, and our limited realisation. We haven’t. If we come to our own boundaries, then the beyond, cannot be far enough.

The boundary of the little self, is where the Truth stands to greet  you.

So you don’t have to really search for the Truth.

You just have to come to the boundary of your own province. 

Come to your own boundary, and there you will find something, of the beyond.

But, do we care enough to come to even our own boundaries? I am not telling of leaping out of your self. You don’t need to leap out of your self. But, at least, putting in a very cliched way, do the best you can.

If you cannot go beyond your self, at least, do the best you can. And when you have come to the utter limit of your personal resources, there you find something, a bit magical happening.

Our situation is strange! We do not do, what we can. We cannot challenge ourselves enough. We do not make the best, utter, and desperate use of our own, personal, limited resources. But we want some kind of a helping hand, to descend from the heavens.

It won’t!

And this is good news. Because it means that each one of us, as he or she is, is fully capable of helping herself or himself. May be we cannot see, beyond the hills. But there is nobody who does not see clearly enough, to take even the next step. And that is all that you need. 

Inspiration, energy, and clarity- just to take the next step. What after the next? That’s not our business to ask. Sitting where we are, let us not demand the whole blue-print, the road-map of the entire state. Then we are transgressing.

One step is sufficient.

And that one step, each one of us, is endowed enough to take.

That one step happens to be so simple and obvious, that it does not appeal to us. We want things – big and glamorous. Just as in the material world, size and shine appeal to us. Similarly, in the spiritual domain, we want things – colossal, magnificent, sensational, to happen.

Instead of those things, if we are advised to take, one little, baby step, it appears like a bit of let down.

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

Watch the session:  Begin from where you are, and what you realise || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Why do you avoid me? || Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran (2018)

Why do you avoid me

“No man can reveal to you nothing but that which already lies half-asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.”

~ Khalil Gibran

Question: What is the role of a spiritual teacher is one’s life? How does life change in the presence of a spiritual teacher or a Guru?

Acharya Prashant: You already know. And I said that it’s a wonder how you pretend that you are ignorant. You already are fine, perfect, healthy. And you already know everything that even the best of teachers might teach.

The great wonder is not your ignorance, but the pretense of your ignorance. 

All that I have told you, is something you knew, even before me, even without me. I just spoke it out. I just spilled the beans.

The entire crowd knew that the king is naked. I am like that petulant child, who shouted out. But the king is naked. I wasn’t the first one who noticed it. Everybody knew! But you have your reasons to keep silent. I have reasons to shout out.

The difference between us is not that you do not know, and I do.

The difference between us is, that you act as if you don’t know.

And I do not want to act that way. 

You have dreamt-up some interest in remaining poor. And I am conscious. I do not know what that interest is. That is the difference between you and me.

You know, so many people are scared of coming to me, listening to me. Meeting me face-to-face is an absolute horror to them. Why? They haven’t yet met me, they haven’t yet listened to me, they haven’t yet had a face-to-face to me, why are they scared in advance?

There fears are well-justified.

They are afraid because they already know what I would say. It’s a funny thing. Often those who listen to me, do not know what I am saying. But those who avoid me, definitely know what I am saying.

Those who do not listen to me, know me perfectly well. Those who listen to me, may sometimes fail to resonate to me. But those who stubbornly avoid me, will vouch for my authenticity. They know that there is something really authentic here, that ought to be avoided.

We all know!

Whenever you will avoid me Deepika (the questioner), rest assured, there is something that you know, to be depraved. And you still want to do it. And you would avoid me, just because you do not want the pretense to be exposed.

The True Teacher, in that sense, is never a surprise. He is absolutely predictable. At times, I know, I have said that the True Teacher is absolutely unpredictable. But, from where I am speaking right now, the True Teacher is totally predictable.

You know that the Sun would give nothing, but the light. It’s a done thing. No exception or aberration is possible. So if you are fond of lazying around, and sleeping, you block out the Sun, don’t you? Why do you block out the Sun? Because you know for sure, that the Sun, would send down nothing but brightness, through your window.

Had there been some doubt, you would not have pulled down the curtains. Even before the sunrise, even before you are going to sleep, if you have decided to wake up late, what would you ensure? That the windows are all blacked out. Because, it is a matter absolute predictability, that the Sun would only send the brightness down the window. There is no doubt. The Sun is predictable! So you take counter measures.

Those who avoid the scriptures, are in some sense, great fans of the scriptures. They know how powerful the scriptures are, and therefore, they will not mess with them. We know. We all do this.

And I will never really be able to appreciate why we live, as we do not know. That would remain, a great wonder to me.

Always!

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

Watch the session:  Why do you avoid me? || Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran (2018)

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Where is your Home? || Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran (2013)

Where is your Home

Question: In the book, ‘The Prophet’, the protagonist wants to got to his home; his people are calling out for him.

Acharya ji, what is ‘this home’, ‘his people’, and ‘journey back home’?

Acharya ji: ‘Home’ is where you are. ‘Outside’ is where you think you are.

‘Home’ is, where you are.

‘Outside’ is where you think you are.

Do you get the difference?

You are always in Home, but there are some people who open their eyes and see that they are always at Home. And there are some people, who are in the Home, and yet they keep sleeping and dreaming that they are somewhere far away.

And not only are they dreaming that they are somewhere far away, they are actually planning, of course in their dreams, to go further far away. That is the ‘Home’ that Khalil Gibran is talking of – where you really are. And you can never go away from that Home. That Home is ‘you’. You are always homed. You are always at Home. It is impossible to be anywhere else. It is just that you don’t know that.

You think you are away from Home.

Listener: Acharya ji, why do these people, call him?

Acharya ji: We will have to look at this. When you say ‘these people’, it appears that there are many people at Home. It is not as if there are many people at Home.

In your dreams, what you see is ‘many’. All occurrence of many, is a dream. There are no ‘many’, except in dreams. To the extent we perceive many people, sitting in this room, we are dreaming. However, among these people that you see in your dream, some call out. After all, you only dream of, what you know. Dreams do not come from anywhere else.

Some of these people, in your dreams, you know them. They belong so much to your past, that they belong to the beginning of time. They belong to the source of time itself, in that dream. You know them, because they are your very past, your very source.

In that very dream, where there are many people, some of these people call out to you. They call out to you, to wake up. Have you not noticed, and I am saying something new today, that some dreams have the power to wake you up? Have you not noticed that when you fell down a cliff in your dream, you suddenly wake up?

Have you not noticed that?

Now, it’s a very dangerous thing to say, because mind the will misuse it. The mind will say, “Yes I am dreaming, but this is a very useful dream.” I don’t want to say that, but you raised it, so saying this. So, some of these people, they call out in the dream.

Remember, they are not really ‘people’. They are not really ‘people’. To the extent, they are only characters in a dream.

Listener: Isn’t it the source manifesting itself in the dream?

Acharya ji: You are the source. You are source. And that is why, you know those people. And that is the only reason why they can be there in the dreams, because there is intimacy at a deep level. The other people that you know, your relation with them is only very superficial.

But, there are these ‘people’, and your relation with them is very-very deep. They are coming right from that source, from where you come. They are identical to you. They are just the same as you. They call out. And they call out, in a way, in which the dream can be broken.

That’s what he is referring to.

Listener: But in this dream only, he talks about many things, and says most of the times some existential truth, in that dream only.

Acharya ji: When he is talking of many people?

Listener: Yes, when he is talking of many people.

Acharya ji: Yes, of course. When he is talking of ‘many people’, ‘many’ that he is talking of, are ultimately coming from his own experience. These people, who are calling him back to Home, are also coming from his own experience.

These people, who are calling out to him, are nobody else, but Khalil Gibran (the protaganist). If they can call out to him, that means he knows. He can surely talk of existential truths. It’s Khalil (the protaganist), in his own dream.

Are you getting it?

It’s Khalil in his own dream. The real Khalil, in his own dream. And that Khalil will know far more, than the dreaming Khalil can know.

Listener: Can real Khalil dream, go into dream?

Acharya ji: Yes, of course. That’s a part of his freedom. Think of it: where else can dreams come from? Where else can illusions come from? If there is one Reality, one Truth, how can there be space for illusion?

If everything is just Truth, just Reality, how illusion is possible? But illusion is there.

Listener: Illusion is there to the illusive mind.

Acharya ji: How can the illusive mind be possible? If only Truth is there, how can there be any space for, any kind of ignorance? Tell me.

Ignorance is a part of Truth.

Listener: We are validating Truth.

Acharya ji: Of course. Who are you to not to validate it?

Ignorance is the freedom of  Truth.

It is so absolutely free, that it is free even to be ignorant.

You are so absolutely free, that you are free to wake, and you are also free to sleep.

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

Watch the session: Where is your Home? || Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran (2013)

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In all that you want, Liberation is all you want || Acharya Prashant (2019)

In all that you want, liberation is all you want

Question: Acharya ji, only sometimes do I consciously know that I really want liberation. How to increase one’s quality, so that this want is continuous?

Acharya Prashant: Only sometimes do you use the word ‘liberation’. At other times, you use a lot of other words for liberation. So the mistake is mostly, semantic. You just need to expand your vocabulary, and remember that every word in dictionary, is a synonym of liberation.

Right now, when you think of liberation, you say, “I am thinking of liberation.” But when you think of having a Pizza, then according to you, you are thinking of something other than liberation.

The desire for food, and the desire for liberation, are according to you, diverse things. And from that divergence, is arising your question. You are saying, only for let’s say an hour a day, am I consciously thinking of liberation. For the remaining twenty-three hours, I am thinking of miscellaneous things. A, B, C, D……and L is for Liberation. And the other twenty-five letters are all for various miscellaneous things in the world, that occupy and attract us.

So, you just have to tell yourself, and deeply-deeply remember, that A=B=C=……X=Y=Z. And all of them equal L. L is for Liberation.

You cannot think of anything, but liberation. All thoughts are thoughts of, liberation in disguise. It is the limitation, and constraint in language, that only sometimes do you call liberation as ‘liberation’. At other times, you name the desire for liberation as a pizza, or money, or clothes, or relationships, or a book, or something else.

Man moves for one central purpose. And that purpose is…?

Listeners: Liberation.

Acharya ji: Liberation. It’s just that he does not consciously know, rather admit and acknowledge, how liberation thirsty he really is.

We keep denying to ourselves, that there is just one thing that we want. We think that we want multiple, various things. No. We want just one thing. The various things that we go to, are nothing but mediums to go that one single, final thing. If this much can be remembered, then all the mediums will become useful.

Then all the mediums will become godly, divine, because they will become a medium between you and the divine.

If you can remember, that this is a medium, then it is divine.

But if this becomes the end, if this becomes a purpose in itself, then this becomes an obstruction.

Why do you breathe? Breathing is for the sake of liberation.

Why do you see? What are these eyes looking for?

What is this mind anxious, and waiting for?

Why do you think that these eyes are constantly looking out at the world? What are they searching for? Have you never thought of this?

You come to a crowd, and have you seen how your eyes scan the faces of strange, unknown people?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya ji: You want to see that one special face. We all are looking for that one, final thing. These eyes, are always scanning, scanning. That’s why these ears are always….But that one, final sound, is not heard.

That one, final experience, remains elusive. We exist for the sake of That. That which is liberation. We breathe for the sake of that. We come to tomorrow, so that tomorrow, That may come. So, it is for the sake of That, that time exists. It is for the sake of That, that all future exists.

Do you see how liberation-minded we are? We eat, breathe, live liberation. And then innocently we say, “Why are we not liberated?”

The mistake has to do with linguistics, not with reality. And man’s language, and man’s thoughts, go together. Thoughts are diverse, so is language. Language means separation and diversity. This is ‘this’, and that is ‘that’. This cannot be that, and that cannot be this. Every word points at one particular object, which is not the next object, so no liberation.

In the world of thoughts, there is no liberation.

In the world of remembrance, there is liberation.

Remember, all the thoughts are from and for That. That which is – liberation. And that is liberation.

If you try to find liberation in thoughts, it is not there.

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

Watch the session: In all that you want, Liberation is all you want || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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How to know God’s will? || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

How to know God's will

जो किछ कराय सो भला कर माने-ई हिकमत हुक्म हुक्म चुकाइये

~ तिलांग, पहला महला, शब्द हज़ारे (नितनेम)  

Those God-Oriented people will tell that to attain God, we should accept as good whatever He does, and stop our own cleverness and will.

~ Tilang, 1st Mehla, Shabad Hazare (Nitnem)

Question: Pranaam Acharya ji. Can you please explain this statement?

In daily life, I take decisions, and interfere with things happening around me. How do I know when to stop interfering, and accept whatever happens, as done by God, and to be taken as ‘good’?

Acharya Prashant: You have to take as ‘good’ whatever, He does. Not whatever you do.

“To attain God accept whatever He does, and stop your cleverness and will.” Your own cleverness is to be stopped. Whatever He does, is to be..bowed down to.

How will you find out, whether a particular action is arising from Him? You cannot find that out. But you can at least find out, where your thoughts, and actions, are coming from. There is a difference. Please appreciate the subtle difference.

You cannot find out whether a thought or action is coming from God. But does that mean that you cannot just find out where your thoughts and actions are coming from? No. You can find that out, because anyway 99.99% of your thoughts and actions, are not coming from God.

Were they coming from God, there would have been nobody, to enquire where they are coming from.

They come from God, only when the enquirer melts into God.

Luckily for you, luckily for the enquirer, neither you nor anybody else, operates too frequently from God. We operate from many other places.

We do not operate as God-lovers. We operate from many, many other identities. We operate from multiple brands of falsenesses. The Truth cannot be detected. But, at least falseness can be detected.

So, find out where your life is operating from. Find out the origins of your words, your determinations., of your hopes, plans, actions. 

All that comes from God, is good.

Conversely, all that comes from you, is abhorrent. 

The moment you detect something arising from your various inconsistencies, your weaknesses, incompletenesses, don’t support them. Is that too much to ask? It’s not at all too much to ask for. You are just being requested, to shun the rotten. You are not being asked to reject the precious.

The verse makes it amply, and beautifully clear. “That which comes from Him, is good. That which comes from your cleverness and smartness, is abhor-able.” Find really out, where your life is operating from. It is possible to see that.  A little effort, a little honesty is needed.

How would you know if something is happening from God? You would not know. The knower would not be there. And when the knower is not there, that is mostly a very good sign, accept in those cases, where the knower is not there, because the knower is deeply unconscious.

If you have no ordinary consciousness of the happening, it indicates either of two things. One: it is happening from the God-center. You have disappeared, in the Truth, so there is nobody now to take cognizance of the happening. 

Or you are so deeply drunk, that you do not know what is going on. 

And that is the reason why the spiritual seekers often try various kinds of substances, chemicals, drugs, psychedelic ones, in order to get a faint experience of selflessness. Because selflessness can come to you, in both these conditions.

One: when you have truly dissolved in the Truth. Second: when you are so very unconscious, that even the ego, goes for a toss. Even the ego is not there, you are so deeply unconscious.

But while the first kind of selflessness is pure nectar, ambrosia(amrit). The  second kind of selflessness, is a poison, worse than the ordinary life. It’s a false medicine that is actually poisonous to the patient.

So, seeing that, the questioner here, usually resides between the lower most, and the upper most state. He is in the ordinary state of consciousness, in which there is neither substance abuse, nor is there God-drunkenness. The way ahead is to see, with honesty, and determination – why you were doing, what you were doing.

The moment you see why you were doing, what you were doing, you also come to see, who the doer is. It is always great fun to catch the doer. 

The doer is a thousand people, all wearing your name. When you catch the doer, and you say, “You look like me, but you are not me, don’t use my name to create the mischief, ” it’s great fun. Whose name is the doer always wearing? Your name. But is the doer ever you? He is not.

Catch the doer. Catch the thinker. Catch the little, false ‘I’.

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

Watch the session:  How to know God’s will? || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)

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What is meant by ‘oneness with all’? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is meant by Oneness with all

Question: What is the meaning of : meeting the other person with oneness?

Acharya Prashant: Meeting the other person, with oneness, does not imply – being one with the other ‘person’. It means – you are one within, even as you look at the diverse world of many-ness, spread in space around you.

Outside you might be fragments, distinctions, numbers, diversities, within is no such fragmentation.

How does fragmentation arise within?

It arises within, when the within becomes a mirror of  the without.

If that which is outside you, gains a part of you, then you get divided.

Take this, right now.

Here is me, if you take me as someone outside of you, then this figure will occupy, a bit of mental space. There is him, he too will occupy a bit of mental space. One of these posters will occupy a bit of mental space. May be this color appeals to you, this too will occupy some space. The brand of this equipment may be nice, that too will occupy some space. So, the divisions outside, will become the divisions inside.

Nothing outside of you, should be allowed to occupy you within, because ‘the within’ is the sacred province of the Absolute. And the Absolute knows, no divisions or fragments. Inside must sit ‘the One’, and outside, the world may keep taking various forms and shapes. That is Oneness, oneness within.

There would never be oneness in the world. If there is oneness in the world, you will have to physically disappear, because then you and the earth would be one. So, you are gone. Either the earth has become you, or you have become the earth. And then there is no atmosphere either, because there is just oneness.

So, outside, there is never really going to be oneness, as long as you are an embodied being. Oneness must be within.

Listener: Acharya ji, can you please elaborate on this. For example, I met Alok ji and Pranay, what does it mean that meeting them will not create any division inside?

Acharya ji: It means that the Absolute Truth within you, must meet Alok or Pranay. These two are outside, and they are different. But the point that meets them, must be the point of integrity, oneness. It must not be, that, a figure created by Alok, meets Alok, and a figutre created by Pranay, meets Pranay.

Normally, as we are, we do not meet a minister, and a miserable one, in the same way. Even before we meet them, we have turned different, because of their influence upon us.

Are you getting it?

The minister might be five minutes away, but you have already changed, in anticipation of his arrival. The one who is meeting the minister, is not the same as the one who is meeting the commoner. And I am ot talking of your behaviour towards these two persons. I am talking of the entity that it meeting.

Of course, the behaviour is bound to be different. You cannot behave in the same way with everybody. I am talking about the identity of the one, who is meeting the different objects in the world.

Your identity, when you are meeting an object, is decided by the object that you are meeting. Is that not really a miserable condition? Even before you meet the minister, the minister has cast his spell upon you. He is still some distance away, and you are already bowing down. So, the person has changed, in influence of the field of the object he is meeting. That must not happen.

Who gave you the impression that the contents of your mind, are the Truth, or Sacred, or Absolute. That which arises within you, is just your mental content. Why are you according it a lot of sanctity? Turning ego into God!

A rapists instincts too, arise from within, don’t they? You don’t have to motivate him. You don’t have to really exert yourself, to motivate a rapist. It’s strongly from within. It’s just  that their acts are definitely showing up as gruesome and horrible. So, you put them in jail.

But, the other hallucinating ones, might be holding respectable tags of spiritual seekers and Yoga practitioners, so you do not put them in jail. But hallucinations are, hallucinations.

Listener: So, is everyone hallucinated?

Acharya ji: If you are hallucinating, how will you know what everyone else is doing? Why not bother only about yourself?

If you are in a dream, will you ever be able to know who are all the others, who are dreaming?

If you are asleep, will you be able to know who is awake?

So why not bother, only on your own awakening?

This is one of the great fallacies: widely accepted, quite the norm, not merely socially circulating, but even in spiritual circulation. You start calling your instincts, and feelings, and intuitions, as the Truth. And you start saying that you know, it is arising from within, so it must be the Truth, without ever seeing that, that which is within, is just a pale imprint of that, which is without.

From where did something reach within?

Listener: Outside.

Acharya ji: From here and there.

Do not turn feelings and such things into, Truth. They are not.

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

Watch the session:  What is meant by ‘oneness with all’? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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All that the mind knows is love || Acharya Prashant (2019)

All that the mind knows is love

Question: Acharya ji, Pranaam! How to understand the different states of mind?

What we are, is the mind always dwelling in fear and desire. Mind is always afraid of its death, as a deal for love to flower. But at the same time mind’s ultimate desire is – love. Kindly elaborate.

Acharya Prashant: That is the human condition. You have to see, that all mental states are – one. It doesn’t matter what the mind wants, it doesn’t matter which direction it chooses to go. It doesn’t matter whether it is burning in jealousy, or burning in affection. It doesn’t matter whether you call the mental state as ‘positive’, or ‘negative’.

All mental states can be called by just one name – love.

Greed is love, fear is love, jealousy is love, disgust is love, violence is love, separation is love. All mental states are nothing, but different ways of describing your separation from the Source, from the Lord, from the center, from the God, from the Truth. It doesn’t matter what name you assign to That.

Are you getting it?

So these mental states that you have written, or quoted, are all pointing in the same direction. Let not vocabulary confuse you.

The difference in different mental states is just, at the level of description. Words are causing you to think, that sometimes you are afraid, and sometimes you are not. When you are afraid, it is because you think that you will not be able to meet Him. When you are not afraid, then it is, because you think that not being afraid, will take you to Him. In either of the situations, your target, your desire, is just for Him.

Are you getting it?

Then you should ask: if all goodness, and all badness, is just the same, and differs only in name, the difference is only at the level of words, then why should one be good at all? Then, you should all tell that why should one follow spirituality, why should one not remain just worldly.

You should ask, “Acharya ji, if all desires are desires of Him, then why should I not pursue my carnal desires? Why should I not pursue money, and prestige, and possessions, if even they are going to lead me to the same end?”

You may do that. But you have to factor in, who you are. I have said that it doesn’t matter what the colour, flavour, name, direction, of the desire is. All desire is actually for the One only. So, I am saying, that your question should be that why should we reject certain desires.

I am saying, to get the answer to this question, you have to look at your mortal condition. You are – mortal – which means that you have limited time. Even when you are using the GPS, it often suggests multiple routes to a destination. All of the routes are valid routes. I am saying, take any of the routes, you will reach the same place. Even if you decide to stuff you life, with material possessions, money, furniture, bungalows, property, car, real estate, whatever, you would reach there.

But, which route do you choose, when the GPS shows you five competing routes? You choose the shortest route.

So, Spirituality is not the only route to God. If someone says that spirituality is the only route to God, then he doesn’t understand the mind.

Spirituality, is one of the routes to God.

It is just the shortest route.

And, the fact that it is the shortest route, is very, very important, because, you are mortal. Because your time is limited.

There are five routes from your place to the airport. If you do not choose the shortest route, there is a great chance that you will miss the flight. Do not miss the flight!

There is the path of fear, there is the path of desire, and then there is the path of love. The destination is same.

Now make the right choice!

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

Watch the session:  All that the mind knows is love || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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