Tag Archives: Ultimate

Acharya Prashant: What is the ultimate purpose of life? || (2017)

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Question: As the years go by many of us remain confused about the ‘Goals of Life.’ I would like to be guided about the ‘Ultimate purpose of Life.’

~ Colonel S. D. Joshi

Acharya Prashant: But we have had purposes throughout our Life. Is there ever a purposeless moment in one’s Life. One is always driven by purpose.

You are going to the market to buy a vegetable, you have a purpose. You are going to your office, you have a purpose. Even if you embracing a stranger, you still have a purpose. Even if you are smiling at a kid, you still have a purpose.

Rare is the one who can even kiss purposelessly. 

We are very purposed human beings. 

You know what purpose is, benefit. What will I get from this? Do you ever do anything without a purpose? So Life has always been ‘purpose driven.’ You are asking, what is the ‘Ultimate purpose of Life?’ That question can be asked only if firstly the futility of all other purposes is seen.

Life has been a series of purposes. Parallel purposes, contradictory purposes, conflicting purposes, but purposes nevertheless. One doesn’t take a step purposelessly, that is the curse of our Life. The question ‘why?’ is always present.

If You tell someone, you are going to someplace what is the first thing that you are asked? Why? And what does ‘why?’ mean?

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You must see the True in the false also

Truth is that which is independent of everything.

The World determines you, the mind; and you determine the World. It’s the same. And when you know these two together, then you have exceeded them both.

What will we do with awareness? Awareness is already doing what it has to do.

False is not a word that you can use carelessly. Only in deep contact with Truth, do you call the projections of Truth as false.

When you go to the root of desire, you find that your ultimate desire is just one. And that is Truth.

Condemning anything is to condemn the Truth. Because nothing but the Truth exists.

You must see the True in the false also.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti: The world is you, you are the world

Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti: The world is you, you are the world

Question: Acharya Ji, what does J.Krishnamurti mean when he says, “the observer is the observed”?

Acharya Prashant: As you are, so you see the World. Simple.

That there is no objective reality about the World. The ‘subject’ and the ‘object’ are intrinsically linked; they are One. The subject and the object are linked; One.

You could further it, by saying, the observer is the observed, an honest observation dissolves them both. Or, the observer is the observed and both are false.

We lay a lot of emphasis on the World, assuming it to be the Truth. If the World is an entity independent of everything, then has to be the Truth, right? That is the definition of Truth.

Truth is that which is independent of everything.

Time, space, people, processes, situations, events; nothing can change it. And if something is totally unchangeable and independent, then it is the Truth. Now, we assign the same status to the World. We feel as if the World is independent of everything, right? That’s our normal perception. We say, this building was there before I went to sleep, and this building is still there when I woke up. Which means that this building is independent of me. In saying that, we have taken this building as the?

Listener: Truth.

AP: Truth. Because now, we are giving all those qualities to this building that rightfully belong to the?

L: Truth.

AP: Truth. When Krishnamurti says, “the observer is the observed.” he is saying, this building is you; it’s not Truth. You change, the building changes. So, it is not the Truth.

L: So, the observed is the observer.

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Acharya Prashant on Zen: To love somebody, love like a nobody

 

If you love, love openly


Twenty monks and one nun, who was named Eshun, were practising meditation with a certain Zen master.

Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved and her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her.

One of them wrote her a love letter, insisting upon a private meeting.

Eshun did not reply. 

The following day the master gave a lecture to the group, and when it was over, Eshun arose, addressing the one who had written to her, she said. “If you really love me so much, come and embrace me now.”

AP: We all got the text, right?

We all have heard it. It’s just about acknowledging, is it not? The whole life, the whole game of suffering, the whole thirst for spiritual attainment, is that not all about acknowledging?

You see, there can be only two things:

Either you say that you don’t have it and you go after it and that is the way of attainment—You don’t have it, you are going after it so you ought to attain.

The other is, you have it and all you can do is acknowledge. If you already have it then there is no question of attainment. So now what is left to do? Still, there is something left to do. What is that? You don’t have to maintain it. It can’t be lost. It’s there, still, there is something that the mind is must yet do. What is that?

You have a diamond. One situation is that you feel that the diamond is lost, you dropped it out somewhere and you go out to attain it, that is the way of attainment. The other is that the diamond is still there in the house, it’s right in front of your eyes, now what is left to do? You don’t have to attain it.

Listeners: Gratitude

AP: Yes, that is just acknowledgement, open acknowledgement. That is saying “Yes, I do have it.” Otherwise, in spite of having it you don’t have it, mind you. Acknowledge that you do have it. This whole koan is about the immense importance of acknowledgement. We don’t have to find, we don’t have to realize, we don’t have to attain, we just have to say Yes I have it. This internal agreement, this internal declaration, this loud declaration — Yes I have it, is the only thing that matters.

L1: Sir, what comes to my mind immediately is that I have realized that I am not allowed to say ‘Yes I have it’ because then I am named to be an egomaniac. I mean, I do not find myself enough daring to say that— Yes I have it.  

AP: The spiritual one is the most arrogant one. He not only says that- I have it, he goes to the extent of saying that – I am it. You remember the cataclysmic declaration of the Upanishads? I AM THAT Aham Brahmasmi. I am that and I am no short of God.

L1: Sir but I find it very difficult to acknowledge it to myself that I am THAT or I have it. There is a punisher inside me to say: Hey Raka, who are you to say this?

AP: You know what, we say we want Joy but we can’t even acknowledge our happiness! We say we want total freedom, but we cannot acknowledge even limited freedom. We say we want metaphysical love, the final union but we can’t even acknowledge even love to a mortal body!

That’s what this koan specifically said:  You have it obviously. We don’t have any doubt about you having it but whatever you have will remain dormant, will remain not useful to you till you come out with it. You have to speak out loudly. And whenever you speak out loudly, it will have to be a declaration to the world because you yourself, the one who is hearing through the ears too is just the world, a product of the world, which means you have to acknowledge.

If you don’t find anybody else to acknowledge then acknowledge it at least to yourself. You cannot carry out clandestine affairs. If you think that you can keep it buried, if you can pretend, masqurade or lead a double life then it is not possible. You have to live one life, one life in which you’ve made it known that where your heart is. You have to know, the entire world has to know where your heart lies. That’s what the lady in koan is saying.

She is not saying that she doubts whether he loves her because being a monk herself she very well knows that there is nobody who does not love. Love is our nature. Love is the essential thirst of the mind. So, if a male monk comes to her and says: I love you, then there is nothing surprising about it. Obviously, he would love her because we are full of love. But she says that love finds no expression, love provides no relief instead love becomes a medium of suffering just because love remains unexpressed. That also takes us to the very way and the purpose of living.

The purpose of living cannot be attainment; then it has to be just expression. We do not live to attain the Self instead we live to express the Self. And love is something that is intimately related to the Self. If you can’t express your love — and expression of love is obviously not merely verbal. It has to show up in everything that you do. It has to be talking through your breath — and if it is not expressing itself then in spite of it being there, it would be useless for you.

Kabir has a beautiful one on this, he says-

‘hargat mera saiyaan, suni sej na koye
‘Balhari wa ghat ki, jis ghat parghat hoye’

Hargat mera saiyaan, suni sej na koye:

The lord is there in everybody, conscious-unconscious, small-big, irrespective of the properties of that body the god is there in everybody.

Balhari wa ghat ki, jis ghat parghat hoye:

But I bow down to that particular body in which He finds expression.

Obviously, the lord is everywhere but that One is special in which he finds expression. Otherwise, he keeps sleeping here. He is very much there in everything, entire universe is nothing but the lord but Kabir says that he has a special reverence for one in which the lord finds expression. Now again that’s not an exactly precise thing to say because the lord has never denied himself the permission to express. It’s you who must decide to express the lord. The lord is not blocking himself, you are the one blocking the lord. You have to decide that you will unblock him, that you will express, acknowledge, open the gate and declare.

L2: Sir, I have seen that the child is being conditioned from the very beginning.

AP: Yes, but at the same time I would say that when I say acknowledgement to declaration that does not mean bragging the tongue, that does not mean announcing anything or getting it published in the newspapers. It’s about living it. Expression means living it. Every thought is an expression, every action is an expression. So when we say we must express the Self or we must come out with our love, that means we have to live that way. Otherwise, if it’s just about enunciating it through words, it’s then very cheap. Anybody can go to the market and just get drunk and then stand on a rooftop and declare that- I love you or I love god or I am God.

L3: It is always this sureness that is missing, somewhere I know I have it but when it comes to declaring then I feel that no, may be  it is not 100 percent.

AP: That declaration itself will be the sureness. There can be no sureness sans there is a declaration. You are shying of the declaration, waiting for sureness but the sureness won’t come till you declare it.

L3: Similarly, exactly what’s when embracing someone, like my loved one is standing in front of me and if there is nobody around then I am okay with an embrace but when there are others present then it is difficult for me to have the same embrace as it would be without the presence of the others. So you are saying the same for this also.

AP: Obviously. Don’t you see that you are not embracing and giving power to that within you which is doubting that you must embrace?

Just go and embrace.

And if you repeatedly find that you can’t embrace then at least don’t claim that you have it.

Love, realization, these are things that roar aloud. They are extremely intimate yet their expression is out there to the world, in the world. On one hand, they are things of the core, of the heart yet if it is there, then there is no way you can hide them.

Kabir has also said- ‘Even if you hide it with all your might yet your eyes would reveal it because they would cry’.

How will you stop your tears? He says these are not things that you can ever prevent from getting expressed. So don’t even try.

L3: There’s this very strong tendency that when you know you love but you don’t want to share it with people and you don’t want to let others know that you love.

AP: Will they be able to harm or is it just so that you are afraid of other people? Is there something that they can do to reduce what you have, if not, then why you must be shy of expressing it? And I am not saying that you must express in order to tell others; I am saying that you just express. You do not prevent the expression. The acknowledgement is natural, don’t block it.

I am not saying that you must go to the market wearing a shirt that says- I love God or that you must began each conversation by declaring that I am Brahm or that if you are in love with a woman then you must put a sign on your rooftop or have a tattoo somewhere on your body, I am not saying that. But when it does speak through your eyes, through your actions, through everything you do, through your very being then why must you be afraid and block it? It does speak, does it not? Your very glance changes, the way you walk changes, your choices change, your decisions change. It really speaks out through you. It’s there for the entire world to see.

Then why must you be afraid?

L3: We have been always taught that it’s a private thing.

AP: It is a private thing. I do not deny that. It’s a thing of the heart. But the heart has a fondness for expressing itself. Why must you block that expression?

Pay attention to this, it is a important thing:

By blocking the expression you are blocking the thing itself.

You are not only blocking the expression of the heart;
you are blocking the heart itself.

You don’t allow it to be express and it’s gone.

What do you think the seed wants to be expressed. If you block the expression of the seed, would the seed survive for long? The seed is in the soil and craving to be expressed and every time it’s about to express itself, you block it. What would happen to the seed? The seed would die. Fortunately, for us, the seed inside our heart never really dies but you can push it deeper into dormancy. It cannot die but you can still push it deeper down the earth.

And that’s not really good for you.

See, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that you must go out and necessarily kiss in the public or make out in the public. I am not talking about juvenile declarations of that kind. You know what I am saying, right? I am saying – Be true. When it is there then why must you live a double life. That is hypocrisy. Don’t do that.

Kabir has another one on this. He compares the crow and the flamingo (white bird that stands in the water on one leg). It appears almost meditating and suddenly, the beak goes in and out comes the fish. Kabir says, look at that bird, the skin (appearence) is white and the mind is all black. He appears to be meditating but in reality, he is just aiming to kill.

He says-

“Ta sau to kauwa bhala, tan-man ek hi rang”

He says that the crow is far better because it has same appearance and mind, because it looks black and always looking to aim and kill, at least, there is honesty to that extent that it is just displaying that what it is like within. It’s a way of saying. He is actually laying emphasis on being one from inside and outside. What you feel, what you really think, what your deepest conviction is you must be expressing that. Even if that means that you appear all black, and black here signifies let’s say vices nothing else.

Really, we don’t miss anything else. What is lacking is just the acknowledgement. We don’t want to admit to ourselves that we have it. This admission, this final admission that there is no need to run around, we have it – I am that, it is here, because you know if you admit this then the ego suffers, then the ego is left with no job. Nothing to do and the ego hates it. The ego says that how can I remain unemployed.

Give me work and the moment you acknowledge that it is here then what would you be left with? Nothing, just enjoyment, just fun.

L1: Acknowledgement kills the ego.

AP: Yes, acknowledgement kills the ego. But on the contrary, acknowledgement looks so much like ego. The fact is that we label it as ego. That’s the hindrance.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: To love somebody, love like a nobody


The secret of the disciple and the master

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Acharya Prashant (AP): The master and the disciple, they exist at two levels that are related, yet different.

Let us understand them.

At the most fundamental level which you could call as the real level, there is only the disciple, just as in the world, there is only the mind. And this disciple, this mind is characterised by its restlessness. Its defining property is that it moves. It’s not still; it wants, desires, strives, achieves, desires again. That mind alone is the disciple. And that which the mind so desperately wants, yet consciously knows nothing of, is the destination. That which mind wants is the destination.  Continue reading

With the eyes, you see something; with the I, nothing

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Listener (L): You talk about being devoted to seeing till the seeing is gone and the seer is gone.

Acharya Prashant (AP): The seer is gone – is all right; the seeing is gone – is not all right.

Seeing is the nature of the Absolute; it can not ever go away.

The seer is the game of the absolute; the game can change, the seer can go away.

The child that has gone out to play can return home and sleep. So, the game can come to a pause but the seeing can never stop. But why do you feel that the seeing can stop and why do the teachers advise that the seeing must stop?

Because they equate seeing with seeing through a seer; because there is a deep notion that if there is no seer then, obviously, there can be no seeing. It is the notion that our eyes give us, it is a matter of common experience that if there are no eyes then there is no eyeing, there is no vision, no seeing.

So, we feel that an agency is definitely needed for an action to occur, we feel that an actor is definitely needed for an action to occur; just as eyes are needed to see. So, we feel if the eyes are gone then the vision is gone and if I cannot see anything, then it is a proof that the eyes are gone.

In the normal usual worldly operations, this conclusion is acceptable but not in the higher sense. It is very much possible to see without eyes, walk without legs, reach without travelling, really listen without ears — it is possible. So, you can have seeing without the seer —  that is the only genuine seeing.

With the seer, seeing is partial;

with the seer seeing is tainted by the seer itself.

All seeing then carries the imprint of the seer. So, dropping the seer is wonderful but if you say seeing too will cease, it won’t!

Seeing will cease in the way you currently define seeing but seeing will continue. Seeing continues even after your physical death. The body is no more there, yet seeing is there. You will now start wondering: Who is seeing? How is he seeing? What does he come to see? These questions cannot be answered that is why I rarely talk about these things — what happens post the physical death and all those things.

Seeing continues, seeing really continues.

L1: Could you say seeing as being awareness?

AP: Seeing continues as nothingness; seeing continue as nothing in particular. Right now, as a particular body, you see particular things; the particular body is gone, the particular things and this particular world is also gone.

So, it is not as if you will see this world, it is not as if you will be hanging in space like a spy camera and looking at the world without anyone being able to look at you. But if you will think, this is the only conclusion you can come to — the body is not there but the seeing agency is still there, so it is somewhere in space looking at the world.

No!

When you are gone, space and time are also gone; the universe is gone. When you are gone time is no more functional. With you, time also dies; with you, space also is put to an end.

So what does one see then?

We are saying seeing continues even after physical death. After physical death time is no more there, space is no more there, the universe is no more there, things are no more there, people are no more there, the car is no more there, the cat is no more there. What to see then?

What does the absolute see?

What does the undivided One see?

Only Himself. Not any other object.

But here when I am talking of physical death, I am talking of a total death of the body and also the bodily tendencies. Merely dying physically does not ensure a death of physical tendencies as well, that is why it is important to die totally before your physical death so that when the physical death comes it comes as the last thing.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: With the eyes, you see something; with the I, nothing


The right purpose of the Teacher’s words

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Question: Sir, from past three years, I am reading your books and  I have interpreted some meanings of it. But from past three years, my meanings have changed, means it depends on my state of mind like to what extent I am grasping the explanation.

Acharya Prashant (AP): You are waiting for the right decision and you are saying that if I take a decision, it must be the final one and the right one — this is arrogance.

You can only decide as per your limited condition. So be surrendered, be truthful and then whatever is the decision that comes as right to you, execute it; don’t wait.

Time is a deception. Continue reading