Acharya Prashant on Upanishads: Either go completely through the pain, or simply disown the pain

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Acharya Prashant: This is from the Avadhuta Upanishad, ‘When the results of actions set in motion are exhausted, the habitual usage also ends. This will not cease even with repeated meditation unless such actions are exhausted.’

So, the question is, ‘Is there no way out? What is meant by exhausted?’

Exhausted means that all the pent up, suppressed energy comes into motion, takes a release but this is the most painful, mechanical and time-consuming way of getting rid of your burden, the Prarabdha Karma (result of past actions which is ready to come in effect).

It is like saying that your palm is kept over a burning piece of coal and you can get relief only when all the latent energy of the coal is exhausted.

Most painful, unintelligent and time-consuming way of coming to end of suffering. And even in this process, coming to the end of suffering, coming to exhaustion is possible only if no fresh fuel is added to the fire.

It is possible only if one has the patience and the faith to bear all the results of his previous karma without creating new cause-effect cycles; without adding to his inventory of more unspent fuel. If the fellow has so much intelligence and patience and discretion that he can sit through the ordeal of the coal consuming his hand without creating more ripples and fresh karma-phal (result of actions).

And, if the fellow actually has so much patience and intelligence, then why would he sit through the torture?

He would rather get up and walk away!

What does it mean to get up and walk away from the unexhausted fuel, from the unspent residue of your previous karma? What does it mean to do that?

It means that you’re no longer attached to the coal.

Remember, the coal does not come to burn your palm. You’re the one to go to the coal, keep your hand over it, grab it and allow it to burn you, pierce you, torment you.

Walk away from the coal. That’s an easier way.

Why wait for the coal to get exhausted?

It can be a pretty big lump of coal. It can take a pretty long time getting exhausted. Do you want to wait and keep suffering?

Just walk away.

But walking away would mean giving up the coal. Coal is attractive. It looks almost like a burning cherry. It beckons. It tempts, and it has energy, it has power. Something seems happening there. We are attracted towards it. Additionally, the coal is yours. It does not belong to anybody else.

My burning coal!

My glamorous hot little cherry!

Who am I?

The lady with the lump of coal.

Who am I?

The lady with fire in the belly and fire in the palm!

It becomes difficult to walk away, right?

‘A fiery lady, am I. And this is high quality coal. It helps me maintain my standard. See, everybody is burning. So, burning is a given. It is a common denominator. What separates one being from the other is the quality of the burn. I’ve a superior burn. Mine is not low-grade coal coming from an inferior mine. Remember, pieces of coals come from mines. No mine. No coal.’

What all is mine?

Whatever is mine, is the unexhausted piece of coal piercing myself.

To walk away from that burning mass is to walk away from your very being. Your very identity. So, it is upon you, you can either wait with all your patience, with all your intelligence for the coal to get exhausted or you could simply discard the coal. Reject the falseness of its association with you and walk away.

And no method is better than the other. It totally depends on your mood. If you’re in a mood to suffer, welcome! Exhaust the karma. If you’re in a mood to not take the suffering anymore, walk away. Let go. Drop it. Renunciate!

How many lumps of coal in your pocket?


Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

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Acharya Prashant on Veganism: Vedas and Milk

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Question: Acharya Ji, there are people who quote the Vedas and say “A Hindu is a good Hindu only if he drinks milk from the mother cow.” What is your take on that?

Acharya Prashant: See if you have named the Vedas, what is the central teaching of all the Vedic literature?

If you want to really know what the Vedic teaching is, you will have to go to the Upanishads. The Upanishads are called the “Vedanta”, which means the summit or the climax of Veda. And they go into the reality of man. What is the reality of man? The Upanishads are very forthright and unequivocal about it. They say, “Man is the Truth itself (Aham Brahmasmi).” Nothing else except the Truth. You are the ultimate finality. You are the total.

Now, if this is the position that the Vedic literature takes, then one cannot operate from a point of incompleteness, hollowness or desirousness. A lot of what we do, please see we do just in order to gain fulfillment. We say that the purpose of human Life is progress, don’t we? And we asses a human being according to how much he has been able to progress and contribute to progress.

And what is progress for us?
Knowing more; collecting more.

I’m not trying to unnecessarily be simplistic. Please go into it.

When you know more, when you collect more, is it something that happens only on the outside or does it also affects your self-worth? When you know more, your self-worth rises; when you collect more, again your self-worth rises. The Upanishads say, that your self-worth, that which you are, is any way infinite, you are anyway total. Now, go out and play. You are anyway perfect and complete. Now, do whatever you want to do. But do it from a point of perfection. Do it from a point of completion.

Do not do in order to gain something. Do not do in order to rise.

Act as if you are already there as if you are already complete.

That is what Vedas are all about.

Now, around this center, a lot has been said. Just a whole lot.

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Pure giving

The ego is interested in its own nourishment.

Because the ego wants only that what the ego values, not which is absolutely valuable.

Getting tired of getting hurt is a rare happening. Man is extremely resilient. We keep on getting hurt again and again, at the same place and yet we are hardly ever tired of repeating the same processes, the same actions that bring us to hurt.

You can call it a stage of demolition. The old patterns are seen as worthless and hence given up.

In the first level, the ego gives, and this giving is of a nature that strengthens the ego. In the second level, the ego gives up its trust in itself and hence gets diminished.

In the third stage giving up does not happen. The third stage is of pure giving.

You just give. Meaninglessly, purposelessly, reasonlessly. You don’t even give, you are just being what you really are.

And when you just start giving, since you are giving to yourself, you start receiving a lot.

Tremendously bored we are with everything, that even an invitation to get rid of boredom sounds boring.

Your mind is already afraid of death, and Rumi is just exposing, or at worst exploiting that fear.

Given the way we are, fear is our reality. Wherever there is body identification, there would also parallely be the fear of the loss of the body.

Everything is done for a purpose, for a reason, with the expectation of gain. And where there is the expectation of gain, there is also the parallel fear of loss.

Because an action that arises from fear can never eliminate fear.

Take care of the ‘first’ in the ‘first place.’ Do not let the disease guide your actions. Rather, the first action should be to eliminate the disease. And these are the only two ways of living.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving

Acharya Prashant on Rumi: The three levels of giving

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Before death takes away what you are given,

give away what there is to give.

Rumi

Acharya Prashant: Here is something from Rumi: “Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give.”

The question says, “Statements like these are interpreted as being pleasure aversive, and we already are pain aversive, so together it means being life aversive. Is Rumi really talking about being life aversive?”

I’ll repeat the quote, “Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give.”

‘Giving’ is the keyword. Let’s go close to it and understand it. ‘Giving’ happens at three different levels. All three are connected to each other, yet there is a dimensional difference between the three. The three appear to be progressively leading to each other, yet there is also a quantum jump from the first to the second and from the second to the third. The first kind of giving is the giving that we are all very familiar with.

You give somebody a hundred rupee note and then you expect in return a value of at least hundred rupees, right? And it is great if you give hundred rupees and are in return given a value of two hundred rupees. If you just look at the event partially, then giving is happening. Is it not? You are giving something, right?

Similarly, we give gifts to each other. We give compliments to each other. We give advices to each other. We even give help to each other. We see that happening all around us. What is common between all these types of givings? We are talking about the first level of giving. What is common between all these types of giving?

Listener: It’s given to someone else.

AP: Yes, and?

L: Expectation of a return.

AP: Expectation of a return. Now what kind of return do you expect? When you give something to somebody, what do you expect in return?

L: Something of same value.

AP: Something of value at least, or do you expect something valueless? Be with me, do you expect something valueless or something you deem as worthy?

L: Something we deem as worthy.

AP: Who decides whether what you are getting in return is indeed valuable?

L: Me.

AP: You decide. So you are the one who decides that you are giving away something that has value, let’s say a note or a compliment. And you are also the one who decides that what you are getting in return too is valuable, correct? Who is this ‘you’, who is this ‘me’ who decides what to give and what to get? And whether to give and whether to get? And whether the given and taken has value? Who is this entity that decides all this? That entity is called the ‘ego.’

The ego is interested in its own nourishment.

So, whenever it enters into a transaction with the world, whenever it enters into a transaction in a relationship, its objective is always to enhance itself. Which means that if it is giving hundred, it wants hundred and fifty in return. This is our normal day-to-day giving, which appears like giving but is actually a business transaction in which the ego wants to benefit and hence enhance itself. Are you getting it?

If you give something but get something in return which the ego does not like, then you will say that this is not a fair transaction. Take an extreme example. Let’s say you have become habituated to substance abuse, drugs. You take one thousand rupees and you give it to a drug peddler. And what you get from him instead is some sane advice and a copy of the Upanishads. An entire set of the principal Upanishads, that’s what he gives you the moment you hand over your thousand bucks to him. Will you say that you have been given a fair deal? Would you?

L: No.

AP: No,

because the ego wants only that what the ego values, not which is absolutely valuable.

It has to be valuable in relation to the ego’s configuration. I want that which I think is good for me. Now even if what you are giving me is beautiful advice and a copy of the scriptures, yet I reject it because I do not value it because this is not what I expected. Give me that which I want.

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You must be placed rightly

There is the gun and there is somebody who is holding the gun. The one holding the gun is more important.

All that you have, time, energy, capabilities, everything, you must know what to do with them. Put them in the service of truth.

If you want to give something to somebody, give something that changes him. Give him something that dissolves his illusions.

If you have legs, use the legs to go to the temple. If you have a car, use the car to go to the temple. If you can fly, fly to the temple. If you have nothing else but imagination, then use the imagination in service of the temple.

To use what you have in the right way, you must be placed rightly.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: The beautiful woman who shows no discretion

 

Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: The beautiful woman who shows no discretion

8“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful

woman who shows no discretion.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 11:22)

Acharya Prashant: Tarun has asked me to speak on two verses, and I’ll pick the most spicy one of the two.

“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”

BIBLE (PROVERBS 11:22)

There is that which has been given to you, and then there is that which lies at the center of all that which has been given to you. You can not only gift a pig with a gold ring in her snout but actually drape her with all kinds of gold fineries, ornaments, in fact, gold clothing. Now all around the pig is gold. And what lies at the center of all the gold? ‘The pig.’ So, there is gold all around, and within the gold is the pig. Yes, Tarun? All around there is the gold. Over the legs, over the back, on the snout, on the forehead, even the tail is covered in gold and at the center of the gold is the pig.

Similarly, there can be talents and attractiveness and proportionate body all around somebody, and at the center of all the attractiveness is the pig. So lovely eyes outside, lovely body outside, fair complexion, proportionate limbs, glowing skin, flying hair, shining teeth, lovely elocution, banks of knowledge, praises and, praises, all-enveloping somebody. What is inside the envelope? ‘A pig.’ It’s a beautiful envelope, lovely eyes. What nose, what curves, the most curvaceous envelope you’ll ever see, and you come close to the envelope and open it, and out jumps the pig. The face was so beautiful that you went close and close and looked little behind the face, and you saw that the pig was searching for some shit.

Man’s talents, man’s intellectual prowess, man’s knowledge, man’s accomplishments, man’s senses, man’s ability to analyze, memorize, compare, contrast, conclude, all of these things are given to man. All of these things are given to somebody that somebody must not be a pig. What will a pig do with gold? You must have heard the story of the monkey who got a sword. What did he do with the sword? He only brought misery to everybody around him and to himself. In fact, there was a monkey, it’s another story, who loved his master greatly and the master had a gun. And once when the master was asleep, the monkey picked up the gun, aimed at some place and fired, and he fired as monkeys fire.

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The Gita can come only from someone who understands the world.

The Gita can come only from someone who understands the world. And if you understand the world you cannot keep failing in the world. If you are proven an idiot every evening and every morning, how will the Gita come from you? How will you even understand the Gita?

Look at your life, if you are a joker, a clown, an idiot, a loser, in this world, what business do you have touching the Gita?

Do you see what is half embrace? You prove to be insufficient everywhere. You are a loser everywhere. In your relationships, you are a loser. In the school you are a loser, in the college, you are a loser. At your workstation, you are a loser, on the sports field you are a loser, and you want to touch the Upanishads? The Upanishads that are coming from the winners of the highest order. Is there any oneness between you and the text that you are trying to touch? Do you have anything in common with Krishna? How then will you understand the Gita?

Krishna was the one who brought victory when defeat looked so probable. And you are the one who will snatch defeat when victory is all yours. When it is ascertained that you are now going to win, you will still manage to somehow be defeated. And then you say, “You know what, I am not very interested in the world, Krishna calls my heart.”

You are not interested in the world? You are marginalized in the world, you are the rubbish of the world. And if we listen to Darwin then you and your ilk, wouldn’t survive for long, because you are unfit.

Even physically, have you noticed how fit most of them are (pointing towards the pictures of the Saints) and most of us are groaning, complaining? Somebody has nose pain, somebody has a headache, somebody has heartache, somebody’s back has been stolen, somebody’s stomach is exploding with gas. And look at them (the Saints). That is full embrace. And half embrace is no embrace.

The man of God is a winner in the world as well. That is full embrace. If you are a loser in the world, you do not know God. God and the world are one. It’s not just The World, it’s God World. It’s God World.

Have you seen that every living being is excellent? The epitome in its particular field. Can you beat the song of a Cuckoo? Or, even a sparrow? Can you beat the flight of a vulture, an eagle? Do you see the agility with which fish swims? They are all experts in their respective fields. I am asking you, “What is your expertise?” Even the ant is an expert. When it carries a load then the load to body weight ratio is unmatched. Compared to its own body weight, the load that a little ant can carry is unmatched.

What is your expertise?



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: The Man of God is a winner in the world