How does one’s Self-realization help others?

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Acharya Prashant: When you do not realize, you constantly live in a feeling that you are a separate entity. You are asking, how does self-realization help others?

When you keep feeling that you are a separate entity and that others are separate, that others ‘are’, that there is an ‘otherness’, there would always be a gap, a kind of violence. Realization reduces this gap. Realization reduces the very feeling of separation, of otherness. When the feeling of otherness reduces, that is called love. So, realization of oneself is simultaneously love towards others. More you realize yourself, the more this feeling that others are others, reduces.

What is meant by others? Others mean foreign, separate, alien, not me, somebody else. The more you close you come to yourself, parallelly you find that you are coming close to others also. And the ultimate point in all this is, when you say that the self is so immense that it encompasses, it includes, everything, everybody. There are no separate individuals at all. There are no others. The deeper is your belief in your separation, your boundaries, the more violent will be your relationship with others. Do you get this? Continue reading

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Do religion and spirituality go together?

 

Question: Sir, I have a very basic question in my mind. How does religion and spirituality go hand in hand? Is there a nexus or they both go on a different way?

Acharya Prashant: They are just one.  They are not different, when you are talking of the ‘One,’ when your dissolution is the one, how can there be many? Neither are there many religions, nor are religion and spirituality different. So all this diversity that you see in the name of the ‘One,’ is sham! In fact, ‘religions’ itself is very self-defeating plural. Religion-is all.

To live simply, to live directly, to live innocently, honestly, that is religion. What else?

Listener 1: But if my religion stops me, like for example, spirituality is whatever I like, gives me inner happiness, that is something I want to have, but if my religion says, for example, you don’t need to be eating non-veg, just a very basic example, but in case of spirituality, you know, maybe I like it, it gives me inner happiness, I can have it. So in those situations, what is to be done?

A.P: Inner happiness?

L1: I mean when a person feels happy about it, there is happiness in that, I feel satisfied when I am having it.

A.P: I am nobody to dictate what must or what not be there on your plate. But, please live as someone who really lives. Look at the trees, look at the squirrels, look at the birds; don’t you want to know what you are eating? Have you ever had a relationship with a rooster, with a hen, with a chicken? I just want to please; don’t you want to know what you are eating? You are taking it in your body; the same body with which you are so attached to.

Yes? Don’t you want to know?

For your own sake; not because of compassion towards the hen, don’t you want to know what you are taking in? Have you ever looked at a bird in the eye? Have you ever looked at the bird at the moment it is being killed? Please, I am not saying be merciful towards the bird, but don’t you want to know? What else is called living in the facts? Don’t you want to know the fact of the bird? The fact of the slaughter, the fact of the killing, the fact of the bleeding?

Don’t you want to know?

Know all those facts; and then you do whatever you want to do. Your stomach, your culinary preferences, all are existentially free to eat or not to eat. But, please know what you are doing.

And that knowing is not a moralistic assessment-is it right? Is it wrong?

Should it be killed?

Should it not be killed?

Just look at it.

Without thinking, without deciding, without judging, without wondering whether it should or should not be eaten, who knows, maybe it should be eaten, who knows? Maybe, it should not be. Look at it. That’s the thing with packaged food; you don’t know where it comes from. Packaged food is so much like conditioning; one does not know where it is coming from, and what it would lead to.

If you could just see the whole dynamics of our eating, our wearing, our walking; the house, where it comes from and what it is; the car, where it comes from, how it’s made and what it leads to, if we could just know these things, would we still live the same way?

Are these facts so difficult to know?

And don’t they deserve to be known? Don’t you want to know what you are putting on your head? Don’t you want to know what you are applying on your face? Don’t you want to know what you are wearing? Don’t you want to know what’s going down your throat? Don’t you want to know?

If you could just know that much, life would change. And that is, spirituality.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Do religion and spirituality go together?

Article 1: The ones likely to misinterpret a religious book are the followers of that religion

Article 2: Choose religiousness rather than religion

Article 3: Religion is One, just as Truth is One

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Books by the speaker:

Amazon: 📘
http://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant

Flipkart: 📗
https://goo.gl/fS0zHf

 

To change your relationships, let yourself change

Acharya Prashant (AP): One does not live with family, one lives in relationships.

Please understand this.

The son or the wife — as physical entities — can remain the same, yet the relationship can be different. So, one need not physically move away from them but the relationship has to be changed. Otherwise, the anger will not go.

Till the quality of my relationship with the world is the same, my quality of anger will remain the same.

Listener 1 (L1): But, my question is: the moment I am deliberately trying to change the relationship, just for example, somebody you think is a burden on you and that gives you anger. Now, one way of looking at it is move away from that, which you said that’s not the solution because you are seeing him as a burden in the relationship, that’s what is making you angry. There are many burdens in my life which I basically look forward as a pleasant experience, for instance when my child wakes me up in the middle of the night, I don’t get angry. It’s also a burden but I wake up with a whole lot of concern, good feeling and a fatherly love. So one way is changing myself from an old man to old man, to a man looking at an old man as a child, and changing that relationship. Maybe that is one way of doing it but then in that case, again, I am actually taking the help of another illusion to get out of it.

AP: No, not really.

L1: I am just thinking aloud.

AP: Yes, I am getting the gist of it.

Nobody will sustain a burden without getting something in return from the burden. One never gets angry at the other because he is a burden, it feels as if he is a burden on me, so I am getting angry at him  — it never really is the case.

One gets angry on himself for tolerating that burden.

And why does one tolerate a burden?

Because one is expecting something in return. There is some kind of a hidden greed. And, one gets angry at the greed. If the greed is not there, then the burden will also not be felt and the relationship will take a more healthy color. Why am I going to tolerate a burden? If something is a burden, I will drop it. But I never want the company of the person, I want something from him which I may not be getting, then the person becomes a burden. In a loving relationship, obviously, there can be no burden.

Now, what does it mean to change a relationship?

It does not mean to change something in the other person because the relationship is my relationship. So, my relationship cannot change without me looking at my mind. When I look at it, then my quality of relating with you changes. When I see that even as you are sitting here, somehow I am planning to get something from you, then I cannot continue with that kind of planning anymore. Are you getting it?

Being aware of oneself, one is able to bring about a mysterious change in oneself, an unplanned change, and that brings about change in relationships. What we always forget is: every relationship is my relationship. My relationships will only have the quality which is the quality of my mind. If I am violent, the fact will be that all my relationships will have a taint of violence in them — explicit or implicit.

First of all, I have to look at the quality of my mind, then the relationships change. Have you not seen this: ‘violent people are violent towards everybody’? They are not only violent towards their neighbour; they are also violent towards their dog or kid. And loving people have a quality that fuses out love not only to their wife but also to the entire world. You already know that. Right?

We have seen that and heard stories about that. We have also experienced it in ourselves at times, have we not? When occasionally you feel light and joyful, then don’t you feel like hugging even a stranger? Has it not happened to you?

L1: The world lits up!

AP: Yes, beautifully said. And when you are gloomy, then the entire world is dark. Even the most decorated places are simply dark. And that is spirituality — To look at oneself.

L1: It is a continuous twenty-four-hour self-correction.

AP: No, not self-correction; just a faint impersonal awareness. You cannot be doing it actively. If you say it’s a distillation, then one feels as if there is an entire system of process at work; it has to be very subtle.

L1: But that subtleness has to come from somewhere. How?

AP: That is a matter of Faith. That ‘somewhere’ is already sitting in our heart. It will come from there.

L1: So, this violence will go?

AP: This violence will get dropped. Not only will this violence go, the entire family of other attributes related to this violence will go. For example, there can be no violence without expectation. So the entire family of mental diseases related to violence will just become ineffectual. You will lose interest in them. You know, violence stays because you clutch to it. You lose interest in clutching to violence.

L1: What you are saying is that there is an analysis, which every time is releasing me from the clutch.

AP: It is not analysis; it is just a direct understanding; it’s like just seeing the Truth of it without analysis, without comprehension.

L1: Then how can I practice that? How can I be that? If Truth comes on its own and hits me, it depends on the Truth and not on me.

AP: That is very very accurately put — It depends on the Truth and not me.

You know how peaceful this statement is? Let Truth do what it wants to do, let it not depend on me. So I can only surrender to the Truth. It depends on the Truth and not on me. So I can only just surrender. And that is Peace. What you are thinking of as a statement of misery is actually a statement of deep liberation.

L1: Every word of yours is very disturbing; it is neither giving me peace of mind, and it is a very elusive thing. Ever since I sat for the first session without even hearing properly, not engaging myself, then automatically some engagement happened! I was feeling sleepy.

AP: It happened without your wish. So it depends on the Truth and not you.

L1: Only in the second half, I started asking you questions.

AP: And now we have the third half, so to say. So it depends on the Truth and not on us. It is not our deliberate desire that we are sitting here. There is some other grand plan at work. Has to be.

L1: I wanted to go home!

AP: And I didn’t know I would be sitting under this tree.

Worries. Huge worries. You talked about anger, I really do get angry. It’s not that intense anger; it’s just that, there is something that remains even when the anger is there and that is everything. I am very sure of this: even in the deepest anger there is something that remains.

That is good.

Then anger is alright.

There is that untouched spot which anger cannot really spoil.

Anger is not an expression of That. In fact, anger is purified by its touch.

L1: What I have realized is that: ninety per cent of anger is really helplessness.

AP: Personal helplessness.

L1: It’s basically insecurity.

AP: What will happen to me? Why didn’t my desires get fulfilled? And there is another anger.

There is another anger: Someone is sleepwalking on the road and trucks are approaching him. And, with great energy and intensity, you shout out. You actually don’t shout out, you go and punch him in the face. That is another quality of anger. And you are angry but this anger is not personal. Nothing of your self is at stake. This anger has a different quality altogether.

L1: The Guru’s anger is a corrective anger. How can somebody be so stupid so as to not see that this is good for them? So Guru comes and hits and he hits deliberately sometimes.

AP: The Guru can be angry at himself also. How could I forget? How could I get displaced? Even that is possible; there can be a disappointment but whatever is happening is happening in a different space; not in a personal space full of personal insecurities, ambitions, and such things.

The entire story is being played out somewhere else. It is a story. It is a story played out by greed, anger, lust, envy, jealousy and the rest of it. Everything is there but the entire environment is a little different.

Spirituality, rest assured, may or may not bring about directly perceptible changes in somebody’s life; it does happen with some people that either they begin with something new, or drop something old, so it is quite dramatic. With some people, nothing really changes on the surface. They continue living, working, sleeping the way they were doing it earlier as well. But something else happens, minor tweak.

And that minor tweak changes everything.

It is a juice of life!


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: To change your relationships, let yourself change

 


 

Further Reading:

Book of Myths:

myth-for-blog

This is the most challenging book one can ever come across. It will questions all the popular beliefs one harbours. Never imposing itself on the reader, at the same time the book facilities a thorough enquiry of popular knowledge which is blindly accepted as an obvious fact. It demolishes our so called holy concepts.

If you are someone who has read anything on self-help or on spirituality this book is a must for cleaning of spiritual information.

Paperback: https://goo.gl/VVD8Yg

Kindle: https://goo.gl/VsIucH

 

You are free, now why do you act helpless

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Question: Consciously, let’s say, I come to Dharamkot.  Five days ago, let’s say, I decide to come to Manali, in Manali, I would have had a different life style. And I come to this Dharamkot because I travelled by different things. That’s why based on this limited information I have, I made this decision. In reality, all my decisions might be wrong. I probably was wrong for these five days.

Acharya Prashant: You see, if you decide as the restless one, do you know where the restlessness is? The restlessness is in your mind. Right? You do not hold it in your hands, restlessness is in your mind. It is the very foundation of all your decisions, thoughts, experiences, perceptions; it is quite deep. It is that assumption from which all other experiences and observations emerge.

You go to Manali, what do you carry along with you?  The restlessness.

You come to Dharmkot, what do you carry along with you? The restlessness. Continue reading

Love is intolerant, love interferes

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Acharya Prashant: I see that I am in peace, but my neighbour or the other one is living in violence, then I just won’t say, “It’s none of my business.” I will interfere!

Love is not a peaceful coexistence with violence.

The question is why one must interfere?
If one is already at peace, then why must one interfere? Continue reading

When God is the Lover, to be kissed is to be killed

Question: The old Tibetan scripture says the spirituality will shift from the east to the west. That was written centuries ago. It was kind of predicted.

Acharya Prashant: Of this I too feel a little sure that the center of spiritual yearning has already moved to west from the east. East has relics, east has remains, east has the old devastated buildings but the new grass is taking root not in east, I assure you. East has a lot of remains, so if you are interested in archaeology, in historical wanderings, then east has a lot of history but if you’re looking for living spirituality, if you’re looking for spirituality that breathes, you will find very little of it in the east.

When I’m saying east, I’m referring to India. I don’t know of other countries. In fact I know of other countries; nowhere. About the west, even though again just as I don’t know other countries, I also don’t know any western country but about the west I’m reasonably sure because the kind of mind that is needed for a spiritual pursuit has to be first of all a mind that is not averse to order.

The western mind at least knows how to follow an external order; they know how to drive in traffic. The inner order — it is such a huge authority, it is such a dictator that it does not listen to any of your wishes. The external order is a very gentle order in comparison. Now, the one who cannot even follow an external order; an external order, in the sense, just as you said, ‘When Indians say thirty minutes, you never know what they mean’. So somebody who cannot follow even an external order, how will he tolerate the immensity and the utter authority and the unreasonableness of the internal order.

When the traffic policeman is telling me to do something, and that something is quite reasonable, he’s not torturing me, that I cannot follow. I cannot think straight. I cannot think two plus two four and the inner commander will say two plus two is five. When I cannot appreciate two plus two four, how will I appreciate when that unreasonable order comes from within?

Are you getting it?

Take it like this: I tell you something which will save your life and you cannot follow that. It is a simple and reasonable order. I’m telling you something which will save your life and you cannot follow that even though it is logical, simple and reasonable. Then, how will you follow when the inner order will tell you to take your life? You cannot follow the instruction of a doctor — here in India if a doctor gives you pills, you think the doctor is an idiot.

When you cannot follow instructions that will save your life, how will you follow instructions that will take your life?

Spirituality is about taking your life.

L2: You said, I think yesterday, we have to forget or overcome our differences but only one thing is important and that is the difference between the essential and the non-essential.  How can we manage that? Inner order, this is really strict.

AP: The inner one is a little too difficult to be tolerated.

God is a really finicky husband and autocratic father.

He gives you orders that you can never understand.

He gives you orders that are impossible to execute.

He’ll always tell you to do something that will put you in trouble.

“Don’t go home!”

He’ll never give you something that will make you feel warm and comfortable.

“Go out. Midnight. Dance there. Naked.”

Oh God! Where is the fire?

“No fire. Keep dancing and keep dancing to my tune.”

That kind of a fellow this God is. What to do?

How to follow the inner order? You don’t know.

When He (God) will beat you black and blue ,you will follow. When He will love you madly enough then you will follow. There is actually no recipe. Even, I’m desperately looking for that formula. But not getting it. I know there is no such formula but when you see all the madness around, you desperately wish to find some formula that can be applied on everybody. There is actually no such formula. That’s His unreasonable, unacceptable behavior. He should be tried for bad behavior — no manners, no etiquette, just commands!

He ties your hands and then asks you to fight. What to do?

And after you’ve won, He declares that you’ve lost. What to do?

And when you are an absolute winner, He gives you death as a reward.

He is, I assure you, not the loving father you hold him in Christianity.

That image is a totally false image — God, the provider; God, the supplicant.

Sorry.

L1: There are quite a lot of Christian mystics who’ve gone through that.

AP: I know. Of that I can be very-very certain because I’m going through that every day, Dusan (listener).  God is not kind at all I’m telling you. He is very lovable but he is a kind of lover you keep loving and He responds in His own idiosyncratic crazy ways. You’re sending out kisses to Him and He comes back with a slap. When you say why are you slapping me, He says that’s my definition of a kiss. I just kissed. What to do?

But rest assured, God is not like that. He doesn’t have a long white robe, He’s not old, He doesn’t have a flowing beard and He’s not merciful. Not all that, seriously not all that.

That does not mean that He’s the opposite of all that. I’m just saying that He’s not what Christianity has made Him out to be. He’s not that! He seriously torments. He seriously makes you suffer. Sometimes what you think of as Joy is just suffering. In the form of Joy, He has sent you suffering. I’ve personal experience of that. You feel happy that Joy has come to you but then you know what appears auspicious (Shubh) is the worst thing that can happen to you. You think that the emblem of auspiciousness (Shubhankar) is coming but God has his own way of giving.

One has to learn to live with His moods — a very moody and autocratic being. And the worst part is after doing all the rubbish that He can, after appearing to be conclusively unjust, tyrannical, ultimately, He delivers you the worst humiliation. The worst humiliation is that when you were thinking of Him as tyrannical and unjust, He was actually displaying kindness to you.

That is His last slap on your face!

First of all He keeps slapping you, when you think He’s slapping you. And then His last slap is that you learn that when He was slapping you, He was actually caressing you. That is the last slap! Net result is: All you get from Him is slaps. When you discover that these were not slaps, that is too late. You’re gone. Some idiots call that Enlightenment.

(Laughs)

But you’re gone, too late to know.  

It is not for the small-hearted. If you don’t have raw beastly courage, do not get into this. He really shreds your heart, makes you play with your own blood and then when you’re all in red, totally gory, he says what stupidity is this?

Aghast! You’re looking at his face. But I just followed your orders.

“Come on! You should know better than that. Why did you follow my orders?”

If you have any weakness, if you have even a single point left uncovered, undefended, if even on a single front you’re weak then God will exploit that.

L1: But it is his duty. That is his duty.

AP: Not a likeable fellow at all.

Sometimes you feel disgusted towards yourself for being him!

(Laughs)

I am you!

I Am That is such an impersonal thing. When you talk to God, all that you ask is, “I am you!” Of all things possible, “I am you!”

You know that’s what they say, ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely!’

There is only one who has absolute power. He’s totally corrupted — follows no discipline, does not listen to your wishes, plays around with men as toys and keeps giving random twists to your life stories. Today you meet some random woman on a boat, tomorrow she is your wife and he’s giving high fives to himself.    

Another one made an ass.

When you’re about to meet Him,

He himself becomes the barrier and then,

He says, “Such a fool, he cannot come to meet.”

The evil is God’s secret agent.

After we all have retired to sleep then God holds a secret meeting with him. What do you think? The evil is evil? God will tolerate evil? He’s such an absolute autocrat, why will he tolerate evil or devil?

The evil is nobody but God in forms that we dislike.  

L1: Evil could be the final rising.

AP: The final rising, yes.

L1: He does the dirty job.

AP: One thing is certain: That dirty job is being done with that fellow’s consent. I’m sure He’s behind all this, whatever is happening. One just has to trace His hand. Maybe ,one of the secret services – CIA or something like that, they should shadow evil and figure out from where He gets his ammunition and resources from? What do you think, evil could have survived without God’s patronage?

Not only can the evil not survive without the patronage of God, even God cannot survive without the patronage of evil.

L1: Yes.

AP: Remove evil and? (Asking the listeners)

L1: There is no God anymore.

AP: It’s not conforming to the image — the word Patronage. Right?

L2: Patronage is a bit too much for me.

(Laughs)

AP: God turns into Gods. One of them is an evil God. And these Gods together keep up the God.

God turns into Gods.

One of them is an evil God.

And these Gods together keep up the God.

L2: I don’t agree but I respect your views. You have more experience.

AP: I wish experience could speak all this.

All this while we’ve been talking of God; you just said you disagree which means that your God differs from my God.

L2: I don’t know because I have no picture.

AP: Seriously? Can you differ without having a picture? Is it possible to differ at all?

L2: Because in some aspect I don’t agree with your approach.

AP: Again, I’m asking, how will you disagree if you don’t have a picture? Look into it.

L2: A picture means something clear, crystal clear for me at least.  

AP: You may have a vague picture. There are clear pictures and there are vague pictures, nonetheless both are pictures.

L2: In a very rough sense, yes.

AP: In a very rough sense, right?

So we are talking of God and you do not agree with my God so surely we’re talking of Gods because your God is not my God.

L2: Yes.

AP: So all this while we have been talking of Gods. Not God; Gods.

So that’s what God does: gives rise to Gods that we can talk of and we keep talking of them.

Meanwhile, time is wasted and God remains elusive.


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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: When God is the Lover, to be Kissed is to be Killed

Further Reading:

THE BEAUTIFUL HEART

tbh_cover

The Beautiful Heart, a paragon, will introduce you to an extremely different way of living, not professed by many before; a way that is far away from calculations and manipulations and calls for a fearless venture into it.

Living by the Heart is a harmonious way of living. Author has extended an invitation through this book to come close to the beautiful heart of yours and see how enchanting it is to live by it.

Paperback: https://goo.gl/Yk3OVP

Kindle: https://goo.gl/QhmpB7

Joy lies in your capacity to take hurt

Joy lies in your capacity to take hurt. The more hurt you can take, it proves that you are still on top of the hurt. The moment you say, ‘I cannot take anymore’, the moment you start blocking hurt that is the moment when hurt has won.

The reward of the one who is capable of taking wounds is that he gets more wounds.

I once met a young girl and she had a crystal in her palm and forcefully, almost violently, she was again and again, banging it against the floor, throwing it at the walls. I asked her, ‘Why are you doing this?’ She said, ‘Because I have been told that it cannot be broken.’ When you are somebody who cannot be broken, your reward will be that you will receive more and more banging against the floor and the wall. The whole existence will know that you are unbreakable. So, you can take a little more of thrashing, pounding, beating.

The more thrashing you are able to take, the more pounding you are receiving, the more it is certain that you are capable of taking it. Hence, the more it is certain that whatever the world is throwing at you does not really affect you, bother you.