Acharya Prashant: Has India lost its spiritual heritage?

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Questioner: We have such a rich heritage and history. India is the land of the vedas, the Upanishads and so many perfect masters. As a country, how did we get so far from the Truth or was the Truth always for just a limited few?

Acharya Prashant: Taruna, the misfortune of India is that it is the land of Upanishads, it is the land of the Budhas, the Kabirs, the Nanaks and the Farids, that which is too abundantly available becomes unavailable.  And, the one who is very abundantly available, must become little unavailable, so that he becomes again available.

Masters after Masters, scriptures upon scriptures, the common folk start taking things for granted.

Every village has a dozen fakirs. You throw a stone in any direction and it is going to hit a sadhu!

That’s the way the human constitution is, we respect that which is rare.

What do you value? Everyday events or festivals that come once in a year?

If you meet Kabir every two hours, then you will start avoiding him. It is too much!

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Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: The world is a river; use it to cross it

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Acharya Prashant: Two excerpts are with us.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”

BIBLE

(JOHN 2:15)

“Prosperity, pleasure, pious deeds. Enough! In the dreary forest of the world, the mind finds no rest.”

ASHTAVAKRA GITA

(CHAPTER 10: VERSE 7)

The questioner says that he is astounded at the commonality between Jesus and Ashtavakra and asks why are both saying that engaging in the world will not be a way to peace. What does it mean to engage in the world?

The world is a tricky thing. The world has to be understood.

The world has utility but the world is not the end.

One uses it.

Ever seen a man swimming? What is he doing? Why is he swimming at all? He is crossing a river. Man is swimming. Man is crossing the river. Why is he crossing the waters? Because if he doesn’t cross the waters, he will drown in the waters. If he doesn’t cross the waters or the river, he will drown in the river.

And what is he doing to cross the water? He is using the waters themselves.

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On Jesus Christ: Why do we want to ‘see’ first and then believe?

Question:

Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam

Thomas had a great doubt about the resurrection of Jesus. Why is it so necessary for us to see first and then believe? Then after seeing we doubt our seeing. How do we rid ourself of this suspicious attitude?

Acharya Prashant: It’s obvious Nimisha. We are people identified with the ‘body’ and the ‘senses.’ So we would believe only that which the senses tell us.

It’s not really necessary for everybody to visually, optically, see first and then believe. Such a thing is necessary only for the man who believes in his eyes. Only the man who believes in the world that he sees with his eyes would want the proof of Godliness admissible through the eyes.

He has already declared that what the eyes are showing to me is True. That’s his belief. That’s his fundamental assertion. What my eyes are showing to me is True.

So, when you would tell him that something is True, obviously he would demand that it would be visible through the eyes.

Isn’t it obvious?

He is saying what the eyes are saying is True. He believes in the body, he believes in the eyes, he believes in the world. Now, you tell Thomas such and such thing has happened. Jesus is back. He would immediately say that if he is back then my eyes should be the proof. I should be able to see him. And not only should I be able to see him, my hands should be able to feel his wounds. Because this is the man who lives by sensory experience.

He says that this is True, it exists (pointing to a glass in his hand) because the skin is offering a proof of its existence. You can feel it via the skin. So even to be certain that Jesus is back, he’s saying that I should be able to verify his existence through my skin.

The one mistake that such doubting Thomas’s make is that they do not see that what they are seeing is not really True. They do not know Trueness. Instead, they have a concept of Trueness which is ‘imperfect.’

Real trueness is time independent.

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Acharya Prashant: Is liberation possible for a householder?

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Acharya Prashant: Pradeep Ji is asking, “Dear Acharya Ji, I don’t know what kind of wound I am carrying inside me, that I am having a constant feeling of ‘leave me alone’, towards the world. From morning till evening, I am running like crazy, driving to office in mad traffic, followed by corporate pressure to do things unwillingly. Bearing stupidities of people around.

I get out of the office as if I came out of a madhouse, tired and frustrated, and it’s already night. I eat and sleep. And the roller-coaster starts again. But since I need to run this crazy race, I feel that my blood is sucked by parasites, and there is a wound, a cry from inside, that I am carrying.

I cannot get rid of this wound. I want to jump off this train, but I can’t, because of these responsibilities. I feel I am a dead machine, thrown on an assembly line, or the other things inside me, drilling holes, hammering, and finally thrown out.

I can’t leave the family, as they are dependent on me. And I am too in, some or the other way, dependent.

Acharya Ji, in such a situation, what should I do?

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Pradeep Ji, the way of instantaneous freedom, instantaneous departure, is not for the householder.

The ‘Law of Karma’, and the result of Karma, ‘The fruit of actions’, always holds good. Cannot be violated. One is held to the past, by a thousand actions, memories, and the pending fruits.

Immediate and quick liberation is then possible only through total psychic departure.

A kind of a Spiritual death. That is often unlikely. Keep working, you will have to go step by step.

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Acharya Prashant: Live through pain, beautifully

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Acharya Prashant: Laxman is asking a question, he is saying that he has undergone two major surgeries and accidents – he says I understand that I’m identified with the body and it is the reason for my suffering. I’ve read many books, scriptures and listened to masters’ teachings that tell me that I am that not the body, yet I do not know how to come out of this pattern. Kindly guide me.

Laxman, you’re bearing physical pain. Keep bearing it. You cannot avoid it. Stop resisting the pain. Bear it gracefully. Live beautifully in pain and then you’ll not suffer. When you shout about, throw your hands about, stamp your feet, complain like a petulant child, that’s when suffering is.

You were born a human being. You’ve come to a certain age. You’ve had accidents, you’ve surgeries and now you’ve pain.

What else do you expect?

You were not born a human being to live painlessly. To be born is to be born in pain.

Do you know how much pain your mother went through when you were born?

What do you mean by complaining against pain?

Bodhidharma was asked, ‘What is greatest fortune?’ And he said, ‘The greatest fortune is not to be born at all.’

The greatest fortune is not to take birth at all because if you were born, then pain is inevitable. Pain is a necessary accompaniment of living a human life.

Don’t grudge! Don’t whimper! Don’t crib!

Your very expectation is misplaced. You will have pain. Go to the great athletes and they’ll tell you, ‘We play through pain’, one fellow is retiring, and he has won multiple grand slams and he says, ‘Now, one thing is certain; I won’t wake up every morning in terrible pain!’

Who gave you the expectation that you were born to rejoice and celebrate and have a gala time?

Maybe the advertisers told you that!

The Buddhas have never told you that you were born to be felicitated or decorated or rewarded. That’s why India has since long said that when you’re punished, then you’re cursed to take birth! This session began with myths. Do you know how the myths go often?

So, there was the great angel and she made a mistake, so she was cursed to take birth! And you’ve dozens of stories like this. The great spirit was cursed to take birth because it made a mistake.

That’s what human birth is all about. You’re here to bear. You aren’t here to have a party.

Even if you’ve party, you will…

Listeners: Suffer

AP: Have a lot of pain.

No, I didn’t say suffer. I’ll come to that. The very concept that life can be painless is false. Pain is due and legitimate. You will have pain. Now, live through like a man.

What is suffering?

Suffering comes only when you start espousing the flawed concept that life must be pain-free. When you start feeding that concept, when you start nourishing and identifying with that concept that life must be painless, then you’ve suffering because now when pain comes, you’re shocked.

You say, ‘Life should’ve been painless and from where has this pain arrived? No, no, you go away, and it is unjust! I was born to dance and now something unfair is happening. See, pain has arrived.’

Now you’ll suffer.

Suffering is non-sensical, ignorant resistance to pain.

Welcome pain! You’ve no option.

So better welcome it.

Just live through it, play through it, as champions do.

Go and ask Roger Federer. He’ll say, ‘I pay through pain!’

Ashish Nehra retired, and he said, ‘It isn’t as if there was pain in my body. Sometimes, I was searching, for my body in the pain! Pain is everywhere, where is the body?’

He used to have one surgery every two days! You get the idea, right?

So many surgeries he had on his body and he kept playing till he was thirty-six or thirty-eight or forty something.

Play through pain.

Play in pain.

Just keep playing!

Pain is life.

Just keep playing and there is such a great delight, you know, in playing through pain. If you don’t have pain, then playing isn’t as beautiful. If you can smile through tears and in tears, oh what a beautiful smile it is!

Only then, is smile really beautiful.

The lyricist might not even know what he has written and he has written maybe for an entirely different context but his lines make a lot of sense: (speaking in Hindi) Jab dard nahi tha seene mein, kya khaak maza tha jeene mein?(When there was no pain in the heart, there was no joy in living at all)

How will you live without pain?

And if you can embrace pain, then pain is your beloved.

In our case, it is the other way around: our beloved is the pain!

If you don’t turn pain into your beloved, then your punishment will be that your beloved will be the pain. Doesn’t matter whether it is, the beloved or pain; don’t resist!

That’s the way life is meant is to be.

You aren’t born a deity or an angel. You’re born a human being. Kindly lower down your expectation. Be a little grounded and if you can’t be grounded, then watch a moth rushing towards its incarceration in a flame. It is designed to go through that pain, isn’t it?

Ever seen a flame and insects jumping into it from all directions? That’s how they are designed, and you too are designed a human being and Buddha said, ‘The first of four noble truths: That life is suffering’. Life is suffering because not only are you designed to have pain, you’re also designed to resist pain. Now, that’s a double whammy!

Now that’s doubly harmful. You’re designed to both, have pain and resist pain, and that is called suffering.

Have pain, and have a lot of depth in your being.

So much depth that it can take in all the pain.

Keep soaking in pain, keep soaking in pain, and if you can keep soaking in pain, you find that something strange is happening; now you can rejoice because now you’re not really human. Had you been human, you’d have resisted pain. When you don’t resist pain, you’re no more human and if you’re not human, then you’ll not suffer as humans do.

Instead, you’re blessed with delight and delight is not available to the so-called normal human. Why?

Because they’re rushing after delight and how do they run after delight? By trying to avoid or resist pain.

If you resist pain, all you get is suffering.

If you embrace pain, then there is delight.

How is the day?

‘Sir, really painful!’

That’s the way it should be.

So, Rajiv Ji, ‘How’s life?’

‘Purely painful, sir! Purely painful.’

That’s something!


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

Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant: Live through pain, beautifully


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Acharya Prashant on Veganism: Is it possible to be spiritual and eat animals?

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Question: Acharya Ji, is it possible to be spiritual and eat animals?

Acharya Prashant: No, it is not at all possible.

It is just not possible.

Because to be spiritual, is to simply know, the spiritual one would know who he is and what is happening through him. He would not be blind to what is kept on his plate. To be spiritual is to be not-fragmented. One would then really know, what is this thing called hunger, what is this thing called food, and what is thing called food-chain.

One would just not open the can, take the flesh and munch it. One would know where the whole thing is coming from, both in a physical way and in a mental way.

When you know where the entire thing is coming from, it simply does not happen. You see, a spiritual man does not relate to the other, in terms of body. It is something of the eye.

I often ask those who consume meat, instead of proceeding with a packaged product like meat, why don’t you slaughter the thing yourself, and when you slaughter the animal yourself, why don’t you know it fully?

Even as you slaughter it, after all, even from a perspective of self-interest, if something is going into your body it makes sense to know it fully.

Why don’t you look into its eyes as you slaughter it? Continue reading

Acharya Prashant: How to deal with limitations of those around you?

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Acharya Prashant: Shweta is saying we all are limited and we may have this interaction here but as I move into the world, the so-called real world. I only encounter limitations.

The help that we are talking of, is not always forthcoming. But then Shweta, why do I need to be dependent upon somebody else. We have said life itself is the biggest help.

Life itself is the biggest help.

Others are limited but it depends upon you, whether you allow others limitations to become your own limitations. We might be living in the world of the blinds but that does not mean that we too close our eyes. Yes, of course, there is great pressure upon us to do that.

You know there is a story. There was a village. And that village had only one well from where everyone drew water. Someone came, some mischievous fellow came and put a poisonous drug in that water and now that water became such, whosoever will drink it will go mad. Everybody in the village drank that water except for one man he looked at the people around, he looked at their insanity and he understood that drinking this water would make me insane. He said I will not drink this water.

But now everybody around him was made! Just as now you said Shweta, everybody around you is limited. All of the mad people would say, that we are fine and they made a society of normal people and of course, all these so-called normal people were mad. And this society declares there is only one mad person in the village and who is he? The fellow who did not drink the water and who was not mad.

Now, this sane fellow started facing a lot of difficulties because wherever he would go, all other madmen would treat him with disrespect and Life became very difficult for him. Life became very very difficult for him. What was the way remain in front of him? Yes…To himself drink the water. So one fine day he decided.

He said if I want to live then I have to become like them, mad. Because only a madman can survive in the society of madman. He said let me also become mad only then I can survive. So he decided that I will go the well and drink that water and become one like them.

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