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Be centered on the Truth, and forget the present moment || Acharya Prashant (2019)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
6 min
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Questioner: Acharya Ji, what are Scriptures? How important they are in Spirituality?

Acharya Prashant: General books are like general conversations, Scripture is like this conversation (referring to the Satsang).

General books are about general things, Scriptures are about essential things.

In the general books, there are words, even in the Scriptures there are words. Just as this conversation is making use of words, but it is aiming at something of the beyond, it is aiming at something far higher than the general plane, so if you know the importance of this discussion that you are having with me, you very well know the importance of the Scriptures.

This very discussion if written down in a book would form part of a Scripture.

You asked, “With what attitude should one read the Scriptures?” With the same attitude as you are listening to me right now.

Q: Acharya Ji, Saints have told us to live in the present. So practically, how can we live in the present?

AP: You need to have something very important at your hand that will keep you engrossed. At the same time, the Scriptures do not put any special emphasis on not thinking about the future, or not looking at the past.

You have to be centered on the Truth.

You have to be centered on something large, Immense.

And then that, if it requires you to go into the past or future, that is alright.

Carefully understand this.

It is not about whether you are going to the past or the future, it is about where you are going to past and future from. If you are well entrenched in your natural seat, if that’s where you are strongly based, and then from there, from your base you decide to visit past or future, there is no problem.

It’s okay.

The brain has the physical, prakritik (natural) power to look at memories, go into them, analyze them, co-relate a few things, and also imagine the future. And the brain can keep doing all those things. It’s alright.

You have to be firmly seated in the Truth.

And then whatever the brain does, would be alright and auspicious.

You do not have to put this condition upon yourself that past and future have to be staunchly avoided, Saints have not said that. It is a very recent, a very American idea. It is not a Spiritual idea – ‘Live in the present moment’ – and all that.

When Krishna was not at Vrindavan, the Gopis (devotees of Krishna) would all be remembering the good, old days and weeping in the memory of Krishna. Were they not going into the past? The Saints keep asking their Beloved, “When would you come?” Are they not talking of the future?

There is no crime in past or future. It’s just that when you are looking at the past, you must look at the past for the sake of Krishna.

Please understand this.

‘Past’ and ‘Future’ are the movements of prakritik (natural) brain. The brain can do nothing but wander in time, that’s how this physical machine is designed. It’s designed to move in time, so it will necessarily consider past and future. That’s what ‘time’ is.

As far as you are concerned, you are not Prakriti (nature). So you don’t have to tag along with the brain when it goes to past or future, you remain seated in the Truth. When you are seated in the Truth, then past and future are both alright.

This Vishranti (the three-day retreat) couldn’t have been organized, had none of us considered the past or the future. But considering past and future was great, was wonderful because they were being considered for the sake of this Truthful event.

For the sake of this event, which is centered on Truth, didn’t you consider the past, didn’t you consider the future? Tell me, please. Had you had no memories, would you have come over? And for coming over, didn’t you book tickets in advance? So were not both past and future involved in your physical presence here? That is alright. This is an unnecessary fad – ‘Live in the present moment’ etc.

Be surrendered to the Truth, and then move about wherever you want to.

The entire expanse of time and space is yours.

Want to travel right, want to travel left, you have all the liberty.

And no harm would come upon you, as long as you are seated in the Truth.

So, do not ask, “Am I wandering into the future?” Ask, “Why am I wandering into the future? From where am I wandering into the future?”

“What takes me into the future?” – that’s a more relevant question to ask.

It is very well possible to contemplate the future for hours together, for days and weeks together for purely healthy reasons.

Do not subject yourself to unnecessary guilt.

Q: We are here because we are seeking Liberation. And you once said, “When you get Him, or when He comes to you, you yourself will not remain.”

But then the desire for Him came to me as what I am now, as what I identify with as the ego that I am now. So once I get Him, if I am myself not there, then how am I going to enjoy Him the way I know myself?

AP: Do you enjoy being ‘yourself’?

Given how you are, do you enjoy being yourself?

Q: No.

AP: You don’t. And that’s why you want Him.

You are asking, “How would I enjoy Him?” First of all, is it not important to get away from this state of suffering? You are asking as if you are currently in a state of deep enjoyment, and this state might be snatched away upon meeting Him. You are speaking as if enjoyment is already yours. Is it? Are you currently in a state of enjoyment?

You are asking for Him, so that you may be free of your suffering. And that is sufficient.

Meeting Him is the only enjoyment.

If you have not yet met Him, how do you know the meaning of the word ‘enjoyment’? How are you speculating whether or not there would be any enjoyment upon meeting Him? You are acting as if you already know enjoyment, which you do not.

Had you already known enjoyment, why would you have craved for Him?

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