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Brahm-realisation, and the fear of distancing from one's family || Acharya Prashant (2018)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
13 min
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Questioner: If I do deeply understand that the bliss of consciousness or Brahm is truly greater by manifolds, then what motivation would I have to perform the mundane duties, chasing worldly desires like wealth etc.? I cannot just sit doing nothing, thinking that my kids will have an education and food on their plates; Karma has to be performed.

But, I feel from my own experience that there is an inherent dichotomy between what I am, and what I do. How do I reconcile the dichotomy so that my actions get aligned with Brahm ? To do something, there has to be some sense of motivation; if not external, at least intrinsic. Is it wrong to love mathematics or rocket sciences etc.? Is passion not useful when it comes to the attempt of realising Brahm ?

Does realising Brahm mean an altered state of consciousness? There are too many swirling questions in the mind, in a way, I am like a cat on the wall. I am scared to try to realise Brahm , because I believe that that path will take me away from my family and my necessary duties. And on the other side, I am unable to be fully motivated in things like wealth; because I know the futility in chasing them; hence the dilemma—a perpetual toggle mode of existence so to speak. How do I get out of this mode is the answer I long for.

Acharya Prashant: Too many concepts, too much knowledge about that which is beyond knowledge. This is what is what you believe in: one, that action is born only out of motivation; second, the one who seeks Brahm renounces the world and his responsibilities.

You are surmising, there is just too much speculation. You are using your current and limited set of experiences to project what Brahm is like. Till now you have experienced that you do something, anything, only when you have a motive; so, you are speculating that there is nothing that can be done without a motive. What is a motive? A motive is something that rests in the future; a motive is a feeling that attainment of something will make you complete. That’s true.

Most people, the vast swathe of mankind works from a point of incompleteness. People say, “I do not have this, so I must work to have this.” But how does that enable you or authorise you to conclude that the fulfilled one does not act at all? On the contrary, there is a great rhythm, a great flow, a non-violence, a beauty, a music, in the actions of the fulfilled one. It is a mere idea, a false and misleading image that the fulfilled one will not act at all; in fact, the motivated mind needs to maintain this idea. This idea is necessary in order to maintain the very value and the very existence of motivation.

Look at this: You very well know that movement is the order of life. You very well know that in Prakṛiti , movement is any way happening all the time. You very well know that there is no life possible without movement, no universe possible without movement. And you tell yourself that movement can only come from motivation; and movement is life, and motivation is incompleteness.

See, what you are saying. You are saying, “Movement comes only from motivation,” and we very well know that movement is life—life in terms of mortal life, corporal life, Prakṛiti . So movement is life, and motivation as we see all around us is incompleteness, unfulfillment. So what you are effectively saying is, life is incompletion. What you are trying to assert is that there is nothing called life left in completion. You are saying that there is nothing called a complete life. Is that so?

If the complete ones don’t live, then who was the Śākyamuni Buddha ? Who is Kabir ? Who is Aṣhṭāvakraḥ ? Who is Nanak ? Who is Meera ? Who is Bulle Shah ? Who is Yājñavalkya ? Who is Patanjali ? Sure enough, they performed great actions, great deeds. What movement do the ordinary people of the world know? If you want to know what movement looks like, look at how Ādi Śaṅkarāchārya moved two thousand miles on foot; that’s movement for you.

But see what you are trying to tell me. You are saying, “Without incompleteness, how will I perform any Karma?” You are telling me that you need motivation so that there is food on your plate and on your kids plates. Did the sons of Kṛiṣhṇa starve? Did the family of Nanak starve? What are we talking of? On the contrary, at the physical level we find that the fulfilled ones, the spiritually fulfilled ones are the ones most attractive physically, and most successful in the worldly sense as well. They are the real conquerors of the world, even kings bow down to them. Who can be a bigger winner?

And they do not have any motivation in the common sense of the world left. Without motivation, they display great movement, great victories, a great life; and here you are wondering what will happen if you realise Brahm ? If we go by your tenets, then all those who have realised Brahm should have been paupers, enfeebled, emaciated, cut down to the bone, unknown, unheard of, ignored, disrespected, humiliated. Is that what you would say about a Buddha, or a Kṛiṣhṇa , or a Lalleshwari , or a Meera ? Seriously?

I will tell you your difficulty. Your difficulty is that the feeble self finds it impossible to believe that there is life outside of itself. It keeps telling you, “If I go, then all action vanishes; if I go then life itself goes.” That’s what the feeble and the arrogant self keeps telling and saying. It is a tactic for self-preservation, an old and a stupid tactic.

What are you trying to preserve? What do you think will be lost if you realise Brahm ? You are saying, “You will not be able to act, you will start lacking in motivation.” Look at the quality of your action right now. Are you pleased with the way you live and act currently, are you? This is what would be lost, that which you are displeased with. Action itself won’t be lost, the incompleteness in action would be lost. How is that scary?

The man of Truth acts, and acts with great vigour. You have said that you believe that the path of Truth will take you away from your family and your necessary duties. The path of Truth takes you away only from that which is unnecessary, Truth itself is necessary; only the Truth is necessary. And when you are a servant of Truth, you obediently, assiduously, do all that which is necessary.

The man of Truth looks at the entire universe as his family. How will he then stop fulfilling his responsibilities? It’s just that right now, you probably do not even know what your real responsibility is. The path of Brahm will educate you about your real responsibilities, the very meaning of responsibility; and then you will be able to have the right relationship not only with your family, but with entire existence.

Look at the way most parents are. They are trying to do their duties, and obviously most of their duties are concentrated towards their family and the welfare of their self. Do they succeed? Look at the people in the world—most of them had had parents, most of them were brought up in a family, most have had some kind of education; and all parents would have thought that they are trying to give their kids the best, that they are trying to fulfil their responsibilities towards their kids. And what has become of those kids? Those kids are now grown-ups. Look around, is this what you want to produce? Is this what you call as your responsibility?

Without Brahm , how will you know anything? And if you don’t know anything, how will you even know what your real responsibility is? In the name of doing good to your kids and to your family, you will keep on ruining them; and I am using that word quite deliberately, ‘ruining’ them. Who can cause ruin to a child? Not strangers, not the larger world; the deepest ruin to a child is brought upon him by his parents in the name of duty and responsibility. And motivated parents bring upon greatly motivated ruin.

You are an intelligent man, don’t you see that happening all around you? Motivated parents dealing with their kids, trying to turn their kids into something, somebody. It is a false, false belief; it is a belief that arrests man from moving towards peace—the belief that realising Brahm is equal to forsaking the world. The man of Brahm does not give up the world, he gives up weaknesses; the man of Brahm does not forsake responsibilities, he only forsakes bondages.

The one who acts in order to do his duty is acting from a point of fear, he just wants to tick the boxes; the real doer acts from a point of love.

The real parent does not act in order to fulfil his duties towards his kids, he acts because he loves. And love is not object specific, love is a state of your mind in which you are perpetually moving towards the real thing. If the mind cannot love the real thing, how can the mind love poor kids? If even the real thing is not attractive enough to compel the mind, how will the noisy kids be attractive enough?

You are asking me, “Is not at least some kind of passion spiritually sanctioned?” You have quoted mathematics, rocket science etc.; you are saying not all passion is useless. “Look at the rocket scientists, look at the mathematician,” you are saying. It does not matter whether one is a mathematician, or a rocket scientist, or a tea seller, or a peanut seller, electrician, a cobbler, a tailor, a player, a politician; it does not matter. You may do anything, there is no need to quote two professions as higher callings; all professions are at the same level. The question is, who is entering into that profession? What is it that you are doing? What is that ’you’ are doing? Who is this ‘you’? That is the moot question. Are you getting it?

The man of Brahm is not known by his preference towards some higher tasks, what tasks he chooses depends on the situations. Mythology has it that the Truth comes upon the Earth in various forms—look at all the avatars, the incarnations; they come in all shapes and sizes and all kinds of professions they have, even Brahm has no preference for any particular profession. You have had saints that were cobblers, merchants, kings, and good for nothings, wandering mendicants. Brahm does not choose one profession over the other, he just choses himself.

When the mind is rightly centred, then it knows what to choose. And depending on the situation, sometimes it choses this, sometimes it choses that; and whatever it choses does not matter because the right choice has already been made—Truth has been chosen already. Now after choosing Truth, chose whatever you want to choose.

If you are Kṛiṣhṇa , sometimes you will chose to frolic with the ladies, sometimes you will chose to engage in real politics, sometimes you will be a teacher educating Arjuna , sometimes you will be a flute player, sometimes you will be a cowherd. What profession is preferable? Would you say that Kṛiṣhṇa , the cowherd is inferior to the Kṛiṣhṇa , the lover? Or would you say that Kṛiṣhṇa , the politician is inferior to Kṛiṣhṇa , the guru? Ha! Kṛiṣhṇa is Kṛiṣhṇa .

If Kṛiṣhṇa were to come down today, don’t be surprised if you find him as a rocket scientist; and don’t be surprised if you find him as an unemployed youth. He could be anybody anywhere, it depends on the need of the situation. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānirbhavati bhārata (Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an increase in unrighteousness) . He sees where he is needed, he sees where Dharma requires him; and wherever Dharma calls him, he is found.

If he is needed in a rocket lab, he would be found in a rocket lab; if he is needed in a kitchen, he would be found in a kitchen. Draupadī needs him, and he appears with a truck load of sarees. So he has the ability to do something with cloth merchants as well. Have you never wondered where he got that huge pile of cloth from? Surely, he had dealings with the cloth merchants as well.

So, don’t be surprised if someday you find Kṛiṣhṇa in the clothes market; after all if Draupadī is calling, then you will have to be found in the clothes market. Dharmasya glānirbhavati Dharma is being harmed, so I am going there. Abhyutthānamadharmasya — I know what I have to do.

Why are you quoting two professions? The man of Truth could be anywhere and he is nowhere, because he has no need to be anywhere; he has no motivation to be anywhere. He is where he is called; you call him and he is there. He has no task left for himself, but he still keeps doing everything; not for himself, but for Draupadī . Sometimes for him, sometimes for her, sometimes for that, sometimes for this, he keeps doing, he keeps doing; selflessly he keeps doing.

In fact, he keeps doing incessantly. Your rocket scientist has limits to what he does, Kṛiṣhṇa has no limits. Your rocket scientist is identified with one profession, Kṛiṣhṇa is not identified with any profession. That’s the kind of freedom that the man of Brahm has.

It’s not Brahm that troubles you, it’s your ideas about Brahm that are causing so much confusion. Drop the ideas.

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