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Don't let them touch you || (2019)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): The words our friend is referring to read "Remain untouched. Remain unshakeable. Remain untouched and remain firm centered undisplaced." Those words make sense only in the context of our present condition.

What is our condition? Everything touches us. It touches us and puts its imprints upon us. So much so, that we are actually nothing but a collection of, a compendium of the various imprints that life, time, and experiences have given us.

This touches us and molds us. That touches us and dirties us, then something else comes over to touch us and touches us and breaks us, and that's how our inner content, our consciousness, is formed through the touch of others— not through any innate principle or organic sprouting and not through which is original or of the heart.

We merely are layer upon layers of imprints, and therefore there is very little true individuality.

Similarly, we have very little rootedness. We are like pale leaves dissociated from a tree. Even a feeble wave carries it away.

We are at the mercy of the winds, with very little connection with the root. That is the condition of the mind and mankind. And that condition is suffering, lifelessness. So that poster simply exalts one to rebel against the condition.

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, as you have said, we are layer upon layers imprints and have very little rootedness. How to break layers and be centered?

AP: You see, there can be a very good literary academic answer to this. One could talk of the various theories of mental conditioning in psychology. One could talk of the various methods of spiritual liberation. And if we talked about that, it would all appear quite nice convincing, logical, and polished.

But practically, there is only one method to cut through these layers of conditioning and reach right down to the root. That method is not a polished, well-defined, or secure method. It is a very raw thing. It's quite crude. That method is called suffering, or you call that method as love.

We don't know what the root is. Those who talked of the root clearly said that just as the tree's root is beneath the surface and unavailable to sensual observation, man's root is not even available to mental speculation. We can't see the roots. Our suffering is the only proof of the root. We don't know what pristine cleanliness lies beneath the layers of dust. Still, our repulsion and discomfort with the dust is the only proof that we are lovers of cleanliness.

Cleanliness we have not seen. Cleanliness we hardly have the first-hand experience of. There's no point just imagining and speculating. But of one thing we can be certain, we can be certain that neither we nor anybody else likes filth. There is nobody in the entire universe living, dead, yet to come, young, old, woman, man, human, animal, bird, fish, tree, algae, or fungus who likes captivity. It is a universal thing. Nobody likes to be in captivity.

We don't know the one we really love, but we can at least be certain of what we all universally dislike. Universally, without exception, we dislike bondages and illusions. We all dislike mortality. There is hardly anybody who loves perishing, except in very peculiar situations. Even very old people want to continue living. It gives us an insight into what our nature is. We dislike bondages. We dislike lies. We dislike illusions, and we dislike when things are complicated. We dislike disappearing, dying. Don't we? And we dislike being hated. We may not know what we truly like or love, but can't we at least begin by doing away with that, which we so deeply and commonly dislike?

If you want to get rid of something, you will have to go close to it, and we all want to be illusions-free. Don't we? Nobody wants to remain in the dark. We all say, "Tell me the truth." If you want to get rid of the illusions, you will have to go close to your illusions. No illusion will ever say “Hello, sir; I am an illusion; You wanted to go close to illusion; here I am, please come close to me.”

Illusion would always say—I am the truth. If you want to get close to your illusion, you must go close to your truth—That's where you will find lots of illusions. Illusions don't have the guts to declare themselves as illusions. Illusion is, by definition, a pretty scared thing. They hide their real name.

Similarly, we don't like bondages, but no bondage would ever honestly declare itself to be a bondage. Bondages come to us holding the promise of freedom. So we have to go close to that which promises us freedom, and then dispassionately ruthlessly inquire. This thing is present in my life as a harbinger of freedom, but what is it actually bringing to my life? Is it bringing freedom to me? I am asking. I don't want to trust blindly. I am asking ruthlessly. If you love life and freedom, you have to be ruthless; you must be!

Q: Rootless or ruthless?

AP: Ruthless. We don't 'have' to be rootless. As we live, we already are (Smiles). We spend a lot of time and energy talking about the Truth. In fact, so much of the spiritual environment is abuzz with talks of the real self, witness, and Truth. When you dedicate so much energy to just talking about the witness and the true self, then all the falsenesses smile. Because, you are left with no energy to go close to the falseness, and ask and inquire and fight.

Don't talk of that which is anyway not available to be talked of, pure being, pure consciousness. These are just stories, and there is no point entertaining oneself with such stories. Get down to the dirty business of living. Go close to the filth. Roll up your sleeves get your hands dirty. There is a lot of filth. You can't just keep witnessing it. You have to figure it out actively and clean it out.

Find out what it is. One thing is certain, that as we live, filth does exist. We have to be unanimous about it. As we live, as the condition of mankind is, filth does exist—no point declaring all filth as nearly imaginary and such things.

If filth is imaginary, then human sufferings are also imaginary.

And if all suffering is imaginary, what are we doing here? If you are joyful and I am joyful and everybody is alright, then why waste time? Why not go and bark at the dogs? Let's have fun.

We are talking because we have a purpose, and we have a purpose because we are suffering. We are suffering, and there is filth. We can't just ignore it and live in a fool's paradise and talk of miscellaneous, obscure, unverifiable—wispy things.

Life is there to be seen, to be experienced, and we know what our experiences are. It is better, to be honest about them.

We better see how we feel while walking down the road. We better acknowledge how we feel when the bull appears to have a strong inclination towards us.

There were a few of them on the Lakshman Jhula this afternoon. And when the bull is in front of you then the witness seeks cover. Better acknowledge what your actual experiences are. That's what life is. It is not a make-believe thing.

You are sitting here, and you had a cramp in the calf. Now is the time to see what the contents of the consciousness are. Here we are conversating, and the dog barks down there, and the listening wavers. That is there to be acknowledged. This is how we live. And then one has to ask, "What is it and why? From where does it come?"

Nothing is so sacred that it can't be examined. Nothing is too holy, nothing is beyond investigation, including the witness.

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