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How to develop longing for the Truth? || Acharya Prashant (2019)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
7 min
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Questioner (Q): In order to realize the Truth, we say that we have to develop the longing for Truth. But this longing is coming from the same mind which is also desiring the material things. How to develop this longing?

Acharya Prashant (AP): You don’t have to develop a longing Indira (the questioner).

Longing comes from seeing that all that you have so far done to fulfill the longing, has gone waste. You don’t have to develop or cultivate a longing.

Do you develop hunger? The hunger exists. At most, you can be more sensitive towards your hunger.

To be human, is to be longing. We are a lump of longing. What else are you? You are longing, in person. You are longing, personified. Now how would you develop longing? Everything about you, every bit about you, longs, and longs both actively and passively.

Why do you think you are alive? Why do you think you wake up every successive day? When the morning arrives, why don’t you just keep sleeping? Why do you wake up? Why do you leave the bed? Because you hope to meet ‘That’, every new day.

Yesterday you tried and were unsuccessful, but probably you learnt. Yesterday’s failure was probably a teacher, probably was not, but what is certain is, it didn’t kill your determination to meet, know, realize, be fulfilled, and disappear.

So you can’t sleep for more than eight hours, you will have to leave the bed. And that’s not purely physical reason. You will have to leave the bed, because you are longing, because there is something to do, because there is something pending, something important waiting.

How can you keep sleeping?

Why do you take up new tasks? Why do you change jobs? Why do you enter into new relationships? Why do you make new friends? Why do you visit new places?

Have you never gone into it?

You are longing. Have you seen why do your eyes keep scanning strangers? You are longing for that one, special face, for something that cannot be found in any particular face.

This entire system, I repeat, is a big mass of longing. Just that, you may not know that.

Q: So this longing is as good, as a deep desire?

AP: It is your deepest desire.

Q: So, when Jesus said, “Those who don’t ask for it, get it,” what did he actually mean?

AP: Jesus actually said, “You have to ask for it, and then you get it. Knock, and the door shall be open.”

He wanted your agency to function.

But equally, I will address what you are saying. Yes, it has been said, if not by Jesus, then by many others – “Those who do not ask for it, are the ones who get it.” Why do you not get what you long for? Because you do not know what you long for, and therefore you keep asking for all the unnecessary things. Hence, it is said that – when you stop asking for the unnecessary things, then you easily, rather quickly, get what is necessary.

When the Teacher says, “One who doesn’t ask for it, is the one who gets it”, what he means is – stop asking for all the rubbish that you so much clamor for, and then that which is necessary and important would be immediately available.

Your desires block your deepest desire. Your miscellaneous desires impede the fulfillment of your deepest desire. So if you want to really meet your deepest desire, then see the stupidity of, not merely the stupidity, the very irrelevance of your miscellaneous desires, and keep them aside.

These are two ways.

One way says, “Ask for the Highest because that is the only One that you are longing for." The other way says, “Stop asking for all the lowly things because they are what blocks your way to the Highest”.

Do you get the difference?

One way says, “Ask for the Highest”, the other way says, “There is no need to ask for the Highest. The Highest is anyway immediately available. You just need to stop asking for things that are lowly.”

Q: Acharya Ji, do the practices, the sadhanas – Neti-Neti, the meditation techniques – be continued? Do they help? Or is direct observation sufficient?

AP: It is the other way round. Continue with them as long as they help. Don’t ask me, “Do they help? Should I continue with them?” The answer is – do continue with anything that comes to you, as long as it helps, and be very honest about when a thing has ceased helping you.

There is nothing in the world that cannot potentially help you. And there is nothing in the world that can absolutely help you. Every thing is a bit of help, at some stage in your life.

So, all the meditation techniques, all the Sadhana (spiritual practice), obviously can be a bit of your help at some stage in life, but you should know with honesty and accuracy when a technique or sadhana has outlived its utility. And when you know that a thing has outlived its utility, do not carry the dead mass. Don’t keep wasting your time.

Q: So if one has decided to move towards the Truth, then which path should he choose?

AP: Is it a decision?

(Looking at Questioner 1) Indira, what did I tell you? Indira too asked the same question – “How do I cultivate longing?” What did I say? “Is it a decision?” Then why do you say, “Once I have decided that I have to move towards the Truth...”?

If it is a decision, then you can reverse it. It is not a decision. It is your very fibre, it's your very core. It is your very engine. It is your DNA. It is not a decision. Do you call your DNA, your decision? It is like breathing.

Do you breathe in a decided way?

You are already longing for the Truth. You don’t have to ‘decide’ to move towards the Truth. Everything that you do, is for the sake of the Truth. However, unfortunately, mostly, in a conscious way.

Spirituality is not about kindling in you a desire for the Truth. That desire is already there.

No spiritual Teacher or method is needed to kindle that fire. That fire is already there. What is needed is that – you, who are sitting over that fire, and not even experiencing the blisters in the butt, are encouraged to become a little more sensitive towards yourself.

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