Questioner (Q): Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam.
Discrimination and renunciation have been given the highest importance in Vivekchudamani. I do discrimination of real and unreal by inquiry of objects and situations around me and observing my mind attentively. It is clear that all structures are bound to collapse in time. I see the fakeness of me to some extent. Yet, I have not gained a firm conviction of Truth. Dear Acharya Ji, please tell me how can I discriminate, further, diligently so that I am able to see things with clear eyes and get rid of the fear caused by snake vision?
Acharya Prashant (AP): Continue doing what you are doing; just continue.
When one starts getting success on a particular path, then excitement tells her to do more. This excitement seems like a supporter of change, a supporter of progress. But this excitement is actually intent on blocking the progress. When something is going right, then just put your head down, and continue doing what you are doing.
A lot of people let the valuable slip away from their hands because they took the valuable for granted. Once you get it, then it is your duty to stop looking this way and that way, then, it is your duty to just serve what you have, without any deviation, without any question.
If the medicine is benefitting you, better complete the course.
There are so many who suffer just because the medicine is extremely good. The medicine is great, and you had to take it for six months. And the medicine is so great that it started showing its effect in the first two months itself. There was not only improvement but actually improvement beyond expectation.
So, what do you do?
Oh, you give up!
Have you not observed this with kids?
They get a fever and the doctor says, "This medicine has to be taken for ten days." The medicine is good and so the fever goes away within three days.
Now, it’s the fifth day, and the kid refuses to take the medicine, now the medicine has been discontinued precisely because the medicine is very good. You see, this is how the Ego works, "I have got it, it was so good; I have benefitted."
"I have already benefitted", and on the seventh day, the fever is back.
And now the doctor says it is a chronic fever and the course will run for one month.
The original prescription was for ten days.
Now he says the case is spoilt, now, it will run for one month.
See, you have done a little, and with that little, you are getting results beyond the little.
Do remember that you have so far not put in much of investment. You have only done a little, and see what you are asking. "Yet I have not gained a firm conviction of Truth."
How are you entitled to gain a firm conviction of Truth?
In two months’ time? With a bit of reading?
That’s Ego, which tells you that God is easy, facile, just round the corner. Just do a bit of reading, just apply a bit of discrimination and you will have the fellow in your pocket!
Sadhana must continue uninterrupted.
And never ask, "When I will have a firm conviction?"
Truth is not a conviction.
Truth is not something that you have.
Truth has you.
You are never going to have the Truth.
Little kids, they plant saplings, and for one week they water them. But the little thing has just been planted, it doesn’t grow by much, or even if it grows, all you see is one or two little fresh sprouts, that doesn’t satisfy the one who is constantly watching, and eagerly expecting.
So he says, "Probably there is something wrong with the little plant! Are the roots really healthy?"
So, he will go and uproot it and check the roots, and again put it back, and every week he does that. He wants to check the length of the roots, if it is firmly established in the earth just like you are asking a firm conviction of Truth, for how much? How much have you given? How much time, how much patience, how much sadhana?
Continue doing what you are doing; just continue.
Q2: Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam.
Great things have been described in Ashtavakra Gita, Ribhu Gita. When will they happen with me? When will I disappear?
AP: If you keep asking like this, you will be dismissed.
Dismissed rather than disappeared!
That’s what you will get.
What are you asking?
"Great things are there in Ashtavakra Gita and Ribhu Gita. But, when will they happen with me?"
Are you really ready? Really ready?
See, you are not even prepared to acknowledge that, "I haven’t done one bit to deserve the great things."
You know who Ashtavakra was and you know how he lived?
Read what they went through. Read how great their determination was. And then ask yourself, "Do I yet deserve to ask for the ultimate?"
So, you are reading all that which the Saints and the Prophets got, and by reading all that you feel tempted, and you are saying, "When will I get this?"
And why must you get that?
Who are you?
Who are you to deserve to get that?
Buddha left an entire empire and all the comforts that are available to a young man.
What have you left?
What price have you paid?
And any price that you pay, is anyway not sufficient. But still, what price have you paid? What determination have you shown? What effort have you put in? What humility has been displayed? And look at the demand! "When will I get Samadhi? I have already made the advance payment." The fellow is calling up on the helpline, "Has the thing been dispatched? I made the advance payment."
And what was the advance payment?
"I bought a copy of the Ashtavakra Gita. Because I bought a copy of the Ashtavakra Gita or borrowed it maybe or maybe downloaded it free from the Internet! So I deserve to be liberated now."
(Sarcastically) Sure! You deserve liberation!
If you really love liberation, then work steadfastly towards it. Only your love will get you what you want. But love cannot remain just a word. Your life must vindicate your love. Your breath should be a proof of your determination and then maybe there is a possibility.