Questioner: There are several commentaries and interpretations of scriptures ( tikas ) from several people and each of them had their own perspective like what Jai Dayal Goenka Ji said was different from what Osho said. So, actually, the question is how do we know what actually was said?
Acharya Prashant: One simple test, very simple test—
If it means anything, if that divine word means anything then the meaning is wrong. So whatever meaning you color it with is a wrong meaning.
In understanding, there are no meanings left. Understanding is the dissolution of all meanings.
When you decode it, you decode it only to see that it is just coming to a certain end, a certain clarity. By itself, it means nothing.
When Krishna says 'Nishkaam Karma', it means no expectations associated with actions.
The right teaching can never be affirmative. It will only be a revelation of your falsenesses.
He can only tell Arjun that what you are thinking is misplaced and the opposite of what you are thinking is equally misplaced; so he says, “Arjun, stop thinking and when you have stopped thinking then you are no more Arjun.” Arjun is Arjun’s self-concept.
Who is Arjun? Arjun is an image in Arjun’s mind. If Arjun is not thinking then Arjun is no more there, then who is fighting on behalf of Arjun? Krishna Himself.
That is the entire teaching.
Whether it is Krishna talking to Arjun or to Uddhav, the entire thing is just about dissolution. Not a construction, not a building up, not an erection, not an arising; a simple dissolution.
So, the right meaning will never give you something to keep; it will never give you something to take home because all that has happened is that you came with something and that something has been taken away and no replacement has been given.
If you are understanding rightly the meaning of a verse or the words of a Teacher, then you will not return from the Teacher with anything. In fact, you will not return at all, because you are the baggage you carried to the Teacher. And if the teacher is a real teacher, then the baggage will be unmounted. You are the baggage. You will leave yourself behind.
Instead, if you find that the teacher is giving you a lot of knowledge, a lot of conceptual loads, a lot of ideological frameworks then you must know that even if the concept sounds exact, beautiful, pretty, the teacher is burdening you even more.
The right teacher disappoints you because he gives you nothing.
And that is also how you must test whether you have been the right teacher for yourself— Reading a verse, have you been able to find yourself reduced? Has the verse had an incinerating effect upon you? Or has the verse bloated you up?
The verse must burn you down. Having read the verse you must not able to say anything. You must be left speechless. ‘Now, what to say!’
Instead, if you find that you have something more to say, that your intellect has been able to acquire a little more from the reading, then you must know that you have co-opted the reading, that the ego is now on top of the reading. Now the reading has become a tool, an instrument of the ego. Is it becoming clear?
The right teaching and the right meaning of the verse is a non-teaching and a non-meaning. It only annihilates; it only reduces. It gives you nothing. It only has a cleansing effect.