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Such clever questions ! || Acharya Prashant (2019)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
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Questioner: When we all meet the same end, that's death, how does it matter whether I spent my life like a warrior or as an idol statue?

Acharya Prashant: There are many other options as well which you are very cleverly hiding. Look at the very construction of the question—sharp! We all have to die one day, so how does it matter whether I am a warrior or a dumb statue?

The warrior really does not suffer, and the dumb statue too does not suffer. But there are many other ways in between. We live in those in-between ways. We are neither warriors nor are we dumb inanimate statues. We are living beings who are neither dumb enough to not experience anything nor dedicated enough to keep their experiences aside and fight for the right cause. We belong to a very shady zone, a zone that lies between dumbness and dedication, and hence is more dumb than dumbness and more disloyal than disloyalty.

You have to die one day, sure! What if the fellow behind you stabs you right now? Not to kill you, just to give you another experience. And when you turn around and confront him, he answers with the same argument, ‘You anyway have to die one day, how does it matter whether you live peacefully or in abject pain?’

One day you have to die, surely, and spirituality is not about the moment of death or life after death. Spirituality is about this life that you are living moment after moment, this unending moment that you have. There's a proverb that says, "An hour of life is still life”. Even if you have one hour left to live, it is still life, is it not? Or would you act as dead?

Spirituality deals with life, not death. It's another matter that it reminds you regularly of death so that there is depth in your living. Yes, you will die one day. Neither will you be there to experience your death, nor will you be there to experience what is there after death. But aren't you experiencing much before death? Spirituality is to take care of all that you experience before your physical death.

And had you been very, very disinterested in what is going on in your life, then spirituality would not have been needed by you at all. Had you been the person who says, "I don't mind what happens", then there is no need for any kind of wisdom or sadhana because you anyway don't mind what happens. But are you that person who doesn't mind what happens? Only you know. Or are you that person who gets shaken by every third thing that happens in life? All right, every fourth thing. So, what must you talk of? Death, the warrior, the dumb statue, or your own life?

Death, you know nothing of. The warrior, you are not. The dumb statue, you are not. Why are you talking of things that matter so little to you? Why don't you talk of that one thing that really matters to you—your day-to-day experiences—this constant nagging voice within, rather the crowd of voices within, rather the riot of voices within? Shouldn't you talk about that? If we do not address the problem where it is, do we even want a solution? And isn't addressing a pseudo problem a clever way to avoid the real problem?

How to avoid facing the real issues? Talk of some fake, pseudo issue—Why is the sky blue? Why does man take birth at all? Why are there only two genders? Why did the chicken cross the road?—Talk of all those things. In fact, that's what we do, you know. Most of the things that we talk of are just clever ploys of self-deceit. We talk of those things so that we do not have to talk of the real thing. We conspire against ourselves. We'll create a thousand shallow and fake problems so that we do not have to look and confront the real problem. That's also what we often call as occupation or business.

"I am occupied. I am busy”, doing what? Cheating myself! I'm very busy cheating myself. I'm doing this, I am doing that, so that I don't have to do what I must do. That which I must do is so damn unavoidable, that I must really do a lot to somehow avoid it. So, people remain awfully busy, and that is why a moment of silence is so very embarrassing. You come to see what you do not want to see.

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