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Use your hurt as your resource || Acharya Prashant (2021)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
9 min
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Questioner (Q): I see that I want to say a lot of things but I don’t, and I just be a coward. So, for example, I saw a man whip a bull with a stick but he was doing it behind the ears, under the chin where it really hurts, and I wanted to go and just grab the stick and beat him with it or at least tell him something, but I just ended up walking past and not doing anything.

Similarly, over here, in the restaurants, today, when I was going in my hotel, there was this man with this plate of eggs and then this is supposed to be a city where everyone is supposedly very pious and holy, and I wanted to smash the eggs on his face, but I just walked up the stairs past him; I didn’t even say anything. I was trembling inside and I notice when I do speak about it; so, for example, when I told my sister that would you like someone to put his hand inside you and make you pregnant and then steal your babies so he could drink your milk; it comes off very harsh and I mostly take the way of not rocking the boat because it would take a lot of... I wouldn’t be able to walk 10 meters without saying anything. How do, I guess; one, why am I such a coward, and two, how do I get to that stage where I can give the sage counsel in a way that you do which is very gentle? When I do it, it comes off with a lot of force and anger.

Acharya Prashant (AP): Whosoever tries it with his family members, meets the same end. So, I might come across as gentle when talking to you all here, but when I try it on people who have been intimate to me, the result is much the same, hardly any difference.

See, on one hand, you have to be vigorously eager, energetic, and enthusiastic about this cause; on the other hand, you also have to be skilled and thoughtful like a good soldier. A good soldier does not waste himself on unnecessary battles; he preserves himself.

The one who is whipping the bull can be stopped, but here is my energy and my resources, let’s say they amount to 100 units. What if 20 or 30 units of them are expended in just stopping this one petty fellow? It’s not one bull that I want to save, I want to save the billions of living beings that are being slaughtered every day, right? But if 30 percent of my energy would be expended in this one particular cause, then am I not doing injustice to the rest of the ones that deserve to be saved? So, while you have to have that fierce fire within; on the other hand, you have to remember that the soldiers are few and they cannot afford to waste themselves on little things. You very well know, how badly outnumbered you are, right? You won’t want to get into something that lands you in lockup or in courtroom battles; you would rather have a lawyer for all that, right? Let the lawyer take care of those things.

The spiritual soldier, the religious warrior has to be extremely intelligent. You could go to the extent of saying that he has to be cunning in the service of Truth; I’m choosing this word with all deliberation.

He has to be cunning in the service of the Truth; cunning enough to beat the most cunning ones. The difference between the cunningness of the two is that - all the cunning ones have cunningness at their core; the soldier of Truth has Truth at his core and cunningness at the service of Truth. Are you getting it? Just go to the battle of Mahabharata, there are so many occasions when Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna, “This is not the time to pick-up Droṇā; just obediently, respectfully go past him. Today is not the day Arjuna, don’t pick-up this battle.” and then He tells, “Droṇā won’t give up his arms so easily; has to be Aśvatthāmā hatā, narovā kuñjarovā.”

First of all, you have to have Kṛṣṇa at your center, and if you have Kṛṣṇa at your center, use Maya very liberally. That’s what my teacher (Kabir Saheb) says:

जा ठग ने ठगनी ठगी, ता ठग को आदेश।

Ja ṭhag ne ṭhagnī ṭhagī, ta ṭhag ko ādeś.

She (Maya) cheats all but she can be cheated. No need to remain a simpleton. The image that we carry of the Prophets, the Saints, the Sages, the Rishis is very misleading. The way they have been presented to us is very conducive to our falsenesses and darknesses. We have been told that they were fellows who really did not have much to do with what was going on in the society. Almost like handicapped grandfathers at home who can do little, except dispense sage council, right? That’s what all the oldies do at home – octogenarians, and nonagenarians; the fellow is 94, what else can he do? He sits all day and talks; well, to the extent possible. That’s how we have painted our sages, right? They were the ones who were not capable of doing much but they kept on talking of all the nice things in life. They kept dispensing moral values probably – you should be good, as he said (pointing to the questioner) ; do not lie to people, सदा सत्य बोलो (Sadā satyá bolo) . Now this kind of model of spirituality, I say, is conducive to nothing but falseness, evil, irreligiosity. The man of Truth has to be extremely sharp here (pointing towards the head) * , and this sharpness has to be devoted to this * (pointing towards the heart) . This (pointing towards the head) has to be used as a resource, everything that you have has to be used as a resource.

“You know business management?”

“Yes, I’ll use that in the service of the Truth.”

“You know a language?”

“Yes, I’ll use that.”

Whatsoever you have, including your cunningness.

“Yes, I have a sharp intellect.”

When everything is to be used for the sake of Truth, why not your sharpness? Why not? Tell me. You have to beat them at their game and you will beat them because they play for themselves. So, a point will come when they’ll be afraid; they have too much at stake. They are doing it for their own self. You play the game for something beyond yourself; you will never be afraid. In spite of drastically fewer resources, you will still beat them because you will not be afraid. A part, a huge part of their resources, will go towards defending their self and as far as you are concerned, everything that you have can be applied, deployed. So, think. Intellect, reason are very-very important resources; they have to be used; you have to see how things can be done. This is no way.

Any people like you, might just be 40 in number in this entire city and if out of those 40, 12 start picking street fights with bull owners, then who will fight for spirituality? Maya will have a hearty laugh – 12 out of 40 are gone fighting a minor battle. Every time you walk past a meat shop or you come across a menu containing a lot of flesh, let that harden your resolve. No point throwing that menu on the waiter’s face; the waiter is a puny fellow. He didn’t even write the menu, he has nothing to do with… not even the manager, what can the manager do? Not even the owner, there are bigger forces at work; and you know what are those bigger forces? They are not persons; those bigger forces are all of us. The darkness within the human mind, the darkness pervasive in mankind, is the larger force that is making all those things possible. The only way to defeat that menu card is to remove the darkness in the mind of men. Getting it?

It will hurt, you’ll see all these things happening, it will hurt. But use that hurt as a resource. Don’t pretend that you aren’t hurt. Acknowledge the hurt and be more, even more, charged up using the hurt.

“Yes, I am hurt and I’ll take it out, every bit of it, on you, in an intelligent way.”

Q: I have thought about what’s the most efficient way and what keeps coming to me is that - there’s not enough knowledge; there are not enough visuals; there’s this continuous barrage of advertising; conditioning us one way. And maybe the way I can be most impactful is to use skills, resources and countering that messaging in a very subtle but sly way. So, for example, I think most children would not want to slaughter an animal, and if they even get an inkling that that’s possible, maybe they revolt at home; it’s just a thought that comes; things like that. I’m wondering if that is maybe I guess; I don’t really have a question but it seems like it’s more ……

AP: Go ahead, it needs to be done, it needs to be done. Just as we said to the friend here – “After the discussion and the deliberation comes the doing”. Now is the time to just do it. We know what needs to be done. Execute.

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