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Who deserves your intimacy?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
7 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): Upāsanā is not worship. Upā-Āsanā means sitting close, being close. Āsanā means position—your position the place where you are. It is related to Aṣṭi , Aṣṭi means existence. Upā means close. So, being close is Upāsanā Upā-Āsanā .

Usually, in the name of worship we make the worshipped one even more distant, that is a distortion of the spirit of Upāsanā . When you are worshipping someone, do you get close to them or do you turn them even more distant? Real Upāsanā is intimacy. Upā-Āsanā —being close not really adoration but intimacy.

So, resolving to gain closeness to Gods or human beings for the sake of desire fulfillment is bondage. It’s amply clear. Is it not? If I can be close to that influential person, my desires will be fulfilled and that’s what most people want. Don’t you want to be very well-networked? Don’t you want to be well-connected? Don’t you want to hob-dob with the who’s who in the elite circles? That is bondage. Why is that bondage? In the same way, the tendency to accumulate stuff is bondage.

You want to be with someone in the wish that this closeness will grant you some inner completeness or joy. But you are going to that person with the clear belief that you are worthless or of a limited worth. Are you not? Had you not felt that you are worthless compared to that person, why would you have gone to him or her in the first place? So, most of our relationships are bondages because they do not exist from the reason of our fullness. They exist from the reason of our incompleteness.

Mostly when we form a relationship it is coming neither from the realization that one is already full nor is it coming from the intention to gain fullness. Both these are alright. If you relate to someone, without any particular reason without any particular purpose without any particular motive, nothing more wonderful than that. You are already full and therefore, you don’t have a specific motive in connecting to the other. Why are you connecting to the other? Just fun. No particular reason. What’s the relationship all about? Nothing in particular. It just is. So, this is the best way to relate.

However, if you feel internally incomplete then too there is a great way to relate. What’s the great way then? The great way is— “I relate not to hide my incompleteness but to treat my incompleteness.” Even this is alright.

What was the best way? “I am already alright and I am relating with no motive no intention.” The next best is “I know I am not alright, I feel I am not alright, therefore, I relate with the intention to be alright.” Even this is alright.

But mostly, we relate in a third way. What is the third way? “I am not alright and I relate with the other to hide my incompleteness, sickness, disease, hollowness, all that.”

Trying to gain closeness with people of high attainments, hoping that the association would grant you your desires is bondage. This happens in our social relationships. This happens in our families our friend circles. Unfortunately, this happens also in our most intimate relationships— our so-called love affairs.

You do not go to the other, to heal yourself or to heal the other. The intention is neither to heal yourself nor is it to heal the other. The intention is to use the other to forget your problems and sicknesses for a while. Remember the intention is not to heal your sickness, the intention is to hide or conceal or forget, for a while, your sickness.

Questioner: When we ask the question, "How did Truth come to mankind?" then it is said that it is the cessation of the experiencer itself, then how can one talk about it? Is it instantaneous memory or an observation?

AP: No, you cannot talk about the Truth at all, ever. The questioner is saying, “If the rise or revelation of Truth is the cessation of the experiencer, then how do we talk about the Truth? The experiencer is no more, then who is talking about the Truth?" Truth cannot be talked of.

Truth cannot be talked of. Didn’t you see, how we opened the session today? We said “there are 11 verses on what? Bondages. And just one verse on what? Liberation.” And even that one verse just says, “Liberation is the cessation of bondage.” Or all that it says is, “Go back to the previous 11 verses. Why are you still asking the stupid question?”

So, Truth or Liberation or Freedom or Attainment or Enlightenment or these things, they just cannot be talked of. It is a myth that spirituality is the exploration of Truth. You must let it sink in that spirituality has nothing at all to do with the Truth. Spirituality is the exploration of Māyā . How will you know the Truth? What is there to know? Is Truth a thing? A butterfly? A pillar? A rod? A handkerchief? A mountain? A river? A person? A planet? What do you want to know of? Who wants to know and how will he know?

So, forget the Truth. Absolutely drop the Truth. In the name of Truth, all that we carry is fancy notions. We used to have a T-shirt, you remember, and it said something like this, “Truth is the biggest freedom, the concept or idea of Truth is the biggest bondage.” Unfortunately, all that a human being can have is the concept of Truth. You cannot have Truth. You are too small to have Truth but you are too eager to have concept of Truth and that concept of Truth is a great bondage. Therefore, I am saying drop it.

Just drop it and focus on untruth. Drop all your fascination with Truth and focus on the untruth, focus on Māyā . Be very alert towards yourself because Māyā is not somewhere out there, Māyā is within. Be extremely cautious of yourself. Keep looking at yourself. That’s all that spirituality is about. Be extremely alert to your own inner devil and its mechanisms.

Yes, occasionally the saints have sung of Truth. But they were saints and it was their own inner joy. At most, you can be carried away by those songs. You can allow those songs to relax you in a very deep and internal way. But of much more utility are the words of the knowers when they talk of bondage or Māyā or Avidyā or Prakṛiti . Ninety to ninety-five percent of your spiritual attention should be towards Māyā . Only a little bit of it should occasionally go towards Truth. And whenever you’ll talk of Truth it will be in very hazy terms and that can further confuse you or embolden you to further personify and materialize the Truth which is a travesty. The more you talk of Truth, the more is the risk that you’ll conceptualize the Truth turn it into something tangible, material, etc.

Therefore, all Truth is best avoided. When it comes to the Truth, just be respectfully silent. Am I saying that Truth doesn’t exist? I run the risk of being misunderstood here. No, I am saying as far as we are concerned when we say, “Truth exists,” we will bring the Truth down to our own level and turn it into something very small.

Therefore, I am advising we better avoid all verbiage relating to Truth and our attention should rather go towards the exploration of Māyā .

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