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Why do you appear harsh, when saints are supposed to be pleasant? || Acharya Prashant (2019)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
11 min
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Question: Acharya Ji, I have a few friends who also follow different Gurus and their paths. We often discuss Spirituality and land up at a conclusion that a Guru who has known the Truth should always present himself in a pleasant way. That itself shows that he has known the Truth, because the Truth itself is blissful and ecstatic.

When I say something to them, they happen to find some of your videos where there is little anger.

Acharya Prashant Ji: There is a lot of anger.


Questioner 1: I often find it difficult to tell them that Truth is not something which is pleasant.

Acharya Prashant Ji: When even the great Masters could not tell them, how would you tell them? One needs to be absolutely, spiritually illiterate to assume that Truth has to be pleasant, or the Spiritual Master has to be pleasant.

Who was pleasant? Kabir Sahib, Nanak Sahib? Do you know how Nanak Sahib described the gathering that the world is?

Asankhya chor, haraam khor. (Countless thieves and cheaters).” How pleasant is that? (Repeating the lines) “ Asankhya chor, haraam khor. (Countless thieves and cheaters).” How pleasant is that?

You have to be totally illiterate to see Truth as pleasant. You are surely going to a Guru who is advising against reading Scriptures.

Have you gone to Kabir Sahib? He beats you around with a thick stick. You said, “Truth is pleasant.” To whom? To the ego? Seriously? Truth is poison to the ego, not pleasant to the ego.

From where are you picking this notion that Truth is pleasant? If Truth were pleasant, why would the entire world avoid the Truth?

Shopkeepers are pleasant because they have things to sell. So they will smile and laugh. Teachers are not pleasant, they don’t have stuff to sell you. They are not unnecessarily sour or unpleasant either.

It depends on what you need.

If you are someone who would understand through pleasant-ness, then the Teacher’s method would be a pleasant one. If you are someone who needs a harsh treatment, then the Teacher’s method would include harshness. As things stand, most people understand only harshness.

Questioner 1: There are people around me who are insensitive. They are not sensitive to general things and general surroundings around them. When one tries to tell them that they have to be compassionate and worry about the surroundings, and in general about what is going on in the minds of people, they do not seem to get it. They are always up to themselves. And they seem to be alright with this.

Acharya Prashant Ji: That is alright. But the question is: Why are you talking about them? The question is: Why do these people have such a hold on your mind?

Questioner 1: Because there is attachment.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Obviously. And that would not give you partial bondage, that would give you absolute bondage.

There is either Freedom, or absolute bondage.

I am wondering, you are there on all the social media groups of the Foundation, and you all keep singing Kabir Sahib Bhajans.

*Guru sharan jaike taamas tyaagiye.* (Leave the darkness at the Guru’s feet)

*Bhalaa buraa kahaa jaaye to uth nahin bhaagiye.* (Do not run away if you find Guru’s words bitter-sweet)

And you are saying that the Teacher has to be pleasant.

*Bhalaa buraa kahaa jaaye to uth nahin bhaagiye.* (Do not run away if you find Guru’s words bitter-sweet)

How pleasant is that – *bhalaa buraa ( bitter-sweet )*? And then Kabir Sahib offers more pleasantries to you.

*Uth bhaage so raar raar mahaa neech hai.* (The one who leaves the Guru is a split man(without integrity), and a fallen man)

How pleasant is that?

You know of all that, yet there is a deep inner dishonesty which is compelling you to deliberately forget these things. These are very dangerous signs Indira (the questioner) . Very dangerous signs. You are in for a lot of danger.

There is deliberate mischief within.

How many times has this particular song of Kabir Sahib been posted on different groups? Dozens of times. And dozens of you have sung it. Have you not?

*Jehee ghat upjai krodh so hee ghat meech hai* (The one in whom anger arises against the Guru is a cursed one)

How pleasant is that? And still you ask such questions. Not only you ask such questions, you actually stand in support of these things. Otherwise, if you dismiss them, why would you bring them here? Ominous!

With some honesty ask yourself tonight. You know of these things very well. I suppose you have enrolled in certain programs with us. You have gone through the Scriptures. Exactly when did you find them pleasant?

The Course on Kabir Sahib (one of the series from Course in Realisation) was conducted very recently, probably last month. And the Course on Nitnem is still on. Are you just avoiding them, or making a deliberate, stubborn effort to close your eyes to them? What’s going on?

Sing all those Bhajans tonight in the camp, so that you come to know where does Sainthood come from.

What is going on?

Sing that song tonight in the camp. All those know remember those Bhajans, sing them tonight so that you come to know where does Sainthood come from.

(Acharya Ji speaking in satire) Sing that one, you will find it very pleasant.

*Jhoothe ke ghar jhootha aaya* (To the false came the false)

(Acharya Ji referring to another Bhajan by Kabir Sahib) Sing this one too.

*Ud jaayega hans akela* (The swan will away all alone)

You will find this one too pleasant.

What is going on?

Questioner 1: I do not really support the concept of being pleasant.

Acharya Prashant Ji: What do you mean by ‘support’? Isn’t it obvious? Why are you even raising this issue? One does not raise an issue if one finds it absurd. Does that happen?

Questioner 1: When an authority says so, then people understand.

Acharya Prashant Ji: What do you mean by ‘authority’? Is Kabir Sahib any less authority? Which authority are you talking of?

Questioner 1: If it is coming from the Guru, then it is taken in the right sense.

Acharya Prashant Ji: I am really disconnected right now. Have you not heard this from Kabir Sahib? Now after that which other authority are you talking of?

Questioner 1: If you say it…….

Acharya Prashant Ji: Why do I need to say something on it? Who am I in front of Kabir Sahib? If he has said it umpteen number of times and you have sung him, has it still not gone down inside, within?

There is great beauty in a Saint’s harshness, but only if you are a little free of your ego to appreciate his Love. When he is being harsh, he is investing himself on you. Otherwise, why should he take all the pains?

You want to be appreciated, you want to take pleasantries, he may just say, “Wonderful. Wow,” and close the matter. Why should he spend time and energy in even scolding you? But the Saint’s harshness is not for those who have no appreciation for Love.

If that is what you want, pleasantries, then there are lot of shops. You know of them. They talk of all things pleasant.

Question 2: Acharya Ji, how do you invest? What is the quality required?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Same things are in front of me, as are in front of you. I am not specially inclined to close my eyes to them. That’s all. I have nothing special.

In fact I often wonder, how others have something special or additional, how others manage to do things that I am simply incapable of doing.

So if I have a blessing at all, the blessing is in the form of an incapability. I am incapable of certain things.

Questioner 2: Acharya Ji, Gautam Buddha and Mahavira were princes. They could have led an easy life. You too are walking on the same path. You are a Higher Authority for us.

Acharya Prashant Ji: I could have led an easy life in whatever direction I would have chosen. But whichever direction I would have gone, there would always be someone like you standing in front of me. You did not let it remain easy.

In which direction of life can I walk, and walk alone? Wherever I go, there is someone like you standing in front of me. What do I do then?

It’s like a child standing in the football ground, carrying a football in his hands, only to find others lying bruised and wounded on the ground. He came to the ground to play, but how does he play? The ones with whom he came to play, are lying broken and wounded.

And even if he wants to play alone, the entire playground is occupied by the broken and bruised ones. What will the child do then? What will the child do?

He will have to get some wounded ones get treated, so that he has both company and space to play. Once the bruised ones get treated, they will leave the ground and make space to play. And the child also needs company to play with. Unless the bruised ones get treated, how will the child get company to play with?

Question 3: Acharya Ji, you always show tremendous sensitivity and responsiveness to even the slightest tendency of the seeker. How will I be able to get that level of sensitivity or understanding? Do I need to do anything particular to reach that level of sensitivity?

Acharya Prashant Ji: You do whatever you can do. And if that is not sufficient, I will do even more.

You might not be sensitive, but finally something will prick your sensitivity. Maybe when you will see that even a healthy child is falling sick because of the sick, that would awaken your sensitivity.

If you will not respond, I will do the maximum that I can do.

Suspicion, fear, that’s what the sickness is. It’s not without reason that you refuse to hold the helping hand extended towards you. You are suspicious. You are suspicious that the helper might have some hidden agenda, some vested interest.

Alright, maybe something would happen that would convince you that the helper has only one interest. Maybe you need to see the helper suffer in various ways, for your sake. And that’s the only way you can be convinced.

So the helper has no option but to willingly embrace a lot of suffering.

It’s such a stupid thing to do, but unavoidable. Because that’s the only gesture you appreciate. You say, “I am suffering. And if you want to prove your sincerity then you suffer more than me.”

So alright, I bow down to your conditions.

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