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Why is there inner chaos? How to find inner order? || (2018)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
14 min
51 reads

Questioner (Q): Life comes with so much chaos and sometimes exposes the order. So when there is chaos, we feel challenging, and we try to overcome them, and then we try to look for orders. But even when there is so much order, we feel like something is not happening that we wanted.

Acharya Prashant (AP): See, it is very relative to you. Don't talk of these things as objective. When you say ‘chaos and order’ — It depends on who you are. If you take yourself as the socially ordered being, the socially conditioned being, or the biologically ordered being, then even spiritual progress appears like chaos to you.

A Rumi or a Kabeer or a Krishna is a messenger of anarchy and disorder to the man who is conditioned to live in a social system and social order. We will say Rumi just brings about chaos, and Krishna is deviating from all the accepted principles. So he, too, is disorderly. Who are you? You always define chaos and order from your own vantage point.

Sometimes it is better to be chaotic than to be socially ordered. Kids appear chaotic. Later on, they became ordered. Mostly their order is not something to be really celebrated. The chaos was powered by freedom. This order was powered by bondage. You decide which one is better.

Divine order often appears like chaos.

But you should also remember that transcending the social, biological order does not mean you are entering a disorder. If you are transcending the order imposed upon you by society, then you are entering a divine order, a mystical order.

That order will not be comprehensible to everybody. So they might say you are very disorderly now. But that again does not mean that everything that appears disorderly is actually divine order. Don't get into that. You turn your room totally chaotic, and when somebody asks you “Why is your room in such a shabby condition?”, you say “Because this is divine order!” No!

Not everything shabby is divine order.

Q: So often, I feel some people are like they have lost the zeal and time to get up and say that everything is transient anyway. What is my motto to get up?

AP: If everything is transient, then even the idea of this transience is transient. So all that is nonsense. In fact, all of that has given spirituality a very bad name. Such people are very bad models. Looking at them, people run away from spirituality. "Oh my God! If he is what it means to become spiritual, then I better remain material."

Q: So if I am a spiritual seeker, do I have a responsibility to portray a good example?

AP: Obviously, but that good example is never a manufactured or a fabricated example. You naturally become a good example to the ones who are seeking goodness. You will not become a good example for those who are not seeking goodness.

You talked of responsibility, but the fundamental responsibility of the spiritual man is towards himself. At the center of the responsibility lies the question, "Who am I?" And who am I? We talked of it yesterday. Who am I? I am the restless one.

And I am not speculating, and I am not merely quoting from scriptures. I am coming from my own experiences. I am restless day in and day out. I am the confused one. I am the tired one. I am the one who feels incomplete. If that's the one I am, what is my responsibility? What is the responsibility of the thirsty one? To find water. Fullstop, that's your responsibility, then find the water.

If you are seen finding water, then you obviously, naturally, effortlessly become a good example for everyone seeking water. The very fact that you could obtain water for yourself becomes a great motivator for others. "If he could get it, surely it is possible. If Krishna could have it, if Ashtavakra could have it, if Jesus could have it, there surely would be some glimmer of hope for me as well."

Q: So how to develop the faith to pursue the Truth?

AP: You are already pursuing the Truth, though, in a very distorted way. Nobody ever pursues anything else. Falseness is a myth. What did I say yesterday? Each of us is already a lover of the Truth.

But we are pursuing the Truth in our personal ways, with an eye on self-preservation.

We want to get the Truth but also remain intact, preserved. So it is not as if you need to develop a zeal to find the Truth. You already are eager for the Truth. Every single man on the street, just anywhere born, unborn, to be born, is a seeker of Truth.

I dare say even plants and animals are looking for the Truth. Even they are in search of liberation, and that is why they respond to love. Anybody who responds to love is just a seeker of Truth because that is what is love— to be pulled towards the Truth. To be attracted towards Truth is love. To be attracted towards peace is love.

Don't ask, "How to have a zeal for Truth?" A better question, a more useful question, would be, "I am already pursuing the Truth in my personal ways. Are my ways right?"

Question your ways. Don't ask for the Truth.

He is pursuing Truth. She is pursuing Truth. You are pursuing Truth. I am pursuing Truth. Everybody is a pursuer of Truth. But we all are pursuing Truth in our own crooked ways because we don't want to lose ourselves in the pursuit of Truth. We don't want to pay the price. We want to get the Truth at a discount.

Q: What is the price against? Those in our current identity.

AP: Only Truth meets Truth. So if you are carrying anything false, you will be denied entry. What is the price you need to pay? Drop everything that is false about you. Drop everything that is not the truth about you. The more you drop your baggage, the closer you find yourself to the Truth. That is the price to be paid.

It’s a good price to be paid. It's not even a price. If you are being unburdened of unnecessary baggage, is it a price you are paying or a gift you are getting? Tell me, I am moving about like this in my life (lifts a pillow and carries over his head to denote false baggage). This is my life. What is this? This is my life. And the Truth is saying, “Please keep it off. And if you don't keep it off, you don't gain entry.” Am I being asked for a great price, or am I being blessed? Answer, please.

Q: Blessed. (Audience members answer in unison).

AP: Because most of us are so attached to this (false baggage), that we don't want to keep it away. And if we are asked to keep it away, we feel as if some great injustice is happening. Then we say, “You know the spirituality is for the selected few. They are the ones who could keep it away, and actually, they are irresponsible also. I am the responsible one, I will keep carrying my cancer.” (mocking sarcastically). What is this? — a cancerous lump, a tumor. Why are you carrying it on your head, rather, in your head?

Q: You said that the self is the priority in this path. We always prioritize ourselves.

AP: Thirst! Thirst!

You are already thirsty. You need not look for Truth as a passion, or as an interest. You have to look for the Truth as a thirsty one looks for water. Would the thirsty one say looking for water is his hobby? No, it's not a hobby. It's a life-saving thing. If he does not get water, he will die.

Spirituality is not a pastime or co-curricular affair. It is not something that you do all the weekends or in your spare time. It's about saving your one dear precious life. Please don't waste it.

Q: Is there a difference between being selfish that is prioritizing my needs over others?

AP: You have to figure out your real need. Your real need would always be something that would raise others as well. This too is an important question that bugs most of us. The question is “If I look after my spiritual needs, am I not becoming selfish? Am I not stopping from caring for others?" No, not quiet.

The one who really knows himself and, therefore, his real needs, is a blessing to everybody. The scripture says that, "A man never gets liberated alone. He and his tribe get liberated together." He has such an effect on everybody, and that effect, I say, is not deliberate. The effect that a liberated man has on the entire ecosystem is instantaneous, unplanned, and effortless.

The word tribe here means — Your surrounding, your ecosystem, family, community, country, and everybody. Just by your presence, you liberate.

That does not mean that you sit and liberate. It means now you are somebody who will live in a way that would awaken, and arouse liberation in others as well. Now that you have it, you will distribute it. And you will not need to distribute with a plan or distribute with deliberation. You will distribute just because you breathe, your every breath would mean a fragrance to the world.

Q: So, in no way, a spiritual person can, even when he is going on the journey, cause distress in others.

AP: If he appears that he is causing distress to others, it is useful distress. It would, many-a-times, appear like that he is causing distress to others, but that distress is worth welcoming. The others would definitely feel that he is doing something very evil but let the others feel that.

Q: Selfish?

AP: Not only selfish, I am saying that others may even declare that this spiritual person is evil because he is catering to his own self-interest, only to his own self-liberation, but that is their problem. They are not liberated. They can claim anything. They have the license, so why do you grudge them?

Q: So tomorrow, if I am pursuing a spiritual journey, I am not obliged to stop that journey because of somebody else.

AP: You are not obliged to stop for them, but then you may have the compassion to stop for them. Please understand, these are two different things. He curses you (pointing to an audience member). And you may feel like walking up to him, and telling him that he is wrong. He says, “You are evil”, and you walk up to him and say “I am not evil. You misunderstood”. Why do you do that?

You are talking of A and B. A curses B; A tells B, as very frequently all A's tell-all B's, “You are evil”. What does the B’s usually do? The B's come up to the A and justify that they are not quite as evil as A claims. Why is B coming up to A and explaining? Because B is hurt, and the hurt is personal.

The same B curses a Buddha. And the Budhha too stops and says, " No sir, you are wrong.”

Why does the Budhha come up to him and tell him? Not because the Budhha is hurt personally, but because the Budhha is full of compassion towards this person. When B came to A, she came because she had a personal grudge.

Q: Can the other person differentiate between a Budhha and giving him that advice versus the hurt person coming and giving the advice?

AP: It depends upon the other person, how hungry he is for the Truth. If the other person is anyway looking for some kind of Budhha presence in life, he will realize the Budhha. On the other hand, if the person is deeply mired in his own tendencies and unconscious self, he may not realize the Budhha or recognize the Budhha.

Q: So the same person looks like Budhha because of your attitude towards what the other person is saying.

AP: Obviously, right now, it is not about A. We are discussing about B. When B goes to A, she goes because she feels personally offended. When B goes and protests, “Why you are calling me evil?” Then B is defending herself. When Budhha goes to A, then Budhha is not seeking respect or approval. Budhha is not personally lowered or offended.

Q: So A can make out a difference, right?

AP: It is not about A. Why must we be so bothered about A? Are we A? We must forget about A. If our mind is full of A, we will remain a slave of A. The Budhha too engages with the world. The Budhha, too, wants to correct the one who is abusing him. But he says, “You must be in deep suffering. Otherwise, how could you have abused a Budhha so much? You must be in deep ignorance. Otherwise, how could you not recognize even a Budhha? And therefore, I am coming to you because I empathize with you because I am full of compassion for you.”

“The abuses that you are throwing at me prove that you are the strongest claimant to my compassion.” If there are 6 patients, to whom does the doctor rush first?—The one who is in the worst shape and the worst situation. The one who can abuse and hit even a Budhha is surely the patient in the worst condition.

So, the Budhha would never leave him. That does not mean that Budhha has gone to him because the Budhha is offended or hurt. It means that the Budhha can see, that the very fact that the fellow is abusing even a Budhha, proves that the fellow is in a very, very bad condition. Now this fellow can't be left.

And when the Budhha goes to him, this fellow will get another opportunity to slap the Buddha. The Budhha will bear the slap because he is a Budhha. Or he may always not bear the slaps. Sometimes, it might be best to slap the fellow back. It depends. We will better leave it to the Budhha. (Audience members laugh)

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