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Clarity, practicality, goals, body and mind || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2014)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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Questioner (Q): Acharya ji, is getting clarity an infinite process, or can it be achieved in one go?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The model that we have in mind is, there are layers and layers of haze, and they are covering the sky, and clarity means to keep removing these layers, and ultimately you get clarity. That's what he's saying, that after every layer you get a new layer of confusion and chaos. You remove one layer of confusion and you enter into another layer of confusion.

No, clarity is not the final output, not the destination, not the goal. Clarity is that which is helping you all along to remove these layers. Without clarity, how can you remove even one layer? Who do you think is supporting you? Who is helping you? That which is helping you all along is called clarity.

You're thinking that when all the layers of fog will go away, then the shining clear, open sky will be there, and you will call it clarity. That's not true. Clarity is not something to be achieved. You already have it and because you already have it, hence you can remove all these layers. Without the help of that clarity, can you remove even a single layer?

How can even the smallest confusion be cleared if that inner power is not there within you? That inner power is called clarity. Clarity is not some state, clarity is not some picture and clarity is not ideal. Clarity is your inherent ability — your very nature to understand, to know, that is called clarity.

Kindly don't think that clarity means ‘I have reached there where there are no more confusions left with me.’ That's what we often think, right? ‘When I'm not at all confused, when I'm feeling confident, and when I can answer all the questions, then I say that I have clarity.’ No, that's not so. Clarity is always there with you.

It is the only thing that is always there with you. It is always there to help you, provided you want to get help. So, what we are saying is, clarity begets clarity. Only by using your inner clarity do you get outer clarity. Inner clarity is always present. That is your ability, not something else.

Just an ability, and that ability you always have. All of you are healthy, intelligent minds. You have that ability of clarity. Depend on that. So, coming back to ideals, practicality is not about using ideals. To be practical means something very simple. To be practical means to understand and put it into practice. Practicing, and practicing means acting and working. If my work, my action, and my practice is arising out of clarity, then I'm practical. Who is a practical man? One who understands before acting; one whose actions flow out of his clarity. He's a practical man. Kindly don't think that to be practical means to be street-smart.

We have been fed that rubbish about who is a practical man. One who is Chalu (cunning), who knows the nuts and bolts, who can make his way through the traffic, who can somehow get work done in government offices. That's a practical man. That's not a practical man, that's an idiot. Life is punishing him all the time and he doesn't even realize that he's being punished. The practical man is one whose practice arises, not out of an idea, but out of realization and clarity.

I understand, I act. As simple as that. I don't act because I have been threatened to act. I don't act because everybody is acting in a particular manner. I don't act because there is a convention of acting in a particular way. I don't act in order to please others. I don't act in order to displease others.

Why do I act? How do I act? All my actions are spontaneously coming out of my own life, my knowing, my realization. That's a practical man.

Q: If we don't have any aim in our life, what are we living for? If is it necessary to live for something or is it more important to live? Living for or living?

AP: We'll go into that. Is anybody here who claims that he has been attentively listening? Just raise your hand. (students raise their hands) As you have been listening, did you have an aim? Do you have an aim? Have you come here with a target as you are listening? Do you have a goal in mind? Parallelly, a goal is going on. Is that so? If a goal is there, as you are listening, can you listen? Similarly, you cannot live if you have a goal. There is either life or there is a goal. If at this moment they have a goal, then they'll miss life. What is life? Life is this that is happening?

If there is a goal, then the goal is there and the goal is circulating. The goal is saying, “I'm all important. Chase me. Go after me.” Then how will they live? What does living mean? Breathing? No, living in this moment, being present here. They can't be present here. So, what you're saying is that if you don't have a goal, how can you live? I’m saying if you have a goal, how will you live?

Q: Then, should we not have a goal in our life?

AP: First of all, see what is this business of having a goal. Don't come to conclusions. Why are we in a hurry? First of all, see what are all these goals and what do they do to you. That's more important.

Q: Sir, I have a very simple question, how can the mind separate from the body?

AP: What is the body? Where is the body? What do you mean by the body? You are saying, “Can mind be separated from the body?” Is the body anywhere except in the mind? There is this mobile phone, right? There is this gadget. Where do you think this gadget is? This gadget is kept here. Where do you think it is? The table. Where is the table? Where is space?

It is such a misplaced notion that the mind is in the body. The mind is not in the body. The body is in the mind. The entire universe is in the mind. So, what do you mean by separating body and mind? There is only the mind and everything is in the mind. Even this question is in the mind. Listening is in the mind. The entire universe, I'm repeating, is in the mind. So, what do you mean by separating the body and the mind?

Q: You have told that you cannot be free unless you have a mind in your body. Only when you separate your mind from your body then you become free.

AP: In what context was it said?

Q: Freedom. In a context like this, if we have a body and a mind together, we cannot be free.

AP: What is being said is that the mind must not be attached to the body.

Clearly understand this. This is the mind and we are saying that the entire universe is in the mind. What is the universe? Objects. This mind has a tendency to get attached to various objects within itself, and one of the first objects to which the mind gets attached to is the body. The mind gets attached to the law of space and time. The more time you spend with something, the more attached you are, and the closer, more proximate something is to you in space. The strongest attachment is to the body because the body is the closest thing. So, the first attachment is to the body. So, when you are being said that the mind and the body should be separate, all that is being told to you is to let the mind be not attached to the object called the body. That is it.

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