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Man, how long will you avoid women? || Acharya Prashant (2022)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
14 min
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Questioner (Q) Pranam, Acharya Ji.

Acharya Prashant (AP): Have you fulfilled my condition, first of all?

Q: Yes, Yes, I went to one nightclub. I video-called Anmol Sir from there. One Saturday I went.

AP: What did you do there?

Q: I was just sitting, and had one orange juice, and watched people.

AP: What were you watching?

Q: Just I was watching that, you know, they were providing meat, and there were English songs being played, and there was so much lustfulness on the floor. And I found all those three connected. If you just stop the English song, both the other would automatically get stopped. I was just watching them. It felt very bad, actually, going there. It felt like there was so much discomfort within me. I thought that I just didn't like that much. But since you asked me, so I had to go.

AP: So, just as you watched all the songs and the entire ambience, did you also watch the discomfort within you?

Q: Yes. Yes.

AP: Where was the discomfort coming from?

Q: I don't know. I got so uncomfortable that I took out my Pocket-Gita and started studying it for 2-3 minutes.

AP: That's obvious. I was waiting for you to come to it. By the way, you know, that which matters the most is characterized by its contrived absence. As a young man, when you go to a bar or a pub or whatever if you are normal at all, the first thing you will talk of is girls, when you return. And that's one word missing from your description. Now, can we have something on that, please?

Q: Yes. So, I saw that there were many boys and girls; they were dancing. So, I related their relationship in two ways: I saw that mainly men were trying to, you know, hug girls and seemed that men were taking the first chance, so it made me feel that men are doing and women are at the receiving end. Then I thought, “No, it's just physical. Actually, in the psychological sense, women are at the top, and men are at the bottom.” And then I thought, “No, even at a deeper level, both are actually caught by Maya . Nobody is above anybody. Both are actually subjugated by Maya . There is a third thing—biology...”

AP: Now, this is such a beautiful observation you have made. Why were you then uncomfortable?

Q: I don't know. I felt something is missing there.

AP: Let's try to know. You were seeing something remarkable. You were decoding it perfectly. What made you uncomfortable then?

Q: I don't know. It just felt like, maybe, a place in a library where I'm sitting, and studying Upanishads, and doing my work, that is a little safer, more in my comfort zone.

AP: Safer for whom?

Q: For the insecurities within because I know...

AP: Stick to the technical parlance. Safer for whom?

Q: Safer for the ego. Only the ego feels anything, so it has to be the ego. There is nothing else other than ego.

AP: So, the Upanishads are turning into a safe house for the ego, and the bar is threatening the ego. Role reversal! Role reversal! The Upanishads are where the ego is finding shelter, and the bar is where the ego is threatened. So, where should you rather be?

Q: I guess, I should be at both places. By both places, I mean, under the light of Upanishads, I should try to decode what is going on in the bar.

AP: If the ego is finding shelter in Upanishads, will the Upanishads be of any use?

Q: You advocate people to read Upanishads, to read scriptures so much...

AP: I definitely advocate that but are you even then interpreting the Upanishads rightly if the ego is finding shelter there? If you interpret them rightly, then the ego will not quite like them.

Q: I don't know. Actually, I was reading the Upanishads too much, so to change that, for the last one or two weeks I have started reading Kabir sahib, just to change the focus of...

AP: Kabir sahib is a sage right from the Upanishads. You will not be able to find any difference there. It's not that you can keep the Upanishads aside and start with Saakhi Granth , and you'll have a change of perspective. They both are one. The difference will not be between these two. The different thing lies elsewhere.

See, okay, please understand this. The ego survives because it is very humble in a sense. Two words related to metallurgy are applicable to the ego. It is ‘malleable’ and ‘ductile’. It is fluid and colourless. Except for its essence, it is also very resistance-less to everything else. You put ego in this cup, it takes the shape of this cup. You take a balloon, for example, you press it from one side, what happens?

Q: The other part gets...

AP: The other part gets inflated, right? And simultaneously, you can have the pleasure of success in compressing the balloon, “Oh, I managed to compress it.” Whereas it has only accumulated elsewhere. One has to be very cautious. If the Upanishads really are sinking in, and if you are really appreciating them, then you would be sahaj (at ease) at all places.

AP: Aakarshan (attraction) and Vikarshan (distraction) are one. Raag (attachment) and Dwesh (hatred) are one. When one is alright with oneself, then it is not places that will have the potential to unsettle you. Then you will be alright at all places, and that does not mean that you'll be indiscreet about the places you would be found at. Your discretion will definitely guide you to the place—to go to the place to avoid, but the avoidance would not be coming from an egoistic point of discomfort. You may at some stage then say, “Oh, I do not see any point in being at that place, so I'm not going there.” And that is very different from saying, “I am not going there because I feel uncomfortable.” You get the difference? “There is one thing I think I can spend my time better, doing something else. I have higher priorities, or other priorities, or something, whatever. Therefore, I'm not going to go that place.” That is one thing.

And the other thing is, “I'm scared. The moment I reach there, I start shaking within. I'm trembling in my pants, and I have to carry the Bhagavad Gita for security.” That's a very different thing. You have to come to a point where you become comfortable. Once you become comfortable, then renounce. If you are renouncing out of discomfort, then you are not renouncing at all; you are still very, very attached. Something you are not attached to, something you do not give importance to just cannot make you uncomfortable. Think of it. If something does not matter to you, will it succeed in making you uncomfortable? So, something made you uncomfortable there, means something still holds significance there.

Come to point where you could say, “I need to walk out, not because I'm feeling threatened or unsafe here, but because now I am seeing through what is happening, and I'm feeling bored. The same man-woman, man-woman thing. Now, come on, show me something new. And that's the reason why I do not want to be there anymore. So, I'm walking out because I'm bored.” That's the stage of spiritual maturity. “I can see through it. And because I can see through it, so I don't find it attractive anymore.” And the point where you are standing says, “I cannot see through it. I experience an attraction, and my morality forbids me from experiencing it, so I'm feeling uncomfortable, therefore I don't want to be here.” Obviously, there is nothing very valuable about that place. Obviously, there is nothing special there. But you have to come to a point where you see that there is, indeed, nothing special there. Right now, you see something special there, and that's why you want to avoid it. It's not a place to be avoided. It's a place you walk past. It's a place you go beyond.

Something that you are avoiding a lot will always remain something that you value a lot. You can never transcend something you are not comfortable with. In fact, it is very important to be comfortable so that you may transcend. It has to become just another place for you. When you are there, you should know that this place is much the same as a classroom, or a morgue, or a cremation ground, or a wedding place. What's the difference? Or a maternity ward. Does that place not contain the sum total of entire life processes we go through? Think of it.

Don't you see jealousy there? Don't you see ignorance there? Don't you see desire there? Don't you see money there? Don't you see sensual excitement there? And is that not what we call as life? And if that is present everywhere in life, how is that place different or special? Please tell me. If you are finding that place special, it means you are seeing these elements elsewhere in life.

There, for example, you'll find that sexuality is something very open and obvious, no? In a night club. And that unnerves you. But that only means that you are not able to see the implicit, the covert sexuality that dances around us all the time. If you are to be annoyed, why are you not annoyed then with all the people rushing to their offices every morning? Is that not a sexual act? Come on, think of it. Think of it.

Obviously, the entire Prakrtik (natural) process is sexual. From birth till death, everything is sexual. Now, if everything is sexual, how come you are just exclusively uncomfortable with what is happening in the nightclub? Tell me, please. You look at the mother and the daughter. You look at whatever is happening anywhere. You look at that billboard. You go to your organization, what do you think, your organization is not working for a sexual motive? And what do you think, sexual motives include only physical ones?

Sexuality is a thing of the mind. To be body-centric is to be sexual. That's the definition. And everybody around you lives and dies for the body and as the body. So, what's special then in the night club? Nothing. And once you see that, that this just place is just a microcosm of my entire universe, you will say, “Now, this place holds no great significance for me. This place to me is just the same as the silent and barren street in front of my house. The same things that are happening here, are happening there as well.” Now this is called Samta—Sambhav . I can see the same Prakritik processes everywhere—everywhere.

The shopkeeper and the customer are the same as the man and the woman. The tick-tock of the clock is the same as your heartbeat when you are madly in love. How do you say that sex is there only when a male and female mate? And if you think that sex is something limited just to two bodies, then you will remain happily oblivious to your sexual bondages all your life, as most Brahmcharis (a celibate) do.

They think they have abstained from physical union, so they are beyond sex now. The fact is, their entire body and mind is still sexual. Do you want to become one of those Brahmcharis who abstain from women, but are deeply sexual? Not because they are thinking of women all the time. No, I’m not alleging that. They might not even be thinking of women, but they are still sexual, why? Because the body is sexual. The food that you eat is actually a sexual act.

Q: So, this hand is a sexual part.

AP: Wonderful! This is a sex organ. The entire world is just that. And so, if you have to be in discomfort, be discomforted...

Q: Everywhere...

AP: Everywhere, at all times. Stop seeing that place as exclusive or special or remarkable. In that moment of sensual absorption, you have to remember the Shamshan Ghat (Cremation ground), and that’s not something forced—that happens, that just happens. And when that starts happening, that’s the time you can, with justification, walk out of the night club. Because now is the moment when it seizes to hold any value. Now, theoretically in that moment when that attractive, gorgeous woman is there, can you see death?

And that does not mean that you have denigrated her physical beauty. Appreciate that she is physically beautiful in this moment as she is, obviously. Wonderful! The womanly form is something to admire and appreciate, and that’s alright. But along with the admiration, can there also be realization in the same moment? She is the old woman just about to die. She is the baby that took birth. She is the billions of insects that are out tonight because it has rained. She is the frog. She is the lizard. So am I. So is this entire movement, this entire existence. And this is not philosophical.

Q: Yes, that is true. Scientifically, that DNA has passed through those...

AP: Don’t have to think in these terms. You are trying to justify it using flow of thought, using memorized concepts. No, it is something that you see in the moment. You just see in that moment. When I’m talking to you, I hardly have time to rely on thoughts. But even as you are about to say something, I see in the moment that you are coming from the same place as one particular person did in the 12th century. That has to be seen immediately.

Not that I know of someone in the 12th century. It’s just so predictable because we are programmed to come from the same place again and again, so it is obvious that something is being repeated. “Oh, Arjuna, was there ever a time when you were not there, or I was not there?” No, you don’t have to respond. You have to understand.

Q: You are talking from Srimad Bhagavad Gita.

AP: Yes, but I’m not coming from Srimad Bhagavad Gita. I’m coming from our discussion in this moment. You are coming from the Gita.

Q: So, this the difference: I’m coming from Gita, and you are not?

AP: Yes, I’m not coming from the Gita. Even when I’m with the Gita, I’m not coming from a coded scripture. I’m coming from life.

Q: I have started sweating after listening to you. I mean, I thought spirituality would be calm and peaceful, but...

AP: It’s alright. It’s alright. You have a lot of time.

Q: Thank you, Sir.

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