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Nothing as strength or weakness! you are just what you are || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
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Speaker: You have assumed that there must be strengths and weaknesses.What if you just are and there are no strengths or no weaknesses?

What are the weaknesses of a Daisy flower? What are the weaknesses of a Rose flower?

Student: Sir, it has thorns.

Speaker: The flower does not have thorns, the plant has thorns, but the daisy flower may appear to have weaknesses if compared with the rose flower otherwise, it has no weaknesses. A Sunflower is a Sunflower, a Lotus flower is a Lotus flower, a Daisy flower is a Daisy flower, none of them have any weaknesses or strengths, but if you compare their sizes, then a Sunflower and a Lotus flower will appear to be stronger than the Rose flower in terms of size.They are all perfect as they are.

It is upon comparison that you start saying, I am strong or weak, and comparison is always foolish. You don’t have a strength and you don’t have a weakness, you are just what you are, where is the question of strength and weakness? We talked of your authenticity, you all are unique, and everybody is unique.

To label something as your strength, as your weakness can only be done when you are being compared against some standard.

Who is the tallest one here?

Compared to him it’s my weakness, that I am only 5.8. My height has now become my weakness if I stand next to him. But if I stand next to somebody else, say him (pointing to a student with shorter height), then the same height becomes my strength. Are you getting this?

So there has to be a benchmark, an imaginary benchmark, and against that imaginary benchmark you fill your mind with notions of strengths and weakness which is not appropriate because they make you feel inadequate.

Strengths make you feel proud of yourself, which is not good, which is ego, and weaknesses make you feel bad about yourself, which is again not good, which again is ego. You are good, you are all right. What is considered strength at one place will be considered as weakness at another.

What is strength and weakness? I keep giving this example, in India we are still enslaved with the notion of color. Fair colored people ruled over us for a long time, so skin color is still very important to us. That mental slavery is still going on. When a child is born, and if the child happens to be a girl and is little dark colored, what will you repeatedly tell her? What would the parent be repeatedly saying directly or indirectly? That her dark color is her weakness. Is the color the child’s weakness or the parent’s mentality? It is the parent’s mentality.

We borrow mentalities. We keep borrowing things, just like the picking up of the duster. We are picking up mentalities. We are borrowing that which is not ours. So you are very right. After some time the girl herself will start believing that there is something wrong with her .The proof is all those fairness creams that you see in the market. Now why should anybody try to use a fairness cream?

Being students of science, you very well know that a color is just a particular wavelength. Now ,what is so sacred about five thousand angstroms, which is not there in seven thousand angstroms. That’s what color is, that’s what facial color is, but you will make the poor child believe that there is something wrong with her, and then she will spend her life trying to correct her weakness, as if there is any weakness. There is no weakness at all.

You are born in a family of people, who are extremely belligerent.You understand belligerent? Always picking up fights, always aggressive. In north India, we have few places where it is considered an asset, to be extremely aggressive. Do you know such places? And there are entire communities who pride themselves of being aggressive, that ‘don’t mess with us, I will beat you up’ behaviour. Now, if you are born in such a family and your temperament is bad, you are hot headed, you are unduly irritated all the time, then it will be considered as your strength. Whereas, if you are born somewhere else, it would be considered as your weakness.

What is strength and weakness? You are just what you are. Simple, stop, you are OK. If there really is a weakness, it is to be stupid, there is no other weakness. What is stupidity?

Stupidity is not relative, stupidity is to not to know what is happening. Throughout today’s session we repeatedly said that life is right now, and stupidity is to not to know what is happening right now. There is no other stupidity. Are you getting it?

The only weakness is stupidity, and hence the only strength is wisdom, and there is no great wisdom in collecting knowledge. Wisdom is a very simple thing. Wisdom is to know what is happening. So you are listening carefully, right? Are you? If yes, you are wise. If you are listening carefully, this moment is complete, perfect, absolutely all right, no weakness at all.

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

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