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Only Truth can cure your frustration
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
13 min
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Question: Acharya Ji, what does it mean to be close to the center? And how can one be located close to the center?

Acharya Prashant: Frustration is in some way the holiest of experiences. We need more men, more women who are frustrated. Alright! I’ll correct myself - we need more people who acknowledge their frustration because frustrated everybody anyway actually is. But we don't acknowledge our frustration; we rename it; we glorify it; very artificially we sanctify it. Unless you are frustrated from the world, how will you ever accept the reality of your relationship with the world? But we keep frustration in abeyance. We latch on to hope. Frustration keeps eating at our insights. We keep on getting hollowed from within, but we don't acknowledge.

In order to escape from the fact of our frustration, we create alternate worlds: we create worlds of responsibilities; we create worlds of duties; we create worlds of absorbing daily routines; we create huge business empires that demand our constant involvement. Because unless you create alternate worlds that you can escape into, how will you be able to deny the existence of the, of the elephant in the room. Frustration is like a great elephant in the room and you want to somehow deny its presence. The only way is to remain lost, deliberately lost in sleep, in dreams. So, we create a dream world. It's a very defeated exercise, always shambolic. Yet we indulge in it. Deep within, we all know the fakeness of all our worlds.

Spirituality is just about acknowledging what you already know of. We are not born to be frustrated. It is not our destiny to live in a tepid way. It is not at all necessary that our face remains wrinkled, furrowed. It is so difficult to come across a simple plain forehead, is it not? All you see is lines and furrows. Is that really our destiny? Is that what a child is born for? It is easy to give that up which you anyway should not have carried with you. We think of it as very difficult; it is not.

Saints have cried for entire long nights. What else is it? Holy frustration.

I was in Amritsar yesterday. I was spending time with Guru Nanak and I saw how he would keep crying and nobody would understand except probably his elder sister, Nanaki. His father used to think that he has gone mad. His father never quite approved of his ways, even after the world started hailing him as a Guru.

Kindly do not start taking your inner turmoil as the sign of some disease. In fact, I would venture to say that if you do not experience that inner turmoil, then there is something wrong with you. Just because everybody in the market is pretending to be hail, happy and hearty, you do not need to partake in the pretention. You do not need to join the façade. Those who are showing glittering faces to you, have a lot of tears welled up, ready to break-out.

Great songs, great paintings, great art has sprung up from frustration. In fact, I really believe that you cannot write a beautiful song, unless you are well-versed with pain. The frustration is not a disease, it is not something that you must hide and it is not something that you need to escape away from.

वियोगी होगा पहला कवि, आह से उपजा होगा गान। निकलकर आँखों से चुपचाप, बही होगी कविता अनजान |

There are poets and then there are seers. When you experience sadness, then you are a poet. When you acknowledge sadness, when you go to the root of sadness, then you are a rishi, a seer, a sage.

Now, that does not mean that you start pretending frustration. That too is a fad. We live in a wannabe world. We create images and then chase them. So, it is one thing attractive to mound the great podium - that's a fantastic image; to be the ruler of the podium and have everybody listen to you. The crowds are an audience to you and if somebody tells us about the hollowness of all that, then we become a wannabe rebel, the frustrated one, and we go to a corner and show the entire world that we acknowledge our isolation; that we are cornered; that we are frustrated; that we are not a part of the crowd and it's a great way to gather the crowd - Occupy a corner; occupy a place where nobody else goes and very soon you will find that the crowds are thronging to you.

Don't want, don't pretend: see, acknowledge. What is the fact of life? How do you react to your own sweat? Have you seen how one reacts when one is sweating? The trickle can be quite unnerving. Have you seen the aggression with which one often wipes out his sweat - the aggression, the frustration, the resistance? Have you seen how you take bath? You see how you splash water upon yourself? Have you seen how you react when your car does not behave properly or your wife? These are all tell-tale signs of hidden frustration.

A kid comes to you and touches you from behind and you want to concentrate upon something - the first time you smile at him; the second time you gently remove his hand; third time you just remove his hand and fourth time the volcano bursts. The pretence cannot last long. The social happiness makes way for the fact of frustration. See that you are frustrated and that will bring a true peace. There is nothing more frustrating than hiding frustration. That's a double humiliation, do you see? First of all, you have been slapped by frustration and then you have to smile because you do not dare to admit that you have been slapped. Who can really be joyful under this double humiliation? Acceptance of frustration is not a furtherance of frustration. It is a very passive acceptance. Acceptance of frustration does not mean that you actively start promoting frustration. I do not know whether that word exists in the human dictionary, but God is the only anti-frustratant.

Truth is the only thing, that can really relieve you from frustration. You know what the word frustration means. Frustration means - a disappointment of desire. There can be no frustration without desire. You want something, it does not materialize - this situation is called frustration. Unless your deepest desire is met, life will be frustration.

Q: Acharya Ji there will always be desires. If you fulfill one desire, another one simply materialize. Then what should one do?

AP: All these desires are good. They are playthings. Let the desires be there. Having fulfilled your one deepest desire, let the other desires be there. They are the game of life. They are a pass-time. If those desires are not there, you will be bored. One must actively partake in desires, little desires. Because anyway, all our desires are little. The problem starts when the little desires start acting as a proxy for the great desire.

You want some money; it is a little desire and it is a harmless desire. The problem starts when you start wanting peace through money; money is harmless. But when money becomes a proxy for peace, then the money is very harmful. People do not chase money. They chase peace through money and that is called becoming money minded. Having money is not a problem but please ask yourself, what does money mean to you. If money means nothing to you, then please chase money as much as you want. But if money has started meaning something to you, then stop - that meaning is false. Because people do not have God, they chase God through money. Because they do not have love, they chase love through money. Don’t you see that happening all around you?

When the little desire becomes the face for the great desire, then the little desire is very harmful. You want a woman, go and get a woman, it's alright. Your entire body, your entire configuration, the mind - everything is designed to meet and mate. Go ahead, meet a woman meet a man, participate in the game of Prakriti, it's all okay. But if you start thinking that a man or woman will bring contentment to you, will bring godliness to your home, then you are going to be severely disappointed. And that is why you see disappointed couples. The man was living a forlorn life, he thought that when he would get married, then the woman would be bringing the forest to his desert. Even if you bring The Amazon forest to The Sahara Desert, it is the Sahara Desert that would win, would it not? The woman was living a spineless life, a colorless life, she would think that the man would bring some character, some spine, some verve. The man himself is often spineless. So, after a while, the woman starts feeling disappointed - I thought he would be a pillar of support; I don't know what kind of a flaccid pillar he is. - Never upright enough to support anything. And there is then, the usual lukewarm, depressing drama that which we call as married life. He wants an omelet, she doesn't have the eggs. She wants to go shopping; he doesn't have the time or money. Actually, neither of them really have what the other one really wants.

What you really want, can never, never be supplied by the others. That real want is extinguished only when you clearly see that it need not be extinguished because it is a want that is satisfied in advance; It is a fake want. Really you want God, really you do not need to want God, you already have him. Really you want the highest, really you do not need to want the highest, the highest never went away from you. Once you see that the highest is always there with you, in your form, then you can play around with the world. Then you can say – Well, I want a pizza and then the pizza is just a pizza. Then the pizza is not peaceful.

Do you know why pizzas are so overpriced? If a pizza is selling for 400 bucks, 100 is the cost of the pizza, and 300 is the cost of peace. That is why you pay so much for the pizza. When you go to a luxury hotel and pay 10,000 bucks for a night stay; 500 rupees is for the stay and 9,500 is for the satisfaction that the stay brings to you. That satisfaction is demanded only by those, who are not otherwise satisfied. If you are otherwise settled and satisfied then you will not want to unnecessarily spend those 9500 bucks. Do you see, what kind of price you pay for not being satisfied, you see that? Where 500 rupees would have sufficed, you end up spending 10,000-20,000 for one night. Having slept, did you know where you are sleeping? Anybody here who knows where he is sleeping after he has fallen asleep? But you spent 20,000 for one night. 19,500 is for the lack of God. That is why those who have God end up saving a lot of money.

Seriously, that is why saints survive and thrive on so little. You call them fakir, they call themselves Badshahs because they don't need to spend so much. You need to spend so much because you are sick. You spend so much to artificially feel healthy. Don't you see what you do? When you are feeling down, you go shopping. The fakir does not need to go shopping because he is anyways never feeling down. When the relationship is going bad, you buy jewellery. The fakir doesn't need to buy jewellery because his central relationship anyway never goes bad. Jewellery is such a poor substitute for love, is it not? But jewellery costs a lot of money and that is why people want to earn so much money.

When I look at people who are in the race for money, the first question I ask them is, ‘Tell me really, what are you compensating for? What hole are you trying to fill?’

There is surely some bottomless pit and endless well that you are trying to fill. You will never be able to fill it. All your money will go waste. Money can buy that which money can buy. Money can buy you bread, how will money buy you peace? But you are accumulating money because you do not have peace. Will all your money buy you even an iota of peace? Will all your achievements get you, love?

So, desires are good. Desires are wonderful, but only as long as they are just desires. They must not become a proxy for the desire of the Ultimate. Nothing can get you the Ultimate. The Ultimate is not to be achieved through means. No means, no bridge, no method can ever get you to the Ultimate is not something to be gotten. Nobody ever gets there. So, be alright, be healthy, be composed in your heart, and then if you feel like ordering a pizza, do order!

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