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Two types of successes; choose yours || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
आचार्य प्रशांत
9 मिनट
74 बार पढ़ा गया

Speaker: The question is, ‘What is success?’ To how many of us this question is important?

(Many listeners raise their hands)

So the question is not only of Varun (one of the listeners) but belongs to many others as well. Let all of us listen to it very carefully.

There are two ways in which we can look at success.

The first way comes from the brain, which is a product of evolution and is continuously afraid. The archetype of this type of success is exemplified by the event of examinations. So today you are here, a date-sheet comes, examinations are announced. You prepare, you write your exams, somebody evaluates your sheets and then on a particular day a result is put up, and that determines whether you are successful or not. Right? This is the first model of success.

This is the model of success that ninety-nine percent of the world thinks to be success; that there is something to be achieved in the future. And that something that you want to achieve is also hugely dependent upon others. Getting it?

There is somebody else who evaluates you. There is somebody else who declares that you are successful. Situations have a great role in determining if you are successful or not. This is the first model in which success always lies in the future and is always influenced by others.

So two things are very dominant in this first model, which is that success is not right now, success is in the…?

Listeners (everyone): Future.

Speaker: Future. Second, this success depends not only on me but upon various external factors, external people, and external situations. Getting it? This is the first model of success.

There is a second way of looking at success. This is the moment that I am speaking to you right now. You could not possibly be listening to me in the past or in the future. I am not speaking to you in the past and future has not come yet. This moment is all that we have, this is where all life is. This is where we are breathing, this is where our heart is pumping blood and this is where we are listening. This is when life is. This is when attention is and love is.

This moment is all I have, and this moment is this moment only, in attention, only when I am present to it. This moment and my presence in this moment; this is all I have. This is life, this moment makes me firmly grounded in the present instead of future. And when I say, ‘ This moment and MY attention’, that rules out others. ‘ MY attention this moment, and only MY attention .’ So future is ruled out and others are ruled out, and all success is in THIS moment, not in the future. And this success is not at all dependent on others.

The first model says, ‘Success is always in the future.’ It says, ‘Right now you are unsuccessful, success is in the future.’ The first model says, ‘Chase success.’ If you are chasing success, have you not already declared that currently you are unsuccessful? Can I chase that which I already have? Can I want that which I already have? So if I want happiness, what am I saying? If I want happiness, what am I saying?

(Silence)

That I am…?

Listeners (everyone): Unsuccessful.

Speaker: The second model says, ‘Life is right now, so success too must be right now. I am free, so my success can’t be dependent upon anybody else.’

This moment is the exam and this moment is the result. Getting it?

There is nobody who will set a question paper and evaluate the answer. I am the only evaluator; my attention, my presence, my immersion into life.’ Getting it?

‘Right now if I am present to life I am successful, and if I am not present to what is happening, then I am a big loser, a big loser.’

Have you heard the word ‘ignorance’? By ‘ignorance’ we mean ‘lack of knowledge’. We say, ‘An ignorant fellow’.The word ‘ignorance’ actually means ‘the capacity to ignore’. Ignore what? Can you ignore that which is not there at all? What can you ignore? What can you ignore? That which is there.

Nothing else is available to be ignored, only that which is there can be ignored. Right now, what can you ignore? Can you ignore the words that are being said in the adjacent room? Can you ignore those words? You cannot ignore those words because those words are not there at all for you, are they for you?

What can you ignore right now? These words.

What can you ignore right now? This presence.

What can you ignore right now? This environment.

This is ignorance. This is failure. This is what is meant by being a loser. ‘Life is going on, it’s a big festival and instead of celebrating I am ignoring it. It’s passing by me.’

‘There is a grand party going on and what am I doing? I am standing at the margins with a long face and drooping shoulders.’ Join the party. That’s what success is, nothing else. The party is not in the future, there are no results to be declared. It’s right now, a grand carnival.

In every moment there is no moment that doesn’t have the potential of ecstasy, even this moment-all moments.

That is success. Getting it?

Success is not about setting targets and achieving them, not at all. After all, future flows seamlessly from this moment. If I am present right now, then I am automatically building a future for myself.

Yes! Are you getting it?

(Silence)

But then, the first model of success that we discussed is followed by ninety-nine percent of the people. You too think that success is out somewhere there, and if you do that, then you can get the label of being successful. Please see that you are condemning yourself if you take that position. Please see that you are declaring yourself to be unsuccessful, incomplete, and inadequate if you take that position. Getting it?

It requires courage to take the second position. It requires courage to say, ‘This present is all I have and I am living it fully. If I am reading, I am reading completely’, and that is what success is. This moment is all it takes to take that position. ‘If I am in the gym, I am not worrying about exams. If I am dancing, I am not bothered about where the next meal would come from. If I am listening, I am just listening. I am not bothered. Who cares?’ This is success.

Listener 1: You say that enjoy your present and that is success. But there is a quotation that says, “Success is when your signature changes to autograph.”

Speaker: There was a character in one of Shakespeare’s plays, Merchant of Venice. His name was Shylock, the Jewish merchant. He said that the devil can cite even scriptures for his purpose. This what you are quoting is not even from any scripture. This is some stupid man’s imagination- a signature turning into autograph. No wise man can ever say all these things. After all, to whom do you give autographs? To others. Right? This man is saying, ‘Only when others call me successful, only then I can call myself successful.’ This man is surely a slave of others.

With the information revolution, there is so much available on the internet. Would you just take everything? Most of what is found there is incredibly stupid and is being touted as wisdom.

Your wisdom lies in being able to differentiate using your own understanding. The world will throw a thousand things at you, but as a young man, you must stand on your own feet, look with your own eyes and discriminate with your own mind. This ability to distinguish between wisdom and stupidity lies within you. You must exercise it.

What do you mean by an autograph? What is meant by an autograph? That others must appreciate me. That’s what an autograph means. Standing in front of you right now, if I become bothered whether you are appreciating me or not, can I really speak truth to you? If all I am aiming for is applause, will I be able to help you at all? Then all I will say would be things, words that will please you. Now do you want to be pleased, or do you want to know the truth?

Listeners (everyone): Truth.

Speaker: If I stand here aiming for autographs, aiming for acknowledgment and applause, then I am dependent upon you. I am no more a teacher. Getting it?

Kindly, do not aim for all such things that the world will give me a gold medal, recognition, some kind of prize, respectability. Those who aim for getting things from the world surely become slaves of the world. Let the world give it if it wants to, we are not bothered. If you give, that’s alright and if you don’t give even then it is alright. ‘I am happy doing what I am doing, why should one be bothered of autographs.’

My happiness lies not in the fact that you applaud me or you give me an autograph. My happiness lies in the fact that my actions, my words are coming out of my understanding, that I am connected to you right now in a very close manner, and that is sufficient.

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

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