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Watching the movie, keep popping popcorn || Acharya Prashant, on Vedanta (2021)
Author Acharya Prashant
आचार्य प्रशांत
8 मिनट
31 बार पढ़ा गया

Acharya Prashant (AP): Great things are happening on the screen, don't get so excited, it's just the screen. Irrespective of what happens on the screen, it's not real. That's how you have to look at things. Great silence on the screen. Is it silence? No, it is the silence of the screen. Great blasts on the screen, sounds that pierce the ears—they'll be gone. They belong to the screen. Don't get so excited! Your own ‘self’ is the screen—to be enjoyed, not indulged in. If big, bad boys appear on the screen, plotting to kill the cute, good boy, don't try to jump into the screen, but that's what we do. “The baddies need to be punished, the cute diva needs to be salvaged. I am the redeemer.” If somebody does that in a cinema hall, you'll say, “What a fool!” Each of us keeps doing that every single moment.

The world is just a great cinema hall with millions of screens, as many screens as there are people and as many screens as there are moments in time—millions of millions of millions of screens.

Then some nice chap is running his solitary show somewhere in some corner. It's a qualitatively different movie he is showing. One special movie that tells you that all that you are seeing is movies. The common thing between the messages that these millions of movies are giving you is that ‘We are real!’ All the movies have different plots, different characters, and different scripts, everything varies, but one thing stands in common: all these movies tell you, “We are real! That which you are seeing is happening, and come on join the happening!”

Irrespective of the storyline, this is what each of the stories is telling you: “come on, jump into us!” There's one solitary special movie that's running, obviously to an empty hall—some one or two are there, watching the show and well, they can have the best seat in the hall. That's the privilege of going to that particular movie. What's that movie telling you? —"All that you are seeing in each of the halls is just a movie. It's not real.” It's a special movie that tells you that.

Buy the right ticket and choose the right show. Grab the best seat and don't forget the popcorn.

If your hands and mouth are full of popcorn then the danger of rushing to the screen and trying to do something extraordinary there is a little lower. You don't want to have popcorn all over the place.

Now you know why movies and popcorn go so well together. Somebody is shrieking on the screen; you are popping popcorn. One baddy just killed four good guys on the screen; you are having popcorn. Your popcorn is your passport to equanimity. Irrespective of what is happening there, all that is happening here is popcorn. The popcorn turns you into a real witness.

“You do whatever you want to; I only have popcorn. My condition does not change.” And when your condition does not change, then you are the pure, true Self. It's a good trick to survive this whole deal—never forget your popcorn.

Somebody takes birth on the screen. Good! Forty thousand have died on the screen; sex on the screen—doesn’t matter.

Questioner (Q): So, after hearing this example, Acharya Ji, from the other myths that have broken, the one myth that is probably broken is that the most ideal state which I think would be of someone sitting in a cinema hall, glued to the cinema and is watching and he has forgotten the popcorn.

I think this one myth has just broken. No, that's not the ideal state, probably the ideal state is somebody who is just watching and having his popcorn.

AP: See, that’s the thing. On one hand, you don't have to be like a chair in the cinema hall. In front of the chair so much happens on the screen, but the chair comprehends nothing. So, you don't have to be like the chair. A chair is unconscious. On the other hand, if you act like an ordinary consciousness, then the screen will consume you. You want to be in a special position where you comprehend everything, are available to everything, are even sensitive to everything, and yet are captivated by nothing. To witness is surely not to turn into a chair.

That's not the crux of witnessing. No. It's a delicate balance. Know that everything is taken away by nothing.

In the path of devotion, they say, “Be like the bride.” This entire entourage is there and the wedding function is there, but you cannot allow yourself to be taken away by all these guests and the photographer and the electrician and the butler. The entire Barat is there and each of them is eager to take away the bride. No, don't be taken away by anybody; you belong only to the special groom.

So, there is that entire Barat on the screen. Know them, watch them, but don't be captivated by them. Because you already belong, and you cannot belong twice.

The great saint Kabir sahib has said, “Two swords in one sheath is not possible.” Belong once and belong to the right one.

The world is a crowd. Why belong to this? At the same time, it's like an amusing crowd. Fine. After all, the wedding belongs only to the bride and the groom. But if four thousand other people are there, then they lend the air a bit of gaiety, a bit of festivity as you have in the Hindi movies. The leading pair is busy having an intimate dance, and in the background, you have forty others dancing as well. I used to wonder, “But why? What the hell are these people doing on the screen?” The man and the woman are trying to get cozy with each other, it's a pretty private thing, I suppose, and sometimes behind them, you have some two thousand other people dancing. The wonder of wonders! Our dudes don't even seem to mind. That's what you have to practice—to not mind all the fellow dancers. But at the same time, it would be an interesting sight. The bride and the groom are dancing on the screen and there are some sixty, seventy people behind them, and the bride suddenly develops an interest in one of those dancers in the background, and the bride makes her way furtively toward one of those there. You won't like that, right?

Then why do you do that?

Don't do that. Let a thousand others dance in the background—they lend opulence to the sight, that's all. It becomes a chorus when so many sing together, that’s all. But that does not mean that you'll forget the one to whom you belonged. You don't even want to throw one glance at the millions dancing around you. They're there, they're fine, they're good, but they're not the primary. Remember the primary one.

Inside of yourself, in some sense, you should have a very, very intimate and sacred life. Each of us must have a very secret love affair nobody should know of. Not even your worldly lover should know of your secret love affair—very, very secret.

It's best if even you do not know of your secret love affair, but you must have it. The entire day you can be with the world, mingle with people, and involve yourself in your trade or occupation and people will think that you are as worldly as they are. But in your heart, there must be a parallel world, a world you don't want to, and you cannot expose to everybody. A world that nobody knows of, but a world that empowers you to know everybody. That secret love affair will help you to stay alive to see your liberation.

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