Here is a write up of some popular and interesting TALKS and CONVERSATIONS by Prashant S.Shah.
Management by EKS:
A growth strategy for business and profession
EKS is a ‘holistic approach’ to managing your affairs in an ‘open system’. It shows you how to conduct yourself so that you can have extraordinary growth and remain always wanted.
It uses a concerted (simultaneous) application of energy laws, cybernetic control and a benevolent strategy. It says: When you have a clear strategy, you have to don’t wander around aimlessly or try to find something from here and there; and you won’t keep on reacting to other people’s moves. Your strategy will show you the right things to do in every situation; and when you are in difficulty, it will show you how to turn things around to generate your competitive advantage.
To know more, click here: https://darshanacentre.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/management-by-eks/
The Benefit of Holistic Healing:
A simple solution to your health problems
Today people are made to believe that their health depends on doctors and the Medicare system! It has made them unnecessarily dependent on the medical profession. At the same time the health care system has become very expensive, and it is too technical and complicated for the common man to comprehend. Hence, in one way or another you experience helplessness.
However, there are alternatives and you can learn to maintain your health WITHOUT depending on doctors, medicines and hospitals. You can do that by simply learning to think holistically and by taking simple self-help measures that can restore your health and keep you healthy.
To know more, click here: https://darshanacentre.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/the-benefit-of-holistic-healing/
The art of succeeding with yourself
In the western world Yoga is known as a technique for reducing stress and improving health. However, the traditional purpose of Yoga is to develop the inner life. Here we explore this ‘spiritual side’ of Yoga.
The method of yoga is to discipline the mind and make it receptive to a higher consciousness. Then, instead of being led astray by the desires and tendencies of the mind and body, we will be guided by the wisdom of the higher level.
To know more, click here: https://darshanacentre.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/spiritual-yoga-2/
Succeeding with People:
Learning interpersonal skills
Human relationships can be either enjoyed or suffered; they can be either encouraging or frustrating. What we get will always depend on how we conduct ourselves!
To succeed with people, first we have to understand the psychology of the ‘other person’. Next, we have to see things from the other person’s point of view and understand what motivates their behaviour. Only thereafter we can know what we need to do to get the right response from the other person.
To know more, click here: https://darshanacentre.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/how-to-succeed-with-people/
- The Need For A Spiritual Master: A discussion held in New York in October 2008.
- The tradition of the Guru, the Deity, and the Masters: A discussion held in Baroda in April 2009
- Lao Tzu and Confucius: An imaginary meeting between them
The Need for a Spiritual Master
An extract from a discussion held in New York in October 2008.
Prashant: Normally a spiritual tradition is oral. ‘The way’ is preserved with the master or guru and not as a written down text or a scripture. The written down scripture arises when the continuity of the oral tradition is lost. That happens in times of difficulty, as in war, or when the conditions in the outer world are such that it does not generate individuals who are capable of receiving or propagating the tradition. Then the message and key is written down for use by a future generation.
Student: You said: “The Master does not derive his wisdom from the scriptures. He simply uses his insight to interpret the scriptures. He may use some existing scripture or write his own. It doesn’t matter.” Why is that so?
Prashant: The written text is subject to interpretation by a mind. However, when the mind is impure, it is easily swayed by wishes, desires and tendencies. It causes us to see things as we want to see them. It projects our hopes, fears and wishes onto people and events. Then our assumptions become faulty. In this way we deceive ourselves and make us misunderstand everything. For such reasons, particularly in the early stages, the spiritual practice should be done under the watchful eyes of a master who knows the process.
Student: What exactly is the function of a guru?
Prashant: The primary function of a guru (gu + ru) is to dispel darkness or the delusions created by the mind. He or she can point out the errors in your thinking and perceptions. However, they do it only in the context of a situation that has arisen in your life. Often they will wait for the situation to arise!
Student: That’s all? Do the gurus not help us in overcoming all our difficulties, both personal and financial?
Prashant: No. Difficulties and responsibilities are a necessary part of life. They are related to your karma. It is not the function of the guru to release you from your financial or social difficulties. Instead the guru will use your difficulties to improve your awareness.
Student: Many people say they have learnt the technique and so they don’t need a personal guru.
Prashant: When you go to a lawyer, does he put all his books before you? No. He listens to your story and applies his knowledge to your case. The guru does something like that.
Student: What does the guidance we receive depend on?
Prashant: The guidance you get will depend on what you are ready for — on what you can take. Your attitude and adequateness (ability to receive) are most crucial. In modern times your ability to pay is also important.
Student: How can we find a guru?
Prashant: It is never easy to find or recognise a true guru. They are not sitting in the bar or a shop and waiting for you to drop by. The guru is also doing spiritual practice at some level, and hence usually he is not free to make a show of himself by making claims. The rule is the guru does not go around giving public discourses or speeches. You have to search for him, and you may have to mature your insight to be able to recognise him.
Everyone wants to learn under the guidance of a perfect master. But the guru that you get will be according to your stage and capacity. Hence, you should take the assistance that is available and make yourself ready for higher things. If you are sincere in your quest you will find someone who is worthy of your trust. The person is unlikely to be a perfect master, but he has to have some intuitive ability.
Student: How can we differentiate between a false guru and a true guru?
Prashant: The false gurus are there only for false disciples. If you do spiritual practice with ulterior motives you are likely to encounter a false guru. You will also find such gurus to be more attractive.
Student: Are there any characteristics of false gurus? How can we recognise them?
Prashant: You mean that you want to know some outward signs?
Prashant: To a false guru the teacher-student relationship is more like a business relationship. The guru gives you importance according to your celebrity status or it depends on how much you can pay. Further, such gurus have some charitable institution in whose name they can ask for large sums as donations.
On the other hand the disciples who patronise such gurus also have ulterior motives. They want to overcome their anxiety, get personal importance, develop contacts, or be gifted with psychic power. They want to be conferred with spirituality and are not inclined to do the inner work of purification or unlearning that can give them spiritual maturity.
The false gurus act with ulterior motives. Hence, their mind is unsteady; it wanders. Their eyes are roaming and not steady. They are fond of ceremonies and celebrations and do not try to clarify the insight of their students. It can be seen from their replies, which are usually vague and confusing. They give their students a lot of hope, but are unable to deliver anything.
Student: What we really want to know is how we can recognise a genuine guru.
Prashant: You can recognise such a person by the vibration they carry. You should be able to experience calm, peace and sincerity in their presence. The person usually has a strong character and sparkle in their eyes. Their thinking is clear and their reply is insightful. They may not give you much personal attention, but they will be accessible. They live a simple life, are straight forward, and do not make images or give wrong impressions.
Student: How does a spiritual guru teach?
Prashant: Each guru has his own style of teaching. To learn from them you may have to leave your comfort zone and go along with them or even serve them. They may put you through a course or assign some work to you. Then they wait patiently for the necessary conditions or situations to arise. They will use the situation to provide the necessary insight or guidance.
Student: When a master guides me have I become his disciple?
Prashant: It is not that simple. General advice is usually for the asking, but the discipleship requires acceptance. Just as you choose a master, the master also chooses worthy disciples. All are invited, but very few are chosen. A guru may test you or wait for certain necessary conditions to arise before accepting you into the inner circle.
Record of a discussion with a student of Yoga-Mysticism held in April 2009, in Baroda.
Student: I think that the central purpose of the Deity is to serve as a focus for our concentration and devotional practices.
Prashant: Yes. In the beginning the Deity is only a symbol, but gradually with practice it becomes a reality with a power. It becomes a divine presence that you can attune with.
Student: There are people who consider the Deity (personal God) to be an ‘idol’ and they say idol worship is a sin.
Prashant: These people do not understand the purpose of a Deity in a spiritual tradition. Hence, their opinion is of no value.
Student: What exactly is a spiritual tradition?
Prashant: Think of it as a path on which wisdom unfolds naturally as you follow it. It is like nurturing a seed that grows a pattern in your nature. The knowledge arises spontaneously from within. It is self evident; it is not something that you need to construct or figure out.
Student: What exactly is the function of a Guru?
Prashant: There is a write up on this subject on this site.
Student: I’ve read it, but still you tell me.
Prashant: Any person who knows the nature of the spiritual reality from personal experience can be a Guru. Such a person can throw light on many things like the purpose of your life, the significance of your situation, the necessary conditions that you must provide to grow spiritually, the nature of your difficulties and how to tackle them.
Student: Is the guru like a consultant or like a mother?
Prashant: You mean does the guru give you advice that you may or may not follow or does he actually take over the responsibility for your progress?
Student: I like that.
Prashant: Which one?
Student: The guru should take over the responsibility of my life, at least the responsibility of decision making.
Prashant: Your life is given to you so that you can grow and evolve spiritually. Hence, you must participate in making the decisions for your life. When the higher consciousness has become sufficiently organised in your nature, you hand over the decision making for your life to it. However, until you have arrived at that stage, you will benefit by using the assistance provided by a human guru.
Student: Many Gurus run their institutions like a business. They give a ‘spiritual bait’ to attract a large number of followers and charge large sums of money.
Prashant: Yes, that is true. Sometimes they claim to awaken the ‘kundalini’ in their followers; and they offer initiation to anyone who can pay (or donate) a large sum of money. They usually promise a lot, but deliver very little. Hence, genuine spiritual seekers usually get frustrated. However, there are very few genuine seekers; and in any case the genuine seeker is not the ‘target group’. So their business flourishes.
Student: There must be some truth in these claims.
Prashant: Just as rich person can give you something from his personal wealth, a Guru can use his power to arouse certain forces in a disciple. In this way he can give you some mental or psychic power. However, these powers also arise naturally in you as you awaken spiritually. The difference is that in the latter case you have a life-style that sustains these powers. In any case, to develop spirituality or to bring the soul forward in your life you have to do sadhana (spiritual practice). No one can do this for you.
Student: Have you heard of ‘the Masters’ (invisible guides)? Are they greater than the gurus?
Prashant: There are advanced spiritual beings who reside on the astral planes. From there they can guide the person they choose to associate with. They are often called ‘the Lord’ or ‘Bhagwan’. Every tradition or sub-tradition has their Lord. If you contemplate on such masters also, you can connect up with them.
Student: Can you see them and get guidance directly from them?
Prashant: A non-physical master can directly talk into your mind when it is quiet, as in meditation or sleep. However, in the normal course you will get their guidance indirectly through other people who are connected with them, or through situations.
Student: This is something really new for me. I’d like to know the difference between the Deity, Guru and the Master.
Prashant: For practical purposes, there is no difference. All these voices speak from behind a veil.
Student: Okay. How will you differentiate the guidance that is received from your Deity, from a Guru and from the Master?
Prashant: The guidance received from the Deity comes in the form of intuition. However, this intuitive message is easily mixed up with your self-talk (your ambitions, fears, expectations and desires). Hence, it can be confusing. In the case of the Guru, there is the human factor. The person’s background and conditioning will color the advice they give you. Further, you can expect some exchange of considerations. The advantage here is that you can ask specific questions to clear up your assumptions. The guidance received from the Masters is not verbalized. It comes in the form of pointers in specific situations and it is for you to pick it up and apply it intelligently. However, since they dwell in the astral world, they do not have any material needs, and hence they do not require any exchange of consideration.
An extract from the book ‘The Ways Of The Sage’ by Prashant S. Shah (unpublished)
Many tales exist about the imaginary meeting between Lao Tzu and Confucius. It is said that once Confucius was going on a world tour. Hence, he wanted to leave behind his precious teachings, which were in the form of voluminous books, with someone who was worthy of holding them. Someone suggested that he should leave his treasure with Lao Tzu, who was the keeper of the archives.
So Confucius packed his books in a cart and took them to the lodge of Lao Tzu. Confucius arrived at the lodge and announced that he had brought a precious treasure of humanity for safekeeping. Then he began to unload the books from the cart. The general idea of the conversation that is supposed to have taken place is as follows:
Lao Tzu asks: Could you please tell me what is in these books?
Confucius says: The books contain the rules, explanations and precepts of morality, justice, ethics in trade, culture in society, etc.
Lao Tzu asks: How did you acquire this wide knowledge?
Confucius says: I got wisdom by meditating deeply on the nature of these things. Thereby I could recognize what was right or proper in every situation. Then I applied this wisdom to numerous situations and cases, and over the years I compiled these great books of knowledge.
Lao Tzu asks: How long will it take someone to study these books?
Confucius says: It can take them many years of hard study.
Lao Tzu asks: After doing all that will they acquire the wisdom that you have acquired?
Confucius says: No, they would not get that. But they would be able to make some indirect inferences in specific situations by referring to my books.
Lao Tzu asks: If a person could learn to contemplate deeply on the nature of things could he also acquire the wisdom that you have?
Confucius says: Yes, of course.
Lao Tzu asks: Then he could apply this wisdom to numerous situations that arise as you have done?
Confucius says: Yes, he could.
Lao Tzu says: After many years of studying these books a person can only have an indirect knowledge of the nature of such things. Hence, I suggest that you throw these books into the well. It would be better for humanity and perhaps worse for the fishes.