Acharya Prashant on Veganism: Vedas and Milk


Question: Acharya Ji, there are people who quote the Vedas and say “A Hindu is a good Hindu only if he drinks milk from the mother cow.” What is your take on that?

Acharya Prashant: See if you have named the Vedas, what is the central teaching of all the Vedic literature?

If you want to really know what the Vedic teaching is, you will have to go to the Upanishads. The Upanishads are called the “Vedanta”, which means the summit or the climax of Veda. And they go into the reality of man. What is the reality of man? The Upanishads are very forthright and unequivocal about it. They say, “Man is the Truth itself (Aham Brahmasmi).” Nothing else except the Truth. You are the ultimate finality. You are the total.

Now, if this is the position that the Vedic literature takes, then one cannot operate from a point of incompleteness, hollowness or desirousness. A lot of what we do, please see we do just in order to gain fulfillment. We say that the purpose of human Life is progress, don’t we? And we asses a human being according to how much he has been able to progress and contribute to progress.

And what is progress for us?
Knowing more; collecting more.

I’m not trying to unnecessarily be simplistic. Please go into it.

When you know more, when you collect more, is it something that happens only on the outside or does it also affects your self-worth? When you know more, your self-worth rises; when you collect more, again your self-worth rises. The Upanishads say, that your self-worth, that which you are, is any way infinite, you are anyway total. Now, go out and play. You are anyway perfect and complete. Now, do whatever you want to do. But do it from a point of perfection. Do it from a point of completion.

Do not do in order to gain something. Do not do in order to rise.

Act as if you are already there as if you are already complete.

That is what Vedas are all about.

Now, around this center, a lot has been said. Just a whole lot.

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Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration? Ask yourself.

Not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive. Is it not?

Always remember, you will not run after something unless you are worried. All motivation has a close linkage to worry.

Always have a firm realization, let me even call it a feeling, that I am alright. I might be defeated, I might take losses, I might be rebuked, scolded, still, fundamentally I am alright. Never lose that inner faith.

No goal is bigger than you. You are bigger than anything your mind can come up with. A goal, a fantasy, an imagination, a concept, you are bigger than that.

You are not worried about goals. Goals come because you are worried. Do you get the subtle difference?

When the mind is worried, then it sets more and more goals and becomes more and more serious about them. Becomes very serious about the goals.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?


Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?

Question: Acharya Ji, my question is, “How to be free of botheration and still be focused on our goal”?

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

Questioner: Kumar Abhishek.

AP: Sit, Abhishek.

Abhishek is saying, how to be free from botheration and yet to be focused on the goal. Let’s examine.

Abhishek, where does the goal arise from?

You are asking, one – I need to be free from worries; parallelly, I need to be focused on my goal.

I am beginning by asking you, from where does the goal arise?

Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration?

Ask yourself.

When you are Light and Joyful, are you still thinking of goals? Go to your moments, when you are free, light. Were you planning, were you concerned with goals? Were you concerned with goals?

It’s obvious that goals arise from botheration. The more bothered you are, the more is your sense of inner incompleteness, the more goals will be there in your mind. A goal is like a medicine. I am feeling sick, I am feeling sick, so I am searching for a medicine in the future. Goals are not only like a medicine, they are also a ‘False medicine.’ Because the botheration is right now and the medicine is in the?

Listener: Future.

AP: Future. It’s like saying, I have a severe headache, a migraine right now, but I have planned for a medicine that will work two years hence. What kind of medicine is this? If you have a migraine right now, when do you need the medicine to work? Right now. The suffering is right now, the botheration is right now, you need something that heals you?

L: Right now.

AP: Right Now.

Two things, One – goals arise from a sense of turbulence, from a sense of, there is something wrong somewhere, from a sense of there is something unworthy, inadequate about me and I need to make up for it by achieving something in future. I am not alright.  I will be alright when that goal is achieved. Right? That’s what the goal tells you. You will be good, admirable, lovable, adequate when you get that promotion when you have that amount of money when you earn that respectability. That’s what the promise of the goal is. And we fail to see that it is a false promise. A false medicine.

So, Abhishek you are asking for the impossible. You are saying, “How not to bother and how still to be focused on goals?” Do you see how you are asking for the impossible? Goals themselves arise from the poisonous soil of botheration. If there is no botheration, how will there be any goals either? How will there be any goals, if you are not worried?

Tha’s why you see, In many systems, in many institutions, in the minds of many people, it is essential that they keep those around them, worried. Because they know that unless you are kept worried, you will not run after goals. In many professions, the lure of incentives is given, to achieve targets, goals. Parallelly, there is a threat of disincentives. And in any case,

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Are you able to listen to your own love song?

Ever seen a dead man, just died, everything is still there. He is still wearing the clothes that he was wearing a moment back. If he had had just had tea, the tea too, is still there. If there is a particular expression on his face before he died, even the expression is still there. The clothes are there, the body is there, the teeth are there, what is missing? Bring that, bring that, bring that.

“Jis tan preet na sanchare so tan jaan masaan,

jaise khaal lohaar ki saans let binu praan”

And ironsmith’s skin, oh! they no more use it, technology is advanced, they used to have it. It was used to pump air into the furnace. So, air out, it would collapse, air in, it would swell and it was made of animal’s skin. So, air in, and air out is happening even with something as dead as the ironsmith’s equipment.

If you do not know the love song of your heart, your body is a graveyard.

 Jis tan preet na sancharae so tan jaan masaan…..   

Just because you are breathing, just because all the material processes are happening, do not call yourself as alive. Just because all the material processes are still happening with you, do not call yourself alive. You can be put on a ventilator indefinitely, all the material things will keep happening, but are you alive? After a few days doctors advice, “Take him off, he is actually, we are artificially just blowing air into him. He is actually gone.”

What is the point in hanging on to the material? Had it been all about breathing, then why would ever anybody be taken off a ventilator? The heart can be made to pump blood and if the heart does not pump blood there are other means to have blood circulate in your body. You can be kept technically alive but what is the point of such a life. Are we all not just technically alive? Are we really alive? Do these eyes really see? Does this heart really beat?

Check! Check! Check!

 Are you able to listen to your own love song?

Read the complete article: The song of the Heart

The song of the Heart

BFB1 Hiding in this cage of visible matter

is the invisible life bird.

 Pay attention to her,

She is singing your song”

~Saint Kabir


ACHARYA JI:  The invisible is difficult to be attended to. How many of you have ever looked at the invisible? How many of you ever touched that which cannot be touched, or heard that which cannot be heard? But if there is something available to be touched and seen and smelled, it is within your province. You would have some experience of it.

We like to live in the dualistic domain, the dualistic domain is a domain of comfort, the dualistic domain says “I can know and experience while remaining myself.” Read more

Body, senses and beauty



Question: Why does it happen that the movements and gestures that we make in our daily life is what others make perception of ours. For example in the past two hours I have been listening to you and I can’t stop noticing the fact that you are moving your legs?

Acharya Prashant: It happens because we are so bound to the senses, that we can see nothing but the body. How do I look at a man or a woman? How do I look at him? I look at him only in terms of what is visible to the eyes, or what can be touched; sensory perception. But if that be the case, then there is nothing except material. And that is pretty insulting. That is as good as saying that right now I am talking to a Sixty Kg mass. Because if there is only the material, then material has no consciousness. Material only has weight, color, smell and other physical properties.

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Yoga is freedom from that which you think yourself to be




न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्ध : कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ।।

श्रीमद भगवद गीता (४. ३८)

(Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge.

A man who has become perfect in yoga, finds it within himself in course of time.)

Acharya Prashant: Krishna, brings us to Yoga, along with certain words – Knowledge, time, the self. Let us discover, what Yoga is, and what is the relationship of Yoga to knowledge, to time and to the self.

न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते । 

“Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge” – It is always, easy to misinterpret, misunderstand a Krishna, a Buddha. They speak from their highness. We listen from where we are. And they too are confined by language. Though they are artists of language, though their language plays around, though their language breaches the  of usual boundaries of meaning. Still, language is language, something man-made. And whatever is man-made, will always struggle is fully carrying the import of that which is beyond man, which is not man’s creation.

So, Krishna says, “Nothing purifies like knowledge.” In the world of Krishna, ‘Knowledge’ has a very special meaning. The word, ‘Gyana’ there, does not refer to the usual, sensual, memory based knowledge, that we are accustomed to. When Krishna says, “Knowledge”, he means, that which helps you see the limitation of what you generally call as knowledge.  Krishna says, “Knowledge is a great purifier.” But for most of us, knowledge, is the prime agent of corruption. For most of us, knowledge is the greatest bondage. Knowledge is, what keeps us heavy. Elsewhere in classical literature, The Shiv Sutra, very crisply put it in two words, “Gyanam bandhah”, Knowledge is bondage. Read more

Deploy the anger rightly

Anger is nothing but the expression of your own frustrated energy.

You know the direction to go, and you are not going in that direction, that energy will accumulate and spill over.

This is called anger.


Deploy that energy rightly.

Anger will no longer be there.

‘Now’ is not the present, and facts are not the Truth

Facts are material; facts are dualistic; facts are supplied to you by your senses.

Facts might take you to the door of the Truth but, facts by themselves are not the Truth.

‘Now’ is not the present, and facts are not the Truth.

To say that facts are the Truth and ‘now’ is the present, is to say that material is the final reality.

And if material is the ultimate Truth, then there can be no Love, Freedom or Joy because none of these are material.

There can be no Love in facts. There can be no Freedom in facts.

There can be no Freedom in facts.

Spirituality is the art of supreme nonsense


Question: Why do you talk to people like this?

Acharya Prashant: There is this tree out there and it has a few leaves and when the wind blows the leaves also blow. Let’s together go and ask the leaves why do they blow like this?

Listener: Trees don’ talk.

AP: Ah! We don’t listen.

L: They don’t talk in English.

AP: Why must you be so tied to English? Don’t you know ‘Treeish’?

L: This is what you imagine.

AP: No, ‘Treeish’ is a language. Have you not heard of it?

L: No. Is it the language in which trees talk?

AP: Of course!

Everybody knows this language, even those kids know that. You forgot. You started knowing so much else that you forgot the language of the trees. Have you ever talked to your dog; Never?

Don’t you have a dog?

L: No.

AP: Too bad! What do you have?

L: Walls.

AP: Have you never talked to them?

L: No.

AP: People will say, “You are mad”? Social opprobrium!  How do I talk to walls like a madman?

Preetam talks!

L: He talks to walls?

AP: He talks even to walls when there are no walls.


L: That doesn’t make any sense.


Spirituality is the art of supreme nonsense.

So become comfortable with something nonsensical.

If you are too tied to sensibility, then you will be tied to your insanity.

L: So, you don’t know why you talk to the people?

AP: I have already told—‘For the same reason the leaf dances in the wind’. Looking for a purpose, some profit, some motive, some missing statement, something to do, something to achieve, what does this guy want? What is he after? What is he chasing? May be something, may be something. Maybe nothing. Who knows?

~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Spirituality is the art of supreme nonsense

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Babaji can’t even talk sense, how will he talk spirituality?

Article 2: What is Intelligent Spirituality

Article 3: Spirituality is the intimacy of the immediate, not the blaze of the beyond

Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant are available on AMAZON:

The sixth sense is the conditioned mind trying to take a more acceptable name


Acharya Prashant: There is fundamentally no difference between the five senses and the sixth sense.

Just as the five senses constitute who we are, similarly the sixth sense too is but a product of the five senses. It is just that the ego sense is identified more with the mind than with the hands, or eyes, or tongue, or ears. Hence, it wants to give more weightage to the so-called sixth sense (which is nothing but the mind).

We often hear people speaking in these terms – such as, “The sixth sense is intuitive, the sixth sense is metaphysical.” We even hear of things such as “women have a more advanced sixth sense”.

Just as the five senses are external and dualistic, similarly the sixth sense too is not what one is.

You see, we have a fascination for the paranormal. The eyes are so ordinary . . . you see how they are functioning. We have a fascination for the paranormal because we want to prove that we, as we are, are still something beyond the material.

The body appears so limited, and so weak. So, one likes to claim and attribute those powers to the body which the body doesn’t have and cannot have. So we talk of things like intuition and conscience and sixth sense, as if they are coming from somewhere beyond the body-mind.

Don’t you see people paying a lot of respect to what they call as their ‘intuition’ . . . people relying a lot on their tendency about something –their inclination, proclivity towards something, and calling it as sixth sense; or attributing their deep seated conditioning to what they call as their conscience?

If you say, “This is my decision,” it doesn’t sound too grand, too much, or very respectable because you are not respectable. If you go to someone and say, “I am withdrawing from you and it is my decision,” then that person will fight you, contest you, argue with you, because you have just said that it is your decision and you are known to be little and weak and prone to mistakes. But if you go to the same person and say, “You know, it is the call of my conscience, it is not my decision,” then the same decision is given more respect, the fellow takes you more seriously. Why? Because now you have said that it is not coming from you, rather it is coming from some other center.

Don’t we see that happening? Man wants to claim that his ego itself has two centers. The ego wants to claim that the true center lies within it and it tries to give the true center various deceptive names. Of course, it is the false-true center that the ego is referring to. So, it gives it names like ‘conscience,’ ‘love,’ or ‘understanding’. Have you not heard people using these phrases? “You know it is my own personal understanding that what you are doing is wrong.” If the fellow just says that it is my opinion, then it won’t be taken with any gravity. People would say, “Just as you are, so would be your opinion, why should we listen to you?” But when he says, “It is my understanding,” then suddenly some kind of weightage is attracted to his statement.

If you just say, “What I am saying is what I have absorbed from my five senses, this is what I have seen in the T.V., and what I have seen and gathered from the T.V. has now become my mental stuff and now I am just recycling it, regurgitating it,” then this would appear so mean. So, you cannot attribute your statements to your five senses. You cannot say, “I just ‘saw’ this. I just ‘heard’ two people talking about this; and I used one of my five senses for that.” You say, “It is coming from my sixth sense.” Brilliant! Now it’s coming from the beyond; now, you have staked your claim to the transcendental. Now you are saying, “Take me seriously, it is coming from the beyond.”

Just as you cannot tell a woman that nothing but lust attracts you to her. If you just go and tell her, “You know it is your body, and especially your sexual organs that attract me to you, then the whole game will be spoiled.” So, what do you go and tell her? “Mine is divine love. When I look at you all the goodness and the divinity of the cosmos appears personified in your shape.”

You have heard so many songs. In any of these songs do you really hear the fact of a man-woman relationship? Is the man ever saying, “Nothing but your naked body is what I want”? He is talking of so many other things. At the most, he will talk about her hair and her eyes – that is the limit. Whereas, the fact is – he is least interested in the eyes. The moment you say, “love,” you sound more mature, more deep, more sincere, isn’t it?

One politician wants to switch sides and moves to the other party, he never says that he is doing it out of his greedy calculations. What does he say? “It is the voice of my conscience.” And he will not admit that his conscience is nothing but a product of his conditioning.

The ego uses all means to be taken seriously. Deep within it has a deep inferiority complex. It knows that it doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. So, it masquerades as something else. It is only when you know that you have nothing that can be given any weightage that you want to disguise as somebody else. One of the first elements in spirituality is to have this honesty, to see black as black and white as white – to not to name deceptively.

If you have a doubt, you call it a doubt; you don’t call it a submission. If you are taking sides you clearly mention that you are a partisan; you don’t say that you want to understand the matter from a neutral perspective. You very well know there is nothing called neutral perspective; all perspectives are biased, this way or that way.  But have you not seen the sophisticated ones, the ultra-civilized ones use this kind of language?

“You know, I want to understand your statement from a neutral perspective.”

“Why are you bullshitting? Come the point! Just say that you do not like what you hear from me. Just say that something within you cries out to oppose me.”

Won’t that be honest? Why does your morality prevent you from expressing the fact of your mind? And does it not? You hate somebody and what do you tell him?

“You know I was just a little disappointed to hear what you said because I expected a little better from you.” If situations allow, you would gauge out that person’s eyes, slash his face using the sharpest blade possible, and what are you saying: “I was a little disappointed because I thought you are capable of doing much better.”

See things as they are!

And don’t feel guilty when you see your mind full of biases, or hatred, or patterns. What is the point in judging the judgment . . . in judging the judge, especially when the judge that you are judging, is the same judge that is judging.

Who is judging? The mind is judging itself.

~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: The sixth sense is the conditioned mind trying to take a more acceptable name

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: The normal mind finds intelligence repulsive

Article 2: Do not discard particular opinions, discard the opinionated mind

Article 3: When there is innocence in the Heart only then there is intelligence in the mind

Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant: