Acharya Prashant: Spiritual edification meets animal activism
Following is an excerpt from an article on Acharya Prashant in a prominent newspaper.
Spirituality is considered ancient, classical, sometimes even orthodox. And veganism is a young post-modern movement. Quite interestingly, Acharya Prashant — a spiritual teacher — is combining these two and presenting veganism as a contemporary sine qua non of spirituality.
Acharya Prashant is a writer, speaker and a wisdom teacher who also dons the hats of animal rights and sustainable development activism. An alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad, and an ex-Civil servant, he devoted himself exclusively to writing and teaching after a few years of corporate life. Today, the corpus of his teachings is not only exemplary in quality, but his 8000 videos on YouTube are also the single biggest online collection of wisdom content by one person at one place.
The activist in him draws power from the Advaita philosophy, of which he is seen one of the strongest contemporary proponents. His spiritual love for consciousness manifests in him being an ardent animal lover. He encourages his readers to go vegan, and millions have heeded his advice.
Acharya Prashant considers veganism as the highest form of compassion. He brings forth rigorously scientific reasons in favour of veganism, and compliments them with a compelling spiritual argument. According to him, it is essential to go vegan not only for environmental reasons, but also to enable one’s spiritual upliftment. He highlights that spiritual growth is extremely difficult to achieve while remaining a meat-eater and animal exploiter.
In his words,
“Man has a tendency to further his self-interest. The self he defines, usually, quite narrowly, in relation to his body then all the other bodies become material benefits to be exploited. There is the Homo sapiens species and there are other species as well. Man’s egoistic worldview is that all these other species exist just for the sake of man; hence we exploit them in all possible…