Can the materialistic man be spiritual?

Acharya Prashant
3 min readMay 14, 2020

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner: Can a totally materialistic man is spiritual?

Acharya Prashant: The emphasis, then, will not be on ‘materialistic’, but on ‘totally’. The totality is important.

Totally, if you are anything, then you are spiritual. The totality itself is spirituality.

Listener 1: Sir, what do you mean by ‘totally into something’? Like I am building a sand castle and when I am building it I am one with it. Is this being total?

AP: Yes. And which also means that totality is not really a function of the activity that you are doing. The totality, had it been a function of making a sand castle, would disappear with the sand castle.

L2: So, then why there is no possibility of being total with the activity?

AP: Being total you can be in the activity.

What do you mean by being total with the activity?

Is the activity something outside of you? Are you and the activity any different?

Being total means you are total — not divided, not limited, not small and then you are in the activity.

L3: But that is not in our hands

AP: That is surely in our hands.

Being total is not in your hands but being divided is always in your hands. Who else is the responsible for the division that you experience? You go to the sand castle and you say, “This is a sand castle that should give me pleasure and that I should be able to sell it after 2 hours for 100 rupees.”

Do you see what is happening now?

You are not going as a total unit to the activity. You are doing it as the divided one. Which is the divided one? Divided one means the limited one. You are saying that I am entering it and I want it to yield something to me so that I can take it and my division can end.

L4: Sir, but we enter into something with some limited expectations.

AP: You can have limited expectations or you can have unlimited expectations but to enter into something as a little one, as a small one, as an expectant one, as a desirous one…

Acharya Prashant