Enlightenment, and the need to change

Acharya Prashant
3 min readJun 16, 2020

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

L: There is a lot of talk about enlightenment, but what is enlightenment?

AP: When you know, that is enlightenment. When you refuse to know it is darkness.

No person is enlightened.

If right now you understand, you know, you are already enlightened. You can choose to remain enlightened or you can again wallow in the darkness.

Enlightenment is not something that you attach to a person, ‘Oh, he is enlightened.’ No.

Enlightenment is Truth, the very essence of all. Surrender to the Truth, you are enlightened.

L: We have sort of industrialized everything that we do. And there is a label of growth on it, how much can we grow? Aren’t they all pursuits?

AP: They all are trying to create a future for you. They all are trying to take you somewhere. and whenever there is talk of progress, of betterment, of GDP growth and such things, you are always being pulled away from what you are. But if you have a political leader who wins votes by offering you a better future, then don’t you see what you are doing.

You love those leaders, don’t you, who offer you a better future?

L: Then we shouldn’t be engaged in those false promises.

AP: Great! that you are figuring this out.

Maybe you need a totally different kind of mind, a totally different kind of politics, an entirely new way of living.

Maybe the shopping mall and the ashram are part of one rotten system and both sustain each other. Maybe the office and the weekend retreat are part of one system and both sustain each other. Maybe both have to go together — the commercial centre and the spiritual centre both have to go together because both co-exist, and both can ‘only’ co-exist.

Maybe you need an entirely new world; a totally new humanity. But the new comes only from that which is immediate. The new will not come from a distance, the new comes from here.

L: The only question arises then, although that seems like a bad pursuit, but that’s part of the truth, overall. Even if its destruction of…

Acharya Prashant