IIT Delhi: Fearless authenticity

Acharya Prashant
12 min readMay 28, 2022

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

Questioner (Q): I have been a part of college campuses for a long time, ten years in fact. For five years I was an undergraduate at IIT Bombay, and eventually, I completed my Ph.D. at the University of California. One common theme that I have noticed among students in both of these colleges is that there is a lot of psychological fear — fear of failing, fear of not doing well enough, fear of not getting a job, etc. The conventional view is that psychological fear would decrease when material security increases, but in practice, this rarely happens. Can you shed some light on the relationship between material security on one hand, and psychological fear on the other hand?

Acharya Prashant (AP): It does not quite matter if we just look at it in a common-sensical way. Whether the stuff held by you is of the lowest kind, an intermediate kind, or of the highest kind and quality, stuff is stuff. And all stuff comes from somewhere, comes to somebody, and is always vulnerable to loss. Therefore, it is not surprising at all that even if the stuff that one has is of the highest sophistication and quality, it would still remain vulnerable to disappearance, theft, redundancy, and obsolescence. And when there is this kind of vulnerability, where is security? Therefore, be it an ordinary…