The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Acharya Prashant (AP): What is evolution? Is there evolution without time? Is there evolution without movement?
Is there evolution without time? And what is time? Time is the essential mind stuff. Time is past and future.
Spirituality is to know, the falseness that is evolution. It is not an evolution, kindly drop this. The mind is anyway always wandering in the past and future, and that is what you call as evolution. You call yourself as products of evolution. Do you know what that means? You are calling yourself a product of conditioning. “I am the one who has accumulated over time. I am an evolutionary product” that’s what we say about ourselves. That means I am the sum total of my entire past, entire history. I am, what my past has made myself to be. I am so deeply identified with the past that I call myself an evolutionary output.
The first thing that the spiritual mind realizes is that “I am not a product of the past. And if I keep saying that I will continue to suffer. Then I will continue to claim that I am a Hindu, that these are my scriptures, such is my nation, this is my family, my possessions, my belonging, my prestige. My this. My this. My this. My this. Me.” That is the accumulated self, the evolutionary self. So, this has to be clearly understood.
Second thing, as you talked of the Varṇāśrama Dharma, you talked of the Puruṣārtha and such things, let’s not call everything as scripture. The Ṛiṣhi of the Upaniṣhad is calling time itself as false, is calling all prescriptions as false. Do you understand prescription? Anything that is dictated in advance. For him Satya, the Truth is that which is vártate, vartaman (Now).
Where is the question of life being divided in advance into stages? In fact, Aṣṭāvakragītā — primary text of Vedānta* — very clearly laughs at this division. It says, “Only the ignorant talk of such things. There is neither *Varṇa nor Āśhrama.”
But yes, you are on the spot when you talk of spirituality being very closely related to life. Yes, it is very closely related to life. But not, in following the conditioning that we call as life. What we call as life is already a very conditioned, a very…