No ritual is spiritual

Acharya Prashant
8 min readApr 25, 2022

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

Questioner (Q): Sir, could the people of India be enslaved for long because they were spiritual people?

Acharya Prashant (AP): If India was enslaved for so long, if the people here could be conquered and banished, and be made to live against their will, it was not because they were spiritual people, it was because they were not at all spiritual. I ask you a simple question. What is the most fundamental tenet of spirituality? It is to know what is this game called ‘the world’ and ‘Who am I?’ Right? That is the foundation. ‘What is all this going on?’ and it’s a most obvious question that any intelligent man must ask. Right? Only if you are very stupid, then you will be not spiritual otherwise you have to be spiritual.

What else can you be?

Spirituality is common sense. Don’t you want to know what all this is? That is spirituality. Now, if that is spirituality and the first question you are asking is, ‘Who am I?’ and if you have attained any depth, then, first of all, your body association weakens. Your body association weakens. You do not remain a slave of the material. What is the body? Material. You stop giving importance to material, and then you also stop giving importance to the body. The man or woman who gives so much importance to the body is bound to give a lot of importance to the house, car, make-up, money, and glitter. These go together because all are material. Right?

If the body is important as material, then everything else is important as the material. If I am a spiritual man, the first thing that I learn is that material is deceptive, that whatever is material is not really important, and that the really important lies somewhere else. Such a man usually will not want to fight, because most of the fighting that happens, happens for the sake of material. This man usually would refuse to fight. He would say, “Fine. Why should I waste my time with idiots? What is the point? You have brought all these guns and tanks. What for? Idiots! Go. Take it.”

Have you heard the tale of a Sufi? One night a Sufi is lying in his small hut, and the roof of the hut had holes. He is lying in his hut, looking at the moon. A thief comes and starts taking all the things away. The Sufi is…