On Advait Vedanta: Religion is the way back to that which was never lost

Acharya Prashant
10 min readMar 21, 2022

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

One who is not perturbed by misfortune, who is beyond comfort, attachment, and fear, who considers gold as dust; he neither speaks ill of others nor feels elated by praise and shuns greed, attachments, and arrogance. He is indifferent to ecstasy and tragedy, is not affected by honors or humiliations. He renounces expectations and greed. He is neither attached to worldliness nor lets senses and anger affect him. In such a person resides God.

~ Guru Tegh Bahadur

Questioner (Q): If this description appeared in a so-called self-development book, there would probably be steps given as to how to reach this ideal human state. In a spiritual context, however, based on what I have learned in camps and through videos so far, the self would not be even playing a part in this ideal human, nor is this ideal human being something to strive for. This state seems like some kind of a side effect of liberation. Am I getting it right? Please clarify.

Acharya Prashant (AP): The religious process is always one of remembrance, rejoining, a coming back. It is not about finding something new, becoming something else, reaching some new place; it is always a return. In fact, that is also contained in the etymology of the word ‘religion’. You just become one with yourself. You just come to see what you already have, rather are.

So, what is the method, then? The very narration, the very description is the method. How do I remind you of something? By telling it to you. That’s what the gurus are doing here. They are just telling these things to you that you already know of. They already exist within you, not in your consciousness but as the base of your consciousness. I’ll tell you what is the difference between having something in consciousness and having something as the base of consciousness.

Acharya Prashant