Should one compromise on his principles?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readSep 2, 2021

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

Acharya Prashant: Ashutosh is asking, ‘Is it wise to not compromise on one’s principles?’

Ashutosh, whereas not compromising has a beauty about it, it has a vigor about it, it has the warmth of life about it, it has the resilience of life about it, ‘I will not compromise.’

On the other hand, principles are in themselves a compromise! I am all for not compromising, surely one must not compromise, but principles themselves are a compromise.

We will go into it, pay attention:

What is a principle? What do you mean by a principle or an ideal?

A principle says that ‘Given such a situation, this is what must happen. A principle says, ‘This is right and this is wrong, and the principle says this is fixed. This has been determined for all time to come, ‘Siddhanta’, done, proven, finished.

Now can life move according to principles?

I understand principles are very close to our heart, so what I am saying will sound a little jarring, but stay with me; can life move according to principles?

All principles are based on acceptance and rejections, on right and wrong, on proper and improper; but life is complete, life has space for everything.

The principle says ‘A’ is right, and ‘B’ is always wrong, whereas A and B both are parts of life, life consists of A and B, the principle says only ‘A’, so what are these principles doing with life?

The principle is dividing life into two zones, one of acceptance, one of non-acceptance, at its proper place, at its proper time, everything is alright, that’s why it is present in life, whatsoever is there in life is good, is welcome, it is auspicious, at its proper place and time.

Had it not been right, it would not been present at all in life. The very fact that it is there, even though it may appear cruel, and bad, and violent, still it has a specific place in life, you can not just outrightly reject it, you can not impose a blanket upon it, peace has its place, you may be principled, and you say that ‘You know, I am all for peace, man must live in peace, society must live in…

Acharya Prashant