Spirituality is the ability to live without escaping

Acharya Prashant
7 min readMay 19, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): We have just read about the Saints or people who are meditative and who stay in meditation for years or days. In what kind of state they are? Like, they are neither in joy or sorrow or…

Acharya Prashant (AP): See, anybody, who quits life to stay in one particular state for years is simply not worth talking about.

Q: Like Shiva, who is said to be in meditation only.

AP: Did Shiva come and say that?

Q: We have read about it.

AP: Somebody may have said that; people keep on saying ten things. There is no Shiva meditating anywhere. There is no Kailash, on top of which, Shiva sits. Shiva and Kailash are symbols. They are symbols pertaining to your own inner reality. Shiva does not meditate for years or centuries. There is nothing called entering meditation or practicing meditation. There is only life — life and its situations, and that’s all that there is.

You may be a great meditator — if you do not know what to do when your house is on fire — then what is the point in living? Yesterday, we were at Nainital, and we were looking at the photo of a great Saint. And I asked Kundan (one of the volunteers), “Kundan, we have come here driving all the way from Mukteshwar, and now we will be traveling to Delhi. Tell me, this is a rainy night, and it’s getting deep into the night now. The car gets a flat tire, and the road is deserted, would this Saint be able to take care of this situation?”

What is the point of all your meditation? Look at his shoulders — powerless, dilapidated. He can’t even lift the jack. What is the point in his meditation? What do you mean by meditating for 3 years somewhere? Do you learn to live life by escaping from life? And this is what life is about. This is where your response is needed. I said, “Look at the books written by this saint. Where are life situations in those books? Where is the job? Where is money? Where is love? Where is sex?”

This is what our lives are made up of, and the fellow is only talking about Parmatma (God). If you do not know how to change a tyre, would you say, “I am that” or “who am I?” and will…

Acharya Prashant