The economics of spirituality

Acharya Prashant
8 min readAug 4

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

Questioner (Q): The right action dictated by spirituality is what the world requires, but if the world economy was to be structured around it, then wouldn’t that make most of the prevalent jobs and business models obsolete? If everybody becomes spiritual, won’t the world’s economic system collapse? If the economy is based on spirituality, will it work?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Work for whom? And work for what purpose? What do you mean by ‘work’? When you say the economy is working today, what do you mean by that? You mean that today there is a certain system of prevailing conditions and today’s economics is supporting that system. You want the prevailing conditions to continue? Economics, obviously, is inseparable from the way the world order is, and the world order is inseparable from the way man’s inner order is. Are you alright with these two, how man is within and how the world is without?

You are talking of maintaining the status quo as if the status quo is heavenly. You are asking me, “Will a new kind of economics work?” as if the current economics is really working. Look at your assumption. Is it functional, or is it deeply dysfunctional and we are living in a dystopia? It is such a common argument, that if people become spiritual, what will happen to economics? I mean, why aren’t you asking what kind of economics is promoted by people who are not spiritual? Economics is just human activity. If man changes, economics will change; economics will not disappear, economics will change. A lot will change.

Today you work for the sake of results, and results in economics is money, right? It is money that matters, so people want to snatch money from each other. But if you are really spiritual, you will work for the sake of work; money will become irrelevant. Obviously, there would be an economic upheaval. Somebody will come to take away your money, and you will have no problems because it is not money you worked for. Right now, everything is money-centric; and if people work at all, it is because they want money. And because everything is money-centric, therefore there is very little emphasis on right work, and all the emphasis is on counting notes.

Acharya Prashant