The purpose of all technological advancement

Acharya Prashant
4 min readSep 4, 2020

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

Question: Acharya Ji, we are sitting here in an air-conditioned room. Had somebody not felt uncomfortable with the conditions, why would somebody invent it?

Acharya Prashant: Has the fan helped you understand what I am saying? You are sitting near the Television, but do you still understand what I am saying? What is of more value to you — the television, the air-conditioner, or what I am saying?

You are wearing this suit which is a product of technology, and human development. Has it helped you understand anything? And if you could not understand anything, irrespective of this watch and this suit, what is the worth of all this?

I will switch-on the air-conditioner. How will that help you know? And if you can’t know, what do you live for? For the air-conditioner? You live to be cooled? You live to wear this watch when you do not know ‘time’. All you know is that it is 2 p.m., but you do not know what ‘time’ is. What will you do with the watch?

It’s better to get out of that suit, be naked, and understand.

You do not live for all this — the air-conditioner, the television, the fan. All these are there so that you can understand. Unfortunately, they become the end, rather than the medium. That which should have helped you understand, becomes the obstruction to understanding.

There is this mobile phone in front of me. And somebody can get so attracted to the mobile phone that he loses track of me. That is what happens to the man obsessed with this and that.

Kabir puts it very beautifully. He says, “Hunger is like a bitch. She starts barking when you are sitting still in Peace and Devotion. And she disturbs. So you better throw a bread towards her, better throw a piece or a loaf of bread towards her, to keep her silent.”

That is the purpose of earning bread — to keep the bitch silent. But if your life becomes devoted to the bitch, rather than to the Silence, then you have lost it totally.

Earning bread is necessary to keep the bitch quiet. But how do we live? Wedded to the bitch. That’s too bad. She deserves a bit of attention, so that she may be