There is no such thing as a spiritual place or spiritual land

Acharya Prashant
9 min readJan 9, 2022

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

Question (Q): Do you think that with this modernization of INDIA, this global modernization or to say Post Industrial, so-called Post Industrial!, is in a way destroying Indian culture? At least our Spirituality or its health?

Acharya Prashant (AP): You see, no culture is spiritual. Indian, Western, Martian, no culture is spiritual. Spirituality has nothing to do with culture. All culture is just a social phenomenon. Spirituality doesn’t have much to do with that. India is said to have had a so-called spiritual culture for centuries as you have gone about. Is it your first visit to India?

Listener (L): Yes.

AP: As you have gone about traveling here, do you really feel this is a spiritual land?

L: No. I mean I have met a few. Not land but some people. Some people, not complete.

AP: And those people are probable to be found anywhere. If you have met a few good people here, you would surely meet a few good people even in Russia or Germany or you know in your home country or you know even on some God-forsaken satellite. So, that is just by chance.

There is nothing called Spiritual culture and whenever spirituality is conflated to the culture, then what you get are places like Rishikesh. It has a great spiritual culture. So you have a lot of saffron going around.

L: Yes.

AP: And that saffron is just dirty color. So you get cheap T-shirts with “OM” and “SHIVA” printed on them. And that is what is typically meant by Spiritual culture. You had a “Shivam Halwa”. It was an over-priced dish.

L: But, I still think that India had or may still have some more deep approach. Like, for example, in India it is still possible to meet people whom spirituality has touched and they can just go around without money and…

AP: It was never possible. Whenever somebody has done that, he has gone against the odds to do that. What you are talking of is just a fantastic image. It was never really possible. If you are talking of the Buddha's way of going and begging and thereby preaching?