What is shame?

Acharya Prashant
9 min readSep 6, 2020

Can shame exist without ideals and comparison? Does shame cure and heal? Is there shame in love? Does shame lead to betterment? These and more are the questions we want to talk over.

Man is the only creature that experiences shame. It is a simple and direct fact that reveals so much about the nature of shame. Which means that there can be no shame inherent in the biological scheme of things. The child is not born with shame. Shame is a taught phenomenon. And like everything else that is taught, shame too is taught with the purpose, with the hope that it will lead to betterment.

Man is the only creature that experiences shame, and man is also the only creature that has God, and these two facts must be mentioned in the same breath. For the entire universe, the entire existence, there is God. For man, there is the consciousness of God.

A tree or a deer has no God relative to its tree-ness or deer-ness. The God of our deer is so deep within it that it’s deer-ness does not touch God. The God of a tree is so deep within the tree that the tree-ness of the tree will not touch God. Hence, there is no God in the consciousness of a deer.

Consciousness of any being is related only to the superficial form and expression of that being. The deer is the periphery, of which God is the center. The tree is the periphery of which God is the center. At the periphery, there is only the deer and the tree, and they are alright with the deer and the tree.

The periphery is so contented with itself by the virtue of having God at the center, that it feels no need to proceed either outwards or inwards.

There is no need for expansion, search, or completion.

Hence, there is no God in the consciousness of any creature in the universe, obviously except man.

The deer is alright. Just as it does not want to search for riches and prestige outside in the world, similarly it does not have any concept of searching for God within. Neither does it have to find anything outside, nor inside. As we said, “The God of the deer is very very deep.”

Man is a special case. He’s not contented with that which exists deeply within. Because, that which exists deeply within is unapproachable to the man-ness of man. That which exists deeply within is…