With IIT Ropar: An upper limit to salary?

Acharya Prashant
12 min readMay 30, 2023

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

Questioner (Q): The richest of our society are the ones responsible for the most consumption and they take all the resources to themselves. Though they might be ethically and legally justified in doing so, at the end of the day, the large heaps of wealth make no sense to me, especially when I see the tremendous poverty rampant in our society. So, do you think that, just as there is the concept of minimum wage, there should be a concept of maximum wealth also?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Just as it is wonderful to have a minimum wage, the corresponding idea should not be maximum wage but proportional resources. Now we will go into that — proportional resources. When you say maximum wage, what you mean is that there ought to be an upper limit on how much wealth a single individual can own, right?

No, there can be a better idea: the idea is proportional resources — resources proportional to what? Proportional to the importance of the work that you are doing. This would be the Vedantic view on that. This would be the right, deep, and informed view on wealth distribution or income distribution.

You see, who am I? Who are you? And what do we, therefore, want? We are conscious beings, right? Obviously. So, we are consciousness, and what do we want? We want this consciousness to rise, to be higher, to be better, and to be more free. If that’s what we want, what do we require? We require resources, because for whatever you want to do as an embodied being, you require resources of all kinds. And that’s the only proper use of resources: elevation of human consciousness. There is no other right use of resources. Resources are not meant to just feed you, fatten you, comfort you, keep you secure. No. That’s an improper, and if not improper, then a very secondary use of resources.

The right use of money or any other kind of resource is, it has to be used towards the elevation of one’s consciousness. And when I say one’s consciousness, I mean the entire mankind.

So, how much money should you have? It should be proportional to your intention to use it in the right direction. If you are using your money towards the elevation of your consciousness and social…