Acharya Prashant on Veganism: Vedas and Milk

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Question: Acharya Ji, there are people who quote the Vedas and say “A Hindu is a good Hindu only if he drinks milk from the mother cow.” What is your take on that?

Acharya Prashant: See if you have named the Vedas, what is the central teaching of all the Vedic literature?

If you want to really know what the Vedic teaching is, you will have to go to the Upanishads. The Upanishads are called the “Vedanta”, which means the summit or the climax of Veda. And they go into the reality of man. What is the reality of man? The Upanishads are very forthright and unequivocal about it. They say, “Man is the Truth itself (Aham Brahmasmi).” Nothing else except the Truth. You are the ultimate finality. You are the total.

Now, if this is the position that the Vedic literature takes, then one cannot operate from a point of incompleteness, hollowness or desirousness. A lot of what we do, please see we do just in order to gain fulfillment. We say that the purpose of human Life is progress, don’t we? And we asses a human being according to how much he has been able to progress and contribute to progress.

And what is progress for us?
Knowing more; collecting more.

I’m not trying to unnecessarily be simplistic. Please go into it.

When you know more, when you collect more, is it something that happens only on the outside or does it also affects your self-worth? When you know more, your self-worth rises; when you collect more, again your self-worth rises. The Upanishads say, that your self-worth, that which you are, is any way infinite, you are anyway total. Now, go out and play. You are anyway perfect and complete. Now, do whatever you want to do. But do it from a point of perfection. Do it from a point of completion.

Do not do in order to gain something. Do not do in order to rise.

Act as if you are already there as if you are already complete.

That is what Vedas are all about.

Now, around this center, a lot has been said. Just a whole lot.

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Attraction towards flesh and attraction towards gold are one

When Ramakrishna says ‘woman’, what he means is ‘Prakriti’ – everything that appears, moves, can be seen, can be touched. And when he says ‘you must be cautious of women’, what he means is that you, the one you are, the individualized eye, has the tendency to ‘not to watch Prakriti’, ‘to not to have a healthy relation with it’ but to rather acquire it and exploit it. This tendency is called LUST.

Lust is the tendency of the individualized self, the ego, to seek salvation in the material world. The material world is being referred to as woman by Ramakrishna. So, woman is not really a gender here nor is the woman a danger! Neither is woman a danger nor is even the Prakriti or the material world a danger.

What Ramakrishna is repeatedly warning against is our own tendency, not somebody outside of us. He is warning us against ourselves. He is not warning us against somebody else. He is warning us against our desire, our inclinations to be attracted to Prakriti, which is material, which is world, which is flesh, in the hope that we will get peace there. Seen in that light, woman and gold are one. When the ego is attracted to material flesh, then it is attraction to women. When the ego is attracted to insentient material, non-living material, then it is attraction towards gold.

Fundamentally, attraction towards flesh and attraction towards gold are one and the same thing. The incomplete ego raises a hope, builds a story that something outside of it, something visible, something material, something sensual, will give it peace, will give it completion.



Read complete article: Why have some sages advised caution against ‘woman’?

Why have some sages advised caution against ‘woman’?

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Question: Acharya ji, what is meant by ‘woman’ when Shri Ramakrishna says, “Souls enmeshed in worldliness cannot resist the temptation of ‘woman and gold’ and direct their minds to God, even though these things bring upon them a thousand humiliations.”

Acharya Prashant: It is not possible to go through this reading and not be astonished as to what Ramakrishna really means by ‘women’. In our time and age, it comes as a bit of a shock that a holy man, a wise man, is nullifying one particular gender. Right?

But that is not really the case.

When Ramakrishna says ‘woman’, what he means is ‘Prakriti’ – everything that appears, moves, can be seen, can be touched. And when he says ‘you must be cautious of women’, what he means is that you, the one you are, the individualized eye, has the tendency to ‘not to watch Prakriti’, ‘to not to have a healthy relation with it’ but to rather acquire it and exploit it. This tendency is called LUST.

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Rishikesh of Shiva must stand for dissolution, not continuation in another name

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Acharya Prashant: (to the listeners) So, what does Rishikesh mean to you?

L: I wanted to come here since I was 15. I came here few years ago, I just feel at home here, it’s a place somehow very conducive for what we are discussing here. I just enjoy being here.

AP: Will it end when you go back?

L: Yes, I have Visa limitation, so…

AP: So, you will leave Rishikesh.

L: I will leave the external Rishikesh, Yes.

AP: The external may appear special and distinct at times, the Real may appear in an external form, but the external has done its work only if it opens up the internal. And once it has opened up the internal, the external is no more qualified, extraordinary or distinct. Continue reading