You Must Know What to Consume & How Much : Acharya Prashant

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Do not consume that which will poison you, even if it appears attractive

As long as your material body is there, you will continue to consume, you will have to consume. The question is, what to consume and how much?

You must have an inner system that keeps reminding you of what you really need, and where you really must be. You must consume only the stuff that takes you towards your goal, and that is the right consumption. Set your goal with great attention, great peace, great consideration, and then give up all that which is not useful in taking you towards your goal.

Why must man consume with careful consideration?

Impulsive consumption destroys your inner world. It pushes you deeper into the belief that by means of more and more consumption, you will be able to get rid of your inner disquiet. So, it is not good for you inwardly.

The second reason is, all consumption comes from this ecosystem, this planet and in the lust of our blind consumption, we destroy life for everybody. That is very loveless, there is no compassion in that, that is inhuman and not sensible for our own continuation. Man himself is not probably going to continue on this planet beyond at most fifty or hundred years if the current crisis continues to amplify.

As the time passes, science & technology can mitigate the crisis of the material world but still the inner disquiet is important enough for you to lower your consumption levels. Optimize them for your own welfare.

The consumption that is needed for the basic physical sustenance and comfort is certain and unavoidable, but the senseless consumption of wanting more, for a very horrible and false reason, is a cause of worry to me.

With technological advancement, you will probably be able to consume more with impunity. And that would give you the license to totally forget the real cause of your troubles. The exteriors would probably be then alright, it would be green and the carbon levels would be manageable, and all those things would appear externally alright. But your internal world would continue to be in shambles, a shattered mass of glass.

So, those who can have concerns beyond their well-being, I say, please look carefully at your consumption levels for the sake of everybody. And to those who would rather firstly think of their own self-interest, to them I find it more profitable to say, well your own inner wellness does not lie in consuming more. It rather lies in consuming just the right thing and giving up on, renouncing all the rest.

Would minimizing consumption knock down the Economy?

It is obvious that as long as Man exists, Man will consume. That’s a lot of mankind. Even before we consume anything man-made, we continue to consume natural resources.

So, it’s not as if consumption can be brought to zero, or that it is something evil that needs to be totally eliminated. We are talking of the right kind of consumption because ultimately, all consumption is for your own welfare. And if consumption is for your welfare, it is not the consumption that’s the end, it is the welfare that’s the end.


I’m not saying that the economy is evil and it needs to be destroyed. I’m saying we need economics from a different ‘center’. Because all economics is ultimately for the welfare of human beings. Therefore, we need to measure our inner welfare as the most important thing in economics.

Spirituality is not anti economics. Spirituality is pro-good economics

Spirituality says if there is something that deserves to be consumed more, then promote its consumption in whatever way possible. So in that sense, spirituality is actually pro consumption; Consumption of the right thing.

Role of Vedanta in responsible consumption and production

Vedānta asks a very fundamental question – For whom?

For whose sake is the consumption or production made? Who is the consumer and the producer? The process of consumption is a relationship between you and the consumed object. Your first and foremost responsibility is towards your welfare.

You are not responsible to provide yourself with ample consumption or production. But you are surely responsible to do your own welfare.

Acharya Prashant is a Vedanta teacher, author, and the founder of the PrashantAdvait Foundation

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