WAYS TO CONNECT
In these discourses, by conflating the ancient with the modern, the dogmatic with the scientific, the philosophical with the simple, and the sacred with the profane, Acharya Prashant epitomizes the role of a ‘modern saint’. If observed closely, one sees that not only the style of his talks but also their methodology is such that the listener establishes an instant connection with what is being said and experiences a meditative delight in the process of listening.
Other than Advait Life-Education, Acharya Prashant is also the founder and managing trustee of Advait-Prashant foundation – a philanthropic initiative he began in March, 2015 to bring about a socio-psychological rebellion in the world of spirituality.
Early life and education: 1978-2002
Acharya Prashant was born in 1978 in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. He completed his schooling from Lucknow and Ghaziabad and obtained his graduation degree from IIT-Delhi in 1999 and a P.G.D.M. from IIM-Ahmedabad in 2002. In the year 2000, he was the only person in India to secure a seat both in the Indian Civil Services cadre and in all IIMs.
Corporate career: 2002-2006
After completing his PGDM from IIM Ahmedabad in 2003, Prashant worked in a number of companies from GE Consumer Finance in 2003 to ECS in 2004 and finally in BCCL as a Senior Manager in 2005.
Advait Life- Education: After a journey that took Prashant to technical and management education at IIT and IIM, and had him move through various industries for five years, time brought him to the service of the timeless and he founded Advait Life- Education in 2006.
A movement towards an evolved, integral and sublime human being, Advait seeks to promote clarity, integrity, and wisdom among students and professionals by addressing the way they are trained or taught. So far, more than 100,000 students and professionals have benefited from self-clarity programs run by Advait. Structured mainly around Student Development Programs (SDP), Faculty Development Programs (FDP), and Management Development Programs (MDP), Advait has already established itself in the academia as avant-garde educational consultancy.
Apart from Self Development Programs, Advait also engages in organizing street plays, musical events, and educational workshops for its partner institutions.
SDP & MDP:
SDPs, the Student Development Programs of Advait, help students grow as individuals and develop their power of critical thinking. They also at a material level, help students secure better job placements.
MDPs, the Management Development Programs, are themed around the idea of an employee as an individual. Advait believes that the recognition of an employee as an individual not only resolves common organization problems but also unleashes true potential of employees.
Where modern organizations function by orienting the energies of their employees in the direction of the organizational goal, they eventually cause the employee to compromise on his/her natural inclinations and aspirations, which becomes a source of conflict within the employee. And therefore, MDPs conducted by Advait aim towards the individual as a whole rather than focusing on one fragment of his life.
Guiding philosophy and Work
In context of education:
For Advait, education is a method to explore the external world and the self. It is premised on the observation that although the prevalent education systems of today are designed pretty well to offer knowledge-based training, they lack in addressing the individual’s need for wholesome development and oneness with the world. It believes that every child is inherently creative and divine and there can never be a set pattern of information/knowledge that can be applied to all children. It defines creativity as a spontaneous manifestation of this inherent quality of the child and aims to unearth and cultivate this through its various programs.
In context of Business:
Advait believes that with business becoming a way of life, and success in business a more widely and deeply cherished goal, the values that determine how business is conducted (and how life is lived) assume paramount importance. And also, since business activities have acquired such ubiquity that today a life free of transaction is unimaginable, it becomes all the more crucial to develop an understanding of entrepreneurship, and therefore, Advait infuses self-clarity with business.
Advait ties up with professional institutes to impart Student Development Program to the entire batch on round-the-year basis. Its Student Development Program becomes an integral part of the curriculum of the partner professional institute.
Holisitc Individual Development Programs (HIDP) are one such program. A list of current partner institutes is as follows:
Ajay Kumar Garg Engineering College (AKGEC), Ghaziabad
Moradabad Institute of Technology (MIT), Moradabad
Apollo Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Babu Banarsi Das Institute of Technology (BBDIT), Ghaziabad
Institute of Technology and Management University (ITMU), Gurgaon
The defining feature of HIDP and also of Advait Life-Education is its pedagogy. The ‘activities’ designed by Prashant Tripathi are such that they represent the message of ancient scriptures in common man’s vocabulary, and de-sophisticate the convolutions contained therein. Mentioned below are some of the HIDP activities with their corresponding scriptures.
Acharya Prashant’s spiritual talks delivered at various platforms are referred to as Samvad. These recorded talks are available online at Acharya Prashant’s two YouTube channels named: youtube.com/AcharyaPrashant and youtube.com/ShriPrashant
These two channels have a collection of more than 1000 videos, which in itself is a remarkable feature of any personal YouTube channel.
The word Samvad translated into English as ‘dia-logue’ has a specific meaning in the context of Acharya Prashant’s talks, and cannot be extrapolated to the western understanding of a dialogue. If only it is to be situated in some historic-cultural context, the ancient Master-Disciple tradition of the East seems closest.
Clarity sessions are the backbone of Advait Life-Education and are meant to provide constant and uninterrupted value clarity to its Learning Interns. Held twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm respectively, these sessions are completely free of cost and are open for all seekers of truth.
The subject matter of these sessions comes directly from the lives of those who participate in it. It also gives these participants a unique chance to connect with the words of the saints and the scriptures and bring understanding and awareness to their lives.
Advait Learning Camp:
Learning Camps are organized at least twice a semester to hasten the learning processes of students and seekers by providing them with an ample environment in the foothills of Himalayas.
Twenty one Learning Camps have by so far happened and over 10,000 students have gained spiritual depth from them.
Writings and Publications
Words Into Silence:
Words Into Silence is Prashant Tripathi’s official blog in both English as well as in Hindi. It contains a wide range of articles on Vedantic literature, Bhakti and Sufi saints, Zen Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and other similar religious and spiritual topics. Covering almost all streams of spirituality from both the Eastern and the Western tradition, this blog stands out as a unique online resource with around one thousand articles and more than three thousand subscribers.
Most of the writings on this blog have come either from Prashant’s interactions with students and seekers on various social media, or are transcriptions of his discourses delivered at Samvaad or Clarity Sessions.
Dewdrops of Grace:
Dewdrops of Grace is a collection of Prashant’s periodic talks with various audiences. It is available both online and in print. Published in 2014, this book contains short articles on topics such as – Love, Individuality, Time, Mind, etc. Some of the articles are titled:
1. What is individuality?
2. Our inadequate education.
3. Mind, the toughest prison; mind, the fullest freedom.
4. To manage time, see what your mind values.
5. The Heart or the Mind – whom to listen to?
6. Love does not know labels.
Currently this book is also a part syllabus for Holistic Individual Development Programs (HIDP) conducted by Advait Life-Education at various engineering institutions in India.
In 2011, under the production of Pragya TV, Acharya Prashant was featured on a short film titled: Be Content Avoid Complaints. In this one minute video in Hindi, Acharya Prashant talked about the nature and psychology of complaints and remarked that in today’s world complaining has become a means to justify violence, and that the world must cultivate a sense of gratitude towards existence and be sensitive for all it has been given despite itself.
Prashant Tripathi (born 7 March 1978), also known as Acharya Prashant from 2014 onwards, is a mystic and a spiritual teacher from India. An alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad, he is the founder of Advait Life-Education – an organization he established in 2006 as a self-clarity movement to disseminate and promote the teachings of Advait Vedanta.
Currently, through his blog Words Into Silence and his two YouTube channels named Prashant Tripathi and Acharya Prashant, he is gaining recognition in the global spiritual community as a sapient speaker on various existential subjects. A number of self-clarity programs are conducted under his guidance at various technical and management institutions across the nation; and by so far more than 100,000 students and professionals have benefited from his talks and writings.
Acharya Prashant’s vision to bring down the wisdom of ancient scriptures and the words of saints and modern philosophy to the help of mankind in their own language runs as the central motif in all his talks. What separates him from his contemporaries is his ability to render lucidity to some highly philosophical texts and represent them effectively even to a naïve audience. Such spiritual discourses delivered by him at numerous occasions, known as Samvad, are the guiding element of Advait Life-Education.