What is the highest?

May 7, 2021 | Acharya Prashant

Questioner (Q): What is the highest?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The question is - What is the highest? What is the utmost highest? And the answer, as usual, begins in negativa. They (referring to the Rishis of Upanishads) said the highest is not prāṇa; the highest is not the sense organs; the highest is not mind, thoughts, feelings or actions either; these are negated. What is meant by this kind of negation? Senses are not the highest, thereby, anything that is perceptible or experienceable through the senses just cannot be the highest. Keep all sensory perceptions and experiences in their place; they don't deserve to be taken to head; they don't deserve to be given an importance they don't really merit. Thought is not the ultimate which means anything that can be thought of cannot be the ultimate. Whatsoever it is that thought can reach and touch, cannot be the ultimate. Therefore, have some humility; therefore, do not be too dependent on thinking or too identified with thought.

Prāṇa, which is the internal mechanism we call as life cannot be the highest. So, even the value of this thing we called as 'life' is not the highest. There is something more valuable than life itself. There is something so valuable that even life can be forsaken for its attainment.


Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, Acharya Prashant is an acclaimed Speaker, Vedanta Teacher and author of over 50 books. Apart from that he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom. Know More