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Those Who Thrive On The Material Plane Find It Impossible To Fathom The Strength Spiritual State – Ancient Hindu Saying

The ancient Hindu saying "Those who thrive on the material plane find it impossible to fathom the strength of the spiritual state" conveys a profound message about the distinct nature of material and spiritual pursuits. Let's break it down with examples to illustrate the underlying principles.


Material Plane:

  • Definition: The material plane refers to the physical world and all its tangible aspects, such as wealth, possessions, social status, and sensory pleasures.
  • Characteristics: It is governed by desires, ambitions, and the pursuit of external success and comfort.

Spiritual State:

  • Definition: The spiritual state pertains to the inner, intangible aspects of life, such as inner peace, enlightenment, compassion, and a sense of unity with the universe.
  • Characteristics: It is characterized by self-awareness, detachment from material desires, and a focus on inner growth and understanding.


Example 1: The Wealthy Businessman and the Monk

Material Plane (Businessman):

A wealthy businessman spends his life amassing fortune, acquiring luxury goods, and building a powerful corporate empire. His identity and sense of worth are tied to his material success.

Despite his wealth, he often feels anxious, stressed, and unsatisfied, constantly seeking more to fill an inner void.

Spiritual State (Monk):

A monk renounces material possessions and lives a simple life in a monastery, meditating and seeking spiritual enlightenment.

Despite having no material wealth, the monk experiences profound inner peace, joy, and a sense of purpose. His strength comes from his spiritual practices and understanding of life’s deeper truths.


The businessman cannot understand how the monk finds such contentment without any material success. To him, the monk’s life seems devoid of pleasure and achievement.

Conversely, the monk perceives the businessman’s constant striving and dissatisfaction as a sign of spiritual impoverishment, something the businessman is blind to due to his material preoccupations.

Example 2: The Celebrity and the Hermit

Material Plane (Celebrity):

A famous celebrity enjoys widespread adoration, wealth, and a glamorous lifestyle. Her life is filled with parties, luxurious vacations, and the latest fashion.

Despite her public image, she struggles with feelings of loneliness, depression, and a lack of genuine connection. There is always a fear of losing the public image.

Spiritual State (Hermit):

A hermit lives in isolation in nature, dedicating his life to meditation, prayer, and contemplation. He owns little more than the basics needed for survival.

He feels a deep connection to the universe, experiences profound moments of insight, and maintains a calm, centered mind.


The celebrity cannot fathom the hermit’s contentment and fulfillment without fame or material comforts. She sees his life as one of deprivation.

The hermit, however, views the celebrity’s dependence on external validation and materialism as a distraction from true inner peace and wisdom.

The saying underscores the idea that those who focus exclusively on material gains often cannot understand the profound strength and fulfillment that come from spiritual practices. Material wealth and status provide external and often temporary satisfaction, while spiritual pursuits offer enduring inner peace and strength that are not easily visible or comprehensible to those engrossed in the material world.

This distinction invites reflection on what constitutes true fulfillment and encourages a balance where material pursuits do not overshadow the cultivation of spiritual well-being.