Can money buy Happiness? | Bhaja Govindam 2nd stanza

(Understandings from Swami Mitrananda’s talk to Yuva Veers of Youth Empowerment Program 6thbatch)

Moodha jahihi dhanagama trishnam, kuru sadbuddhim manasi vitrishnam
Yallabhase nija karmo pattam, vittam tena vinodaya chittam || 2 ||

Meaning: Oh fool! Give up (here, in this world) the greed for amassing wealth. Direct your good intellect (here: Mind) towards the thoughts of the Real. Be happy with whatever you get as a result of your actions in the past.

Here Shankara says, ‘Don’t be a fool and lose your life in running behind money’. There is much more that can be done in life. Making money is necessary for one’s survival. But when man becomes greedy and yearns for more and more wealth, he thinks he can buy all happiness in the world with the money. One earthquake, one Tsunami is enough to take away all the wealth that was earned by a person in his whole life time. What would be the condition of such a person’s mind? In one of the relief work during a flood that hit Orissa, a person was standing and staring at a Chinmaya Yuva Kendra member who was volunteering distribution of some packets of food for the victims. When the volunteer went near him, that man said, “Few days back I was standing at your place”. That man was a rich generous guy who used to give off donations to the needy and today he was a receiver of charity. Think! How unpredictable is life!

Japan was terribly hit in the earthquake of 2011. Their economy was shattered in a few days. But what helped them bounce back was their strong spiritual background. For them, spiritual knowledge is the result behind all successes.

Accept whatever that comes in our way as results of our own past actions. Krishna said the same thing in Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 2 Verse 47) – Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarman. Science tells us that every effect has a cause. So, every action that we do gives its result as an effect in the future. Some of the results are received immediately. But some results take time to come. That is the law of nature. It’s like sowing different seeds in a ground not knowing which seed is of which plant. Every seed will come out as a plant in its own time. The plant will bear its fruit depending on the quality & type of the seed. In the same way, depending on the quality of our actions, we get the results in the correct time when they are meant to be matured. These actions can be the actions of this life or our past lives. We never know. But whatever we receive is the effect of some cause (action) that was performed by us. That is why it is rightly said – In life, we may not get what we desire, but we will definitely not fail to receive what we deserve.

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