The Wily Wealth | Bhaja Govindam 29th stanza

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

Arthamanartham bhaavaya nityam, naastitatah sukhaleshah satyam
Putradapi dhana bhaajaam bheetih, sarvatraisha vihitaa reetih || 29 ||

Meaning: Wealth is calamitous, thus reflect it constantly. Even one’s own children can turn out to be his enemy for wealth. This is how the way is everywhere.

The History of Mughal Empire is the best example to show how people kill their own fathers and brothers to inherit the throne. The wealth they possessed became the very reason for their death. We can also see how families fight over property issues. For the sake of money, the people who lived together lovingly as a family, who played and grew up together, who share the same genes, become bitter enemies of each other. A brother cannot stand his own brother’s sight. A father is scared that his son may cause some harm to him for the sake of money. The sense of family values is totally lost. How sad! How does such a situation arise?

They say, flowing water is pure and stagnated water can cause diseases. Same is the case with anything. If we hoard things, then the very thing can become poisonous. Earning money is not bad. But the same should be spent in the welfare of others too. As children if they grow up seeing the charitable nature of their parents, they will also develop that habit. If the parents themselves amass money without charity, then they shouldn’t be surprised if their children turn against them for the sake of money.

The great freedom fighter & philosopher Vinoba Bhave who started the Bhoodaan Movement (Gift of Land) was inspired as a child from his mother. One day an old lady came to their house begging for alms. He saw shocked when he saw his mother give away an expensive saree as charity to the lady. He asked her surprisingly why she gave such a costly saree and that she could have given away an old saree. Her reply was, “When you give something to others, make sure that you are giving your best”.

But, why do people hoard money? Somewhere in life, they must have learnt a wrong lesson that wealth can buy happiness, and probably nothing else can buy happiness. Since everybody is aiming for happiness, the means for happiness (for such people) is only money. So, they are not ready to share it with others.

Money cannot buy a good friend, but it can definitely attract good enemies. Money can increase bank balance but makes one lose his mind’s balance. Money can buy comforts, luxuries & conveniences but it cannot buy happiness. Because, if somebody or something can make you happy, it can definitely make you unhappy too. This we should always remember.

Happiness is something that is available 24 hours. Any time we can have it. All we need to have is a little bit of wisdom and a habit of contemplation. Wealth can make us achieve lower goals, like name & fame; but it can definitely not help us achieve the higher goals of life – Happiness, Love, Peace, Moksha.

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