(Understandings from Swami Mitrananda’s talk to Yuva Veers of Youth Empowerment Program 6th batch)
We have discussed Bhaja Govindam in brief verse by verse. Now, let’s discuss further on certain topics which are common in many of these verses. One of those topics is about Wealth. It is really confusing indeed when so many Acharyas warn us about wealth. Without wealth, how can we live? However, in Bhaja Govindam, it is explained very beautifully the places where one falls in the process of acquiring wealth. Below are the instructions given in five verses that mention about wealth.
Verse 2: Don’t be a fool and lose your life in running behind money.
Verse 5: As long as one has the capacity to earn, till then his family members will be attached to him.
Verse 10: Where are one’s family and retinue once wealth is gone?
Verse 11: Do not take pride in the wealth you have, or in the people around you, or in the youth. Everything can be taken away in a moment by Time.
Verse 29: Wealth is calamitous, thus reflect it constantly. Even one’s own children can turn out to be his enemy for wealth.
Whenever we do something, the most important thing is ‘Our Objective’. Even in one’s resume, the Objective is the first thing that appears. Inorder to achieve the best result, we need to be very clear about the purpose before undertaking any action. Earning wealth is never a wrong action. In fact, it is said that good-hearted people should earn as much wealth as possible in the right means so that it can be used for noble purposes. We need to remember that wealth is only a means to an end and it should never be the end by itself.
Suppose a person spends his whole life only to earn as much wealth as possible. That is his only objective in life. He might want to earn wealth so that he & his family can live in maximum comforts, he can earn name & fame, etc. Then what can be the result? The above verses 2, 5, 10, 11 and 29 are self-explanatory. And the saddest thing is that he loses his life. That is the warning Shankara gives us first in Verse 2.
People go for work in the Gulf (UAE, Saudi, Kuwait, etc). When they get a job there, they think that they’ll go and work there for a few years, earn some good amount of money and then come back so that he can spend the rest of his life happily. But in majority of the cases, they spend their good youthful days slogging physically and rotting mentally, doing nothing purposeful in their life. They give their full attention on earning wealth and gaining nothing else because they feel only wealth can give them a good retired life. Once they are retired, they realize that their emotional needs are not satisfied. Suddenly they feel lonely and a ‘not-required person’ of the family. They have money, but have also accumulated diseases like Blood pressure, diabetes and other ailments. Their money is no longer able to fulfill their physical and mental needs. Some people lose all their savings in some tragic accident. For them, it’s not just money that they lost; they lost their whole life that they sacrificed to earn that money. How to live such a life at that stage? They had never expected they would land up in such a situation. Had they known that they would have to see the light of this day; they would have definitely done something to make themselves stronger when they were very young.
Bhaja Govindam is advising us to look around…to look at the old people we see today. How many of them are truly happily? Except for a very few, everybody else will tell us how miserable their present state is. Somehow they are killing their time and the only thing to look forward to is – Death coming and taking them back. However, if we observe the happiest among the old people, there would be definitely signs of spirituality in them. Despite the odd situations, they would be happy and contented with the life they have led.
The Real Prosperity is the Spiritual Knowledge which can truly buy Happiness! Blessed are those who wake up to this reality at whichever stage of their life.