“When he had decided to go to Krishna, he asked his wife if she had anything in the home that he could offer to Krishna, because he must take some presentation for his friend. The wife immediately collected four palmsful of chipped rice from her neighboring friends and tied it in a small cloth, like a handkerchief, and gave it to her husband to present to Krishna.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 25)
1. Retirement investments
“They keep stressing the S&P 500. This is a list of the five hundred biggest publicly traded companies in the United States. One of the most famous investors says that this index will beat the performance of most financial advisors. You don’t have to think. Simply leave the money in there. Buy and hold. Long-term growth. The essence of passive investing.
“Then there are those who highlight the importance of market timing. If you had put some money into the index in a particular year, you would have needed thirteen years before you got your money back. That means breaking even. I don’t want that to happen. I’d like to not think about all of this, either. Can’t I just put my money somewhere that I know it will be relatively safe and that I am not missing out on significant returns?”
2. Direction of savings
“I finally have some discretionary spending ability now. No more having to tap into the savings to pay the monthly bills. No more worrying how to put food on the table. I understand that life situations are temporary. The entire thing could collapse at any moment, but for now I am doing well.
“Where should I put my savings? The extra money coming in, I know the stock market is too volatile. At the same time, the interest rates offered by banks are pathetic. I really don’t know what to do. It is something I would rather not think about. Yes, yes, I am well aware that this is a nice problem to have.”
3. Employment income
“Am I earning as much as I could be? Sure, I like this job. I have been here for a long time. People are amazed when I tell them my length of tenure. There is the adage that if you really want to keep increasing in salary, jump to other companies every three or so years. Another place will pay more to get you to leave than if you were looking out of desperation.”
“I really have nothing. I am in such bad shape, I don’t even want to think about it. You would cry if you saw how much credit card debt is owed. I don’t pay off the balance every month. Just the minimum is enough. I understand that I could be cutting my expenses significantly, but I have a family to support. The children need to feel loved. The wife wants our house to be just as big as her friend’s. What should I do? Who can help me?”
There never seems to be enough money, and so financial security is like a pipe dream. At the same time, if a struggling person were to suddenly realize that they have an extremely wealthy benefactor waiting to support them, that would surely ease some of the tension.
In truth, everyone has such a connection. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan, is the richest person in the world. He is married to fortune herself, Lakshmi Devi. He has the rightful claim on property across the three worlds, and so He can help any person in need.
An accompanying realization is that the animal community makes no such plans. They are not aware of financial investments and neither can they consider annual salary. They don’t engage in prayer, either, and yet their basic needs are more or less taken care of. This is because they have the same link to Bhagavan.
Those who know Him may be in a destitute condition, such as with Sudama Vipra. A poor brahmana living close enough to visit Shri Krishna in Dvaraka, his wife gave the final nudge to make the request. Their family needed help, and so Sudama went to pay a visit to his childhood friend.
Unfortunately, he could not get up the nerve to ask for help. As antaryami, Krishna already knew the situation, and through the brahmana’s carrying a single morsel of chipped rice as an offering, the goddess of fortune became pleased. Rukmini Devi blessed the brahmana with a home transformed into a palace and many servants to help the family.
Everything in the situation changed, except the devotion stayed the same. The idea is that whatever is required for maintaining the service in love will be provided. In this way the yogis in devotion are the wealthiest people in the world. They can survive any market condition, working life or retirement, single or with a large family. They are connected to the person who supports the entire universe, so they have no worries.
Both in times of abundance and tough,
Money never having enough.
Worrying that investments to grow,
Where significant savings should go?
Brahmana Sudama destitute so,
But Krishna his condition to know.
Rukmini Devi the situation addressing,
Lord His devotees appropriately blessing.
Categories: the four