“O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.27)
यत् करोषि यद् अश्नासि
यज् जुहोषि ददासि यत्
यत् तपस्यसि कौन्तेय
तत् कुरुष्व मद्-अर्पणम्
yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam
Goswami Tulsidas highlights the benevolent nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Rama, by remembering the many requests made directly to Him. The Vanara king named Sugriva needed help against a rival brother. Vibhishana was cast aside in the kingdom of Lanka. Shabari waited to be reunited with her spiritual guides in the unmanifest realm. Guha asked to take Rama across the river in his boat.
The common theme is that the people making the requests didn’t have much to offer in return. In many cases they were poor and destitute. In material dealings, the opposite tends to hold true. As the saying goes, “Money talks.”
Having trouble with the visa application for your foreign born spouse? Need help getting permit approval to do construction on your house? Sick of dealing with that broken traffic signal on the commute to work?
One way to get the attention of the politicians is to have money. Special interest groups emerge out of this need. While one person may not have the resources to get the attention of elected officials, if a collective forms, where each member gives some small donation, then the sum total can be used to purchase influence.
There is a reason that former members of Congress tend to get hired quickly at the lobbying firms. There is a reason the lobbying organizations set up shop in the same city as where legislation gets passed. It is not easy to run for office. Significant resources are required. If someone can help in the process, for buying television and radio advertisements, then there is the quid pro quo of favoritism in legislation after the fact.
It would be nice if the star athlete wore those particular tennis shoes because they preferred the look and feel. The reality is that there is an endorsement contract. When the time for renewal arrives, there is every chance that the star will choose a competing brand, especially if the reward for endorsing the product is higher.
The company might move to someone they feel will perform better in the future. No one is conducting business out of the goodness of their heart. There is an exchange of goods and services. Personal interests meeting in the marketplace.
After carefully analyzing data from a recent salary survey of professionals in a specific field in IT, it is seen that those who jump from company to company every three or so years see a significant increase in pay. If you stay where you are, you may grow comfortable and like the surroundings, but the company also takes advantage of your complacency. Another firm might be willing to pay more to get you to leave. You have something to offer them, and they are ready to compensate you for it.
4. Organized religion
A big holiday is approaching. The appearance day anniversary of the Supreme Lord in the form of Shri Krishna. The circumstances to His janma are unique, as is the nature of the event itself.
An announcement for an event celebrating the occasion at the local temple has a special section dedicated to donations. If you fork over significant cash, you can reserve a spot at the front of the line to offer worship directly to the deities. You will receive extra gifts in return as a thank you for the sacrifice.
In many established houses of worship, there is a price to pay to get a viewing of the altar. Though it may not be advertised as such, once you visit the place you will get hounded for donations at every step. You never knew that religion was such big business.
Shri Krishna advises to make every sacrifice an offering to Him. The idea is to use every gift of nature for honoring and remembering the Supreme Lord. While a lot of money is not required, a person is not encouraged to be a miser, either. Wealth is nothing more than a reward from the goddess of fortune, who is always serving her husband in the spiritual world of Vaikuntha.
As Tulsidas remarks, Rama is the protector of the fallen. Those who have nothing else can always rely on Him. Shri Rama does not make a judgment on external factors, on ever-changing positions. High or low, man or woman, rich or poor, intelligent or ignorant, any person can approach Him with good will and be rewarded with eternal devotion; should they so desire.
Money talking with politician,
Influence for favored position.
Athlete the shoes to endorse,
Better deal then different course.
Tulsidas of Shri Rama saying,
That different tendency displaying.
Everything as an offering done,
With no expectation to come.
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