“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.34)
मन्-मना भव मद्-भक्तो
मद्-याजी मां नमस्कुरु
माम् एवैष्यसि युक्त्वैवम्
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
It could be due to one of the fortunate circumstances described in Bhagavad-gita. Born into a home blessed by Shri, the goddess of fortune, there is no reason to work. The ancestors came into wealth due to the economics of their time. They saved enough so that the interest on the fortune is enough to maintain future generations.
This situation happens to be the goal of many. Whether during the latter stages of life known as retirement or to be blessed early on, the idea is that the pressures of maintaining body are too much. Finding a job, keeping it, and building life around it are done only out of necessity. If we were free of such obligations, we might try something else.
1. Travel the world
“People are stuck in the office out of necessity. If they had their choice, they would be out in nature. Well, that is what I am going to do. I will at least try to be in contact with the sun on a daily basis. Let me travel the world. Money is not an issue.
“I will not stay in a single place for too long. This way I can avoid boredom. I will find the best accommodations at each place; so it is not like austerity will be forced upon me. I think every person would be envious of such a lifestyle.”
2. Influence public policy
“People are so frustrated with their government that they feel the need to protect the flag of the nation or the song glorifying it. They feel helpless since money is the mother’s milk of politics. They have little ability to influence public policy.
“Well, now that I am wealthy I can buy off these politicians. I will correct the many wrongs. I will depose the criminals running the important government agencies. I will help to ensure that elections don’t get stolen in the future. I will even break up these media monopolies, who publish one lie after another.”
3. Binge-watch television shows
“Without having to go to work, I don’t need to wake up at a specific time. Throw away the alarm clock. Forget looking at the calendar. I don’t even need to check what day of the week it is. Every day is the weekend, as far as I am concerned.
“I can now catch up on all those television shows I missed. On the biggest screen imaginable, in a room specifically dedicated for such activity in the house, without anyone to bother me, I will watch one episode after another.”
4. Start a charitable foundation
“What am I going to do with all this money? I only need so much to survive. Better to help others. I can get other wealthy people involved. We will throw lavish parties, invite the media, snap photographs, find mention in the papers, and get so much credit in the process. There are innumerable causes out there, and my new charitable venture can donate a little to each of them.”
5. Take spiritual life seriously
Shrimad Bhagavatam describes spiritual life practiced at the highest level to be ahaituki and apratihata. This refers to pure devotion, which is then without motivation and without interruption. Causeless action in support of another person. No expectation of reciprocation. Repeat interaction, day after day, without any concern for personal gain.
This means that spiritual life can be taken seriously even without the condition of excess wealth. We tend to think that we will have more time after retiring, when there isn’t as much concern for money, but after a lifetime spent in attachment to material life the bond will be difficult to break.
The sampling of activities described above will not provide ultimate satisfaction. This means that even the wealthy person is left to jump from one endeavor to the next, in the desperate search for lasting peace and happiness.
The devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, gifted through the fortunate meeting with the spiritual master, has an occupation that can continue lifetime after lifetime. That occupation is not dependent on the net worth. It provides the utmost satisfaction, though there is never a point of saturation or completion.
The connection itself is peaceful, and that link never has to break. If I never had to work again in my life, I already know what I will be doing. I am already the beneficiary of the inheritance of the world, since the original person lays proper claim to property. I will use whatever gifts I have received to honor Him, to repay Him, and to stay with Him: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Of boundless mercy hard to believe,
So many gifts already to receive.
Now the time to repay,
Daily to meditate and pray.
And thank Him for what He gave,
And sending spiritual master to save.
That same spirit whether money or not,
Thankful this opportunity I’ve got.
Categories: the five