Five Things I Might Do If I Stumble Upon Endless Wealth

[Syamantaka jewel]“Materialistic persons who can achieve such huge quantities of gold every day are not interested in Krishna consciousness. Sometimes, therefore, in order to show special favor, Krishna takes away great accumulations of materialistic wealth from a person and thus makes him a great devotee. But Satrajit refused to abide by the order of Krishna and did not deliver the jewel to Him.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 1)

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1. Withdraw from it on a daily basis

“I can’t believe it. How did this happen to me? Why am I so lucky? I am not lying to you. Trust me when I relay this information to you. I am not hallucinating. This is real, as far as I can tell.

“I found a way to withdraw money from an ATM machine on a daily basis, without any debiting of my account. Actually, I don’t even have an account at the bank. The money came out by accident one day. I pressed buttons in a certain sequence and I guess that’s what triggered the release. I have since been repeating the same process on a daily basis. I don’t think I am breaking any laws.”

2. Let others know

“The bank apparently has no problem with this. No one has barged into my home. No one seems to care at all. This money has been a huge help. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

[ATM machine]“I had to let a few others know. They didn’t believe me, at first, but then I showed them firsthand. They were amazed. They kept telling me how lucky I am. I agree.”

3. Keep it a secret

“Okay, I think I have to stop telling people. They keep calling me. They can’t seem to replicate the trick on other ATM machines. They want me to personally withdraw money for them. I am basically going there all the time, instead of once a day. It might be a better idea to keep this a secret going forward.”

4. Hire a bodyguard

“There is a reason people often invoke the reference to Pandora’s Box. Once opened there is no turning back. I have to hire someone to protect me. I am concerned for my safety. People want their chance at this money. They are leaving threatening notes. They demand that I share the wealth.”

5. Throw it away

“I want to set this machine on fire. Seriously. I never want to see it again. I will give back all the money. My life has turned into a living nightmare. I can’t go on like this. I would rather be at peace. Please, someone get rid of this. People don’t believe me when I tell them that I have exited the game. I would rather be poor for the rest of my life.”

Though the above is only a hypothetical situation of an infinitely dispensing ATM machine, there is actually an analogous incident from recorded history. Known as the Syamantaka Jewel affair described in Shrimad Bhagavatam, the sequence of events is similar.

[Syamantaka jewel]There is a king who has the benediction of receiving huge quantities of gold on a daily basis. This should supposedly make a person happy. They should reach shanti, a state of peace from knowing that they will not have to worry about how to maintain body and spirit moving forward.

Where there is gold, there is dishonesty, treachery, conspiracy, false accusations, and possibly murder. This all took place within the direct jurisdiction of Shri Krishna, who was the king of Dvaraka. In other words, the people should have known better, but the potential of endless material ascendency can distort better judgment.

It is still a good question to ask. It is an interesting exercise to explore. What if someone gave us the ability to produce endless wealth? What if we never had to work again? What if we knew, for sure, that everything would be taken care of, throughout the journey of life?

For devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, nothing would change. They would live life exactly the same way. Such devotees are already compared to desire-trees, kalpatarus. This is because they have something much more valuable to offer.

Imagining Vedic literature as such a desire tree, plucking off a single verse is enough to bring satisfaction, excitement, enthusiasm, and bliss to last many days. There is the potential for the benefits to last an entire lifetime, but the distinction is that there must be proper training.

A person must know how to use such verses. They should know what the words mean. They have to associate the meanings within a proper context, with relevance to the time and circumstance.

Since Vedic literature is nothing more than glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the comparison to the desire-tree only makes sense. The glories of God are as endless as God Himself. The gift of His direct association cannot be compared to anything else.

You can place heaps of gold on one side of a scale. If you have Bhagavan on the other side, there is no comparison. He is Adhokshaja precisely because His greatness cannot be properly measured. Devotees treasure His association, and so they live the same whether in royal opulence or rigid austerity.

In Closing:

Changing fortunes of mine,
With royal abundance to find.

Normally problems to make,
Since others wanting to take.

But since devotional mindset to hold ,
Rock the same weight as gold.

Because everything for Krishna directed,
Both loss and gain to Him connected.

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