“Wealth is considered to be the goddess of fortune (Lakshmi), and the Lord is Narayana, or the husband of Lakshmi. Try to engage Lakshmi in the service of Lord Narayana and be happy. That is the way to realize the Lord in every sphere of life.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.5.32 Purport)
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1. The person who has money
“They have so much in the bank it’s ridiculous. The monthly interest is more than the average person’s annual salary. Multiply by a factor of ten. That should give you an idea.
“They can hire someone to manage all of the staff. Their staff has staff. Someone to cook. Someone to clean. A person to drive. A teacher comes to the home. Every public establishment you would visit on a regular basis. Places you would give monthly membership dues.
“This person can have all of that at home. A full track for running. Olympic size swimming pools. Indoor tennis courts. It is amazing to contemplate. They must be so happy.”
2. The person who has stock
“They refer to it as a golden parachute. I am not sure of the origin of the term, but I guess it refers to someone being able to land safely after they have left a job. The parachute in this case is rather expensive.
“Even after retirement, the CEO has so much stock invested in the company they were previously leading. The net worth calculation is based on these shares. Granted, that is only in the case of a hypothetical liquidation. I doubt there would be anyone to purchase so many shares at one time.
“Also, the market fluctuates. Multi-billion dollar companies have gone bankrupt. It has happened before. Still, with so much stock, these people are considered to be the wealthiest in the world.”
3. The person who has land
“With the nonsense that went on the past few years, owning land is the way to go. Even if the tyrannical governments come up with ridiculous rules, locking people in their homes for no reason, a landowner can rest easy.
“They have plenty of space on which to roam. They will be able to go outside and breathe without obstruction. They can invite as many people over for a gathering as they want. Hardly anyone will be able to notice, since the driveway leading to the front door is one mile long.”
4. The person who has cows
“I have heard people say that true material wealth is in owning cows. This is because even with a little land, a single cow can produce so much. There is no question of shortage. There will always be enough food to eat.
“Should the local supermarket go out of business, we are in trouble. Should there be a disruption to the supply chain, shortage is the guaranteed immediate consequence. Having cows eliminates this vulnerability. Rather, during a time of crisis, people will be flocking towards the person who has such facility, begging them to share in the wealth.”
5. The person who has devotion to God the person
The distinction here is bhakti-yoga or the spirit of devotion to a specific personality. There is no single name to tie Him down, to fully define the concept, but the word Bhagavan is commonly used in Vedic literature.
To translate to the best extent possible, Bhagavan refers to someone who has all opulences in full and simultaneously. This makes Bhagavan the most fortunate person. He has beauty, wealth, strength, fame, wisdom, and renunciation.
Bhakti-yoga has the specific target of Bhagavan. He is the person for whom all efforts are dedicated. His interest is primary. He takes the highest priority when aligning the tasks for a given day. His satisfaction is what matters most. His potential dissatisfaction is the biggest deterrent to any ill-advised proposed behavior or action.
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
“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)
Another name for Bhagavan is Vishnu. There is a clearer picture when using this name, as there is an associated form, with four hands, and beautiful ornaments. It is seen that devotees of Vishnu tend to be poverty stricken, when utilizing the net-worth assessment.
They may be frail and skinny. They perhaps do not live in the biggest home. They could not compete in terms of specific possessions, in compiling a list for a contest. The strange thing is that they do not seem to mind.
Rather, they behave as if they are the wealthiest in the world. The expected freedom from worry and anxiety, the assuredness in knowing that everything will be taken care of, the lack of envy from understanding that you already have everything you need.
They may be able to only offer fruit or water in their standard worship process. They might only be able to find a single flower to present before a deity of Vishnu. They have strong faith that the offering will be accepted, that there is a direct interaction with the person who is wealth personified.
After all, He has the goddess of fortune as is eternal companion. Vishnu is always with Lakshmi. If I am aligned with Him in consciousness, there is a kind of oneness. The picture is complete. The interest is the same, though the roles of the participants are different.
A person within this relationship can appreciate the simple things in life. They feel they have everything they need. The only urgency is to work further in seeking the pleasure of the all-attractive one, who has the world and more at His fingertips, ready to share with His countless children.
Everything already there,
And willing to share.
Greatest wealth to His name,
Feeling as if mine the same.
Because of existing connection,
All efforts in His direction.
Lakshmi by Narayana to stay,
My wealth complete in that way.
Categories: the five
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