Isn’t Money Everything

[Vanaras building bridge]“As Rama has the potency to make stone float on the ocean, only a stupid person would abandon worship of Rama and go to another god.” (Dohavali, 129)

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स्रीरघुबीर प्रताप ते सिन्धु तरे पा।सान ।
ते मतिमन्द जे राम तजि भजहिं जाइ प्रभु आन ॥

srīraghubīra pratāpa te sindhu tare pā।sāna ।
te matimanda je rāma taji bhajahiṃ jāi prabhu āna ॥

“Let’s be honest. You can talk about renunciation all you want. You can say that you are trying to be free of attachments, that you don’t want to swell from the gains and lament over losses. You might try to artificially reduce your standard of living. You start downsizing. You try to become a minimalist.

“The thing is, it always comes down to money. At the end of the day, that is what every person wants. Money is everything. We need it to survive. You can never have enough. Just when you think you are set, that you are comfortable enough to feel safe and secure, the politicians go and ruin everything.

“After stealing an election in broad daylight, they send the tax dollars overseas. Under the pretense of protecting a foreign country’s borders, they funnel money to their corrupt projects. It is in blatant defiance of the will of the people. The result is financial calamity, to the point that people start running to the bank to withdraw their money.

“This is a roundabout way of saying that money is the most important thing to people. How are you going to convince them otherwise? How can you expect them to follow God, to take up bhakti-yoga, when they are desperate for survival? How is approaching a deity going to solve their financial problems? They are looking for certainty.”

Let’s take the hypothetical situation of a person who wants to generate endless wealth. They want it to appear magically. Sort of like an ATM machine that dispenses cash on demand, from an account whose balance never diminishes. Like alchemy without the effort; turning worthless materials into gold.

To that person we introduce a concept. We tell them that there is this magical event that can take place. From overseeing a plot of land, a vast amount of water will be dropped from the sky. From that water dropping, the dry and barren land will start producing huge quantities of food. Enough for an entire village to eat for a year.

The same process repeats. That is to say, once the harvest is complete, the land will produce a similar yield in the future. The same rain will arrive, shower its blessings, and serve everyone to a satisfactory level. The entire economic problem will be solved.

[farmland]The reality is that the situation already exists. To those with a poor fund of knowledge, it is a miracle from the heavens. Rain pours down. The water comes in contact with seeds that are within the earth. Mix in some sunlight and patience, and eventually you have food to eat. No money had to be exchanged. No machine had to be purchased.

This means that the people who inherit the earth are already wealthy. They start from that position. Poverty is an artificial creation, due to interaction within society and a clash of desires. There is already ample supply available for everyone to consume, without scarcity.

As there is already abundance, are people happy? Are they content? Are they blissful? Can they survive a single day without relying on intoxicants? Do they deal with unexpected tragedy with a cool head and calm demeanor? Do they understand the guaranteed nature of death?

Goswami Tulsidas explains that Shri Rama already can make amazing things happen. He can make rocks float on the surface of the ocean. This otherwise defies the laws of science. The only person who can defy the laws is the one who makes the laws in the first place.

[Vanaras building bridge]As Shri Rama is the lawgiver, only a fool would turn elsewhere. With an abundance of yield available with minimal effort, who would intentionally suffer so much to increase false prestige? Who would put the satisfaction of others over the interests of Rama? Who would turn away from a person with such potency?

More important than wealth is an engagement. People need something to do. Otherwise, they will be depressed. They will be sad. They will feel hopeless. Despair will take over. Their bank balance could be too large to accurately print on a sheet of paper. The interest accumulated on a yearly basis is more than the average person earns in a lifetime.

If Rama can make rocks float on the ocean, He can turn a hopeless person into a blissful one. He can give an active engagement. He can give meaning to life. Worshiping Rama is that engagement. It is not only something to do, but it is the best way to work.

In Closing:

Despite bank balance swelling,
An emptiness telling.

Since nothing tangible to do,
Looking for meaning too.

Go to one who bridge constructed,
Over ocean with science obstructed.

Because rocks then made to float,
Work to that Rama devote.

Categories: dohavali 121-160, questions

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