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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is Money Everything?? 11-29


Is Money Everything???


Is Money Everything???






I know everyone can contribute on this, I also know that most of you are willing & eager to contribute. In fact I need all the views and perspectives. As for me, I am confused and what you see is loud thinking being shared with my friends and social media community members.
It is not an article, it is just a chain of thoughts passing through my mind presented in the order they have come. My apologies, if you find this monotonous and disjointed. I am not rechecking or organizing it. I want to keep the original order.
I hope you like it. Starting with a Telugu verse.

nidhi cāla sukhamā
rāmuni sannidhi sēva sukhamā
nijamuga palku manasa


निधि चाला सुखमा 

रामुनी सन्निधि सेवा सुखामा

निजमु गा पलुकु मनसा 


 Nidhi: Wealth
Sannidhi: Divine presence
Meaning:
Is [possessing] wealth a greater pleasure
or is service in Rama's presence a greater pleasure?
Answer me truthfully, O Mind!

This is what the great Telugu Saint Tyagaraja said more than 200 years ago 
Tyagaraja composed devotional songs in carnatic music. His compositions are sung and admired by musicians all over the world
After 200 years also the question still remains unanswered……
There are people who feel that divine sannidhi is greatest of all nidhis, a person can acquire during a life time. Sannidhi (Divine presence) is not related to any one religion or faith. It is above religions and faith. Every seeker irrespective of the faith yearns for it.
There are people for whom nidhi is most important acquisition, and in which they find the divine sannidhi.

There are people who pretend to to be working for attaining divine bliss.They have all sorts of weird appearances and clothing. These are all serving saints. Why do they do this.

Totakacharya 8th Century C E saint and the disciple, whom the Adi Shankara loved most and whom he installed as the first Jagatguru of Jyotirmatha pitham near Badrinath, wrote this verse of Bhaja Govindam. In this he explains why people do what they do.

(It is a well known fact that only some of the verses were written by Adi Sankara himself.Rest were written by his disciples)

JATILO- MUNDI LUNCHITA-KESHAH
KAASHAAYAAMBARA- BAHU-KRITA-VESHAH
PASYANNAPI CHA NA PASYATI MOODHA
HIUDARA-NIMITAM BAHU-KRITA-VESHAH

जटिलो मुण्डी लुंचितकेशः     
काषायांबरबहुकृतवेषः । 
पश्यन्नपि च न पश्यति मूढः    
 उदरनिमित्तं बहुकृतवेषः 

The  ascetic with matted locks, the man with the shaven head or one with hair pulled out, or the man parading in the ochre robes    — they all have eyes but yet do not see. All these are but  deceptions for cheating the world, for filling their bellies.  (Renunciation does not lie in external appearance, but in inward thought, attitude and feeling).


What is the real wealth???

This is what Adi Shankara said in His Bhaja Govindam about wealth

müãha jahèni dhanágamatøúïám
kuru sadbuddhim manasi vitøúïám,
yal-labhase nijakarmopáttam
vittam tena vinodaya cittam.(2)


"O fool! leave off the desire for accumulation of wealth; create in the mind, thoughts about Reality, devoid of passion. What you get - i.e. what you have achieved through your past deeds - with that, satisfy your mind."

Adi shankara feels that the real wealth is, the soul that is content and enjoys is existence.
I feel it is not wise to either agree or disagree with either. It is all a case of circumstances, environment, Karma and Dharma.
What if the lure of money was not there?? Would people still work?? One’s need for money is fulfillment of some other need for other. Is earning money also societal??
How much of it is societal, and beyond which point is it greed??
Now what is greed??
What is right and what is wrong???
For a King or emperor expanding his domain is considered a prime duty, even if it involves war and loss of lives.
For a businessman making profits, even if it involves falsehood is the dharma.
 This takes us back again to the question, and what is wrong and what is right??

Samarth Ramdas the Marathi saint poet of Chatrpati Shivaji’s time has this to say
जनी निन्दिते  सर्व सोडूनी द्यावे 
जनी वंदिते  सर्व भावे करावे 

Meaning:



What is criticized and not liked by people, should not be done.
What is revered and liked by all, should be done.
Appears reasonable because, what is good and correct, changes with time.

Here is what Narsimh Mehta the Guajarati poet says in his famous song that Mahatma Gandhi liked to sing as bhajan.
वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे पीड पराई जाणे रे,
पर दु:खे उपकार करे तोये मन अभिमान  आणे रे,
A true Vaishnav (devotee) is one who understands the pain of others.
Now coming to others, who are “others”???
For some, “others” are people outside family, people other than wife, children, and parents..
For some, even parents are others.
For some there are no others. Every human being is a part of their family.
Now how do you define the term selfless??  It is doing something without expecting any returns for self.
How do you define “returns”??? Does it include only materialistic gain??? Is soul satisfaction a return???
Is a feeling of well being, a return???
Is there an act or a deed that doesn’t give any of the above????
In the above context, can there be a selfless act. If there is an act, which doesn’t give satisfaction, physical, mental, spiritual or soul satisfaction,
Then what is selflessness, what is tyaga (sacrifice)? , what is vyragya (renunciation)? 
Aadi Shankara has this to say in Bhaja Govindam
सुरमन्दिर तरु मूल निवासः 
शय्या भूतला मजिनं वासः 
सर्व परिग्रह भोग त्यागः 
कस्य सुखं  करोति विरागः 

A real parityagi (hermit): No one can disturb the peace of mind and vairaagya, if one is willingly taking shelter in some temples, under some trees, sleeping on the naked ground, wearing a
deer skin, and thus renouncing all idea of possession and thirst to enjoy life.


Well,I started with money, and reached parityaga,I will end it here before  my mind goes further astray and roams aimlessly into wilderness.

Thanks for your patience.

If you find this disjointed, you are welcome to put this thing in order. I am open to views and opinion, and yes ready to get educated.
Best wishes,
Shyam
Please also read Shyam's article