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Subhashita on Wealth

different kinds of wealth - वववववववव ववव वववववव


Most of us aspire for wealth. And while it is important to live in society, it doesn't always have to
be in the form we know of.

In today's world, we all know of immigrants, people moving from one country to another. Many
come to US for jobs. How do they get a job in a different country? By their knowledge and
ability. Knowledge is a great friend and wealth in a new place. By our knowledge we can already
know how to move around and mix and gel in the new place, people, custom, rules. Or this
could be within the country, like India where customs change from state to state. Or within
countries of Europe.

In a foreign land, our knowledge is our greatest asset.

In difficult times, while friends and money can be of lot of help, it is ultimately our presence of
mind, intelligence that helps us out of it. It helps us to not get into bad times to begin with, but
even if we get due to unforeseen factors, we get out of it by our own intelligence.

The true wealth in difficult times is our wisdom, which makes best use of all resources (including
money or how to get it) and finds a solution.

In the after life, we get heaven or hell based on the deeds, the karma (कककक) we did here. The
credit and debit system works in the KBA (Karma Bank of Almighty). What comes handy there is
what we did here. If we followed dharma(कककक), the right conduct at right time, then we
accumulated wealth for the other world. Dharma is not religion, but the way of just life that
upholds the basic interests of all the members of the society. It is law, morality, duty all rolled in
one.

And above all these, good character (decency, humility, nobility) is appreciated in all situations.
It is the wealth for all times, anytime, anywhere. Being a gentleman or lady never goes
unappreciated.

Everything starts with a good character. Everyone seeks good character in other person - be it
employee, teacher, doctor, service personnel, prospective spouse.

And the shloka goes -

कककककककक ककक कककककक कककककककक ककक कककक क


कककककक ककक ककककक कककक कक कककककक कककक क

vidéshéṣhu dhanam vidyā, vyasanéṣhu dhanam matiḥ |


paraloké dhanam dharmaḥ, shīlam tu nikhilam dhanam ||

videsheShu dhanam vidyA, vyasaneShu dhanam matiH |


paraloke dhanam dharmaH, shIlam tu nikhilam dhanam ||
In foreign lands knowledge is wealth, in difficult times the intelligence.
following dharma here is wealth in afterlife, and good character is wealth anywhere.

What do you prefer - money or honor?


In the opening mantra of īshāvāsya upaniṣhad (IshAvAsya upaniShad / कककककककक
ककककककक ) it says, ‘Don’t greed, for whose is wealth?’ meaning we came without anything
and we will leave without anything. Whatever is here, whatever you got, whatever you claim to
be yours is of this world – found here and lost here.

What we see in the world economy today, is not because some alien civilization has suddenly
stolen our food supply, our workers, factories or fields. It is because of two reasons – lightning
fast transactions and greed bigger than the sky of some selfish, soulless bodies! Humans make
all laws, and hiding behind laws to allow unfair things to happen is hypocrisy. The wealth
misdistribution in the name of free market and ‘you are free to do what you want’ is not good for
society as a whole.

How much can one billionaire eat, when thousands go hungry? Everyone has the same small
stomach. Will history repeat itself when people will be asked to “eat the cake if bread is not
available?”

UBS bank losing US$ 2.3 billion in rogue trading must be the biggest and cruelest joke of
capitalism! The US economy meltdown was not because of plague, or riots, or war, but purely
by the greedy wealthy playing irresponsibly. Nor is the Greek or upcoming Italian bankruptcy.
How can the imperial powers who amassed wealth from all over the globe, now have emptied it
all? Whom did they feed? Where did the actual resource go? Money is paper without the
resource. You cannot eat dollars, gold or diamonds.

How much money does a billionaire need?

Some people only want money, no matter how.


Some others want money but honorably, they care for what they do.
Yet others only care about doing the right and honorable thing, whether or not money comes as
a by-product.

कककक ककककककककककक ककक कककक क ककककककक क


कककककक कककककककककककक कककक कक कककककक कककक क
adhamā dhanam_ichchhanti dhanam mānam cha madhyamāḥ |
uttamā mānam_ichchhanti māno hi mahatām dhanam ||

adhamA dhanam_ichchhanti dhanam mAnam cha madhyamAH |


uttamA mAnam_ichchhanti mAno hi mahatAm dhanam ||

Lowly people desire wealth [over respect], average people desire wealth and respect, the great
people desire respect [over wealth], for respect is wealth of the great!

This is a wonderful shloka about human psychology as well.

One is reminded of ‘one should not desire respect but deserve it.’ Here, the comparison is not
between desire and deserve. Everyone has desires, 'this human is made of desires' - proclaim
the Veda-s, and we all know it very well. The question is now, what do we desire?

A lowly person, an adhamaḥ (adhamaH, कककक) would rather have money than respect, or will
even bear some disrespect if it gives money. People do bad things, illegal, sinful, criminal deeds
to make money. They are despised by the society, but for them money is more important than
respectable life. Some do it so cleanly and with the aid of human made laws that society does
not realize or cannot do – bound by laws. Not dharma. Even though one of the meanings of
dharma is law, it is law that keep the whole society functioning, not just a fraction of able and
powerful but greedy people.

Then there are people who do desire and pursue money, but only if it is in a respectable way,
legal, just way. They do pursue money. But they also care about others - are they hurting
others, doing something sinful or criminal? Most of us fall in this category.

Then there are those rare souls, who do not desire money. They desire only to do the right
thing, good thing, that which is respected by the wise. They care what others think of their
deeds, are they doing anything wrong? The money part is only at the need level, surviving level,
not at a wanting level. They work just and fair, for the good of all, and the money part is only a
by-product. They do not desire money to begin with; it comes to them because of their good
deeds.

Given a choice, the lowly person would rather take money than respect, the average person
would balance out both (no money, only respect, or vice versa, then not interested), and the
great ones, would only see if the deed is respectable, good, just, required and do it even if there
is no money!

So, the question is not whether one should deserve or desire respect, but whether one should
desire money or respect.