Dear esteemed readers,
It is yet another week and I suppose you all are having a wonderful week, today we shall be looking at a very crucial topic most spiritualist encounter on the part of their quest in spirituality. This topic is none other than the issue of wealth ; its acquisition for spiritualists and what constitutes having wealth as a spiritual practitioner.
Last week during our usual Sunday lectures a member asked a very interesting question which became the subject for more than half of the entire lecture. His question was : why is that gaudiya vaisanavas do not make it a priority to assist people with material wealth and all we focus on is the glorification of the Lord’s name ? The answer was multi part so I decided to use this medium to shed more light on the topic as we had time constraint during the lecture. First and foremost, let it be known that contrary to the stereotypical believes some people might posses about gaudiya vaisnavas, we do not think having wealth is a bad thing neither do we advocate that people should neglect having material success. Our stand point is based on the principle of Yukta Vairagya : that is dovetailing our resources for the service of the Lord.
However today we see a steady proliferation of the idea that in other to be considered as spiritually advanced one has to be materially or better put financially successful. This idea has gained strong footing in many churches, temples etc and it is actually one of the symptoms of this age of quarrel and hypocrisy. Spiritual advancement will be measured by one’s wealth in money than his wealth in surrender to the Lord’s service. To make matters worse the pseudo-spiritualists (please read my blog on spiritual guide), we have today also contribute adversely to the situation by preaching prosperity which is not based on the tenets of the revealed scriptures. More so, these pseudo-spiritualists becloud the judgement of the followers by propagating the idea that one is not a spiritualist if one is not materially affluent. They however seem to ignore many teachings of past saints and teachers in many revealed scriptures ; wherein they give numerous instructions about the complexity of juggling material wealth if one is not spiritually advanced. Wealth in the hands of an unqualified person is not only a source of distraction for him/her but also a source of disturbance for other living beings surrounding such a person.
Furthermore, the idea or concept that one has to first of all get wealth before one can devote his time to serving the Supreme Lord is a big misconception. The Bible clearly mentions that seek ye the kingdom of God and everything else will be added. The vedic scriptures mention that weather one has many desires, no desires or the desire for liberation one should worship the Supreme Lord. This is so because if the practitioner faithfully allows the Lord to take charge then there is no cause to worry about possible downfall from indulgence born from using wealth wrongly. Naturally this leads to the next possible doubt, one might say on one hand we speak against those who preach material prosperity in places of prayer and now we say if you have such desires worship the Lord, isn’t this a seeming contradiction ? Well it is not a contradiction as it is mentioned in the Bhagavad gita (4.16) that there are four kinds of people who surrender to God and one of such people are those who desire some material gain, however the most advanced is the one who is inquisitive as to know about the nature of the absolute. However this is not to give license to making God our order supplier ; many people pray to God with a shopping list. « God give me this, give me that », and failing to understand that God is not at our service but we should be at His service. God should not be seen as someone there just to grant our desires and the only relationship we have with Him is that of parasitism. The mood in any prayer should be that of service to the Lord, asking how can I serve you Dear Lord, and naturally when the Lord is pleased with and by our service, He takes care of us in total.
Another intrinsic point is that, people who don’t have faith doubt the Lord’s words in His scriptures and say well the Lord has promised to take care of us but his time is not good enough for me so I want to create my own wealth without God. Well what they fail to understand is not a blade of grass moves without the Lord’s sanction and thus nothing can be done outside his sanction. If the Lord can feed numerous Elephants who consume loads of food, and also feed the Ants, what makes you think he’ll neglect those he created in his image ? Lack of faith. The kind of faith we are describing here is not dead faith but practical faith, because faith without work is dead . The person who asked the question above was more or less requesting if there were ways one could bring about wealth « quicker » by rites and prayers. This kind of mentality only generates lazy and lackadaisical people full of inertia who feel spirituality is a replacement to, or means to achieving easy wealth. Sadly this is a big misconception and should be uprooted by conscious practical work.
It is also worthy of note, to mention that if something is not destined or assigned to you it wont either come, or its coming would only bring more misery. We should thus endeavor knowing fully well that what is our due quota will be allocated to us in due course of time. Trying to force nature or God to speed up the process towards our acquisition of material wealth is not only counterproductive but also harmful to our spiritual growth.
In conclusion, there are no short cuts to wealth acquisition, conscious and continuous work helps achieve wealth, and God is not our order supplier. If we work with these points in mind, very soon we shall progress more in the quest for real spirituality. I hope this sheds some light on this topic and I look forward to writing next week and also hearing from you.
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