Wealth is an abundance of material resources, of money, valuable metals like gold and silver and property. Wealth has utility and can be exchanged for other resources or items that we desire. Wealth means an abundance of all that we would need or desire for having a good and fulfilled life.
Wealth is a collection of things of value. Different people place different values to different things. Value of items varies with the passage of time. Values of things vary as per culture and heritage. Salt was once great wealth and given as salary in Roman times. All the gold in the world is of no use when we are stranded in the desert without water.
Wealth is essential for a comfortable life. We need food, clothes, shelter, medicines, education and transportation. We also need communication services, entertainment, banking, insurance services etc. We require some comforts and luxuries in life too. The list of our desires is endless and hence the need for wealth also keeps on growing. Unless we learn to appreciate what we have, we will be wanting and yearning endlessly for more and more wealth. The perspective of the young boy in the story below teaches us to view wealth in the right way:
A wealthy man wanted to teach his son about the value of the good things he was given by his father and all the facilities, comforts and luxuries he had. So he took his son on a trip to the country side. They visited a farmer and his family for the weekend. The purpose of the trip was to show the son how the poor people lived and how much the father had given the son and that the son should be thankful for his wealth.
The father and son spent the weekend at the farm. The farmer had reasonable facilities in his farm and the food was good. They had a good time bathing in the stream in the backside of the farm and picking up fruits and enjoying great meals cooked by the wife of the farmer. When they returned home, the rich man spoke to his son about their weekend: How was the trip?
It was great, Dad.
Did you see how the people of the world suffer and how poor they are?
What did you learn from the trip?
I saw that we buy milk in cartoons and pouches and they gets theirs fresh from the cows.
We have a swimming pool that reaches the middle of our garden and they have a stream in the backside of the farm that has no end.
We have only one dog and they have four dogs to guard the farm.
We eat stale food. They pick fresh vegetables and fruits from their garden and cook. They have the freshest eggs and fish. No wonder the food was so delicious!
We hang fancy lamps in our garden. They have brightly shining stars.
Our veranda is small. They have the whole horizon.
We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond the sight.
We buy our food and they grow theirs.
We have servants who serve us and they serve others.
We have walls around our property to protect us and they have friends to protect them
The rich man was speechless hearing the words of his son. Then his son added: Thank you Dad for showing me how rich they are and how much we lack in life!
It is not possible to do ‘bhajan’ or spiritual practices without ‘bhojan’ or food. Only when the stomach has food and we have clothes and shelter we feel like doing spiritual practices. Else God goes out of the window and our sole focus in life is earning wealth. Let us earn enough wealth to cover our needs and not earn to fulfil our greed. Let us utilize the remainder of our time in our SitaRam Japa and meditation so that we earn spiritual wealth. Spiritual wealth keeps us happy in this world and carries us forward to higher dimensions and finally to God.