Lust and greed for money, are both harmful to spiritual life. But if I am asked to name the one more harmful of the two, I would unhesitatingly say, “money, because it greatly weakens faith in God”. Whatever money God has given us, can we honestly say we really merit it? Therefore, do not unnecessarily wrangle with a beggar in giving him alms; for, it amounts only to an attempt to evade giving him anything.
A man may renounce all his possessions but not his ‘self’, his ego. Actually it does not matter even if he retains the possessions, provided he really surrenders his ‘self’; but the converse is not true. In other words, all giving is in vain if there is a feeling “I donate “. The main thing is to divest oneself of the very concept of ownership, doership, or attachment; it is this that gives pure happiness.
If we try to raise the superstructure of happiness on the shaky, insecure foundation of the frail, mortal body, how can we hope for success? I call this body ‘mine’, but am unable to prevent it from getting fever or suffering an injury. I say, ‘I am perfectly able to look after myself,’ but if I stumble and fall, I have to be carried home by others. That shows the hollowness of my boast of independence ! How can any work done egoistically achieve success, no matter how hard the body toils for it ? Achievement will only come if God wills it. Samartha Ramadas first annihilated all egoism and worked only as directed by God, and that is why he succeeded. Only that will achieve success which is done by one dedicated to God, and only he gets real contentment.
How can one entertain conceit of wealth when we see even princes reduced to poverty? Wealth gives rise to feuds even between close relatives and friends. So I exhort you to steer clear of attachment for money. An easy way to achieve such detachment is to remain in company with the godly. We doubt the existence of saints in today’s world, but we fail to find saintliness anywhere because we do not sincerely long for it. People approach saints in the hope of betterment in worldly affairs; how many approach him for the purpose of dedicating themselves to him?
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