Thursday, February 21, 2013


SPIRITUALITY COEXIST? - Can materialism and spirituality coexist? Is it possible to be spiritual and materialistic at the same time? Why not? In fact, it is more difficult to be completely spiritual or completely materialistic. It is a lot easier and more enjoyable being a combination of both. Even if the ratio is 70:30 or 80:20, it is fine. Most of us fall in this category. People with a ratio of 95:05 are rare. If money and spirituality could not co-exist, we would not have so many Hindu gods and goddesses wearing gold crowns and silken robes.
In fact, the word money, itself, is said to have originated from the Roman fertility goddess Moneta, an aspect of Juno, in whose temple money was first minted. Hence, many spiritual leaders believe that money is a part of divine energy and should be wisely used in our own interest and the interest of society.

Clearly, there’s no conflict between wealth, prosperity and spirituality. It is greed and spirituality that cannot co-exist. Contrary to what is popularly believed, money is not the root cause of all evil in society. It’s the urge to cling to it that is the problem. Comparing present-day lifestyle with that of earlier times, it might seem that there’s a decline in spirituality, but it is actually not the case. Earlier, people led simple lives and, therefore, had enough time and money to devote to spiritual pursuits. Today, an average person works 10 to 12 hours a day and spends so much time commuting to work.
Necessities of life too, have increased. To be able to maintain a ‘decent’ standard of living, people have to work really hard. As a result, they might not be able to devote themselves to religious or spiritual pursuits. There’s a saying in Hindi: “Bhookhe pet bhajan na hoy”. It means that you can’t be spiritual on an empty stomach. Clearly, there’s no contradiction between material needs and spiritual needs.

What is the relationship between money and spirituality? "Money is not the cause of all evil. It is the urge to cling to it that is the problem," remarks Bhavleen Kaur, the author of the article. "In spite of not going to the temples every day, and not participating in bhajans and kirtans (congregational chants), one could still be close to the Divine through one’s concern for one’s family, friends and the world around him." Even in the complicated daily life, one can act spiritually "As long as his moral compass is pointed in the right direction," she explains. The real treasure that we must cherish is our relationship with God and try to turn our greed into real generosity to others using our money to spread God Consciousness.

Householders engage in fruitive activity earning money, so it is recommended for them to use the fruits of their labor toward offering food to Krishna, or God. They are also required to host as many guests as possible. ... Though the ideal householder life may be difficult to implement in this age, the best thing a family can do is to become devotees of Lord Krishna and offer all their food to Him prior to eating. This prasadam should also be distributed to as many friends, family, and neighbors as possible. Through this system, there is no need for government programs or food donation charities. In this way, the householders can perform the highest service to their fellow man and satisfy society’s real hunger, the hunger for spiritual life.

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

1 comment:

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