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Pursuit of wealth
Date: Fri Jul 02 1999 - 19:25:50 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas
May I add a few words to the ongoing discussion on materialism vis-a-vis 
Anbil Ramaswamy
For our Siddhantam, it is not 'how much' one earns that matters, 
but 'how' one earns it. 

Wealth accumulated through Dharmic means is encouraged but not those secured 
through stealing, cheating, falsehood and the like. So long as gullible, 
credulous folk 
are around, it would not be difficult for a trickster to rip them off and 
appear to prosper. But, sooner or later he will fall by his own tricks. He is 
sure to leave some traces which would haul him up and punish him for all his 

Secondly, it is equally important for Hinduism how the wealth accumulated is 
expended - 
whether on the poor and the needy or for a social cause or whether it is 
siphoned off to  evil purposes. A man who enjoys all his wealth for himself 
without sharing with the poor  and needy is also deemed a thief. 

There is a saying in Tamil "Selvarku Azhagu Sezhunkilai Thangutal"* meaning 
that the wealthy should support financially their less fortunate kith and 

You would have heard of the motivational message sold through plaques on 
'What money can buy' - to reveal that while money is ncessary, it is not the 
'be all and end all' of life.It is worth repeating and remembering -
"A bed but not Sleep
Books but not Brains
Food but not Appetite
Finery but not  Beauty
A house but not a Home
Medicine but not Health
Luxury but not Culture
Amusement but not Happiness
A crucifix but not a  Saviour
A church pen but not Heaven"

Money should be like our footwear. If it is too big it would not fit; nor 
would it fit 
if it is too small. It should be of just that size that would fit your foot 
So also, money should neither be more nor less than what would be absolutely 
necessary for carrying on life without pangs and without getting into debts. 
Anything less would be miserable; Anything more would spoil you.

We cannot rise to the level of Sri Vedanta Desika who spurned riches in his 
Vairaghya Panchakam, in which he had conveyed his total detachment to worldly 
benefits, his attitude of  renunciation. We should at least learn  to earn 
and spend
on the lines indicated by the Sastras.