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Material wealth and spiritual pursuits

From: sudarshan madabushi (sudarshanm_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Jul 19 1999 - 13:51:46 PDT

Dear members,

In the on-going discussion on "material wealth and spiritual health", do I 
see near unanimity of view that in the modern day it is not possible to 
adhere completely to the Vedic code and ideal of life?

Do I hear even present-day "AchAryA-s" being quoted in support of the 
"practical" viewpoint that it is necessary to "earn adequate money" and then 
follow it up with our best efforts to pursue the call of VedAntic destiny?

>From all such views expressed by members in the past few weeks, it seems to 
me that one can tend to one's spiritual urges only if one can also bankroll 
it.

If such views as expressed by members are true then, surely, there is an 
extra strain on our souls. As though the mysteries of our spiritual Self are 
not baffling enough, each of us now has to also resolve the extra riddle of 
how much of "enough" is "enough" in material life….i.e. what amount of 
"money and material comfort" is just right for us so that, at that precise 
moment when it is attained, we can triumphantly say to ourselves, "Now I can 
start my spiritual quest into the Vedas!"

Our poor souls must now deal with not only being confounded but also being 
confused.

Alternatively, as some other members have opined, we can continue with our 
secular pursuits and also "side-by-side" do some "part-time" "vEdAbhyAsam", 
"mantra-dhyAnam" and "yagnyA-samskArA-s". By that, we may perhaps piously 
hope that somehow by God's grace (or by chance?), spiritual assets acquired 
("punya")  and liabilities of the temporal world accrued ("pApa") will 
eventually both tally in the great balance-sheet of life. And when the day 
of reckoning finally arrives, when we must each answer for what we have done 
with our respective lives, we can hope to present God with at least a 
"proper" if not perfect statement of accounts.

                ********         *************         *************

When putting out such views, I feel (or, ""adiyEn" feels", if you will 
permit me that much touted term of self-deprecation) we must ask ourselves 
if we are being 100% honest with ourselves.

Are we saying these things out of genuine conviction or are we trying to 
offer apologies for our ways of living? Are we offering a serious modern 
alternative to the Vedic ideal of "living in material poverty and spiritual 
opulence"? Or, are we offering convenient excuses to why we cannot abide by 
the ideal? Are we speaking the language of robust conviction or the language 
of effete compromise?

               ********         ************         *************

In the following post, dear members I am going to re-produce for your 
benefit extensive extracts from the speeches of an "AchAryA" who lived 
amongst us not long ago. Many decades ago he made some crystal-clear 
pronouncements on this very same issue we are all discussing now. His views, 
expressed in typically trenchant style, leave us in no doubt whatsoever as 
to what is the correct position that we must espouse in this matter …as per 
the ancient "sAstrA". The words of the "AchAryA" are extremely relevant… so 
please do not mind the extensive quote.

No marks for guessing the identity of the "AchAryA"!

Over to the next post of mine.
Sudarshan


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