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Pursuit of wealth.

From: sriram suresh (suri64_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Jul 27 1999 - 06:59:38 PDT

Respected members,
                  These is regarding the pursuit of wealth by a spiritual 
seeker in the present world conditions.Excuse me for the long mail.

The answer to this problem can be looked from two views :-

1. The Individual or the seeker himself.
2. The Conditions of the present world.

Before i go to the answers, i would like to highlight some relevant
points:-

1. The Isavasya upanishad has the compatibality of material and spiritual 
life as its main theme.It explains that a balanced life of both material and 
spiritual pursuits with the spiritual goal as the primary goal and the 
material pursuits as a support for bodily sustainence for moving in the 
direction of the primary goal is essential for a seeker of brahman.

2. The main theme of the Bhagavad gita is the spiritual seeking of an 
Individual from the conditions in which he is presently placed.It gives 
examples of karmayogins like janaka explicitly,who was not only a great king 
from the worldly point of view,but is also a Brahma-jnanin.
    The gita advises its follower not to run away from the material 
world,though pointing out the miseries and the fleeting pleasures,
which the world called by krishna as anityam,asukham and dukhaalaya
offers to an inidividual.
    It also tells that spiritual life or practise is a continous process to 
be followed from childhood(if possible) upto the last breath and not after 
Retirement(when majority of us will be unfit in all the ways)according to 
the popular belief.

3. Many examples like yagnavalkya,vasista,vedanta-desika of the past
    and present day philosophers like Radhakrishnan,DrS.S.Raghavachar.
    Dr.Rangachar,N.T.Srinivasa Iyengar(living example),Dr.N.S.Anantha
    Rangachar(living example)etc. have shown that compatibility
    between spiritual and material life is practically possible and
    very much necessary.

   The answers:-

1. The Individual or the seeker himself.

        Not all spiritual seekers are of the same temperment, each one has 
his own unique psychological,social and economic background.Being in such a 
frame work,he is the best judge to evaluate his material stand in the world 
in such a way that it does not affect his spiritual growth.In otherwords the 
material pursuit of one person will vary from that of the other,which is a 
sensible practical truth and should not be a cause of relative unworthiness 
from the spiritual point of view.The main aim that each individual seeker 
has to satisfy is, his own spiritual growth.

    The best and optimum way to spiritualise the material pursuit is to 
follow the sequence laid down by our shastras :-
       Dharma -> Artha -> kaama -> Moksha.
    Note that Artha(Wealth) and Kaama(desires) have to be well within the 
boundaries of Dharma and Moksha.Any other order of the above is undesirable 
for a mumukshu or spiritual seeker.

2. The Conditions of the present world.

     We live in kaliyuga where corruption,senseless violence,cheating etc. 
are the order of the day.Atheism and Utiliterianism are predominent 
attitudes among majority of people.The world is becoming unfit for a person 
who is sensible and follower of Dharma to live in or Vice versa.To lead a 
life of Dharma is itself a great challenge in the present competitive world.
     Also the population of true spiritual seekers is very less and the 
shastras are getting the last look or an value as a past time after 
retirement by a large section of Brahmins themselves.
     In such an atmosphere,a spiritual seeker gets discouraged by himself or 
is discouraged by people of opposite attitude.Practically it is very 
difficult to lead a life of a Brahmin in the true sense(compared to other 
yugas).Finally the present worldly conditions offer a great challenge for a 
person who follows the spiritual path at the same time overcoming his 
material shortcomings.

     Though the above paragraph looks discouraging, there is really nothing 
to worry as Bhagavan Narayana is there to look after the welfare of his 
devotees who do their duties as a service to him.

     So,let us go with the modern world but follow the eternal values of our 
shastras.

Sri krishnaarpanamasthu

Regards
B.N.Suresh.





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