Everything expensive is not valuable, everything valuable is not expensive
We all long for the best in life, be it in looks, careers, positions, possessions, or relationships. While seeking the best, we need to differentiate between the expensive and the valuable.
Expensive things are defined by the price they demand from us, whereas valuable things are defined by the value they bring to us. Here’s how the two are different.
Everything expensive is not valuable: Most people are attracted to things based on their appearance. Even if something is low-quality, if it looks glamorous, people become ready to pay big for it, thereby driving its price up. Such attraction to appearance is seen not just in worldly fields, but also in the religious field. People are often impressed by rituals that are exotic, elaborate and expensive. The Bhagavad-gita cautions that such rituals, when driven by mundane consciousness, don’t yield lasting results (09.20-21).
Everything valuable is not expensive: Necessities such as air, water or sunlight don’t look glamorous, but their value is immeasurable; we can’t live without them. To appreciate their value, we need the intelligence that sees beyond appearance to substance. A similar intelligence in the spiritual field helps us see beyond rituals to essentials. The essence of spiritual life is love: the love between us souls and the all-loving supreme soul, Krishna. This love that links our core with our whole can fulfill our heart, both in this life and beyond. For expressing such devotional love, we don’t need any grandiosity; we just need sincerity — the sincere desire to please our Lord. This desire can be expressed by offering something as simple as a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water (09.26).
If we aspire to seek the best in life, Gita wisdom stands ready to equip our intelligence to see beyond the expensive to the valuable.
Think it over:
- What is the difference between the expensive and the valuable?
- If something is not valuable, why may it still become expensive?
- Why does spiritual life not require anything expensive?
09.26 If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.
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