Money is one measure of value, not the only measure of value

We live in a materialistic, money-centered culture that is almost mercenary in its obsession with money. Money is essential for our survival, so it is a measure of value.

But it is not the only measure of value. That is, there are things whose value transcends money, whose value can’t be computed in monetary terms – for example, the love of our loved ones and ultimately the love of Krishna.

When people value money more than relationships, then they sentence themselves to loneliness because they become suspicious of everyone around them. Money can make people not just suspicious, but also malicious – not only do they dread that others will harm them for the sake of money, they themselves may decide to harm others for its sake. The Bhagavad-gita (16.13-15) states that such people get so consumed by schemes for making money that their ethics and even their humanity gets consumed. They don’t feel any compunction in planning the elimination of those who obstacles on their path of monetary aggrandizement.

Of course, most of us will never go to such horrendous extremes in the pursuit of money, but we need to recognize the deadliness of the slippery slope down which infatuation with money can push us.

When we practice bhakti and understand the Gita’s revelation about the nature of reality, we see that the ultimate value of money lies in its capacity to be used in the service of the one who is ultimately valuable, the one who alone is going to remain with us when times takes away money and everything else of value.

By giving the supreme value to Krishna, we can give appropriate value to money and ensure that we use it in a way that it adds value to our life, not subtracts value from it.

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