The richness of life is more important than the riches of life
Our culture makes us believe that gaining more and more wealth will make us happy. While riches can ease our life-journey in some ways, obsession with riches can make that journey more difficult. How? By stealing away life’s richness.
Arjuna dreaded such inner impoverishment at the start of the Bhagavad-gita (02.08). When confronted with the prospect of fighting a fratricidal war for gaining a kingdom, he felt that slaying his venerable elders, his grandsire and his martial teacher would cause such unbearable emptiness as to nullify the joy of winning the kingdom. He declared that attaining sovereignty on the whole earth or even attaining the heavens, which was the most cherished dream of the rulers of his times, would not remove the grief that was choking him from within. He needed something higher, some non-material enrichment.
What Arjuna sought and got by hearing the Gita is what we all need to seek and get. The Gita’s philosophical insights enriched his life with the supreme purpose of love – love for the one who is the source and shelter of all love. Such a life is infused with all-round richness.
Even in our daily lives, we understand that our relationships comprise our great wealth. When we are lonely or depressed, our currency notes or credit cards can’t offer us consoling or encouraging words – only our loved ones can.
This principle that emotional riches trump financial riches, which applies to our material relationships, applies a thousand times more to our spiritual relationships and unlimitedly more to our relationship with Krishna. When we keep our priorities straight – keeping our devotion as our foremost priority and harmonizing our pursuit of wealth with that priority – we can relish the richness of life, irrespective of whether we have riches or not.
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