There is a popular saying that ‘money is sweeter than honey’. Money has such an important place in human life, that every human activity is somehow related to the earning, maintaining and expenditure of money. Learned people know that, money is a good servant, but a bad master. The one who becomes slave to money undergoes degradation and also ruins others. When money is earned through virtuous means and spent for worthy purpose, it provides well being to the people. Due to greed and misguidance when men become slave to money, it results in endless sufferings in the society.
In the holy book of Mahabharata, Sri Vidura tells ,” O king Dhritharastra, one should never think of earning material wealth through wrong means like falsehood, bribe, corruption, stealing etc, not to speak of practicing such evils. Wrongly earned money pollutes its possessor to such an extent that, all the activities done with such sinful wealth result in harmful troubles. Even the praise worthy acts like charity, worship, sacrifices etc done by such sinful income produce undesirable results. No amount of purificatory means can set right the defects of ill-begotten wealth.
Every honest person can observe that , the vicious circle of dishonest earning and sinful spending is relentlessly revolving in the society to create ever new histories of corruption and scandals. The greed and seduction for sinful earning is engulfing the towns, villages, educated class, uneducated class, men women, government servants, non governmental workers , labour class, trading class, ruling class, educators, religious heads and almost all other sections of the society like a wild fire. Multimillion and multibillion rupees of national assets are daily eaten up by rogues and rascals in an organized manner. Collecting wealth through dishonesty, opportunism, corruption, adulteration, theft gambling, butchery, deception, drug trafficking, intoxicants and all types of abominable means is being practiced without any hesitation. This is the outcome of defective education, evil association and negligence of righteousness.
The purpose of real learning is to achieve spiritual enlightenment and liberation from worldly limitations. Unfortunately, the purpose of present day education has become degraded just for collecting material wealth and acquiring worldly enjoyments. This is th every policy adopted by demon Hiranyakashipu. (Hiranya means wealth and kashipu means enjoyment). This is the total degradation of educational system. Education should produce honest and enlightened citizens, by inspiring them towards patriotism, national progress and for social welfare. Education should root out all the inhuman qualities and instill noble character in the minds of the students. The education which does not eradicate corruption, greed, dishonesty, hypocrisy, violence, arrogance, pride and illusion is fit to be discarded. The huge amount of national assets spent for the spreading of education, if results in producing clever devils, where is the justification and sanctity of its purpose ? Instilling good behavior is the foremost purpose of education.
A gross misconception prevails in the society regarding the role of money in human life. Common people think that money gives happiness. The wrong idea instigates people to collect money, even by all types of evil means. The most important factor is that, everyone should know about the relationship of happiness and unhappiness with money. For deriving peace and happiness from money, certain pre-conditions and other requisites are to be satisfied. The entire process is that, worthy learning makes a person eligible, enlightened and polite. Such a wise and soft natured person gives the confidence of the society and thereby becomes competent to earn money. This honestly earned money when spent righteously for social welfare, it bestows happiness to all. In this material world of selfishness, envy and rivalry, the acts of earning, preserving, growth of the finance, in spending, in its loss and in the act of enjoying all these acts demand hard work and endless pursuit associated with fear, anxiety, and suspicion. The fifteen kinds of evils are generally associated with worldly wealth are as follows :- misappropriation, violence, falsehood, pride, lust, anger, arrogance, ego, discrimination,, enmity, mistrust, competition, lewdness, gambling and intoxication.
Greedy and miserly people mostly remain deprived of happiness. They spend their entire life time in earning, accumulating and in worrying for the protection of their earnings. Due to their stingy and illiberal conduct, neither they enjoy anyone’s sympathy, nor they can achieve peace after death. A little amount of greed can ruin the name and fame of even the great people, just a little of leprosy spoils the beauty of handsome face. A wise person should avoid greed of money, which destroys welfare and success. Even a little amount of money can create such a rift in the relationships between one’s own brothers, relatives, wife, children, parents, friends etc., thereby forgetting amity, they turn out to be bitter enemies of each other. Desire for money creates anger and anxiety by rooting out cordiality and it results in quarrel, abuse, fighting, and even instigates to kill and destroy others. The rarely attained human birth which is productive of eternal well being is just misused by foolish greedy people to undergo hellish sufferings.
The real wisdom of human life is to safely reach the abode of immortality by adopting the spiritual process of devotional culture. All the human resources like physical ability, wealth, intelligence and speech should be utilized for the true welfare of one and all. All our acts , words, thoughts, associations, feelings, intelli8gence etc., should directly or indirectly help us in gaining our transcendental situation which is free from grief, fear and death. If this real purpose of life is not achieved, what kind of benefit a mortal can get though wealth, suppliers of wealth, material pleasures and mundane activities that entangle one in the trap of repeated birth , death, rebirth and sufferings ?
Generally, the fourfold achievements of piety, wealth, objects of desire and salvation are said to be the goals of human life. The second and the third goals should always remain under the control and guidance of the other two factors. One should never cross the interests of virtue and liberation. The virtuously earned wealth and virtuously accepted enjoyments should always remain favorable for the liberation from the worldly bondage. The wealth and enjoyments should not be polluted by the atheistic evils of disbelief, sin and bondage. Unfortunately a sizeable section of the present society is violating this most important regulation of the religious scriptures. Just like a person falling down from a high mountain forcibly pulls down thousands of ascending people towards destruction, similarly numberless ignorant and unfortunate people shall be tempted to initiate the impious and wicked people for gaining quick richness.
Most of the present day educational institutions are trying to make their students ‘mark making machines’ and later they try to become ‘money making machines’ . This is the gross misuse of education. Common people intend to become ‘overnight millionaires’ without having any merit and eligibility. This type of wrong optimism and immoral conduct is eating up the vitals of the healthy society.
Money-power is the main factor in almost all the worldly activities. Purity of any activity therefore depends upon the purity of its resource. If the wealth is unrighteous, all the acts financed by such a wealth tend to be evil – productive. The unrighteous wealth thus corrupts and degrades the society. Sri Manu says that, purity of the wealth is the real purity for human beings. Wealth should be honestly earned, without causing loss, anxiety, pain, violence, injustice, burden and uneasiness to any living beings in this world. The money earned through fraud, falsehood, violence, intoxication, butchery, corruption, gambling, stealing and other dishonest means causes social degradation.
Just as honesty is essential in earning money, one should be very careful while spending the earned money. Spending for evil purposes, donating to undeserving people, undue luxury, wastage and all other unworthy expenditure should be avoided. It should be spent for the real welfare of the society. Everyone should work for spreading spiritual awareness, righteousness, devotional service, social welfare, helping the needy people, academic development, helping birds and animals, green revolution, growing medical herbs, medical assistance and to remove the distress of suffering humanity. It is in our hands to endeavor for our betterment. Whether we are working to make our nation a happy heaven of one billion angels are hellish jungle or one billion beasts ? Think for a while and act in right direction.