What is money, really? Why is money the greatest madness in this world?
Buddha said, "I consider the treasure of precious metals and stones as bricks and pebbles."
We are like children playing on the seashore of life, collecting pebbles - colored ofcourse, beautiful ofcourse, but pebble none the less, and of zero significance.
And while we are busy collecting them, life is slipping by, rushing out of our hands.
There are many amongst us who live only to eat, who live only to dress or who live only to impress.
Very few of these people ever grow up. They grow old, yes, but they don't ever grow up. They never stop playing with toys - just exchange one set for the other. The toys of childhood get replaced with the toys of adulthood - fancy car, second home, bigger TV, luxury vacation.
In our desperation to collect these toys, these pebbles, we go on selling our lives. We waste our lives in a mindless pursuit of pebbles - of money, which we require to buy these pebbles.
And then suddenly death approaches. It takes everything away from you. One day you simply disappear and the money is left behind.
All the hankering for it is left behind.
Death is inevitable.
Doesn't that make all our hankering and mindless obsession for money meaningless?
Should we not use our life in a more creative way? Instead of spending it in trying to collect money, shouldn't we convert it into a prayer, a meditation, a song or a dance?
Make it a realization of truth, of freedom and make it worth our while!
Here is a little story:
A man took his daughter to the amusement park to find Mulla Nasruddin riding the merry-go-round all afternoon. Once, when it stopped, the Mulla rushed off to drink some water, and then headed back again.
As he passed the daughter, her father said to him, "Mulla, you certainly do like to ride on the merry-go-round, don't you?"
Mulla Nasruddin replied, "No, I don't. Rather, I hate it absolutely and am feeling very sick because of it."
"But the fellow who owns this thing owes me a hundred dollars, and taking it out in trade is the only way I will ever collect from him."
What is money?
The above story is instructive of the ridiculous lengths we can go to when it comes to money.
When ambition is alive, the sunbeam of ambition makes the dust particles (our, oh so desirable, pebbles) shine like diamonds.
There is nothing else in the world that we could want more.
Our ambition prevents us from seeing even death. If death came right in front, we will be unable to see it because our ambition acts like a blindfold.
But, money inevitably loses its meaning when death comes knocking.
Everything falls flat after that.
The sunbeam of ambition disappears and the shining diamonds that were once so enamoring, just turn into dust particles.
Don't get me wrong. Money is required to meet the necessities of life. No one can argue against that.
But, when we start craving things way beyond our necessities, we turn slavish to money. And that gets us in serious trouble. I will end with a quote from Tukaram.
"Deprive me of my home, of children, wealth and land…if you, O Lord, I gain"
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