I am deeply anguished at the way people make such a fetish of money. Many a time, I feel, most of us have become slaves to money (and rightly so, though this is highly debatable, and I am sure many of you will disagree with me externally but know within the deepest of your hearts that what I am speaking is true and does make sense, much to your chagrin and surprise!). Money has started ruling our lives so much so that I would not hesitate to say that people forgo their dearest relations for money!
Is money the ‘only and ultimate motive’ in life? Can there be life beyond money or rather without money? Has money been invented just as a medium to satisfy our needs and wants or is money ‘life’ itself? Has money become synonymous with life and acquired an indispensable status?
There is an opening song in Rajanikanth’s movie “Muthu” which is highly thought-provoking (well, it is very thought-provoking at least to me. I don’t know how others will feel! I doubt if others will even waste their energies in thinking about the beauty of that song!). The song sends a very strong message that “if a person has little money, then he/she is the master of money, but if the person has money till the neck or above the head, then the money becomes his/her master.” The song goes further thus: “A human being desires land but land desires human being. In the end, it is ‘always’ the land that wins. We all know this well, too, but our minds do not accept (or rather don’t want to accept) this logic.” How very true! Just ponder over the beauty of these words for awhile!
Today, in this Kaliyuga, people have lost “faith” and “trust” in one another. They always give precedence to money over love. Even when parents are looking for a match for their daughters, they first consider where the bridegroom is working and how much he is earning. They want to marry off their daughters to the “richest” (comparatively, at least, among all bridegrooms they consider for their daughter) guy believing that their daughters will be happy since they believe that money can buy all kinds of happiness. They first consider money and then take into account other important and intangible factors such as “personal qualities” like honesty, industry, truthfulness, sincerity, etc. What if the person who is considered so-called “richest” becomes poor or loses all money, say, a year after marriage? Why don’t they understand that it is the “character” that is of utmost importance! Do they believe that only ‘money makes character’ and the amount of money a person possesses (or doesn’t possess) is directly proportional to the degree of his character? Money can be stolen, but character can never be stolen. Here, I would like to quote Swami Vivekananda, who said, “If money is lost, nothing is lost; if health is lost, something is lost; but if character is lost, everything is lost.” But now people seem to have changed this quote to suit their whims and fancies to mean thus: ‘if character is lost, nothing is lost; if health is lost, something is lost; but if money is lost, everything is lost.’ How sad and painful!
One can imitate the other in making money and becoming ‘richest,’ but one can never imitate (or rather would not want to imitate or emulate) good character. It is very difficult to do so, too, and I challenge that not everyone can do that. People don’t want to emulate or imitate anything even remotely good. They will beat even a “superfast shatabdi express” in imitating something bad at the drop of a hat! But, it is quite difficult, too, to emulate something good (in this case good character) as opposed to making more money. I am not saying here that making money is not good. Please don’t jump to conclusions! What I am saying is that ‘make money, but only what is sufficient for you and your dependents to lead a decent life.’ Decent life here means whatever is required for you to survive, and may be a little more. Here I would like to quote Mahatma Gandhiji, who said, “There is enough in this world for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.” Don’t be greedy for money, instead be greedy (in a positive connotation) to love others; be greedy to show your love for others by helping them; and be greedy to be loved by the maximum number of people on this earth. Be greedy, but let that greed be for doing positive things, not negative!
Don’t weigh love and money on either side of the same balance or try to equate it. It can never quite “balance out” each other. You can never measure love nor compare it with money. They are both utter mismatch to each other. I don’t think humans (or scientists) have ever discovered or invented an instrument/equipment to measure the true value or depth of love. If they did, we all would only know how much each of the people around us, who claim to love us deeply, really loves us! I only hope that wise sense prevails (better still engulfs) on the people who believe that ‘money is the most powerful thing in the world.’ For all such living souls, I would ask you to watch the Nandi award winning Telugu movie, “Aa Naluguru” (meaning ‘those four people.’ This refers to those four people who will lift your dead body and take it till the graveyard). This movie is a classic example of the fact that love wins everyone, and it is “only love” that can even overcome money (and probably everything else) in this world. Well, even after watching this movie, if you don’t change yourself or your thoughts, then God save you from yourself!