There is a phrase in Gujarati – “Nana vinano Nathiyo, nane Nathalal”. (The poor man is contemptuously called “Nathiyo”, the rich man is accorded great respect and addressed as “Nathalal”.) A person who believes that the poor man commands no respect, would be obsessed with the pursuit of money. How would you motivate him in another (spiritual) direction?

It has been said that “Sarve gunah kanchanamāshrayante” meaning that all qualities are dependent on one’s wealth. In this Kaliyug, only rich people command respect. There is nothing wrong with being rich, or the external trappings of wealth like a palatial residence, a large motorcar, etc. If it is there in your destiny, you will definitely work hard and earn wealth, but this wealth should be utilised ethically.

If you have the intelligence and the willingness to work hard, you may build a city of gold, nothing wrong with this. However, make sure you build a Dwarka, not a Lanka. Dwarka was built by Dwarikanath, Lord Krishna, on the basis of Dharma. Lanka was built by Ravan by unethical means.

Those who are obsessed with wealth and its pursuit should bear in mind that both Dwarka and Lanka were destined for destruction. But Dwarkanath Lord Krishna used the wealth of Dwarka to help others and was not saddened on account of the sinking of Dwarka. He remained unperturbed. This is his detachment from wealth. Wealth has been accorded status in the four purushārthas (goals of life) in Hinduism, viz. Dharma (Religion), Artha (Wealth), Kaam (Desires) and Moksha (Liberation). Wealth which has been earned in an unethical manner brings misery.

Always bear in mind the Mantra that money exists for you; you do not exist for money. Money is necessary as a means. But it is not an end by itself. The means to get to a destination can never become the destination.

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