By natural process of conditioning & without any process to turn it inward through meditation & breathing practices, human mind always turns outward & looks at people and situations better than what one has. And every single time, grass seems to be greener on the other side. Due to this, one is not able to settle down and feel contentedness to what one has & instead, broods & complains on “what one does not have”. (read my earlier post on comparisons)
Today, let us look at the fact that why there is so much disparity in wealth. Some people, even after so much effort all their life & hardships they face, remain poor. And some people are born with a silver spoon & whatever they do, wherever they invest, turns into gold. Is effort all that is, or there is a hidden unseen thing also, that one does not have a control on?
Some months back, I met one of my friend’s father, who is a very very very (yes, very) rich person & one of stock market players in Mumbai. Since he had some queries on personal finance, I agreed to meet them over a cup of tea. Contrary to what I had imagined his father to me (yes, how we assume a super wealthy person will be, this & that attitude), I was awestruck by his simplicity, detachment, & inclination towards spirituality & the kind of values he has passed over to his son & family. The one thing that his father told me & which really struck me was –
“Beta, paisa punya se aata hai, apne kaam se nahi”
Now, here am I, a couple of years into my practice since I left my well paying full time corporate job, & life sometimes feel like an uphill ride. Many a times, the thoughts comparing myself with my colleagues who are now at director level in big 4 consulting firms sort of unsettles me. But this very thought acts like a medicine & has completely changed my thought process.
When we speak of “punya”, it can be translated into English as “karma points”. So, the realisation that my “karma” has a big role to play in how & wherever I am placed in life brings a big sense of relief. In the many lives we’ve had, we have done “action” every day every moment, some are good that gives us good karma points & the bad ones give us bad karma points. Now, the theory of cause & effect says that whatever I have sown, I will reap, and the law does not fail. So, I actually do not have any control on my “prarabdha karma” (seeds already sown in this/ previous births, which are now ready to sprout). So, good things what I see in my life right now are due to my good deeds, & the bad things, pain & tears that I see now in my life, are also a result of bad deeds.
Now, the fact that I do not know what I have done in my past lives, conveniently allows me to forget it, but the karma effects do not go. And that’s why what we call destiny, face and luck, DO NOT EXIST. The people who are happy & rejoicing without doing any good (or even doing demonic acts) are just encashing their good karma points. But the worse thing they are doing is that they are accumulating the bad karma points, which will eventually play out, in this life or in future lives.
So, as an essential corollary of this law, what I have a control is on the “NOW”. I CAN be happy right now in whatever situation I am in AND build a reserve of GOOD DEEDS & ACCUMULATE KARMA POINTS which will help me better my future. Now, doing good karma are an “investment” where the only hitch is that I do not control when I can get it encashed. That is as per the law of karma, and it can be in this birth or later births as well.
Thats why, sometimes one sees that there is some wealth coming out of somewhere without our any effort, or an enemy suddenly becomes a good friend & helps us out of a problem. It is difficult to explain a reason for it, but I guess thats’s how the karma points just got encashed. Similarly, sometimes, due to no fault of ours, we get humiliated, or face financial or family crisis: again, the bad karma points get encashed. Thats why the Sages do not sympathise with mortals going through pain – they say good, you’re going through it, else you would have gone through it in some other birth, the earlier the better!
This learning from my friend’s father has completely changed my perspective on life and money in three ways:
- Realisation there is nothing called luck, destiny or fate. It is just the efforts of various births playing out at a frequency which is decided by a Higher Law over which I do not have a control.
- Instead of getting all anxious on where the next enquiry or revenue come from or how the practice grow & whether I will be able to give a decent lifestyle to my family who have placed so much trust in me when I changed careers, I now stay contented & relaxed that whatever my karmas have been, according to it I will get my dues and regardless of my karmas, I HAVE THE CHOICE & RIGHT TO BE PEACEFUL AND HAPPY IN THE NOW.
- Freed from the anxieties, I now focus myself on doing some good work for society & getting some good karma points. So ok, speaking of greed, I have decided that I will not be greedy for money or great relationships – I will be greedy to know how many good deeds I have done & how many good karma points I have accumulated. That is my real investment.