Money and Meditation
We can have all the money, wealth, power, prestige and still remain miserable. We all know Alexander’s story — where he had conquered the whole world and when asked what would he do if he was dying of thirst alone in a desert. He had said he would give it all up for just a glass of water — that is when he realised that what he had achieved was pointless. The misery of an Alexander is bound to be tremendous, but one can never be happy. The more we have, the more we become aware of the futility of it all and the more we feel an inner emptiness.
Only the rich person comes to know what inner poverty is, because he/she can compare notes. Such a person has a background and he/she can see his/her own inner poverty against it. He/she is rich as far as the outside is concerned, but the inside is simply starving. Hence the paradox: the richer we become, the poorer we feel. The more knowledgeable we become the more ignorant we feel. The more we have, the more we become aware of how much we are missing.
The only bliss possible is that which comes through the inward journey. One has to come to one’s own self, to one’s own treasures. They are infinite… immeasurable. Once known, we are never a beggar again. We may not have anything of the world — still we remain as emperors. Our emperorship has an inner luminousness.
We are emperors — not because we have a kingdom, but because we are emperors. Our emperorship doesn’t depend on a kingdom. It is independent of all kingdoms. Then one is truly a king, because nobody can rob one, nobody can take anything away from one… not even death. One has something which is eternal, which cannot be robbed, cannot be taken away. And only when we have something which cannot be taken away from us does fear disappear — never before it. And in those moments, we start feeling the deathless.
The key is to look more and more inwards — temptations are there, desires are there — and that is natural. There is no need to be an escapist, no need to escape from the world; just be in the world but give more energy and time to the inner search. Do whatever is needed in the material world, but don’t become too occupied with it. Do work for all necessities — food, clothing, shelter — they are all needed to be happy, but they are not enough. They are just basic requirements.
Once we fulfill our basic needs, don’t waste anymore time and start going within. One should work in the world so that one can work in one’s inner world. One should earn a little money so that outer things no more trouble one, no longer distract one.
One can close one’s eyes and go into meditation. If money serves meditation, money is good and one should use it. But if money becomes our meditation, we are going to become neurotic.