Have you ever wondered what money is? For many of us, money is a coin made of a metal that is not super-precious, money is a paper with something printed on it, to some, money is plastic…
People slog for it, die for it, commit crimes for it. Some people are enslaved by it. Some others are killed for it. Some die because they have too much of it, others die because they have too little. Some are handed more than they know what to do with, others struggle all their lives but don’t get much.
What is money?
At the simplest, money represents some value. Note, “represents” value. Money is not valuable. After all, you can’t eat money, you can’t drink money, money doesn’t buy you love, you can’t even buy a moment of time with it.
There used to be a time when money was not needed. You had something, I had something, and when we had more than what we needed, we exchanged. Food was given freely, and no one had any want of necessities.
Then, for a long time, Gold and other valuable items were used in place of exchange.
For a long time, even when money was paper, it was backed by gold… then governments abandoned any link to reality and just began to print money. Some printed money indiscriminately, others had particular agendas. The concept of “inflation” was invented. Inflation means that unless you stay engaged in the system, whatever you had would erode in value. Most people would get a little more each year, if they stayed in the system, with their noses to the grindstone. But everything got a tad bit more expensive each year. And this is how the economy is measured, that everyone is making more.
“If you deposit five lakhs now, it will decrease value in five, ten months. The purchasing power of money is decreasing. Now what you can purchase with five lakhs of rupees, after five years you’ll require ten lakhs.A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
What a perfect way to keep everyone in control!
Everyone eats, sleeps, mates, and defends according to their own quota. People ate a hundred years ago, people eat today. People wore clothes a hundred years ago, people wear clothes today. People spent for entertainment a hundred years ago, people spend for entertainment today. My father once earned less than $2 per month over 50 years ago, and could maintain a large extended family relatively comfortably in India. A person in the Western World earning $2000 per month will find it difficult to maintain even the smallest of families!
The fact that the GDP or Gross Domestic Product has been increasing year-over-year has had no positive impact on the basics of life. In fact it is an illusory concept that I continue to do what I did last year and yet I somehow make more? Of course, everyone makes more, so that means I pay more now than I did last year, and my “increase” has disappeared!
What a way to keep you, me, and everyone working for more, more, more!
Then of course, money was replaced with an entry in a bank passbook, you could see a number there and “write” money to someone else. Most of us in the modern day don’t even see any money… some “value” is transferred to my bank account by my employer, I can see that on a computer. I swipe a card here, a card there, and at the end of the month, I may have no “money” left at all. Where is this money that I supposedly earned?
To add to that, money is held in increasingly complex instruments, like debt, equity, mutual funds, stock options, and derivatives – fakeness built on top of fakeness built on top of that which was fake to start with. When you start to think of it, it is mind-boggling as to how far removed we are from the original standard of wealth, which was simple – land, cows, grains, clothes, what you needed for a simple life focused on spritual advancement.
In fact, the current concept and system of money is creating hellish society!
Sometimes the living entity is busy counteracting the natural disturbances of freezing cold, scorching heat, strong wind, excessive rainfall and so forth. When he is unable to do so, he becomes very unhappy. Sometimes he is cheated in business transactions one after another. In this way, by cheating, living entities create enmity among themselves.
On the forest path of material existence, sometimes a person is without wealth and due to this does not have a proper home, bed or sitting place, nor proper family enjoyment. He therefore goes to beg money from others, but when his desires are not fulfilled by begging, he wants to borrow or steal the property of others. Thus he is insulted in society.
Due to monetary transactions, relationships become very strained and end in enmity. Sometimes the husband and wife walk on the path of material progress, and to maintain their relationship they work very hard. Sometimes due to scarcity of money or due to diseased conditions, they are embarrassed and almost die.https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/13/11/ https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/13/12/ https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/13/13/
This struggle to accumulate money by any means is creating terrible side effects!
If a person too attached to the duties of family maintenance is unable to control his senses, the core of his heart is immersed in how to accumulate money. Although he knows that one who takes the wealth of others will be punished by the law of the government, and by the laws of Yamarāja after death, he continues cheating others to acquire money.https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/7/6/15/
Ah, you may say, I don’t cheat, I earn my money in honest ways! Really? What is profit? Who did you pay for the earth, the water, the sun, the air?
We just take things from one place to another, from another to another, repackage this, repackage that, and claim “This is Mine”
My spiritual master writes…
We come into this world possessing nothing.The Peace Formula
And we leave from this world with absolutely nothing.
But in the middle we fight and kill claiming this is mine.
Ignoring the real owner who reclaims everything in time.
© 2015 by Sankarshan Das Adhikari. All rights reserved. https://wonderfulsongs.bandcamp.com/
However, one of the greatest spiritualists of history, originally a prostitute by profession before enlightenment, says this…
I am such a fool that I have given up the service of that person who, being eternally situated within my heart, is actually most dear to me. That most dear one is the Lord of the universe, who is the bestower of real love and happiness and the source of all prosperity. Although He is in my own heart, I have completely neglected Him. Instead I have ignorantly served insignificant men who can never satisfy my real desires and who have simply brought me unhappiness, fear, anxiety, lamentation and illusion.https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/11/8/31/
May we all follow in her footsteps!