How Is Money Related To Spirituality?
Once a visitor supplicated to Shri Ashutosh Maharaj Ji for wealth, riches, and luxuries as these were his deepest desires. Maharaj smiled at him and said that the Almighty does not make people rich so that they can use that wealth for their personal desires alone. He makes them rich so that the wealth can be used to further the cause of Dharma and goodwill. Wealth used exclusively for one’s personal aspiration is a formula for collapse. This is a critical lesson that Shri Ashutosh Maharaj Ji put forth for us as well in the form of his answer. Whoever understands this great secret liberates himself while still alive and sets an example for the entire human race.
James J. Lynn who was later known as Rajarsi Janakananda was a disciple of Yogananda Paramahansa. He was an American business tycoon. He came in contact with Shri Yogananda at the age of forty years. He received spiritual initiation from him. In his autobiography, he wrote that he had everything in the material sense – money, power, luxuries, etc., but a certain and persistent emptiness, anxiety, and restlessness haunted him. There was no peace, but he says: “When Shri Yogananda Paramahansa came into my life, he transformed the direction and state of my life altogether. My life was completely blessed”.
Do you know how strong the connection of this disciple with his Guru was? It is said when he could not find a right and suitable environment at his home, he used to go to his office early in the morning. There, he used to leave a note at the desk of his secretary: “Please do not disturb me as I am in the conference with God”. And he then meditated there for hours together. Along with managing his multiple businesses, he used to contribute generously to various spiritual programs of his Guru Shri Yogananda Paramahansa. He had established such a connection with his Guru that despite his official engagements, whenever he received any message of his Guru, he used to leave everything aside and worked earnestly towards completing his Guru’s commands. Such was his devotion and surrender before his Guru. At the age of 63, at the time of his death, he donated a major portion of his wealth, an astounding amount of $6 billion towards spreading the message of Dharma. In today’s terms, this amount is approximately $56 billion. Such was the unique harmony between Dharma and Karma and such was the determination exhibited by James as a disciple, which has become an inspiration for today’s time.
These are the words of Yogananda Paramahansa for James Lynn – “May your life be a beacon light of inspiration to spiritual seekers on earth, and in the astral world thereafter”.
Thus, only that wealth is pure and good which is utilized towards the path of Dharma. Else that wealth becomes a reason of sin. Lord Krishna enunciates beautifully in chapter 17 of the Gita – “That noble charity which is made as per one’s responsibility towards society, at the right time, at the right place, and to the right person, without any expectation, is actually a moral charity. That alone is the most superior and the best form of charity.
Today, this entire world is hoping for such a contribution from us. Contribution of the humanity of a human being, contribution of unwavering meditation of seekers, the contribution of our positive contribution, and that of devoted and unconditional prayers.