Ancient Indian Seers On Wealth


wealthymattersDecoding Lakshmi-Devdutt Pattanaik

A bowl of rice will provide equal satisfaction to a rich man and a poor man, to a saint and a sinner. A bowl of rice does not judge the person who consumes it. The same applies to a piece of cloth. A piece of cloth will provide comfort to whosoever drapes it, man or woman, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. And a house will provide the same quality of shelter to all, without any discrimination. We may judge a bowl of rice, a piece of cloth or a house, but the rice, the cloth and the house will never judge us. For rice, cloth and house are forms of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

It annoys us to find Lakshmi with people we don’t like, people who we deem to be criminals and sinners. We believe that Lakshmi should abandon amoral and perverse people. But there she is, with them, and we find it exasperating, irritating and so unfair. In mythology, all villains seem to be rich. Ravan lived in the city of gold and Duryodhan lived like a king till the day he died. Contrast this with Ram who had to live, for no fault of his, in the forest for fourteen years and the Pandavas who were born in the forest and had to live in the forest, in abject poverty, for most of their lives. Why is it so? Does Lakshmi like bad people? Or is she just indifferent to the notions of ethics and morals and propriety and virtue that matter so much to us? Read more of this post

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