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Who deserves to have money? || Acharya Prashant, with IIT Delhi (2022)

Author Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant

5 min
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Questioner (Q): You always say that the Truth or righteousness is actually the one, who needs ‘shakti’ (advertisement or power) whereas Māyā on the other hand is rampantly advertised and promoted. But, if you look at today's context, money is also a very powerful tool which resides mostly with several people who might not be so righteous. So, what do you suggest? Should the power holders be transformed into righteous ones or should the people be transformed into righteous ones? If the latter is correct, how would you earn huge money and power from the system of Māyā without succumbing yourself to Māyā ?

And eventually what's the point? Because if you look at any particular time, there will be an equilibrium in the existence of both the right and wrong persons holding power. So, the impact won't be realized or felt by society. If you can kindly enlighten me on this issue.

Acharya Prashant (AP): This has always been the case and some kind of a solution has been found depending on the specifics of the time and the age.

You look at that classical duel between Ram and Rāvana. Rāvana was the superpower of that time. All the resources were concentrated in his hands and the palace itself was of gold. What more can be said? And he was sought to be reformed initially, obviously. The first attempt has to be to enlighten the other, to try to reform the other, but that usually won't work. And when that does not work, then there has to be strife and struggle— dharmāyudh. It is not without reason that the most important scripture of the Sanātan fold is set on the battle ground— Bhāgavad Gita. And even there on the battlefield, the Pāndava side was, in terms of resources and numbers, significantly less powerful than their adversaries.

So, solutions have to be found. On one hand, you have to try to bring people like Duryodhana in line; so, Vidur tried to say something to him, Bhīsma tried to show some sense to him, and even Krishna went to teach him and somehow get him to agree to peace. Sometimes that works, sometimes that may not work. When that does not work, then you have to figure out how to accumulate resources and how to have the tactical wear to confront the enemy and then you take them on; there is no other way.

You talked of rich people in today's era; if we could be people who work on consciousness, then the riches would ideally belong to the people who have the consciousness to utilize those riches. It would be a simple equation, the extent of resources at your disposal must be proportional to the depth of your consciousness. A simple equation that would determine how much money a person must have or could have.

On the contrary, if you have a society in which people with very ordinary or even below ordinary levels of consciousness are commanding resources and power, then that society is bound to go down, as we are seeing today. And that is Adharmā in the social sense. That's exactly what Sri Krishna was trying to avoid.

Hastinapur was the most important and most powerful kingdom of that time. Krishna didn't want that all those resources should go into undeserving hands like that of Duryodhana. It was not just a matter of justice prevailing in the sense of a feud between brothers; it was not something internal to one family. It was something that was going to affect a lot of other people—the entire population of Hastinapur. And also, probably all the other kingdoms in the Indian subcontinent; it had a much wider context.

So, Dharma then had to be upheld and that's why the battle had to be fought, and that's why Gita had to be narrated. That's something that you would need in every era. Because Maya is at work continuously and so, she ensures that all kinds of nonsensical and atrocious things keep happening, all kinds of undeserving people keep getting power, they keep becoming the presidents and the prime ministers of the world and even evil minds keep getting to accumulate wealth and influence. When you see that happening, then it's upon you to go back to the Gita and remember what was instructed to you and not be shy of a good battle.

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