Greed & Contentment
Among numerous affections, a dreadful one is avarice or greediness. Avarice means an ambition to own more and more wealth or property. It is kind of never satiating desire in human mind. Human ambition and desire by nature, know no bounds and the more one has, greater the craving. Inspite of all available mean of rapid accumulation of riches, a man under the impact of greed, find himself seeking more and more, without least bothering to think of the righteous means he has no adopt for such accumulation of wealth, or of the injurious results that would come out of such base means. An avaricious mind is always restless, for it remains ever engaged inplanning to secure and hoard as much as it can. When a wave of greed arises in the mind lake, it intensifies the desire, destroys peace of mind and retards spiritual progress and intellectual evolution. An aspirant should therefore, be aware of this fatal malady and regard it as a terrible enemy of his inward peace and calmness.
Rightly have the scriptures declared:
‘Avarice or greed is generator of sin.’
The above term has been wisely said, because the ever-increasing ambition to hoard money can never be met without adopting unfair means and committing such actions as can rightly be labelled as sins.
Having fallen a victim to greed for wealth, many men are drifting along the currents of worldliness leading to predition; while many others are heading towards degradation infatuated as they are, by an insatiate longing for honour and prestige. Vices like mendacity, duplicity and thieving etc. are growing rampant in them, all being the products of greed. This unjustly earned money is generally not spent for charitable purposes, because sinfully earned wealth often leads to sin. Such money is more often than not, lavished on ease, comfort, luxuries and sinful deeds. Even those who roll in wealth deviate from the path of righteousness due to infatuation. If anyone secures some higher rank or office in the society, then lured by greed he forgets his duty as a human being, unmindful of the canons of piety and consideration of justice and injustice, hunger and thirst, joy and sorrow etc. due to infatuation. Such people lead a life of ostentation, which in its turn fosters dissimulation and profanity in them; and they indulge in vices, immoral practices and evil addictions, which should be abstained from. Such persons remain deprived of virtues, good conduct, devotion, spiritual enlightment and dispassion, which are the hallmarks of morality and deserve to be zealously cultivated in mind. A s a result they meet with an evil destiny here and hereafter too.
Just as water in the only remedy to extinguish fire, which if fed with ghee or oil, instead of being brought down, will blaze more fiercely, similarly contentment is the only way and means to satiate the blazing flame of greed. In evolutional life, there is no greater gain than contentedness. A man who is fully endowed with this rare virtue, is the richest man in all the three worlds. The peace that he enjoys, cannot be adequately described in words, as it is a matter of empiricism. He is a mighty emperor on this earth. Even the richest man in the world who is equal to Kubera(theg od of wealth), who possesses a philosopher’s ston, Kamdhenu (the celestial cow endowed with virtue of granting boons), is not free from desire of having a domain overseas. He tries to practise alchemy to possess more wealth under the influence of greed. A greedy man ever moves restlessly in this world and says, “This is mine, that is mine, I shall try to possess that object also and so on.”
But contentment, on the other hand, is a blessed virtue that gives true peace of mind. The saints and recluses more about in this world in a carefree manner, by living on whatever they get unshaked for. It is contentment that gives strength to an aspirant to walk in the path of self-realization, and emboldens him to march fearlessly in the rugged and thorny path of spirituality. It is contentment again that makes an aspirant look upon the worthless perishable objects and things of the world as dung, poison, straw or dust. Contentment develops the discriminative knowledge in the aspirant and he never cares for the paltry things of this world. He who owns the divine virtue of contentment, gets balance of mind and perfect poise.
Contentment is a bliss, it is nectar-like and bestows tmmoratality and infinite peace to him who depends on it. An aspirant should therefore, shun avarice or greed and develop in himself this divine virtue of eontentment, and as a result lead a happy life, enjoying everlasting peace and joy.
Just as the same metal disc, which was stained by dust before, shines brilliantly when cleaned, so the embodied being, seeing the truth of Atman, realizes oneness, attains the goal, and becomes sorrowless.