A journey from salvation to depression
God rides on rituals, money rides on technology;
God gives salvation, money gives depression.
God is a creator of human beings and human beings are creator of mon ey. In fact both God and human beings are creators. But there is differ ence between these two creators; God’s creation is perishable whereas human’s creation may
be subject to appreciation or depreciation but not perish- able. That is why money is more important than human beings. It seems that money is better creation in terms of duration and permanence than the human beings. This untenable but convincing logic has dominated the world history and it has started ruling outrightly. The rise and further rise of money in the lives of people has created a sense of havoc and swept all the foundations of social relations and has laid down a strong ground for mental pervasion and a bewilderment of behavioural pattern. The money has managed to maintain its existence by dislodging the character of human being. It has eaten the wisdom, intelligence, sensitivity and rationality of human being. The continued rise and further rise of the relevance of money is a manifestation of growing material world where material possession decides the status and existence of human be- ing. The money has the spontaneous power to purchase anything which is ma- terial in nature and this gives great pleasure to hedonists. The growing influ- ence of money in the lives of people has the support of a number of factors. Firstly, after the decline of agriculture and fragmentation of land holdings in India, the joint family declined and in its place created an undefined family unit. In other words, the Indian family system is neither nuclear nor joint one and even cannot be regarded as extended nuclear family, I think it is a micro-family and now this micro family is disappearing and Individual has replaced it as such. Now Individual has sold oneself to money and become its slave, he/she thinks mainly in terms of money, i.e.; and forgets to think of its devastating effects on his/her progeny, the society, the nation and the state. This has made the social relations in jeopardy and individuals are confused over their expected role-relationships. In the absence of proper role-expectations, the individual feels that only making money will save him from all odds and in this regard nothing else will help to get rid of torrid times. In a social system, relations are built to sustain emotional, physical and mental stress of life but when these relations are not defined money becomes the most defined and palpable orientation of life. Secondly, there is another closely re- lated issue of uncertainty in human life that has a huge bear- ing on how a person chooses to live. It is not uncommon to find even the rich liv- ing austerely. Man has accustomed to lead a life which is full of accidents or turning points at different times in their lives. Compare this with the earlier lif- estyle where a common person had to only take care of what little he had or what little he wished. It was a simple life and maintaining the simplicity was not tough. But now, the complications are much more. Continuity is only the prize for a few, let alone prolonged progress. What one earns today may be lost tomorrow. So where is the se- curity? Here again money accumula- tion gains relevance as a necessary as- set for the vagaries of future. Wisdom is scanty as to what one perceives as enough to survive the future. As a re- sult people give undue importance to money. For example, one of my rela- tive visited to my place after a heart attack. We approached the premier in- stitution – AIIMS, where only 2-3 per- sons can go for heart MRI per day. My relative got one month advanced date for MRI. When he came back from his native place, the machine went out of service. When third time he came, af- ter 15 days, the MRI was not complet- ed and again a date of 20 days was giv- en. Later, due to ccidental cases his date was deferred for another month. This relative shared his feelings with me that if I had the money, then I could have had the services of big private hospitals at my convenience and my entire ailment could have been cured. His statement made me to rethink about the relevance of money. If such messages are being sent to common people, then the value of money has to be understood as equal to God. Thirdly, money has very strong prop- erties and it is the most amenable form of maya (illusion). Once the lakshman rekha (limit of transgression) is crossed money absorbs the individual and an- nihilates one’s existence and then a man becomes without existence there-by having no difference of attitude and approach of 18 year-old or 80-year-old. The concept ashramadharma is dissipat- ed and the entire span of life is spent in grihasta ashrama (the stage of a house- holder) and rest three i.e., Brahmacharya (student life); Vanaprastha (retired life); and Sannyasa (renounced life) are ei- ther totally underlived or undermined. In real life, the basis of grihasta ashrama very much depends on the material expansion and consolidation to fulfill the commitments towards the educa- tion of their children, obligation to- wards the welfare of relatives and the society and even future of the family. In this case, money has extreme rele- vance because it helps to build lives of the people and fulfills the commitment of an individual towards oneself and one’s family. Even at this stage, the accumulation should not be too much and the limit or the lakshman rekha should not be transgressed. The laksh- man rekha is most cogently defined by Sant Kabir Dasji when he says, Sai itna dijiye ja mein kutumb samaye, main bhi bhokha na rahoon sadhoo bhi na bhookha jaye (Give so much Almighty, so as to envelop my family, I should not suffer cravings, nor the visitor goes unfed). But unfortunately the conscience of people believes in Sai itna dijiye kabhi khatam na ho paaye, mera pet bhara rahe, duniya bhad mein jaaye. But one has to always remind the fact that if the whole life is spent in grihasta ashrama then the moksha (salvation) becomes a distant dream and the life ends with frustra- tion and ultimately in depression. In this process the mission of money com- pletes and at the moment of death the human created money laughs at the character, future and sordid vision of its creator like bhasmasura. Fourthly, the need for money becomes unending when there is huge misun- derstanding between the difference of cravings and requirements. Initially the requirements drives the desire but very soon the desire takes over the require- ment and ultimately desire drives reck- lessly leading to negligence driving and casualties. In other words, in the name of expanding the infrastructure we heavily invest in ostentatious (pre- tentious display), superficial and un- warranted things. As a result of this, the cost rises which is very difficult to be sustained by genuine means. This becomes the stretching point when a social human being starts behaving like asocial and uncivil. In this case money starts sucking the blood of humanity and social relations. The global depres- sion of 2008-09 was a sheer manifesta- tion of such approach when the MNCs relying more on their buildings, ACs, vehicles and advertisements, failed to sustain their employees even for a pe- riod of six months. This indicates the hollowness of development based on only giving importance to money. Fifthly, everybody wants to succeed in life and never wants to fail. The desire for success is unlimited and lust for gain is limitless. But journey of life does not see only these dimensions. Other dimensions also do exist. And one has to lose a number of times in this jour- ney. In most of the cases money has been used as a permanent symbol of success in terms of material posses- sions and assets. It has been generally believed that richness is the essential qualification of success. Therefore, richness (accumulation of money) has a direct link with the success. Further, money gives instant identification and helps in getting rid of identity crisis. Those people who wants to be identified in social l i f e without much prolific contributions, then money becomes invaluable means for them mark their presence in society like Mercedeswala, panch floor wala, etc. But the problems are not over as mon- ey brings only a temporary respite and very soon either so many people pur- chases vehicle or build houses and in this process, the temporary identity is lost and this compels the person to earn more and more at whatever cost mor- al or immoral and this makes no dif- ference. Sixthly, when money is being regard- ed as God (panacea of all problems), then the money as God reincarnates in the form of corruption, money launder- ing, dowry, black money, etc. and re- inforces its existence through the rot- ten laws in terms of flaws. Under these conditions, money transmutes the character of a rational human being and plunges the person into mental, moral and spiritual chaos. The kind- ness, humility, clairvoyance and straightforwardness vanquish and in its place crude, arrogant, myopic and narcist tendencies tend to emanate and the whole creation of God transforms into a victim of its own creation. The link between birth and death is delinked; the purpose and objectivity of life is lost and moving spirit of hu- manism gets converted into stereo- typed machines. I have been writing extensively and intermittently on social issues. Some- times the points and dimensions are repeated, common and therefore even reading becomes boring. But consider- ing the level of thinking and behaving of most of the people, it has become the duty of every person to point out the growing fallacies in the fundamentals of life which is en- trenched by con- tradictions and con- scious ig- norance (know- ing at t h e time of think- ing but forgetting while doing). Today, corrup- tion and black money is on agenda of every political party and headlines of newspaper or the electronic media. Most of the people believe that corrup- tion is the cause of all the political ma- nipulations and stagnation of the econ- omy of our country. At this point, I want to highlight that corruption is not a cause but an effect of the approach of making money as God. When the treatment of a cause as an effect is done the situation further worsens like if the treatment of cancer is not properly done then it is better not to treat be- cause the result remains the same while making the process painful. Even globalization is the direct out- come of this sort of thinking. All inter- national relations and diplomacy have become economic in their conduct, scope and nature. I have not denied the relevance of mon- ey. Money aids to prosperity which builds a nation. But money at the cost of compromising with the basic in- stincts of humanity is disgusting. Any prosperity without consolidation of character makes the life unpredictable. Money at this cost is bound to create pessimism in life and when pessimism becomes realism then optimism be- comes abortion. Let me clarify at this juncture since there is no end to the accumulation of money and introduc- tion of technology (Nokia N9, N10, etc.; BMW X1, X2, etc.; Pentium III, IV, V, etc and so on). It is interesting that God rides on rituals while money rides on technology. Every gain becomes a fail- ure at a higher level and in this battle the whole life is perished and here God must be worried that why he has cre- ated a creature like this who creates seeds of its own destruction. In nut- shell, poor wants to be rich and rich wants to be richer and in doing this they don’t want to see the cost which they are paying. The entire basis of my argument is that corruption is a consequence of a bent of mind and not merely a product of political system and in fact inept polit- ical systems sustains corruption but are not responsible for the corruption. Therefore, without changing the mind set a person, which regards money as God, nothing significant can be achieved in combating the corruption. Man eats cereals; beyond a limit it starts eating man Man drinks liquor; beyond a limit it starts drinking man Man uses money for comfort; beyond a limit perverts human minds and makes life tumultous. To me Bhaiya utne khayiea jo saste pach jaye; munh-pet bhi na chale aur jaan bach jaye i.e, brother you are ad- vised to take only that much which can be comfortably be digested and indi- gestion could be avoided and your life remain to continue safe.