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Money & Spirituality - A Debate That Can Earn You A Prize Worth Rs. 7,500 !

 

"The bitter truth “when you don’t have sufficient Money Flow, nobody loves you, neither your mother nor yourself “ - Suresh Padmanabhan (Money Guru, Author of International Best Seller "I Love Money" & Creator Of Money Workshop)

Money causes most people more emotional problems than almost any other life issue. How many times have you heard that "Money doesn't grow on trees", that "Money is the root of all Evil" or that anyone who is rich must, by definition, be either a crook or extremely hard and tough?

Most people have extremely negative associations about Wealth and Money that were gained subconsciously whilst growing up.

The issues that arise around money for those on the path are two: worth and guilt. For many the willingness to be embodied, the risk to be visible that is life, the unraveling of conditionings around self value, are all reflected in 'living on the edge' financially. Coupled with this is an understanding of the injustice of modern economic systems, a love of all mankind that refuses plenty in the face of poverty. In the first case, regarding self-value, many strategies are available through modern psychology and modern teachings to confront and heal these wounds. In the case of the latter, misunderstandings abound.

For many there is a misunderstanding: 'If I am truly spiritual I will not have to deal with the world.' But you are spirit manifesting as form on the material plane, and therefore the opposite is in fact true. If you are truly spiritual, you will celebrate the world and find ways to live that reflect your joy.


These issues are complex and multidimensional. We have only touched on them. We invite you to participate in a debate here on this forum and give your views.

 

The best contributor to this discussion will win a seat worth Rs. 7,500/-  in the forthcoming Money Workshop on 9th & 10th April 2011 at Delhi!

 

The judge ?

None other than "Money Guru" Suresh Padmanabhan himself !  So start contributing right now !

The Debate closes on 5th April Midnight!!!

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What I feel Sandeep, first we should have a clear cut understanding of Spirituality and Materialsm then only we can talk at length on this subject. I've put certain ideas above which I think are just like a tip of an iceberg. Most of the replies here would be in accordance with the individual perceptions about spiritualism and materialsm but we need to first have at least a common platform ( where definition of Spirituality and Materialsm remains same for every member) from where we all can start and discuss.

 

I agree :-) And through this discussion forum the definitions that people have or their conditioning about Money & Spirituality is going to emerge automatically... That is going to be quiet enlightening for all of us. Our conditioning can come from our family, society around us, our religious beliefs, our past experiences as well as those people who we choose to admire.. So let the debate be an eye opener for all of us..

Dear Sandeep

Thanks for bringing up this topic of discussion - as I thought about it, my own views on the subject came to the surface, and here's what flowed....

Money and Spirituality

As an Indian I received my fair share of sociocultural conditioning that spiritually/religiously inclined people should be devoid of any desire for riches and should sustain themselves within very meager resources. As a child I believed myself to be an atheist simply because my father said he was one, as a teen and later as a woman I wanted things and thought God was the one who gave favors to those who prayed, so I became religious. Later when I could not relate to ideas that religion proposed, I became attracted to spirituality and currently am open to learning spiritual wisdom from whatever source that resonates with my current belief system which keeps changing as growth happens.

In relation to money, I believe one cannot be spiritual without having money. An idea quite contrary to what the society would have me believe. Renouncing worldly things in order to gain knowledge of the self or the universe is not my cup of tea. All my favorite spiritual teachers are/were rich people in the material sense too. Swami Rama - he was fond of material things, and got his guru to indulge all his desires, in turn in a sweet gesture he gave his disciples a flask that always produced sweet tea while he was away in India. Paramhansa Yogananda came from a rich family too. Eckhart Tolle must be a rich man despite his simple clothing with all his books becoming bestsellers and people like Oprah adding A New Earth to her reading club. Jerry and Esther Hicks are among the most spiritually evolved people on this earth and they live a life of luxury and encourage everyone else to do so too!

I am beginning to realise deeply that in today's world money is actually essential to becoming spiritually evolved. You see, until the basic needs of your body for food, shelter and clothing are met comfortably how can you rise above it and focus on your soul? We are spiritual beings having a seemingly very real physical experience and through this physical experience we enter the doorway of spirit and not the other way round. Base emotions of anger, greed, jealousy, hatred will affect us easily till we are engaged in that struggle with material resources.

It is an abundant universe and there is plenty for everyone. Indeed we keep hearing that statement but the truth remains that only a small percentage of the people in our world are very rich and the rest struggle with money. A lot of people have watched/read The Secret and know about The Law of Attraction, but yet are not able to get benefit from it. We also have seen that to be rich, one does not need to be special in any way, being intelligent, skillful, attractive, experienced, pedigreed are not prerequisites to being rich. And as sweet Mr. Wattles says, rich people think and do things in a 'certain way'.

So, what this 'certain way' is something I have yet to fathom! What I am getting at is that even though I do understand the importance of money, I haven't found the key to manifesting it freely into my experience. But I have made a solemn promise to myself that I'll get there in this lifetime.

Meanwhile, I do subscribe to the theory that our subconscious mind plays a very important part in the 'physical experience' our body has in our life time. Our positive beliefs/limiting beliefs determine the level of abundance we allow in our lives. These beliefs were formed when were children and are not so easily apparent to us, only when we examine the current experience we are having with relation to money can we get some clues to what our deep seated beliefs are.

In my experience, I find that there is always money available to me, but I feel guilty spending it on myself and so when I have enough, others around me ask me to spend on them and though I readily part with the money, there is somewhere a grudge that others buy more stuff than me, whereas I always skimp and save. Ah, but whose fault is that, I ask myself..? Obviously, my own! Well then, I decided to understand this further and tried to find out the root of my beliefs about money. 

Ah, how could I not see this earlier! Quite simply - these beliefs come from my mother, who else! Well, as a housewife she had access to limited resources in which to manage the household, so she scrimped and saved, and always met our needs and her own needs were always invisible, she didn't even complain about not indulging herself ever. As I grew up I noticed it sometimes and asked her to spend on herself, but she said, she was happy to see us happy!

So as I grew up, I too absorbed her behavior and learned to have limited desires and try to manage within available resources.
 
So, what happened when I started working and my resources grew. No prizes for guessing this, I have been behaving the same way as my mother did towards other family members. Huh! how could I do that? Well, that's all I learned, and that is how I know how to behave towards money!

Alright my dear self....it's Time to change that if I am to complete the curriculum I came to complete in this lifetime.

 

Beautiful ! Amazingly expressed Seema ...
Thanks, Sandeep. Would like to hear your views on the subject too. What has your journey been like, what realizations have you come across over the years..

Good job Seema.....I partially agree with you.... I agree  when you say that if basics needs are not satisfied then one cannot think of Spirituality. Yes, most of the Spiritual gurus were from affluent families. But I do not agree  that they were thus materialistic. It simply means that those material pleasures were not enough to give them true happiness and so they had an intense desire to find their true selves......For them those material things were a means to attain this goal. And to attain their goal was not an easy task for them. It required a high level of commitment, hours of spiritual practices.........where the focus was not on earning money but to understand self.

 

Swami Rama said that you can live in this world and yet be spiritual and it is not necessary for you to renounce the world. He also said "All things of the world that are given to me are given to me by Lord. They are meant for me and I have the right to use them, but I don't have the right to possess them. You should learn to use the things of the world without being possessive." And that's why I talked about the objective to earn money in my discussion.....He also said -The joys received through prayer, meditation, and contemplation are the highest of all joys. I am one living witness who confirms that the highest of joys cannot be given by the world. All the joys in the world give you but a taste. That taste can never be satisfied.

So, Spiritualism goes with money only if the focus or the objective is sustenance and paying back to the society. Merely accumulating wealth for self is of no worth at all. And as you might be knowing all the Spiritual leaders have done a lot for this society and their sole objective was never to make money. A Spiritual person automatically becomes less self -centered, less needy of collecting possessions and social status.

"Genuine asceticism for finding one’s own soul and for the good of humanity is worthy of reverence. Equally worthy of reverence, if not more, is the treading of the fuller and more difficult path of sadhana of those who are in the world, but remain above it. The lotus is often used as a symbol in Indian culture and mythology because the lotus grows in the mud, yet remains above, untouched and unaffected by the mud and water. "- Swami Rama

 

Thanks Shanu for the feedback.

Spirituality is a very personal journey and anything that we experience along this journey cannot be accurately explained to the world, nor a benchmark set for correct form of spirituality. The needs of each soul here are different depending on what lessons they chose to learn before taking birth in this lifetime. The ultimate lessons are oneness, love, compassion and forgiveness, but how and how much we learn these qualities depends on the level of development we have undergone as a soul.

Indeed as you have mentioned Swami Rama says “The joys received through prayer, meditation, and contemplation are the highest of all joy….” And no one can bestow these joys on us but ourselves, the only exception here would be Your Guru. A Master like Lahiri Mahasaya does have the capability to jumpstart the student’s education, get him/her to experience enlightenment and simply help his/her consciousness to rise to a level which otherwise would have taken several lifetimes.

 

Money is a mere tool, a means to buy objects and experiences to help along one’s journey. For most of us, its presence facilitates growth, and absence keeps one stuck in a struggle for survival, leaving one with little time, energy or inclination towards pursuits of the spiritual kind. However that is also not always true, in some exceptional cases, the lack of all resources can also trigger enlightenment – like it happened in Eckhart Tolle’s experience.

 

I would never propose that accumulation and pursuit of money should become one’s life purpose. That would amount to enslavement to money, which is obviously a hindrance to any spiritual pursuit. When one wants money to look good in the eyes of others, one is working out of the realm of the Ego, and ego is not friendly to spirit. Spirit is happy, joyful, grateful and humble, it doesn’t need approval of others. It receives and gives freely, flowing always, never wanting possession, it wants freedom.

One just needs a basic sense of security that money would be available to them whenever required for fulfillment of any/all of their needs and I would like to emphasize desires here. I believe sacrifice is not a necessary offering in one’s spiritual journey.

You cannot give what you don’t have (whether it is love or money), and whatever you give comes back to you manifold. Spiritual leaders understand this easily and large (materially rich) organizations develop under them therefore and they serve humanity according to each ones needs, to the disciples they offer teachings  to help them along their spiritual path and to the suffering mankind they offer material things/education to help them come out of their daily rigmarole. And all of us can learn to do the same in our own special way, in our own special spiritual journey along which money is a good facilitator.

Thanks Seema for explaining more.........Yes I agree that Spiritual journey along with money is a good facilitator.....

My pleasure Shanu.... enjoyed the opportunity to contemplate the issue here and the ideas that flowed..

About Swami Rama - you know him well and I would like to understand something - maybe we can carry on that discussion separately as it is not relevant to this discussion topic..Will write my question to you.

Seema, let me tell one thing that u are a lovely soul. Very open and full of love. Though I've not yet met you bot I could sense it. May God bless you. Lots of love and light dear.

 

Thanks my dear, I see the same in your eyes. Please accept my friend request, so I can write to you.

Hugs!!!

Hi! Seema,

You are most welcome.........I've already accepted it.

Lots of Love

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