Spiritual Straight Talk:Money Brings No Misery
Question: East or West, many seem to believe that money is the root of all evil. So does material and economic prosperity really bring unhappiness with it?
Sadhguru: Now, does affluence bring suffering? Not necessarily. Money doesn't bring suffering, stupidity brings suffering. If people have decided the moment money enters their life, they are bound to become stupid, yes, suffering will come. Money will not bring suffering; money will bring comfort, isn't it? Money cannot bring joy, but money will bring comfort and convenience.
Why should comfort and convenience become suffering? We wanted it, so why should what we want become the source of suffering? Because, just because we have one thing, we completely forget about the other; that's been the problem of humanity. Let's say you went for a South Indian meal, and you ate only pickle, pickle, and pickle. It tastes wonderful, but by evening you'll have problems—it doesn't even wait until the next day. (Laughs.)
So money, and affluence, is just like that. It's beautiful, if it comes in certain proportion into our life. If you have enough money in your pocket, you don't have to worry about working tomorrow. You can close your eyes and meditate if you wish to, isn't it? The man who is working from meal to meal, even if he wants to close his eyes, he cannot do it. So money is not misery. Stupidity is always misery. With what you are stupid—whether spiritually stupid or economically stupid—it doesn't matter. There are all kinds of religious and spiritual idiots; do you think they are happy?
So many people are going into the temples, mosques, and churches everyday; when they come out, do you see joyful radiant faces? When I was just 11 years of age, this intrigued me so much that I planted myself in front of a major temple and I just watched people. I wanted to see how they are after they meet God. They go in, they come out; all that you hear is gossip. They are talking more about somebody that they saw in the temple than the God. Or, you know in the Indian temple, your footwear goes away with somebody else and they start cursing the whole creation and the creator. (Laughs.)
I always found people who were coming out of restaurants seemed to have more joy and fulfillment on their face than the people who were coming out of the temple. What a shame, isn't it? What a shame, an absolute shame that a dosa can do something more than the divine? (Laughs.) So the question is not about the divine, or dosa, or affluence. If human beings handle things improperly, misery will come, that's all.
Affluence has not brought misery. The money didn't stay in their pockets, it got into their head; then misery is sure to come. If you keep it in your pocket, it's great. Having lot of money in your pocket is good, isn't it? If it enters your head it becomes misery, because that's not its place. It should be in your pocket. If it's in your pocket, there are many wonderful things you can do in the world.
If money is making you miserable, give me all your money, I can do many wonderful things in the world. (Laughs.) It will not make me miserable because it'll never enter my head. I'll keep it in my pocket, and many, many wonderful things can be done if you have money in your pocket, isn't it? It is a means, it is an empowerment. It's a tremendous empowerment.
So this has been the struggle. If you look at the West, you could generally say they handle the outside well, but they didn't handle the inside well. It is said that at least 40% of the population of United States of America at some time or the other in their life have been on psychiatric medicine; short periods, long periods, or something. Forty percent of the population needs medication to just remain sane! That's not well being, isn't it? You thought everything is outside and you forgot about the inside, so life became a mess. Here in India, another kind of mistake has happened. People thought everything is heaven so they neglected their life. We built grand temples, but we don't have a good toilet, isn't it? This has been our problem. We thought everything is up there; and we can neglect the world, so we are paying another kind of price. Somewhere you need a balance.
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