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Money is a Source of Misery

By Swami Sivananda

Money is a source of pain and misery. You want wealth and are guilty of all sorts of vices in order to amass wealth. You lose all peace of mind and have no sleep due to the thought of how to earn money. You get some menial service and get hundred kicks from the employer day and night. You take bribes and keep the money safe. You do not get sleep even now and spend the time in watching over your property with constant anxiety. One day you find a robber has snatched away your wealth and what little peace you had is shattered. You pine away with grief and lose health, wealth and everything, Still you do not become wiser!

You pray for a child. You get a female child and you pray again for a male one. You get a male child after so much of fasts and observances, Vratas and Niyamas, and do not know how to marry the girl and educate the boy. You do not know what the boy will become, whether a rowdy, a thief, a warrior or short-lived. You grieve for your son and for your miserable plight! Poor man! You do not know that things are ephemeral and try to deceive you constantly.
This world is unreal. All are born to die only. All are illusory in this world. One should carefully note the deceptive nature of the mind. It is the mind alone that pictures the existence of the world as a reality, whereas the Atman alone is real.

Wealth cannot give happiness. It is Jada Maya. It makes one forget God completely. It drags one to the regions of hell.

Life is transitory. Death is incessantly staring you like a venomous serpent ever ready to strike. Various dire diseases cause much havoc to this body. Youth abandons the body quickly and old age grips it. He alone is saved who makes haste to utilise this precious life in striving to attain the Summum Bonum of life.

Egoism deludes people. Though the world is nothing, it deceives the worldly man into thinking that it is everything. It is associated with 'mine ness'. This egoism is born of Avidya (ignorance). It springs from conceit. Vanity fosters it. It is the grea test enemy ever known. The secret of renunciation is the renunciation of egoism. Ahamkara or ego is the direst of diseases. He who is free from egoism is ever happy and peaceful. Desires multiply and expand on account of egoism. This inveterate enemy has spread about man the enchantments of wives, friends, children, relatives, whose spells are hard to break.

The mischievous mind wanders from one object to another like a strolling street-dog. It is not calm at any time. It is possible to drink the contents of the ocean, uproot the Sumeru mountain or swallow burning fire; but it is impossible to control this terrible mind. This world is a manifestation of this mind only. All pains are generated through the mind only. If this mind is annihilated through discrimination and Atmic enquiry, all pains, along with this world will vanish.

Desire is like an owl that flies about in the region of the mind under the darkness of affection and in the night of avarice. It destroys all divine qualities. Just as a bird is caught in a net, you are caught up in the trap of desires. Desire is the cause of rebirths and all sorts of pains, miseries and sorrows of this earth. It is like a sharp-pointed sword. It penetrates the hearts of persons and gives them sufferings for nothing.

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