|King Midas of the Golden Touch|
Money is what gets humans their essential needs as well as luxuries. Therefore when we hear of a person who is a billionaire or even a millionaire we tend to be jealous or envious. However, if you go into the depth of matters many millionaires and billionaires need our prayers and sympathy rather than our envy or Jealousy.
My mind went to this subject yesterday when news channels announced that a famous billionaire of North India – Ponty Chaddah – and his brother had killed each other ( at least as initially reported in some of the media although it is being investigated ) in a shoot out in which their respective armed guards were also involved. It seems that there was a property dispute. The matter is still under investigation but the newspapers today reported that their unfortunate bodies were riddled with bullets. Yesterday the TV also showed glimpses of Ponty while he was alive. This is the first time I cared to look at him carefully.
My spiritual views have been elaborated in many earlier posts of this blog. Faith has been expressed in reincarnation, karma (that incidentally has nothing to do with reincarnation as explained in the posts on karma) and most of all in the Supreme Universal Consciousness or God. It is a firm belief that He controls the universe and nothing happens in it unless he either wills it or he permits it. Both good and evil take place in the Universe with His permission. I tried to analyze the Ponty incident in the light of these spiritual beliefs. The question that came to mind is - why the Universal consciousness chose Ponty to become a billionaire. He literally rose to his riches from rags, beginning as a road side vendor of snacks in the sixties. Often times I believe that it is karma or the reward for some immensely good deeds of this or a previous life times that leads persons to become immensely rich. The present life of Ponty was perhaps not a good one. He hob knobbed with many poorly reputed characters, dealt in sale of liquor, moved around with armed guards and lived in a home that had high walls, iron gates and armed guards much like a prison compound. He was often involved in legal or political controversies and his life was full of stress. He had lost one arm completely and a partial use of the other in two separate accidents all the while continuing with his business deals and increasing his fortunes from pennies, to millions and then billions. His present life did not sound like one that could have contributed to a karmic reward of riches. It could be past Karma but then good deeds of the past often leave a mark on the personality and appearance of a human that can be seen by discerning eyes. There was nothing in his looks to indicate that. Therefore I pondered further on the spiritual mystery until the answer was found.
The great financial wealth of Ponty was after all not his reward but perhaps his curse. Wealth is useful when it brings peace and joy to a person but when it deprives a person of peace and therefore also happiness then it is a curse. It has been said in an ancient text (the old testament by Solomon the wise) that the Lord grants wealth to many but the knowledge to use it to add joy into their own lives as well as others only to a few. It is only the latter kind who are blessed. They should be envied for sure, persons like Warren Buffet, but the former kind, need our prayers and sympathy so that they too may find peace while they live and their souls after they have gone, and left their bank accounts behind, subsequent to a struggle of a few decades amongst us.
The second question that arose is that why does the Lord use wealth as a punishment for some. There are so many other ways to punish while the wealth is best distributed to others who are in need. The answer to this may be found in the fact that everything after all belongs to the Lord. He gives it to people for their needs according to His wisdom and holds the rest under the control or guardianship of others as His appointees. Some of the millionaires and billionaires are thus simply the guards of the dark treasure dungeon. We should pity them for the role assigned to them by nature. There are others who have to be granted a concentration of wealth for grinding their butts and/or hair out for setting up large capitalistic ventures that must be undertaken for the activities of our world and providing employment to others (the justification that many Republicans use when they plead for low tax rates).
Consider the life of a person who is not wealthy but has sufficient money to live in clean surroundings, acquire nutritious food, open and green surroundings to live in, rooms that are comfortable and full of fresh air and sunlight, and who can live peacefully without fear or armed guards even in a home where the doors are frequently left open, whose heart is gladdened by sunlight, greenery and the song of birds whose peaceful minds is free to enjoy as he himself adds to the song. A greedy and consequentially stressed mind can neither enjoy the beauty of the flowers nor the magic of a bird song. Compare this life to that of a billionaire like Ponty and decide which one you would choose.
Let us pray for the soul of Ponty and numerous other billionaires of this world, including the drug lords of Latin America or the political rulers of corrupt and dictatorial countries whose lives are rolling in millions and billions lined with fear, trauma and anguish ( Pity Gaddafi and Bashar Al Assad). There is certainly no need to be envious or Jealous of them.
Now do read the sentiment expressed in this note in a light hearted poem about a billionaire in another post of this blog here: