In our ‘All Life is Yoga’ series, after taking up the topics of conscious parenting, education, work and human relationships, we now focus on Money.
What is the nature of money? What is the yogic attitude toward money? What are some key insights from the works and vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother which we must keep in our consideration as we navigate this tricky area of material well-being for ourselves and our societies and nations, and also prepare ourselves for higher pursuits of life? These and other related questions are addressed through our offerings in this issue.
Light from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
In the Guiding Light feature titled, The Yogic Attitude Towards Money, we highlight passages from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother regarding the ideal attitude that a sadhaka of Integral Yoga must cultivate towards money. A sadhaka must neither turn with an ascetic shrinking from the money power nor hold a rajasic attachment to it. With an inner detachment from the money power, one should be able to live poorly without any wanting or live richly without any self-indulgence, as per the Divine Will.
Sri Aurobindo on Economic Barbarism, Business and Dharma brings two passages from Sri Aurobindo’s works. In the first passage, Sri Aurobindo describes the nature of economic barbarism behind today’s growing commercialism where the central aim is the pursuit of vital success, possession and enjoyment for their own sake. In the second, he explains that in contrast to today’s commercialism, business when done according to dharma can also be a valid means of sadhana and approach to one’s higher seeking. He quotes relevant examples from the ancient Indian tradition.
Nature’s Abundance and Conquering the Money Power highlights a few passages where the Mother explains that Nature always gives everything in abundance, except money because it is not under Nature’s control yet. We also read about her trance experiences where she concretely ‘saw’ the power of money that is controlled by Asuric forces, and how it can be conquered.
In the feature titled Rhythm of Money Power and the Vaishya Soul-Force we highlight passages from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother where they explain that to control money one needs to follow a certain rhythm of the money-power. This includes spending money in the right way constantly and not hoarding it.
We also feature a passage in which Sri Aurobindo describes the ideal of the Vaishya soul-force. As per Integral Yoga psychology, nature expresses its life powers through four different soul-forces, Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. The term ‘Vaishya’ here refers to the particular soul-force and not a group of people.
Fresh Perspectives in Their Light
In an article titled The Nature of Money and Wealth Creation, M.S. Srinivasan highlights the process of wealth creation in the light of a deeper insight into the nature of money. For a truly efficient and productive creation of wealth, which leads to the enrichment of life, we have to understand the true nature of money and its implications for wealth creation.
Money was the helper; Money is the bar is the title of an article penned by Deven Shah, an Aurovillian. He presents a reflective account of his evolving understanding of the nature of money and developing a yogic approach to engaging with money. Readers will also find here insights on the high ideals set by the Mother regarding the attitude toward personal possession, especially if one aspires to be part of Auroville, the city the earth needs.
What is sādhana of wealth? How does a householder’s purusharthā of earning money take the form of a sādhana? What is the role of inner purification in this? Shyam Krishnakumar writes a reflective piece titled Artha Sādhana as a Spiritual Pursuit addressing these questions while outlining the Vedic vision of life which valued abundance and prosperity as it helped individuals and collectivities move towards higher pursuits of kshātra, jñāna, vidya, kalā and transcendence.
In the piece titled The Stairway of Yoga, Narendra Murty reminds us that the conventional view which creates a dichotomy between ordinary life — and related to that is the pursuit of money — and spiritual life is not true and is in fact, inconsistent with the bold declaration of Isha Upanishad – Isha vasyam idam sarvam.
Bonus: On Conscious Travel
As we get ready to host a national seminar on the theme – ‘Experiencing the Spirit of India through Cultural and Heritage Tourism‘, we are delighted to share in our current issue a travelogue in Hindi. Penned by one of our regular contributors, Dr. Charan Singh Kedarkhandi, this is a travelogue with a difference.
Presented in two parts, this writeup — straight from the author’s heart — takes you to the inner dimension of what conscious travel can mean when we are not merely a tourist but are open to experiencing the spirit of a place, its history and culture. We are confident our readers will find the author’s account of Pondicherry, Sri AurobiNdo’s “cave of tapasya” a deeply inspiring one.
We conclude the issue with Part 4 of the ongoing series from Sri Aurobindo Circle archives — Sri Aurobindo’s Interpretation of Indian Culture – Mahabharata by Prema Nandkumar.