Editor’s note: What is the right attitude a sadhak on the path of Integral Yoga should have toward money? What is money? These and several related questions were addressed by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in many of their writings and conversations. Chapter IV in the book ‘The Mother‘ also gives a deep insight into this topic, suggesting that if Integral Yoga is Yoga in real-life and for the transformation of all Life, the subject of money can not be left unaddressed.
In this short article, M.P. Pandit presents a good summary of several essential points from the teachings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo on this topic of money. It is published in Volume 1 of his book ‘Commentaries on the Mother’s Ministry‘.
Sri Aurobindo regards money as the sign of a universal Force that is indispensable for the fullness of a divine manifestation. Like other powers of the Divine in this world, it has been usurped by the Adversary and used for purposes that run counter to the Divine intention. This power has to be won back for the Divine and put to the right use of furthering the divine manifestation.
It is not the right approach to shy away from money because it is known to taint; it is not right either to refuse power because it generally corrupts.
The seeker of the Divine has to purify himself and drop all attachment to wealth and all that it commands; he must learn not to miss it if it is not there, not to get attached to its comforts when it is there. The more one is free from the hold of money the greater is his power over money.
The Mother calls for a discipline of money. Money is not meant to be possessed but to be offered for the purpose for which it is meant.
Wealth is Lakshmi, an emanation of Mahalakshmi, the Mother of Beauty, Harmony and Prosperity. It should be respected and cherished in the right spirit. Wrongly handled, money enslaves. Properly utilised, it empowers. To avoid waste of money-power but at the same time to ensure that it is not blocked, one must learn to balance the force of conservation with the force of circulation.
Money is meant to be put to positive uses. It must be pressed into service to increase the resources for the manifestation of the Divine Truth.
It was always an education to watch the Mother in her handling of monies. She would be generous to a fault but at the same time she could appear to be very tight, almost niggardly. In each case she used to examine the purpose, the motive behind the demand for money. Legitimate needs, yes; satisfaction of desires, no.
The More Money We Have, the More We Need…
She regarded the spirit in which money was given more than the quantum involved.
She had no budget for tomorrow. She had absolute trust that if the Work needed money it would come and come it did. When there was any time lag or reluctance in the flow of money she would look around for possible causes in the consciousness of the collectivity. She would relate failings in the organisation e.g. waste, misuse etc. to difficulties in finances — not indeed in the usual economic sense, but in the larger occult context.
The money-force does not flow where there is wanton waste; it is attracted where it is cherished, conserved and put to the right use. This is the law. Of course in the working of the process there may be many deviations, delay; that is unavoidable in this world still ruled by forces of ignorance and falsehood.
To sum up, money-power today is in alien hands. It must be won back for the Divine’s Work.
But to get control over this force, one needs to be totally detached from it. Power comes to him who does not seek it, eludes when it is sought after. To be detached is different from an ascetic refusal. This kind of refusal or an ostentatious rejection of wealth is an insult to the Power that is divine at its source, and it impoverishes life.
The key to wealth is in consciousness for, after all, it is a manifestation of the creative Power of the Divine Consciousness in the universe.
~ Design: Beloo Mehra