It is with our desires as it is with money; they are bad masters and good servants. In today’s world, arranging for the basic necessities— bread, clothes and a small house calls for a fortune. So why should money lead to evil?
Money cannot be described as evil. After all, the salary that a hardworking man takes home is but a recompense for a month’s dedicated work. It is what one requires to live with dignity. A son buying medicines for his mother, a mother buying books for her son, an entrepreneur building his dreams, a priest trying to set up an orphanage—all need money. Money in the cases mentioned here is nothing less than sacred. It is a medium through which some people with good intentions aim at creating a better world. Imagine the UNO trying to help some ravaged nation in the absence of funds.
Man has the responsibility of using material possessions for spiritually evolving himself and those around him. It is not a contradiction in terms. It is said that Ramakrishna Paramahansa leapt out of his seat in shock because Vivekananda (then Narendranath) had placed a coin under the seat to test his master’s claim that he (Ramakrishna) could not bear the touch of base wealth. Ramakrishna considered kamini (lust for woman) and kanchan (lust for gold) as two great obstacles in man’s spiritual progress. Greed for gold at the cost of human values is more damaging than anything else. Lust, pride and jealousy would naturally accompany such an evil.
When we get desperate for our share of the pie, we tend to forget that God has given us our most precious gifts for free. You cannot buy air, and Mother Nature does not charge us for the fragrant spring breeze in the hills. God does not tax us for the divine painting at sunrise and sunset that He displays each day. Money is an essential part of life but it is not everything.