"में तो पवित्र आदमी हूँ इस मामले मे…" — डॉ. कुमार विश्वासׂ٭
|माँ लक्ष्मी / Maa Lakshmi|
लस्मी से परहेज क्यों?!!
Hate for Maa Lakshmi* or Kuber** is alien to our Hindu culture... Both are revered and we are proud of them.
There is a Bengali/ Sanskrit word 'ঐশ্বর্য ' we use all the time.. (I don't know what is the equivalent in Hindi...) in both abstract and real from for wealth and value…
'ঐশ্বর্য ' means a lot things: wealth, riches, state, pomp, supremacy, majesty, attribute of divinity etc...
But due to long years of Western ideas and concepts (read Communism, Socialism etc) many of us have changed and anything to do with money profit is considered an evil... From this unreasonable hate and fear and shame has risen many foolish hypocritical practises in our contemporary Indian life and here are few examples, anecdotes.. Some which happened with me and some I read or witnessed etc.
There was this audio tape of Rajneesh I had got hold of from one of friends during my Art college days... and in there Osho very succulently explained this hypocrisy among the sel proclaimed pious men of god... A devotee wanted to gift some money to his Guru/God-man, the Godman said he can give the money, but to handover the money to his assistant/close devotee etc. as he doesn't "touch money"... Reason being it is पाप/sin, it pollutes! It is dirty! When Rajneesh asked, but doesn't he worry that his beloved disciple is dirtying his hand for him!!?
The legacy of this anecdote has continued to this day!!
Unless one has clear cut idea of what is wealth and money etc. this will continue to haunt us!! Many business families (here caste system helps.. the business class teaches' their children value of money from a tender age etc) They have no such qualms about wealth and money..and thus we have a Lakshmi Mittal*** - one of the richest man today!!
on seeing and being introduced to Kuber, remarked: "oh he must be an evil God/man etc"!!
Coming as they do from the back ground from Communism, it was but natural for her to perceive Kuber* as someone as plain evil...Here's one more anecdote from my life:
I meet him years ago on my first visit to Poland... Instantly he struck me as someone in a hurry to pitch his tent in EU by any means!! He was actually trying to do so and made all possible moves to get his beloved green card!! Anyway that's not my concern... Much later when I moved here I gave him a call (he being the only Indian here). But on the phone he appeared extremely cautious, unfriendly, in a hurry to hang up... Thereafter I never ever called him... Getting the feeling he was worried that I may ask him for some kind of 'help', as I was new there. Then one day, out of the blue, few years back I got a call from him... And the conversation went typically like they do when one meets someone who is busy pretending:
"आरे भाई, where are you? what are you doing? why don't you call/keep in touch... blah blah..?!!"
I replied quietly: "In 'his' town..."/ "आप ही के शहर मे…" He informed me rather proudly he was now working as lecturer/teacher in the art college or in some institution !! How a person with a "call centre" qualifications can do so I don't know!! But then I know too... Anyway he wanted me to come and give some lecture to "his students"... I agreed and asked him about remuneration... And he appeared "shocked" and said he wasn't expecting this... The institution may not pay so may be he will pay from his pocket etc. I quoted my fee based on what I was paid recently by an organisation etc. for a similar lecture etc. He said if I could reduce etc. and email him the details. I did... and also added taxi fare/transportation as I wasn't sure of reaching the place on my own.. His reply was as expected like this: "I am shocked and hurt… didn't like the way you asked me for money... fee and taxi fare/transportation!! See this is for the students, for their good, so I thought you will agree to do it free and give them a lecture about India/your art etc. etc!!" I of course replied citing some imaginary reasons for my inability to do the lecture and thus ended it there!! The thought which I didn't convey to him is: 'Why doesn't he work free for those very students?!!' And how come he has taken up such a job with salary for which he has no qualification, experience or merit?!! When it comes to money, we go rather hypocritical... Especially if it's other person's share!!
I remember when I started my life doing 'design work'.. There was this 'middleman' who would get work from "his clients", for me to design etc... He would be euphoric when he could corner a big project... But the day I would present my bill, he would blow his top and turn into a raging bull!!!
During my long years in art and designing etc. I have meet innumerable people who would come to me to get their company brochures, visiting cards, books, publicity material designed and would always add,
"This is for charity, For a non-profitable organisation etc. So basically I should not charge anything for some "creative inputs"!!
Most would be offended when I would like to discuss the money matter... Most got rich, built houses and bought cars, all from those very non profitable ventures or funds got from Western countries to run their NGO etc.
Many would ask paintings as gifts or at a very low price to "help" in some cause!! Which is alright but if you dig deep, which i have you will find all them getting their share and it's only our share which is discounted!!
Sometime back everyone went after Nirmal Baba!! His guilt was he was charging money in a very matter of fact way...
All men of God do that but they do it stealthily... hypocritically!!
Osho too was blunt and honest... and many couldn't handle this straightforwardness and simplicity about money!!
Can theses Gurus (or nay of us) last a day with Maa Laxmi?! Generally I have seen the guilt attached to wealth over weigh them down...
Sri Sri Ramakrishna had famously remarked "মাটি টাকা, টাকা মাটি..."
But he actaully really gave lot of respect to money/wealth... If one reads him one can see that nature in his life... This remark is of a more of philosophical, spiritual nature!! But is many a time miss interpreted!!
I am sure he is not be blamed for most Bengalis' love for Socialism/Communism... He was much before Marx arrived in Calcutta/Bengal!! Many scholars have inferred, Partition being the reason for most of them getting disillusioned by Hindu religion and in desperation turning to Marx or anti God, anti Wealth.
Recently I finished reading শঙ্কর এর 'কামনা বাসনা'**** (Shanker's "
Kamona-Bashona")... a brilliant and accurate account of wealth, desire, aspiration etc.
If one research a bit one see behind the success of many (Gurus, Artists, Social, political leaders etc.) there was always a wealthy patron: businessman/business house etc. who quietly took on the burden of the finance of these men. Without their money from his devotes from the West, Vivekananda would not have set up his large Ashram in Howrah!! So did Sri Aurobindo, Gandhi had a Birla, list is endless...
But then most forget that money / wealth plays such an important roll in their life and success...This such a ungrateful act!!
Watch how one of them, youth icon of the nouveau riche:
Kumar Viswasׂ٭ refused to acknowledge the money or take it personally with his hand and lets his PA do the job.. Saying famously he wont touch the money, he is: "पबित्र आदमी" (sacred person) when it come to money!"
In direct contrast are those innumerable, very poor manual labourers, workers (in India) most are illiterate.. like our maids, carpenters, plumbers, janitors etc. when you pay them they would invariably always touch the money to their head.. a kind of प्रणाम/ pranam as mark of respect!!
Strange for a culture like Hinduism, where we have designated God and Goddess for wealth, money etc. And most houses would have a picture of Laxmi and every Indian prays to Laxmi everyday!!
And on Diwali... NASA pictures show India is shinning like a jewel in the night sky....