Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Some think God is money. Many think money is God and very few know that God himself is money. God is love and when you have richness of love in you, you will see how abundance flows in life. There is a saying in sanskrit: ‘Udyoginam purush sindh mupayi tilaxmi’God comes to you in the form of money - wealth is a consort of God. Consort of God, spirit of God comes to you as abundance when you put effort, to one who is working and not to one who is lazy. And one who has confidence and courage. So the one who has courage and confidence, and who puts in effort will get money. Don’t keep buying lottery tickets and sit at home. This is the biggest problem - you want money but you don’t want to do anything. So we have to put in effort. Money is just a means not an end in itself. You will need that but is it everything? No. You may have a lot of money but if you can’t eat, you can’t sleep well at night then that money is of no use. It loses it’s utility. So many people come here who have a lot of wealth and are depressed. They want to quit everything, their job, everything.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that in the next 20 years, 40–45 percent of the population will be depressed. What’s the point in having so much money and prosperity in the world when so many people are getting depressed? That’s why you need to have balance in life, balance of material and spiritual life. Isn’t it? Often people think spirituality means do nothing and sit quietly. No, it is not so. You should work. Even in the ashram there are 600 people who work -day and night. There is no Sunday and no Monday for them and they work round the clock. People come here all the time and they work. Kitchen people are working so hard. The kitchen never takes rest. You have any idea how much food they cook everyday when there is no big program? 600 – 700 Kg of rice is being cooked daily, 70 Kg of salt is put in, and 100 kg of vegetables are cut every day. So much of work they do. The housing department works tirelessly. And they are still smiling. And there are people who go and work in the fields. They are working in slums. There are teachers who are working worldwide. They work day and night. In Karnataka, itself, we have 78 slums and there are many different classes being run, educational classes, computer classes. Seva is a part of spirituality and definitely you can’t do charity with an empty bowl. You need money for service. But here nobody worries about money and charity happens, everything happens spontaneously. So these are some of the things we need to keep in our mind. You have money, you earn money, it’s good but you should keep aside some part for charity, whatever your capacity is 3 – 10%. Keep it aside.Along with it do your spiritual practices daily.
Once in a year, keep seven days completely for spirituality and then you don’t sit and calculate money. You come here and be 100 percent here, and take care of your health, do yoga, pranayama, meditation and learning. It is a very common experience when businessmen come here leaving their jobs for some time and do seva, meditation and the advance course, they start getting better contracts. Their wealth on the other side starts increasing. What they used to get putting in a lot of effort, starts to happen with very less effort. That is when sattva in you rises. Sattva is positive harmony within you and when that dwells up, your work outside also becomes smother and better.