Sadhguru looks at when money matters and when it doesn’t, and how we can make the best of it when it’s a question of money management.
Sadhguru: Sometime ago, someone brought a man to me. He was depressed and broken and wanted to commit suicide. Why? Because about five years ago, he was worth 3,000 crore. Then he played in the stock market and things went a little wrong, and his worth dived a little bit. When he came to me, he was worth only 250 crore. So he wanted to commit suicide. Most people in India, if you give them that much money and tell them, “Do you want the money or do you want to go to heaven,” they will ask for the money. But this man is broken! If you keep money in your pocket, it is great. But if it enters your head, it becomes misery because that is not its place.
What we need in the world is not just “wealth creation.” We need to create wellbeing. Wealth is just one of the tools towards human wellbeing, not the whole of it. Wealth means making the outside pleasant for ourselves. But right now, people are going at it like it is a religion. Money is just a means; it is not an end by itself. We are making it too big for nothing. Is it bad? Is it good? It is neither; it is just a tool that we created.
Why do you want to go to heaven–because the “advertisements” have always said it is a very pleasant place. All you want is pleasantness, and right now you believe that in this world, money can buy it for you, which is partially correct.
We must understand that no one is aspiring for money. That may sound ridiculous, but I am saying it is not the ‘money’ that they want. It is just that money has become the means for what they consider as a better life.
Everyone wants their life to be pleasant. When we say pleasant, pleasantness happens in five different ways. If your body becomes very pleasant we call it pleasure. If your mind becomes pleasant, we call it peace; if it becomes very pleasant we call it joy. If your emotions become pleasant we call it love; if they become very pleasant we call it compassion. If your life energies become pleasant we call it bliss, and if they become very pleasant we call it ecstasy. If your surroundings become pleasant, you call it success. This is all you want, isn’t it? “No, I want to go to heaven.” Why do you want to go to heaven–because the “advertisements” have always said it is a very pleasant place. All you want is pleasantness, and right now you believe that in this world, money can buy it for you, which is partially correct.
But money can only create external pleasantness, it cannot create inner pleasantness. If you have a lot of money, you can stay in a five-star hotel, but if your body, mind, emotions and energy are not pleasant, would you enjoy your five-star hotel? No. If these four are very pleasant, you could even enjoy yourself under a tree. Does that mean you should not have money? No, but the priority should be considered–which should come first? If these four things within you are very pleasant, and you also have money, you can make the outside also pleasant. So there is nothing right or wrong about money. It is a certain means. It is just that if money does not stay in your pockets and goes into your head, misery will come.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic and founder of Isha Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to addressing all aspects of human wellbeing through yoga programmes, and social and environmental initiatives.