Mother Answers on Money - II
How can one know if one's way of using money is in accordance
with the divine Will?
must first know what the divine Will is. But there is a surer
wayto surrender money for the divine work, if one is
not sure oneself. "Divinely" means at the service
of the Divineit means not to use money for one's own
satisfaction but to place it at the Divine's service.
Aurobindo speaks of "a weak bondage to the habits that
the possession of riches creates".
you are rich and have a lot of money to spend, generally you
spend it on things you find pleasant, and you become habituated
to these things, attached to these things, and if one day
the money is gone, you miss it, you are unhappy, you are miserable
and feel all lost because you no longer have what you were
in the habit of having. It is a bondage, a weak attachment.
He who is quite detached, when he lives in the midst of these
things, it is well with him; when these things are gone, it
is well also; he is totally indifferent to both. That is the
right attitude: when it is there he uses it, when it is not
he does without it. And for his inner consciousness this makes
no difference. That surprises you, but it is like that.
one has the power to acquire a lot of money, does this mean
that one has a certain control over terrestrial forces?
This depends upon how one acquires it. If you get it by foul
ways, that does not mean that you have a control. But if someone,
scrupulously doing his duty, sees that money comes to him,
it is evidently because he exercises a control over these
forces. There are people who have the power of attracting
money and they haven't the least need to practise dishonesty
to get it. Others, even to get a few pennies, must make all
sorts of contrivances, more or less clean. So one cannot say...We
see a rich man and think he must be exercising a control over
the forces of moneyno, not necessarily. But if a man
remains perfectly honest and does what he thinks is his duty
without caring to acquire money, and yet money comes to him,
evidently he has a certain affinity with those forces.
is said, "One cannot make a heap without making a hole",
one cannot enrich oneself without impoverishing someone else.
Is this true?
This is not quite correct. If one produces something, instead
of an impoverishment it is an enrichment; simply one puts
into circulation in the world something else having a value
equivalent to that of money. But to say that one cannot make
a heap without making a hole is all right for those who speculate,
who do business on the Stock Exchange or in financethere
it is true. It is impossible to have a financial success in
affairs of pure speculation without its being detrimental
to another. But it is limited to this. Otherwise a producer
does not make a hole if he heaps up money in exchange for
what he produces. Surely there is the question of the value
of the production, but if the production is truly an acquisition
for the general human wealth, it does not make a hole, it
increases this wealth. And in another way, not only in the
material field, the same thing holds for art, for literature
or science, for any production at all.
I was doing business (export-import), I always had the feeling
of robbing my neighbour.
This is living at the expense of others, because one multiplies
the middlemen. Naturally, it is perhaps convenient, practical,
but from the general point of view, and above all in the way
it is practised, it is living at the expense of the producer
and the consumers. One becomes an agent, not at all with the
idea of rendering service (because there is not one in a million
who has this idea), but because it is an easy way of earning
money without making any effort. But of course, among the
ways of making money without any effort, there are others
much worse than that! They are countless.
from outside have often asked me this question: "When
one is compelled to earn his living, should one just conform
to the common code of honesty or should one be still more
This depends upon the attitude your friend has taken in life.
If he wants to be a sadhak, it is indispensable that rules
of ordinary morality do not have any value for him. Now, if
he is an ordinary man living the ordinary life, it is a purely
practical question, isn't it? He must conform to the laws
of the country in which he lives to avoid all trouble! But
all these things which in ordinary life have a very relative
value and can be looked upon with a certain indulgence, change
totally the minute one decides to do yoga and enter the divine
life. Then, all values change completely; what is honest in
ordinary life, is no longer at all honest for you. Besides,
there is such a reversal of values that one can no longer
use the same ordinary language. If one wants to consecrate
oneself to the divine life, one must do it truly, that is,
give oneself entirely, no longer do anything for one's own
interest, depend exclusively upon the divine Power to which
one abandons oneself. Everything changes completely, doesn't
it?everything, everything, it is a reversal. What I
have just read from this book applies solely to those who
want to do yoga; for others it has no meaning, it is a language
which makes no sense, but for those who want to do yoga it
is imperative. It is always the same thing in all that we
have recently read: one must be careful not to have one foot
on one side and the other foot on the other, not to bestride
two different boats each following its own course. This is
what Sri Aurobindo said: one must not lead a "double
life". One must give up one thing or the otherone
can't follow both.
does not mean, however, that one is obliged to get out of
the conditions of one's life: it is the inner attitude which
must be totally changed. One may do what one is in the habit
of doing, but do it with quite a different attitude. I don't
say it is necessary to give up everything in life and go away
into solitude, to an ashram necessarily, to do yoga. Now,
it is true that if one does yoga in the world and in worldly
circumstances, it is more difficult, but it is also more complete.
Because, every minute one must face problems which do not
present themselves to someone who has left everything and
gone into solitude; for such a one these problems are reduced
to a minimumwhile in life one meets all sorts of difficulties,
beginning with the incomprehension of those around you with
whom you have to deal; one must be ready for that, be armed
with patience, and a great indifference. But in yoga one should
no longer care for what people think or say; it is an absolutely
indispensable starting-point. You must be absolutely immune
to what the world may say or think of you and to the way it
treats you. People's understanding must be something quite
immaterial to you and should not even slightly touch you.
That is why it is generally much more difficult to remain
in one's usual surroundings and do yoga than to leave everything
and go into solitude; it is much more difficult, but we are
not here to do easy thingseasy things we leave to those
who do not think of transformation.
- The Mother