Internal vs. External Abundance


Our abundance externally seems to be linked to our realization of our Divine abundance internally. How does Karma interface with this? Also I think that the more I love God the less I need to ask others for wisdom. And the more I realize that my “truth” is not the truth others may perceive for me. Thank you for responding. Blessings to you.

—mary, usa


Dear Friend,

In your note above you’ve brought up several subjects and it may be helpful to be clear about what they are:

1. Does material abundance flow from (what you term) “Divine abundance internally”?

2. How does karma affect #1?

3. What is the relationship of love for God to inner guidance and wisdom?

4. What others think I should do is not necessarily what I feel guided to do. (This is a statement, not a question, but I assume it is, if not a question, a topic for discussion.)

So let’s step up the plate and swing at a few of your “fast balls!” (Spring and summer in America is “baseball” season!)

ABUNDANCE. Yes, indeed, our karma very much affects the relationship between our (hopefully) growing spirituality and the state of our material abundance or success. Some saints have lived in poverty; others, in abundance. Hence one could say that there is no INTRINSIC relationship between the two. (The same can be said of health.)

Yes, it’s true that as one advances spiritually one begins to demonstrate power of material things, but that cannot, or at least should not, be used for self-gratification and mere comfort or security. Those who yield to the temptation to do so “fall” spiritually, at least to some degree (not always to a great degree, however).

Therefore it is unwise to measure one’s spiritual consciousness by one’s power to manifest material prosperity. Easier said than done, however, as the world has numerous examples of spiritual seekers and teachers who tend to equate the two. It is, however, an error to do so, at least infallibly.

A devotee may have to work to overcome former lifetimes of inattention to material matters in order to achieve an appropriate level of prosperity sufficient to support his spiritual seeking and his spiritual service to others. A wealthy devotee may need to consciously be generous and non-attached to the karmic results of past success magentism; or, he may need to be careful not to squander his wealth in the name of being spiritual when it is not really useful or called for by God’s will. It can be, you see, very complicated.

LOVE FOR GOD AND WISDOM. No question about it: love for God brings to us wisdom. But be careful of being the “judge” of just how wise you are! Pride goeth before the fall, Shakespeare reminds us! (or is Proverbs, Old Testament?). Even great saints are careful to test their inner guidance by outer signs and by seeking the counsel of others, even, sometimes, those less wise than themselves, just to “test the spirits” (as Jesus put it). Inner guidance must be tested and offered tentatively up to right action and nonattachment.

The same can be said for what we might perceive to be inner guidance in opposition to the counsel of others. Yes, of course that can, and will take place. But one must be, spiritually, very careful lest we deceive ourselves in doing what we like rather than what we should. This takes practice, humility, and, of course, true intuition. We are never safe until we achieve enlightenment. So, be very careful, esp when your “inner guidance” corresponds to what you want and is in opposition to what others, especially those who are both wise and impartial, suggest.

Blessings to you,

Nayaswami Hriman

aka Swami Hrimananda!