“The treasury of the Infinite is mine, for its wealth is energy, and I am energy!”
-from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda
“Why Are You Doing All This?”
Personal Reflection by Nayaswami Pushpa
I had attained a certain degree of success in my career. I had purchased a townhouse in an upscale Chicago suburb. It encompassed 1700 square feet, with seven rooms on five different levels. It was so deliciously spacious! I even had a darkroom in the finished basement for developing my photography.
I had started to dread Sundays. Each Sunday reminded me that tomorrow was Monday—and that meant back to the office! Sunday was also the day I paid bills, did chores, and took care of everything I owned: my house, my car, my boat, the laundry, and all the cleaning and shopping. I had begun to question who was in charge, because I was beginning to feel my possessions were possessing me, devouring my energy and no longer bringing me joy.
I was on a treadmill, forced to keep running to keep up with the bills and the appearance of having ”made it.” One day I was sitting in my den admiring two newly acquired oil paintings. Out of nowhere a voice said, “Why are you doing all this?” I froze.
Stunned, I looked around the room, and in a flash it dawned on me. I was creating a façade of outer wealth and success. I had the beautiful house, the two-car garage with a boat in it—success in the eyes of the world. But what was important to me? I wanted much more than superficial, temporary possessions. I wanted truth and inner freedom.
That day my life changed course. Over the next few months I left my corporate job and sold the house and its contents. Since that time I have sought true wealth through studying, living, and sharing the yogic teachings. I am so grateful that I heard that voice demanding of me, “Why are you doing all this?” and that I took action. Taking that action has given me a life of meaning and spiritual growth.
“O Mighty Fountain of Infinite Light, from whose spray the countless galaxies are made: Let me wash away my worldly ambitions in Thy waters. Let me bathe in radiant eddies of Thy energy. Thou art my Wealth; Thou, my Treasure; Thou, my Security!”
—from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda
How to Attract Money
Swami Kriyananda gives a talk from the video series “Spiritualize Your Daily Life”
by Nayaswami Pushpa
Paramhansa Yogananda warned us not to overspend. He wrote, “You must not always feel that you have to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’ To spend more than you earn is to live in perpetual slavery. To spend more now in the hope of making more later on is the harbinger of all material suffering.” He advocated “simple living and high thinking.” His guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, advised us to “live within our means.”
Why is this important? Money is energy. It is something we give value to because we can exchange it for the things we want or need in life. It behooves us to use this resource wisely, or our energy will become depleted. If we want more things, we have to put out more energy. However, if we keep withdrawing from the abundant source of universal energy and do not replenish it—such as borrowing and not paying our debts, or hoarding or squandering our money—then we upset the delicate balance of giving and receiving. Yogananda said that possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake. You will never feel that you have enough.
What we are endeavoring to practice is simplicity. Simplicity is not poverty. It means, rather, reducing one’s wants so that material things do not intrude on one’s inner freedom—and that’s what we are really here for!
Beautiful article! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It is very meaningful. 🙏🏼
Thank you for sharing your personal story of letting go of our programming to seek riches instead of God. Anyone on the spiritual path has their own personal story of changing direction when worldly goals didn’t satisfy the soul’s longings for God. It is so obvious when we finally feel the inner peace and contentment of divinely directed meditation. It takes bravery and strength!