To have money does not mean that one is a rich person. Only if one has money to give, one is rich person. A person, who has money to spend on himself and on others, when necessary, is a rich man. Whereas, a man with enough money, who does not think he has enough to spend on himself or for a cause is simply a moneyed man; he is not a rich man. It is important to understand the difference between a moneyed person and a rich person. The rich person is the one who feels rich.
“Anyone who thinks money will make one happy hasn’t got money.”
— David Geffen, Music Magnate
“The more of it one has, the more one wants.”
— Benjamin Franklin, Current Face of the Highest Denomination of U.S. Legal Tender
“There are people who have money and people who are rich.”
— Coco Chanel, Fashion Designer
“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Writer
A man who has only a rupee in his pocket and gives it to someone who has not eaten for two days is a rich man because, although he had so little, he had money to spare. He has no money, but he is rich; he is ready to spend on others or for a cause. Whereas another man may have millions of rupees and yet he feels he doesn’t have enough to be able to spend it on himself or on others. Such a person is moneyed but not rich – in other words, a miser, krupana.
The one who is happy at all times, in all places, in all situations, circumstances and environment and has a good physical and psychological health is the richest person.
The one who has everything but lacks happiness and health is the poorest person.
“Wealth is a great thing to have and a great thing to share.”
— Harold Honickman
Similarly, in the text Brhadaaranyaka Upanishad, Yaajnavalkya tells Gargi, “the one who dies not knowing Brahman (the Absolute Truth or the Real Self) is a miser.” Why is he or she considered a miser? — Because the person had an intellect that he or she never used. Just as money is of no use to a person who will not spend it, what is the use of having an intellect if a person cannot or will not use it?
One who has buddhi (intellect) and does not use it is also a miser. Such a person uses as little intellect as possible, keeping it as it is. A person may exercise his intellect just a little to learn something in order to please his parents. He may even get a job. But that is the maximum he is willing to use his intellect for. He does not read anything, not even the newspaper. A person who can read and yet never reads, has no advantage over the person who can’t read, similar to the one who has knowledge, but doesn’t use it has no advantage over the ignorant ones. This person sits staring at the TV, without using his intellect at all. For this kind of life, he need not use it at all. No real thinking is done by such a person.
A person does not cease to be a miser, simply because he donates his hard earned money. A miser is one who leaves the world without knowing the Truth about his own Real Self, for he refuses to use the vast wealth of his intellect to inquire into the very purpose of his existence.
Real thinking is thinking about the Reality beyond the apparent existence. Because we are dealing with Reality, there must be thinking; otherwise we are dealing with only shadows. If the Reality is not known, we may be fighting in areas where no fighting is required.
One who thinks about the fundamental Reality of himself, the world and the Absolute Truth / God, who knows what it is all about, is buddhimaan (intelligent and wise).
This person is rich – he or she has an intellect to use and to spare. The buddhimaan has used the buddhi (intellect and wisdom) for himself or herself and shares the knowledge and wisdom gained with others.