By Vijay Darda | 16-10-2017
In the blind race for material wealth, we are forgetting riches like cultural values, virtue, thought, duty, health and dedication
The festival of Dhanteras falls tomorrow. Some will adorn themselves with gold jewellery while some will buy a small bowl and a spoon of silver. Someone’s home will witness the arrival of a new vehicle and someone will bring home a new TV! I mean to say that everyone will buy something new according to their financial capacity. Of course this tradition is good. There is something new in our house, so happiness is natural. After Dhanteras, we will decorate the garland of lamps, make the house shine, challenge the dark night of the new moon with sparklers, will burst crackers and celebrate. This festival is really wonderful!
But at this point, I want to put a serious question before you. Are materialistic things everything? Do materialistic things like money, jewellery, big TVs, big cars, big bungalow and similar other things have the capacity to make your life happy? Yes, these devices are very important to make life easier but I believe that material wealth is not enough for a happy life. You may have a lot of money, there might be no shortage of money but what if your health is not good. Will your life be happy then? It will not be happy at all. You will be happy only when your health is fine! Have you ever thought about the health of society and the country at this time? The youth of the country is fast becoming a victim of diabetes. Girls are getting malnourished! How can any country be healthy if its youths are ill? This Deepawali therefore, definitely think about how much time you spare for your health and how much aware you are about your children’s health?
It seems to me that there is an acute shortage of cultural values and intellectual wealth in the society. Take a look around you and see how many young people are respecting the elders of their locality or the village! There was a time when everyone used to stand in respect whenever the elderly of the village would walk by. Today, the youngsters strut by them stylishly smoking a cigarette. Leave alone the elderly of society, the elders in their own family also crave for respect. Let’s not discuss about those who keep their parents away? Familial atmosphere is getting vitiated rapidly. Our elderly would say that if a person is living miserably in the vicinity of your house then you can not be happy, but today’s reality is quite the opposite. Does anyone have any sense of who is living in his neighbourhood and in what condition? I have been witness to situations where people have distance themselves seeing a person in trouble.
To be honest, today friendship is being weighed on the scale of money. Examples of Krishna and Sudama are rare! The feeling of superiority is so deeply ensconced among the rich that they despise being friends with anybody having less wealth. The entire society is revolving around money. Many rich people are engaged in buying the entire system including law and justice to further their own interests. This situation is not right.
I believe that money is essential for life and every person should try to become rich too. But I also believe that if you want to be rich, then become one like Tata, Birla, Bill Gates, Azim Premji, Narayana Murthy, who used their wealth for the welfare of the society much more than they used it for themselves. Azim Premji is a super-rich person but look at his simplicity that he travels in economy class. In fact, the arrogance of wealth should not govern your life. If you consider money as a by-product, life will be simpler, happier. We have the example of Bill Gates. He established Microsoft and brought about a revolution in the world of computer. He used the money that he earned as a by-product, for the betterment of society!
Indeed, the theory of Gandhiji’s trusteeship works behind the thinking of such benevolent rich people. Anybody can make his son glorious by his glory, but when a person makes other people proficient, his respect enhances. The Tata family made a lot of money but they also enriched the society with that money. Very few people know that we have reached the pinnacle of success in the field of space technology thanks to Jamshedji Tata, who spent a lot of money for this project in the initial phase. All of us should think that there is some wealth other than the money we are earning and that is very important for us to become a better person. It is as necessary to make our life happy as we need oxygen to survive. I recall a couplet of Gopaldas Neeraj which says,
Tum Diwali bankar jag ka tam door karo, main Holi bankar bichhade hriday milaunga! (You become a Diwali and remove darkness of the world, I will become a Holi and reunite the lost hearts!)
Before I conclude…
A storm of controversy is raging over the issue of firecrackers. Some people are linking it to pollution but I believe our traditions and culture are an important part of our life. What joy will be left in Deepawali if firecrackers are not burst and the light of sparklers will not remove the darkness! There is also a tradition of fireworks in other parts of the world. Traditions should not be tampered with.