Everyday Bhagavad-Gita: Greed.
Verse 1.37-1.38: O Janārdana, although these men, their hearts overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one’s family or quarreling with friends, why should we, who can see the crime in destroying a family, engage in these acts of sin?
We all experience it. We’re even taught as young children that it’s not good. And yet, here we are still dealing with it.
So, why are we greedy?
If we actually stop to think about it, greed often arises from some unfulfilled “need” we have, which we try to satisfy by accumulating possessions or power.
Oddly enough, greed implies that we already have something. It does not arise due a lack of something, but a desire for more. When I looked it up, one of the definitions I found was this: excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.
Interesting isn’t it? Greed simply translates to excessive desire. If we stop and take a look, the entire world is operating on this principle. Families are broken up due to greed, relationships are destroyed and feelings are hurt. Take note of those who are affected by greed and you’ll see that it’s all of us: you, me, the animals, the plants, the entire earth.
I find it ironic that society promotes happy and meaningful relationships through consumer products, romantic comedies, happily ever after stories, and celebrities. But, I guess it shouldn’t come as any surprise seeing as society also operates on the principles of overindulgence, consumerism and the “more is better” attitude. Essentially modern society is celebrating the tools and techniques, (overindulgence, consumerism and a “more is better” attitude), which undermine what people are hankering for: meaningful relationships.
When one is greedy it is impossible to be selfless. All the energy and concentration that gets fixed on your desire for more, just means that there’s none left to spare for anything, or anyone else.
However, so far we’ve only been speaking about material greed.
Did you know that there is such a thing as spiritual greed?
This is what makes the path of bhakti so distinct; many of the negative qualities which we try to keep hidden away inside of ourselves can be spiritualized and thus made positive.
So, instead of excessively desiring material objects, we can choose to cultivate excessive desire to connect with God. We can excessively desire to serve other bhakti practitioners and chant with the mood of wanting to please Krishna. The list can go on and on. And you know what?
These desires will in turn help us in our relationships with others. By pleasing God, naturally one becomes blissful and that has a positive effect on our interactions and relationships with others.
Instead of trying to remove something, the process of bhakti can transform it.
So what are you waiting for? Take the challenge to become spiritually greedy for Krishna bhakti!
Vrindavan Rao was born into the bhakti tradition and grew up enveloped in it. However, her personal discovery of the bhakti path began in 2004 when she had the opportunity to go to a Vedic College in Belgium and since that time she has embraced it completely. Her love for travel has given her the opportunity to study Vedic texts, such as the Bhagavad-gita, in places such as India, Canada, Belgium, Ukraine and the United States under the guidance of several advanced practitioners.
She especially loves the Gita and refers to it as her “Guidebook for Life” since it contains practical answers for complicated questions and is currently writing a daily blog on every verse of the Gita. In addition, you can keep track of all the happenings of Everyday Bhagavad-Gita on Facebook and viaTwitter.
Her background is in science and she not only has a Bacherlor’s degree in Biochemistry, but also a Masters in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. In her free time she loves to write, read, give presentations, sing and work out.
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Editor: Thaddeus Haas