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Boundless Bliss

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PROSPERITY AND POVERTY-

AN ANALYSIS

According to Jain belief, prosperity is the result of virtuous deeds and poverty of evil ones. A prosperous person is signified by charity, sweetness and love, while a poor one is shorn of these distinctions and ever glum.

In Dashvaikalik Chap 9 uddesh’, it has been said -

Suavely behaved ones are prosperous, while unruly ones suffer handicaps. The ill-behaved ones are flotsam and jetsam in a river. The ill-behaved suffer due to their inherent weakness, while the cultured beings ever reflect cheer.

Humanitarianism is the root of the tree of religion. Good qualities are our real assets which award us joy. Evil deeds yield misfortune.

Accordingly to the Uttaradhyayana Chapter 20, soul is answerable for its good and bad deeds. A virtuous soul is our friend and the one handicapped with down going propensities, our foe.

A person hankering after pleasure is given to envy, enmity, anger, pride, greed, selfishness and false ego. He experiences lack of peace. He is ever anxious and apprehensive. He is poor, though equipped with material assets. Contrarily, a person owning virtues of forgiveness, simplicity compassion, gentleness, generosity and humility is blessed with a tranquil and balanced mind. Even mighty emperors bow before saints and unattached persons.

Peace and happiness are experienced, when one is free from all desires and is in a totally satisfied state. Pleasure experienced from fulfillment of desires, is fallacious, misleading and momentary. It gives rise to further desires and this vicious circle continues. Sorrow comes out of desires, while non-attachment leads to equanimity.

A person given to the pursuit of material pleasures, ends up in suffering. Seeking happiness deliberately is not the way. Happiness unpolluted by sorrow should be our goal. Imaginary joys emanating from gross pleasures, result in bondage, obtuseness, prostration etc. They take away our peace of mind. In order to disentangle oneself from such a predicament, one has to get rid of material pleasures, desires and attachment. Once we shed our desires, we are at peace with ourselves. This cheer always accompanies us. Shedding attachments makes us feel free. That freedom is “Muktti” (emancipation) indeed!

By shedding desires and attachment, engrossment with the body and the world around goes away. Love springs up in this unattached state. The joy that one experiences is complete.

Unselfishness leads us to friendship and love. Selfish people are concerned only with themselves, at the expense of others. Such people confine themselves within a narrow prison. They lead an animal life and suffer in the process.

Contrary to this, he who yokes his wealth, wisdom and power to the welfare of others gets immense joy from this service. Absence of desires gives us peace and absence of attachment gives us freedom and Mukti. This ultimately leads our persona to infinite compassion, beauty and power. That is real prosperity. Peace alone is not enough. One has to work for love and freedom. That is Mukti.

Desires fulfilled and unfulfilled lead us only to sorrow. Once we cease to want anything, we win real prosperity.

A “Vitraga” is one who is totally desireless. In this inheres infinite prosperity.

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