Friday, August 5, 2011

Happiness and content is better than any other material possession: a personal argument

If there is no money, there is no life is a common phrase which explains the value of money to all. Living would be difficult without money; money is the price that we pay for buying needs and wants. Though it’s possible to sustain without wants, we can’t survive in absence of basic needs like food. But money cannot do everything for many of us. Money cannot buy a peace of mind. Happiness which is defined as a state of mind by Dalai Lama is like an antidote for all types of suffering that we suffer in this cruel world.

“Health is Wealth”, highlights on the importance of health against wealth. Many of us catch two forms of disease, biological and mental disease. Mental problems are becoming serious in the 21st century. It’s causing severe treat to one’s family, relationship and to the society. Bhutan is currently facing lots of challenge to overcome this deadly virus. The rate of substance addiction among teenagers is rapidly increasing due to change in lifestyle and culture all because of modernization. While in the past Bhutan has been beautiful place to live as said by our parents and grand parents. Despite the fact that people are living a hardship life people of that time were happier among their family and in community. Younger one respects elders irrespective of rank and wealth that they have. Such kind of culture is diluted today. Presence of drug abuse, suicide, gang rapes etc has not heard or seen during those times.

A serious patient with prostrate cancer could be treated in highly equipped hospital abroad, if a family is wealthy enough to takes his patient outside Bhutan. A student can complete highly professional courses of his interest and would have been highly skilled person back in his country if the financial was not a serious matter. Money is what it does, it has power to save life and bestow a great foundation of knowledge in us. But it seems useless and meaningless for a real Buddhist practitioner like great Rinpoches and Trulkus. They use to teach people that desire for wealth act as a great enemy for one to take interest and practice religion. There are many texts too to explain the wonderful things about mind and meditation of controlling our mind, heart and soul to be a perfect human being. As such having money and properties are not just enough to lead good life. Being a kind, gentle, honest and compassionate to others and where his mind is arrested or addicted in learning Buddhism is the right approach to journey towards our life.

We cannot be sure to protect our wealth and life. One may be thinking of buying a luxurious car of Rs. 10,00000 with his money to show off his wealth. ‘What is there’? If he buys a car and a bad accident takes place within few days, not only the car even his precious life will be in high risk. Such type of accidents occurs frequently in all parts of the world. What are we going to do with our assets and properties if we are going to die tomorrow? Isn’t wise to become jachubsempa or enlightened beings rather than business minded creatures? When you have too much of wealth you will not have a peaceful mind, within a second you will develop negative thoughts or shift your inner personalities. Though you might have accumulated merits before within a fraction of second that merits will vanish.

Today our country is mostly known to the outside world with GNH philosophy. The idea of GNH is said to have originated from the father of modern Bhutan, third king of Bhutan. He has started the development activities of changing Bhutan with the fundamental concept of “Growth and prosperity”. It was actually based on balanced between material needs and spiritual needs. Such kind of development philosophy can be also interpreted as ‘Money in the hand and God at heart’. May be he doesn’t want his country to cry and shed tears as it is true that money creates chaos and disorder in the system resulting into too many crisis. It was wisely thought and articulated as a guiding philosophy to protect the sovereignty of our country by the great, fourth king of Bhutan. It has become critical subject worldwide. GNH could be a powerful strategy to tackle causes of unhappiness and suffering in this world. You can think of other things to argue that happiness and content is better than any other material possession?

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