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Thread: Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

  1. #1

    Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

    Can someone have spiritual goals (attainment of Moksha) along with material goals like having health, wife, kids, house, car, wealth etc.?
    Will having the spiritual goal in any way decrease the chances of attaining the material goal?

  2. #2
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    Re: Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker123 View Post
    Can someone have spiritual goals (attainment of Moksha) along with material goals like having health, wife, kids, house, car, wealth etc.?
    Will having the spiritual goal in any way decrease the chances of attaining the material goal?

    Vannakkam Seeker123: This will depend on who you talk to a bit.

    Just as a response subject to my personal experience raising 5 kids ... yes you have less time for sadhana, yet if you can adjust to seeing the rest of it as sadhana, then it is more or less working towards all simultaneously. I know when I was really busy, right in the thick of it (the world) it was definitely harder at times to remember Siva, and the purpose of being here.

    However, in the end, for moksha, you need to concentrate on it and it alone. This is just my personal understanding. The rest of the goals are like stages. But this is not seen (at least by me) as something that occurs in one lifetime. Reincarnation and the evolution of the soul fall into this mindset. Without karmas resolved and experiences experienced, we're not about to move on.

    In my sampradaya it goes charya, kriya, yoga, and jnana as 4 progressive yet overlapping stages.

    Some random thoughts...

    Aum Namasivaya

  3. #3

    Re: Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

    Namaste Seeker,

    This is a very deep question, one that I have pondered for a while myself, I will first say that some pursue neither wealth nor moksha fame and power are to name but two others; it is true that these results of life can often lead on to the other.

    What is material success?

    To my mind these paths are often intertwined, and this is totally dependant on past karmas; some will find release in the creating of wealth, but it is there path to do so. Others will be total distroyed by the obsession of the pursuit of wealth.
    The same is true of the spiritual path, for some it will lead to fast advancement and an answer to their questions or love. But for others this path will lead them to become quite lost.

    This highlights the need for satsang if one takes the spiritual path; and the need for spirituality if one takes the householders path.

    It is I feel worth noting that some times karmas can be so strong that there is no thought in the matter required: again this is the work of past karmas.

    My spiritual path has stopped all aspects of my house holder path at the moment, but this is more due to karma and non action than from any choice that I have made.

    Just a few thoughts, and as Eastern Mind has wisely stated, you will hear many differing views on this matter, of that I am also sure.

    praNAma

    mana

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    Re: Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

    Namaste,
    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker123 View Post
    Can someone have spiritual goals (attainment of Moksha) along with material goals like having health, wife, kids, house, car, wealth etc.?
    Will having the spiritual goal in any way decrease the chances of attaining the material goal?
    Obsession with, and attachment to goals, is in itself the wrong place to start. Everything should come naturally, not with a desire for the goal. We should try to enhance our spirituality and take whatever else life throws at us. Raising a family and inculcating spiritual thoughts and training in the minds of the next generation, too is a divine spiritual assignment. Forcing oneself to make choices is self-defeating. Go with the flow.

    The choice of the path that you should choose lies within your own heart. What do you desire? An ascetic's life, or that of a reasonably wealthy householder, or something in between? Forget about Moksha at this stage. On a scale of 1 to 10, we are no higher than 5. Our past karma has to work itself out, something that will require infinite number of rebirths. It's not a drive-through purchase. Just by denying material comforts and becoming a recluse does not necessarily get you to the head of line for Moksha.

    So, live your life the way you want; knowing that increasing your spirituality quotient is one of your duties. If you have a natural bend in that direction, you will automatically gravitate towards it full time. Otherwise, going up the steep grade slowly while helping others along, is not a bad road to travel on.

    Good luck, best wishes and blessings.

    Pranam.

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    Re: Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

    Hari Om,

    Namaste Seeker,

    First, I am not so learned and gain much from what is shared by other portions here. With this, have hope if what I offer is incorrect or needs refinements, this will be done.

    I find what has been shared with you on this thread to be rich. This night, have discussion with Bhai, on this subject, in a manner.

    Discussed following from Shri Guru Gita:
    "On the advice of the Guru, if one meditates with firm determination
    on the principle of I am one without duality need not resort to forest for
    penances, and the constant practice of the above principle brings
    about samadhi and his sins are burnt instantaneously."

    To me Seeker, this goes to Remembering thread, that can be found on this HDF, and your question. One can exist in this world of illusion and interact, and still work on constantly remembering. One, with determination can remove their blinders and see. The time frame to me, for reaching goal, becomes not so important.

    Seeker, to me, what Believer says, " Otherwise, going up the steep grade slowly while helping others along, is not a bad road to travel on.", is pretty beautiful and profound within this Sanatana Dharma.

    Jai Jai Hanuman.

    FFTW



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    Re: Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

    namaste Seeker123 and all others.

    This is the reason that in Hindu Dharma we have the four puruShArthas and four Ashramas. Hindu dharma does not deny mokSha to a person who wants health and wealth, so long as the wealth is earned in dharmic ways coupled with charity and is enough for the person's life.

    • A classic example of a gRuhastha saMnyAsin--householder ascetic, is King Janaka. Most of our Vedic RShis were householders and begot children. In the modern times, sages like Lahiri Mahasaya and RAmakRShNa ParamahaMsa-ShAradA Devi were householder ascetics. Even RamaNa MaharShi took care of his mother in her last days, keeping her in his ashram.

    • The key is to plan and live a life of dharma in all the four puruShArthas--aims, of life: dharma--life style, artha--wealth, kAma--desire, and mokSha--liberation.

    • To accomplish these four aims of life, common Hindus pass through four Ashramas--stages, in life: brahmacharya--bachelor, gRuhastha--householder, vAnaprastha--retired life, and saMnyAsa--life of renunciation.

    • The degree of accomplishment of the four aims vary in the four stages of life. In the bachelor stage, the aim must be to get vidyA--knowledge of life and living, and learn about dharma. Then the person is ordained to become a householder, during which stage his/her aim is to earn wealth and raise a family, keeping the desires in tune with dharma. When the family grows into children and grandchildren and the person retires, then is stage of vAnaprastha, and the person starts learning to live a life of renunciation, which culmitates in his/her becoming a householder ascetic.

    Only such a life of dharma can qualify a normal person in Kali Yuga for eventual mokSha. There are of course some who renounce life even in the bachelor stage, skipping the other two stages, but that is due to their having become spiritually matured and ready in their previous lives. For the rest of us, we need to pass through the four stages of life, especially the householder stage (in order to accomodate the vast number of souls waiting for rebirth) and groom ourself towards a life of renunciation, knowledge and experience of the Self within.

    A life of dharma is sure to get us the heavens with better prospects of worldly life in the next birth. We cannot attain mokSha unless we are ready for it.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

  7. #7

    Re: Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

    Namaste Seeker,

    Great replies above.

    A large message of the Bhagavad Gita, particularly in Chapter 5, is that you can pursue those things that you mention as long as you are not attached to the results. We should dedicate all activities to God, do them without attachment, and offer the fruits of all results to God. In this way we are pursuing moksha while achieving these material goals in this lifetime.

    "One who acts by dedicating all activities to the Ultimate Truth, giving up attachment; is not affected by sin; just as a lotus leaf in water."
    BG 5:10
    http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-05-09.html

    Jai Sri Krishna
    Sanatana Dharma ki Jai!
    Jai Hanuman

  8. #8

    Re: Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker123 View Post
    Can someone have spiritual goals (attainment of Moksha) along with material goals like having health, wife, kids, house, car, wealth etc.?
    Will having the spiritual goal in any way decrease the chances of attaining the material goal?

    other than the obvious karma, it is entirely possible. i raised kundalini, entered samadhi and passed through the doorstep to enlightenment, all while working full time construction and while my wife bickered at me.

    if i can do it, anyone can.

    -dale

    ps hit me up with questions if you have them

  9. #9

    Re: Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

    Quote Originally Posted by FutureHumanDestiny View Post
    other than the obvious karma, it is entirely possible. i raised kundalini, entered samadhi and passed through the doorstep to enlightenment, all while working full time construction and while my wife bickered at me.

    if i can do it, anyone can.

    -dale

    ps hit me up with questions if you have them
    Namaste FutureHumanDestiny,

    Dale, thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

    I am intrigued, I was first touched by kundalini at 19 years old it has taken me 16 years to start to come to terms with it.
    I am, so far as I know in full agreement with Gopi Krishna, in that this is a manifestation of the energy of evolution; Which can bless as much as it can kill or drive insane. This may be very different within the structure of a lineage, of that I can not know as it is not my experience.

    I have recently learnt with the help of the learned members of this from the perspective of Kashmir Shaivism and others, it is helping me greatly; to absorb into my being the language and structure to assimilate this perspective, the knowledge that I am not alone and that others have harnessed this disturbance.

    Why provoke this; one must have an agenda built in learned wisdom, surely?

    I should be fascinated to hear how you have learned to harness this? What are your teachings on discerning the source of knowledge so as to bring about the shift in conciousness required to perceive in this way.

    I find that this energy in many will drive, speech, thought and action from desire without concious awareness. Often the ego, fed by this prANa, can make for intriguing side effect.

    Awareness, in many will lead straight to depression or worse; if, socially the material posture is not yet ready. How do you deal with this in your work and teachings?

    Thank you kindly


    praNAma

    mana
    Last edited by Mana; 15 February 2012 at 02:37 AM.

  10. #10

    Re: Spiritual growth and Material Success compatible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker123 View Post
    Can someone have spiritual goals (attainment of Moksha) along with material goals like having health, wife, kids, house, car, wealth etc.?
    Will having the spiritual goal in any way decrease the chances of attaining the material goal?
    There are 4 purusharthas or goals. Dharma, Artha, Kama , Moksha. To attain each of the goals there are certain per-requisites. The per-requisites for the material goal is different from the Moksha goal. However one could still attain Moksha even if he has all the material things in the world. The aspirant should only not claim ownership to those materials.

    Regarding your next question - Will having the spiritual goal in any way decrease the chances of attaining the material goal? I am reminded of a discourse from Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

    Here is a coconut tree and up the treeare the coconuts. This tree has a shadow that extends for a distance on the ground.
    Now, a man who wishes to secure the coconuts climbs up the coconut tree. At the very time he is climbing the tree; his shadow may be seen climbing the shadow tree.

    And, when he plucks the coconuts, his shadow may be seen plucking the shadow coconuts. The man who climbs the real tree secures the real coconuts and, at the same time, his shadow self climbs the shadow tree and plucks the shadow coconuts!

    But if the man does not relish the task of climbing the real tree, and instead limits his action to the climbing of the shadow tree, he will not get satisfaction from the shadow coconuts.

    While the shadow tree represents the world, and the shadow coconuts represent worldly prosperity, the real tree represents the spiritual life, and the real coconuts represent the fulfillment of life.

    Hence it is said that the person who devotes his life and energy to spiritual values will 'automatically' get worldly benefits. In fact, everything is spiritual and the 'make believe' world is nothing but 'the shadow tree', an illusion!!!
    Do contemplate on this!

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