A person who lives in freedom, satisfied with knowledge and wisdom, is ever tranquil. To him a lump of earth, a stone, and gold are the same. He views all the three with the same equanimity. It is not that he does not understand the differences between them, but he does not give undue weight to any of them.
In the scheme of life money has a definite place. Someone who believes that money is everything does not know the truth. Conversely, declaring that money is nothing is also incorrect because, in this world, money is required to live. We should be aware of the purpose, significance and place of money and not give it excessive or undue importance. For instance, if we buy a relatively inexpensive cap and a pair of very costly shoes: even though the shoes are more expensive than the cap, can we place them on the head just because we have spent more on them?
People live in bondage because they do not know how to live with material things. We often evaluate individuals by what they have and not by what they are. How often do we witness families break up for the sake of money? One day a young man came and asked me to give him a message to follow in life. I said, “Remember: values are more important than valuables.” When we give more weight to the latter then we dig our own graves. We give up values for valuables – the valuables perish, and eventually one ends up with neither.
Unfortunately, man feels that he is unable to live without certain objects; he feels that valuables add to his prestige and stature in society. He would otherwise be labeled a useless person. This is a wrong way of thinking. We superimpose too much importance and value on material things and end up becoming slaves to them. Do not neglect material objects but do not get obsessed with them either. Know their correct value and importance. Place them accordingly and use them. But if you lose them, do not worry. Then you are free.
By: Swami Tejomayananda
— Appeared on Speaking Tree website – 31st Jan, 2015