Money, too, can serve God: give the money a chance4There was once a spiritual Master with a few hundred disciples who, fortunately or unfortunately, had peculiar ideas about material wealth. He was of the opinion that money-power and God-love could never go together. He felt that money was the worst possible evil on earth. Therefore, he made it a point not to accept any money from anyone.
This Master’s disciples were extremely fond of him and extremely proud of his inner Peace, Light, Bliss and Power. They respected his ideas about money and supplied all his material needs, which were very few, without making him have to deal with money. In addition, most of them soulfully embraced their Master’s opinions and had as little to do with money as they possibly could.
Luva, a very close disciple of the Master, always liked to be exceptional, and he exploited the Master’s loving compassion quite often. The Master had repeatedly said that he would not accept money for the interviews he gave to disciples, seekers and admirers. He would accept no money for his spiritual discourses, either. But at the end of each interview with the Master, Luva used to plead with him to accept some money as a love-offering. The Master regarded Luva as a spoiled child, and quite reluctantly he would accept money from him.
Because of his special treatment of Luva, the Master became a victim to merciless criticism from some of his disciples, and this was quite painful for him. But the Master thought that since Luva had many good qualities which others badly lacked, he could condone his dear disciple’s unfounded and persistent demand. Fortunately, there were also some disciples who were extremely devoted to the Master and who felt that there was a special reason why the Master dealt with Luva in this way. For them, the Master’s way of dealing with any disciple or anybody on earth was simply perfect.
Luva’s exploitation of the Master in the matter of money lasted for three long years. Then, finally one day he said to Luva, “Luva, I shall no longer accept money from you after I give you an interview. Every week, as usual, I shall grant you an interview, but the fulfilment of my advice in your life of aspiration is the only fee or love-offering that I wish.” Luva was astounded. But he felt that this time the Master was using his adamantine will. He felt that it would be useless to argue or plead with the Master, because this time the Master would not surrender to his emotional demands. Nevertheless, Luva was reluctant to give up all at once the idea of offering money to his Master.
A few days later the Master said to Luva, “Come tomorrow morning for an interview. But remember, don’t bring any money with you.” The next morning the Master gave Luva a most significant interview. At the end of the interview he asked, “Well, Luva, have you brought any money with you?” Luva hesitated for a moment and then handed the Master a hundred dollar bill.
Sadly the Master took the money. Then he became furious. He said to Luva, “Now my hands are itching, my palms are burning! I have told you people many times that I cannot touch money. Money is a hostile force. Now I have to wash my hands thoroughly with soap and water.” Luva was sad and happy. He was sad because he had created such discomfort for the Master, but happy because the Master had accepted his money once again. Still he could claim to be exceptional.
The following week the Master granted Luva another interview. At the end of the interview the Master asked him whether he had brought any money with him. In a trembling voice Luva replied, “Yes, I have.”
“Where is it?” the Master asked.
“It is inside my pocket.”
The Master said, “It deeply pains me to tell you that you are polluting the spiritual atmosphere of my house by carrying money into my meditation room. Therefore, I shall not grant you any more interviews in my house. You are welcome to come inside to meditate, but each week, when I give you an interview, it will be outside my house, in the garden.”
Then the Master cut off all the pockets of Luva’s shirt and said, “From now on, when I give you interviews you will wear only this shirt which has no pockets. Then you will not be able to bring any money with you. I am totally disgusted with you. You are constantly violating my law.”
The following week, the Master and Luva were having a most soulful discussion under a mango tree in the garden. During this interview Luva had a solid and concrete experience of Light and Delight in his heart. He was overwhelmed with joy, and again and again he offered his soulful gratitude to the Master.
When the interview was over, the Master, as usual, asked Luva whether he had brought any money with him. But before Luva could answer, a huge branch suddenly broke off from the mango tree and fell right on the Master. The Master, being an old man, had not been able to move away in time, but Luva had been able to escape. Immediately the disciple went back to help his Master. Seeing that the Master was severely injured and unconscious, Luva became extremely frightened and upset. He ran to call the best possible doctor for his beloved Master.
When the doctor arrived he soon discovered that the Master’s case was extremely serious. His head was badly wounded. The doctor was very famous and also very expensive because of his unsurpassed capacity in medicine. In two months, he was able to cure the Master completely. Luva paid all the doctor’s fees.
After his recovery, the Master said to Luva, “Son, your money-power has saved my life this time, not my inner light and my spiritual power. I wish to tell you that mere money-power cannot elevate human consciousness even an inch, and if human consciousness is not elevated and transformed into divine consciousness, man will always remain undivine and half-animal. But at last the realisation has dawned on me that when money-power is needed to serve spiritual power, money-power should be accepted with loving and blessingful gratitude. Only then can spiritual power, which is love-power and oneness-power, do its work and transform today’s man into tomorrow’s God.”
MSR 4. 11 January 1974↩