The Chanakya Sutras mentioned here are often quoted on different occasions but half-heartedly. The complete meaning of it goes like “The basis of ‘Sukha’ or all true happiness is ‘Dharma’ or the righteous conduct. The basis of all ‘dharma’ is ‘Artha’ or wealth. The basis of all ‘Artha’ is ‘Rajya’ or the State. The basis for the stability of the State lies in control over the ‘Indriya’ or sensual pleasures. The basis of control over the sensual faculties is in ‘Vinay’ or humility. The basis for humility is devotion to those grown old through wisdom. Through devotion to the wise, one attains proficiency with the maximum efficiency. Those who have vanquished their baser selves will become prosperous naturally, can retain their prosperity, and (will) be successful in their endeavours.”
Without understanding the entire sequence of Sutras, after correlating happiness with Dharma and Dharma with Artha, ritualistically we stop there. The result is losing the essence of thought behind the action and eventual degeneration in action itself. Our rituals, festivals, businesses, education and, even concept of family can also follow the same path if we do not understand the values behind them.
I have heard a person often saying, ‘you cannot buy everything with money, but you cannot buy anything without money.’ Both the sentences may be true in practice if you are living a life on Western parameters. The fundamental question is can money be only considered as wealth? Health is more important than wealth; we are experiencing this in a stressful life. Even people around us is wealth; we have to preserve the same. The values that are nurtured within us are a key source of strength and resource creation, that is also a form of wealth. Whether we cherish and utilise this acquired wealth, along with money, that also with humility, is the barometer for being successful.
Another dimension is, do you have to buy everything in life? Many things you have to earn; the trust, confidence of the people around you is the most assured root for success. The skills are to be acquired; patience, perseverance and an open mind is a must to acquire the same. Proficiency or efficiency have to be attained; this is possible by practising the skills in a yogic way. Doing all this is not for wealth accumulation and showing off the affluence but to magnanimously utilise the acquired resources with the approach of share and care.
These Sutras of Chanakya are the key to balance between virtues and wealth creation. Many times, when we present Bharat as a land of spirituality, we forget the importance given to material prosperity. While pursuing the path of prosperity, we neglect the principles of Dharma. Deepawali is the time to understand, internalise and actualise balance between the two. The cleanliness and clean means, both are essential to woo Lakshmi in all forms is the real message of this festival of light and joy.
We are fortunate that, both in philosophy and practice, there are many icons existed in Bharat and still many are around us who are creating wealth virtuously and utilising it judiciously. Through this Deepawali special edition, we have tried to put together the principles, practices and practitioners of such virtuous wealth creation. Hope you receive this effort with open arms! Happy Deepawali!