Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Greed. We all experience it and as young children are taught that it is unfavorable. But why are we greedy? If we actually stop to introspect, greed often arises from some unfulfilled need which we try to assuage by accumulating possessions or power.
Greed implies that we already have something. It does not arise due a lack of something but a desire for more. When I went to look it up, one of the definitions I found was this: excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.
Interesting isn't it? Greed simply translates to excessive desire. If we stop and take a look, the entire world is operating on this principle. Families are broken up due to greed, relationships are destroyed and feelings are hurt. Take note of those who are affected by greed - living things. Those persons and living entities that we can actually have relationships with are the ones that are affected and hurt.
I find it ironic that material society promotes happy and meaningful relationships through consumer products, romantic comedies, happily ever after stories and even celebrities to some extent. However, on the other hand, this society also promotes overindulgence, consumerism and the "more is more" attitude. Essentially modern society is promoting the tools to undermine what people are hankering for - meaningful relationships.
When one is greedy it is impossible to be selfless. All the energy and concentration is being fixed on your desire for more which means that there's just none left to spare for anything or anyone else.
This, however, is with respect to material greed. Did you know that there is such a thing as spiritual greed? This is what makes bhakti so distinct; many of the negative qualities which we try to keep hidden away inside of ourselves can be spiritualized and thus made positive.
So instead of excessively desiring for material objects, we can excessively desire to connect with Krsna. We can excessively desire to serve other bhakti practitioners and chant with the mood of wanting to please Krsna. The list can go on and on...and you know what? This in turn will help us in our relationships with others. By pleasing Krsna, naturally one becomes blissful and that has a positive effect in our interactions and relationships with others.
Instead of trying to remove something, the process of bhakti can transform it. So what are you waiting for? Take the challenge to become spiritually greedy for Krsna bhakti!