False Wealth and True Wealth

The following Gur-Shabad of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) tells us as to what’s the True Wealth (i.e., permanent etc.) and what’s the false wealth (i.e., fleeting, temporary, that comes and goes etc.) in this world is:

  • ਕਾਚਾ ਧਨੁ ਸੰਚਹਿ ਮੂਰਖ ਗਾਵਾਰ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਭੂਲੇ ਅੰਧ ਗਾਵਾਰ ॥ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਕੈ ਧਨਿ ਸਦਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਨਾ ਸਾਥਿ ਜਾਇ ਨ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਸਾਚਾ ਧਨੁ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਕਾਚਾ ਧਨੁ ਫੁਨਿ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਏ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਸਭਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਗਵਾਰ ॥ ਭਵਜਲਿ ਡੂਬੇ ਨ ਉਰਵਾਰਿ ਨ ਪਾਰਿ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟੇ ਪੂਰੈ ਭਾਗਿ ॥ ਸਾਚਿ ਰਤੇ ਅਹਿਨਿਸਿ ਬੈਰਾਗਿ ॥੨॥ ਚਹੁ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥ ਪੂਰੈ ਭਾਗਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥ ਸਿਧ ਸਾਧਿਕ ਤਰਸਹਿ ਸਭਿ ਲੋਇ ॥ ਪੂਰੈ ਭਾਗਿ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥੩॥ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਾਚਾ ਹੈ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਊਤਮ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਸਚੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਚੁ ਆਪਿ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਏ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਆਪੇ ਵੇਖੈ ਆਪੇ ਸਚਿ ਲਾਏ ॥੪॥੭॥: The foolish ignorant people amass perishable wealth (Mayaic-worldly, fleeting). Manmukhs are blinded by the attachment of Maya and thus remain astray. The Mayaic wealth always causes suffering (Dukh). This wealth does not go with you, and, neither does (by adding it) any gain is obtained (contentment, satisfaction, Joy etc.). ||1|| He, who lives by the Gurmat (Wisdom, Upadesh, Way of the SGGS), obtains the True Wealth (of the Naam). (But the worldly) perishable wealth sometimes gets to man, sometimes gets out of his hands.  ||Pause|| The foolish Manmukhs (due to attachment to Maya) go astray and all suffer spiritual death (ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ – death of the spiritual life). They are drowned in the world-ocean (Bhav Saagar), and they cannot reach either this shore, or the one beyond (i.e., neither the perishable wealth of this fleeting world stays with him nor any True Wealth of Naam to show for). But by perfect destiny (created by the sincere self-efforts of Shabad Vichaar), who meet the Satguru; they day and night (laways) remain engrossed in true Naam and (with the blessing of Naam) they remain detached. ||2|| The everlasting True Bani (distributes) everlasting Amrit (Naam, Giaan, Wisdom…). With complete destiny (created by the sincere self-efforts of churning the Bani) one is absorbed in the Naam. The Siddhas, the seekers and all men long for (the Naam). (But) It is obtained only by perfect destiny (created by the sincere self-efforts of churning the Bani. ||3|| A rare person who realizes the Truth (Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature, Universal Energy…), sees that Truth in everything. ‘Rare’ is that person who sees everywhere that ever abiding Brahm. The Eternal Truth (Universal Energy, Hukam…) establishes the Eternal Naam within (that ‘rare’ person who is willing to take it). O Nanak! (Hukam, Universal Energy…) keeps all in Watch (ਸੰਭਾਲ) and links to the Truth (to those ‘rare’ ones who are willing to realize their Mool or Jot Saroop). ||4||7|| (sggs 665).

In short, the foregoing Shabad shows us the difference between the True Wealth (i.e. Naam: Giaan, Wisdom…) and the false wealth (perishable) in this world.

It also tells us who in this world chases after the Mayaic or perishable wealth (the Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree) and who chases after the True Wealth of the Naam (the Gurmukh).

Furthermore it also tells us of benefits of the True Wealth (i.e. Naam) and deficiencies of the false wealth (i.e., ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ – death of the spiritual life…).

  • ਸੁਇਨਾ ਰੁਪਾ ਸੰਚੀਐ ਧਨੁ ਕਾਚਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਛਾਰੁ ॥ ਸਾਹੁ ਸਦਾਏ ਸੰਚਿ ਧਨੁ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਸਚਿਆਰੀ ਸਚੁ ਸੰਚਿਆ ਸਾਚਉ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਮੋਲੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਰਮਾਇਲੁ ਊਜਲੋ ਪਤਿ ਸਾਚੀ ਸਚੁ ਬੋਲੁ ॥: (Usually in the world) man collects gold and silver, but this false wealth is poisonous and worthless (i.e. painful, insignificant, perishable etc.). A person who calls (himself) wealthy by amassing (this) wealth remains miserable in duality (double-mindedness, dilemma, quandary, diffidence, doubt, uncertainty, incertitude, indecision, perplexity etc.). The true ones amass the everlasting and priceless Naam-Wealth. They remember the pure ‘Hari’ (Naam), they get true honor and true is their speech. (sggs 937).

In nutshell, True Wealth is higher than any Mayaic possessions. It is based on our relationship with the Guru (Giaan, Wisdom) and living a Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle). Otherwise, we all will be cheated  by the Mayaic consciousness.

  • ਧਨੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਤੇਊ ਸਚ ਸਾਹਾ ॥: The real wealthy (moneylenders, bankers, ਸਾਹੂਕਾਰ etc.) are those (who have the everlasting Naam-Wealth). (sggs 257).
  • ਹਰਿ ਧਨੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਅਸਥਿਰੁ ਹੈ ਸਾਚਾ ਇਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਧਨੁ ਅਗਨੀ ਤਸਕਰੈ ਪਾਣੀਐ ਜਮਦੂਤੈ ਕਿਸੈ ਕਾ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥: There is no fear of any sort to ‘Hari Dhann’ (i.e. Naam-Wealth). It is always Stable. This wealth of ‘Hari Dhann’ (i.e. Naam-Wealth) cannot be destroyed by fire and water and nor can thieves and Bikaar (lust, anger, greed etc.) take it away. (sggs 734).

Making honest money or wealth is not a bad thing. But to be greedy or remain greedy about it is compared with a rabid dog in the SGGS.

The Gurbani asserts that a person inside of which the dog of greed dies is very ‘rare’ in this world:

  • ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਬਿਰਲੇ ਹੀ ਕੀ ਬੁਝੀ ਹੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਜੋਰੇ ਲਾਖ ਕ੍ਰੋਰੇ ਮਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਰੇ ॥ ਪਰੈ ਪਰੈ ਹੀ ਕਉ ਲੁਝੀ ਹੇ ॥੧॥: Trishnaa (fire of greed, desires…) is extinguished inside a rare person. ||1||Pause|| (The general condition is that a person) earns millions, accumulates millions, yet does not restrain his mind (from greed). (Rather, he) keeps burning (in the fire of Trishnaa) to accumulate more and more extra wealth. ||1|| (sggs 213).

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