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Is it not better to donate our earned money to God rather than saving it?


dattaswami
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Is it not better to donate our earned money to God rather than saving it?

Shri Hrushikesh asked: Dear Swami, I have a question about the Karma phala tyaaga and karma samnyasa. I have heard the statement "Nityam sannihito mrutyhu". Death always faces us and can occur any time.in that case what is the point in saving for retirement? Why can't we donate the saved income to God. Esavashya upanishad also says that even the earned income should be used for the basic needs and rest should be given to God. Saving one's earned income is also considered to be a theft. I request you to kindly enlighten us how to apply this in our lives. Your Servant, Hrushikesh

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Swami replied: What you said is correct and noble. This concept is like the sky. Everybody cannot jump and reach it. Only a very few blessed souls can reach this concept preached by the Eshavaasya Upanishad. When our life is not certain, we have to see both possibilities, which are that we might have a long life or a very short life. We have to be prepared for both these possibilities. After preparing for the possibility of our long life, we can sacrifice the remaining efforts and wealth for God’s work. Only a very few exceptional devotees do not care about this possibility and surrender everything to God. Such exceptional devotion is not possible for everybody. Most devotees do not even show ordinary devotion, which is surrendering their extra wealth and efforts to God after first taking care of their old age needs. How can they even think of such exceptional devotion, which needs full practical faith in God? The Eshavaasya Upanishad speaks about the normal devotion which is applicable to the majority of humanity. It involves taking care of oneself till the end of one’s life and sacrificing the excess to God (Tena tyktena bhunjiidhaah). While earning, one should avoid earning sinful money at any cost (maa grudhah …). Sinful money brings problems later on in one’s life and fills one’s old age with suffering. Sinful money can be digested by donating it for God’s work. It does not mean that one should go on earning sinful money for the sake of God’s work. This point applies only to the sinful money that has already been earned. Such sinful money, when kept with oneself, destroys one’s future generations. Hence, it should be donated for God’s work which includes helping the poor. Mere social service is good, but it is not the best. The best is to do God’s work in which social service is a part.

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