Fame and Wealth Are Loyal to No One

“Fame and wealth,” my Guru used to say, “are like prostitutes: loyal to no man.” In the end, those two goals, though all but universal, brings only disappointment. If fame comes unsought, owing to some past karma (I hesitate to call that karma good!) use it for the benefit of others, rather than to bolster your own pride.

Fame can be a means of reaching many people and of helping them, but never glory in it. Whether well- known or unknown, you are the same person. It is easier to be yourself, however, if you are unburdened by anyone’s expectations of you. Be natural to all: open to their interests, and respectful of their opinions.

Wealth Should Be Treated as a Sacred Trust

Wealth, if it comes to you, should be treated as a sacred trust. It is not really yours, even if you have worked hard to accrue it. Karma (again, it will be good karma only if you use it rightly) has given you riches as a means of helping other people. Use your wealth to make this a better world.

Otherwise, riches will only suffocate your finer feelings. If they make you feel superior to others, they are a delusion.

Treat all human beings as your equals. Remember, a person may be poor financially but rich in ways that preclude the possession of money.

The Secret to True Wealth

Non-attachment is the true wealth. One who identifies himself with things is always afraid of losing them. And if he fears the loss, he has, in a sense, lost it—at least in his own mind—already .

Attachment is an attitude which many people carry to their graves. An old man on his deathbed once cried out to his son, “Trim that lamp wick, son! The oil is running low!” His own life was “running low,” and still he worried about saving money!

The person of non-attachment wants nothing. And nothing is all he really needs, if he is rich in God.

Excerpted from Living Wisely, Living Well by Swami Kriyananda

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