By – Shilpa Shah Associate Prof. HKBBA College

The biggest misfortune of life is that we understand the word poverty only in terms of wealth. And such economic poverty is of two types 1) Relative poverty and 2) Absolute poverty. If we compare our economic condition with someone else and we find our economic condition poor in comparison, it is called relative poverty. When we do not have any financial facilities to meet the basic primary needs of life (bread-clothes-house etc.) then it is called absolute poverty, which in the language of economics is known as a family living below the poverty line. It is said to be a matter of deep concern and effective efforts should be made by everyone (family, society and government) to eradicate such poverty. But relative poverty is a kind of mental illness that no family, society or government can cure. A person has to cure it himself and that cure is possible only by removing the poverty of thoughts. A society or a family which is poor in thoughts has no other option but to bear the unbearable pain of poverty. Also, no one likes the poverty in human society. Men always strives hard to eradicate poverty, whether absolute or relative, throughout his life, never getting tired. Even after the end of his life, he continues to strive hard for wealth till the last moment of his life. But one never makes such a continuous moral effort to remove the poverty of thoughts because we do not consider poverty of thoughts as poverty in human life. so how can we try to remove it.

The difficulties faced by a person or family in the situation of economic poverty (lack of wealth) are also faced due to the poverty of thoughts. If one understands the seriousness of the poverty of thoughts, one may understand that the poverty of thoughts is much more terrible than economic poverty. Due to which life becomes more chaotic and miserable. But unfortunately, throughout life, a person does not understand that poverty of thoughts is more harmful than economic poverty, so he never pays attention to the poverty of thoughts or tries to remove it. But there is always an effort in human life to eliminate economic poverty. As much as man strives for the attainment of wealth i.e. for the removal of economic poverty, as much as he works hard, putting his personal happiness at stake, (at the cost of family life he earns money) if he works so hard to remove the poverty of thoughts, then automatically all kinds of problems will be removed from life because there are three types of difficulties in everyone’s life AADHI-VYADHI and UPADHI. AADHI means spiritual problems that arise from ignorance of not understanding the real nature of the soul. VYADHI means diseases and sickness. UPADHI means mental or psychological problems which are caused by many vices like selfishness, jealousy, anger.

In terms of above three difficulties don’t you think all kind of troubles in life arising from ignorance means this is the gift of poverty of thought. Many diseases and illnesses that disturb human life are also caused by a weak mind, negative mind, depressed state of mind, which is nothing but poverty of thoughts. Negativity of thoughts, fickleness of thoughts, unlimited thoughts and desires disables the mind and gradually saps its power. From where many types of vices like lust, anger, selfishness, ego, envy, greed etc. are born. That makes a person crazy after the acquisition of wealth. No matter how much wealth he acquires, he constantly feels relative poverty. We know that there is no cure for relative poverty means it is the sense of lack that comes from comparison which has no solution. In short, it is not the poverty of wealth but the poverty of thoughts which is responsible behind all the problems of life like AADHI-VYADHI and UPADHI. Also, when we observed ourselves inferior to others in terms of wealth, i.e. we experience relative poverty, then we naturally try hard to remove it. We devote our entire lives to the goal of acquiring wealth. Then why not adopt the same type of procedure to remove the poverty of thoughts. It is a matter of surprise. Almost every moment we come in contact with a number of intelligent, skilled, wise men in some social or professional relationship, sometimes we feel ourselves relatively weak and inferior. At that moment we should really try to remove the poverty of thoughts (that is ignorance, incompetence, weakness of mind). As active as we are in eradicating economic poverty, we should also be active in eradicating poverty of thoughts. But perhaps we have never realized that poverty of thoughts is also a terrible kind of poverty which is the origin of all kinds of poverty like spiritual poverty, mental poverty, social poverty, economic poverty etc. Removal of which can automatically remove all other kind of poverty.

Hinduism is actually a culture of thoughts. There are so many noble thoughts ideas and knowledge in our Hindu religious culture that every problem of life can be solved by its real application and proper understanding. But we have no sense of pride even towards our religious culture. We are always ready to be violent in the name of Hinduism but can never be true Hindus. Being violent in the name of religion or in the name of sect is actually poverty of thoughts. There is a saying in China that “the first person who raises his hand admits that thoughts are missing” because only when noble thoughts are missing in human life do people become violent. That is why probably every religion has its foundation in non-violence. Where there is violence there is no thoughts because violence is animal instinct and animals are always devoid of thoughts. Since Indian culture is a culture of thought, it is taught to acquire the richness of thought through the medium of Vedas and Upanishads. Until the last moment of life, if the splendor of noble thoughts is not lost, then believe that we are true Hindus and that does not mean at all that we should not protect Hinduism, because the protection of Hinduism means the protection of noble thoughts which is the first moral duty of every Hindustani, so that it survives. Religion is necessary in life because poverty of thoughts can be removed only through the understanding of true religion i.e. do’s and don’ts. A man poor in ideas or thoughts can never become truly rich. Even if he gets wealth through wrong means, that wealth cannot bring him happiness because basically he is poor by thoughts.

The tragedy of human society is that it does not understand poverty of thoughts as poverty. Poverty of thoughts does not seem as painful to man as economic poverty, so he cannot be active to remove it. One has to understand that the splendor of thoughts is many times greater than the splendor of wealth because it is the main source of bliss. If you want life problem-free, peaceful and happy as well as secure, energetic and joyful, the splendor of thoughts has to be increased. Poverty of thoughts has to be removed. It has to be accepted that the poverty of thoughts is the most fatal of all other poverty, because until something is understood and accepted, one cannot be active about its prevention so let’s be active and strive today to remove the poverty of thoughts.

Poverty of thoughts means anger-hating thoughts
Poverty of thoughts means overly selfish thoughts that enrich himself by destroying others, Poverty of thoughts means egoistic thoughts.
Poverty of thoughts means greedy life
Poverty of thoughts means excessive negative thoughts
Poverty of thoughts means the tendency to think everyone in the world is evil or the tendency to see the faults of others
Poverty of thought means only the tendency to think of oneself as endowed with all virtues
Poverty of thoughts means the tendency to be jealous of someone
Poverty of thoughts means the desire to do one’s own good at any cost (even through the harm of others).
Poverty of thoughts means constant worry about the future
Poverty of thoughts means to be incessantly grieving or to live life without enthusiasm
Poverty of thoughts means never wanting to help anyone
Poverty of thoughts means not feeling sorry for anyone or feeling compassion
Poverty of thoughts means not giving importance to anything else in life except money
Poverty of thoughts means to consider and despise those who have opposite ideas or attitudes to us as wrong or as our enemies.

There is only one wealth that makes everyone rich together and that is the wealth of thoughts and ideas. It is well known that economic wealth is achieved at the cost of others, as wealth is limited in the world, for one person to accumulate more means that one is deprived of his rights. In the stock market we know that one person gains only when others lose, similarly in business a person can accumulate unlimited wealth only when he practices unethically or exploits others. Only the richness of ideas or thoughts is such that the enrichment of one enriches all others it comes in contact with without losing anything of its own, generally when you give your wealth to someone else our wealth is likely to decrease a bit. But by giving the wealth of thoughts or ideas, one’s own richness also increases and others also become rich, thus giving the wealth of thoughts is multiplied. He who receives also becomes continuously rich and if he keeps giving to others, gradually everyone becomes rich automatically. Don’t you think that the true wealth is the one which contains the welfare of all and the true religion is also the same which contains the welfare of all, so the splendor of thoughts, the richness of thoughts, the wealth of thoughts is advised to increase in every religion because that is the only true wealth. After obtaining it the possibility of becoming poor is completely eliminated so let’s remove the poverty of thoughts and become rich in real sense.

By – Shilpa Shah Associate Prof. HKBBA College