Given the down turn in the economy, it is important that Hindus put the Goddess of Wealth in perspective. Hindu culture is very practical as it recognizes the need for wealth to sustain life. Hinduism also recognizes the value of knowledge and so has a Goddess of Knowledge in Mother Saraswati. It also recognizes the need for protection and hence the Goddess Durga.
Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago see value in these three goddesses in the administration of their personal and family life. All three goddesses continue to be worshipped. When children are writing examinations, they seek the blessings of Mother Sarawati by conducting Saraswati Poojas. In every Maha Sabha school a Saraswati Pooja is performed for all the children who are writing examination. Business families do Lakshmi Pooja and worship of Ganesh Baba is done when undertaking new projects. When families have health challenges, they reach out to Goddess Durga for help.
Knowledge is beyond the logical intellect which is very limited. Within our consciousness in an unlimited ocean of knowledge. When we do Saraswati Pooja we are consciously acknowledging that source of knowledge within us and tapping into it.
History has recorded the genius of Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) who distinguished himself in the field of Mathematics. Invited to London to explore his knowledge of Mathematics, Ramanujan could not logically demonstrate how he arrived at his many formulae and would tell his professors that he got them from the Goddess in his dreams.
Within all of us is that goddess that we fail to tap into. It is time that our genius moves away from our limited logical mind into that infinite field of knowledge that our saints and sages are aware of. For example, the world marvels at the knowledge and insights of Sadguru Jagi Vasudev whose responses to many searching questions of today continue to fascinate his audiences.
If we recognize that wealth is a creation of the Goddess, then we would be very mindful or conscious as we go about accumulating it. Unfortunately, have adopted the attitude of pirates and plunderers – a desperation to grab as much as we can in the shortest possible time without bothering about future generations.
The Greece of Aristotle and the Rome of Cicero are dead civilizations. At one time those cultures marched armies and conquered people across continents so much so that the colonized people studied and emulated their exploits. But today those great conquering civilizations are no more-dead and their glories and greatness to be found in museums, films and libraries.
India never raised an army and marched unto others’ territories. It was content to stay within its borders worshipping the likes of Ram who defeated demonic rulers but restored the kingdoms to their natural heirs. This was the culture that guided India for millenniums, long before the conquering armies of the Greeks and the Romans.
Until the early 18th century India was 22.6% of the world’s GDP. Others cultures came into India with fierce armies and looted and plundered her wealth. The armies of the Arabs, Turks, Ghaznavids, Kushans, Afghans and the British, all raided and plundered India’s wealth. Where are those one-upon-a time conquering tribes that spread their poison of greed and bigotry without remorse?
Central Asia including Afghanistan is a chaotic mess as can be witnessed from the occupation of Afghanistan by the global terrorist leaders. Turkey is today a far cry from the glorious days of the Ottoman Empire that ruled the entire Middle East and parts of southern Europe including Russia.
India under the leadership of Narendra Modi is demonstrating to the world that a nation-state can enjoy progress and prosperity by having a democratic political order that is inclusive and respectful of human rights and not necessarily the highest GDP.
India’s economy is valued at $3 trillion compared to China and the US which are $14 trillion and $21 trillion respectively. Despite this comparatively low GDP in relation to China and the US, the free world is looking up to India for leadership and guidance to fight global terror. The recent meeting of the United Nation General Assembly and the reception given to India only demonstrates that military and financial powers are important but not above meeting challenges and threats.
After extensive research, world-renowned British historian, Arnold J. Toynbee (1889-1975), concluded that the cultures that are able to respond to challenges survive. It is now crystal clear that Europe and the US lack leadership in dealing with the fundamentalist hegemonic threats that faces the free world.
Long before Arnold J. Toynbee, Arjuna had a battle in his hands. Wanting to run from the issue at hand, he was confronted by Sri Krishna who instructed him to fight- confront challenges at hand and overcome them.
So, it is not wealth and prosperity that is going to win but the ability to respond to challenges at hand. India is now demonstrating to the world that it has the moral strength and character to face the barbarians at the gates.