Wealth is a mirage



Our age has made wealth the end and aim of life. A frenzied struggle is witnessed all around to accumulate wealth. With the unquenchable passion for wealth, people strain every nerve at a breaking point to grasp it.

Thou, Mazda, hast planned plenty for all and poverty for none, but man has reversed this order and made plenty for few and poverty for many. Few have much, when many have little or nothing. Fortune sits on the foreheads of the rich and they share the world between them. They have all that life can give and they never know what it is to want money. They spend money as freely as if it were water.

The luxurious dwellings and sumptuous banquets and fine raiments of the rich mock the mud huts of the poor and their coarse food and tatters and rags. The rich eat the dainties at a banquet, whose cost would provide a feast to a score of poor persons that seldom know two meals a day. The parings of the rich can enrich the poor. Gilded chandeliers brighten their rooms that are warmed by the fire burning on the blazing hearth. They lounge on the green lawn in the cool of the night and spend their summer on the hills or at the watering places. They imbibe sparkling wine filled in golden cups. Fondly they indulge their children in every caprice of theirs. They live a round of incessant gaieties and spend their wealth in revelry. Filled to satiety, they go to bed, while the poor sleep on their empty stomachs.

The foolish among the rich give themselves airs of superiority on the strength of their wealth. They flaunt ostentation and arrogance in the face of the poor. Their proud disdain burn into the hearts of the poor like hot iron. The feasting and enjoyments of the rich in the midst of the worldwide privations and sufferings give provocation.

But wealth in itself is not happiness and the rich are not always happy because they have wealth. The poor struggle with poverty, the rich with ennui. Time hangs heavily on their hands. Chronic dyspeptic are many among the rich and they know not happiness. Supplied though they are with every possible material want, but with health not their own, they feel themselves more wretched than the poor but healthy of their servants. In the midst of a glut of the good things of life, they experience desolation and emptiness of spirit. In vain do they woo sleep and toss in their beds, while the poor sleep like logs and rise refreshed in the morn.

A parasite is wealth. It is futile and foolish to reckon upon fickle fortune. Like a bird flying from tree to tree, wealth stays not long with any. When death presents its peremptory summons and the heart stops moving and the eyes are closed and the body does not stir and the soul leaves the body, neither does the soul carry the wealth to the other world, nor does the body bear the rich load to the Tower of Silence, where vultures perch on the walls waiting as rivals to tear and devour the worthless body between themselves.

Teach the rich that are in our midst, Ahura Mazda, that wealth shines where the rich are humble and kind. Man honors not and praises not thy sun for its height and its brilliance, but because of the bounty it bestows and the blessings it showers upon the earth. The rich are not great for their riches, but they are great, when they wisely and generously use their wealth to succor the poor and the needy.


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This page was last updated on Friday, February 11, 2005.