On the one side, we see the ease with which humanity is controlled by the money power–necessitating therefore extreme measures to distance the spiritual seeker from the taint of corruption or distraction from their goal. On the other side, Sri Aurobindo advises us not to cede the money power away but to reconquer it and put it to a correct use to transform life. The issue then arises, how do we accomplish the one without falling into the snare of the other?
Sri Aurobindo describes the correct attitude towards money: “You must neither turn with an ascetic shrinking from the money power, the means it gives and the objects it brings, nor cherish a rajasic attachment to them or a spirit of enslaving self-indulgence in their gratifications. Regard wealth simply as a power to be won back for the Mother and placed at her service.”
First a definition: “rajasic” implies a desire-filled impulsion or seeking.
The attitude recommended by Sri Aurobindo implies a delicate balance that avoids both desire and rejection. The Divine Shakti, the Mother, creates and manifests the world. The money power is a tool that the dedicated servant can consciously use to carry out that manifestation, or at least that part of it which has been entrusted to that indivudal.
Attaining equality of soul toward good things and bad, towards wealth and lack of wealth, is an essential step in the spiritual growth and practice. Without shrinking or avoidance and without grasping and desire, the practitioner of integral yoga should be able to handle money to help in the transformation that Sri Aurobindo envisions leading to a divine life on earth.