The Seeker’s Relationship to Those Who Possess Wealth

“Do not look up to men because of their riches or allow yourself to be impressed by the show, the power or the influence.”

It is a common occurrence to see rich people flattered and fawned over. They are given the right to decide and determine things simply by virtue of the riches they display, rather than by virtue of any inherent wisdom or compassion they may exhibit.

Even spiritual seekers and religious practitioners have, through the ages, paid special attention to those with wealth, in the hope that they can thereby achieve influence and financial support. During certain periods of history, in fact, rich people were able to purchase “dispensations” for their sins so that they basically bought a “ticket to heaven” from their church, regardless of how bad their actions in life were.

There is of course still the ascetic side which simply avoids the question altogether. But assuming that the seeker of the integral yoga needs to interact with society, this question is sure to arise. The seeker’s reaction to other individuals must be based on the inner truth of the relationship and not on the wealth of the other party, or upon some expectation of obtaining money from that other party. If the seeker is carrying out a work that will require money, he should ask for those funds in the proper spirit: “When you ask for the Mother, you must feel that it is she who is demanding through you a very little of what belongs to her and the man from whom you ask will be judged by his response.” The request must be pure, not tainted by desire, greed or any fulfillment of ambition or personal seeking on the part of the seeker. It must be focused on the larger principle or goal to be achieved, and the request should be made to align the money power with its true needed action. The party requested to provide funds then has an opportunity to respond freely, and based on the nature of that response, they have the opportunity to align with the Divine Force or to reject it, and thus they are “judged”, not by any individual, but in the larger scheme of the evolutionary force at work in the world.

Sri Aurobindo,