Signs of Freedom from the Money Taint

Sri Aurobindo succinctly defines the qualities that the seeker should exhibit to be free of the deformations caused by wealth: “If you are free from the money-taint but without any ascetic withdrawal, you will have a greater power to command the money for the divine work. Equality of mind, absence of demand and the full dedication of all you possess and receive and all your power of acquisition to the Divine Shakti and he work are the signs of this freedom. Any perturbation of mind with regard to money and its use, any claim, any grudging is a sure index of some imperfection or bondage.”

Humanity wants to have a single, easy solution that is “black and white”. So we either adopt materialism and in its more extreme forms, a “greed is good” philosophy; or else, we hold that money and wealth are bad and that we need to shun or avoid them.

Sri Aurobindo makes it clear that there not only can be a balance between these two extremes, but it is this balanced position that represents the appropriate attitude for the spiritual seeker in the integral yoga. The secret lies in the psychological standpoint we adopt and integrate into thought, word and deed in our lives.

The Taittiriya Upanishad, in describing the ascending levels of bliss of existence, points out that whatever level of bliss can be achieved, human bliss, or even divine bliss, is matched by the bliss of the “veda-wise, whose soul the blight of desire touches not.”

To treat the money power with respect as a manifestation of a divine force to be put to work for the achievement of the transformation of life and manifestation of beauty and harmony, and not to either relate to it with a mind of desire, nor reject it out of fear or avoidance, is the way of balance for the integral seeker.

Sri Aurobindo,