Economics Of Mahavira ► 11 ► [11.24] Mahavira and Economics - Happiness and Prosperity

Posted: 12.07.2006

The theories of Keynes as well cannot be considered totally invalid. He visualized comfort and prosperity while he missed a significant truth. It is not inevitable that with the possession of resources and comforts, one automatically becomes happy. We have seen highly prosperous people afflicted with sadness. Even if people become prosperous, stress continues and does not get eradicated.

Descending from the heavens, Indra and Indrani came to a tiny village, which was very poor. The residents were clothed in rags. Indrani felt pity for them. She appealed to Indra: "Maharaj, please relieve these poor people from their sufferings. They are under great distress." Indra said that she did not know a reality: nobody becomes happy by amassing wealth. And yet, Indrani did not give up her request, Accordingly, Indra had to accede to the demands of his insistent consort. Indra filled the houses and streets of the village with gold and silver. "In the morning, when people woke up they saw heaps of wealth all around. People collected the riches hurriedly and all became prosperous.

After a few days, Indra and Indrani came there again. Indrani became very happy seeing the prosperous village. But she found that the village people were not happy, they were rather miserable. Indra asked them why were they looking so sad. One of the villagers replied with a sense of frustration, "Nobody knows whose evil eyes had fallen on this village," he said, and continued, "Here everybody has everything. All have become owners. There were no servants. Who do we show our wealth to? Here everybody has large stock of precious jewels. Even after possessing so much of wealth, we are not happy". Indra looked towards Indrani. Indrani now understood the situation.

This is a very meaningful story. Nobody can get happiness via prosperity. Happiness is an entirely different phenomenon. It is not correlated with prosperity. If we could comprehend this basic truth, the entire economic system would change.

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