The True Measure of Wealth

There’s a saying that if you lose your wealth then you lose nothing,

because you can get it back somehow or other. 

If you lose your health,

then you have actually lost something. 

But if you lose your values and your character,

then you’ve truly lost everything. 


The world is in such a difficult situation today, environmentally, economically, politically and in so many other ways. With all these difficulties and problems with which we are faced, the root cause is a lack of values and character. 

When people are arrogant, when people have greed, or when people have envy there’s no way to pacify those things, because the more you feed it the more it needs.

From a spiritual perspective, the most meaningful and fulfilling life is when we find our happiness within ourselves and practice genuine love and compassion. Whatever we do and whatever we have we then become things we can use as a way of expressing our compassion and our love. In the Bible there’s a beautiful verse that asks “what profiteth a man who gains the whole world but who loses their own soul?” When I grew up in America I heard this verse and I was thinking that this is the essence of religion or spirituality.

It’s not about what you call yourself or how many pages you memorize from scriptures. It’s about how much we really understand this principle to actually reconnect with our true self. The bhagavad-gita tells na jayate mriyate va kadachin: that the nature of the true self, the living force that’s within us is eternal, which means that we are eternal, we are full of knowledge and we are full of inherent joy and happiness. And just like a driver in a car, the atma or the spirit soul is within this body. We can’t keep the same car for very long in this world and have to trade it in eventually, so similarly the Atma or the soul doesn’t die at the time of death. We simply trade in our old bodies for new ones. 

The nature of the soul is that we’re part of the supreme soul or God who has many names and is found in many religions. Just like there’s one sun in the sky but that same sun has different names and rises in different continents at different times, we can feel the warmth of God’s love in many different ways.


To awaken our own love, we simply have to adjust our vision. The Gita also explains vidya vinaya sampanne brahmane gavi hastini, that one who is actually in connection with their own self will then see that same divinity within everyone.

We’ll see every living being as our brothers and sisters.

We’ll see the environment as sacred property

and we’ll respect people in that way.

Thus with this foundational conception of the mind of equal vision and the experience of the heart of God’s love spread everywhere across all beings, we can increase our motivation to excel in life and do good for others, because love is a far greater incentive than material greed or lust. This is what the world needs: people who have this higher purpose of making a positive difference to their families, their society and to the world. If you water the root of the tree naturally that water goes to every part of the tree, including the leaves, the branches and all the flowers. Similarly, when we understand the love of our own hearts and we actually connect with God’s love, then naturally that love flows toward everyone.

It’s the discovery of our own inner fulfilment which is truly our greatest treasure.