Question: How can one evaluate the level of attachment to money?
If a man has lost money, he may accept this loss internally, understanding that there is God’s will for everything. He should not be envious of others who have more wealth. A man should give away charity easily and with peace, control and respect the money.
A man must be wealthy. Money is the energy of God, fate, and mercy of the Creator. Cars, property and other material belongings are given to us for temporary use. The main goal is to be of service to people, and even your wealth should be used for the benefit of others, and be treated as the property of God.
If a man is NOT attached to the money, in spite of being a billionaire, he may be able to get closer to God. This is very challenging, as a lot of wealth comes to a person, he becomes attached, and begins to be afraid about losing this wealth. Christ said: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle , than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When there is NO weight of greed and fear on a person, his life feels easy: there are always new projects, there is clarity in his business, and the wealth just comes to him.
Question: How can one know where to donate 10% of your income as charity?
You need to know where the money goes. For example, if you give it to a bum on the street, it’s possible that you may support alcohol or drug use. Therefore, you will be supporting someone’s degradation. Of course it is best to help those in need, like poor. But best is to give charity on the transcendental level — anything that helps to increase and spread unconditional love and wisdom in the world.
Question: What is the criteria of a man’s success?
Listening to one’s intuition is one of the first principles of successful people. To follow one’s logical mind is somewhat primitive. There was a study done in the US on “What is the secret of success of successful people?”. They found that best decisions are based on intuitive enlightenment, and most successful leaders have strong intuition. For intuition to work well, the mind needs to be calm. A mind is peaceful when there is no envy to anyone, no greed, there is a feeling of fulfillment, and there is room for some type of meditation in daily life.
One of the main signs of a successful man is his ability to take responsibility for society, monks and most definitely for his wife and children. A real man should make at least one woman happy and provide for her. An index of the success and happiness of a man is the not the number of children, how he raised them, if he was able to provide them with an education, and if his woman (i.e., the mother of his children) is happy. One of the biggest mistakes of a man to abandon a faithful wife and children, due to lust or for other reasons. This spoils his karma/fate for many lives (rebirth) ahead, while in this life he may continue being successful for quite some time in many spheres of life.
Question: Men are overwhelmed with the desire for material success. How can they establish spiritual practices? Spirituality does not appear out of nowhere…
— It is important to read holy scriptures, communicate with saintly, spiritually advanced people (this could be through lectures, books), attend thematic seminars and lectures, limit the commutation with greedy and envious people. Thus the man can obtain shakti, which is spiritual energy.
It is very important to stop watching and reading erotica or pornography. Pornography turns a man into an anxious, primitive and sinful male.
A man must obey spiritual principles, attend some spiritual establishment regularly (according to his faith or traditions), visit places of pilgrimage, pray, meditate, conduct purification on all four levels (physical, social, intellectual and spiritual), and ideally have a Guru or some kind of spiritual mentor. It is necessary to become more and more moral, learn to control his mind and senses.
It is a deep spiritual work. First of all a man must understand the fundamental laws of this world. It is not enough to go to work daily.
A person may reduce can work twice as little but still make five times his current salary. It is not our nature to work like a horse. A man is made for creativity, serving others according to his talents. Each person is best for something specific, and it is best to follow it. It may be a hobby. One person designs, another builds, another does business. Each should engage in material activity according to his talents, nature and mission.
Today many men are striving to become lawyers or bankers, as there professions are considered to be well-earning professions. This is a mistake: a man may make more money than he is supposed to get as indicated by his karma, but only for a short term, but in the end he will lose much more.
If all of a person’s energy is spent on trying to make more money, to obtain more than prescribed by karma, to cheat and steal for the sake of wealth, the man will lose his health, family and social relationships will deteriorate, and then after death his soul returns to lower life forms. Why someone would want this kind of life?
In Arthashastra, an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategist, wealth (artha) is defined as living in a clean natural environment, being healthy and having harmonious relationships with people, residing in a good dwelling space.
A friend of mine owns a very good apartment in the centre of Moscow, he works like a horse, and spends half of his stay standing in traffic. According to the Vedic concept described above, he is a pauper as he is lacking the most important thing — harmony in all aspects of life. He has money, but no fresh air, there is food, packed with chemicals, his condo is not built/equipped according to Vaastu principles, and he rarely sees any of his close friends and family.
Question: How can a person balance the aspiration to become more wealthy while accepting fate? Where is the fine line between something happening due to fate, karma or his own ambitions? Should he use his intuition?
First of all it is determined on intuition. One must be aware about driving him — is it false humility, greed or something else?
Once while on a plane, I read an interview of very successful Russian businessman. He made his fortune from ground up, without any external help. He used to be an investment broker. He advised, “To become rich, you need to eliminate two qualities: fear and greed”. This thesis is aligned with Eastern philosophy. These negative qualities close any pathways for us. One must be very calm and composed, only then can he go, create, and manifest in his life any big projects.
One must listen to his heart, “What do I want to do?” — the heart will give the answer. If you have a family and small children, you need to work hard, sometimes on a job you do not exactly like. In this case you must learn how to love what you do, as this gives an opportunity to support your loved ones.
There is a word “dharma” which means duty. Once again, the cornerstone quality of a successful man is ability to take responsibility for himself. But, this also includes a lot more. A man will be successful if he has wife and children. Otherwise he is serving his lust (sense gratification), even if every once in a while, he shares some “spiritual insights”. When a man thinks that prayer is enough and he does not need family, this is a big mistake, as laws of nature are broken. Real spirituality is manifested through service. To refuse to provide service in family life is acceptable only to very austere monks, who are free from lust or any sexual desires.
Another important quality of a man is ability to keep his word. Truthfulness, honesty and honor form the foundation of a successful man. This is one of the types of responsibility. When a person is responsible keeping his word, his karma improves.
If a person is not able to keep his word, does not have a wife and children (or he is not taking care of them, leading a frivolous lifestyle), and for the sake of money and prestige he is willing commit treacherous acts, he is merely a lustful male who is on the downward spiral towards degradation. This still can be the case even if he is making millions, and gives 10% for charity, attends a temple and reads spiritual literature. A lot here is the inner quality of a man.
Question: Can karma be changed?
It may happen that karma changes over a course of a few days. But usually it takes months and even years for change.
I will repeat myself: it is easiest to change the karma related to wealth and money. A person can at least improve his financial situation and achieve an average level of income. One of my rules: all my students need to be successful in material terms.
To change karma a man must strictly obey a set of principles. This is the foundation.
To change his fate radically, a person must keep developing on all four levels: physical, social, intellectual and spiritual. And first and most importantly on the spiritual level he must cultivate Divine love and be capable of living “here and now”.
Question: How does a successful man plans his day? What is your daily agenda?
My life has a lot of variety, and no day is exactly the same. I do my best to develop on all four levels daily.
First of all is the physical level, the foundation of health and success in this material world. If there is no health or stamina, life turns into hell. Physical level includes mental aspect (calm mind, ability to stay out of emotional influence).
A successful man must do physical exercises daily, I would high recommend yoga or Qi Gong. Remember that all monks, saints, teachers and gurus, and spiritual seekers had household work, moved around a lot, or were proficient in some forms of martial arts. I became friends with Bhaktimarga Swami, “The Walking Monk” from Canada, who crossed the few countries, including huge Canada, on foot a few times.
Similarly, all successful millionaires, who created their own fortune by their own own efforts and talent, are physically active. One of them, he is over 60, runs, swims daily for last 30 years. Another person I know from Kazakhstan, makes trips to the mountains, 30 km at a time, and climbs the most difficult peaks. Another person practices martial arts for 2 hours a day.
My recommendation to the readers is physical exercise. I had traumas, and until recently I could not do much of any physical activity. But now, after I switched to a raw-vegan diet, I have more energy than ever. Today my daily routine (in winter) is something like that: meditation, skiing for 1-2 hours or cross-country skiing in the hills for 10-15 km. Then I swim for 1.5 km, or use weights in the gym. After this, I write for 2-3 hours, spend time with family or friends, play with children (outside). I spend up to 2 hours daily on spiritual practices: meditation, japa, reading of spiritual literature, etc.
If a man’s route is from kitchen to the computer and back, he is not a man, but merely a creature, even if he makes money.
I humbly hope men who read this will not get offended. My only goal is to help and inspire you for a fulfilled and interesting life, which leads to further perfection.
Wishing you health, happiness and Diving Love.
Edited from an interview by Rami Bleckt to the magazine “Psychology of the Third Millennium”.