Shocked to learn Narendra Modi’s announcement saying 500 and 1000 Rupee notes will become illegal from that same midnight? Expect more such concrete and well-thought actions from the government under his leadership. While many citizens, economists and political leaders hailed Modi’s masterstroke, the announcement came as the doomsday for the black money holders.
Right after the announcement, some black money holders rushed to jewelry shops and tried to buy as much gold and jewelry as possible. Fortunately, the shopkeepers had already heard the news and were themselves in anxiety. Understandably, goldsmiths, jewelers, real estate owners, lawyers, doctors and politicians are some of the worst hit communities. Some have raised concern over the move but the government is prepared to deal with it.
Modi has not stopped there. Another announcement has ruined the remaining dreams of the black money holders. The government has warned that cash deposits above the Rs 2.5 lakh threshold under the 50-day window could attract not only tax but a whipping 200 per cent penalty in case of income mismatch. That’s another masterstroke that hits the black money holders for a towering six.
According to an estimate, if just 20% of black money does not get disclosed due to fear of detection it would destroy Rs 3 lakh crore, or 3 trillions rupees of black money. As the black money holders discover loopholes in the scheme, the government is expected to announce more steps to catch them.
To some, watching the black money holders running around in panic is a fun. Some political leaders criticized the crackdown not only for political reasons but also because it hurts their own cash stock. To some, it is difficult to digest that people are forced to lose huge amount of unaccounted money just because the government made a certain decision. However, for some, the announcement is just a course of life.
And for a very few intelligent life practitioners, it is a philosophical lesson in action.
Vedic philosophy teaches how we don’t own anything. Whatever we seem to own, we fight to acquire, we joyfully achieve, and we struggle to preserve- all of it, in reality, belongs to God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We are just like a bank cashier who operates on behalf of the bank. We are not owners. Those who think themselves to be the owner are bound to find the ground slipping from under their feet when news like this struck them.
The very first verse of Sri Ishopanisad says:
ishavasyam idam sarvam yat kincha jagatyan jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjitha ma gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam
Translation: Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.
Despite this clear direction, people try to occupy and control as much wealth as possible. Or else, why would they hide huge amount of cash at different locations? They foolishly think that such money will save them in difficult times forgetting that the government has the power to render such money useless simply by issuing an order. This is exactly what we are seeing now. Billions of currency notes have turned into ordinary papers overnight.
The lesson we learn from the invalidation of 500 and 1000 Rupee notes is, don’t try to keep more than what is ethically earned by you. Not only that, the bigger lesson is, don’t spend your precious human hours in earning more than what you need for a peaceful leaving. All your extra earning will be left behind when the laws of nature working under the direction of the Supreme Lord summons you in the form of death. There will be no possibility of hiring a top-notch lawyer and absolutely no possibility of bribing the judge.
Human life is not meant for amassing wealth. An uncountable number of emperors have left this world and their empires forgotten. None of them were allowed to take even a penny with them. Knowing the philosophy is not enough; we need to live it. Or else it remains as useless as the banned currency notes.
The reason ancient India was more prosperous and peaceful is, during the Vedic era economy was based on agriculture and cow protection, not on paper currency. Srila Prabhupada explains that paper currency based on gold is a cheating. The government goes on printing more currency notes without having equivalent gold in stock. This causes rise in the prices of commodities and increases inflation as the economy becomes increasingly artificial. Such an economy is doomed to collapse today or tomorrow. Let’s rethink our financial strategy before we become victims of it. Go back to Vedic lifestyle and secure your peace of mind.