This article is from the book “The Path Beyond Sorrow”.
I have four or five things which, as a Hindu, I wish to tell you. Where elders are respectfully honoured, there prosperity prevails; and where elders – father and mother, grandfather and grandmother, uncles and aunts – are treated with contempt, with harshness, with scant respect, there is no prosperity.
These things are not known. So when people are miserable, when people are unhappy, when people lack prosperity, it is not known why it comes about that way. It is brought about by oneself by a total breaking of these laws. And then you try find out the consequences of the bad situation by looking at the diary, or statistics, or expenditure and income account. Perhaps you blame economic conditions. But, no – you create your bad conditions by breaking the spiritual laws. Where elders are treated with respect and honour, are treated with reverence, there, in that family, in that house, prosperity will abide. In the life of that person who honours his elders, prosperity will always rest.
Secondly, where the women of the house are treated with reverence, where they are put upon the pedestal which they deserve, there is prosperity. Where are we all, where is humanity if it is not for the women ? It is the Supreme Mother who is the very source of the whole universe, and where the mothers, the women, are treated with reverence that is due to them, in that house, there is prosperity. And where women are treated with disrespect, unkindness, harshness, prosperity cannot come. Prosperity does not abide in that house where the wife and the mother are made to weep, where tears of women fall. Prosperity takes wings and flies away from that house where woman weeps.
Thirdly, for the womanfolk themselves, modesty is the magnet of prosperity. For a woman, modesty is the highest ornament. The ornament of a woman, the beauty of a lady, is not in the jewellery she wears or in the type of material or the dress she wears – no, that is not beauty. After all, what is the beauty of the body? The moment you take leave of the body, it is just a useless thing here. So the true beauty and grace of a woman is modesty. If a woman is modest, if she is chaste, she becomes worshipful; and prosperity becomes the servant, the handmaid of that family where women are adorned by the ornaments of chastity, modesty and gracefulness.
Sometimes it is very pitiable to see women getting unsexed in some of the modern, high-born societies. They are losing their feminine quality. After all, the thing that makes a woman a woman is her feminine quality – her tenderness, her grace, her kindness, her forgiving nature, her forbearing nature. These are the things which make a goddess of a woman. If these are not there, if women are sharp-tongued, if they are caustic, if they are bitter, if they are full of hostility, there prosperity cannot come. It cannot come where a woman wants to be, in all respects, like a male. No! She can claim a certain type of equality, but not equality in all ways. If in this craze for being equal with man, woman loses her grace, her modesty and her chastity, then she has lost the most precious thing that God has given to her.
A Vedic declaration says: “Where women are worshipped, there indeed, the gods dance with joy”. And where woman loses this right of worship by her own immodesty, there prosperity cannot be.
And, last but not the least, where God is worshipped every day, there the whole house becomes blessed with the highest prosperity. All joy, all blessedness, all prosperity comes to that house where God is worshipped regularly. Say thanks when you get up in the morning, for your health, for your body, for a clean mind, for energy in the body to live a life of usefulness to yourself and to all, and in the evening thank God again for the bounty of a good day, for clear weather, fresh air, good health and energy, opportunity to serve and be useful to yourself and to others. If every day there is thanksgiving and you always worship God in your home, there is bound to be prosperity. Where there is worship, in that place, there is the tangible presence of God, and where there is this tangible presence of the Deity, what to say of prosperity ? Everything that is good, everything that is blessed, will pervade that house, will fill that house.
Where God is, all auspiciousness, all blessedness, all prosperity is there as a matter of course – just as luminosity is there, radiance is there, where there is light. So, if you wish to fill yourself with prosperity, be worshipful. Do not make the church alone the place of prayer and worship. Let every house be a centre of prayer. Let every house be the abode of God. And, let women be the repository of such virtues as modesty, chastity, purity and graciousness, and let the children of the family and the male members give due respect to the ladies and treat them with kindness, treat them with courtesy, treat them with dignity that is due to them, and let the children revere their elders. If these things are followed, if these things are fulfilled, prosperity will become an axiomatic condition. There can be no want, there can be no difficulty, there can be no lack in such a house.
This is the ultimate wisdom of the ancients. They say: “Prosperity is created by the behaviour of the human being”. Outside factors are secondary factors only. They are not the main factors.