The best Investor?
Imagine a share advertisement declaring, “100% guarantee: you will lose every single penny invested here!”
If you found millions of people investing all their life’s savings in such a share, wouldn’t you be appalled at their misfortune and imprudence? But hold on – could this be what most of us are doing with the wealth of our time?
“Time is the greatest wealth,” declares Chanakya Pandit, the great Vedic scholar, “for millions of gold coins cannot buy back one moment of time.” Moreover we can choose whether to spend our money or not, but we don’t have that choice with our time; with every moment that passes, our wealth of time gets depleted. Every wise person is careful about how he spends his money. How much more careful then should we be about how we spend our time!
Most people spend their time in material pursuits and, if they succeed, they think that they have used their time well. But, even for the best time managers, inescapable death wrenches away from them all their near and dear ones, all possessions and positions, all trophies and laurels. And the worst thing is that all of us are born with a death sentence written on our bodies. Despite all scientific advancement, the death rate was, is and will always be 100%; everyone who is born has to die without exception. So isn’t spending our precious life in pursuing material goals centered on the body like investing in a zeroreturn share?
Thankfully we have a positive alternative. Each of us has the power to save ourselves from this enormous suffering. We are all eternal souls, beloved children of God, temporarily situated in material bodies. We cannot avoid the destruction of our bodies due to death, but we can avoid the suffering associated with death. The pain at death is wholly due to the agony of losing all that is very dear to our hearts. If during our lifetime, we have made God our dearmost object, then death will not separate, but unite us, with our object of love. Hence spiritual wealth – love for God – is the only wealth that can save us from suffering at the time of death. Love for God is natural for us but is currently dormant in our hearts. This sleeping love can be most easily awakened by the divine sound of the holy names of God. Therefore every moment utilized in chanting the names of God is like an investment in our eternal bank account, which we can draw on in our future lives. An intelligent person always saves to prepare for his future retirement, however pressing the present demands for money are. Similarly a spiritually intelligent person invests time in serving God to prepare for his inevitable death and afterlife, no matter how busy he is.
Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, gave precious insights into transcendental business: In the ledger of your life, all the time you have spent on your body is loss and all the time you have spent for Krishna (God) is profit. Therefore just as a materially shrewd businessman carefully counts every note he earns, let us carefully count every name of God we chant.