[Advaita-l] Interest Collection is Wrong according to Dharma?

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 9 00:24:51 CDT 2013


On Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 8:24 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> 1. pravRtti and nivRtti are meant for individuals, but the same person can
> transition
> from pravRtti to nivRtti. There is no question of perfect balance in four
> purushArtha-s.
> There has to be balance of three for people in society, namely dharma,
> artha and kAma.
> An over-emphasis on moksha can be injurious for those in pravRtti mArga.
> However, if
> one is serious about moksha, then nivRtti mArga dictates that artha and
> kAma first have
> to be left behind, not brought along, in some misplaced sense of balance.
> For a single-
> pointed focus on moksha to develop, even dharma has to be left behind at
> some point.
There is a balance of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha because the
householder must have moderate desire for Artha and Kama. This can possible
if he has knowledge Moksha is final goal for all. He should not have desire
to acquire Huge Artha and have Huge Kama beyond his capacity.  No body can
enjoy Artha and Kama for ever. He must know later in this life or some
other he will get Vairagya and go to Nivrutti Marga.

 Sanyasi may be serious about Moksha and follow Nivrutti Marga but he must
not disturb the balance of EQUILIBRIUM in the society. The balance in
Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha for each person will maintain the
Equilibrium of the society. If someone is not having the balance like the
Sanyasi because he is interested in Moksha only he must still respect the
Equilibrium of the society. He cannot behave like he pleases creating
confusion and problems for the society. If others are practicing balanced
Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha he must not stop them and confuse them.

In Bhagavad Gita also in the third chapter the Equilibrium is taught in
3-10 to 3-16 -
' In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth
generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for
and blessed them by saying, "Be thou happy by this
yajña<http://vedabase.net/y/yajna>[sacrifice] because its performance
will bestow upon you everything
desirable for living happily and achieving liberation."
'All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains.
Rains are produced by performance of yajña
<http://vedabase.net/y/yajna>[sacrifice], and
yajña <http://vedabase.net/y/yajna> is born of prescribed duties.'
'My dear Arjuna <http://vedabase.net/a/arjuna>, one who does not follow in
human life the cycle of sacrifice thus established by the Vedas certainly
leads a life full of sin. Living only for the satisfaction of the senses,
such a person lives in vain.'

The above CYCLE of Yajna will create EQUILIBRIUM between Nature and Man.
This is taught in Dharma Sastra. It is like a chemical equilibrium also.
The reactants in Yajna are food grains and Mantras by Brahmins. The
products will be rain. Rain gives more food grains. When rate of food
grains consumed in Yajnas performance is same as rate of rain producing
grains there is Equilibrium. There is a perfect circulation of materials.

The Dharma Sastra books are also teaching how to maintain the Equilibrium
in Society. When every person is balanced in Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha
there is no financial difficulties for any one. There will be no
speculation and hoarding of money and goods. There will be perfect
circulation of money and goods. Inflation and Deflation risks are not there.

> 2. The very question about interest collection and dharma is ill-posed.
> Unlike other
> religions, which want to give only one set of rules to everybody, our view
> of dharma is
> much more nuanced. Whose dharma are we talking about? The ideal brAhmaNa or
> vaiSya, as per classical conceptions or the actual brAhmaNa or vaiSya in
> today's
> circumstances? Or should we think about the dharma of institutions such as
> banks,
> corporations and governments? Talking of idealized situations is
> simplistic and quite
> futile, when the ground realities are too complex.
In Chapter 10 Manu Smruti -
 117. Neither a Brahmana, nor a Kshatriya must lend (money at)
interest;but at his pleasure (either of them) may, in times of
distress when he
requires money) for sacred purposes, lend to a very sinful man at a
small interest.

> 3. Intrinsically speaking, there is nothing wrong with money earning
> interest, as per
> traditional conceptions of dharma. It is a combination of who, what, when
> and how
> much that makes some kind of interest rates acceptable and other kinds
> unacceptable.
> In fact, if one borrows some money from another person, it would be
> dishonorable not
> to return something extra to the lender when the time comes. dharma is
> multifaceted,
> not a monolithic, single-dimensional thing.
I agree with you but not fully. If interest is used for Dharma purposes it
is good. Otherwise it can disturb the balance of Dharma, Artha, Kama and
Moksha for the lender and borrower both. If borrower knows the interest is
for lender to enjoy as he pleases he will not be happy when paying
interest. The lender will enjoy interest for non Dharma purpose. His
balance is disturbed. The borrower thinks he can also enjoy in non Dharma
ways. He will earn more money than he requires and enjoys it. His balance
is disturbed also. The whole society will become greedy with desire to
enjoy more than required. The Equilibrium in society is disturbed.

> Vidyasankar
> _______________________________________________
> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org



More information about the Advaita-l mailing list