Money is the talk of the town these days, actually of the whole nation. And of course, we know the reason.
From the corrupt politicians whose stacks of cash suddenly became useless overnight to the mafia of the fake currency industry who found themselves out of business; from terrorists of all hues and their propagandists who relied on loads of cash to carry out their sinister inhumane agendas to some of the biggest tax-evaders who hoarded cash; from small and medium traders whose businesses mostly depended on cash to the poor farmer who found himself unable to sell his produce or buy seeds; from the old gentleman who stood in a long queue to withdraw money from a cashless ATM to the poorest woman in some remote village who had never stepped inside a bank; — money woes of all kinds have been in the news lately.
There is no shortage of analysis and opinion given by expert economists of diverse intellectual orientations and also by political commentators of varied ideological leanings. Media of the old and the new kind has been abuzz, debating passionately the pros and cons of this demonetisation move.
We have seen much deliberate rumour-mongering and numerous attempts to create panic among the citizens by some with vested interests. And there have also been many good-intentioned rational attempts to call out on such needless fear-mongering and to genuinely support the ordinary citizens effected by the move.
Underneath all the analyses and opinions, if there is one thing, the only thing about which we can be certain, that is this: only time will reveal how this demonetisation decision pans out in the months and years to come, and what will be its economic and political consequence, its gain and fallout.
But one result has already been quite visible. This drastic move has had major impact on the cash-chests of terror groups, be it of Jihadi, Moist or Naxalite orientation. The counterfeit currency mafia and the human trafficking mafia have also been hit hard. Of course, many follow-up actions would be necessary to see that the evil designs of such enemies of India don’t rise up again.
There is, however, something more to all this outer economic and political commentary and analysis, something deeper than this surface talk about money. To unearth and appreciate that, we will need to step back and learn about the true nature of the money.
What is money after all? And how can this denometisation move be understood in the light of the true nature of the money.
Sri Aurobindo in his book, The Mother, writes:
Money is the visible sign of a universal force, and this force in its manifestation on earth works on the vital and physical planes and is indispensable to the fullness of the outer life. In its origin and its true action it belongs to the Divine. But like other powers of the Divine it is delegated here and in the ignorance of the lower Nature can be usurped for the uses of the ego or held by Asuric influences and perverted to their purpose. (CWSA, Vol. 32, p. 10)
Money is a force, a power, which when held by Asuric influences can create havoc.
What is an Asuric influence? What is an Asura?
The Asuras are really the dark side of the mental, or more strictly, of the vital mind plane. This mind is the very field of the Asuras. Their main characteristic is egoistic strength and struggle, which refuse the higher law. The Asura has self-control, tapas and intelligence, but all that for the sake of his ego. (Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 28, p. 467)
In the Bhagavad Gita we find a helpful and detailed description of the Asuric temperament, which maybe considered as the lowest scale of human nature. Those with such temperament are forever trying to satisfy their egos. For them ego and desire are the only real gods to serve, and their mind and will become self-deceived slaves or tools of their desires. Because of their insatiable desire and an excessive egoistic pride, those with Asuric nature persist in false and obstinate aims, and pursue their longings with an impure resolution. Dominated by the powers of desire, wrath and greed, the Asuric nature becomes the center or instrument of a fierce, violent action, a power of destruction in the world, a source of injury and evil.
Imagine when the force of money comes under the influence of such powers of evil and destruction. The results are all too known to us – mindless violence, terrorism, human trafficking, slavery, corruption, erosion of all that is noble, good and beautiful.
For decades and decades we have seen the working of such Asuric influences in terror-torn regions of the world. In parts of the Kashmir valley. In the Naxalite-infested regions of our country. We have heard and read about the unimaginable suffering and atrocities unleashed by the various mafia involved in child trafficking, and trading of narcotics and illegal arms. We have seen, again and again, democratic processes becoming a cruel joke because of the force of the money used by corrupt and self-serving politicians, only for the aggrandisement of their egos. We have grown all too familiar with the uncontrollable greed of some tax-evading and well-connected businessmen.
Are these not the works of Asuric influences? Was it not absolutely essential to choke the financing of such Asuric forces at work? Sure this can’t be a one-time attack on such evil forces, many more steps and many other forms of battles will be necessary.
As it is always the case, such a battle between the forces of dharma and adharma is a long one and a perpetual one. But a serious blow on their finances was necessary and long overdue to put a brake. Money is a force, which when seized by the Asura becomes a perversion and thus a grave danger to further evolution of the society, of the individual.
Money is a force, which when reconquered from the perverted hold of the Asuric influences, has the great potential, like all other universal forces, to be an effective instrument for creating a more harmonious outer life. For an individual, a family, a group, the society, the nation, the world, the entire earth.
Money is meant to increase the wealth, the prosperity and the productiveness of a group, a country or, better, of the whole earth. Money is a means, a force, a power, and not an end in itself. And like all forces and all powers, it is by movement and circulation that it grows and increases its power, not by accumulation and stagnation. (The Mother, CWM, Vol. 13, p. 149)
When we begin to understand money and its purpose as a force, we begin to appreciate the necessity for taking back this force away from the perverted influence of the Asura and to reconquer it for the purpose of prosperity and good of a group, a country and the world. We begin to appreciate fully the need for why money as a force and as a power needs to be in movement and circulation.
We begin to see the demonetisation move in a different, deeper light.
We begin to see how we – you and me, individually – should re-examine and re-adjust our attitude to this force of money.