The Right Use of Money

(The key to effective use of money lies in right giving and proper circulation with an intuitive understanding of the rhythms of the vital force behind it.)

Homepage intro: how to use money in the right way for enhancing prosperity.

—Money is not meant to make money. This idea that money must make money is a falsehood and a perversion.

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. [CWM, Vol. 13, p. 154]


So the first thing to do when one has money is to give it. But as it is said that it should not be given without discernment, don’t go and give it like those who practise philanthropy, because that fills them with a sense of their own goodness, their generosity and their own importance. You must act in a sattwic way, that is, make the best possible use of it. And so, each one must find in his highest consciousness what the best possible use of the money he has can be. And truly money has no value unless it circulates. For each and every one, money is valuable only when one has spent it. If one doesn’t spend it… I tell you, men take care to choose things which do not deteriorate, that is, gold—which does not decompose. Otherwise, from the moral point of

view it rots. And now that gold has been replaced by paper, if you keep paper for a long time without taking care of it, you will see when you open your drawer that there are small silver-fish which have regaled themselves on your paper-rupees. So they will have left a lace-work which the bank will refuse. [CWM, Vol. 7, p. 54-55]


Wealth is a force—I have already told you this once—a force of Nature; and it should be a means of circulation, a power in movement, as flowing water is a power in movement. It is something which can serve to produce, to organise. It is a convenient means, because in fact it is only a means of making things circulate fully and freely.

This force should be in the hands of those who know how to make the best possible use of it, that is, as I said at the beginning, people who have abolished in themselves or in some way or other got rid of every personal desire and every attachment. To this should be added a vision vast enough to understand the needs of the earth, knowledge complete enough to know how to organise all these needs and use this force by these means.

If, besides this, these beings have a higher spiritual knowledge, then they can utilize this force to construct gradually upon the earth what will be capable of manifesting the divine Power, Force and Grace. And then this power of money, wealth, this financial force, of which I just said that it was like a curse, would become a supreme blessing for the good of all. [CWM, Vol. 7, p. 55-56]


The true method of being in the stream of this money-power is precisely what is written here: a sense of absolute impersonality, the feeling that it is not something you possess or which belongs to you, but that it is a force you can handle and direct where it ought to go in order to do the most useful work. And by these movements, by this constant action, the power increases —the power of attraction, a certain power of organisation also. That is to say, even somebody who has no physical means, who is not in those material circumstances where he could materially handle money, if he is in possession of this force, he can make it act, make it circulate, and if ever he finds it necessary, receives from it as much power as he needs without there being externally any sign or any reason why the money should come to him. He may be in conditions which are absolutely the very opposite of those of usual wealth, and yet can handle this force and always have at his disposal all the wealth that’s necessary to carry on his work. [CWM, Vol. 6, p. 250]


….One must have the power to accumulate in order to have the power of spreading. If you have only one of the two, that causes an imbalance. And it is then that it becomes avarice or wastage.  One must have both in a balanced, rhythmic movement—the equilibrium we just spoke about. For it would be quite easy to prove that in fact at present equilibrium is the true thing: one must be neither here nor there, that is what Buddha called “the middle path”. The middle path is the path of equilibrium. And so one must know how to manage as when rope-walking with a stick to keep one’s balance.

But the most generous man in the world could give nothing if he had nothing to begin with. Hence, if it is not he who has accumulated, it is someone else who has accumulated for him. But if he has nothing in his pocket, he cannot distribute anything! That is evident. And the power of accumulation is as important as the power of distribution. It is only when these two things become egoistic that they are deformed, altogether deformed, and lose all their value. [CWM, Vol. 5, p. 357]


You have really to follow a certain rhythm of the money-power, the rhythm that brings in and the one that throws out money.  Money is given to you in the beginning; then, you have to deserve it.  You have to prove that you do not waste it.  If you waste it, then you lose your right to it.  

  • [Evening Talks (ed. 1982) pp. 337-38]

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother

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