32: Become Debt free
Debt means Loan, anything that is borrowed from someone with the undertaking or promise that it will be returned to its due owner. Every human being has the moral obligation to return whatever is borrowed. If loans are not duly returned on time, then even the smallest of loans eventually become too overbearing and causes stress.
Every man is born with four types of debts: the debts of God, debt of Rishis-gurus, debt of forefathers and ancestors and debt of society. Through worship, one is freed from the debt of God. By acquiring good education and helping the society, one is freed from the debt of Rishis and Guru. Having well-educated and good children one is liberated from the debt of forefathers and ancestors.
The society flourishes only because there is a give and take. Man becomes debt free the moment he returns what has been taken to its rightful owner. In Shrimad Bhagwadgita, one’s wealth should be divided into five parts – for one’s own welfare, provision for the family’s future, for religious purposes, for the service to the society and for the society.
A boy insists on buying a car. His father explains, “The scriptures say that you should not take a loan for luxury. Hard work is the only way to true happiness.” He thought hard about what his father advised and complied. He worked hard and whenever and wherever possible he started saving. One day, as he was relaxing, it dawned on him “Had I ignored my father’s advice and borrowed money to spend on a luxurious car, I would now be stressing mentally, physically, and financially to pay off the loan. I am glad my father advised me at just the right time.”
Shrimad Bhagwatpuran puts forth the ideal principles for the head of the family. The main principle is that the head of the family should not be self-centered and arrogant. He should be loving, accommodative and open-minded. He should strive to maintain harmony within the family.
- P. Shree Vasudevananda Saraswati Swami Maharaj advises us, “We should pray to Lord Shree Dattatraya to free us from all debts.” Lord Dattatreya is ‘non-indebted’ because He freed himself from all debt by donating everything He had to the sage Atri. Hence, a prayer to such an ‘un-indebted’ God is fruitful. The prayer is as follows:
‘atre:-ātmapradānena yo mukto bhagavān-ṛaṇāt |
dattātreyaṃ tamiśānaṃ namāmi ṛṇamuktaye ||’