I own a jewellery shop, located in the prominent, well-to-do part of my city. Business has always been good. But we have always been told that one must welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and only then will the business truly prosper. I have spent lakhs of rupees on pundits for special Lakshmi puja. No one ever told me Lakshmi ji is actually the shakti you pray to so that you can move away from the influence of maya, towards higher realms.
When recession came, everything was affected. My business was no different. There were profits but not as much as there has been the previous year. As we had been taught for generation, we got pujas done, prayed everyday to goddess Lakshmi. We didn’t realise once that we are running behind maya; that we were under its control, when it should actually have been the other way around.
Days turned to months, and things didn’t seem to get any better. One night as I was flipping through TV channels, I came across a telemarketing show. A yesteryear’s has-been actor was hosting the show. They were selling a Maha-Lakshmi yantra. Various people came on the show to express how much the yantra has benefited them; how much money they were making because of it. You could choose from silver or gold, of course the gold was more effective of the two. From evil eye to pleasing the Gods, this yantra was the one-stop solution to everyone’s problems.
When you are feeling down and greed takes over such shows misguide you further. I bought not one or two but 10 yantras; placing it at home and at work. And then I waited for the pot of gold to land up at my doorstep. Buying the yantras was not cheap. They were quite expensive, but it was a small amount compared to the money that was going to pour in, I thought. Nothing happened. The thousands spent were a complete waste. In turn I became depressed and unhappy. I was lost.
Months later I met a friend who told me to stop behaving so foolishly. He asked me to start doing service and charity. I did, it wasn’t easy. I was very attached to my money. Soon, I realised the more I gave in charity, the more I got. I wish I had done this earlier rather than falling prey to vultures waiting to pounce on my greed and gullibility.