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Money & The Kingdom Of God

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Money & The Kingdom Of God<P>Luke 18:25 “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”<P>This week’s Srila Siddhaswarupananda program concerns this verse from the Bible. <P>How does money relate to God? This is a very long subject but we’ll look at this one verse by Jesus. The context of the verse is that a wealthy man seeks to become a follower of Jesus, but he stops at the point of surrendering his material wealth. Just imagine, here was this man in the presence of a beloved servant of God. He has this great opportunity and yet still feels attached to his money, land, and properties.<P>This verse Luke 18:25 is critical for a true Christian to understand. If a Christian doesn’t know this verse, or is ill at ease with it, then he will be in a spiritually troubling position. This is a very important and heavy subject. Unfortunately many Christians approach God for material happiness. <P>And yet Jesus says that to be wealthy will keep you away from God. Why? Does this mean a person must be penniless in order to know God? No. After all wealth is a relative measure.<P>Now here is a thing to note: Jesus says it is IMPOSSIBLE. Now if I were a compromising person I might say “It would be a little harder.” But Jesus specifically uses an analogy that forces us to say it is absolutely impossible. It is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle… that isn’t a little harder… that’s impossible. <P>Why is this so? Because generally speaking a rich person is attached to this world. He isn’t attached to God but rather wants to enjoy the world. This world is where we try to be the controller. In this world, dominion over property is called wealth. So the reason it is impossible is because a rich person wants to be God. He doesn’t want to serve, he wants to be served.<P>In the Sri Isopanishad it is stated: “Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.” Thus we should not take more than we need. Simply accept what is necessary for life.<P>It should be understood that the Kingdom of God is not a geographical location. It is your personal relationship with God. If your consciousness is such that you think “I am the enjoyer… look how much property I have…” then you cannot enter into this Kingdom. Flesh and blood cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. Whether the wealth is in hundreds of dollars or millions of dollars. This is simply relative. What matters is your consciousness. Are you attached to worldly consciousness or God consciousness? A rich person is in love with the world, and feeling that he is on top, the Lord of others, he falsely thinks “This is mine, that is mine.”<P>This false lordship prevents him from crying out to God. The rich person thinks he has everything together. That all is under his control. <P>Now, within this world we have actual needs and created needs. We choose what we own. For a rich person it is a great struggle to give up this controlling tendency because “I have so much, I can’t just give it up”. But for a poor person, he has nothing, so “What have I got to lose?” I think Bob Dylan wrote a song like this “I’ve got nothing, I got nothing to lose.”<P>But then we come to false renunciation. This is the false thinking that “If I’m poor, then I can get into the Kingdom of God. Then I’ll be qualified.” But here the rich man who gives up everything encounters another stumbling block. You cannot buy your way into the Kingdom of God. After giving up his wealth he will carry around within his mind the thinking that “Oh, look at how much I have given up. This was mine, but I am very renounced and spiritually advanced.” The problem with this consciousness is that you never gave up anything, because it was never yours to give up. We have temporary possession that is all.<P>A rich person is anyone who thinks “This is mine.” And when you have a lot of property it is impossible to break this view. It gets in the way of servant consciousness. <P>But you must give up this “possessing” consciousness. Just giving up control of material possessions is not enough. It is false renunciation if you think this is the conclusion of spiritual life. Everything is God’s, and whether I have $1 million or $200, I must understand that a certain amount is for my needs, and the rest I must use for God. Even what I use for myself, it is only to keep this body healthy for the service of God.<P>Ultimately, you don’t have to give up anything. I once had a watch and someone in a lecture criticized me. “Why are you wearing a watch?” The real question should be what am I using it for. A person who really wants to be a Christian cannot continue thinking his possessions are his own. If he can’t do this, then try to live simply and give it away. But better than this is to use all resources in God’s service. A person can be a billionaire, but use the money to serve God. However, the really wealthy person is the one who has the wealth of love for God.

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Originally posted by Gauracandra:

Luke 18:25 “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”



The enterance to kingdom is not being needle's eye. The enterance is being so much large that we are not beeing able to see the door frames. Without seeing same we are not even knowing wheteher we are being in enterance or not. Such is enterance.


As for the camels and the needle's eye? Why would camel even desire to be going through needle's eye? Posted Image



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It seems this week’s Srila Siddhaswarupananda episode is a continuation from last weeks, and likely part of a series. As such, I’ll keep it connected in this thread.


Lady in the audience: “Last week after one of your programs I was taking calls from viewers. One viewer called up and said “You don’t follow Christ. Jesus died for us so that we might be saved.” I answered that Christ came to teach us to love God. But he wouldn’t accept this.


Srila Siddhaswarupananda: This guy just wanted to fight. Show me where Jesus taught materialism. So many evangelists on television teach materialism and Salvationism. You pray for money and salvation. But you do not know a thing about what he was teaching. Instead you use Jesus as a doormat to wipe your feet on.


Did Jesus say my first and foremost commandment is to use me as a damn doormat? I was watching one of these television evangelists on one program singing “I’m so happy Jesus died for me.” They don’t cry, they are happy. These people can’t change anyone, they can’t change anyone’s heart. At most they just change the angle from simply materialism to Salvationism. One day asking God for goodies, and the next day bathing in his blood so you can get into heaven.


God simply becomes a doormat for mankind to wipe our bloody feet on. This is our relationship with God. God is my supplier for material enjoyment, and when we get bloodied from our sinful activities we use Jesus as a napkin to wipe away our sins.


“How To Be Born Again” is one book written by just such an evangelist. What he doesn’t realize is that he is teaching the truth. They will have to take birth yet again. They will stay in the cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease.


Jesus’s first and foremost commandment is love God with all of your heart, mind, and soul. Bhakti – love God. Not simply declare allegiance so that you can be part of the gang.


These Christians will say that God must suffer in order to identify with the experience of the souls. God takes the form as man so that man may live. God comes under illusion, is taken over by material nature, and then must die in order to understand man’s suffering. God died to understand compassion. God came under the laws of material nature. Jesus died, God died. Illusion conquered God for a moment, but then God conquered illusion by rising from the dead.


God never comes under material nature. To say this is simply mayavadi philosophy. Not even for a split second. “God died.” Only atheists say God died. Not Christians.


Jesus did not come to die, but to teach love for God. His life and teachings is love God. Surrender your will to God’s will. Not Salvationism, but love God.


His teachings are very simple, very pure, and clear. First and foremost – love God. But they want to love the world, and then use Jesus as a doormat. Jesus will accept the sins that you commit. But once you have surrendered to Jesus, if you commit sin on the strength of Jesus’s sacrifice then you are simply a dog.


I hope these so-called Christians are watching. They just want to know what team you are on. “Are you on the Krsna team? The Buddhist team? The Christian team?”


One person, who was very friendly, once called up after watching our program. He was confused because he couldn’t figure out what kind of program we were. Was is a philosophy program? A religious program? At one point I was telling some jokes and he couldn’t understand “What kind of program is this?” I told him “It is what it is”. We haven’t labeled it yet [laughter]. We are simply speaking the truth. Sometimes the truth is heavy, sometimes it is hilarious.


This truth isn’t Hindu truth. People want to have a category otherwise they don’t feel comfortable. God is one. Hinduism, Mohammedism, it doesn’t matter. The truth is the truth. This is a show about God, about the Absolute Truth. We aren’t offering the Hindu God, the Christian God…


These people are just so stupid. They are so dumb. They think religion is a team that you are on.

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This week's Srila Siddhaswarupananda program is a continuation of the "True Christianity" series.


Today we will continue our discussion on the verse from Luke which talks about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God. Last time we discussed "Why" so we won't do that this time around. Instead we will continue with the next few verses.


The next several verses have the people around Jesus asking "Then who can be saved?" Jesus responds "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." Many people think that they can become qualified to enter the Kingdom of God by their own merits and strength. "If I give up my wealth, then I'll be qualified." But material poverty is not the answer. Giving away and walking around with a robe on will not buy your way into heaven. The Kingdom of God is not something which can be purchased with material possessions.


In the first place it is simply an illusion that you ever really owned anything to begin with. The Law of Conservation of Energy essentially says that all matter already exists, will always be present, though it may change in shape. The matter has always been here. When I die, my body will still be here, just transformed. We do not own this matter, we simply have temporary possession. So it is not such a big deal to give away what we do not own.


If you think that your actions, any of them, whether shaving your head, studying your scripture, bowing down, performing sacrifices, chanting the names of the Lord, if you think any action will buy your entrance into the Kingdom of God, then you are wrong. This is not the correct understanding. There is no method by which you can climb your way into heaven.


There is only one qualification. Do you know what this is?


Audience member: That you love God.


Srila Siddhaswarupananda: Yes. If you love God you will go to Him. If you love the world then you will stay here in some form or another. You must have a single pointed, undeviated love for God. If you are thinking of sex, relatives, or some other worldly enjoyment, then you will remain here. That which you love is where you will go. So how much you love God is the qualification. This is the only qualification. So do not be in the illusion that any material qualification will help you.


God will give you what you want. He knows your heart. If I want Him then He will give Himself to me. If I want His energies He will give me the facility to enjoy them.


We live in the material world, a section of His Kingdom that is made of matter. We are here because we seek to imitate God. We want to be the center, the beloved. We want to be worshipped and glorified.

We are eternal spiritual sparks within this temporary material world. This material body is destined for birth, death, old age, and disease. If you say that you love God, I will not argue with you, or judge you. But the test will come at the end of your life. So ask yourself "How much do I love God?" How much time do you serve Him?


In the Kingdom of God, only those who love Him are there. And they are happy to serve Him. But we don't want to serve God, so we devise all sorts of means to try to enter the Kingdom of God. Some think money will get them in, others think through mental endeavor they will become qualified.


What sort of love should we have? It must be single pointed. Think of a young girl who has her first love. Her whole heart and mind is constantly thinking of her beloved. That love, the perfection of that love, and the satisfaction of that love, should be placed on God.


Jesus says to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. He spent his entire life serving God, and he declares that we too should carry our own cross. We should readily accept hardships in serving God. But we must not put fake burdens on ourselves. There are some people, like in the Philippines who nail themselves to crosses, or have themselves whipped. This is fake. It is not a hardship that comes through serving God. Rather it is just an action to try to buy your way into heaven.


So it is love for God, this is the price one must pay. There is no separation between your love of God and being in the Kingdom of God. They are one and the same. It is not that if you love God then you can enter. No. Love for God is the Kingdom of God. Everything in connection with God is absolute. Even while in your material body you can be with God because the Kingdom of God is not a geographical location, it is your relationship with the Lord. Jesus says "The Kingdom of God is within".


Remember that love for God is the absolute qualification.

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The Christmas Business


This week’s Srila Siddhaswarupananda program deals with “the season of peace”. Every year around Christmas time you can be sure that you will find newspapers decrying how “this is the season of peace” and yet there is so much war going on in the world. There is a war in Afghanistan, Cambodia, unrest in Poland, and the arms race is going on between the United States and the Soviet Union. And so the press and television likes to discuss this contradiction every year.


But these reporters consistently miss the point because they lack the proper vision. They don’t seem to understand that there is a reason for this. They don’t see the connection between having no peace and not accepting the message of Jesus. The reason there is no peace is because they haven’t accepted the message of “the Prince of Peace.” Instead they just view it as unfortunate and look no deeper.


The Christmas season should be a time for introspection to understand how we are not following the teaching of Jesus. Instead, the news editors and television personalities engage in fake piety but never delve into the details. The same people who say “isn’t it too bad” are the same ones who run out and buy lots of expensive presents, and drink and party – and they just don’t see the connection.


The endless attempt to lord it over God’s property, this materialistic consumerism, is intricately connected with the problems in this world. But no one really wants to change their consciousness, to change their hearts, change how they treat one another, or change how they view the world. Instead we want to remain materialistic and have peace. It is not possible to achieve this.


Here is an example. Right now there is a war in Afghanistan. What are they fighting for? They are fighting over land. They are always fighting over raw materials, territories of influence etc… There is no question of capitalism or communism. Both parties are interested in dominating and exploiting. If we aren’t careful God will resolve the problem by having them cancel each other out with nuclear weapons.


The problem is people aren’t Christians. We are fake Christians. We don’t change our consciousness even if we go to church. Whether it is on an individual level or on a societal level we are simply trying to exploit and enjoy. You cannot love God and Mammon at the same time. [Gauracandra here: Dictionary definition of Mammon – In the New Testament, riches, avarice, and worldly gains personified as a false god; riches regarded as an object of worship or an evil influence.]


The same newspapers that say it is so bad are also full of ads for things to buy. There is even one ad running now that says “This year get yourself a present.” The advertisers know it is all about selfishness, so now they dispense with formality and get right to the point. Even once per year you buy for someone else, but now that is even gone. Instead the ads are “You deserve it. You are worth it. Be good to yourself…”


For the world to be peaceful people must be peaceful. This can only happen when we are satisfied within our souls. We should be directing our love towards God with all our heart, body, and mind. This is a true Christian. Sometimes we get caught up in our house, or clothing. Instead we should realize that everything belongs to God.


We can’t be materialistic and peaceful. And as long as we are not peaceful then our neighborhoods won’t be peaceful. This isn’t just philosophy. You may not know why you are unhappy but there is a reason for it.


These newspaper reporters will say isn’t it unfortunate that there are so many problems in the world between people. At the same time these editors are all chain smoking and writing about how unfortunate it is people aren’t peaceful. They don’t know what is peace so how can they be writing about it. They will say that Jesus taught first and foremost to love our neighbors. But this isn’t what he taught. He said first and foremost love God, and the second commandment is like unto it to love your neighbor as yourself. They like to switch it around because they can see their neighbor but they can’t see God. They don’t want to take to a transcendental path, a path to the unknown, to actually see God. So instead they forget God and focus on man. Unless they are taught there won’t be love. We must teach Bhakti - love for God. This will bring true happiness. Thank you very much.

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