"Righteousness is the best species of wealth. Do you earn that wealth which has no fear from either kings or thieves and which one has not to abandon even at death. Earned by one’s own acts, that wealth has never to be divided among co-owners. Each enjoys that wealth which each has earned for himself." (Śānti Parva, 329. 45-46)
These verses from the Mahabharata's Śānti Parva underscore the significance of righteousness as the most valuable form of wealth. They encourage individuals to prioritize earning virtuous wealth that stands resilient against external threats, unlike material riches that can be lost or taken away.
The analogy between righteous wealth and fearlessness from kings and thieves highlights the idea that true wealth transcends the fear of loss or theft. This implies that virtuous actions yield rewards that are not susceptible to external challenges.
Furthermore, the verses emphasize the individuality of earned wealth, asserting that wealth acquired through one's own righteous deeds remains one's own, not subject to division among co-owners. This underscores the personal ownership and enjoyment of the rewards of virtuous actions.
- Supremacy of Righteous Wealth: The verses stress that righteousness is the most valuable form of wealth, transcending the vulnerability of material possessions.
- Fearlessness and Fulfillment: Righteous wealth is portrayed as unthreatened by external forces, leading to a sense of security and personal fulfillment.
- Individual Ownership: The verses highlight that wealth earned through one's own actions remains exclusively owned by the individual, not to be shared among co-owners.
As individuals, let us recognize the elevated value of righteousness in our lives. By prioritizing virtuous actions, we can accumulate a form of wealth that brings enduring satisfaction, security, and personal growth.
Across various belief systems, the idea of righteousness as a valuable form of wealth resonates as a shared principle. By promoting virtuous actions, we can connect with others through common ethical values.
As stewards of our choices, let us endeavor to accumulate righteous wealth through our actions. By doing so, we uphold the teachings of the Mahabharata and enrich our lives with meaningful purpose and lasting fulfillment.