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Swami Vivekananda's anguish on India's poverty

O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

For Indians, their family bonds are very strong. Even if they have earned enough money to last for ten generations they will be working to save for eleventh generation. Foreigners send away even their own children (first generation) from the home to earn and live on their own after a certain age. The family bonds of foreigners are weak. Therefore they are easily able to sacrifice money for the spiritual service of the Lord. Money is the fruit of work. The Bhagavad Gita emphasizes the sacrifice of the fruit of work. The Bible also says "Wherever your money lies, there your heart lies". Money is the fire-test. Indians sacrifice words (prayers) and mind (devotion and meditation). The Lord gave good language, devotion and knowledge to Indians, which are related to words and mind only. Indians will not sacrifice money and so the Lord gave poverty to India.

Swami Vivekananda looked to the sky and wept asking, "Why is my country suffering with poverty in spite of so much spiritual knowledge?" When Swami Ramatirtha was giving spiritual discourses in USA, some Americans asked a question "Why are Indians so poor inspite of so much spiritual knowledge?" Swami Ramatirtha replied "Our Indians preach philosophy. Foreigners practice the philosophy". This is the reason for our poverty and your wealth.

Foreigners do not pray or meditate as much as Indians do, but they sacrifice the fruit (money) of their work. Therefore the Lord blessed foreign countries with immense wealth. Indians cannot sacrifice money due to their strong love for their family bonds. Indians, unable to do this sacrifice of their family bonds, misinterpreted the word 'fruit of work' (Karma Phala). They said that work means praying with words and meditating with the mind. However, these eyes cannot see the fruits of such work. Therefore they sacrifice such (invisible) fruits to the Lord by offering the prayers and meditation along with a ritualistic spoonful of water.

The Lord is very very intelligent. He gave them the fruits for their sacrifice of words and mind. The fruits are good language, good devotion and knowledge, which are related to words, mind and intelligence. The Lord approaches you in the same way as you approach Him, as said in the Gita (Ye Yatha maam Prapadyante). If you praise Him with words, He will also praise you with words. If you love Him with your mind, He will also love you with His mind. If you serve Him practically, He will also give you the fruit of your service practically. Service means both sacrifice of work and the sacrifice of the fruit of work.

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