Ghanshyam Das Birla ji was an amazing businessman and more than that, a beautiful person from within. His intelligence and spiritual understanding was remarkable. Here is a part of his letter that he wrote to his son Basant Kumar Birla. This letter can be considered as the most important letter in the world that a father wrote to his son. Here is only a part of that letter:
“Dear Basant, I advise you to read this letter when you become an adult and are older. I am writing from my experience. To be born as a human being in this world is a rare opportunity – this is true. One who abuses one’s body, having obtained the human form, is only an animal. You have received a lot of wealth and good resources. If these are used to serve others, then, of course, such resources will become useful. If not, they will become a devil’s weapon. Pay heed to these principles:
-Never use wealth for luxury and cheap pleasure. Ravana had indulged in luxury and promiscuity; King Janaka had rendered service. Wealth is never eternal; therefore, so long as it lasts, use it for serving others. Use the least possible amount for yourself, the rest you should spend to alleviate the sorrows of suffering ones.
-Wealth is power. Intoxicated by such power, one may act unjustly towards another – you must be careful about this.
-Do leave this advice for your children; if they lead a life of comfort and luxury, then they would be committing sin and destroying our business activities. You must not bequeath wealth to such spoilt brats. Before it can reach them, distribute it to poor. You have to realise that you are the trustee of such wealth, and we brothers have generated this wealth in the hope that you will put it to good uses.
-Remember always that you hold wealth on behalf of the common citizens. You cannot use it for your selfish ends. ………………….”
Beautiful thoughts poured in the form of a letter from a noble man to his son. This life is uncertain; there is no doubt about that. When our family commitments have been taken care of, we should come out in the open to serve the society where we are living. There is no reason for us to continue to stay within our cozy environment. To improve the environment, just outside our life is also our responsibility. We may be staying in a bungalow, but if all around there is filth and poor people are living in dilapidated conditions even without basic amenities of clean water, air and in fact near stinking lanes and drains, we are also culprit. Under such conditions, can we stay peacefully. Remember, sooner or later, the dengue mosquito will enter our bungalow too.
We should become more proactive in giving back to the society, the moment we cross 50 years of age. You may be rich or you may be a middle class person. Spare some for others. I also come from a middle class family and I continue to be a middle class person. I don't have too much of wealth. At the same time I am a pensioner. I served Indian Navy for about 22 plus years. And I do make some money through corporate training workshops. At such stage in our life, let us become a bit more benevolent in helping the needy. We all came empty handed in this world and we shall leave this world also empty handed. Our name also suddenly disappears the moment soul leaves this mortal body. The closest relatives also address the departed person as body. The only thing the world remembers is your good deeds
So the day your own children are well settled and you are convinced that they are fully capable of taking care of your business, just get out of their way. Start spending your time, money, effort and your lifetime experience in such a way that you can make a big difference in the life of deprived sections of the society. Who will go at what time nobody knows. So why should we keep running after money, money, money and money all the time till our last breath. So let us live for others. Let us become mentors, donors, angel investors or whatever we can give back to the society. Let me tell you that this will keep us hale and healthy. Also when we work for others, it gives immense happiness and that will keep us healthy too and the amount of satisfaction that we will get cannot be measured in terms of money.
Give more than what you get. I believe in this philosophy very strongly since my younger days. In our life wherever we are, whatever we may be doing we should always think of serving the society where we are living. There are some people in our offices or in industries on the production floor who have a habit of cribbing and complaining all the time about their salary package, bonus, pay and perks etc. My advice to all such people is that work more than what you are paid for. In the corporate world also, I know all those people who work self lessly with full dedication, determination and discipline are the ones who go to great heights. I have yet to meet a person who didn't do well in his career whose philosophy as per Bhagwat Geeta was; कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन । मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भुर्मा ते संगोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥ That means: You are entitled to do your duty and action, but never to the results of your actions. Let not the results be your motivation, and do not be attached to laziness and inaction. Lord Krishna is giving a message to all humanity through Arjuna and is urging and prodding them to take action and to perform , to carry out their duty and responsibilities. Krishna is urging humans to not shun action out of laziness and ignorance.
Do your duty and in fact extra work without expecting anything in return. Of course, you will get returns for the good work you do in any organisation. You are always compensated for your contribution to your organisation sooner or later. The problem happens with those people who do not want to work, at the same time want more and more in return.
In our families also, parents sacrifice a lot for their children. They do not expect anything in return. Yes, in the back of their minds, they may think that their children will be of great help during their old age. But by and large, I know most of the parents do not expect anything return.
If all of us, start doing our duty towards our family, towards our society and towards our nation without expecting anything return we will see that world becomes much better world to live. Let people give up greed and you will see that the resources on our earth are plenty as per needs of all the inhabitants. Just because somebody has a lot of money, does not give him/her the right to waste the limited resources of our planet. This Earth belongs to all of us; poor or rich, old or young, from developed countries or third world countries. And in fact, I will go to the extent that this Earth equally belongs to all the animals also who are on this earth. They are also equal owners of this planet. All of us are the creation of God and and this earth and its resources belong equally to all of them. The greed of the man, his taste buds and other cravings are the root cause of various problems plaguing this planet. If all of us give up our greed and decide to give back to this earth more than what we get, this world shall remain in a very good state for generations and generations. Let us learn from our nature. When the sun shines it shines equally for poor and rich, for children and elders, for workers and officers. It doesn't differentiate between any one of us including animals. When it rains, when a cool breeze blows; it gives soothing effect to all the animals, creatures and all the human beings equally