Is It Our Property or Are We Stealing?

“Sri Isopanisad” is part of a well-known treatise called “Yajur Veda”, and it contains information concerning the proprietorship of all things existing within the universe. If we understand there is nothing lost or left without attendance here, we can escape problems coming from karma for stealing. There are two ways one can get something: one can steal a thing or ask for it. Even if we ask for it, it doesn’t become our property — we simply borrow it from its owner. As soon as we begin to consider something our property, the law of karma, that is, the law prescribing punishment for stealing begins to act upon us. As far as “Sri Isopanisad” is concerned, it teaches us the right way to use what we borrowed from mother nature.

Even if we earn something as a result of work, still it doesn’t become our property. Gaining something through work also means that we borrow, without asking personally from the person to whom it all belongs. This is simply reluctance to associate personally with storehouse managers responsible for resources in the storehouse of our universe. Yes, in our universe, there are also storehouse managers, and people in the East know that in any case, you have to ask permission either from them, or their chief – the property owner. Failing to do this, one gets a punishment – one has to take an animal form of life. Animal form of life is a prison for a human who used to steal the worldly goods.

This is a fundamental difference between consciousness transformed and consciousness working in a habitual way. That is, a person whose consciousness has changed understands that nothing can be hidden or concealed. He/she understands that he/she will be held liable to the full extent of the law of karma (universal equilibrium), while the one who doesn’t want to change his/her consciousness thinks he/she can play the fox, and no one will ever notice that.

By acting in devious ways, we offend and hurt children of God, our brothers and sisters. This is imprudent behavior. We should realize that the whole world is our large home, where everyone is our relative. If we offend others, we get karma (punishment), while forgiveness of others is akarma (amnesty). According to the Vedic tradition, a good householder should stand on the threshold waiting for a guest, and when seeing him off, he should accompany a guest out of the house, come along with him for a while and then follow him with eyes until he disappears from view. This carries me back to my youth, when people used to follow this kind of custom.

When our consciousness is changed, we come to understand that all inanimate objects in this world belong to our parents, the original living beings who find themselves beyond the material universe. And all living beings around us are our true relatives we should harbor kinship feelings for.

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