Economics Of Mahavira ► 04 ► [04.01] Limitation of Individual Ownership and Personal Consumption - Boundless Greed

Posted: 03.02.2006

There are today before us two profiles, two images of the society:

  • A society having uncontrolled desires, unlimited needs and frivolous consumption; and
  • A society having controlled desires, limited needs and restrained consumption,

Let us analyse these two images in depth. What will that society be like which has uncontrolled desires, where needs are unlimited and consumption is also frivolous? And what will that society be like where desires, needs and consumption are all controlled?

Boundless Greed

In the world, everything has its limits. The first principle of ecology is limitation. More consumers and less supply, limited supply and unlimited desires - how can these two equations go together? Man has so much of wants that these cannot be fulfilled. There is a touching verse in the folklore of Rajasthan:

Tan ki trishna atpa hat, teen pav ya ser

Man ki trishna amit hai, gale mer hi mer.

The thirst of the body is only little. It could be three- quarters of a kilo, at the most a kilo. But the thirst of the mind is insatiable. It can swallow the entire Meru mountain.

Uncontrolled desires do not give happiness to a person; they make him suffer, make him unhappy. The first base of unhappiness and suffering is boundless greed. It never gets satisfied and continues giving pain like an inner wound.

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