Consequences of Greed

tri-Vidhan naraksyedam 

dvaram nasanam atmanah

kamah krodhas tatha lobhas 

tasmad etat trayam tyajet 

(Bg. 16.21) 

Lord Krishna says the three gates that lead a man to hell are lust, anger and greed. Every man should give these up otherwise they lead to degeneration of the soul. This article will be focusing on one of the three gates: GREED. 

Greed is one of the greatest contributors to dissatisfaction and always makes a man run behind everything that he doesn’t own. Eventually leading a person to feel utterly ungrateful for all the blessings and little things in their lives drives them to depression. There are several consequences of greed. Learning about these dangerous consequences will help us become self-aware and protect us from stepping into that zone of “I want.” 

Physiological consequences 

Death: Many times considered as a personal choice, meat-eating has been an act of widespread rampant killing of animals in organised slaughterhouses to ultimately gratify one’s senses. Despite being a personal food preference, this has severe consequences individually and collectively. In the USA, for every 45 seconds, a person dies because of a heart attack, and meat-eating has been stated as one of the major causes of heart disease. Out of those who die because of cardiac arrest, more than 40% of them are meat-eaters and while only 15% have been confirmed as vegetarians. 

Disease: There was a famous actor named James Garner who did several commercials on eating meat and eventually he suffered from heart disease. It is an obvious fact that meat-eating invites diseases to host our bodies. In the US alone, forever hour 5 lakh animals are killed in slaughterhouses which consumes a great amount of fuel and if this continues we may run out of our fossil fuels within next 12 years. Whereas, if the entire world adopts a vegetarian diet, the same fossil fuel could last for the next 260 years. Inviting disease and willing depletion of resources is like buying a new house and setting fire on it while starting to live inside it. 

Desire: The nicotine present in cigarettes make one addictive and compels one to consume it again and again. A chemical component closely similar to nicotine is found in the preservatives used for meats from decaying soon. This enhances one’s desire to continue consuming meat and it is very difficult to break the cycle. Desire is dangerous and is very hard to overcome. It keeps itching and the more we rub to pacify it, the itching increases and ultimately burns our skin, finally disrupting our consciousness and bringing it down to lower frequencies of the animalistic psyche. Because we become what we eat. 

Financial Consequences 

This aspect of the consequences of greed can be better viewed from the point of gambling. Dr John Cannes, who did a PhD in gambling and his thesis was on how 1/3rd of the resource generated for GMP in the USA is coming from gambling which is about 1 trillion. Almost 60% of the adults in that country indulge in gambling. Let’s analyse the consequences below. 

Dishonesty: The central principle of gambling is to maximise profit with minimal effort. That is an indication of massive greed. To achieve this, people go to all extents from cheating to using malpractices, manipulating others, destroying families, friendships, tainting one’s honour just for money. This was reflected in the Indian Premier League match-fixing scandals where several cricketers and businessmen were brought in front of the law and all their fame and riches earned during the course of several years of hard work were tarnished within a few days. 

Contempt:  Greed in the form of gambling makes one devalue life. Once in a famous hospital called Sunrise Hospital, two patients were critical and were about to leave their bodies. The nurses there were indulging in betting on which patient would survive longer. The money gambled would sometimes go for thousands of dollars, and an anxious nurse who couldn’t often afford such rates would unplug the oxygen and kill the patients to win. Later she confessed that she was an angel of death and had killed several patients like this before. Such is the greediness that breeds within because of gambling that makes one lose respect for others lives. 

Social and familial consequences: 

Due to the greed of acquiring wealth quicker, several youngsters in schools contemplate joining criminal gangs. Once a police raid took place in the area of a prominent criminal leader, and they found boxes of handwritten Jon applications by students stating their CV and their recent achievements in pickpocketing etc to join this gang. The media and social circumstances have portrayed to these youth that it is easier to become a professional criminal and earn better than owning a degree.

Familial wise, the dowry system and problem of divorce both in India and in other cultures of this world has crept in due to wanting to be served and be the controller rather than being a cooperative partner. The power struggle in relationships is far worse than the ones within bureaucrats. Relationships or marriage must be based on moral and spiritual values than commercial values otherwise, marriages will continue to fail. Thus, greed also results in social disruption and familial disorders. 

Political and Ecological consequences  

We all are aware of the level to which corruption has penetrated within our political system and how this has affected genuine honest actions for the betterment of society. Greed for power, money and fame have all resulted in disruption of the political structure and its intention to solve public issues. Instead, it has aggravated the issues further. Moreover, this could be seen in how Mother Earth is being exploited by the powerful men who plunder her natural resources for commercial and hidden political motives. The Climate Crisis is the best example of how several years of delegating on this issue had merely resulted in the loss of billions of dollars in investment that brought barely any change. Moreover, 60% of all major civilian wars happening around the globe are due to control over oil, minerals, water bodies and other such resources. 

Greed has never resulted in any good. It has simply deprived us of our inner peace and satisfaction. Understanding the wider consequences of greed shall warn us on why not to acquire anything more than what has been already allocated for us by God and the laws of nature. If we take more from nature out of greed, the laws of nature eventually punish us for it in the form of diseases, financial struggle, climate crisis, political turmoil etc., The solution is to stay grateful for all that has been provided to us by God and not ask for anything more than necessary. 

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