Righteousness is the highest riches
Righteousness is the best riches in the world, that can neither be valued in gold nor in diamond. It is the priceless riches that can neither be exhausted, nor stolen, nor lost. Gold and silver are dross. Man, in the end, mingles with dust and all in the world is dust. Righteousness ends not in dust for it is deathless.
Life leaves the richest at death poor, if he owns not righteousness. There comes a day or there comes a night, say the sages of yore, when the master leaves his cattle and the cattle leave their master, and the soul leaves the body. Righteousness alone, the greatest and best of all riches, accompanies the soul after death.
Fortune and wealth, one cannot have at one's will, nor can one maintain the beauty and form of the body for ever, but everyone can embrace righteousness and make it his own if he wills it.
When a man starts on a journey, with him does he take provisions and stores. Let me, likewise, furnish myself now while there is time, with the store of righteousness for the great journey of my soul, which I shall have one day to undertake and from which I shall never return, Ahura Mazda.
Enable me to learn that the man of riches in reality in this world of mine is the man of righteousness. Help me so to live my life in righteousness, that when death takes me away from my children, I may be able to bequeath to them a legacy of my righteous life for them to emulate, for it will be an inheritance for them, richer and better than any wealth and property. Teach me to be content in my poverty and inspire me to be rich in thy righteousness, O Asha Vahishta.
This page was last updated on Friday, February 11, 2005.