Poverty and Wealth

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  • Created on: 12-03-12 21:17
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Dharma is the religious duty of your Varna
Artha is the Sanskrith term for wealth, focusing on gaining and making the best of life
economically and by lawful means. For example, not being a butcher.
Kama is to enjoy the pleasure of this life; Hindus believe that wealth isn't intrinsically evil.
Moksha is the release from the cycle of samsara and union with Brahman who is the supreme
Dana is the importance of giving to others; especially those who are weak and vulnerable in
society. These actions should be part of everyday life.
Sewa is service to others focusing on time and effort.
Karma is the law of cause and effect.
Bhakti yoga is the idea of loving devotion. God should be at the forefront of your mind in
everything you do.
Rig Veda is the oldest, most influential scripture. `'If someone keeps all that he accumulates
for himself and does not give to others, the hoarded wealth will eventually prove to be the
cause of ruin.''
Artha-shastra was written by Kautilya around 300 B.C.E. This book focuses on how to gain and
use wealth and power morally.
Shikshapatri book of guidance was a book composed by Swaminaryan in 1826, focusing on
what a Hindu should do with their wealth. E.g `Do not gamble, do not steal', `pay the correct
The goddess Lakshmi was the goddess of wealth and prosperity, worshipped mainly at
There are 4 main ashramas for Hindus. Ashramas are life stages.
Brahmakariya are students. This ashrama focuses on learning the Vedas with the help of a
guru. The aim of this life stage is to live without worries in order to appreciate God and his
Grihastha is the second ashrama. These are householders who should strive to earn money
and support the needs of their family. They are responsible for helping those in need as they
earning money.
Vanaprastha is the retirement stage of life. This ashrama focuses on giving up possessions
and family ties. Attention should be on the theory of detachment from materialistic
Sannyasin is the last stage. These are wondering hermits, this ashrama focuses whole
heartedly on faith and union with the supreme one. They have no money and so are
supported by those in other ashramas (especially the grihasthas)
Mahatma Gandhi focused on satyagraha and ahimsa. He promoted the building of ashramas
and renamed the `untouchables' the `harijans'.
Baba Ampte acted on the key principles of Gandhi. He lived and worked with sweepers in
India, to share their humiliation and degradation. He also famously founded a leprosy in
The Ramakrishna Mission is founded by Swami Vivek Anoda on May 1st 1897. The mission
conducts extensive work in health care, disaster relief, rural management, tribal welfare and
education. They don't reject any religion and are willing to help anybody in need.

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Hindu Mission hospital in Cheneye is an organisation that focuses on providing health care for
those who are unable to pay for it. They also focus on education and treatment of illnesses in
remote villages in India.
The prison fellowship India is an organisation which funds Children's homes to care for kids
with parents in prison. They also focus on teaching the criminal a trade so they are able to
contribute to society after their release.…read more

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Brahman (the ultimate reality) and people should take care of
each other
helping others is the best way to reach Brahman and understand what it really means to
be human
There are many charities in India and the majority of these have been set up by Hindus.
Hindus often give large sums of money to schools and hospitals to help the poor.
Bhoodan Movement (Land Gift Movement)
One way of overcoming poverty was suggested by Vinoba Bhave, a follower of Gandhi.…read more

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As a student a Hindu should live a simple life without luxuries so that he learns to live on
the minimum. He should learn that the most important things in life cannot be bought.
As a householder he will have to earn money to look after his extended family. The Hindu
scriptures teach that money alone cannot bring happiness especially if it is not shared
with the poor.…read more

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What can Christians do to help reduce poverty?
Practical help can be given such as giving money to the poor by charity or by buying
fair-trade items.
Practical help like building a hospital or education centre as part of a voluntary team group.
Putting pressure on the government, to release the debts of poor countries who owe large
amounts of money.
Educate people into buying fair trade goods.
Raise money to support charities such as Oxfam.…read more

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The sheep and the goat is a parable that teaches about life after death, and how God will
judge you based on your life actions. If you have helped cloth and feed people then you have
been fulfilled your duty and been a good Christian. If not you will be punished by God.
`'You shall not covet your neighbour's house, wife, or his servant, or anything that belongs to
your neighbour;'' tenth commandment.…read more

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Charities such as Christian Aid, CAFOD, CARITAS and the Tearfund try to coordinate
the churches' work in order to stop millions of people starving while the rest of the
world is well-fed and has a good standard of living.
The Synod [believes] that, as a matter of common humanity and of our mutual interest in
survival, the world requires a new and more equitable system of economic relationships
between nations.…read more

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Jesus told his followers that being wealthy is not easy. He said:
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the
Kingdom of God.…read more


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