Financial Lessons from Vedas

There are four Vedas, which are the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda, among which the Rig Veda is the oldest. Though the four Vedas are often collectively referred to as the oldest Hindu scriptures, this narrow definition eludes the universal character of these ancient but timeless texts. The teachings of Vedas are not only for the Hindus but for the world to absorb, ponder and to be acted upon with the right interpretations. 

Vedas, which are estimated to be written during 1500-900 BC, are not only the repository of philosophical, spiritual and religious knowledge but from them we can glean many down-to-earth pragmatic teachings whose applications can ease our day-to-day post-modern lives. For example, careful interpretation of Vedas can help in imparting important financial lessons. 

The Righteous Path 

Rig Veda says that one should strive to earn wealth through righteous path, which can inspire and encourage CFOs and other financial managers of post-modern age to refrain from the path of corruption and misappropriation of wealth. By doing so, they can contribute to the long-term image of the company where they serve. By treading in corruption and exploitation to earn money can give a person or company quick material success but may ruin her/his/its image and goodwill in the long-run. 

Vedas also advise us to make endeavours to maximise our money and wait for our wealth to increase, patiently, a thought which a savvy and far-sighted business person would endorse and practice wholeheartedly.

Taking the Initiative

Rig Veda also states that one who rises early in the morning gets the treasure. This can be interpreted metaphorically too by the astute financial managers, CFOs and entrepreneurs by quickly gauging an emerging trend and following it up with quick financial decisions, such as buying some valued shares, before her/his competitors get the wind of it. 

Such actions have the possibility of staying ahead of the competition. Similarly, making a wise investment decision early in life, say in late 20s to mid 30s, can help one to reap better dividends at a ripe old age  as compared to the person who has been postponing such wise investment decisions till the middle or old age. 

Awareness is Paramount

Vedic teachings also advise that one must be first aware of what one has and then understand how to build on it for future wealth. For example, a person who has the inherent wealth of creativity in arts, should strive to build on that inherent wealth to create future wealth; similarly a person who has inherent wealth of aptitude in  electronics engineering should strive to build on that wealth to create further wealth. Without awareness about one’s strength or awareness of what one has, creation of further wealth could become extremely challenging.

Conserve to Grow

The Rig Veda also emphasises the conservation of both physical and financial resources to address future needs, which can be construed as an important financial management lesson. Rig Veda states that one shall produce fair wealth for today and tomorrow.

A person who imbibes this wise and pragmatic advice in her/his life would refrain from sacrificing future goals for immediate gratification.  Instead, she/he will work with proper strategy to preserve and grow her/his wealth for future needs. Financial managers can get inspired by this timeless teaching by exercising financial prudence in the present for making future investments, etc.

Channelising Money Rightly

Atharvaveda advises achieving money with hundred hands and administering it with thousand. This signifies that the Veda gives more emphasis on administering money than earning it. This timeless wise saying should inspire financial managers and CFOs as without proper administering of money, mere earning of money is not likely to generate much wealth. 

Unless money is channelised to proper investments, it may lose value over time, not only through spending but also through inflationary pressures. Savvy financial management entails giving great emphasis to administering money in the right investment channels; a lesson which was indicated in a more than three thousand year text whose relevance is still very much there. 

Atharvaveda also believes that innovation is necessary for solving problems and adapting to changing circumstances. This should inspire enterprising financial managers, CFOs and entrepreneurs as without being innovative one is not expected to thrive one’s finances or for that matter one’s client’s or company’s finances through long-term, across varying financial scenarios, as economic fluctuations  and vicissitudes are expected to happen. In both an optimistic and depressing economic climate, one often needs innovative financial management to yield optimum results amidst intense competition.

So we can see that today’s financial managers, CFOs and entrepreneurs can learn and imbibe a lot from ancient Vedic teachings and practise them to manage and grow their company’s finances. Even an average household can also gain financially by applying these universal financial teachings from Vedas in their day-to-day financial activities.  

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