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Hindu Teaching on Wealth and PovertyGoddess Lakshmi means Good Luck to Hindus. The word 'Lakshmi' means 'aim' or 'goal', and she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual

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Introduction

WEALTH AND POVERTY Introduction The world is split between the wealthier 'Northern Hemisphere' and the relatively poor 'Southern Hemisphere'. More than 75% of humanity lives in the southern or developing world using only 25% of the world's resources. Whereas the northern or the developed world consisting of 25% of the world population uses 75% of the world's wealth or resources. Some developing countries are very poor with a large portion of their population living below the United Nations officially designated 'Poverty Line'. Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not being able to go to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom. To alleviate poverty, it has to be defined, measured, and studied -- and even lived. As poverty has many dimensions, it has to be looked at through a variety of indicators -- levels of income and consumption, social indicators, etc. ...read more.

Middle

The debts owed by the poorest countries of the world are the main reasons for their poverty. As the disparity between the rich and the poor grows, this often leads to frustration and apathy amongst the poor. This situation breeds hostility and aggressive behaviour resulting in criminal activities. There is also a big rise in the numbers of people in the poorer countries seeking to enter richer countries to better themselves economically. There is an urgent need to develop the deprived parts of the world and one way of helping poorer countries is by cancelling their debts. This will mean that those nations will spend more of their resources in building schools and hospitals. Another major reason why some of the countries of the third world are poor and getting poorer is the level of corruption amongst their rulers. Many countries are being ruled by autocratic regimes where power is gained through coup d�tente and the country is milked dry by the ruling class. Money that should be spent on the betterment of the country is being siphoned off. Hindu agency working for world development A Hindu organisation that is working towards world development is the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. ...read more.

Conclusion

'As we sow, so shall we reap'. Hindus believe in Samsara as they do not accept that the almighty would be cruel enough to create the great inequalities that exist in the world. He would not create one child beloved of happy parents, another who is handicapped or blind and a third who is unwanted, born to impoverished parents and left hungry. The inequalities of life are understandable only when we realize that they are of Man's own karma or actions and not of God's creation. Each one of us at birth is the result of our past life. Our birth in this life is determined by the good and bad thoughts, words and deeds of a previous birth. This doctrine of samsara or rebirth is also called the theory of reincarnation and is a basic tenet of Hinduism. The argument against the above premise is the sheer injustice and inequality of the world that we are living in today. Whilst millions of people are impoverished, the rich lead a life cocooned from this reality. Although there are measures in place to ensure that the rich make larger contributions towards the welfare of the poor, society is largely geared towards capitalistic sentiments and this disparity shall remain with us however repugnant it may be. ...read more.

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