The following part is translated from Shanti Parva chapter of Mahabharata by U. Mahesh Prabhu
He who regards everything with an equal eye, who never exerts himself for gratifying his unjust sensual pleasure, who practices truthfulness of speech, who is freed from all kinds of attachments, and who has no greed in him, is a happy man.
Exertion is futile in what is due to Chance. If the existence of anything like Exertion be admitted, a deeper search would discover Destiny to be at the bottom. A person who desires ultimate happiness should renounce all attachments. The man without attachments, no longer cherishing any greed, can sleep happily.
Between the one who obtains fruition of all his wishes and the one who casts off every wish, the latter is superior. No one can ever attain all that he desires. The desire for wealth can never end in happiness. When wealth is acquired, great is the anxiety that acquirer feels. If lost after acquisition, that is felt as death. Lastly, respecting acquisition itself, it is very uncertain. What can be more painful than this? When acquired, one is never gratified with its measure, but one continues to seek it. Like the sweet water of the Ganges, wealth only increases one’s hankering.
O mind, possessed by greed, adopt tranquility by freeing yourself from all unjust desires. Repeatedly have you been deceived by greed. O my wealth-coveting-self, do not induce me towards greed. You have repeatedly lost your hoarded wealth. O my greedy mind, when will you succeed in liberating yourself from desires of wealth?
Without doubt Greed is adamant. Greed springs from lack of wisdom; therefore, to be bereft of greed seek wisdom! With wealth of wisdom, greed gets destroyed with your roots.
Greed is all that are not of the self, therefore do not follow the lead of your Greed! Abandoning all your unjust desires take refuge in knowledge, truth and wisdom. Beholding compassion for the all creatures, by devoting reason to Yoga, my life to the instructions of the wise, and conscience to Truth, happily rove through the world, without attachment and without calamities of any kinds. By this you will never plunge again into such sorrows!
Greed is always the progenitor of thirst, of grief, and of fatigue and toil. The grief one feels at the loss of wealth is very keen and far greater than what one feels under any other circumstances. Kinsmen and friends disregard him who has lost his wealth. With various kinds of humiliation that number by thousands, there are many faults in property as well.
On the other hand, the very small happiness that resides in wealth is mingled with pain and sorrow. Robbers slay, in the sight of all, the person who is possessed of wealth, or afflict him with various kinds of severity, or fill him with fear. Unjust desire, or greed, for wealth often ends in sorrow. Whatever the object upon which greed sets its heart, it forces men to pursue it! Men are then left without judgement. They become fools. They become difficult to being contended. They cannot be gratified. They burn like fire. They do not enquire in pursuing an object whether it is easy or difficult of attainment. They are ditched in a well of sorrow.
In contentment of heart and with all your senses at ease, always live upon what may be earned justly. Do not seek gratification of unjust wishes – they are your foe. Freedom from attachment, liberation from desire, contentment, tranquility, truth, self-restraint, forgiveness and universal compassion are the qualities that come when you are bereft of greed. Therefore, let greed and miserliness go away. Adopt the path of Goodness.
When Greed is cast off happiness is multiplied. By not yielding to the influence of Greed you shall no longer suffer misery. One is sure to obtain happiness according to the measure of the greed he may be able to cast off. Truly, he who yields himself up to Greed often suffers misery.
Whatever passions connected with Greed are cast off by a person, all appertain to the quality of Passion. Sorrow, shamelessness and discontent all arise from Greed. Like a person plunging in the hot season into a cool lake, enter the world of contentment and free yourself from grief. Pure happiness dwells in you.
The felicity that results from the gratification of Greed, or that other purer felicity which one is believed to enjoy in heaven, does not come to even a sixteenth part of that which arises upon abandonment of all kinds of greed. Killing greed, you are sure to enjoy savories of heaven on this very earth!