Mystic Mantra: Treasure in heaven

Nearly half of Indians and poor people around the world go hungry to bed

For nearly half of Indians and poor people around the world, making both ends meet is a real struggle. Many people, especially children, are malnourished. Often they go to bed hungry. A handful of people on the other hand are not only extremely rich but unsatisfied with their riches despite the fact that they keep amassing more and more wealth.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells the story of a rich man who had huge farmlands. After having a good harvest, he said to himself, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry…” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?”
Like many other founders of religions or holy men and women, Jesus not only lived and spoke for the poor, he also warned those who tried to get richer without being concerned with the needs of their poor brothers and sisters. Looking at such people, he once said, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Once a young man approached Jesus and asked him as to what he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus told the young man that if he would keep all the commandments given by God, he would be okay. The young man answered that he had been doing that since his childhood and wanted to do even more. Jesus then said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Jesus was not against the rich but he believed that if we paid too much attention to amassing material wealth on earth, we would by default neglect the things required for eternal life in heaven. He thus advised his listeners to differentiate between things that give us earthly happiness and those that will help us amass treasure in heaven.
In order to emphasise his point and while explaining to people the importance of God’s kingdom, he once told people, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 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.”
And rightly, do we not always hear people say, “What did we bring into this world from our mother’s womb and what will we take with us when leaving this earth?”

Father Dominic Emmanuel, a founder-member of Parliament of Religions.

He can be contacted at

Next Story