By Nhất Quán
For the majority, people often always said that wealth is someone who has a lot of wealth or money due to material gain, and man is happy through that matter. But really, accumulating money can bring some degree of happiness, but not complete satisfaction by itself.  
          Some people think that the more wealth you accumulate, the more you can overcome difficulties. So, you work hard to become rich, but when you become a millionaire, you face many unexpected difficulties, insecurity, anxiety, hostility, and difficulty in keeping wealth. This clearly shows that accumulating wealth is not a solution that can solve human problems. Wealth can certainly help overcome some difficulties, but not happiness in this world can be achieved with money. Money can not uproot all difficulties 
There are some people who have a lot of possessions who failed to deal with those around them because they do not understand the means and end. They do not understand the nature, meaning, and proper function of wealth. Wealth is only one means by which you can achieve the end of ultimate happiness. But, you can be happy without heaving to be rich.
Wealth must be used for good reason and wisely. Wealth must be used for the happiness of ourselves and others. If you spend all the time clinging to your possessions but not fulfilling your duties with the country, the people, and the religion, then you live an empty and depressing life. There are too many people who are so obsessed with material attainment that they forgot both their responsibilities to their families and their fellow human beings. Happiness is a strange thing, because the more happiness you share, the more satisfied will be.
If you are selfish, you can not sow goodness at present, until you have left this world, it is too late to use your possessions, and surely the rebirth will suffer. No one, not even the wealthy and true benefits from accumulating wealth, who lives with a selfish mind will suffer from five reasons for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, those who regularly practice almsgiving, offering, helping, and sharing with others will create a good cause and will enjoy good karmic retribution. At the same time, avoiding the calamities from these five bankruptcy reasons, the five reasons bankruptcy are:
- Cause of the bankrupt flood
-  Cause of the bankrupt fire
-  Cause of the bankrupt thief
- The cause of the king confiscation of bankruptcy
- The reason is that children are filial and destructive to bankruptcy
1. Floods make bankruptcy
Natural disasters, floods, tsunami, thunderstorms are known to everybody, everyone hears them, and often happens often in the world, from this or somewhere else. Its power is that it robs people of property, material possessions, sometimes a lifetime of hard work, great effort, and saving of certain possessions, through a natural disaster or war dissipate nothing. There are even people who are until six or seventy years old to create a house, buy a few items, a little money to save for old age maintenance. Yet through a natural disaster, in the glance of an eye became empty-hand.
You see in this world, there are so many surprises that cause a painful loss for people. The reason is nothing but cause and effect. Because you have in many lives, many lives have cause so many sins, for example, the wealth and material you have created is not with your own strength, sweat, and righteous deeds, but you have used tricks, to deceive, steal or exploit others. Therefore, in this life although your possessions are abundant, the blessing does not exist, so they do not last with you for long, but they follow your bad karma.
          Therefore you need to know which causes riches and live a full worldly bliss without being devastated by the natural disaster.
You see that in Viet Nam and around the world, floods every year, especially the central and northern region of Viet Nam cause many miseries for people, and in the Southwestern region of Viet Nam when the flood season comes, it swept away everything you saved for years, but only a flood is lost. Not only houses, furniture are swept away by the water, but also human lives can be in danger. This painful scene, you have seen, knew through it very well.
But in the same situation, some people lose a lot, some have a little loss, some are safe from loss, some people lose their property, some people lose their lives, etc... In that misery loss, if you think God is determined, and you can not resist it, it is not true. Do you have to find out why there is such a discrepancy?
You can say that God is here to show the law of cause and effect which is operating in a cycle of causation, affecting the negative cause that you have done in the past: Sowing cause, collect the result. Understanding this law, you will have a method of transforming, changing it. You do not complain about heaven, not blame the earth or resentment, blame anything for fate, but you must create good deeds right now, and at the same time use the true understanding to create the opportunities, improve present life for the better. 
2. The cause of fire bankruptcy
Fires and earthquakes are natural disasters, but their damages are also terrible and unpredictable. You have seen many families dissipate their careers or die just because of the unintentional outrage of the fire, all their lives working hard to build houses, buy a car, buy luxury items, expensive in the family. But in just a few hours of the fire, you become empty-hand. Sometimes this disaster is caused by yourself, sometimes by the carelessness of a neighbor's house causing disaster for many families at once. What you can not keep, but your whole life worries to protect, so when you lose it, you are very miserable.
3. Theft and bankruptcy
Theft is sneaked out of the owner's knowledge. Robbery is the force to force an owner to turn over property or use the force to destroy the owner to usurp the property. You have worked hard, saved a little money, and wealth, then you will be stalked and robbed. So, having a property in your hand is not guaranteed to be preserved for a long time. Make it clear about theft and robbery that hard work to create wealth, and the property is appropriated by others.
Although the two ways theft and robbery differ, both have the same purpose of appropriating the property of others. These two actions both violate the law, violate human morality, contrary to common sense in human society, so they are condemned by society. Although this behavior was harshly condemned by society and the punishment law did not loosen, but it still happened.
This is an accident that happens often with people and this caused by one person to another. If you read the newspaper often, you know every which day and every which night also there is robbery happening in one place or another. This problem happens everywhere from urban to rural areas. 
Some people can find it back after being theft and robber, but others don't. According to the Buddha's insight, all situations that happen have a deep cause of it, nothing suddenly, when it is not, or happens by chance:
- The first reason is human greed, wanting to enjoy too much, living lazy or addicted to all kinds, therefore stealing and robbing to have money to spend.
- The second reason is that the person whose property has sown the cause of steal and robbery, deception, exploitation, and doing illegal things to get wealth for themselves in the previous life or the present life, that retribution leads to today robbed.
- The root deep and far I want to say here is the cause and effect. You in the past due to greed have done many negative things, causing suffering materially for others. This greedy unwholesome cause leads to today your possessions are being watched and noticed by the greed of others. They seek to appropriate your property in many ways. Depending on how badly your bad karma was sown, the same way and the extent to which your property has been stolen. 
Therefore, you should diligently do merit, giving, and making offerings that will avoid the calamity of a robbery occurring to you.
4. King or officials foreclosure bankruptcy
In the ancient monarchy, the King ruled over the world, and all authority was in the hands of the King. Therefore, whoever sins, what the King wants to judge is his subordinates have to do that. Because according to the conception of that time, the king is the son of Heaven, who ruler over all nations. Since then, the King wants to do whatever he wants, during the court, no one dares to stop.
When judging the corrupt bureaucracy, or the people lying, or those suspected of harming the court. The king stands to judge according to the crime, there are many types of harsh punishments such as: Kill all three families, paternal, maternal and wife or kill all nine life or confiscation all the property and then exile goes to the countryside as a precaution against the court. All these things to anyone, are also caused by cause and effect, bad karma from the previous life. Knowing this place clearly, you must live a peaceful life, work your blessing, and hope to escape from this affliction.
Today, although there is no feudal regime headed by King with full authority, the current law still has strict and very severe terms and frameworks such as the death penalty, life imprisonment or foreclosure, etc. There are people who do not commit crimes, but due to irrefutable evidence thing, can not justify, so must be charged with injustice. Once the King, Official, or government order it to be confiscated, all the money and properties are totally confiscated. 
Thus, the effort of your energy to save a little money and property, once the people who have the powerful want to steal it, you have no way to protect it. Such an extremely unjust case is due to karmic retribution, bad karma you created in your previous life, and only now have conditions to emerge. 
5. Children sabotage bankruptcy
As parents, everyone loves their children. You always want to give your children a well-deserved, enough, full, and warm. The parent is always ready to extend their hands to support and protect your children, and sometimes even have to do the bad things to earn money to support and protect your children.
Many parents, because they want their children to be full & enough, they have to work hard, do business, trade, create wealth, so they have less time to contact and educate their children so that their children want to do whatever they want. Parents only provide money without understanding the reasons. From there, making children reliant on their parents, family career, not cultivating themselves, studying, just playing, debauchery, depraved, making friends with bad people, and then falling into a state of addiction, smoking.
We see many families, parents working hard all their life, just out of love for their children that in a moment they are away from home their property is suffering, poor and hungry.
There are many parents who work very hard, gain money sweating, tearing eyes, all out of love and concern for their children for later. Unexpectedly, they grow up, they were naughty, disloyalty, infidelity, did not think of their parents' merit like the high sky and wide ocean, but were still aggressive and insistent, claiming like this and that. They imitate their friend with bad habits and go home to make a story seek money from parents. If do not have, they can do cruel things to accomplish their goals destroy property, harm their parents. These things already happen in many places.
The story is that a mother had two sons. She was middle-aged but still beautiful. She paired up with the rich old men, then tricked her into taking money to provide for her two children. Her two sons were very rebellious. They refused to study or do business but only waited for their mother to give them money to spend. Because they refused to work, they had a lot of time,  playing with bad friends, and end up falling into addiction. Since then the amount of money they need to spend each day more. Out of love for her children, she found every way to deceive her lover to have money to support her sons.
By the time the two children were arrested and taken to the detoxification center by the police, instead of advising her children to give up their evils, she feared that the drug-hungry children could not bear the addiction. She looked for a broker, hooked up with the center's management staff, to supply drugs for her children to use. As a result, one child died in the detoxification center due to an overdose of the drugs from the amount of drug she sends to them to use for several days. And in less than two years, she has to sell her house, still in debt to many people. In the end, she has to stay at home to rent. Because she loves her children blindly, she suffered from housebreaking, living a life of poverty, relatives no one dared to help because they were afraid of being involved.
As a parent loves your children, but you have to love your children the right way to help them grow. Don't love your children like that kind of motherhood is very dangerous for your children, for yourself, for the whole family, and society. You must teach your children the value of life by the spirit of independence, not relying on family, especially teaching your children to know the correct awareness of cause and effect and karma to give them a valuation life, meaning, and long happiness.
Parents take care of their children like that, so the ancients called debt. Parents pay the debt for their children. When the child was newborn, the mother lay on the wet-side, the other side was dry for the child, the parents had to take care of the child to eat and drink properly. Every time when the weather changes, the sick child is that the mother is fidgety, has to stay up all night worrying and taking care but dare not complain. When their children grow up a little, parents have to take care of their children to study, no matter how much it costs them, parents also have to take care of their debts. Then take care of the jobs, build the husband and wife so the family household, divide the property for the children, etc. So parents pay the debt for the child. Payback until the debt is over. If this life is not full pay, then the next life reincarnation will pay again. 
This is only one aspect of the cause and effect, but actually, you are born as a human in a family together is due to virtue or conditions. Because you see that every parent loves their children fulfilling their duties and responsibility, seeing their children are healthy, successful is happy, besides all children know to love and be filial to their parents, grandmother, and grandfather. Very few families with children who are not filial, go bankrupt, do not know to be human, fall into this vandalism only.
Buddha taught that worldly possessions are so readily taken by five reasons of power, you can not keep them.  Yet all your life you worry about having money and wealth. When you have money, you have to take care of it, when you can not keep it, you suffer. Infatuated people worry like that until they stop breathing. Living for five or seventy years, you put all your strength into creating and preserving something that you can not be kept, which is sad and pitiful.  
As such, in both cases, you can not preserve the property:
- The first case is destroyed by external circumstances.
- The second case was destroyed by relatives.
Yet there are only a few people awakened, only a few who are concerned with eternal wealth. That is why the Buddha has only told you that you have a kind of fortune that will never be lost, fire does not burn, water does not wash away, and robberies can not stalk. This property is divided into two parts. One is an asset you have build up from within. The second is the property you get from helping others.
1* First of all, talk about your inner possessions.
Buddha teaches you to practice for merit. How to practice for merit?
Once you understand the Buddha Dharma, then practice is saving your possessions for yourself. Merit is wealth. You know how to cultivate, you must be wise and insightful. What harm you must leave out. When dealing with people in the house, with neighbors who are always peaceful, gentle, kind, never angry, people will not hate you. When you have an accident, everyone helps. Thus, your gentle deeds will transform others. That is an asset you will save that no one can steal.
You cultivate do find and keep your owner precious things, not cultivate to pray to Buddha for this or that thing. You do not know how to turn your calamity mind into a good thought for everyone to love, no matter how much wealth you have, you will lose all. Only need to cultivate a gentle nature to truly know how to keep property forever.
To cultivate this kindness to grow, you need to practice more compassion to love people. So, through patience, through compassion, you can increase merit. Compassion and patience do not need to costs money to have but are already in your mind. As long as you care and nurture it arises immediately. That true merits that no one can stalk. The Buddhist house calls it good karma. Good thought, a good mouth, a good body is good karma. In this life you live with good karma, when you die it follows you never to leave. This is a very essential issue. So, you must somehow create merit, for it is your permanent asset. That is the inner merit you create.
2. The second merit is giving by helping
For example, if you see a hungry person without food, you can share it with them. Such almsgiving will create merit, that is your never lost wealth. Almsgiving is divided into three categories: Giving of assets, giving of Dharma, and almsgiving without fear.
Giving property is giving of money and wealth. If you find that the poor lack everything, you have a surplus, your help is called giving of wealth, People sad and suffering, you use Buddha's teaching to help them reduce suffering which is giving of Buddha Dharma. People who are afraid, panicking, not being safe, you advise or protect them to be safe, that is called giving of fearless. For example, the kids want to cross the street but the traffic is too much, they are afraid to cross,  you hold their hand and take them over. It is also calling almsgiving. So, all of you have the ability to give. You have money, then give your money. You do not have money to give your words. If you are not good at speaking, giving alms by acts of help. 
In the Sutra, the Buddha also created every bit of merit to pierce the needle, what situation you are less bless, lack of knowledge, but you can not do the deeds of merit. In the old days, there was a blind monk who wanted to patch his robe, he pierced a needle to sew but could not get it through all the time. The Buddha pass by seeing and asked:
- What are you doing?
- The lord Buddha sir! I'm piercing a needle.
- Can you get it done?
- I pierced for long, but I can't do it
- Let me do it for you.
Then the Buddha sat down and pierced the needle for the blind monk. The monks saw that the small needle piercing that the Blessed One still did to collected every bit of merit, so no one dared to despise.
Whatever you can help others do, no matter how big thing or small is matters. Thus, cultivators do not need to do anything big and important, but from the smallest, you see everyone who needs help you ready to help. Helping people from difficulties, from suffering, it is almsgiving. You give alms in all means.
You see that it is not having a lot of money, a lot of almsgivings to be blessed, but a small thing but with a large mind, sacrificing your life, that blessing is also very great. So, you do good deeds, do not wait for a lot of money to worship the Temple to be blessed. With sincerity, good heart, even more, or less there are great blessings. That merit no one sees, no one knows, only enlightened ones see it. Hence everyone can do the merit.
The merits created by you are truly your inheritance, and all worldly possessions will be lost, they are not durable. Have you been collecting such merit assets? or just collecting money to save or send it to the bank? What can be lost, you keep worrying, keep fighting, and what is not lost, you ignore and forget. That person does not know how to practice.
People who know cultivators must see what is sustainable, then try to do, what is temporarily do not care. This is a very essential issue. Two kinds of external assets and inner merit, which one should you choose? Most choose property because merit is invisible. But it is the unseen that is not taken away, and the visible property will be shared, taken away, or taken away totally by others.
You do good deeds and will have merit, and others will imitate them, so it is of great benefit to the world. There are still many assets that are not used up, the lack of people will surely spy on them, stalking them to steal, created bad karma, both of you and them suffer.
You understand so, hoping that you try to do good things. Everyone who meets everyone is cheerful, smiling and friendly, not angry, swearing, obscene, causing pain to each other. To be like that, if your whole life is not rich, not abundant but happy, peaceful. If you have a lot of possessions and those around you are many poor, hungry, or needy the more you suffer, the more you will not be happy. So, true merit always brings you happiness. In this way, you are happy, but those around you are also good, and happy.
In short, how long does your life last? Does anyone dare say I live until the age of ninety to die? No one dares to decide like that. Your life there is not guaranteed, but you live a long life, then happy at that time. Suppose you were only seven or eighty years old you will die, and looking back now, you are already forty, fifty, or sixty years old already. There is not much time left. Thus, death is always lurking, waiting for the opportunity to capture you, no one will avoid it.
But, now you are only concerned with life without thinking of imminent death. If you think, only think when you die buried somewhere, never think when you die there is enough merit or not? Therefore, you should divide your daily actions into two parts: One for life, one to prepare for death, because death can not be hidden. If you are not preparing for the day when you close your eyes, where will your future life be going? When you were alive, you did not think about when you died, when you are about to die, you will panic, fear not knowing what will you be, so painful.  
Buddhist laymen who have a dying illness usually invite monks to come and chant prayers for them. With that prayer that will bring the souls of the dead back to Western Paradise, that should be done, but the effect won't be a hundred percent.  Why? Because Buddha taught, the karma you have created leads you, not one is able to lead you. If so, only partially. Many people mention in the Umlambana Sutra already said, Mahamaudgalyayana's mother was fell into hell as a hungry ghost but he was still able to save her. But they forget in the Umlambana Sutra that says, you must be invited:
- The deep forest meditators, the summer retreat monks, the Arahats attaining the six transcendental or magical power.
That means you have to invite the arahats who attained enlightenment can be helped.   
All of you because you love yourself, want benefits for your life, you must try to cultivate good merits. Create as much as possible. For that is your wealth, no one can get it, the fire that won't burn, water that doesn't drift, that's really yours. The reality that you don't care about, worrying about the unreal, is the ignorance. Practitioners must be wise and can not be blind. So you are a true practitioner, you must prepare yourself in this life.
As the Buddha taught, the people who keep the precept does not kill life after long life, less illness. Keep the precept not to rob the rich afterlife. Keep the precepts from adultery in the next life beautiful, dignified. To keep the precept from lying and speak very fluently in the next life, everyone believes in you. Keep the precept from drinking alcohol, not smoking drugs, etc, in the next life-wise, intelligent. You keep these precepts as preparing you for your next life to qualify as a better person now, that is cultivation. Refuge in the Three Jewels, keeping the five precepts is a practitioner.  
In a family, husband and wife and children all take refuge in the Three Jewels, keep the five precepts, that family is gentle and honest. In a hamlet, a village everyone keeps the five precepts, the hamlet, the village is all peaceful and happy, not afraid of robbery, adultery because everyone is good, also practice. Buddhist practice is to bring benefits for oneself, for family, and for society.
Understand clearly that, on the way of cultivation, is very beneficial, because you wisely do not create the cause of bad karma, certainly do not get bad results. Buddha says:
- Boddhisattva are afraid of the cause
The sentient beings are afraid of the results
Because the Boddhisattva knows the cause of the evil, cruels, he should immediately avoid it, so he is not afraid of bad results. As for sentient beings who fear results, when they do the cause they do not fear, they panic until they meet bad results. So talking about cultivation is talking about people who are awake, not deluded people.
If you know how to prepare for your future life, then you will live in this world with no waste. Because, if you live for seventy, eighty years old and the only worry about eating well, dressing well, etc. until you get old, stop breathing, become something you do not know, it is a waste of human life. So, worrying a lot, in the end just nurturing a temporary fake body, nothing noble, but most people are stuck in it. So, you have to live with what's true, not care about fake things.  
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