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Spirituality and Materialism are both mutually connected. One is incomplete without the other. The saint, even when living in a cave in the jungle, needs food, fire, clothes, carpet, books, blanket, utensils, and many amenities without which it is difficult for him to survive. So, some materialism is being practiced even by those deemed highly spiritual.On the other hand, even the extreme materialists such as robbers practice some spirituality in the form of love and sacrifice for their families and loved ones. Amongst the three attributes (three Gunas: Sattva, Rajas, Tamas) spiritualism is considered as Sattvik (= pure or, divine) whereas materialism is considered as Tamasik (dark, impure, or ignorant).The combination of the two extremes is Rajas, associated with force, energy, and a desire to act. The dynamics of the universe is maintained by a perfect balance of these three attributes. If Tamas is destroyed, man will become God and if Sattva is removed, the man will become a devil. In either case, the human nature is lost. Humanity lies in the delicate balance of the extremes. Therefore, so long as human life exists, materialism and spirituality will both co-exist in man. Giving a higher priority to one is what makes all the difference. For the generous and kind people, spirituality is the primary preference, to the extent that they might end up neglecting the material basis of all things. On the other hand, the selfish people prefer materialism so strongly that they transgress all the ethical limits set by spirituality. 

In spite of these facts, each of the two types of people – whether materialist or spiritualist, accept the other viewpoint and are often compelled to consider it. 

-Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya
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