The sources of problems lie both in the material world as well as in the intrinsic world of consciousness. Bhagwan Mahavira was a mantradata — a preceptor of short-cuts to precise solutions to intricate problems. One of his mantras to solve problems was based on the principle of bringing harmony between two extremes. So he said, “One who is cognisant of the intrinsic is cognisant of the extrinsic; one who is cognisant of the extrinsic is cognisant of the intrinsic”. Hence, the intrinsic correlates with the spirituality, while the extrinsic with the external or physical conditions.
Now, there are some people who assert that the spirituality holds the key to all problems, while others insist on bringing about change in the external conditions for solving all problems. In fact, a holistic approach would be that it is imperative to change the external conditions as well as the internal ones. The two great challenges of the present day world are unlimited personal wealth and unlimited consumption.
On account of limitless individual possession, one section of the society is becoming more and more affluent, whereas another section of the society is becoming deprived and reeling under the agony of extreme poverty and hunger. For solving these two prime challenges, two mantras enunciated by Bhagwan Mahavira can prove extremely effective.
Putting a limit on one's possessions: The first and foremost vow of the code of conduct for a householder is to put a limit on one's own accumulation of wealth. The vow of non-possession cannot be prescribed for a householder. For, an individual totally devoid of possessions cannot make material and economic development, nor can he solve the problem of hunger.