Sunday, February 19, 2012


Rivers do not drink their own water, nor do tree eat their own fruit, nor do rain clouds eat the grains reared by them. The wealth of the noble is used solely for the benefit of others!

Even after accepting that giving is good and that one must learn to give, several questions need to be answered.

The first question is:

When should one give?

We all know the famous incident from Mahabharat.
Yudhisthir asks a beggar seeking alms to come the next day. On this, Bhim rejoices that Yudhisthir his brother, has conquered death! For he is sure that he will be around the next day to give. Yudhisthir gets the message.
One does not know really whether one will be there tomorrow to give!
The time to give, therefore, is now.

The next question is:

'How much to give?'
One recalls the famous incident from history. Rana Pratap was reeling after defeat from the Moghals. He had lost his army, he had lost his wealth, and most important, he had lost hope, his will to fight. At that time, in his darkest hour, his erstwhile minister, Bhamasha, came seeking him and placed his entire fortune at the disposal of Rana Pratap. With this, Rana Pratap raised an army and lived to fight another day.

The answer to this question how much to give is:

"Give as much as one can!

The next question is:

'What to give?'

It is not only money that can be given away. It could be a flower or even a smile. A very special form of giving takes the form of small, personal acts of kindness. Very often it is not money or belongings that people need, it's the things that can't be seen, such as advice reassurance, a kind word, compliments or a smile. Everybody has something of value for another person. It could be a kind word, a simple smile, some appreciation, the sharing of some special knowledge, even a helping hand or a bit of support during a difficult emotional time.

It is not how much one gives but how one gives that really matters. When you give a smile to a stranger that may be the only good thing received by him in days and weeks!

You can give anything but you must give with all your heart!"
One also needs answer to this question

Whom to give?

Many times we avoid giving by finding fault with the person who is seeking. 
However, being judgmental and rejecting a person on the presumption that 
he may not be the most deserving, is not justified.
"Give without being judgmental!"

Next we have to answer:

'How to give?'

Coming to the manner of giving, one has to ensure that the receiver does 
not feel humiliated, nor the giver feels proud by giving.

In giving, follow the advice 'Let not your left hand know what your right 
hand gives?Many thousands of years ago a great sage in Babylon said 
"The reward of charity depends entirely upon the extent of the kindness in it."

It is one of life's wonderful paradoxes that you limit the power of 
your giving by having an expectation of getting something in return. 
When you give without any thought or desire for something back, 
your returns will be truly limitless.

Your life is like a river of energy, continually flowing. What happens 
when a river stops moving? It get very muddy, and stagnant. 
A fast flowing river is full of life and clear water. 
Where would you rather drink?

The acts of giving and receiving are a continuos process of circulation 
that continues the flow of your life's energies. For one person to 
receive someone else has to give. It's a cycle of energy that 
flows continually onwards.

Charity without publicity and fanfare is the highest form of charity.'

'Give quietly!'

While giving, let not the recipient feel small or humiliated. After all, what 
we give never really belonged to us. We come to this world with nothing and 
will go with nothing. The thing gifted was only with us for a temporary period. 
Why then take pride in giving away something which really did not belong to us?

Give with grace and with a feeling of gratitude.

"What should one feel after giving?"

We all know the story of Eklavya. When Dronacharya asked him for his 
right thumb as "Guru Dakshina, he unhesitatingly cut off the thumb 
and gave it to Dronacharya. There is a little known sequel to this story.

Eklavya was asked whether he ever regretted the act of giving away his 
thumb. He replied, and the reply has to be believed to be true, as it was 
asked to him when he was dying.

His reply was "Yes! I regretted this only once in my life. It was when 
Pandavas were coming in to kill Dronacharya who was broken hearted 
on the false news of death of his son, Ashwathama, and had stopped 
fighting. It was then that I regretted the loss of my thumb. If the 
thumb was there, no one could have dared to hurt my Guru?

The message to us is clear.

Give and never regret giving!

And the last question is:

'How much should we provide for our heirs?'

Ask yourself 'are we taking away from them the gift of work? – 

A source of happiness?

The answer is given by Warren Buffett:

"Leave your kids enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing!"

I would conclude by saying:

Let us learn the Art of Giving,and quoting the Saint Kabir:

"When the wealth in the house increases, when water fills a boat, 
throw them out (for good causes) with both hands!"

This is the wise thing to do!

Last but not least The true Art in Giving is to give from the heart without
any expectation of a return. Truly giving something from the heart is an 
action which will fill your life with joy. This is where the expression to
 "give whole heatedly" comes from. The intention behind your giving is 
the most important thing. The intention should always be to create happiness
for both the giver and the receiver.It's very simple. If you want to 
experience more joy, give joy to others, if you want more love, 

learn to give love, if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give 
appreciation to others. These are some of life's most precious gifts 
and they don't cost you anything.

When you meet someone, you can silently send them a blessing, 
wishing them happiness, joy and laughter. This kind of silent giving is very 
powerful. Do this, (with no thought of return) and you will suddenly 
find people around you opening to you in joy and happiness.

Make a descision that wherever you go, to whoever you meet, to give. 
As long as you are giving, you will also be receiving. The more you give, 
the more will flow back to you and be returned many times over. 
Giving creates a pattern of happiness, joy and love in your life beyond 
your wildest expectations.

In ancient China, Lao Tsu wrote "Kindness in words creates confidence. 
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in Giving Creates Love."

May your life be filled with love, happiness and inspiration. 


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