Saturday, October 19, 2013

96. The Wisdom and Art of Giving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The act of giving is the only thing that is appreciated by the Absolute. There is a necessity to share whatever one have in excess with others. How much is excess to one is beyond other persons imagination. The great saying of Lord Mahavira “LIVE and LET LIVE” mantra is followed only in the first phase of “LIVE” and we have not reached the second part of the mantra of “LET LIVE”.

A person who is does not share will never deserve higher worlds. Even Absolute hesitates to help a person who does not help others. There is a sarcastic saying about misers which goes like this: “A miser is a greater donor!” Well, the reason is that a donor will donate his things to others, but will also enjoy a little portion of his money, whereas a miser keeps close guard to all his money throughout his life and without enjoying a bit of it, and then his decedents enjoy after he passes away. The miserly attitude is accustomed to a person because he has an intention that whatever he possesses is for him alone.

Bhagavad-Gita teaches ethical and moral imperatives in art of giving without any expectations of return or any strings attached. To illustrate there is a story of a great miser who never gave anything to others. When he passed away he was obviously taken to hell and was given huge unbearable punishments. He used to lament very much for his poor state and beg the attenders every day to save him from the hell.

Attenders took pity on his poor state and wanted to help him. But even with a lot of search they found not even one incidence where the miser gave anything to anybody in his entire life time. Finally attenders managed to find a small deed of good that the miser did in his life span. The miser once, somehow, had given a small piece of over ripe banana to a beggar.

Taking this into consideration the attenders thought of helping the lamenting miser and made a stick appear before him, with which he could climb out of hell. The miser was very happy and quickly began climbing the stick. Other people in the hell also seize the opportunity and started climbing the stick to get out. The miser started pushing down all the other people and started shouting “the stick was provided for me for my good deed, and you cannot use it”. Immediately the stick disappeared and the miser was back in the hell.

A person has to be generous but his generosity should not affect his family members. “One has to think of giving to others only if he has enough to him and his family members” says Scriptures. It is said by one greatest social reformer-poet Sarvajna of Kannada literature: “If oil in a lamp gets exhausted, do not flood the lamp with a barrel of oil. Barrel of oil serves no purpose to the lamp, but offer the lamp spoonful of oil.” Sarvajna here warns of giving food to a person more than he can digest. Bhagavad-Gita mentions about three gates to hell for human beings: Desire, Anger, and Stinginess. By sharing, insightful knowledge and contemplation, we can develop purity and feelings of right achievements.

Many law givers in their writings have induced the philanthropic principles into rituals and rites of devotional life passage. They stress that every important of a person's life is an occasion for giving and celebration. Sant Kabir saying: “You came into this world with fists closed and you go away with your palms open. So while living stretch your hand open and give liberally.”

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