The Art of Giving

“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 the Mahabharata.
 
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 tomorrow 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 you can!
 
The next question is what to give.
 
It is not only money that can be given. It could be a flower or even a smile.
 
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 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 does the giver feel proud by giving.
 
In giving follow the advice, ’Let not your left hand know what your right hand gives? 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. 
* When you help someone in need, give it before he asks for it; for if you place him under the necessity of stretching out his hand, you take away from him his self-respect which is worth more than the value of your alms.
 
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 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 Saint Kabir:
 
“When the wealth in the house increases, when water fills a boat, Throw them out with both hands”
Advertisements

The Strongest Secret

George Bernard Shaw said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.”
 
Well, it’s pretty apparent, isn’t it? And every person who discovered this believed (for a while) that he was the first one to work it out. We become what we think about.
 
Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn’t know where he’s going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety and worry – his life becomes one of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing… he becomes nothing.
 
How does it work? Why do we become what we think about? Well, I’ll tell you how it works, as far as we know. To do this, I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.
 
Suppose a farmer has some land, and it’s good, fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice; he may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn’t care. It’s up to the farmer to make the decision.
 
We’re comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn’t care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn’t care what you plant.
 
Now, let’s say that the farmer has two seeds in his hand-one is a seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds-one corn, the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land…and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what was planted.
 
As it’s written in every religion, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”
 
Remember the land doesn’t care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the two plants – one corn, one poison.
 
The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn’t care what we plant…success…or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal…or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety and so on. But what we plant it must return to us.
 
You see, the human mind is the last great unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.

Guide to Better Life – Randy Pausch

POINTS ON HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE
 
Personality:
1. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
2. Don’t have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment
3. Don’t over do; keep your limits
4. Don’t take yourself so seriously; no one else does
5. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip
6. Dream more while you are awake
7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
8. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
10. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present
11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you
12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.
Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
13. Smile and laugh more
14. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
 
Community:
15. Call your family often
16. Each day give something good to others
17. Forgive everyone for everything
18. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6
19. Try to make at least three people smile each day
20. What other people think of you is none of your business
21. Your job will not take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in touch.
 
Life:
22. Put GOD first in anything and everything that you think, say and do.
23. GOD heals everything
24. Do the right things
25. However good or bad a situation is, it will change
26. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up
27. The best is yet to come
28. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful
29. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it
30. If you know GOD you will always be happy. So, be happy.
 
While you practice all of the above, share this knowledge with the people you love, people you school with,
people you play with, people you work with and people you live with.
Not only will it enrich YOUR life, but also that of those around you.