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  Selected Articles ::
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Detached Detachment
Happiness is your Birth Right
Giving is Life
Truth - A Practical Necessity
Taking Responsibility For Life

Related Articles
Two Swamis – Getting Stuck
 

Giving is Life ::



 

Ne of the most gracious art of living is the art of giving. In gratitude for God’s gift of life and the abundant gifts of life nurturing elements like air, water and sunshine etc., we should share our spiritual wealth with others. In giving, a man receives more than he gives and in multiplication of the worth of the thing/thought/deed, given.

The finest art of living is in giving and sharing, the best of what we have - our skills, knowledge, ideas, joys and enthusiasm. Unlike money, these things do not become less but instead they multiply when we share and give the sum total of ideas, knowledge and happiness increases.

There is a story in Hindu mythology that proves the point. Once God invited all devas (godly and pious beings) and danavas (unholy, selfish and cruel creatures) to a grand feast. Finest delicacies were prepared. The atmosphere was filled with brilliant flavors. Before the food was served, God asked the arms of each guest to be tied in such a way that none could lift his hands to reach their mouth. The devas and danavas were seated in separate enclosures and the delicious smelling food was served. Shortly thereafter unable to take their food to their mouths, the terrible hunger was leading to frustrations in the danavas gathering but the devas seemed to be happy and cheerfully enjoying the delicacies. Danavas patience was getting exhausted and their restlessness was growing. Just then an elderly danava walked up to devas enclosure to see the difference. What he saw rang a bell in his mind. Unable to eat by themselves, devas had devised a technique of feeding their neighbor and hence every one was eating and happy. Moral of the story is obvious.
 

When we give, we feel an inch taller and our self-esteem increases. On the contrary, when we ask for a favour, we feel small and inferior. When we give some food or money to  needy, we feel elated and superior. When we seek similar favours even from our parents; there is sense of smallness and dependence. Most youngsters yearn to be able to start earning on their own, so that they can stop asking. It is a natural desire because asking is pain and giving is pleasure but many of us never tire of asking, taking and sometimes grabbing and snatching. In the process, we lower our stature in our own eyes. When we collect wealth, material comfort and position by unfair means, we become worldly rich but really weak and small within our own self.
 

Giving or Taking Consciousness
A murderer and an army officer both kill people. A criminal kills for taking revenge or for material gains and to satisfy his egocentric desires. He is liable to be punished by society and law of land. His consciousness also punishes him and dreadful memories of the pain of his victims keep haunting him throughout life. An army officer also kills people (enemy) and for the similar act of killing, he is honored by his people and the country and is rewarded for his heroism and patriotism. He rejoices by counting the number of enemies eliminated by him.  The difference is the thoughts in his mind while killing. The one has a taking consciousness - selfish egoistic state of mind, while the other is operating from a giving consciousness - an enthusiasm born out of dedication to the larger ideal of defending his country. It is not always the nature of action but more important is the consciousness with which an act is done.

When going into any business or profession, if we adopt ‘giving-consciousness’ instead of ‘taking-consciousness’, we are bound to achieve tremendous success. If our business is based on giving our expertise, skills or knowledge to make our customers’ life easier and better, then they will come to us again and again, because we shall be fulfilling some of their needs. On the other hand, when starting or operating a business, if our sole aim is to make money either fairly or unfairly, then sooner or later our customers will desert us.  

Does it mean that money earning is not an ethical objective? Far from it, profit and money are central objective for all commercial ventures. Creation of wealth is a very laudable activity. Money indeed is very important and integral part of business money must not be the sole aim of business and industry. Once we provide much needed products or services to improve the quality of life of our customers, money will automatically come in plenty.
 

Besides salary or wages, every employee gets several tax-free benefits as additional privileges and perquisites from the organisation he/she works for:
1) A sense of belonging.
2) Prestige and status in his personal circle of family, friends and society.
3) Opportunity for self development and achievement.

4)
A built in circle of friends and acquaintances around.
 

Hence apart from remaining physically present in the organisation at designated places and timings, he/she has a moral responsibility to give following to the organisation:
1) Total benefit of his/her education and capabilities.
2) Enthusiasm to perform effectively.
3) Total Commitment.
4) Complete loyalty.
 


Thos who give the above and many other offerings willingly and happily, also rise faster on the ladder of personal growth and status within the organisation. Giving more in this area is a very intelligent approach. Doing what we are expected to do is fine. A giving consciousness and giving much more than expected is what makes all the difference for the better.

Giving of gifts to those we love is a very graceful act and is always appreciated. The gift of things can always be bettered by giving the precious gift of kind and loving thoughts. Emerson said, “Rings and jewels are not gifts but apologies for gifts. We give of ourselves when we give gifts of the heart - love, kindness, joy, understanding, sympathy, tolerance, forgiveness and prayer.”
 

We also give of ourselves when we give gifts of the mind - ideas, dreams, appreciation, encouragement, inspiration, courage, guidance, peace and faith.
 



 

We Should Give

1)
Ourselves a decent personality.
2) Our wife, a devoted husband.
3) Our children, a nurturing and caring father.
4) Our business, profession, company and customers a good value addition.
5) Our friends, a sincere and loyal friend.
 

6) Our neighbors, a friendly and co-operative neighbor.
7) Our employees, an understanding and supportive boss.
8) Our country, a loyal citizen.
9) Our civilization a gift of constructive and creative life.
 

The more a man gives, the more he receives. There may appear to be no connection between the good deed done and the return received, yet there is always a return for every good deed. ‘The Law of Karma’ is eternal.
 

Law of Karma

Every physical act or deed performed by a person is called Karma. Such action may stem out of the likes and dislikes of a person or be propelled and influenced by attachment or otherwise. The actions may be undertaken with or without the co-operation of his mind or intellect.
 


The Law of Karma is based on the theory that for every action there is a reaction. For every cause there has to be an effect. “As you sow, so shall you reap” is an old proverb and yet it is true all the time, at all places.

For some actions the reactions are instant. For example if a person is thirsty, drinking water will generally quench the thirst immediately or a hand put in a burning fire knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally, will immediately feel the heat and burn
 

And yet there are other actions whose reactions are not immediate. For example, when you appear for examinations it takes some time before the result is declared. When a mango seed is planted it takes several years for the tree to bear fruit. In such cases the effect or reaction of action takes time to mature.

If you hurt someone, the reaction may be instant in the form of a return slap or abuse or the person may decide on a slow process and file a legal suit against you for damages. He might even decide to hold on to feelings of revenge in his bosom. A legal case may take several years to be decided.  Even the feeling of revenge may take a long time before being translated into action.
 

The Law of Karma is that no action is ever lost without reaction. No cause is ever lost without effect. No sin goes unpunished. No pious deed goes un-rewarded. There may be a time lag - sometimes minutes, sometimes days and sometimes even a few lifetimes, but the reaction or effect will definitely come and will have to be faced. There is no exception to the rule - no escape from effect. No amount of influence, favouritism or corruption can thwart the effect of a person’s actions. The law is very straightforward and strict.

Many dishonest, corrupt or immoral men, rascals, rogues, smugglers and black marketers perform all kinds of illegal acts and sins and appear to get away with it. At the same time many gentle, pious, honest and hard working persons appear to suffer interminably. They have little food and insufficient resources to take care of their family. They suffer and starve.

According to the Law of Karma, this reward or punishment is the effect of their earlier Karmas. The effect of their current Karmas may take some time to mature. Every man irrespective of his caste, color, religion, sex, and station of life is rewarded for his good and pious deeds and receives punishment for his sins and wrong deeds. The Law of Karma never fails to operate.

Giving More or Getting More

Mostly people feel that it is much smarter to get more than what we give. But giving more than what one gets is self-motivating and is a source of authority. This is how a mother seems to draw her authority from.
 

A mother has generally no hierarchical authority. She normally does not have money power or business expertise. Her authority is derived from her love – eternally giving consciousness. Right from birth, every child knows that the mother is giving and that is why the mother tends to have a lifelong authority. Examples of grown up sons going out of their way to do their mother’s bidding are all round us. Mother’s decisions are well respected and are considered binding in most social and family matters. Giver has an authority over the takers or receivers. Employer, voter and a traffic policeman are some of the other glaring examples.

To sum up, let us understand that giving is the highest expression of power of a person. The more a man gives the more he receives eventually. Getters do not really get so much happiness as the givers do.

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