Giving that which is to be given…
There might be one good speaker among hundreds. There might be one brave among thousands. There might be one wise among hundreds of thousands. But there might or might not be any donor even among thousand of thousands.
What makes charity very rare attribute? There are few interesting aspects of charity. If we go back to our ancient Sanatana Dharma, we find that the idea of charity was among the basics of life. It was one of the sacred duties that a Gruhastha has to perform. Our Sanatana Dharma says:” A Gruhatha should divide the income in four parts. One part should be invested in doing Daan.
In a way, our Sanatana Dharma was based on the principle of equality. Everybody has a right for better living. If somebody has got excess of wealth, it can be shared amongst all that needs it. We have many examples of kings doing farming, earning their bread and administrating the kingdom. Kings took taxes from people and returned it by doing Daan. There was one place (I forgot the name) where it was said that any person will become rich. How? The place had 1 lakh homes. The needy person visits all of them, each giving 1 rupee (or their currency) to the person, and at the end of day, that person would have got 1 lakh rupees!!
It not only helps those who are in need, it also and basically helps the donor. This is the beauty of our culture. From one perspective, it looks like it preaches us to help others. But from a different perspective, it preaches us to help ourselves, and in the meantime, as a by-product of that, help others. Each Karma that one does has the potential to purify oneself regardless of the nature of that Karma.
How does Daan help us?
There are many views. Take the one which suits you!!
1. It is in our nature. It is in our Sanskar. Our culture basically revolves around love and compassion. For all of us, there are few persons in this world for whose sake, we might happily give away all that we have. Then there are few more, for whose sake, we might give away a part of what we have. Why do we happily give away all for one’s sake? The only answer is Love. We feel them to be a part of us and it is this thread of connectedness that lifts us to the higher dimension. When you give Daan, you are creating that thread of connectedness with someone in particular and everybody in general. It is realizing all as a part of you, as a part of whole. This connectedness then sprouts love for everybody. And once you realize that love, there is nothing to be achieved.
2. Shrimad Bhagvad Gita summons one thing universally in it. Non-attachment. Non-attachment towards physical things, relationships, situations and all. To practice non-attachment is one of the toughest tests of life. Sometimes, people confuse themselves by thinking love and responsibility as barriers to non-attachment. They are not.
Practicing non-attachment in our day to day affairs is the best way of achieving not-attachment in life. The attachment towards money and wealth is one of the strongest attachments. Regular charity is one of the essential ways to weaken that attachment.
If we observe our mind patterns closely, we will notice that mind gives pre-programmed response to any situation, based on our belief and previous incidents. Any resistance towards the thought of charity will have its roots somewhere there. Your mind may ask you:
”Why should I give it to somebody?”
“Why can’t somebody else do it?”
“There are so many needy persons. I can’t give them all.”
“I have responsibility for my family.”
All these answers are with us only, if only we dare to find. Once you break this resistance pattern, you will find the change in your perspective about money and your attachment towards it. The first time resistance would be maximum. But you may also observe the attachment patterns. Once you start doing it, it would be easier on the part of your mind to get convinced of what you are doing. Do it once to know why you should do it.
3. We live in society. Our life is shaped by many known and un-known contributions from society. It is our duty to give something back to where all has come from. This is one of the ways by which you show your gratitude towards it. The smile that this act creates on a person’s face is moment of pure joy. Einstein once said: “Everyday I just think of those innumerable hands that has helped me to reach here. I am really indebted to all those who has touched my life in one or other way.”
If you think that you haven’t got much from society, let me tell you my friend. All your best friends, your spouse, your employer, your favorite authors, your favorite singers, your favorite movies and serials, your happy incidents etc. are part of society. You got all of them from society.
I intend to write more on this. Meanwhile, your thoughts are eagerly awaited…