Finally, it is

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Giving that which is to be given…

Very recently, I read about charity or commonly known as – “Daan”, in one of the columns of Mrs. Sudha Murthy. She quoted one Sanskrit Sloka. The meaning was something like this.

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.

Very true!!

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…


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Let's Pray...

Today, I do not intent to write anything myself. Instead, I am just putting these wonderful comments by my anonymous friend. My heart is filled with immense joy after reading this. I bet yours will be.

Thank you friend for answering my prayer...

~ ~ ~

Divine conversations and speechless prayers signify that a connection is happening with deeper realms of consciousness. In that connectedness, some of the most fundamental truths come through. It is accessible to anyone who sees the ego as separate from one's existence.

Many a times when our inner or outer state is devastated, we tend to hide things in prayer. Instead of reporting exactly our inner state we try to patch up, or ask for removing it, or get a subtle ego of being able to bear the suffering. The moment we expose our inner state to the infinite without any judgments, a loving embrace transmutes the suffering into peace and a subtle feeling of joy.

Faith dawns when we know our surrendered ness. It’s only our feeling of insecurity and uncertainty that keeps us away from faith. With prayer they start to fade away.

Surrendered prayer ends into meditation. It is said that we should pray before starting meditation.

I should clarify here that my personal experience is quite limited. But an intuitive guidence in us says yes when we listen to such truths.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Praying our heart out...

I got one good response for my last post on prayer. The writer specified many points on prayer. He asked me to write my views on that. Here is the post with italics showing his/her views.

I have read some more thoughts on prayer, would be great if you can elaborate on it:-

- Many a times it turns into conversations.

Conversation with God or conversation with the deeper part of your Self. Here, you only say and you only listen, but the source of these words is the intelligence vast, beyond thoughts and mind. It is the connectedness with whole.

- Many a times it happens without words.

Words are just external manifestation of your inner feelings. You need not say peace to be in peace. Same way, you need not say words while praying. We use words only to mould our prayer. When Spirit reaches high, words fade away. When there are no words in prayer, it just becomes Samadhi itself.

Praying is surrendering yourself to NOW. That can be felt actually even by being totally silent. No words, no thoughts, no emotions!! Only peace. What a prayer!

- Prayers should be honest, and hide nothing. at times our own deeper thoughts and intents which we don’t realize are there get expressed in it.

If it is not honest, it is not prayer. If you hide something, it is not prayer. As simple as that! Prayer is having conversation with your deeper part of self. Sometimes, we get what we don’t realize before. But many a times, we become prepared to acknowledge what we are able to realize long before but unable to accept it. And as I said earlier, you are ready for prayer means you are ready to accept those things. And once you accept them, it’s a miracle! They no longer trouble you the way they were. That is, you surrender yourself to NOW and stop producing negativity. Love, hope, faith and peace then follow naturally.

- Words in the prayer should be our own.

I will put it in another way. You can’t pray with anything that is not your own! Words can be same but certainly the emotion and intensity should be yours only. If you can realize that with someone’s words, no problem. But if not, then those words are of no use. Moral of the story? Do it sincerely.

- It gives a certain feeling of connectedness, of a deep peace which situations can’t explain.

Certainly. Experience it.

A story I heard on assurance that prayer gives:-

A Rajput's son got married. After the marriage they had to cross the river to get back home. On the way there was a storm. The ship started to fumble. Everyone was afraid and started to panic the bride also got frightened, but when she looked at her husband, he was calm and peaceful.

She asked him, "Why are you so calm when death is so near us?"

He pulled out his sword and put it on the bride's neck and asked her, "Are you frightened of this sword?"

She said "why should I be? It’s my soul mate’s sword"

He said "in the same way, why should I be when this storm is my soul mate’s sword. He knows what is best for me. If it is best for me to live, the body shall survive, if my progress might be better with a new one, then this will perish.

Yes, this story really points out where faith can lead us to? But of course, this faith can only be the result of countless prayers.

Thank you, Mr./Ms/Mrs anonymous for your post. I am praying for some more thoughtful inputs.