Monday, November 24, 2008

King and charity

A person was advised by a holy man to gift a vegetable a day and told that he would attain great merit by doing so.

The poor man strictly followed the advice. After death, he was reborn in a royal family and grew up to become a king.

He was able to recall what he had done in his past birth. So, he continued to gift a vegetable a day.

Surprisingly, after death, he was reborn as a beggar.

The man was unable to comprehend the reason and so sought the advice of the holy man who had earlier blessed him.

From the sage, he learnt that prior to becoming a king he had been very poor and so a gift of a vegetable a day was sufficient to give him a lot of virtue.

On the other hand, as a king he was endowed with affluence. So, thereafter, the gift of just a vegetable a day was quite insufficient to earn him merit of any consequence.

The person realized that the extent of charity needed to earn a certain degree of merit depends upon one's financial status!!



Maharishi Gautma has spoken of eight 'Atma Gunas' or personal qualities that every individual should cultivate.

They help a man to enjoy mental peace and happiness. They also give rise to virtue and so their benefits are not confined to the present life.

Further, if people strive to cultivate these, the world will become a happier place.

The seventh ordained quality is 'Absence of niggardliness'. The tendency to hoard and not part with anything in charity is the result of greed.

Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita has spoken of desire, anger and greed as the triple gates of hell. Hoarding will never benefit us and when we die, we cannot take our wealth with us.

Neelakanta Deekshitar has humorously advised, "If you are keen that even after death you should not be parted with your wealth and that you should carry it with you in a bundle on your head then give it to the deserving".

Currency notes cannot be taken to the next world. On the other hand, if a miser converts them into virtue by performing charity, he need not fear that he will lose them after death. After all, virtuewill accompany him to the next world.

The scriptures prescribe the giving of gifts to the deserving as an antidote for greed. So, charity, apart from bringing about happiness in others, greatly conduces to the spiritual well being of the donor.

A person who loses some money feels unhappy. But he feels happy, not sad, when he voluntarily gives the same amount to a poor student who is not in a position to pay his examination fees. Charity can thus make not only the donee happy but also the donor!

Thus absence of Niggardliness is a supreme quality one must try to practise for his own evolution and also to keep others around him happy as other's blessings that comes from a true heart is a true blessing for us to have a fulfilled and contented life at every stage!!

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one." - Mother Teresa.

"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." - Kalil Gibran

"The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving." - Albert Einstein

"Do not stand on a high pedestal and take 5 cents in your hand and say, "here, my poor man", but be grateful that the poor man is there, so by making a gift to him you are able to help yourself.

It is not the reciever that is blessed, but it is the giver. Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence and mercy in the world, and thus become pure and perfect." - Swami.Vivekananda.

"Giving is most blessed and most acceptable when the donor remains completely anonymous" - Anonymous.

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