Category Archives: Life Learnings
THE ART of GIVING
The Art of Giving
“Rivers do not drink their own water,
nor do trees eat their own fruit,
nor do rain clouds eat the grains reared by them.”
The true Art in Giving is to give from the heart without any expectation of a return.
True giving comes from the same place inside you as your deepest happiness. They are inexplicably intertwined.
A gift is something that is enjoyed twice. First by the giver who revels in the pleasure of giving something special and then also enjoyed by the person who receives the gift.
A very special form of giving takes the form of small, personal acts of kindness. Very often it is not money or belongings that people need, it’s the things that can’t be seen, such as advice reassurance, a kind word, compliments or a smile.
Is the wealth of the noble 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’?
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.
Maharana Pratap was reeling after defeat from the Mougals.
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 Judgemental !”
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 the giver feels proud by giving.
‘Let not your left hand know what your right hand gives’, said Jesus Christ
Charity without publicity and fanfare, is the highest form of charity.
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.
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 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!”
Let us learn the Art of Giving.
Quoting Sant Kabir:
“When the wealth in the house increases ,
When water fills a boat,
Throw them out with both hands !
This is the wise thing to do”!
I Love You and I Wish You Enough
To all my friends and loved ones – “I WISH YOU ENOUGH“
Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.
Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the father said, ‘I love you, and I wish you enough.’
The daughter replied, ‘Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.’
They kissed and the daughter left. The Father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, ‘Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?’
‘Yes, I have,’ I replied. ‘Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?’..
‘I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is – the next trip back will be for my funeral,’ he said.
‘When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough..’ May I ask what that means?’
He began to smile. ‘That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone…’ He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. ‘When we said, ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.’ Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.
I wish you enough Sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough Rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough Happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough Pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough Gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough Loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Good-bye”.
He then began to cry and walked away.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.
Only if you wish, send this to the people you will never forget. If you don’t send it to anyone it may mean that you are in such a hurry that you have forgotten your friends.
TAKE TIME TO LIVE….
To all my friends and loved ones – “I WISH YOU ENOUGH“
Note: Was worth repeating ……. Story shared by someone on Whatsapp
Bhagavad Gita – Solves All Our Life’s Problems
Finding solutions for your problems in Bhagavad Gita
Open the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.
Select your life’s problem, find the solution instantly.
This is very good collection and handy solution.
Somebody made a great effort to make this happen.
Touch and See
The Prophet is a book of 26 prose poetry fables written in English by the Lebanese–American poet and writer Kahlil Gibran. It was originally published in 1923 by Alfred A. Knopf. It is Gibran’s best known work. The Prophet has been translated into over 100 different languages, making it one of the most translated books in history, and it has never been out of print.
Proving that there is no connection between cost and value, it’s currently only Rs 79 on Amazon and it’s not hard to find a copy online. It’s a beautiful work, but we wanted to particularly highlight the chapter on work, reproduced here in its entirety.
Then a ploughman said, “Speak to us of Work.”
And he answered, saying:
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.
But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.
You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.
Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “he who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”
But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.
And People Stayed Home by Kathleen O’Meara during 1869 plague epidemic
And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and listened deeper
someone met their shadow
and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal
and when the danger ended
and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.
Kathleen O’Meara, pen name Grace Ramsay (1839 Dublin – 10 November 1888 Paris) was an Irish-French Catholic writer and biographer during the late Victorian era. She was the Paris correspondent of The Tablet, a leading British Catholic magazine. Irish Monthly also published many of her serialized and biographical works. O’ Meara also wrote works of fiction where she explored a variety of topics from women’s suffrage to eastern European revolutions. The majority of her novels contained Catholic themes and social reform issues. -Wikipedia
Mother Earth is Healing – A Wonderful write up by Vivienne in Spain
The earth whispered but you did not hear.
The earth spoke but you did not listen
The earth screamed but you turned her off.
And so I was born…I was not born to punish you…I was born to awaken you…
The earth cried out for help…Massive flooding..But you didn’t listen.
Burning fires. But you didn’t listen.
Strong hurricanes. But you didn’t listen.
Terrifying Tornadoes. But you didn’t listen.
You still don’t listen to the earth when.
Ocean animals are dying due to pollutants in the waters.
Glaciers melting at an alarming rate.
Severe drought…You didn’t listen to how much negativity the earth is receiving.
You just kept going on with your life..
No matter how much hate there was..
No matter how many killings daily..
It was more important to get that latest iPhone than worry about what the earth was trying to tell you..
But now I am here.
And I’ve made the world stop in its tracks.
I’ve made YOU finally listen.
I’ve made you take refuge.
I’ve made you stop thinking about materialistic things..
Now you are like the earth…
You are only worried about YOUR survival.
How does that feel ?
I give you fever.. as the fires burn on earth.
I give you respiratory issues.. as pollution filled the earth’s air.
I give you weakness as the earth weakens every day.
I took away your comforts..
The things you would use to forget about the planet and its pain.
And I made the world stop..
China has better air quality…Skys are clear blue because factories are not spewing pollution unto the earth’s air.
The water in Venice is clean and Because the gondola boats that pollute the water are not being used.
YOU are having to take time to reflect on what is important in your life.
Again I am not here to punish you.. I am here to Awaken you..
When all this is over and I am gone… Please remember these moments..
Listen to the earth.
Listen to your soul.
Stop Polluting the earth.
Stop Fighting amongst each other.
Stop caring about materialistic things.
And start loving your neighbours.
Start caring about the earth and all its creatures.
Start believing in a Creator.
Because next time I may come back even stronger…
And next time don’t know how long you will survive.
Source: Internet / whatsapp
Nasadiya Sukta (Rigveda 10.129)
The Nāsadīya Sūkta (after the incipit ná ásat, or “not the non-existent”), also known as the Hymn of Creation, is the 129th hymn of the 10th mandala of the Rigveda (10:129). It is concerned with cosmology and the origin of the universe.
Nasadiya Sukta begins rather interestingly, with the statement – “Then, there was neither existence, nor non-existence.” It ponders over the when, why and by whom of creation in a very sincere contemplative tone, and provides no definite answers. Rather, it concludes that the gods too may not know, as they came after creation. And maybe the supervisor of creation in the highest heaven knows, or maybe even he does not know!
नासदासीन्नो सदासीत्तदानीं नासीद्रजो नो व्योमा परो यत् |
किमावरीवः कुह कस्य शर्मन्नम्भः किमासीद्गहनं गभीरम् ॥ १॥
न मृत्युरासीदमृतं न तर्हि न रात्र्या अह्न आसीत्प्रकेतः |
आनीदवातं स्वधया तदेकं तस्माद्धान्यन्न परः किञ्चनास ॥२॥
तम आसीत्तमसा गूहळमग्रे प्रकेतं सलिलं सर्वाऽइदम् |
तुच्छ्येनाभ्वपिहितं यदासीत्तपसस्तन्महिनाजायतैकम् ॥३॥
कामस्तदग्रे समवर्तताधि मनसो रेतः प्रथमं यदासीत् |
सतो बन्धुमसति निरविन्दन्हृदि प्रतीष्या कवयो मनीषा ॥४॥
तिरश्चीनो विततो रश्मिरेषामधः स्विदासीदुपरि स्विदासीत् |
रेतोधा आसन्महिमान आसन्त्स्वधा अवस्तात्प्रयतिः परस्तात् ॥५॥
को अद्धा वेद क इह प्र वोचत्कुत आजाता कुत इयं विसृष्टिः |
अर्वाग्देवा अस्य विसर्जनेनाथा को वेद यत आबभूव ॥६॥
इयं विसृष्टिर्यत आबभूव यदि वा दधे यदि वा न |
यो अस्याध्यक्षः परमे व्योमन्त्सो अङ्ग वेद यदि वा न वेद ॥७॥
1. Then even non-existence was not there, nor existence,
There was no air then, nor the space beyond it.
What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping?
Was there then cosmic fluid, in depths unfathomed?
2. Then there was neither death nor immortality
nor was there then the torch of night and day.
The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining.
There was that One then, and there was no other.
3. At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness.
All this was only unillumined cosmic water.
That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing,
arose at last, born of the power of heat.
4. In the beginning desire descended on it –
that was the primal seed, born of the mind.
The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom
know that which is, is kin to that which is not.
5. And they have stretched their cord across the void,
and know what was above, and what below.
Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces.
Below was strength, and over it was impulse.
6. But, after all, who knows, and who can say
Whence it all came, and how creation happened?
the gods themselves are later than creation,
so who knows truly whence it has arisen?
7. Whence all creation had its origin,
the creator, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
the creator, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows — or maybe even he does not know.
A story on Lord Shree Krishna
A brahmin priest, whose profession was singing the glories of the Lord, was reciting Sri Maha Bhagavatam inside a house of a very rich landlord.
A thief broke into the house where the recital was going on and he hid himself into a deep corner of the house. Perforce, he had to listen to Sri Maha Bhagavatam (Beautiful stories & miracles of Lord Shree Krishna).
The singer was now describing the ornaments worn by little Krishna. He described the various ornaments Mother Yasoda decorated on little Krishna before sending Him out with the herd of cows.
The thief was excited and thought that he should meet that lad and rob all the ornaments at one stroke instead of struggling every day with petty stealing. He waited till the entire chapter of Sri Maha Bhagavatam was recited and left the place.
The thief wanted to know where this boy resided. He, therefore, followed the brahmin and waylaid him. The brahmin was frightened and feared that he would lose even the small amount he had received as dakshina (Fees of his recital performance) and told the thief, “I do not have anything with me”.
The thief replied that he was not keen to have any of his possessions but wanted some information about that lad whom the priest claimed to have the best ornaments and who used to go out for grazing the cows. He beseeched him to take him to that place where the lad was grazing those cows.
The brahmin was in a fix now. He said, “In the town of Vrindavana, on the banks of Yamuna river, in a green meadow, two boys come every morning. One is dark skinned like the clouds and holding a flute in his hands and the other fair skinned, clad in white silk. The dark one will have all the ornaments I had described.”
The thief believed the brahmin and set out for Vrindavana immediately. He located the beautiful place, climbed up a tree and waited for the boys to arrive.
The sun rose. Faint melody of the flute wafted along the morning breeze. The enchanting music could then be heard closer and the thief spotted the two boys coming.
He got down from the tree and went near them. The moment he saw the most beautiful appearance of the little Krishna, he forgot himself, folded his hands and shed tears of joy. The tears were from his heart and it was chilling.
He wondered about which wretched mother had sent these radiant boys, chiseled to perfection, loaded with ornaments to the riverbank. He could not take his eyes off from the divinity.
The transformation started. He approached the boys shouting, “Stop,” and held Krishna’s hand. The moment he touched Lord Krishna, all his previous karmas were wiped out like a ball of cotton getting burnt in fire and with all humility he inquired lovingly, “Who are you?”
Krishna looked at him, innocently and said, “I am frightened by your looks. Please leave my hands.”
The thief, now full of remorse, said to Krishna, “It is my evil mind which is reflected on my face. If you are frightened, I shall go away. Please don’t say, I must leave you”.
The Natkhat (Divinely naughty) Krishna reminded the thief the purpose of his coming there and mocked him, “Here, take these ornaments.”
Confused, the thief replied, “Will not your mother scold you if you gift away all your ornaments to me?”
Krishna said with a smile, “Do not worry about that. I have plenty of them. I am a bigger thief than you. But there is a difference between you and me – however whatever I steal, the owners do not complain. I am lovingly called “Captivator of the heart”. Though you are not aware of it, you have a precious ornament in your possession, the “Chitta (Heart)”. I shall steal it now and take the same with Me.” So saying both the boys disappeared.
To his surprise, the thief found a bag full of ornaments on his shoulder. He brought it to the brahmin’s house and told him what all had happened.
The brahmin was now frightened and took the thief inside and opened the bag.
To his utter amazement he saw all the ornaments described by him as being worn by Krishna in Sri Maha Bhagavatam, in the thief’s bag.
Shedding tears of joy, the brahmin asked the thief to take him to the place where he saw the dark boy. The thief obliged and both of them waited in the same place where the thief accosted the boy the previous day.
Suddenly the thief exclaimed, “Look, here they come!”
However, the brahmin could not see any one.
Stricken with disappointment, he said, “Lord, when You decided to give darshan to a thief, why not me?”
Lord Krishna, out of abundant compassion, replied, “You are reading Sri Maha Bhagavatam just as another story, whereas the thief actually believed what you told him about me. I manifest only for those who have full faith in me.“
Jai Shree Krishna.
Lessons learnt from Covid-19 Pandemic
Editor’s note: A supposed “open letter from Bill Gates,” the tech billionaire and philanthropist, has been bouncing all over the internet since at least March 23. The letter — titled “What is the Corona/Covid-19 virus really teaching us?” — is a fake. Gates did not write it. But there’s a reason it has gone viral. It’s pretty terrific. We’d like to share it with you here, with our thanks to Anonymous.
Beautiful message from Mr Bill Gates:
What is the Corona/ Covid-19 Virus Really Teaching us ?
I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being good or being bad.
As I meditate upon this, I want to share with you what I feel the Corona/ Covid-19 virus is really doing to us:
1) It is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should to. If you don’t believe me, just ask Tom Hanks.
2) It is reminding us that we are all connected and something that affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus does not need a passport. It is reminding us, by oppressing us for a short time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in oppression.
3) It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have moved to neglect it through eating nutrient poor manufactured food and drinking water that is contaminated with chemicals upon chemicals. If we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.
4) It is reminding us of the shortness of life and of what is most important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those who are old or sick. Our purpose is not to buy toilet roll.
5) It is reminding us of how materialistic our society has become and how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials that we need (food, water, medicine) as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.
6) It is reminding us of how important our family and home life is and how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild them into our home and to strengthen our family unit.
7) It is reminding us that our true work is not our job, that is what we do, not what we were created to do. Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.
8) It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.
9) It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to hoard, to look after only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.
10) It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic. We can either understand that this type of situation has happened many times before in history and will pass, or we can panic and see it as the end of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.
11) It is reminding us that this can either be an end or a new beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where we learn from our mistakes, or it can be the start of a cycle which will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to.
12) It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as we look at the speed at which toilet rolls are disappearing off of shelves. We are sick because our home is sick.
13) It is reminding us that after every difficulty, there is always ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.
14) Whereas many see the Corona/ Covid-19 virus as a great disaster, I prefer to see it as a great corrector
It is sent to remind us of the important lessons that we seem to have forgotten and it is up to us if we will learn them or not.
Source: whatsapp forward.