THE ART of GIVING

The art of giving is only real when it is given from heart without any  expectation of a return!! — Steemit

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.

‘Give quietly’!
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”!

The Prophet

The Prophet (Gibran).jpg

The Prophet is a book of 26 prose poetry fables written in English by the LebaneseAmerican 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.

On Work

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.

A story on Lord Shree Krishna

Shrimad Bhagwat Katha - My Pandit G

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Prevention & Safety Information for ...

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:

Subject:
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.

Heal The World - Lyrics and Music by Michael Jackson arranged by ...

Source: whatsapp forward.

Pain of Life

Related image

Once an unhappy young man came to an old master and told he had a very sad life and asked for a solution. The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. “How does it taste?” – the Master asked.

“Terrible.” – spat the apprentice. The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the apprentice swirled his handful of salt into the lake. The old man said, “Now drink from the lake.” As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the Master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Good!” – remarked the apprentice. “Do you taste the salt?” – asked the Master. “No.” – said the young man. The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the ‘pain’ depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

Image result for pain of life images

Appreciation

Image result for appreciation

Question: What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?

Answer By Jonathan Pettit

I was about ten. My mom had just finished creating one of her amazing meals, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Delicious. Later, as I was washing the dishes, my mom came up to me. “Sorry, dinner was so awful again,” she said.

I was shocked. “What? No, it was great. I loved it.”

“Really?” she said, with mock surprise. “You always eat so quietly, never saying anything. You’ve never told me you liked my cooking, so I thought you hated it.”

“No, you’re the best cook I know.”

“Then you should tell me that,” she said. “Whenever someone does something nice for you, you should thank that person. If you don’t, then she might think she’s not appreciated and stop doing those nice things.”

Something clicked right then. From that day onward, I thanked everyone for literally everything. If anyone did something that even vaguely helped me, I thanked that person profusely. It became a habit, something I didn’t even think about, and that’s when the magic started happening.

People liked me more. They talked to me more, shared with me, were more friendly. In my first year of high school, during the final week, I came home and found a giant freezie (a kind of sweet frozen snack) waiting for me. “Thanks, mom!” I said instinctively.

“This isn’t from me, she said. “This is from your bus driver.” He had been driving that bus for years, and my siblings and I were the first people to ever thank him as we got dropped off. Those two simple words made a huge difference, so much so that he went out of his way to tell our mom and give us a present.

That’s the power of appreciation. When you have it, all is right in the world, but when it’s missing life is empty. My mom taught me many things, but taking two seconds to say ‘thank you’ every time, in any situation, was the best.

Image result for appreciation

CRUX OF THE STORY

You would have met people who call themselves as good critics but have you ever met a person who says I am good at appreciating others? Isn’t that a sad part of our society?

Let’s start appreciating people more frequently especially people who are close to us.

Communication,appreciation and understanding are the building blocks of any successful relationship

And more the gratitude and appreciation we show, the more we get to be grateful and appreciative of.

Image result for appreciation

Source: internet

A story of Sri Sri Krishna

Image result for sri krishna

 

Once, it so happened that Lord Krishna was standing in front of the mirror decorating himself. He was trying on different crowns on his head and putting on some fine jewelry while his charioteer waited outside with the chariot ready. His charioteer waited and waited and thought to himself – usually Krishna comes immediately, today he has still not come. So, out of curiosity he went inside to find out if the program was still on because Krishna was very unpredictable, anytime anything could change. So, the charioteer goes inside and he sees Lord Krishna standing in front of the mirror admiring himself.

He politely asked, “My dear Lord, tell me, why are you dressing up so much today. Where are we going?”

Lord Krishna said, “I am going to meet Duryodhana.”

The charioteer said, “You are dressing up so much to meet Duryodhana?”

Lord Krishna then said, “He cannot see my inside, he can only appreciate my outside. So how I am dressed will impress him because he cannot see my inside.”

Then the charioteer said, “You are going to Duryodhana? You should not go, he should come to you. This I cannot accept.”

Many times, the drivers and assistants give you more advise than needed. He continued to say, “This is not fair. Look at your status and look at him! You are the Lord of the world. You should not go, let him come.”

Krishna turned back, looked at him, smiled and said, “Darkness does not come to light, light has to go to darkness.”

These few words silenced the charioteer.

 

 

Flow – The secret to happiness

Image result for mihaly csikszentmihalyi

“Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times—although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. ”

― Mihaly CsikszentmihalyiFlow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

 

Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen. For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last block on a tower she has built, higher than any she has built so far; for a swimmer, it could be trying to beat his own record; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage. For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.

Related image

Sip your 🥃whiskey, nice and slow

Image result for sip your whiskey nice and slow

Sip your 🥃whiskey, nice and slow,
No one ever knows when it’s time to go,
There’ll be no time to enjoy the glow,
So sip your 🥃whiskey nice and slow.

Life is too short but feels pretty long,
There’s too much to do, so much going wrong,
And most of the time you struggle to be strong,
Before it’s too late and it’s time to go,
Sip your 🥃 whiskey nice and slow.

Some friends stay, others go away,
Loved ones are cherished, but not all will stay ,
Kids will grow up and fly away,
There’s really no saying how things will go,
So sip 🥃 your whiskey nice and slow.

Before you know it seasons have changed,
Those precious little moments are part of yesterday,
Most things have turned out relatively okay,
And you finally reap what you have sown,
So sip 🥃 your whiskey nice and slow.

In the end it’s really all about love,
For this world and it’s beauty and the stars above,
For His grace in your life , for each present moment,
Smile and breathe and let your worries go,
Just sip 🥃 your whiskey nice and slow…..

Image result for sip your whiskey

Source: Whatsapp Forward

 

Manual for Climbing Mountains

 

A] Choose the mountain you want to climb: don’t pay attention to what other people say, such as “that one’s more beautiful” or “this one’s easier”. You’ll be spending lots of energy and enthusiasm to reach your objective, so you’re the only one responsible and you should be sure of what you’re doing.

B] Know how to get close to it: mountains are often seen from far off – beautiful, interesting, full of challenges. But what happens when we try to draw closer? Roads run all around them, flowers grow between you and your objective, what seemed so clear on the map is tough in real life. So try all the paths and all the tracks until eventually one day you’re standing in front of the top that you yearn to reach.

C] Learn from someone who has already been up there: no matter how unique you feel, there is always someone who has had the same dream before you and ended up leaving marks that can make your journey easier; places to hang the rope, trails, broken branches to make the walking easier. The climb is yours, so is the responsibility, but don’t forget that the experience of others can help a lot.

D] When seen up close, dangers are controllable: when you begin to climb the mountain of your dreams, pay attention to the surroundings. There are cliffs, of course. There are almost imperceptible cracks in the mountain rock. There are stones so polished by storms that they have become as slippery as ice. But if you know where you are placing each footstep, you will notice the traps and how to get around them.

E] The landscape changes, so enjoy it: of course, you have to have an objective in mind – to reach the top. But as you are going up, more things can be seen, and it’s no bother to stop now and again and enjoy the panorama around you. At every meter conquered, you can see a little further, so use this to discover things that you still had not noticed.

F] Respect your body: you can only climb a mountain if you give your body the attention it deserves. You have all the time that life grants you, as long as you walk without demanding what can’t be granted. If you go too fast you will grow tired and give up half way there. If you go too slow, night will fall and you will be lost. Enjoy the scenery, take delight in the cool spring water and the fruit that nature generously offers you, but keep on walking.

G] Respect your soul: don’t keep repeating “I’m going to make it”. Your soul already knows that, what it needs is to use the long journey to be able to grow, stretch along the horizon, touch the sky. An obsession does not help you at all to reach your objective, and even ends up taking the pleasure out of the climb. But pay attention: also, don’t keep saying “it’s harder than I thought”, because that will make you lose your inner strength.

H] Be prepared to climb one kilometer more: the way up to the top of the mountain is always longer than you think. Don’t fool yourself, the moment will arrive when what seemed so near is still very far. But since you were prepared to go beyond, this is not really a problem.

I] Be happy when you reach the top: cry, clap your hands, shout to the four winds that you did it, let the wind – the wind is always blowing up there – purify your mind, refresh your tired and sweaty feet, open your eyes, clean the dust from your heart. It feels so good, what was just a dream before, a distant vision, is now part of your life, you did it!

J] Make a promise: now that you have discovered a force that you were not even aware of, tell yourself that from now on you will use this force for the rest of your days. Preferably, also promise to discover another mountain, and set off on another adventure.

K ] Tell your story: yes, tell your story! Give your example. Tell everyone that it’s possible, and other people will then have the courage to face their own mountains.

IN “LIKE A FLOWING RIVER” (EBOOK) by Paulo Coelho