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The Art of Giving

Updated on January 1, 2008

The Art of Giving

"Rivers do not drink their own water, nor do tree eat their own fruit,

nor do rain clouds eat the grains reared by them. The wealth of the

noble is 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?

We all know the famous incident from Mahabharat.

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


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. Rana Pratap was reeling

after defeat from the Moghals. 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


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 judgmental!

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.

In giving follow the Bible, "Let not your left hand know what your

right hand gives? 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


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. He replied, and

the reply has to be believed to be true, as it was asked to him 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!

I would conclude by saying: let us learn the Art of Giving, and quoting

Sant Kabir:

"When the wealth in the house increases, when water fills a boat,

Throw them out with both hands! ForWorld peace, joy and love

This is the wise thing to do!

Always be happy always wear asmile.....

not because life is full of reasons to smile but

ur smile itself is the reason for many others to smile


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    • ratnaveera profile image

      ratnaveera 10 years ago from Cumbum

      Beautiful hub.

    • profile image

      Abhinaya 10 years ago

      Great hub.A smile costs you nothing yet you earn so much.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 10 years ago from London UK

      Nice sentiments:)