Sunday, September 13, 2009

Generosity of spirit

A few weeks ago I experienced something extraordinary. I was coming out of a temple with a small box full of prasad (food distributed to devotees after offering to the Lord) when I saw a lame beggar. It was past lunch time and I felt he must be hungry. So I offered him a portion of the prasad. He accepted it gratefully and, instead of eating it immediately, I saw him walk over to a couple of small children who were also begging. He then divided the prasad and happily shared it with them.

I was taken aback by his generosity. He clearly was no ordinary person. Even in his poverty and his hunger, he displayed a high level of selfless behaviour. Stephen Covey, in his famous book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", has referred to this as having an abundance mentality.

People having this mindset feel that there is enough in this world for everyone. They do not want to rush to satisfy their own needs first. They happily offer things to others and wait for their turn patiently. They are happy to recognise contributions of other people and acknowledge them openly with worrying about themselves. They display a highly evolved and mature mind which puts others before self.

Such people are really rare in this world. Yet, if we want, we can choose to be like that. All it needs is a strong will, conviction and faith. And an eye that sees the same self in all beings...

"The hand of a generous man is like the clouds of heaven which drop upon the earth fruits, herbage and flowers, but the heart of the ungrateful is like a desert of sand, which swalloweth with greediness the showers that fall, and burieth them in its bosom and produceth nothing" – Anon


KParthasarathi said...

There is a quote that "A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog."
It is this noble spirit of sharing what you have, however little it may be, with the needy others that has been very beautifully brought out in the post.thanks

Being Pramoda... said...

Hey, thanks for sharing is the joy of giving, that tops the joys' list according to me..:)

We need to contribute to the life and the divine way of doing it is to share what you would like to have for yourself.

manivannan said...

He must really be a great man! I am reminded of how Vishwamitra gave the food to a beggar, after some 10, 000 years (not sure) of fasting! Actually, the beggar was Lord Indra in disguise....

Very inspirational post, as always! Awaiting for your 100th post Vish :-)

Hope u had a great Sunday!

Sneha said...

very thoughtful post thanks for sharing.

Cyrus Rumi said...

A very inspiring post...loved that quote from 'Anonymous'...thanks for haring:)

Have a great day, brother!



Anonymous said...

Just the very act of letting go and sharing destroys the greed within us.We've never really lived until we've done something for somebody.
"We make a living by what we get,but we make a life by what we give"


shri ramesh sadasivam said...

Very good one Vish!

Generosity is indeed a great quality. In a society full of generous people there can be no thieves, I believe.

This is incident is proof that Great men can be beggars and that there are great men even among beggars.

That person is following the teachings of Krishna in Uddhava Gita. Can't say if he read it. But he meets the standards of a true devotee of Krishna.

Avin said...

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
A nice post :)