Friday, October 17, 2014

Give Without Seeking Recompense

Buddha had just finished his sermon when the king of
that province approached him desiring to donate land
and huge wealth. Buddha remained on his seat and
received that with one hand. The king took a seat
close to Buddha. Then came the wealthiest landlord of
that province and he too donated a large amount of
money. Buddha didn’t move from his place and took it
with one hand. The rich person also sat next to the

Then emerged a poor old woman from the crowd of large
devotees and bowed before Buddha offering a handful of
grain tied up in a small bundle. Much to the chagrin
of both the king and the rich man, Buddha got up from
his seat and took that with both hands. When the king
and the rich landlord asked the reason for this
differential treatment, Buddha explained how they had
given a very small part of their holdings and their
donations were imbued with vanity and expectations.
“Therefore I have taken them with one hand without
moving from my seat. But, that poor woman donated
everything she had and she moved back in to the crowd.
She had no desire to be known or acknowledged. So I
got up from my seat and accepted her donation with
both hands.” Give not anything away as yours, but as
that which is given to you by the divine power, for
dispensing to the needy. He who comes to know this
truth is a seer because he rises above ego, and the
arrogance associated with the donor.

True charity is the desire to be useful to others
without thought of recompense. Charity given from
earned money without any intention to earn glory is
worthy of reckoning, irrespective of its magnitude. If
the donor as well as the receiver is particular about
this aspect then our religious and charitable
institutions will continue to command respect.

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