The Art of Giving

Giving is not the sole privilege of the well – to – do.Every body can enjoy the benefits of giving.A smile costs nothing in money terms but can easily make another person’s day better.We can give of our time,attention,knowledge,skills,goods,money , influence and prayers.

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“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you” ~ John Bunyan

Whether it is a handful of change or a lifetime of devotion, the act of selfless giving is the most important action one can take. At its core, giving is the ultimate form of spiritual practice.

For ages, religions and spiritual groups have honored the art of giving. In India, the word seva, or selfless service, is expanded by the phrase, “Manav seva Prabhu seva,” meaning service to mankind is service to God. By carrying out seva, one is giving his or herself to the universe by offering time, money or prayer. In Christianity and Judaism, the concept of tithing, or an offering of 10 percent of one’s time or money represents spiritual giving. And in non-spiritual circles the common concept of donation represents…

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John D. Rockefeller – The Man Who Gave Away Shiny New Dimes

wealthymattersJohn Davison Rockefeller (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American industrialist and philanthropist. In 1870, he founded the Standard Oil Company and aggressively ran it until he officially retired in 1897. As kerosene and petrol grew in importance, Rockefeller’s wealth soared and he became the world’s richest man .His wealth was estimated at $900 million in 1913, equivalent to $189.6 Billion today. This is more than the riches of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and the Walton family combined! He was the first American billionaire. Adjusted for inflation, he is often regarded as the richest person in history.

Rockefeller came from humble, meager beginnings.He was born to traveling salesman William Avery Rockefeller and his wife Eliza. John D. Rockefeller was the second-born child; he had five siblings. His mother was thrifty by nature and necessity.He learned his penny-wise ways from his mother’s old saying: “Willful waste makes woeful want.“As a youth, Rockefeller reportedly said that his two great ambitions were to make $100,000 and to live 100 years. Read more of this post

Tithing in Hinduism

wealthymatters.comHinduism is a religion without a central church and there is little in it by way of dogma.So there is no compulsion for Hindus to give either to religious or secular charitable organizations .

However,one of the niyamas/observances or practices is dana/charitable giving.This impulse to give has to come from inside and the ideal is to give generously and without thought or expectation of reward. 

Another niyam of Hinduism is observing sacred vows or vratas.One of the vratas observed is Dashama Bhaga Vrata: meaning  “One-tenth-part vow” in Sanskrit.It is a promise a person makes to a God, or Gods to donate regularly for a specified time, or for the rest of their life ,one tenth of one’s gainful and gifted income.

Together these 2 niyams lead to Dashamamsha (One- Tenth- Sharing in Sanskrit) or Makimai (in Tamil),where people donate a tenth of their income to the Gods in temples or religious institutions.The Dashamamsha is not seen as an offering to God but as God’s share of the bounty.Giving as soon as the income is received is believed to sanctifiy the remaining portion and reap the greatest punya.Dashamamsha is an acknowledgement of God’s part in the person’s good fortune. 

Dashamamsha brings a greater awareness of God’s power in the world and the givers are uplifted to a purer  spiritual consciousness and abundance naturally floods into their lives. Read more of this post

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