Giving-Can we?

My experience with giving

We always read and are taught that the more you give, the more you get. Or whatever you give comes back to you multiplied and many others in the same vein. Even I have grown up reading all this, yet when I see a beggar I try to decide how much he/ she will need! If I do not have change I put a ten rupee note and pick out 5-7 rupee coins from the beggars bowl! It did not bother me much earlier. I used to think, ‘What the heck! They surely do not need Rs.10/-! Rs.2 is more than enough, and so on.’ The look on the beggars face was indescribable. I never made eye contact though, simply picked my change and hurried away. Very recently, I read this article:

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, the famous ghazal singer, was known to give, give and give. He returned home to Pakistan, preferring to spend the last days of his life in his homeland. But his Indian Bhajans and songs in praise of Indian Gods was met with opposition; forcing him to return to Bombay, India. He came back a penniless man with no income or wealth. So, his aficionados, the lovers of his music, collected Rs. 20000/- (In those days it was decent amount) and gave it to the maestro.

That very evening, after the concert; somebody came up to Ghulam Ali Saab and started weeping, saying he had no money, not even for food. This great human being pulled out the entire sum of Rs. 20000/- from his pockets and simply gave it all to the weeping person! He retained not a single coin even.

I felt so ashamed, I had nowhere to hide. The whole picking the change from the beggars bowl and the stricken look on the beggars face was right in front of my eyes. I died a thousand deaths in that one moment of realization. I am so self –centered! What a sop to my conscious I gave deciding how much the beggar needed! Who Am I to decide?

My spiritual Guru writes, ’what we receive is to be distributed. Even distributing has its own law which says,”Unless everybody receives, you cannot give to one in particular, except when it is your family.’ Even in a family we do give only one person followed with the instruction of “share it with all “or “distribute equally amongst all present.” When we sow seeds and water our fields, we do not water a particular seed. We water the whole field and which seed grows bears fruit is not in our hands. It is not for us to pre judge the seed and say, ’yes, this will bear fruit, so I will water only this seed!’

Similarly when we have fish in the tank to feed, we do not feed one fish! We feed all of them; you cannot isolate one and say this one’s hunger is more than the other! But when it comes to giving we become very judgmental and stingy too. We will give as much as we want, to who so ever deserves according to us! Why?

Bade Ghulam Ali khan had nothing when he returned to Bombay. He received from others and the very same evening he parted with the entire amount without hesitation. He gave, simply gave away what he had. Whether he had anything for himself was never on his mind and whether the person asking deserved, needed that much also never crossed this magnanimous man’s mind.

He gave, truly gave away!