View Full Version : Charity

Divine Kala
19 May 2011, 08:01 PM
Charity is a big part of many religions - giving is undertaken so that we may go beyond our own wants and needs and help out fellow man. But when 'charity' is undertaken for the reaction it will garner from the recipients is it really charity?

I ask because a girl in class had a go at me today. She gave me a CD of images taken during a class photos kit on her iPhone and apparently I didn't say thank you. To be fair I was busy cleaning the class room and was distracted so it totally slipped my mind. Now she is in a snit that I did not thank her for 'going out of her way to buy CDs, burn her crappy iPhone photos to disc and then give them out'. How dare I forget to thank her! She was doing it out of the goodness of her heart.

It's not the goodness of your heart if you demand praise for it.

19 May 2011, 10:05 PM
Is this a personal reflection or something you are sharing?

Her thinking (demanding?) praise is parallel to you thinking she is unjustified in wanting it. Is your ego stopping you from thanking her? Is that same ego the thing that makes you consider her actions in contempt?

Why don't you just thank her? :)

Divine Kala
20 May 2011, 02:30 AM
The first paragraph is something I would like to know the opinions of others. The second paragraph is why I bring it up. I tried to thank her after he brought it up but was unable to as she refused to listen.

When I do something like that, and I frequently do, I do not do it with the expectation that I am going to be praised. I do it in the full knowledge that I may not he thanked or appreciated and that doesn't matter. I am doing something that may help my fellow students out because I CAN, not because it's going to raise mr up in their sights.

20 May 2011, 02:35 AM
I'm not too sure what I think about charity....but I know for sure that I hate it when someone plays 'victim'.

Eastern Mind
20 May 2011, 07:03 AM
Vannakkam Divine Kala: I view charity and the relationship to ego as quite complex. There is a lot of judging going on sometimes, when in fact there should be more thoughts along the line of doubt:

A rich person makes a large donation to some charitable cause. The charity tells people, while the donor really doesn't care about the name being attached, and then the watchers jump on some weird accusational bandwagon saying the donor did it for tax breaks or whatever.

In reality, we'd have to be a mind reader to know what the donor expected.

I do believe that in general, Hindus are more apt to wish anonymity, as our faith has humility right up there in terms of qualities to be developed. Having been in certain situations in my life where I was privy to 'confidential' information, I can give an example.

Somebody puts a large sum of cash in a Hundi, because when the treasurer opens it, there are 50 crisp new $100 bills. Only the donor, and maybe the donor's spouse will ever know.

Personally, on both sides, as donor or privy to recipient, I really do my best to not think about it. Just go along without analysing, as you'll never really know. But at the same time, a little gratitude is appreciated. Otherwise the donors may start to feel they are slaves.

Aum Namasivaya

20 May 2011, 12:52 PM
I asked about charity before in this thread: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=6706

Not entirely related to your case but the answers were of great help.

The first paragraph is something I would like to know the opinions of others. The second paragraph is why I bring it up. I tried to thank her after he brought it up but was unable to as she refused to listen.

Well, take it as a lesson of always reminding to thank people when they do something. If you already thanked her, you've done your part, it's too much to expect that another person will change his/her attitude based on this.

How oversensitive people are about meaningless stuff is indeed a trait of Kali yuga's troubled mindset. But that's another subject.

IMO it's better to ask: "What does this action/circumstance say about me?" rather than trying to see it in other people. However, even finding flaws in others can say a lot about us.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. - Carl Gustav Jung

Just look at it this way, we interact with lots of people, basically any attitude from them could be offensive, it all depends on the subjectivity of who's dealing with the person, so anything that pushes our buttons is an indication of our own psychic life.

20 May 2011, 01:03 PM
It seem to me that there is confusion over what is base common courtesy, "Thank you." ..and praise which would be "Oh you are SO smart and wonderful!"

My suggestion is, if you can...go and buy a small spool of CDRW and wrap with bow then get early to class and place on desk. Do not tell her you did this, but continue to thank her very much.

What we have to share between two people is what we bring to the table. It's very true...so be sure to bring a feast of love.

There once was a neighbor, very right wing xtian and hate... hated my family. Here I was samwhich between right wing xtian and muslim who had sons who told my children that I was "Just a woman, why do you listen to her????" Because I told him it was too late to play(10 pm night).

The xtian was very very cruel, even more cruel than the man. She would snoop on our family through windows. If you saw the show Bewitched from a long time ago...she was Ms. Cravitz. Very bad to me and my family.

She poisoned our cat because she had small yapping dog and she wanted them to not have cats around the neighborhood (She bragged about it right in front of us). It was very relentless.

But I knelt to the ground one night and prayed and Satguru from HA words came into my heart...."be as her daughter".

So that next day was Mother's Day and I went out and spent my own mother's day money on her for beautiful flowers...spent hours just to find them as if she were my own mother....my Mother passed away the fall before this event and so this was very difficult buying something for the meanest woman I ever know in place of my own Mother.

But, she is Shiva! and I know this that under all that confusion and anger is Beloved....so I spent the money on the most beautiful flowers in the place. Then before she wake up, I took them all to her front step and left them without a card.

You know I bet to this day, she never believe it was me, but after that she left us alone, I do not know why. Shiva saw this, and perhaps He intervened upon my behalf...but I know she would never ever believe it was me.

My husband and children thought me crazy...but it worked and they learn the importance of charity and compassion.

See, I was frustrated with this Portion...and I should have been more compassionate from the start, so it was my fault in the end.

Once I remove my hurt feelings/ego, it was never ever an issue again.

A year later we move far away to our home we buy on the hill...happily ever after.

That mean girl is Shiva, with all my heart I know it....love Him.

Give her a hug, be gracious until you do not ever even have to second think the task and it just pours from you constantly.

Now- I will disclaimer this...

Some Portions are very extremely confused and clouded...they may harm you if you try these things above. In those rare situations where one would harm you...the best thing to do is to remove yourself from them. Just as if you go into a creek where snakes have homes and then become bit, you would remove yourself from such Beings and leave them in peace.

Eastern Mind
20 May 2011, 01:21 PM
Appreciation is a long forgotten skill. We have to teach it, it is our duty to teach it. I coached for some 15 years. a volunteer position, although many thought otherwise. School coaches at lower levels are all volunteers. They do it because they like the sport or get a ton of intrinsic value out of it.

Some years I got no appreciation at the end of the season. Other years there were small things like gift certificates to take my family out to dinner. Why the difference? On the years when I got tokens of appreciation, some adult, or maybe one of the students knew and understood the actions involved in showing appreciation. So they had been taught be a parent. I in turn would take the opportunity to revisit former students and give subtle reminders at the end of the various sport seasons.

But it can't be just some false statement to get what you want. Many of us on here truly do appreciate Satay, for example, we're not just buttering him up so he'll keep this forum going. But does he go around saying, "Hey Guys, you'd better appreciate me or else I'm going to ban you!" I think not.

Someone mentioned the other day how groups like Himalayan Academy provide 'free' religious literature. Of course, this is commendable, but it's not free. Thjey did a fundraiser in December with a goal of 50 000 just to be able to continue with the 'free' stuff. I think they got some 65 000 in donations. That's 65 000 dollars worth of appreciation.

Aum Namasivaya

20 May 2011, 01:37 PM
My husband and children thought me crazy...but it worked and they learn the importance of charity and compassion.

See, I was frustrated with this Portion...and I should have been more compassionate from the start, so it was my fault in the end.

Once I remove my hurt feelings/ego, it was never ever an issue again.

Indeed! :)

20 May 2011, 03:33 PM

We Hindu have a great tradition off giving, itís even today very visible in the places off pilgrimages and Temples.

Free food, free drinks, free accommodation, one only have to visit a kumbh mela to witness all these first hand. A lots off towns where one can see Anna kshetra, run on charity, in the summer one could see, what we Gujarati call Parab at various places, giving water to anyone who passes by. Off course a lot off these quality is over run by economics advance, powered by greed.

In the Vedic times off old, a house holder was enjoyed to make sure, no one in the vicinity was going hungry.

The highest order, in SD is Sanyasi, they are not allowed any possession, they would subsist on the charity off a house holder especially for food, from this we can deduct how important giving in charity, anna, vastra etc, was so central to our Dharma.

From Mahabharat/Ramayan/ Puranas, we can learn how integral part giving in charity was.
Karna of Mahabharat is known as Danvir Karan.

Bali Maharaj giving three step in charity to Vamandev, despite the advise off his Guru Sukracharya.

Lord Krishna, in chapter 16, describes people endowed with divine quality, one off that being Danam, giving in charity.

Jai Shree Krishna

20 May 2011, 05:27 PM
Namaste DK,
To answer the question in the first paragraph, NO a charity is not something you do in expectation of something else in return. It will then be construed a favor- as often we hear in our daily life ‘you owe me one, dude’ type of thing. As Eastern mind said the Hundi presence in almost all mandirs out there clearly underscores the importance of Daana as an action/dharma that is carried out without reward or any acknowledgement (by fellow worshippers). No one knows if you have dropped a hundred dollar bundle or some change into the hundi (which is typically a box or a bag). I like hundi a lot myself.

Years ago, in high school I remember reading about a character in a prose lesson titled ‘man in black’ in my English class. A gentleman was so shy of any acknowledgement and detection of his insatiable appetite for charity that he loves to indulge himself in, that he literally hides his face whilst he hands over monies to unknown people in the street and quickly runs away from the vicinity. He keeps looking for those in need wherever he goes and at the same time takes extreme steps to AVOID hearing a ‘thank you’ from the needy. Blessed are those who donate anonymously.

Eastern Mind
20 May 2011, 05:39 PM
... charity ...

Vannakkam: Interesting connection with name and topic.

Aum Namasivaya