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Thread: benefits of giving...

  1. #1
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    benefits of giving...

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Many have come to this forum looking for some relief from grief as it comes in all sizes e.g. career, health, relationships, property, etc.

    In jyotish they would be looking for a upāya उपाय -a means of success against an enemy. What is the enemy ? A obstruction, grief, lament, etc.
    There are many yajña-s, pūja-s, japa, etc. that are offered or perscribed. Yet let me offer some of the wisdom that is found in the mahābhārata offered
    by bhīṣma-ji¹ to yudhiṣṭhira.

    This talks about the power of tapas and the power of giving . Bhīṣma-ji¹ describes what fruits come from these actions.
    The question that always arises is 'when' does the gift of giving bear fruit? This I do not know but from personal experience it comes.
    For my experiences it took time, yet I can see the correlation between the action done and the fruit that arose.

    Also IMHO in giving, one should not feel a pinch when doing this...one should not be possessed of the end result and over-hope, wish,
    plead for the result, or have excessive angst or anxiousness. This I found is a hindrance to the process and to one's well being ( again this is me, others may vary).
    My teacher would say, it's like mailing a letter, there is the intent initially, then we put the letter in the mail, and the ~system~ takes over.
    For me, it is the that Cosmic Intelligence and all the laws of nature that comes to one's support.

    Pending one's sattvic levels, one's composure, karma that is due, all play a role. For this I cannot offer the mechanics of how this all works as it is beyond me.

    So let me begin. I will over several ideas and the words of bhīṣma as they have been translated by the author kisari mohan ganguli.
    I will add my own commentary where it adds value. For those that are interested this is in the mahābhārata , aṇusāsana¹ parvan (section LVII or 107).

    By making gifts one gains all kinds of joy, says bhīṣma-ji¹ .
    Now what are the best of gifts? Bhīṣma in later chapters suggests gold, the gift of kine ( gau or cows), the gift of earth
    ( property/land), sesame, food and water. I will review them sequentially as time permits, yet will initially start with section LVII or 107.

    Let me offer some of the benefits of tapas (austerity , special observances) that bhīṣma-ji¹ calls out :
    • by abstaining from meat and fish,one gets long-lived children
    • one possessed of the wealth of tapas and passes his days in yoga obtains good beds, seats, and vehicles
    • one who speaks the truth succeeds in sporting with the deva's themselves
    • by abstention from cruelty one obtains health and freedom from disease.
    • one who gives peace to every creature ( non-injury) is freed from every region
    • by presenting light at places which are dark and frequented by men, one acquires good vision
    • by giving away beautiful objects one aquires good memory and understanding
    • by giving away scents and garlands ( I will assume garlands of flowers) one acquires fame that spreads over a
      large area ( region).
    more to follow in the next post.

    praṇām

    words
    • bhīṣma son of śāṃtanu and gaṅgā . In the great war of the bharata-s he took the side of the sons of dhṛtarāṣṭra against the sons of pāṇḍu , and was renowned for his continence , wisdom , bravery , and fidelity to his word ;The bhāghavataṁ says that there are only twelve men in the whole world who know the ins and outs of dharma in all its subtlety. These twelve are: Brahmā, the Creator; Narada, the roving sage; Lord Śiva; Lord Subrahmaṇya; the sage Kapila; Manu the law-giver; the boy-devotee Prahlada; King Janaka; bhīṣma; King Bali; the boy-sage śuka son of vyāsa narrator of the bhāgavata-purāṇa to king parikṣit, and Yama, the Lord of Death and Dispenser of Justice.
    • More here on bhīṣma : http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=45091&postcount=28
    • aṇusāsana - The brilliance of this word aṇusāsana parvan shows the great command of the language by vyāsa-ji ( also known as Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana )
      • This word can be seen in a few ways:
        aṇu+sā+sana : aṇu = finer +sā =knowledge + sana = presenting, gain, acquisition. Hence the section (parva) presenting finer knowledge.
      • anu + śasana : anu = after or afterwords + śasana = killing. Hence the section (prava) after the war.
    • More on veda vyāsa who compiled this mahābhārata: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=49765&postcount=35
    Last edited by yajvan; 14 September 2010 at 09:34 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
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    Re: benefits of giving...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    continuing on giving....
    • the man that gives away fruits and flowers succeeds in acquiring auspicious knowledge.
    • the man that gives away one-thousand kine ( cows, gau) with horns adorned with gold succeeds in acquiring heaven.
      Now , one reading this would say how practical can this be , where will I get 1,000 cows let alone gold to hang on the cows horns?
      One needs to remember many people read this and bhīṣma-ji is addressing yudhiṣṭhira a king. So for a king or one of afluence, this offering is not out of the question.
    • Bhīṣma-ji also says one that gives a kapila ( brown or tawny or reddish color ) cow along with her calf, with gold on its horns
      along with a brazen pot for milking will reside in heaven for as many years as the hairs that appear on that cow.
    • The reward attached to the gift of clothing is personal beauty; and that of scents ( assume fragrant and appealing) one
      becomes a fragrant person in the next life.
    More specifically on gifts of gold, kine (gau) , earth (property).
    • Bhīṣma-ji says the gifts of gold, kine and earth are sin cleansing. They rescue the giver from evil act.
      Do make these gifts to those that are righteous ( this implies brāhmaṇa-s¹ and the like). Without a doubt gifts rescue the giver from all his sins.
      But you ask, what about the poor and needy , are they not deserving of gifts ? We will get to that soon.
    • When a person wishes to make a gift that is eternal ( long lasting) it should be given to those of requisite qualifications ( the deserving);
      What should be offered is the best in one's house ( what is worthy of giving, not something that is to be discarded). By doing this
      the giver will receive ( in return) that which will be agreeable to him or her.
    I think this is of great import. When we give we do not do so with items that we no longer want. This is beneath the dignity of
    the gift's intent.
    • Bhīṣma-ji says no man (person) is equal to him in merit who satisfies the hunger of a person that is emaciated, possessed of
      learning, destitute of the means of support and weakened by misery. One should always dispel the distress of the righteous
      by all means possible.
    • Righteous men of righteous deeds should make gifts from the motivation that it is their duty vs. of reaping the benefits from
      these actions. In this way the virtuous man ( the receiver) will not feel any dis-inclination to receive the gifts accordingly.
    • One reaps the same merit by making gifts unto the regenerate person ( the twice born, the sādhu, the spiritually uplifted)
      then by properly pouring libations unto the sacrificial fire morning and evening ( yajña).
    more in the next post.



    praām

    words
    brāhmaṇa - one who has divine knowledge ; a brahman , a man belonging to the 1st of the 3 twice-born classes ; generally a priest in the strictest sense ,
    but only applicable to one who knows and repeats the ved.
    Last edited by yajvan; 12 September 2010 at 07:59 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3
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    Re: benefits of giving...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast


    On giving earth... ( land)

    Of all kinds of gifts ( says bhīṣma-ji ) the gift of earth has been said to be first in point of merit. Amongst all creatures the giver of earth grows in prosperity for ever.

    Why does bhīṣma-ji think this is of high merit? Because from within the earth one is implicitly giving that which is contained within the earth - gems , vestments, barley.

    As long as the earth lasts so does the giver grow in prosperity. It is said that when earth is given away is cleanses and sanctifies the giver and the taker. The man of sinful behavior and of falsehood is
    cleansed by the gift of earth. This is the secret name of the earth - priyadatta.


    praṇām


    words
    priyadatta -priya = loved , dear + datta = given , granted , presented - that which is dearly given or granted ( my translation only)
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: benefits of giving...

    Vannakkam: Here is an example of giving to a temple. I'm wondering what members of HDF think about this type of giving?


    32-Lb. Golden Crown Donated To Lord Venkateswara

    November 9th, 2010 Source: www.thehindu.com
    INDIA, October 2010: Lord Venkateswara, the presiding Deity at the Tirumala temple, received two more precious donations. Reckoned as the richest temple in the world next to the Vatican Church, the Lord of the Seven Hills received a dazzling golden crown weighing 32 lbs. The exquisitely chiseled stone-studded tiara was offered by a Mumbai-based business tycoon who however preferred to remain anonymous.


    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: benefits of giving...

    namaste EM.

    It has been a time-revered practice in Hindu Dharma to donate to temples and embellish our Gods. While our sages are mendicants, our Kings and Gods were rich, and the Kings took care of donating their wealth to temples and also establish social service institutions (which are in modern times done by Hindu temples and religious institutions--the government or its leaders do nothing under the guise of (pseudo-)secularism. What is even more touching is that the heap of flowers and flowery garlands adored to our gods are devout donations from big and ordinary traders who take pride in offering their first 'boNi'--transaction, to God.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

  6. #6
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    Re: benefits of giving...

    Vannakkam: here is another 'unseen' giving story, although this one will indeed be seen.

    Source: www.thehindu.com
    BOSTON, U.S.A., October 29, 2010 : Narayanan Krishnan, a 29-year-old chef from India who founded a non-profit body, Akshaya Trust, to feed the homeless and destitute, has been short-listed by CNN for its annual Hero of the Year honor that recognizes everyday individuals who are changing the world. Mr. Krishnan is among this years top 10 CNN Heroes, who were selected from out of 10,000 nominations by a CNN panel comprising activists and philanthropists such as Muhammad Ali and Sir Richard Branson.

    The network will announce the CNN Hero of the Year, selected from among the top 10 people, on November 25. Mr. Krishnan and his team cover nearly 125 miles in a donated van. He provides hot meals - simple vegetarian fare - that he personally prepares, packs and often hand-feeds to nearly 400 people each day.

    Aum namasivaya

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