Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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The Give and the Take

Hari Om

Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.

We are reading the small booklet called "Not Too Loose, Not Too tight - Just right!" This is written by Swamini Vimalananda, and gives a very general overview of Vedanta for the beginner, with emphasis on the sattvic, rajasic and tamasic approaches to life. Remember, we are a mixture of all; use this as your mirror.

दान /daana - charity.

Charity is to give money, material, knowledge or time to the needy; to extend a helping hand to those who are less privileged or able than ourselves; to distribute our excess wealth, and to share what we have, with others. The attitude with which one gives is determined by our predominant guna.

Image result for charitySattvic; charity given with sattvic attitude exhibits compassion, a genuine desire to share, an obvious need to help; the motivations are a sense of duty towards individuals and society and the joy of giving. Sattvic charity is given  with faith in the cause supported, with modesty and generosity, spontaneously and promptly when needed and to the right people at the right time. There is true humility in this giving, with no sense or expectation of what will be received in return. The one to whom the charity is given is respected and the giver is likely to feel a gratitude for the opportunity to give without ties. There is no obligation on either part, in sattvic charity. Such an attitude results in genuine fulfillment.

Rajasic; charity given in rajas is likely to be more forced and may only be in response to being asked - albeit immediate. There can often be a reluctance - giving will happen, but possibly under pressure, for example if there is a show or fayre for fund raising; where the saatvika may be the organisers or instigators, the rajasikas will jump 'on the bandwagon'. There can be a selfish motive or expectation of future gain from the charity action. For such people, charity is an additional social 'kudos', a way to raise their status. Some only make promises or offer with their lips, not carrying through. Some give to gain publicity, power or position. Others give only what they have as extra, the small change of their pockets; or donate damaged items, thinking 'something is better than nothing'. A rajasika feels a sense of pain in giving, wondering how they will replace what is given. For such as these, there is no sense of joy or fulfillment . Their heads may know it is good to give, but their hearts are not in it.

Tamasic; the charity of the tamasic personality, if given, is to the undeserving or misguided causes, for example, on the small scale, providing cigarettes or alcohol to the underaged or addicted. Such help may seem good and get short-term thanks, but is not with the other's best interests at heart. A tamasic person may give things which are useless or unusable; like winter clothes for children in the tropics. He or she will not hold the object of their charity in any form or regard and may  even be derogatory towards the needy. There is no grace in their giving, no compassion or sensitivity; indeed they may even give with an intention of creating insult to the receiver. This form of charity holds no merit.

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Hari OM
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