Posted in Philosophy, Short Story

What does charity mean ?

The recent earthquakes in Nepal and the sudden rise in want-to-be philanthropists made me write a short story from the Hindu scripture ” Bhagvad Geeta.”

A little background on the characters and situation.

Karna : He was a loyal friend of the Kauravas. He was known as the most charitable person alive. Extremely honourable, but highly looked down upon because of his lineage.

Arjuna : One of the Pandavas. Highly skilled archer,

Krishna : King of Dwarka. Very intelligent, practical and diplomatic person. He is the one who rist recited the geeta to Arjuna.

Here is the story :

One day, Arjuna says to Krishna ” Oh great ,lord, why is it that Karna is deemed as The hero among donors ? Even I do a lot of charity work. Why is it, that I am not given the same honour ? ”

Krishna though on this and decided to give him a practice session.

He took Arjuna to a village, created a mountain of gold and asked him to distribute the mountain of gold among the villagers. Arjuna started calling all the villagers, asked them to form up a queue and started giving out potions of the wealth. Eventually, he got tired and frustrated, as the villagers kept asking for more.

Krishna saw the frustration on Arjun’s face and told to stop what ever he was doing.

Then he sent word to Karna and told him to do exactly the same thing.

Karna called the villagers to the mountain, asked them to take the gold and then without another word, went about his own business. He never even glanced at the pile, or how the villagers were using the gold.

Now Krishna says to Arjuna ; ” Did you understand your mistake now ? O brave archer ? You, in your pride, decided to hand out the gold on your own. You thought it was your prerogative how to distribute the wealth. Al this gesture did was  caress your ego. You also endeavoured to distribute the wealth equally.  But Karna has no such thoughts. He know he had to give away the wealth. He simply asked the villagers to take the gold. To achieve that objective, he knew there was no need for him to do anything more than simply ask the people to take the gold for themselves. He never thought that it was “He” who is giving away the wealth.”

———————————————-

Similarly, if you really want to help someone, you should not think that it is “you” who is helping him. A selfless help , a selfless act is richest forms of charity. There is no point in asking questions like :

  • Will this money reach the needy ?
  • How much should I give so that I can show it in my Tax returns ?
  • How much would be enough, to brag to my friends about ?

If you want to give away, have no regrets . Do it selflessly.

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Author:

An IT professional, a Slytherin and a brooding narcissist, who lives behind his keyboard.

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