By : Sri Narasimha Swamiji
Life is all about give and take — this is an oft-used expression that devotees of Sai Baba keep hearing. While this is by and far true, where finding peace of mind and happiness is concerned, life is more about ‘give,’ rather than ‘take.’
Giving anything — money, time, love, respect, praise, encouragement — is an art, and does not come naturally to man. Man, by nature is a collector, a hoarder. He believes in taking all that he needs and more and storing it away for a rainy day. Enough unscrupulous elements exist, who hoard everything from food to consumer items, so that their price will increase, and they can make a quick buck. The entire black-market industry operates on man’s weakness to take more and more, and not being able to forgo anything.
In the long run, it is giving and not taking that gives happiness and bliss. When you take something from someone, with or without his consent, you are temporarily happy, till your need arises, you take more. Your happiness at taking something is often short-lived. In fact, if you have grabbed or taken something forcibly, the guilt of doing so does eventually catch up with you. As against this, when you give someone something, the happiness that you derive from the joy and contentment that the receiver displays, is much more in quality and quantity, than the happiness of taking. Kaka Dixit took a trunkful of silver coins to Sai Baba and in no time, Baba distributed them to the devotees present there.
You just have to give something to your house help or neighbor or a relative, to experience this. If giving were without any benefit, we would not have great social workers and philanthropists in the world, at all. Though giving seems to go against our instinct, it is actually not so. For example, one of the happiest persons on this earth, at any given time, is a mother, who has given birth to a child and who is giving everything — time, energy, attention, love, and milk — to the baby. One has to watch a pregnant woman or a mother to see this bliss. Just imagine — if your mother were a taker, and not a giver, and refused to give you her love, affection and milk, where would you be? Ask any woman, what the happiest moments of her life were, and chances are that she’ll tell you that it was when she was nursing and bringing up her child. Sai Baba is our mother and has given us everything we need.
As an extrapolation of this mother-child relationship, if Mother Nature was not to give us anything from its bounty of sunlight, air, water, earth, trees, animals etc. where would we humans be? Think about it. Occasionally, when nature is overwhelmed by man and his misdeeds, it does take back, in the form of an earthquake, typhoon, flood, but by and far, nature only goes on giving.
Sai Baba used to beg food from five houses. He mixed it and shared with dogs, pigs, sparrows etc., Follow his example to feed a hungry soul. The sooner you learn to give anything that you are capable of giving, the earlier you will experience an inner peace and satisfaction. This will be far greater than the joy you get by taking. Try it out once and see for yourself. Be a giver, not a taker, and the entire universe will flood you with more things than you can even handle.