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Be Not a Beggar

--by Swami Vivekananda (Jul 23, 2012)


Ask nothing; want nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it will come back to you — but do not think of that now, it will come back multiplied a thousandfold — but the attention must not be on that. Yet have the power to give: give, and there it ends.

Learn that the whole of life is giving, that nature will force you to give. So, give willingly. Sooner or later you will have to give up. You come into life to accumulate. With clenched hands, you want to take. But nature puts a hand on your throat and makes your hands open. Whether you will it or not, you have to give. The moment you say, "I will not", the blow comes; you are hurt.

None is there that will not be compelled, in the long run, to give up everything. And the more one struggles against this law, the more miserable one feels. It is because we dare not give, because we are not resigned enough to accede to this grand demand of nature, that we are miserable. The forest is gone, but we get heat in return. The sun is taking up water from the ocean, to return it in showers. You are a machine for taking and giving: you take, in order to give.

Ask, therefore, nothing in return; but the more you give, the more will come to you. The quicker you can empty the air out of this room, the quicker it will be filled up by the external air; and if you close all the doors and every aperture, that which is within will remain, but that which is outside will never come in, and that which is within will stagnate, degenerate, and become poisoned. A river is continually emptying itself into the ocean and is continually filling up again. Bar not the exit into the ocean. The moment you do that, death seizes you.

Be, therefore, not a beggar; be unattached.

--Swami Vivekananda in "Work and Its Secret"

 


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16 Previous Reflections:

 
On Jul 30, 2012 Manjesh.D.M wrote:
 good one :)

On Jul 29, 2012 Pete Rocci wrote:
 I realized a long time ago that I can give in the way of smiling, helping an old man , hanging out with the homeless, listening , giving your food away.. There are many ways to give. I don't have to give away material thing's

On Jul 28, 2012 Louis Corbeil wrote:
 It is nice to reflect on giving. But what about those who have nothing to give? Those who have to beg to survive? Or those who are in a place where life is unbearable? Those that are depressed? Those in war zones or extremely poor?
Sometimes I visit such a place because I have chronic depression. A good part of the time I am ok because of medication. But other times it is very difficult. 
To me giving is very easy and receiving also. I am so grateful when I am ok, that giving/receiving
is not very important. It feels natural. 

Louis

On Jul 27, 2012 sumit Sharma wrote:
It is the truth of life, Swami ji is the real saint which has came here to lighten the lamp of true feeling.

Thanx Swami ji


On Jul 25, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 The spirit of giving implies an environment of cooperative  living and not a competitive world of today. We can bring back such community and environmental awareness only with considerable self-effort in the community, such as ‘Wednesdays’.

Today, nature is making us "pay" for our negligence with severe changes in environment to teach us to 'give' and not just 'take' from our environment. We need a shift in awareness in the world, from greed based capitalism and consumerism that is decimating our environment, to one that can sustaining and even improve our environment. This shift from materialism to spiritualism needs to start at home. 

 Without this community awareness, the concept “give without expectation” sounds more like “wall street” advertisement on the “Main street”. : ).


On Jul 24, 2012 Barbara wrote:
 mmm, I love the encouragement to give, but not for the reasons suggested. I want to give because it meets my beautiful human need to contribute to others. It is the act of giving, in and of itself, that feeds me. If I give because I fear a hand my throat or because I want others to give back to me, I am no longer joyful about my giving, but fearful or expectant.

On Jul 24, 2012 mitzi wrote:
 I just had the experience of of the flow, by looking for a place to rent.  I put it out there, felt at tx to resign from it and just go back to where I was, but it totally opened up and got a place thats HEAVEN, in the wood etc.  And for less then I was willing to pay.  The giver knew she needed to give, and I was ready to receive, and in the receiving I am now giving!  my heart opened more so theres more for tohers now!

On Jul 24, 2012 david doane wrote:

 One of my favorite quotes is from Sheldon Kopp and goes as follows:  "I only get to keep that which I am prepared to give up.  In Western terms, virtue is its own reward.  There is no hope of redemption in doing good in order to be saved.  Only by doing good for its own sake, without seeking reward, can we attain salvation."  Freedom, growth, salvation are in the giving for its own sake.  Giving in order to get anything in return is manipulation, that is, there are strings attached, there is an agenda, and that is an entirely different activity than simply giving.  It's the difference between being and having.  Sooner or later, whether we like it or not, we do give up what we have.  At death we give up all that we have -- it's worthwhile to start sooner than death.  We don't come into life to accumulate -- we come into life and accumulate.  Accumulating things may give some pleasure, but doesn't make  See full.

 One of my favorite quotes is from Sheldon Kopp and goes as follows:  "I only get to keep that which I am prepared to give up.  In Western terms, virtue is its own reward.  There is no hope of redemption in doing good in order to be saved.  Only by doing good for its own sake, without seeking reward, can we attain salvation."  Freedom, growth, salvation are in the giving for its own sake.  Giving in order to get anything in return is manipulation, that is, there are strings attached, there is an agenda, and that is an entirely different activity than simply giving.  It's the difference between being and having.  Sooner or later, whether we like it or not, we do give up what we have.  At death we give up all that we have -- it's worthwhile to start sooner than death.  We don't come into life to accumulate -- we come into life and accumulate.  Accumulating things may give some pleasure, but doesn't make us truly happy.  Someone said that the way to be happy is not to have more of what we want but to have less wants.  In having and accumulating we are attached to whatever we have, which bogs us down and inhibits freedom.  Freedom is an important part of happiness.  Freedom and happiness are associated with detachment, not attachment.  As for a personal example, I gave a plaque with a saying on it to someone who very much admired it -- she was very grateful and I was happy. 

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On Jul 24, 2012 Dhara wrote:
 WOw, amazing!  thank you for this wonderful reminder, beautifully written!  :-)

On Jul 24, 2012 john wrote:
 I am learning that the giving of ideas to receptive hearts can be a blessing to others. As a photographer I daily click from  the pinnacle of divine Love.

On Jul 24, 2012 Pau wrote:
 wow! :) this is reality ! i appreciate the accent specially i am taking how to speak American English accent. :0 its just WOW great.

On Jul 23, 2012 Sylvan wrote:
 I spent time at Los Lobos last weekend...with a hiking group, and my camera....I lost the hiking group, because my camera and I were swept away in the flow. Nature was "giving" exquisitely. Everywhere I turned there was a beautiful composition to capture. I was mesmerized and completely in "Flow". I can't describe what it felt like but I can give back what was given to me through my art and photography. I never sought fame and fortune...the marketplace is not my space...I delight in sharing my work. It is always a full circle, a breathing....give and take and give....it truly is "in giving that we receive, and in dying that we are "awakened"....if we accept that nature gives... and takes....so be it

On Jul 22, 2012 Chris Wheaton wrote:
I am constantly amazed at the power of my thoughts that without expectation come to fruition.  I have also learned that the measure of my gratitude greatly affects my attitude.  I do not however believe in death of what is real.  Our energy simply takes different forms and continues on.  I ask "What is the lesson?" rather than beg.  I ask for guidance, I do not beg.  Beggars do not believe that their creator gave them all they need.  I know that I have everything I need.  It is in that state of rememberance that gratitude steps into place and this child of God moves forward on her journey. 

On Jul 21, 2012 luv4all wrote:
Never thought of this before that 'Nature forces us to give, sooner or later'. So true and that's why our journey on this earth is long and repetitive until we learn, God gives us chance again and again. We are recycled in death and get a new life to start from where we left, kindness / giving and soul liberation.
Another inspiring , powerful passage from Swami Vivekananda.

On Jul 21, 2012 Conrad P Pritscher wrote:
I do much thinking about flowing but I don't flow much.  If and when I do flow, I don't think much about giving and receiving.  I love it when I am unattached but I notice that I am attached to being unattached as I often desire not to desire.  When I do give, I notice the reward is immediate.  I sometimes wonder why I don't give more often since it is so rewarding. I notice I am somewhat attached to service space.org and writing comments for I journey.
Becoming aware is somewhat of an accident and as some wise man said, meditation helps one be accident prone. I am attached to the notion that the highest form of wisdom is kindness.  Thank you for your kindness for sending me these articles for my comments.  Warm and kind regards to everyone.

On Jul 21, 2012 bckmishra wrote:
 It is a universal law '' what you give , you get back.'' A proven fact that giving is like shouting in a valley, the echo of the sound you create there is back in multiples.