By Dinesh K. Nagpal

Part 1 of 3

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”  ~Mother Teresa

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”  ~Winston Churchill

 “You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”  ~Kahlil Gibran

 “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”  ~Albert Pike

“Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.” ~Norman B. Rice

“True meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”  ~Nelson Henderson

“Charity sees the need, not the cause.”  ~German Proverb

“It’s not that successful people are givers; it is that givers are successful people.”  ~Patti Thor

“If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.”  ~Arabian Proverb

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.”  ~Jack London

“If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” ~Bob Hope

 

These days Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are in news. It is not because of their enormous wealth but because they are world’s the largest donors. Buffet has pledged to give away ninety nine percent of his wealth, which is currently approximately $ Fifty billion and he is the third richest person in the world. Similarly Bill Gates, who is the second richest person with $ Fifty six billion wealth, he too is donating large sum together with Warren Buffet through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for various philanthropic activities.

Rich and affluent class all over the world has a healthy practice of donating part of their wealth for various charitable purposes. There are different forms of charity. Either it is by giving directly to the one who is in need or indirectly through a trust who is working for the welfare of the society.

Charity is normally given to those either they are underprivileged or those they are providing selfless service to the society. Charity normally denotes helping those they are not related to the donor. It always comes from the loving mind with a feeling of selflessness.

Almost all the religions of this world have strongly recommended charity to be practiced by every believer. Salient features of charity in various religions are as follows.

Baha’i

Baha’i faith has always stressed charity for the poor. They have established several charitable organizations for social and economical development of the people. Followers of Baha’i faith believe in maintaining peace and giving for charities.

Buddhism

There are six essential perfections to be cultivated in Buddhist practice and the first is Perfection of giving. This charity in the form of donation is integral part of the Buddhist culture. It is suggested to give material support to those they are in need. For a follower of Buddhism, charity is an act of kindness which is generated from universal love, generosity and tolerance.

Christianity

Charity is the essence of Christianity. Life of Christ is full of examples of kindness. He said, “Do good to them that hate you and pray for them that persecute you and culminate you. It is not just alms giving. It should not be seen only as an obligation and duty. Christians believe charity opens the gates of heaven for us and it is for pardon of our sins. They also believe that God’s love and generosity towards humanity moves and inspires us to love and be generous. In short, charity is love for Christians.

Confucianism

Confucius laid importance on developing virtues. The Master said, “If a man be without virtues proper to humanity, what has he to do with the rites of propriety?”  He stressed to develop five virtues, i.e. Charity, Justice, Propriety, Wisdom and Loyalty. Confucius also said, “Without charity I am nothing.”

Hinduism

Out of ten observances of practices that every Hindu should follow, one is charity or giving generously without a thought of a reward. It is suggested to give one tenth of their gross income in charity, as this amount is considered as God’s money. It is suggested to feed and give to those in need.

In Hindu tradition charity is associated with Dana i.e. donation, which denotes alms giving, gifting and sharing love. Followers of Hinduism must develop unlimited loving and affectionate kindness towards all beings. It is suggested to keep charity a secret affair. Hindu scriptures suggest that you should not announce your acts of charity to the extent even your left hand should not know what your right hand has donated.

 

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Dr. Dinesh K. Nagpal has been studying and practicing The Art and Science of Positivism for over 35 years. His zest for gathering ancient knowledge based on Vedas, Upanishads and other Hindu scriptures, which are full of living life in totality, for the benefit of mankind, brought him laurels. The motto of his life is ‘Caring and Sharing is the essence of life.’

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