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About Giving

In this page I will quote wisdom from the ages related to 'giving'. 

Hand Pump

Once a man got lost in a desert. The water in his flask had run out two days ago, and he was on his last legs. He knew that if he didn't get some water soon, he would surely die. The man saw a small hut ahead of him. He thought it would be a mirage or maybe a hallucination, but having no other option, he moved toward it. As he got closer, he realized it was quite real. So he dragged his tired body to the door with the last of his strength.

The hut was not occupied and seemed like it had been abandoned for quite some time. The man entered into it, hoping against hope that he might find water inside.

His heart skipped a beat when he saw what was in the hut - a water hand pump...... It had a pipe going down through the floor, perhaps tapping a source of water deep under-ground.

He began working the hand pump, but no water came out. He kept at it and still nothing happened. Finally he gave up from exhaustion and frustration. He threw up his hands in despair. It looked as if he was going to die after all.

Then the man noticed a bottle in one corner of the hut. It was filled with water and corked up to prevent evaporation.

He uncorked the bottle and was about to gulp down the sweet life-giving water, when he noticed a piece of paper attached to it. Handwriting on the paper read : "Use this water to start the pump. Don't forget to fill the bottle when you're done."

He had a dilemma. He could follow the instruction and pour the water into the pump, or he could ignore it and just drink the water.

What to do? If he let the water go into the pump, what assurance did he have that it would work? What if the pump malfunctioned? What if the pipe had a leak? What if the underground reservoir had long dried up?

But then... maybe the instruction was correct. Should he risk it? If it turned out to be false, he would be throwing away the last water he would ever see.

Hands trembling, he poured the water into the pump. Then he closed his eyes, said a prayer, and started working the pump. He heard a gurgling sound, and then water came gushing out, more than he could possibly use. He luxuriated in the cool and refreshing stream. He was going to live!

After drinking his fill and feeling much better, he looked around the hut. He found a pencil and a map of the region. The map showed that he was still far away from civilization, but at least now he knew where he was and which direction to go.

He filled his flask for the journey ahead. He also filled the bottle and put the cork back in. Before leaving the hut, he added his own writing below the instruction: "Believe me, it works!"

This story is all about life. It teaches us that We must GIVE before We can RECEIVE Abundantly. More importantly, it also teaches that FAITH plays an important role in GIVING. The man did not know if his action would be rewarded, but he proceeded regardless. Without knowing what to expect, he made a Leap of Faith.

Water in this story represents the Good things in Life - something that brings a smile to your face. It can be Intangible Knowledge or it can represent Money, Love, Family, Friendship, Happiness, Respect, or any number of other things you Value - Whatever it is that you would like to get out of life - that's water.

The water pump represents the Workings of the Karmic Mechanism. Give it some "Water" to Work with, and it will RETURN far more than you put in.........!

~ Anonymous

Bhagavad Gita

Charity given out of duty, without expectation of return, at the proper time and place, and to a worthy person is considered to be in the mode of goodness. ~ Ch: 17, V: 20

But charity performed with the expectation of some return, or with a desire for fruitive results, or in a grudging mood, is said to be charity in the mode of passion. ~ Ch: 17, V: 21

Without desiring fruitive results, one should perform various kinds of sacrifice, penance and charity with the word tat. The purpose of such transcendental activities is to get free from material entanglement. ~ Ch: 17, V: 25

Anything done as sacrifice, charity or penance without faith in the Supreme, O son of Prthā, is impermanent. It is called asat and is useless both in this life and the next. ~ Ch: 17, V: 28


In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ~ Acts 20:35

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. ~ Proverbs 19:17

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. ~ Hebrews 13:16

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. ~ Proverbs 22:9


Believe in Allah and His messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity),- for them is a great Reward. (57:7)

And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship). (2:43)

If ye disclose (acts of) charity, even so it is well, but if ye conceal them, and make them reach those (really) in need, that is best for you: It will remove from you some of your (stains of) evil. And Allah is well acquainted with what ye do. (2:271)

Saint Thiruvalluvar's Thirukural

Chapter 22: Understanding One's Duty to Give

Kural 211
The benevolent expect no return for their dutiful giving. How can the world ever repay the rain cloud?

Kural 212
It is to meet the needs of the deserving that the worthy work so hard to acquire wealth.

Kural 213
Of all duties, none is better than benevolence, whether in this world or that of the Gods.

Kural 214
He who understands the duty of giving truly lives.
All others shall be counted among the dead.

Kural 215
The wealth of a community-loving wise man may be likened to a well-filled village water tank.

Kural 216
Riches retained by the big-hearted resemble fruits ripening on a tree in the heart of a village.

Kural 217
In the hands of a generous man, wealth is like a medicinal tree whose healing gifts help all.