ज्योतिषाम् अपि तज् ज्योतिस् तमसः परम् उच्यते ।
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञान-गम्यं हृदि सर्वस्य धिष्ठितम् ॥ १८ ॥
jyotiṣām api taj jyotis tamasaḥ param ucyate |
jñānaṃ jñeyaṃ jñāna-gamyaṃ hṛdi sarvasya dhiṣṭhitam || 18 ||
Srimad Bhagavad Gita
The Self is the source of all light. The Self is beyond the darkness of matter and is unmanifested. The Self is knowledge, the Self is the object of knowledge, and the Self is the goal of knowledge. The Self is situated within you.
Do you like to give, or receive?
The correct answer and the desired answer often collide here. In our heads, when know that we are supposed to say “give”, but in our hearts, we prefer to “receive”.
Possession is a base feeling of mankind – we love to possess stuff, people and everything around us. That is what has, in part, driven us to achieve so much as a civilization.
In our hunter-gatherer days, possession meant the difference between life and death. And so it became ingrained in us, and stayed on even when we came out of such dire situations.
That is why receiving is so much easier than giving. As a child, and well into our teens and even beyond, we sometimes wondered on the silliness of the question – of course to receive!
This leads to selfishness, first mild, then as the stakes go higher, so does the urge to receive, rather – to snatch away.
Your janma tithi is a good occasion to reverse this trend.
We all have got used to the western concept of “paint the town red” on birthdays, characterized by excessives – food, cake, alcohol, spend more money, “enjoy”.
Janma tithis are about giving – donate, feed, serve, spend for others, ask for blessings.
We are all here not in isolation – we depend on society, on the community, to live the way we do. Giving back to the lesser privileged is a good way of practicing to give more than you receive. And when you do that, you start to realize that giving is much more rewarding than receiving. The thankfulness, the joy that you see cannot be described. It makes you feel that you have, in your own small way, made a difference in someone’s life…made their day a bit better, made them feel special.
Isn’t that a good way to live?
Here is part 2 of the post that I wrote last year: