A Gift Must Be Made Without Pride Or Publicity

Remove the extra ‘O’ that is mere zero, from ‘good’ and you are GOD says Bhagawan discoursing on the most enchanting ‘spirituo-egotistic’ dual between Lord Vamana and Emperor MahaBali. (Onam Divine discourse on 15th August 1970)

You cannot achieve the goal through good works alone. In Good, there is an extra O, something that is mere zero. That is to say, the desire which prompts you, the fruit which entices you, the reputation that tantalises you – these are all sheer zero, a big O. Leave it off; then, we have ‘Good’ with a zero less, with no self-intruding, that is to say, we have GOD. Desire plus Life is Man!  Life minus desire is God.  Bali got blessed through Thyaga (Renunciation, Detachment)! He became monarch of the nether regions and God agreed to be his gate-keeper, guardian and guide! What a blessing!

He had the ambition to become Indra, the God of gods, the Ruler of Heaven.  It is said that anyone who performs a hundred Yagas in a row, with ceremonial rectitude, will automatically become Indra. The Indra who is installed thus once is ever reluctant to yield his chair to another 100-yaga person! So he tries his “worst” to disturb and desecrate the last few of the hundred, so that no one can complete a century!

Bali too was within 36 minutes of completing the hundredth; the crisis of enthroning a Rakshasa (demonic being) as God of gods had to be averted. And, Vamana arrived on the scene, asking for alms – just three feet of ground! O, what a Foot He grew, in a trice! Indra was saved from becoming an ex-Indra! The 100th Yaga was abandoned, due to the calamity that happened to the Monarch, his displacement and his transmutation into a humble servant of God.

Dhana (the act of gifting) is a meritorious act, if it is rendered to the needy, at the time of need, in a manner that fulfills the need; it must be made without pride or publicity; without the superior air of the giver, without rubbing into the mind of the receiver that he is being helped to stand on his own legs, with no contempt contaminating the mind of the giver. Give, as an act of worship to the Divine that you wish to adore in the person to whom you are offering what God has given you for this very purpose! One person in heaven asked an angel how it was that he could get into Heaven, and sit on the very throne of Indra! When told that his gifts on earth had entitled him to it, he gifted Heaven itself to that angel; so, he rose up to even higher status, it is said!

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II