Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Friday, October 4, 2013

Giving gifts to God

There was a time in ancient India when man spent his surplus wealth in serving the Deity form of God. God is omnipotent and hence the belief is that He resides in His Deity form to show mercy and compassion to His devotees. In reciprocation to God's love, devotees show their love by dedicating whatever they get as surplus in service to Him. This relationship of expression of love of giving gifts to God was the hallmark/essence of vedic customs, rites and rituals. Thus the fully satisfied man was a good steward of fellow living beings and nature. In such an enriched environment, there was no poverty, crime, exploitation, animal slaughter, greed, lust, pride etc - things we take for common today was not even heard of in ancient vedic culture.

Remnants of such culture can be seen even today where pious Hindus give gifts to the Deity form of the Lord. While the external rituals remain, the inner meaning of love is lost. Unless we revive our inner feelings of love for God we will not be satisfied in life. We will not be good stewards of fellow beings and nature. Our hearts will only be filled with exploitative tendencies of greed, lust, fear etc.

Feeding the poor, building orphanages or schools or hospitals might be the band-aid solution to solving social ills but the root cause solution is to clean the ecology of our own hearts from materialistic tendencies of greed, lust, pride, fear etc.

I will end this post in the spirit of Gandhi's birthday reminding us of his words - “Be the change that you wish to see in this world". The change within us can come about only if we revive our original culture of giving our surplus to God in an exchange of unmotivated gratitude, devotion and love.

Hare Krishna

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