– Kamlesh Patel  –

Kamlesh Patel (Daaji), Guide of Heartfulness Meditation

It’s the season of gifts and giving all over the world – Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year, and then Pongal and Sankranti and it continues until spring. What is the best day to give a gift? The timing of the gift really depends on the call of the giving heart or the hour of need of the receiver.


The best gift is one which has the intention of purity behind it. That would show the state of joy or peace of the receiver which matters most. A cup of cool water to a thirsty man in a desert is more precious than gifts of jewels or millions of dollars to a wealthy man.


Now, how do we evaluate a gift? The capacity of the giver is more relevant than the material value of the gift. Great saints like Shri Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur, affectionately called Babuji, admired a few rupees donated by a needy woman more than millions from billionaires. We all also know the story of the golden mongoose from the epic, Mahabharata.


What gives life to the gift? It can only be love! The intention and attitude associated with the thought and the gesture are equally valuable. There are great inspirations in history. There are great examples of Ramayana and Mahabharata.


In the Ramayana, there is the story of Sabari, the tribal woman who gave half-eaten fruits to Lord Ram and Lakshman, the sons of Emperor Dasarath. This old woman would bite into each fruit to ensure that it was sweet and safe before offering it to them. Her loving hospitality, as a balm, relieved some of the pain of their separation from mother Sita.


In the Mahabharata, when Lord Krishna chose to stay with Vidur, instead of Duryodhana, Krishna happily ate the banana peels offered by Vidur’s wife. She did this because she was so lost in love and adoration for Lord Krishna. When Vidur pointed out her absent-mindedness, Lord Krishna said, “The superb taste of these banana peels is not present in the banana!”


When I was still a student, my spiritual teacher told me the finest inspirational short story about the beautiful sentiment of giving by O’Henry, ‘The Gift of the Magi’. The wife, Della, sells her beautiful hair to buy a gold strap for her husband Jim’s wristwatch. Jim sells his watch to buy a beautiful comb for Della’s luxuriant hair. Neither of them could use the gift received from the other, but it filled their hearts to the brim with gratitude. When their hearts melted in the sacrifice of love, it made the author call those as the “Gift of the Magi”.


These are at the human level. Higher above them is the gift of Grace from the Divine Source. It can happen in the presence of a divinized Personality. It comes not by deserving or meriting or earning it.


Coming back to the human level, what can be the highest gift?


My heart wonders, “Isn’t forgiving the best gift?” Why? Because, miraculously, it turns out to be a double gift both to the giver and receiver. It has the potential to usher in a new heaven on earth by saving the world from hatred. My teacher, Babuji Maharaj, the founder of the Heartfulness movement, has gone one step further and said, besides forgiving them, if we also give them our gratitude for the lessons learnt, perhaps that is the greatest in gift giving. Only the Divine strength of one who has received Grace can do it easily. Let us pray that all loving hearts receive this infinite strength and courage from the gift of Grace.


Now, we may ask, – What can we do as an act of material or physical service that can stay a lifetime? Beyond our lifetime, what gift can hold value, meaning, and sustenance?


Simply put, it is to plant more trees. Take, for example, the ‘Forests by Heartfulness’ initiative by Heartfulness Institute – we can consider gifting trees to our loved ones for their anniversaries, birthdays, and other festive occasions. You might have farmland of your own where you can plant more trees. Or you can donate to this cause, and we’ll plant a tree on your behalf and provide a certificate to that effect. If every single person could plant just one sapling today, is it not a splendid gift to future generations, our own grandchildren, and great grandchildren? Please think about it. One small step by each one of us can become a giant step towards humanity!


There are other ways to give – like contributing to your favorite charities or helping friends in need, performing random acts of service, and other things like these. They are very noble. Yet we continue aspiring for the highest, too! My wish for you is that, that grace from the Divine descends to you in your act of giving and gifting. 

May the spirit of joy and giving be with you this season, and always!


Kamlesh Patel, known to many as Daaji, is the Heartfulness Guide. He is bringing the essence of yogic spiritual practices to the modern world in a scientific way in order to help people regulate their minds, manage their emotions, and elevate their consciousness to the highest possible level. He is a role model for millions of spiritual seekers around the world and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today.

Disclaimer : The views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely her / his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INVC NEWS.



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